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9 Best Integrated Amp under $500 – Detailed Review

Integrated amplifiers are an ideal device for use as the centerpiece of your HiFi setup. The right integrated amplifier has everything you need to achieve a super high-fidelity listening experience. This guide looks at the best-integrated amplifiers under $500, outlining a selection of the most recommended models in the price range. 

We also share a load of information relating to the specifications of these amplifiers and provide a short guide explaining how to choose a good device for your needs. 

Keep reading for the full review of the best-integrated amplifiers under $500!

Table of Contents

  • Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M
  • SMSL AO200
  • NAD C 316BEE
  • Fosi Audio BT20A
  • Fosi Audio T20
  • AIYIMA A07 TPA3255
  • Reisong A10 EL34
  • Denon PMA-600NE
  • S.M.S.L DA-9

What is an Integrated Amplifier?

An integrated amplifier is a particular kind of amp that has multiple components in one enclosure. It uses this term as more elements are “integrated” into the design. 

These types of amp combine a traditional amplifier with the inclusion of a power amp, a preamp, and often an equalizer and tone controls. These all-in-one amps are great for saving space but don’t lose any functionality or power. 

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One of the main advantages is the fact that all the components are included in a single case. This means the power distribution is much more effective and lets the parts work more efficiently without the need for larger additional components. 

9 Best Integrated Amp under $500

1. Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M

Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M

This is an exceptionally high-quality amplifier from industry giants Cambridge Audio. Cambridge is known for making some of the highest quality audio gear in the market, and this exceeds its reputation. This amplifier is a truly magnificent, audiophile piece of gear. 

With the capacity for Hi-Res Audio, this DAC offers top-level sound quality and operates at a frequency range that extends far beyond most amplifiers. 

This is one of the first amps to support the cutting-edge MQA format. This format was specially designed in partnership with leading artists. It provides extremely high resolution at smaller, streamable file size. 

This amp is easy to connect up to other parts of your system, It features inputs for USB, coaxial, optical, RCA, and even Bluetooth. There won’t be any device you can’t connect to this. 

The sound quality of this integrated amplifier is truly stunning, it is noticeably better than all the others on this list, provided the source quality is high. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Digital DAC
  • Inputs – USB, Co-axial, Optical
  • Outputs – Balanced XLR, Unbalanced RCA, ¼” Headphones
  • Controls – Volume, Source, Filter, Sample rate
  • Frequency range – 10Hz to kHz
  • Other Features – Super Hi-res digital audio

Pros and Cons

  • Incredibly high resolution, unbeatable quality
  • Up to 32bit / 768kHz
  • Handles digital formats
  • Computer connection
  • Expensive

Conclusion

This integrated amplifier from Cambridge audio is a premium device. This isn’t a basic amplifier, this has all the bells and whistles you could ever ask for. The main selling points are the next level audio quality, and the wide variety of inputs. The only real issue (besides the high price) is the lack of any kind of EQ or tone controls, though you could do this yourself digitally. 

Overall, I’d say whilst expensive, the price is definitely fair for the features you get. This is a next-level amp, and the quality and sound blow all the others out of the water. 

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2. SMSL AO200

SMSL AO200

With Bluetooth technology, the SMSL AO200 is an integrated amplifier with modern features.

With an upgraded Bluetooth antenna, it offers increased wireless sound quality and a longer Bluetooth connection distance. Being a class D amplifier, it’s very power efficient and consumes less energy than many other amp models. 

The circuits seem to be well made, and it provides precise volume control with minimum distortion. The balanced input and output also keep noise and distortion low. 

You can adjust the bass and treble with the remote control, and the EQ circuit sounds great too, and isn’t piercing. The overall sound is clean and high quality, featuring audio-grade components and quality amplifier chips. 

Subwoofers can also connect to this amp, at the same time as two stereo speakers. This is great if you want to increase the bass of your setup. We also found this amp a little easier to use than others, thanks to the intuitive controller and LCD display. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Digital Discrete
  • Inputs – unbalanced RCA, Balanced XLR, USB, Bluetooth Antenna
  • Outputs – 2 x stereo speaker terminals, SW out
  • Controls –  Volume control, advanced remote control

Pros and Cons

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Includes Remote Control
  • Built-in equalizer
  • High-quality audio
  • Limited inputs

Conclusion

This wireless integrated amplifier is a solid choice for anyone who needs a relatively affordable, but high-quality amp. It can only connect to a couple of sources, so it won’t suffice for a multi-device listening setup, although it is fine for smaller HiFi systems. If you are looking for a clean-sounding amp with pure digital components and Bluetooth connection, this could be a great choice.

