The Online Shoppers Guide to Buying Integrated Amplifiers

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The Online Shopper's Guide to Buying Integrated Amplifiers

An integrated amplifier is a great addition to anyone's home stereo system. The function of an integrated amplifier is to connect all of the audio components of a stereo system together, enhance and amplify the sound, then send the signals to the speakers. Shopping for an integrated amplifier can be a bit overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with all of the stereo technology available. Fortunately, an integrated amplifier is a good choice for a person who wants to enhance their sound system and do not quite know where to start.

Once shoppers are familiar with integrated amplifiers, choosing one becomes much simpler. Those working within a budget or want to take time to make comparisons and find the best deals find that shopping online is the simplest way to do so. To have a successful online shopping experience when shopping for integrated amplifiers, a shopper should be familiar with the terms associated with integrated amplifiers, learn more about what integrated amplifiers do and how they work, and then evaluate the various features to choose one that best meets their needs. eBay offers a huge selection of integrated amplifiers to match anyone’s audio needs or budget.

Integrated Amplifier and Audio Component Glossary

Before heading online to shop for integrated amplifiers, it is important for shoppers to become familiar with several terms associated with integrated amplifiers and home audio equipment. Knowing the terminology ahead of time makes it easier to compare products and determine the features of each device. The table below lists several common terms associated with integrated amplifiers, and their definitions.

Term

Definition

Pre-Amplifier

Device that connects audio components and prepares the signal to be amplified

Control Amplifier

Term used interchangeably with pre-amplifier

Amplifier

Device that increases the power of the signal from the pre-amplifier, before sending it to the loudspeakers

Power Amplifier

Term used interchangeably with amplifier

Receiver

Device that connects audio components and amplifies the signal; composed of a pre-amplifier, amplifier, and AM/FM tuner

Integrated Amplifier

Device that connects audio components and amplifies the signal; composed of a pre-amplifier and amplifier

Input

Signal coming into the device from other components

Output

Signal leaving the device to the speakers

In addition to knowing what each term means, it is important to understand the differences between each term and how they all relate to each other. Because there are many devices similar to an integrated amplifier, it can be hard to spot the differences unless the shopper knows what to look for. Being aware of all of the differences ensures that a shopper purchases the right device to meet their needs.

About Integrated Amplifiers

Integrated amplifiers are much like stereo receivers. The biggest difference between the two is that an integrated amplifier does not have a built-in AM/FM radio tuner. Leaving out this feature allows the integrated amplifier to produce better quality sound than a receiver because there is no signal interference from the radio tuner.

Components of an Integrated Amplifier

The two main components of an integrated amplifier are the pre-amplifier and the amplifier. Hardcore audiophiles often purchase these two components separately so that they can customise the sound and achieve the highest quality audio. In terms of sound quality, the integrated amplifier falls between a stereo receiver and separate components. By including both components in the same unit, users do not have to worry about finding compatible devices and can be confident that the two complement each other nicely.

The function of the pre-amplifier is to connect all of the external audio components and boost the signal slightly before sending the signal on to the amplifier. The function of the amplifier is to boost the audio signal from each component so that it is strong enough to drive the speaker components.

Evaluate the Features

The features of integrated amplifiers vary greatly depending on the brand and style of the device. Comparing the different features makes it easier to find the integrated amplifier that meets the user's needs. It is important to know what to look for and not fall for marketing strategies. While a light-up screen may be nice, it does not affect the quality of the integrated amplifier or ensure that the device can do everything the user needs it to. When shopping for integrated amplifiers, the three most important features to evaluate are the its controls, inputs, and outputs.

Controls

An integrated amplifier might have two controls, or it might have twenty. At the very least, the integrated amplifier should have a volume control and a control to switch between the different components connected to the device. Any other controls beyond that are chosen based on user preference. Muting, speaker balance, and tone controls are other common types of controls to be found on an integrated amplifier.

Tone controls allow users to adjust various elements of the sound for a completely customised audio experience. Those who are not familiar with how these controls work might wish to stay away from them. If the tone controls are set incorrectly, then the sound quality is greatly degraded.

Inputs

When choosing inputs, shoppers need to think about how many devices are going to be connected to the integrated amplifier. The integrated amplifier should have at least that many inputs and perhaps a few more. This ensures that the user is able to connect any other devices they acquire without having to disconnect existing devices. A person who has a turntable for listening to old records should look for integrated amplifiers with a phono stage. Not all contemporary integrated amplifiers are designed accommodate this older technology. Fortunately, when shopping online, people have the opportunity to find many used and older models that do accommodate turntables.

Output

In addition to the number of outputs on the integrated amplifier, the output power needs to be considered. There should be enough outputs to connect all of the speakers in the system. The output is expressed in terms of watts, and these should match the wattage of the speakers that are to be connected to it. Additionally, it should be compatible with 4- to 8-ohm speakers. Adjustable configuration is preferred for maximum speaker compatibility.

Other Integrated Amplifier Considerations

In addition to features and characteristics, other factors need to be taken into consideration when shopping for an integrated amplifier. While these factors do not affect how the device operates or its sound quality, they are important to consider when taking the user's needs into account. Both the size and the price of an integrated amplifier should be examined when shopping online.

Size

In addition to delivery costs, the size of the integrated amplifier determines how it fits into the user’s home. A person who has a limited amount of space may opt for an integrated amplifier because it takes up much less space than separate components or a receiver. Integrated amplifiers come in many sizes, however. People who have a very small spaces to work with should opt for space-saving models. Additionally, the smaller and lighter the device, the less the postage and packaging fees.

Price

Price is another reason people opt for integrated amplifiers over audio receivers and separate components. Because it combines both the pre-amplifier and the amplifier, it is cheaper than purchasing components separately. Likewise, because it leaves out the AM/FM radio tuner it is cheaper than a audio receiver. This is not always the case though. When shopping online for integrated amplifiers, it is important for shoppers to compare the cost of the integrated amplifiers over the other devices to determine if they are getting a good deal or not. Integrated amplifiers are available in a wide range of prices to accommodate anyone’s needs.

How to Find Integrated Amplifiers on eBay

eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, with millions of users buying and selling goods all over the world. With new and used products of all types, the selection and price ranges cannot be matched anywhere else. This is why shopping on eBay for an integrated amplifier gives you an advantage. Not only can you easily search for and compare products, but you are sure to find something that offers all of the features you are looking for and fits within your price range.

Keyword Search

Searching effectively is important when it comes to online shopping. If you do not know how to search, then you are likely to miss out on some great deals because the search results are limited. Using proper keywords is integral to a successful search. To get started, type 'integrated amplifier' into the search bar. Since thousands of listings are likely to be returned, refining the list to a more manageable number is important. Specify the brand, inputs, outputs, or power levels to narrow down the list and show only those results that match what you are looking for. Additionally, you can specify a price range or sort the results by price to make sure only those that fit within your budget are listed.

Conclusion

An integrated amplifier brings all of the components of an audio system together and enhances the sound for a more pleasurable listening experience. As with other audio components, people who are unfamiliar with integrated amplifiers can quickly become overwhelmed with all of the choices available. This makes it hard to find the right one to go along with an existing stereo system or one that meets the audio needs of the user. Fortunately, by learning a few basics shoppers can easily find what they’re looking for without doing a lot of leg work.

Shoppers first need to become familiar with the terms associated with integrated amplifiers, because this makes it easier to compare different models and features to find the right one. Online shopping gives shoppers an advantage because they can easily compare multiple devices and their features. When it comes to online shopping, eBay offers a huge selection of new and used integrated amplifiers that is unmatched anywhere else.

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