Which One Ought to You Purchase?

When you find yourself establishing a house theater system, it’s possible you’ll want to decide on between a receiver and an amplifier. Newbies to this sort of expertise usually need assistance choosing the best tools for his or her residence leisure setup. 

Each choices can increase your audio expertise, however distinguishing between their functionalities can take effort and time. 

If you wish to know whether or not you can purchase an amplifier or a receiver, our information might help you make that call.

What Is a Receiver?

pioneer stereo receiver

A receiver is an amplifier with a built-in radio part. You’ll be able to choose the radio element from another enter on the amp without having one other connection apart from audio system. 

These units have been launched within the early Sixties to save lots of area on counters. They provide accessibility to the radio. On the time, this wasn’t as widespread a supply. 

Nevertheless, because of their versatility, receivers turned exceptionally widespread and outnumbered amplifiers.

Receivers may additionally have a visible element to them. Which means they amplify and route audio from quite a few sources, course of video indicators and direct them to a show (akin to a TV, video undertaking or monitor). 

A receiver even gives further options, together with a radio tuner, video and distant management. It has the capability to carry a number of units directly.

Stereo Receivers 

Stereo receivers play a major position in most residence theater methods. They’re electrical elements that decode indicators from varied sources. Then, they transmit the indicators as sound via audio system or headphones. 

Stereo receivers are additionally used to transmit photos and audio to a tv. They differ in dimension, compatibility and output fashion. Some producers discuss with stereo receivers as audio, high-fidelity or AV receivers. 

The draw back with stereo receivers is that they’re solely appropriate for audio playback. Their capabilities, akin to radio, quantity management and enter buttons, are helpful for music-related playback. 

Sadly, this kind of receiver doesn’t help video playback. Because of this, you’ll want a distinct receiver unit. 

A/V Receivers 

Because the identify implies, this kind of receiver handles each audio and video playback. Audio/video (A/V) receivers are perfect for multimedia recordsdata and are appropriate with practically all residence theater setups. 

An AV receiver is the best option for enjoying gaming consoles, motion pictures or TV sequence. It comes with a number of enter ports that join varied units. 

There are additionally ports for connecting to your speaker items. The setup is ideal for people who wish to enhance their gaming expertise. 

What Is an Amplifier?

silver stereo amplifier

An amplifier is an digital machine that will increase an audio sign’s energy, voltage and present. These units use electrical energy to amplify an audio sign.

Amplifiers can be found in a variety of types. Particularly, they’re categorized into small-signal amplifiers, low-frequency energy amplifiers and radio-frequency energy amplifiers. 

When you’re wanting solely to spice up the audio and gained’t want video performance or a radio tuner, then you definitely wish to spend money on an amplifier. 

Because the identify signifies, an amplifier will amplify audio indicators in a linear sample. Subsequently, it doesn’t enhance or make the sound high quality worse. 

Nevertheless, it’s finest to notice that second-rate amplifiers and amp settings could distort the audio high quality. 

Energy Amps

An influence amp is designed to spice up the line-level sign to undertaking audio via audio system at a excessive quantity. It’s an digital element that will increase the general energy of an enter sign. 

The ability is elevated to a stage that’s sufficient to drive output units like RF transmitters, audio system or headphones. There is likely to be a variation in energy amplification since energy amps are utilized in completely different units.

As an example, an influence amp appropriate for loudspeakers could have an influence output starting from 1kW to 5kW. This depends upon the facility ranking of the loudspeakers. 

In addition to that, an influence amp’s efficiency and high quality rely on the audio system’ resistance load.

An influence amp works along with a preamp to transform a small voltage from the output of a preamp into greater present indicators. As an example, if you wish to use an affordable laptop speaker, you want an influence amp for a louder sound. 


Because the identify suggests, a preamp is used earlier than an influence amp. It’s designed to strengthen an instrument’s weak output sign to ship a excessive quantity of acquire. 

When it comes to residence theaters, preamps swap between completely different line-level sources and enhance the sign earlier than sending it to the precise amplifier. 

Built-in Amps

Built-in amps mix a preamplifier and an influence amp into the identical field, sometimes by drawing from the identical energy provide. This implies quantity management alterations, supply switching and amplification are contained in the built-in amplifier. 

With an built-in amplifier’s preamp, it’s simple to spice up low-level indicators on phono-level outputs like report gamers or turntables. It raises the sign to line stage. 

Nevertheless, you may get an influence amplifier as a substitute of an built-in one to chop prices in case you don’t require phono-level indicators. 


Separates discuss with a setup the place the facility amp and preamp are separate. Which means every one is standalone. 

