What is the Best Budget Stereo Amplifiers?

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One of the key elements of every stereo system is a stereo amplifier. Finding the right one for your speaker system is a tricky thing and requires a good understanding of speaker and amp specifications, power requirements/outputs, impedances, and other factors. All the different brands, different models, and price disparities can be so confusing if you don’t know what to look for and what to expect. Still, looking for the right stereo amp is not rocket science and if you stay with us, you will learn everything you need to know. Our article about 10 best budget stereo amplifiers is here to answer the most common questions related to stereo amps, explain the most important features, give you some guidelines to follow when buying a stereo amplifier, and present you with our selection of the best budget stereo amps.

What Kinds of Stereo Amplifiers Are There?

Based on the duties they perform, stereo amps can be divided into two groups – power amps and integrated amps. The main duty of a stereo amp is the amplify the audio signal coming from the audio source (or from a preamp) and drive the speakers. Both amp types – power amps and integrated amps perform this duty. However, this is where the job of power amps ends, while the integrated amps have a few more duties. Integrated amps also have a built-in preamp and some even have a built-in DAC. So, integrated amps are basically 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 devices and have to convert the digital signal, prepare it for amplification, and amplify it. It’s a much harder and more demanding job than the job of a power amplifier.

So, what’s better – power amp or integrated amp? If you ask an audiophile, he will advise you to go for a power amp and buy a preamp and DAC separately. Using three separate units for three separate jobs is the preferred way if you have the money and space necessary for such a system. However, that doesn’t mean that buying an integrated amp is a bad option. Just like a high-end power amp, a great integrated amp can cost $10,000 or even more and it can sound pretty great. Some would even say that integrated amps can sound just as good as dedicated power amps. Another advantage of integrated amps is the price – they are usually cheaper and most budget stereo amps on the market are actually integrated amps.

Stereo amplifiers can also be divided into four groups/classes based on the amplifier circuit design. The most commonly used classes are Class-A, Class-B, Class-AB, and Class-D. Class A amps offer the best sound quality and audio fidelity. They are the preferred type by audiophiles. The main problems with these amps are low efficiency, high heat dissipation, and high price. Class-B amps are a variation of Class-A amps. They are more efficient but also deliver more distorted sound. Class-AB amps, as the name implies, combine the good characteristics of Class-A and Class-B amps, but still don’t sound as good as Class-A amps. Class-D amps are the most efficient amp type but and are the cheapest, but don’t sound as good as Class-A amps. Most budget stereo amps are Class-D.

Based on the technology used to amplify the signal, you can make a difference between solid-state and tube amps. Solid-state amps use electronics for amplification while the tube amps use vacuum tubes. Solid-state amps are cheaper which means that most budget stereo amplifiers are actually solid-state amps. 

So, to conclude – the majority of amps on our list of 10 best budget stereo amplifiers are integrated solid-state Class-D or Class-AB amps. A few amps priced under $1000 are Class-AB integrated solid-state amps (they can be considered entry-level audiophile amps).

Our Top Picks

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ProductPriceOverall RatingReview
Yamaha R-N303BLCheck Price on Amazon4.3Read Review
Sony STR-DH190Check Price on Amazon4.6Read Review
Cambridge Audio AXA35Check Price on Amazon4.3Read Review
Marantz PM5005Check Price on Amazon4.3Read Review
Denon PMA-600NECheck Price on Amazon4.5Read Review
Marantz PM6006Check Price on Amazon4.5Read Review
NAD – D 3045Check Price on Amazon4.1Read Review
Yamaha A-S501BLCheck Price on Amazon4.8Read Review
Audiolab 6000A 2-ChannelCheck Price on Amazon5.0Read Review
Rega BrioCheck Price on Amazon4.1Read Review

What to Expect from a Budget Stereo Amplifier?

Well, you can’t expect an audiophile performance from a $200 or $300 stereo amp. At this price point, you can expect a few analog inputs, maybe even phono inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, and up to 100W per channel power output (measured with 8Ω loads across the whole audible spectrum). 

$300-$500 stereo amplifiers are usually more versatile. Some of them even have digital inputs (optical, coaxial, USB). Most of them also support Bluetooth connectivity and can output up to 100W per channel (measured with 8Ω loads across the whole audible spectrum).

