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Power Amplifiers

Power amplifiers are important to music enthusiasts and entertainers. If you are buying a sound system for professional use, then you need to be even more careful with the product you choose. This guide will help you find a suitable amplifier that provides stereo sound quality for your needs.

How do you choose the wattage?

The wattage of the amp is the first thing you need to check. Ideally, the power amps should have twice as much wattage as your loudspeakers. If your loudspeakers have a power rating of 200W, then your amplifier should produce 400 watts with the same ohm load.

The rating should also be selected with respect to your volume needs. If you want to play music at very high volumes, then you should go for an amplifier with a higher wattage. Otherwise, the sound will be distorted and your electronics may even get damaged.

How many channels do you need?

Power amplifiers are classified according to the number of channels they have. Here are the four most common amp types:

  • Mono-Single-channel amps support a single loudspeaker. These are the least flexible power amplifiers.
  • Stereo Power Amplifier- These can support two loudspeakers at the same time. Most power amplifiers on the market offer two channels. The same system can be used with a single loudspeaker and produce more powerful sound.
  • Four-channel- Power amplifiers with four channels can support two front loudspeakers and two rear loudspeakers
  • Five-channel- These can be used with five loudspeakers

If you only have two speakers, a stereo power amplifier will work perfectly.

What do you need to know about impedance?

Impedance or resistance affects the functioning of your amplifier. Power amplifiers are built to work with 4, 6 or 8 ohms of impedance. If you combine loudspeakers, the impedance may fall below the prescribed level, and this can increase the amount of power delivered to the speakers. Beyond a certain level, the amplifier may get damaged.

If you intend to connect your speakers in parallel, simply divide the resistance of each one by the number of speakers connected. That will give you the overall resistance. Your amplifier should be able to function properly at that level of resistance.

How do the different amplifier classes differ?

Power amplifiers are grouped into different classes. The most popular classes are A, AB and D. Classes A and AB offer the best audio quality, although they are highly inefficient. In addition, manufacturers make these amps large and very heavy.

Class D would be ideal for the average user since it offers excellent audio quality and does not result in excessive wastage of power. Also, class D amps have a compact and light design.

Is headroom important?

People usually go for audio amplifiers with a higher wattage than the speaker RSM. Having more headroom is crucial since it allows you to play loud music without distorting the audio quality. Also, the power amp will not get damaged if you choose to turn up the volume.

More headroom will also allow you to listen to songs that have loud and quieter parts without getting your system heated up.