An integrated amplifier is a stereo receiver without an AM or FM tuner. The integrated amplifier is a combination of two components: a power amplifier which produces the needed wattages to drive loud speakers and a preamplifier that accepts the inputs from all music sources.
If you’re using active studio monitors or powered speakers you already have a built-in amp and getting more amps is just an additional expense. If you want to use integrated amplifier it is commonly known to use passive monitors and the vast majority of speakers today are passive. However, passive monitors do not work effectively in mixing. If you’re in the set of active monitors already you do not need to switch because it is still possible to use integrated amplifiers.
How to Use Integrated Amplifier
Integrated amplifier can be connected to active studio monitor thru RCA recording outputs. RCA connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals. You need to be careful with record levels or else the signal will be clipped. Check if the amp has pre-out also so you can go for RCA out to XLR in with an adapter. If the amp has no pre-outs then it will not be able to use such amp in the active monitors.
Getting an audio interface is also great to use for powered studio monitors. Audio interface provides you the ability to connect any kind of signals to the computer and it outputs a variety of signals as well. Audio interface expands your inputs and outputs to improve the sound quality of your computer. Using an audio interface allows you to produce a more accurate sound representation. Your active monitors need this as an essential component in computer-based audio production.
Integrated amp is great if listening to a radio is not your job because integrated amps are basically found on stereo receivers with built-in radio tuner. While the music playback system has a power amplifier and preamplifier combining into a single shared chassis. It saves cost and space better than those separated stereo amps.
Active speakers have limitations when it comes to picking amplifiers tailored to your audio system. Make sure that you can find the one that really match even though they are hard to find.
Integrated Amplifier to Look For
The number and types of connections an integrated amplifier can provide is one of the most important things to consider. Make sure it can accommodate the components of your studio monitors you currently have. Make sure it is good if you want to use this in the future at the same time. Consider what kind of inputs you opt to use: analog audio inputs or the digital inputs.
Analog inputs have RCA audio inputs. They are the standard components to connect audio components and almost all source components have it. It has an RCA phono input to let you do direct connection without the presence of a phono preamp. And analog inputs have balanced XLR audio inputs as well to provide you long lasting use with three pin connectors used to connect high-end audio components.
Digital audio inputs can accept digital audio signals from different compatible components and converts signals to sound. It has optical and coaxial digital inputs to provide connection for various digital music sources. It has USB-type connection that allows you to store music files to a computer. Integrated amplifier like this has the ability to decode high-resolution music files. It has an Ethernet port as well to make the computer network connection possible.
Defining the sound quality of active and passive speakers does not depend on their brand, it classified depends on their relationship to the amplifier driving them.