As the price increases, you may get more inputs or higher power output, but you may also get the same versatility and power output but much better sound fidelity and overall performance. It depends on the stereo amp you choose.

For the purposes of our article, we decided to set the limit at $1,000. That doesn’t seem very budget-friendly but it actually is, especially when you know that the price of a great stereo amp can be much higher.

So, now that you know what to expect when it comes to performance, connectivity, and sound quality, check out our selection of 10 best budget stereo amplifiers. The list is divided into two categories – best under $500 and best under $1,000. Just set your limit and pick the category that fits your budget.


BEST BUDGET STEREO AMPLIFIERS UNDER $500

Best Budget Stereo Amp Under $300 – Yamaha R-N303BL

Yamaha R-N303BL

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

Yamaha R-N303BL is one of the highest-rated and most versatile stereo amplifiers under $300. It’s a great choice for large systems that include various analog/digital sources. Thanks to Yamaha’s MusicCast platform, Yamaha R-N303BL can also be integrated into a multiroom speaker system with other MusicCast-enabled speakers.

R-N303BL comes with two radio antennas (FM and AM), remote, batteries, detachable Bluetooth/wi-fi antenna, manual, and warranty. The unit has the same kind of attractive design as many other Yamaha stereo amps and AV receivers

The front panel houses all the controls – input selector, bass, treble, and volume controls, tuning buttons, memory buttons, etc. A much more convenient way of controlling everything is the included remote. It’s a little bit crowded and it takes some time to get used to the controls but it gets easier with time. 

The amplifier has a wide variety of inputs. You have one MM phono input, 3 RCA inputs, one RCA OUT, digital optical, and coaxial input. Furthermore, the unit has AM and FM connectors for the antennas, it has an Ethernet port, and a headphone OUT on the front panel. 

R-N303BL is Bluetooth-enabled and it features wi-fi connectivity (only 2.4GHz, not dual-band). The MusicCast app allows you to integrate all kinds of streaming apps and internet radios (Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, SiriusXM, etc.) and stream audio wirelessly. Also, the amp supports Airplay and can be a part of a multiroom system with other MusicCast speakers, amps, and AV receivers.

The amp has a built-in DAC with max resolution support of 24bit/192kHz. It can play all kinds of lossless files (ALAC, FLAC). It can also play DSD files (up to DSD128).

R-N303BL is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

The RMS power output is rated at 100W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 40Hz-20kHz range with 0.2% THD). The unit has two pairs of speaker terminals which allow you to connect two sets of speakers. Only one pair can be active at a time and you can select the pair you want to use with simple A-B controls on the control panel.

Advantages

  • Attractive design
  • Great ease of use (control panel + remote)
  • Versatile connectivity – phono input, 3 RCA IN, RCA OUT, Headphone OUT, TOSLINK IN, Coaxial IN
  • Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity (only 2.4GHz)
  • Built-in AM and FM tuners
  • Supports Airplay
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • MusicCast app and multiroom capabilities
  • 100W RMS per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 40Hz-20kHz range with 0.2% THD)

Disadvantages

  • Outdated Bluetooth version (BT 2.1 + EDR)

Best Budget Stereo Amp Under $150 – Sony STR-DH190

Sony STR-DH190

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

STR-DH190 is a fairly versatile and powerful stereo amp. It has phono inputs and features Bluetooth connectivity. It’s not as great as the previous R-N303BL but you can hardly get more for less than $150.

The amp comes with a remote and FM antenna. To control it, you can use the buttons on the front panel or the remote. They are both easy to use and responsive. 

STR-DH190 houses one MM phono input, four pairs of RCA inputs, one RCA OUT, one AUX input (front panel), and one headphone output (front panel). The amp also houses a USB port but it’s not for music playback – it can only be used for firmware updates.

Finally, the unit is Bluetooth-enabled. It features Bluetooth 4.2 with a good range and flawless performance. If you are a fan of radio, you’ll be happy to know that the unit has a built-in FM tuner (but lacks an AM tuner). 

The RMS power output is rated at 90W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.09% THD). The amp has two sets of spring-clip terminals allowing you to connect two speaker sets (only one can be active at a time). 

