Important Specifications when Choosing an Amplifier
Amplifiers today have a lot of built-in features which makes it difficult choosing the best one. You need to focus your budget and efforts on specifications that will make a difference to the sound you hear. You should look at the following specifications when selecting an amplifier to buy.
The power output of an amplifier is almost equivalent to how loud you can pump music out of it. The bigger the room or speakers, the more power you want. However, you probably want as much as power as you would expect. 10W is loud for average listening, and 100W will blow the roof off most of the parties. You have to ensure that you look at the speaker sensitivity as well since it has a significant effect.
THD + N
Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N) refers to the measure of how much effect the amplifier has on the sound output. More distortion generally means more coloration of the sound. The lower the figure is, the closer the output of the amplifier will sound to the original recording. Speakers will, of course, have the greatest effect on sound, therefore select speakers that are well matched to your listening preferences.
Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)
If you in a quiet room, away from the hustle and bustle, you may notice noises that you have never noticed before. For example, cars traveling down the road or the humming of a radiator. None of this is apparent when children are home with the TV blasting away. However, that background noise is still there. Amplifiers are the same, there is always a very small amount of noise from the electrons whizzing around. The goal is to make the background noise imperceptible. This implies that you hear more of the music and less of the noise. The measure of this is referred to as the signal to noise ratio. For better amplifier performance this ratio needs to be high.
Crosstalk refers to the measure of how much undesirable left signal is mixed with right output. Amplifiers are all in one box and are doing their best to separate boxes one per channel, splitting apart the signals to make sure when it reaches the speaker you can tell the singer is standing to the right of the stage and the violins to the left. The more the crosstalk, the harder it is to pick out the positions of the instruments since stereo separation is affected. The larger the crosstalk, the greater the stereo separation will be.
Always ensure you have adequate inputs for everything you are plugging in. Remember various types of connections such as USB for laptops and home theatre PCs, iPods, and Phono for turntables. They all have advantages and when the options are few, choose what provides the best sound quality.
When you are shopping for a new amplifier, ensure you consider these important specifications. This way you will get one that will serve your sound needs by giving you the best quality.