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3. NAD C 316BEE

NAD C 316BEE

This integrated amp is ideal for record players thanks to the MM phono stage. It is also suitable for use with a wide range of other gear, thanks to the extensive array of inputs. 

You will be able to connect pretty much anything to this amp. It has enough input connections to run a monstrous setup. This is a great choice for people who have lots of audio gear and need a single amplifier to switch between them. Besides the bank of connections on the back, this integrated amp also features an aux input on the front, which makes it easy to connect to phones and tablets. 

The overall build is fantastic, and it comes with extremely low noise and distortion level, resulting in a very pure sound. The discrete components ensure the audio amplification is as accurate as can be. 

The output section is great too, includes terminals for stereo speakers, and includes a headphone output on the front. It includes all the controls you need, with a bass, treble, and stereo balance knob. The master volume control is precise and responsive, with a large amount of variance. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Integrated Analog Discrete
  • Inputs – 5 x RCA (CD, Video, Aux, Radio), front aux
  • Outputs – Stereo Speaker Terminals, Headphone ¼”
  • Controls – Channel select, Bass, Treble, Stereo Balance, Volume

Pros and Cons

  • Integrated MM phono amplifier
  • Massive amount of inputs
  • High quality discrete analog amplification
  • Large volume control
  • Low noise and distortion
  • Expensive
  • Too complex for simple setups. 

Conclusion

This NAD integrated amplifier would make for a highly functional centerpiece to any audiophile setup. If you are somebody with a whole range of audio sources and need something to simplify the setup, you won’t find much better than this. It’s powerful enough to feed large speakers and has a clean and balanced audio quality. 

The price puts it at the top end of $500, but the features and quality make this a fair deal. Although if you only need something simple this would be overkill. 

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4. Fosi Audio BT20A

Fosi Audio BT20A

Small, but handy, the Fosi BT20A is a discrete wireless integrated amplifier. Don’t underestimate this based on its small format, this amp still packs a punch, and has a bunch of useful features. 

A large attraction of this amp is the Bluetooth input, giving it a modern connection. It also features an RCA for wired devices. The sound quality is pretty good as it is, and it comes with controls for cutting and boosting the bass and treble. The master volume offers a good amount of range too. 

It’s small and simple, so don’t expect this to have enough inputs to handle a range of audio sources. This is only really designed to be plugged into one thing at a time. It’s also missing a headphone output, which is a dealbreaker for some people. 

It has a smart start feature, preventing any clicks or pops when you power it up, protecting your speakers and ears. This amp is discrete, meaning it has more modern, quieter components than the tube Fosi below. If you want something with more character than cleanliness, look below. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Discrete Digital / analog
  • Inputs – Bluetooth, RCA Line In
  • Outputs – Stereo Speaker terminals
  • Controls – Power, Bass, Treble, Volume
  • Frequency range – 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Other Features – Bluetooth 5.0

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Bluetooth or analog inputs
  • Built-in EQ
  • Limited sound quality
  • Limited power outage
  • No Headphone output

Conclusion

Affordable, portable, and wireless, this Fosi integrated amplifier could be the perfect sidekick to a larger audio setup. It wouldn’t be the centerpiece, but if you need something to boost the level of your speakers, or connect your phone wirelessly to your rig, then this is a good pick. 

It is relatively limited in terms of connections and features but offers a good, clean sound for the price. The EQ controls are a nice addition, although we would like to see a headphone connection. 

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5. Fosi Audio T20

Fosi Audio T20

This amp is similar in design to the Fosi above, although this uses tubes instead. 

The difference between this (T20) and the T20A above are in the design and function of the amp.

Rather than using discrete circuitry, this amp uses vacuum tubes. This gives the amp a more analog, warm sound with a crisp characteristic. If you are into more saturated, richer harmonics, then this would be a better choice over the T20A. 

A retro-style amp with modern features, besides the RCA input, this amp also features a Bluetooth connection, so you can easily pair it with your phone. This makes it useful for parties or smaller home setups. 

Despite the budget price tag, the overall quality and sound of this amp is pretty decent. It also comes with a built-in EQ, featuring a treble and bass knob alongside the volume. There is a simple switch for powering it on or off, and it has an LED that indicates the input source by changing color. 