Typically, separate preamps and energy amp audio setups sound higher than built-in amps. Separates obtain extra energy than built-in amps and usually tend to have higher construct high quality. 

It’s value noting that high-quality built-in amps are likely to sound higher than mid-range separates. 

With separates, you’ll additionally want additional cables and a few technical data than you’ll want with built-in apps. Additionally they take up additional area and are dearer. 

Professionals & Cons of Receivers 

Earlier than shopping for a receiver, it’s essential to think about the perks and disadvantages of this kind of audio tools. Right here’s what to recollect as you store round.


  • Cheaper
  • All-in-one set
  • Compact


  • Not perfect for residence theaters
  • The sound high quality isn’t nearly as good

Professionals & Cons of Energy Amps 

There are some clear positives and negatives that include an influence amp. Listed below are the important thing factors to bear in mind.


  • Excessive energy output 
  • Simpler to improve
  • Extra management over connections 


  • Dearer 
  • Takes up extra space

Receiver vs. Amplifier: Which Ought to I Purchase? 

Are you continue to not sure about which machine you can purchase? We break down the advantages of every possibility that will help you make a remaining choice.

When to Purchase a Receiver

When you assume you want a receiver, these are the commonest the reason why this machine is a greater buy than an amplifier.

Ease of Set Up

It’s possible you’ll wish to select a receiver in case you don’t need the duty of establishing separate elements. With an AV receiver, you gained’t have to maintain connecting and disconnecting wires manually. 

You’ll be able to swap between completely different audio sources on the click on of a button in case you go for a receiver. There’s additionally the choice of straight connecting a number of video sources.

A receiver even makes it simpler to connect with show units like a projector or tv. 

Restricted House

A receiver would be the best choice you probably have restricted area. In contrast to receivers, amplifiers aren’t an all-in-one setup. 

Most seven-channel AV receivers, for instance, could have dimensions of 17.3 x 14.8 x 4.1 inches. Amplifiers, then again, take up extra space since every element is self-contained. 

Smaller Funds

When it comes to funds, a receiver could be essentially the most appropriate selection if you need a less expensive sound system setup. Whereas amplifiers differ in price and design, you’ll be able to count on to pay over $1000 for a high-quality mannequin. 

When you’ve got a 5.1 encompass speaker system, you would possibly have to spend anyplace between $500 and $600 on an AV receiver. 

Versatile Performance

Would you like radio, audio and video performance mixed? Then a receiver could be the best option. One of the best half about most A/V receivers is they arrive with a built-in amplifier. 

Additionally they have a quantity management, a tuner and a preamp. 

An A/V receiver can obtain an audio sign, course of it after which amplify the sign to the audio system. It additionally transmits a video to a TV or projector. 

Better of all, you get entry to a number of audio and video inputs. 

When to Purchase an Amplifier

On the flip aspect, if you’re contemplating shopping for an amplifier, these are the highest the reason why you must use this machine as a substitute of a receiver. 

Hello-Fi Techniques 

Preamps and energy amps for Hello-Fi methods are perfect you probably have the funds and sufficient area. One of these amplification system is straightforward to arrange. All you want is a music supply like YouTube or Spotify.

The preamp connects to the facility amp, whereas the facility amp connects to the audio system. You should buy a modest stereo amp or purchase a single preamp after which sync it with an influence amp.

Residence Theaters 

A preamp and energy amp mixture is right for creating the right residence theater setup. This mix permits you to enhance the sound high quality of your A/V receiver or take management of your audio. 

Most are multi-channel amps which are appropriate for encompass sound. The preamp and energy amp mixture can be handy for amplifying devices in case you get pleasure from listening to music.

Highly effective Audio

A high-end amplifier will do the job if you need top-notch audio high quality. When you’re seeking to energy a set of audio system, you’ll want an influence amp. Then, pair it with a preamp. 

Whereas receivers are cheaper, they will’t ship the identical energy out {that a} devoted amplifier produces. Amplifiers are much less more likely to injury the audio system or have noticeable distortions. 

If it’s essential produce 100W per channel, a receiver could not obtain such an output. When seeking to arrange a Hello-Fi system with some audio system and a subwoofer, then a stereo amp would suffice. 


Selecting between a receiver and an amplifier might be complicated. Nevertheless, in case you perceive how you plan to make use of the machine, making a purchase order might be less complicated.

An amplifier is right you probably have a bigger funds, need higher-quality audio and have the area for a extra substantial system.

In any other case, for these with smaller budgets and area or who need extra versatile performance, a receiver is the best possibility.

No matter which product you select, you’ll have improved audio high quality as you watch motion pictures, binge-watch TV exhibits, play video video games or hearken to music.