Having the best integrated amplifier doesn’t always have to be that expensive. When looking for your new integrated amplifier, some of the things you need to look for are features, size, and of course, quality.
Nothing appeals to a music lover more than a decent sound system!
You can experience the full richness of the sound of your favorite songs or media via an integrated amplifier. But with today’s advancement in technology, it can be quite difficult to choose between any of them!
Of course, you can always rely on your trusty smartphone or computer. But for people who want to enjoy their favorite songs, or for people willing to invest in quality audio equipment, integrated amplifiers are the way to go!
What’s that? What’s an integrated amplifier, you ask?
Well, simply put, an integrated amplifier helps you have all the best features of a power amplifier and a pre-amplifier in one enclosure! It has inputs and outputs to suit all your sound setup needs. This makes it a good choice for audiophiles!
When I think about enjoying music, or simply whenever I watch my favorite shows, details, clarity, and volume mean the most to me.
In this roundup, we are going to list down some of the best integrated amplifiers under $1,000.
This should be a fun one, so let’s get right into it!
Starting our list is the Cambridge Audio CXA61. This spearheaded our roundup for a number of reasons. One of them is that this specific unit appeals to listeners who want their tunes clear and punchy!
According to reviews, the Cambridge Audio XXA61 balances certain sound frequencies, without losing too much of the bottom end. This unit also boasts Bluetooth functionality – something listeners are really fond of!
This 60-watt offering from Cambridge Audio also takes pride in having a high-quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This simply means that it has enough features to cater to both your analog and digital requirements.
If you’re concerned about the overall build, worry not! The CXA61 is built in a tough and solid enclosure.
It has 4x Line level RCA, 1x Phono RCA, 2x Optical, 1x Coaxial 1x Balanced XLR, 1x USB B, 1x 3.5mm AUX for the inputs, and 2x L/R speaker terminal sets, 1x SUB out, 1x 3.5mm Headphone jack for the outputs. Perfect for the music aficionado!
Coming in at number two, we have the PM7000N from Marantz.
If you’re the type of listener that takes joy in listening to high-end audio, this can be the perfect option for you.
The PM7000N boasts home theatre-friendly features that might appeal to those who are fond of movie marathons. It features audio components that promise to provide a crisp and clear listening experience
But just like anyone, you’re probably wondering what makes this product stand out from the rest.
Marantz takes pride in incorporating what they call a Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) into this device. This feature was developed by Marantz in the hope of improving the performance of existing op-amp chips. It is renowned to be a simplistic approach to common integrated amplifier setups, having most of its components set up in a discrete fashion.
The PM7000N also has an integrated what is called a field-effect transistor, or FET, making it possible for Marantz to construct the signal path in a much simpler manner.
It offers 60-watts of power per channel, and also allows quite a range of connectivity: four analog inputs, one analog output, one coaxial input, two optical digital inputs, and one USB-A for high-resolution audio files.
The Rega Brio follows its predecessor with a new design and a headphone socket!
The Brio has a punchy characteristic to its tonal output, making it a frontrunner for rhythm aficionados. It offers 50W per channel and allows the listener to experience balanced frequencies, even on headphones.
Another thing that makes the Brio appealing to a lot of audiophiles is its minimalist approach and design. It’s enclosed in an aluminum case with a steel base, allowing it to be sturdy and quite portable at the same time.
It has 1 x Phono and 4 x Line inputs, with a record out for its output.
This offering from Rega also is one of the most affordable options in our roundup. It also takes pride in being easy to use. This can be good news for those who are just getting into integrated amplifiers!
Making it to number four in our roundup is the 6000A from Audiolab.
Arguably the top feature for this one is its clarity and its articulate sound. It also appeals to listeners and audiophiles who prefer an amplifier with a perfect balance of analog and digital offerings. If you’re into a much more classic approach, the built-in phono stage allows wonderful use of vinyl record playback.
It is enclosed in a metal casing, with black or silver finishes available.
Any digital audio is also well-taken care of thanks to this model’s 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). The 6000A also houses four digital inputs, with three line-level analog inputs, a turntable input, Bluetooth, and to top it all off, a headphone amp!
If you’re into a much simpler approach to an integrated amplifier, then this may be the option for you.
