A power amp is a device that amplifies audio signals from your audio or stereo receiver and sends it to a speaker system. A home theater receiver typically comes with a power amp pre-installed. If you were setting up a stereo system, the amplifier would be connected after the receiver and before connecting speakers.
Table of Contents
Why connect an amplifier?
You’ll hear a difference immediately. Amplifiers have a higher power output and will ensure your speakers have the correct amount of power to completely fill your room. An amplifier will also allow you to listen to a wider range of music, even if you have a receiver with a line-level output.
You can connect up to eight channels at once, which is great for surround sound applications with lots of speakers.
The best way to get accurate sound from an amplified system is by using speaker wire that has been designed for use with amplifiers, generally called speaker wire or speaker cable. Inexpensive line level cables offer poor quality sound and can cause signal degradation when used with electronics.
How to Connect a Power Amp to an AV Receiver:
Connect the power cable from the amplifier to the receiver’s AC outlet. One end of the amp will have a bare wire from which you will hang a wire that plugs into a wall outlet. The other end of the power cable will be a plug that you plug into a power outlet inside your entertainment center or other convenient location for your amplifier.
Connect an external device to the receiver’s headphone jack, ARC (Audio Return Channel) or HDMI inputs and turn on your system to test your connections. In some cases, you may need to turn on your receiver’s power amp.
Connect the power cable from the amplifier to the power amp input of your receiver. Here is an example of a receiver with a single 8-channel inputs:
Connect an electronic cable that connects between your receiver and the speaker system and then connect the speakers into place (See Speaker Wiring Diagram). Although we typically recommend using solid-core wire, please feel free to use whatever wire is most appropriate for your application and sold by local vendors of electronics components.
If you choose to use solid core speaker cable, make sure it is labeled “Speaker Cable” or “Speaker Wire”.
Turn on your system again to test you connections. This step is critical to ensuring proper connections are made before permanently installing your speaker wires.
Once the amplifier has been connected, the sound will be amplified and sent to the speakers that are connected into place. If you are using external speakers, make sure that they are turned on as well by connecting them into your stereo system or ANC speaker radio system..
A power amp can be used with any type of speakers whether they are powered or unpowered, flat loudspeaker panels, woofer cones, or old-school magnet speakers. The main point of a power amp is to amplify the signal so that it can be sent to your entire speaker system and not just your external speakers or the soundbar.
If you connect your speakers into place and turn on your system, do you hear all of the sound? If not, double-check your connections. If you do hear all of the sound, it’s time to start thinking about how much power each speaker needs.
You can test each speaker’s performance independently by using an amplifier with a low volume control (often sold as a “volume control” and often found in home theater receivers). With speakers turned off, turn up any one channel and make sure that the volume is reasonable (not too loud).
Advantages of Connecting a Power Amp to an AV Receiver:
Amplifiers can come with either bare wire speaker connections or banana plugs, which makes them easy to connect.
Amplifiers can be located anywhere in your entertainment center without running speaker wire through the walls. This opens up the possibility of placing your amplifier in a location that is unobtrusive or hard to reach for remote controls.
Amplifiers are generally more powerful than receivers. Because of this, they produce better sound quality. They also make it possible to use low-power speakers without sacrificing sound quality. You can also connect multiple speakers to an amplifier at once, which is useful if you have a large room and want to fill it with sound evenly throughout the entire space.
For many home theater enthusiasts, the best way to get the most out of their receivers is to use an amplifier. There are many options available, so your best bet is to look at your particular receiver’s specifications and determine which features you want.
If you do decide to purchase an amplifier, make sure that it’s rated for at least 6 ohms of wire (0.6 A), which will allow you to connect most loudspeakers wirelessly or with an electronic cable without having issues with impedance matching or signal degradation.
Q: How to connect an integrated amplifier to an AV receiver?
A: To connect an integrated amplifier to an AV receiver using RCA Cables, find the pre-out section on the AV receiver and connect to the Left and Right channels. Then, connect these to the Integrated Amplifier, and finally, plug in your speaker wire to the Integrated Amp to achieve sound.
Q: How do I connect my amp to my Receiver?
A: First, add a trigger wire between the two devices so they turn on simultaneously. Then, use RCA cables to connect the devices from the receiver’s pre-out to the amplifier’s jack. Be sure to use an unbalanced connection. Finally, connect the speaker to the amp using a +/- connection wire.
Q: How many connections can you add to an AV receiver?
A: You can add as many connections from the AV receiver to the power amp (and respective speakers) as the AV receiver can support. While these descriptions are pretty standard, let’s take a closer look to help solidify the details of the steps you will need to follow.
Q: Do I need an RCA cable to connect my integrated amplifier?
A: Finally, although this is not technically part of the connection with the Integrated Amplifier and the AV Receiver, you will need an RCA cable (or another wire) to connect a speaker- that will eventually produce the sound- to your Integrated Amplifier.