Advantages

  • Attractive low-profile design
  • Two options for controlling the unit – control panel and remote
  • Multiple analog connections – MM phono input, 3 RCA IN, RCA OUT, headphone OUT (front panel), AUX IN (front panel)
  • Built-in FM tuner
  • The amp is Bluetooth-enabled
  • 90W RMS per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.09% THD)

Disadvantages

  • Spring-clip speaker terminals are prone to breaking
  • No digital inputs
  • No AM tuner

Best Low-Profile Budget Amp Under $350 – Cambridge Audio AXA35

Cambridge Audio AXA35

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

AXA35 is a bit more of an entry-level hi-fi stereo amp. It’s not as versatile or powerful as the previous two, but it delivers a ‘cleaner’ signal and higher audio fidelity. It is a perfect choice for small higher-end desktop speakers.

Cambridge Audio AXA35 is a compact and slim unit with an attractive silver finish. The front panel houses all the buttons, a simple display, one headphone OUT, one AUX IN, and a volume dial. You can also use the included remote to control all the settings.

The rear panel of the amp houses one MM phono input, four RCA inputs, one RCA output, and a USB power-out port (allows you to connect a USB-powered Bluetooth receiver or Google Chromecast).

The RMS power output is 35W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.15% THD). The advertised frequency response is 5Hz-50kHz (-3dB).

The sound output is punchy, accurate, and balanced with a particularly clear and detailed midrange.

Advantages

  • Attractive low-profile design
  • Included remote
  • Numerous analog connections – MM phono input, four RCA IN, AUX IN, 6.35mm headphone output, RCA output
  • USB port for connecting a Bluetooth receiver or Chromecast
  • 35W per channel RMS (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.15% THD)
  • Accurate and balanced sound reproduction with detailed and transparent mids 

Disadvantages

  • 35W per channel is not good enough for more demanding floorstanding speakers and large bookshelf speakers
  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity

Best Budget Stereo Amp Under $500 – Marantz PM5005

Marantz PM5005

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

Like the previously reviewed Cambridge Audio AXA35, Marantz PM5005 is an entry-level hi-fi amp. It has a slightly higher power output than AXA35, more analog inputs, and slightly lower distortion. 

PM5005 is an attractive low-profile amp with good connection versatility. The front panel houses all the buttons and dials. There’s a dedicated button for every adjustment so you can set the bass/treble levels or adjust the volume in just one step. You will also get a fully-featured remote.

The amplifier has one MM phono input, 3 RCA inputs, and dual recording RCA inputs and outputs. The amp houses two sets of five-way binding posts, which means that you can connect two pairs of speakers. You will only be able to use one speaker set at a time. Finally, PM5005 has one headphone output on the front panel.

The RMS power output is rated at 40W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 40Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.06% THD). It’s compatible with 4Ω speakers as well (55W per channel).

The amplifier delivers clear, transparent, undistorted, and accurate sound. For louder and unfiltered sound, you can engage the SOURCE DIRECT FUNCTION (it bypasses the volume/tone controls and improves sound fidelity). 

Advantages

  • Stylish low-profile design
  • Remote included in the package
  • Numerous analog connections – MM phono input, three RCA IN, dual recording RCA IN and OUT, 6.35 headphone output 
  • 40W RMS per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 40Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.06% THD)
  • Transparent, detailed, and accurate sound reproduction
  • Sound Direct Feature for improved fidelity

Disadvantages

  • Lacks Bluetooth
  • No digital inputs

Best Budget Stereo Amp Under $400 – Denon PMA-600NE

Denon PMA-600NE

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

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Impressions

Denon PMA-600NE could easily be one of the most versatile and best-performing stereo amplifiers under $400.

PMA-600NE has attractive black housing with an intuitive control scheme on the front and an impressive number of connections on the back. The unit also comes with a remote.

The amplifier has one MM phono input, three RCA inputs, and one recording RCA input and output. Furthermore, you have two TOSLINK inputs and one coaxial input. On the front panel, there’s one 6.35mm headphone output for private listening sessions. 

PMA-600NE has one set of speaker terminals so you can connect one speaker pair. The amp uses 5-way binding posts and is compatible with spade lugs and banana plugs. In case you want to add a powered subwoofer, you have a subwoofer pre-output.

