How to Choose Amplifier for Speakers | Complete AMP Guide | 2021

When you are looking for buying a speaker then your first choice is that what kind of amplifier will be better for it. There are kinds of amplifiers. First differentiates between active and passive speakers. Passive speakers have no amplifier in them so you need to buy an external amp for these types of speakers. Because of this need, there are some different amplifiers. We will discuss how to choose amplifier for speakers in this article.

The General Rule to Choose Amplifier for Speakers

There are some rules you should consider before choosing your desired amplifier.

What size amplifier need for speakers?

Power is the first thing you should consider but the most common rule for choosing an amplifier for speakers is to match it to the size of your speakers. You really need to observe this aspect because if your amplifier doesn’t have enough power then your sound quality will be bad. Amplifier with low wattage won’t work well with high-quality speakers so you must choose according to the speaker’s wattage.

There are some other things to consider like the cost of the amplifier rather it should be cheap or expensive. You can get help from online reviews for finding out your needed amplifier. There is the top 5 best speakers amplifiers list which can also be useful for you for making a perfect decision. Some people buy new speakers because of have an old amp while some buy a new amplifier because their old amps are broken.

How to Know if You Need An Amplifier or Not?

If your speakers and its headphone port have a black band then it needs an amplifier. Because in these cases the impedance of the speaker is high.

Only when you have to use amplifiers with low impedance speakers, their ohm value should be 4 or more than this. According to this, we can understand that there are two kinds of amplifiers.

Amplifier for Low Impedance speakers

Amplifiers for low impedance speakers have a low value of ohm. Only these kinds of amplifiers can be helpful in matching your audio system and your speakers. Though there are some cases when you need to buy an amplifier with high ohm power the majority prefer using amplifiers with the lowest ohm power.

Amplifier for high impedance speakers

If your speaker’s impedance is more than 4 then you need an amplifier with high impedance for it.

Choosing right number of channels

When you are buying your amplifier you need to keep in mind the number of channels your amplifier is working on (mono, stereo). Mono amps are one-channel amps and may be used for powering a subwoofer or center speaker. For the left and right speakers, two stereo amplifiers will do.

Choosing right configuration of amplifier

Configuration of amplifier means that what kind of amplifier it is. There are two basic configurations: one for a home stereo system and the other for a whole-house audio installation. Keep in mind these things when you are going to buy the right configuration.

Home Stereo System

  • These amps have a high output power of about 50W – 100W per channel at 8 ohms.
  • They have low total harmonic distortion (THD), which means they do not distort the original music as it’s being reproduced. So, if you are looking for great quality of sound then try to find an amplifier with low THD.

Whole House Audio Installation

  • Amplifiers in whole-house audio installations need to have multiple channels (up to 32) for powering speakers in different rooms.
  • They also need to be high in total output power (about 500W – 1000W per channel at 8 ohms).

The difference between a stereo amp and a home theater amp

Stereo amp

This is one of the most commonly used amps in the market.

  • This amp has a separate amplifier for both speakers. In this amplifier, there is only one power source.
  • Two separate speaker cables are connected to it which feed each speaker individually from the same power source.
  • It has a wider frequency range.
  • A stereo amp is best for small rooms, with two or more speakers.
  • It is known as the most economic choice of an audio amplifier which allows the you-the buyer to own quality sound.

Home theater amp

  • For this type of speaker, there are 5 to 7 amplifiers that are used. One amplifier for each channel.
  • There is one power supply and five or seven speaker cables for this type of amp.
  • These amplifiers have two features: first, they will be having a lower frequency range than the stereo amps, and second, they will be having much more sound power than a standard home amp because of more number of amplifiers.
  • This is the best choice for big rooms and people who love to play higher frequency music or songs with an extreme beat. Also, this amp type is mostly used at concerts because it produces crystal clear sound even at loud volumes.

Choosing right class of audio amps

There are different classes of audio amplifiers according to which they are divided into two categories: Class A and Class B.

Class A

  • These amps have high quality and clean power as compared to other classes
  • They produce less heat than Class B amplifiers. But because of this quality they are also less efficient as compared to Class B amplifiers. That is why they waste more electricity and need higher cooling which affects its cost and size.

Class B

  • These amplifiers are cheaper and more efficient in power consumption.
  • In this class there are two types of amps: AB and D. The AB amp is a compromise between Class A and B, while the Class D amp is what we call a “switching” amplifier. It uses a variable high-frequency signal to control the power supply. This process is very efficient because the amplifier only supplies power to the speaker when it’s needed.

Which type of amplifiers you should prefer?

Class D amps have been around for a while now, but are becoming increasingly popular. They are extremely efficient, run cool, and can output huge amounts of power. If you are going for a class D amp then you will be getting power consumption and size in your favor. Some of the models, such as class T amps, can offer even better performance than standard Class A or B amplifiers.

So before buying an amplifier you should find out about its different types so that you can make a decision on which type of amplifier is better for you.

How much wattage do you need for your speakers?

Generally, there are three types of amplifiers. These are class A, class B, and class D. Each one has its own functions and capability of delivering power. In this section we will talk about them one by one:

Recommended Amplifier Power for Speaker Chart

how to choose amplifier for speakers

Class A Amplifiers:

In this type of amplifier, both output transistors are always ON. These are big in size so you can’t use them for your desktop speakers. Because of the continuous power flow, they become hot which is not good for your desktop speakers. The sound produced by this type of amplifier is really clear but since they produce heat that’s why you can’t use them on a desktop.

Class B Amplifiers:

In this amplifier, output transistors perform their function alternatively. In these types of amplifiers output current flows through one transistor and then after a little time it flow through the second transistor. This is also not good for your desktop speakers because these become hot during their work and you can’t carry them around.

Class D Amplifiers:

Class D amplifiers are called switching amplifiers because they work on the principle of Class B but these are more efficient than class B amplifiers. In these types of amps, output current flows through one transistor for a little time and then it switches to another transistor within that very short time around 20 nanoseconds (1 nanosecond = 1/billionth second). This switching thing also makes them more efficient.

These types of amplifiers are mainly used in sub-woofers because they work on the low power supply and produce high wattage with less heat by converting excess power into heat. The sound quality is good so you can use these for your desktop speakers too.

So it’s clear now that Class D amplifiers are the best for your desktop speakers because they are more efficient, produce less heat and their sound quality is good. But you have to keep in mind one thing that you won’t buy a 500-watt amplifier for any 4 ohms or 8-ohm speaker. Because if you use an amp having more wattage than the speaker’s requirement then it will be harmful to your speakers.

Final Verdict of how to choose amplifier for speakers?

From this article, we came to know that the Class D amplifiers are good for speakers and they provide less heat and high wattage with less power consumption. It’s also clear from this article that you can’t use an amp having more wattage than your speaker’s requirement because if your amplifier will work on that much wattage then there will be harmful for your speakers.

All the best! I hope you like how to choose amplifier for the speakers article. If you have any thoughts about this topic then please comment with us because we always want to hear from our readers.

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