It comes with a power adapter, and it can power up to two 100 watt speakers. The tone maybe a little too analog for some people, who may prefer the cleaner sound of a discrete circuit like the model above. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Analog & Digital Tube
  • Inputs – RCA Input, Bluetooth
  • Outputs – Stereo Speaker terminals, Headphones
  • Controls –  Power, Input selection, Bass, Treble, Volume
  • Frequency range – 20 Hz – 20 kHz

Pros and Cons

  • Analog Tube sound
  • Bluetooth Connection
  • Hybrid digital and analog
  • Average Sound
  • Takes a while to heat up

Conclusion

This is a great choice if you want a tube-style amp with modern connections. This combines the best of both worlds, with analog and digital features. I highly recommend this amp for people who like a bit of analog harmonic characteristics in their music. It is limited in the wider sense of outputs, although it has everything you need for a basic setup. This one also includes a headphone output!

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6. AIYIMA A07 TPA3255

AIYIMA A07 TPA3255

This is a simple, minimalistic amp with one purpose. Made by Aiyima, this affordable integrated amp is on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Can you tell? 

Whilst only doing one task, it does it effectively and powers a set of stereo speakers with a clean, reliable tone. It has a relatively powerful output, being able to power speakers with up to 300-watt ratings. 

In terms of input connections, it only features a single set of stereo RCA and a 3.5mm aux. This is enough to run a small HiFi setup or connect a turntable to speakers. 

The main criticism is the lack of features, although at this price it is to be expected, and still is a fair value. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Discrete Analog
  • Inputs – 1 x Stereo RCA 
  • Outputs – Stereo Speaker Terminal
  • Controls – Volume
  • Frequency range – 20 Hz – 20 kHz

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Simple
  • Limited Connections
  • Limited Features

Conclusion

If you need a super basic and affordable amp, this is a good choice. It is about as basic as it comes, without even featuring an EQ or headphones. But it sounds pretty good, so it will be worth it to some people. 

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7. Reisong A10 EL34

Reisong A10 EL34

The Reisong A10 is a high-quality tube amplifier with a unique appearance. I really like the way this amp looks and feels. It has that cool retro touch and looks like a strange piece of electrical equipment. When the tubes heat up and get glowing it adds the wow factor to any HiFi setup. 

This integrated tube amplifier has a decent amount of connections, providing two separate RCA terminals so you can connect a CD player and a turntable at the same time.

This amp sounds really nice, with a full range, warm tube sound. You won’t find any amps with more character or charm under $500. The main attraction of this amp is the tube vibes. Otherwise, it has a relatively limited set of features, such as no EQ or headphone output.

I’d recommend using this with a turntable or record player, as it creates that authentic analog tone that compliments the sound of vinyl. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Tube analog
  • Inputs – 2 x RCA (CD, AUX)
  • Outputs – 3 X Stereo speaker terminals (0/4/8 ohm)
  • Controls – Power, volume
  • Frequency range – 20Hz-20kHz
  • Other Features – 6N2J Tubes

Pros and Cons

  • High-quality tube sound
  • Multiple impedance outputs
  • Takes a while to power up
  • Limited power, won’t be strong enough for all speakers

Conclusion

This is a classic tube-style amplifier. With an incredibly high build quality and top-of-the-range vacuum tubes, this integrated amplifier packs a punch. It has an incredibly competitive analog sound, and adds a rich, harmonic layer of saturation to your audio, creating a more immersive listening experience. 

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8. Denon PMA-600NE

Denon PMA-600NE

A high-end digital integrated amplifier, the Denon PMA captures all the knowledge and experience from one of the most well-known audio brands in the industry. 

This amp offers a huge range of connections and takes up to 7 inputs, plus Bluetooth. The range of connections is fantastic, it provides RCA, coaxial, optical, and wireless source inputs. 

The sound quality is also top-notch, with nothing to fault. It includes a built-in EQ with treble and bass controls, and also a stereo balance control. 

It has stereo speaker outputs with an additional subwoofer connection for adding more bass. 

Product Specification

  • Type – Discrete Digital and Analog
  • Inputs – 5 x RCA Pairs (CD, Net, Aux, Recorder) Digital (Coaxial, 2 x optical) Bluetooth
  • Outputs – 2 x Stereo Speaker Terminals, Subwoofer, RCA Record Out, 
  • Controls – Input Selector, Volume, Bass, Treble, Balance
  • Frequency range – 20Hz-192 Khz
  • Other Features -92 kHz/24 Bit D/A Converter

Pros and Cons

  • High Quality
  • Huge range of inputs
  • Bluetooth Connection
  • Digital/Analog Hybrid
  • Expensive

Conclusion

This is almost a perfect integrated amplifier. It really has everything you need to run a full setup. The only issue is the price, which is pretty high, although justifiable. If you’re a stickler for audio quality, this is a strong contender if you can afford it. 

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9. No products found.