The amp is Bluetooth-enabled. It has a built-in DAC that supports 24bit/192kHz D-A conversion.

The RMS power output is rated at 45W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 40Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.07% THD). The audio output is quite neutral and accurate.

The amp has two special modes – Analog and Source Direct. The Analog mode turns PMA-600NE into a purely analog amp (it turns off all the digital inputs and Bluetooth when listening to analog audio sources). The Source Direct bypasses volume and tone controls and provides you with higher fidelity and louder sound.

Advantages

  • Stylish slim design
  • Remote included
  • Great number of analog and digital inputs – MM phono input, three RCA inputs, recording IN and OUT, two TOSLINK IN, one Coax IN, headphone OUT
  • The unit is Bluetooth-enabled
  • Built-in DAC (up to 24bit/192kHz D-A conversion)
  • 45W RMS per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 40Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.07% THD)

Disadvantages

  • It doesn’t have AM or FM tuners built-in
  • It’s not wi-fi enabled

BEST BUDGET STEREO AMPLIFIERS UNDER $1000

Marantz PM6006

Marantz PM6006

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

PM6006 is an upgraded version of the previously reviewed PM5005. It basically has the same power output and the same design but more connections.

The amp is super-slim and compact. All the controls (volume, balance, bass, treble, input selector, etc.) are on the front. One 6.35mm headphone output is located in the bottom left corner.

On the back, you have one MM phono input, 4 RCA inputs, one recording RCA output, two TOSLINK, and one coaxial digital input. There are no AM or FM tuners built inside, no Bluetooth, and no wi-fi. 

The amp has a built-in DAC and can play high-quality lossless files (up to 24bit/192kHz). It also plays DSD files (up to DSD128).

The RMS power output is 40W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.08% THD). You have two sets of speaker terminals (five-way binding posts), which means that you can connect two sets of speakers (only one pair can be driven at a time).

Like the previous Marantz amp, PM6006 has the Source Direct feature. Once you engage this feature, the amp will bypass the volume and tone controls. That will result in much higher audio fidelity and loudness. 

Advantages

  • Attractive slim design
  • Intuitive controls (remote included)
  • Great versatility – MM phono input, four RCA inputs, one RCA recording output, two TOSLINK inputs, one coaxial input, and one headphone output
  • Built-in DAC (up to 24bit/192kHz)
  • Plays DSD files (DSD64 and DSD128)
  • 40W RMS power output per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.08% THD)
  • Source Direct feature

Disadvantages

  • Lacks Bluetooth and wi-fi
  • The amp doesn’t have a subwoofer preamp output

Best Desktop Budget Amp Under $1000 – NAD – D 3045

NAD - D 3045

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

NAD D 3045 is an incredibly versatile and surprisingly powerful tiny desktop stereo amplifier. It’s compact, slim, and can be placed vertically or horizontally.

The front panel houses only two dials – source selector and volume dial. At the bottom, you have a 3.5mm headphone output. 

The rear panel is much more crowded. It houses MM phono input, 3.5mm input, RCA input, RCA preamp output (allows you to connect a powered subwoofer or another amp), two optical inputs, one coaxial input, one USB Type-B input, and even one HDMI ARC port. 

The amp also features two-way Bluetooth connectivity – it has a built-in Bluetooth receiver and Bluetooth transmitter. You can stream audio from your phone and play it through the connected speakers or you can stream music from any source connected to the amp to your Bluetooth headphones. The Bluetooth chip also supports aptX Bluetooth codec. 

The unit has a high-quality DAC built inside. The DAC supports 24bit/192kHz D-A conversion. The amp can decode MQA and DSD files.

The RMS power output is rated at 60W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.03% THD). 