But don’t be deceived. The M2si‘s channel offers 72W of power into 8 ohms. The sound quality is fairly balanced as well, evenly distributing clarity in the bass, mid, and treble. Vocals and instruments are also fairly distinguishable in this model.
If you are however looking for options with digital inputs, then you may want to consider other names in our roundup. It does however have a preamplifier out, so you may want to look into that.
The M2si offers 6 pairs line level RCA connectors, 1 pair line level RCA connectors, constant level TAPE outputs, 1 pair line level RCA connectors, preamp outputs for e.g. bi-amping, with 2 pairs 4mm banana plug/binding posts for speaker outputs.
For the price and for the minimalist approach to features and functionality, the M2si can still appeal to a lot of audiophiles on a budget.
One of the most trusted names in our roundup, Yamaha offers a perfect balance of old-school and new tech in the A-S801BL.
Right off the bat, this unit boasts 100 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz). In terms of connection versatility, the A-S801BL comes with digital inputs for making the most of your devices. Televisions and media players are more than compatible!
One of the best things about this unit is that it’s really simple to use. The remote control allows you to tweak your sound preferences with ease. Movie viewing is also a treat, as the A-S801BL provides a balance of dynamics, richness, and clarity to the signal output.
The overall quality is also fairly and toughly built, making it a versatile choice for this price range. Signal loss is also taken care of, thanks to this unit’s gold-plated terminals. And yes – Bluetooth is also supported!
Another solid offering from Yamaha is the A-S501.
Its high quality sound is made possible by the Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology or Top-ART. It boasts 2 channels with 80W of power, and a fair amount of line level inputs. In addition, the A-S501 offers a moving magnet phono stage, along with two digital inputs and a headphone out.
Thanks to its optical and coax connections, you are afforded an optimum music streaming experience. However, if you’re looking for Bluetooth connectivity, it’s best to look for other Yamaha variants, as the A-S501 does not have one built in.
It does however make up for sound via its incorporated Pure Direct mode. For the price, it still manages to pull off quite a few features.
Completing our roundup is this compact offering from NAD!
The D3045 is a hybrid digital DAC amplifier capable of producing clear sounds in a small package.
It features 2 60W digital amplifiers and an HDMI return channel. The D3045 also boasts two-way Bluetooth. This is powered by Qualcomm APX HD Audio. What this means is that this device allows you to use it as a personal music system via wireless headphones if you prefer!
To top it all off, the NAD D3045 also offers Moving Magnet Phono preamp, which makes it appealing for vinyl aficionados. It also provides coax and optical inputs, as well as MM Phono and Line inputs.
Notable Differences (Integrated v.s. Powered)
With all of that out of the way, you’re probably already wondering about the differences between integrated amplifiers and powered amplifiers.
One of the most distinguishable differences is their dimensions. Power amplifiers tend to have bigger dimensions, for the reason that they have much more components. This also has something to do with why power amplifiers are also much heavier.
Another difference is the ability of these amplifiers to shape and control your tone. With integrated amplifiers, you are offered with a preamp (or preamplification). Most of these come with controls such as bass, mid, and treble, allowing you to shape the frequencies much better. Power amplifiers do not have these options, and you are directly proceeding with the amplification stage. Some integrated amplifiers also come with mic inputs and mic effects. Connectivity wise, you also get more out of integrated amplifiers.
Needless to say, in terms of flexibility, integrated amplifiers are the way to go.
With a multitude of options available out there today, it can be difficult to choose from certain brands and models!
If you’re purchasing for the first time, it’s important to know what size you are opting to go for. The items listed in this roundup are quite varied, so it’s something you definitely want to look into. Consider your desk space, or your home theatre area, or even your music studio!
Next up is the number of inputs and input types. Best to consider first what sort of connections you will be needing, such as RCA audio ins, balanced XLR inputs, digital audio inputs, among others.
The same goes for your output requirements. Some of the ones you are going to want to look into are the options for headphone outs, speaker outs, and subwoofer outs for a tighter low-end.
If you’re into wireless connectivity, Bluetooth options may also appeal to you.
Enjoying music or watching your favorite movies can be even better with integrated amplifiers! But before spending all your hard-earned budget, its best to look out for some of the components that you will be needing. It’s best to have a general idea of what you will be needing from an integrated amplifier. It helps to know what works for you! Hopefully this feature was able to help you out in doing just that!