No products found.

This is another wireless digital amplifier from S.M.S.L technology. This is nearly identical to the previous model but features a different power rating. 

It accepts XLR, RCA, or Bluetooth input, so it can be used with a wide variety of gear. It includes a remote control that has settings for treble and bass. The sound of this amp is very clear and clean, with a low amount of distortion and noise.

Product Specification

  • Type – Discrete Digital
  • Inputs – Balanced XLR, or Stereo RCA, Bluetooth
  • Outputs – Stereo Speaker Terminal
  • Controls – Gain and remote control
  • Frequency range – 20Hz-20kHz
  • Other Features – External remote

Pros and Cons

  • Wireless remote control
  • Analog or digital sources
  • Certified Hi-Res Audio
  • Color LCD Display
  • Limited Powering

Conclusion

This is another solid choice if you need a wireless integrated amplifier. This is an affordable but modern choice that can run a small HiFi setup. 

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How to choose the best integrated amp under $500

When choosing an integrated amplifier under $500 there are several factors to consider. This section outlines some key elements to help you choose an amp. Integrated amps come with a variety of features, here are some of the main options. 

Inputs

Amps come with a variety of input types. Most amps use some kind of wired connection like a stereo RCA, or a 3.5mm aux. Some more modern amps include digital connections like Bluetooth and USB. Ultimately you only need to buy an amp that has what you need. Adding extra inputs that you won’t use will create an extra expense. 

If you plan on using it with analog devices with record players, then choose something with an RCA, however, if you plan on using more modern devices like phones and laptops, USB or Bluetooth is fine. Although I’d always recommend getting something with at least one analog input just as a failsafe. 

Outputs

Amps also come with a huge range of output types. Make sure you get an amp that has enough power to feed your speakers and the right connection. Some people may want to choose an amp that has an extra subwoofer output if the bass is your thing. 

Another consideration is whether you want a headphone output. These can be useful if you want to enjoy your music privately and don’t want to disturb anybody else. Some amps have them, some don’t.

Type

Another key distinction is the type of amplification used. The main types are Discrete or Tube. 

Tube amps are a more old-fashioned type, and use vacuum tubes in the amplification circuit. These have a warmer, more analog sound, with a distinct characteristic. The issue with tube amps is that they color the sound, which some audio purists will not accept. They also take a while to warm up to achieve their best sound and can be very fragile. 

The other type is discrete, which uses smaller, more modern circuit components. The advantage of these amps is their durability, speed, and purity. These create a sound much closer to the original source, where tube amps are more saturated. 

Which type you choose is really a matter of your personal preferences. 

Analog vs Digital

Another key difference is whether the amp is digital or analog. Digital amps are designed to receive signals from modern gear, with digital outputs like phones and laptops. Digital amps are usually connected with Bluetooth and USB, although sometimes optical cables.

Analog connections are more common and universal, these include anything with an RCA type connection or a 3.5mm aux. The best type for you depends on how you plan on using the amp. Digital amps tend to have a cleaner, higher resolution sound, but some people think they lose the warm characteristics of analog connections. 

Controls

You can find amps with a variety of controls. Some even have wireless remotes. If you want an amp with more advanced controls it will cost you a bit more. Although even basic amps can sound great.

Extra Features

Integrated amps can include a wide range of extra features. One key feature to consider is whether you want an equalizer in your amplifier. These let you sculpt the sound of your amp by tweaking the frequency balance. Most come with two bands, usually a treble and bass control with cut and boost. Some are 3-band and include a mid band too. 

I’d recommend most people to go for an amp with an equalizer, just because it gives you a little more control over the sound of your setup. It can help to compensate for any imbalances in your room or with your speakers. Although you can get away without them, or use an external one at a later date. 

FAQ

Is an integrated amplifier better than separate components?

It depends on how you plan on using it. For people who like to fuss over every detail of their audio signal chain, it might be worth going for separate components, as this allows you to have a higher level of customization. However, separate components are more expensive, more technical, and more complex. 

For casual listeners, integrated amplifiers are fine. These are a lot easier to use and don’t require additional components to work. Integrated amplifiers are an all-in-one solution. The only issue with them is that they are relatively fixed, and you can’t change the components later. 

Do I need an Integrated Stereo Amp?

It depends on what kind of audio setup and speakers you plan on using. If you want to use a pair of passive speakers then you will need an amplifier of some sort. If you use active speakers then you can get by without one. They are also useful if you like to have multiple audio sources hooked up to the same set of speakers. For example, you might want the option of being able to switch between a record player, radio, and the Bluetooth connection on your phone. 

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