Advantages

  • Slim and compact, perfect for desktop use
  • Intuitive controls
  • Incredibly versatile – AUX input, MM Phono input, RCA input, two TOSLINK inputs, coaxial input, USB Type-B input, HDMI ARC
  • 3.5mm headphone output
  • Two-way Bluetooth connectivity (transmitter and receiver) with aptX support
  • Built-in DAC (up to 24/192 D-A conversion) with MQA and DSD support
  • 60W per channel RMS (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.03% THD)

Disadvantages

  • Lacks wi-fi connectivity

Most Versatile Stereo Amp Under $600 – Yamaha A-S501BL

Yamaha A-S501BL

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

Yamaha A-S501BL comes with a remote and has a recognizable Yamaha design. The front panel is made of brushed aluminum and houses all the controls (input/volume dials, bass/treble/balance buttons, speaker A/B selectors, power button, and IR receiver). The panel also houses one headphone output.

On the back, you have a series of analog inputs – one phono input, five RCA inputs, and two RCA outputs. Furthermore, you have two digital inputs – one optical and one coaxial. There’s also a USB port but it’s used for charging (not for music playback).

This amplifier has two sets of speaker terminals (compatible with spade lugs and banana plugs). You can connect two pairs of speakers and you can play them both at the same time. The amp also has a subwoofer preamp output port so you can add a powered subwoofer to your system. 

The RMS power output is rated at 85W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.019% THD).

Similar to Denon and Marantz amps and their Source Direct, Yamaha has the Pure Direct feature. When you engage it, the audio signal will bypass the volume and tone controls and, as a result, you will get louder and clearer sound output.

Yamaha A-S501BL delivers clean, undistorted, and very neutral sound. It’s articulate, transparent, and quite enjoyable.

Advantages

  • Simple yet attractive and recognizable design
  • Easy to use
  • Remote included in the package
  • Various analog and digital connections – MM phono input, five RCA inputs, two RCA outputs, coaxial input, optical input
  • You can connect two speaker sets and play them at the same time
  • Dedicated subwoofer output
  • 85W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 0.019% THD)
  • Pure Direct feature
  • Adjustable bass and treble 

Disadvantages

  • No Bluetooth connectivity 
  • No wi-fi connectivity

Audiolab 6000A 2-Channel

Audiolab 6000A 2-Channel

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

Audiolab 600A is a Class-AB amplifier. Its great versatility and clean sound output make it one of the best entry-level high-end amps on the market, especially for larger systems that include multiple analog and digital sources.

The amplifier is compact, slim, and quite elegant-looking. On the front panel, you have some basic controls – input selector, mode selector, and volume dial. Also, there’s a single headphone output (compatible with 20-600Ω headphones). The mode selector is something you haven’t seen on previous amps. This dial allows you to shift between three different operation modes (preamp, power amp, integrated amp).

The rear panel is quite crowded with analog and digital connections. There’s one MM phono IN, 4 RCA inputs, one RCA preamp output, two TOSLINK inputs, and two coaxial inputs. Also, the amp is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream audio wirelessly from any Bluetooth source.

600A has one set of banana plug-compatible speaker terminals allowing you to connect one set of speakers. In case you want to add some bass to your system, you can connect a powered subwoofer (use the RCA pre-outputs). 

The peak power output is rated at 50W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 1% THD).

The unit has a built-in ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC that supports 24bit/192kHz D-A conversion. The remote allows you to choose between three digital filters – min phase, slow roll-off, and fast roll-off. 

Advantages

  • Simple yet elegant design
  • Remote included in the package
  • Three operating modes – preamp, power amp, integrated amp
  • Versatile connectivity – MM phono IN, 4 RCA IN, 2 TOSLINK IN, 2 COAXIAL IN, headphone OUT
  • The amp is Bluetooth-enabled
  • ES9018K2M DAC (24bit/192kHz)
  • 50W peak power output per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range with less than 1% THD)

Disadvantages

  • No wi-fi connectivity
  • No USB input

Rega Brio

Rega Brio

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

Rega Brio is an entry-level high-end integrated amp. It is a perfect choice if you only want to use analog sources.

Brio is a compact and sleek unit. It has quite a minimalistic design with a simple control scheme. The front panel houses the power button, one input selector (with five LED indicators and mute indicator), and a large volume knob. Also, there’s a headphone output for private listening.

The rear panel houses a series of RCA inputs (4 of them), MM phono input, and one record output. The amp has one set of gold-plated speaker terminals (five-way binding posts). They accept banana plugs and spade lugs.

The RMS power output is rated at 50W per channel (two 8Ω channels driven across the 20Hz-20kHz range). With two 4Ω channels driver, the RMS output is rated at 73W per channel.

