Pick an amplifier for me, please?
January 31, 2014 8:16 AM   Subscribe

I just moved into a new house, and the kitchen has a built in set of Niles OS3 speakers wired in. I'd like to drive them from my computer (headphone output). What's a good reasonably low cost amplifier to drive them with?

The speakers are 5-75 watts/channel at 8 Ohms; the kitchen is 12 by 19 feet.
posted by dmd to Shopping (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The conventional wisdom would be to buy an inexpensive-but-decent class T amplifier off of Amazon like the Lepai LP-2020A, but if you're looking for a truly wonderful sounding compact amp for this type of installation without totally breaking the bank, the AudioEngine N22 is tops.
posted by eschatfische at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about the LP-2020A+?

Is 20 watts enough?
posted by dmd at 8:40 AM on January 31, 2014

I have an LP-2020A+, driving a pair of these 40-watt speakers from my laptop. It's capable of producing plenty of undistorted volume in my large-ish bedroom, considerably more than I need it to. The Niles OS3s have the same impedance as my Dayton Audios, so I imagine that you'd get about the same amount of volume out of your speakers as I get out of mine.

My guess would be that in a situation like this, the LP-2020A+ would not be your limiting factor in terms of sound quality. Computer sound cards generally don't produce the awesomest of output – they're OK, but they tend to pick up a significant amount of interference from the rest of the computer, so they're not perfect. Unless you're running some kind of pro-grade outboard sound card, I think the LP-2020A+ would probably suit you just as well as the AudioEngine N22. Mine certainly sounds quite nice, and I consider myself reasonably picky.

It's a pretty well-made little box, too. Really, considering how dirt cheap they are, I don't think you can go wrong.
posted by Scientist at 9:08 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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