If you are new to the hi-fi world, choosing an amplifier may sound difficult for you. But, if you are reading this, it is because you are thinking of enjoying your music to the fullest and not simply with a bluetooth speaker.
The amplifier is the heart of an audio system and its quality will largely depend on the total sound that we will obtain. It should accept inputs from various sources: laptops, CD players, Blu-ray players, turntables, tuners, smartphones, tablets. The newest ones bring Bluetooth, Airplay2, Chromecast and Internet via Ethernet. Some include wireless connectivity for streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz or Apple Music.
Below is our recommendations for Audiophile Amplifiers under $500
Recommended Budget Audiophile Amplifiers
|Cambridge Audio AXA25
25 Watt 2-Channel Integrated Stereo Amplifier
"Offering 25 watts of power per channel in a great value package, the AXA25 features a 3.5mm aux input on the front for smartphones and four analogue inputs on the back panel for connecting all your sources. "
Cambridge Audio AXA35 Integrated Amplifier with Built In Phono Stage (Silver)
”The AXA35 is a great budget buy and you’ll struggle to find a more confident-sounding stereo amp for the money.”– ‘What Hi-Fi’ – 5 Star review.
"The AXA35 boasts 35 watts of power per channel, an integrated moving magnet phono stage for turntable enthusiasts, a white display screen, and a headphone socket for private listening sessions."
|Denon PMA-600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier
"Denon has more than 100 years’ experience innovating the design and engineering of premium Hi-Fi products like the latest 600 series integrated amplifier and CD player. Both products appear to be beautifully crafted with excellent attention to detail in separating audio paths to maintain signal integrity. Even with the gripes about power ratings, the two new products from Denon are great options to begin building a Hi-Fi system in small to medium sized rooms." - Audioholics Review
|NAD C 316BEE
Integrated Amplifier with Phono Input
"Music was presented on a wider, deeper soundstage, with more detail and better delineation of images. Voices and instruments were given more space to breathe, and the overall sound was clearer and more open, allowing sounds to bloom into my listening room with greater intensity, and vanish from it with delicacy, style, and grace — through the NAD, sounds knew how to say hello and goodbye. " - Stephen Mejias, Stereophile Review
|Cambridge Audio AXR100
The most powerful amplifier in the AX range offers a massive 100 watts per channel, a dedicated subwoofer speaker output for improving bass and two sets of speaker outputs. It also features analogue inputs, digital inputs, a phono stage, an FM/AM receiver with RDS and a 3.5 mm input. In addition, the built-in Bluetooth receiver allows you stream your favorite music from your smartphone, tablet or PC.
|Music Hall - A15.3 Integrated Amplifier
Music Hall A15.3 Integrated Amplifier The Music Hall a15.3 presents a simple, well-built, stereo integrated amplifier. Need surround? Video features? Look elsewhere buddy! The a15.3 is nothing fancy friends. Music Hall really succeeds with this smart-looking alternative to all of those sonically compromised, button-filled surround receivers and all-in-one systems. The Music Hall a15.3 is the perfect choice for someone looking to assemble their first high-end audio system, or anyone looking only for great sound in a compact chassis. Connect pair of headphones to the front headphone input or plug your iPod into the mini-jack input right on the front panel for convenience and great sound. Partner it with the matching c-dac15.3 DAC/CD player and any great turntable for a superb sounding system.