Rega Brio delivers detailed, precise, and dynamic reproduction. The bass is punchy and powerful, the midrange is transparent, detailed, and clear. The highs are balanced, consistent, and engaging.

Advantages

  • Compact and sleek design
  • Remote included in the package
  • 4 RCA inputs, one MM phono input, one record output, one headphone output
  • 50W per channel RMS (into two 8Ω channels), 73W per channel RMS (into two 4Ω channels)
  • Detailed, transparent, and accurate sound reproduction

Disadvantages

  • No subwoofer output 
  • No digital inputs
  • No Bluetooth 
  • No wi-fi connectivity

This concludes our list of 10 best budget amplifiers. We did our best to make a comprehensive selection with at least one product for every budget. Hopefully, it helped you find the perfect amp for your speakers. If you need some guidelines and additional info, read our Buyer’s Guide.  


Buyer’s Guide – Things to Look for When Buying a Stereo Amplifier

Two things are absolute priorities when it comes to stereo amps – inputs/outputs and power output. Depending on your needs and preferences, you should also look for an amp that has some additional features (AM/FM tuners, built-in Alexa/Chromecast/Airplay, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, multiroom functionality, etc.). 

Inputs/Outputs

You don’t have to look for the most versatile amp out there. You just need something that matches your system and your sources. If you don’t have a turntable and don’t want to buy one, phono inputs are not absolutely necessary. It’s great if an amp has them but it’s not mandatory. If you have one or two analog sources, you don’t need 5 or more analog inputs. If you want to connect your PC/Mac, look for a stereo amp with a USB input. Want to connect more digital sources? Look for something with digital inputs (optical/coaxial).

When it comes to outputs, the situation is simpler. You will, in most cases, get one pair of speaker terminals. Cheaper amps will have plastic spring-clip terminals. These terminals are only compatible with bare wires and are prone to breaking. Ideally, you will buy something with 5-way binding posts that are compatible with banana plugs and spade lugs. These binding posts are usually more durable and more versatile. Some amps have two pairs of speaker terminals allowing you to connect two speaker sets.

Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity

A growing number of stereo amplifiers have Bluetooth connectivity (even the cheapest ones). Wi-Fi connectivity and other features that come with it are still reserved for pricier amps ($500+). Both Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity are equally convenient additional features and can come in handy in various situations.

 Power output

A stereo amp has to match your speakers. Ideally, it should output enough power to drive them with ease and never get too hot, even at the highest volumes. To find something like that, you have to check your speakers’ impedance and power handling ratings (or the recommended amplification numbers) and then check the amp’s specs and look for the power output for the given impedance. Some manufacturers publish power outputs for 6Ω speakers only, while others publish power ratings for 4 and 8Ω speakers. Don’t take the numbers published in the product description for granted, especially when you don’t know at what impedance is that advertised power output measured. Whether the power output is measured at 1kHz or across the whole audible range is also very important. The same goes for THD values. When comparing two or multiple amps, you must compare the power output values for the same impedance and the same frequency. 

Additional features

Modern stereo amplifiers come with a bunch of additional features. They are not absolutely necessary but, just like Bluetooth and wi-fi, all these features can be very convenient and useful in different situations. AM and FM tuners are the most common additional features and can be found in cheaper amps. Multiroom capabilities, Airplay and Chromecast support, Alexa built-in and other advanced features usually come with wi-fi connectivity and can be found in pricier stereo amps. 

What is the Best Budget Stereo Amp and What are the Best Brands?

Well, since we all have different speakers and different components in our stereo systems, it’s impossible to select just one perfect stereo amp for all purposes. That’s why you have our selection of 10 best budget stereo amplifiers. Check it out and find something that suits your budget and other requirements.

It’s also impossible to pinpoint just one or two brands. There are so many great manufacturers. If you want the most budget-friendly solution and you don’t have too demanding speakers, Yamaha and Sony are the best options. If you can spend at least $500 or $1,000, the number of viable choices increases. You have Denon, Cambridge Audio, Pioneer, Marantz, NAD, Rega, Audiolab, Parasound, Peachtree, Onkyo, PS Audio, and many more.

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