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The 6 best integrated amplifiers in 2024: Mid-range to high-end

In the constantly evolving landscape of hi-fi audio systems, integrated amplifiers bridge the gap between tradition and innovation, embodying the industry’s effort to adapt to new generations of audiophiles while maintaining the highest standards of sonic reproduction.

Below is a list of what I believe are the 2024’s best stereo integrated amps, based both on performance and value for money.

Quick recommendations

If I had to choose one, I’d go for the Mark Levinson No 5805, an excellent combination of professional audio quality, endless craftsmanship, and modern connectivity, all at a not-so-extortionate price.

The Naim Uniti Nova, aside from offering the pristine sonic experience Naim is known for, is the perfect option for the modern music enthusiast who enjoys audio in all its forms.

From record collections to streaming platforms and anything in between, the Uniti Nova can handle it all, thanks to the multiple connectivity options and its wireless streaming capabilities.

Finally, if your budget is under $1000, look no further than Cambridge Audio CXA81: a perfect combination of sound quality and affordability, with enough connectivity features to use it for years.


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Why you should trust me

Marco Sebastiano Alessi, writer at Higher Hz

I’ve been immersed in sound since I learned how to use my parents’ old Aiwa hi-fi system.

Over the years, my passion for music has developed into a full-time profession, looking for and testing the best equipment for both music production and audio reproduction I could put my hands on.

In my search for the best high-fidelity sound experience, integrated amplifiers have played a crucial role, and I’ve spent a great deal of time studying and analyzing them.

How I chose and tested

The level of complexity of integrated amplifiers has grown considerably as the audiophile world embraces new technologies for streaming audio.

As a result, this list includes integrated amplifiers that can satisfy the needs of listeners using both digital and physical media.

Here’s what the best integrated amplifiers should have:

  • A diverse range of power outputs to ensure you’ll find the one that’ll perfectly fit your existing gear and listening area.
  • Abundant connectivity options, such as multiple inputs and outputs, are crucial in a modern listening room.
  • A high-quality built-in DAC (digital-to-analog converter).
  • A reliable phono stage.
  • Outstanding sound performance.

Note: Although some amplifiers on my list may lack one or two of the mentioned features, they still deliver the best sound performance in their class, which is the most important aspect.

Finally, you probably know that some stereo amplifiers focus on accuracy over warmth, or vice versa: on this list, I included both types of amplifiers, so regardless of your taste, you should be able to find one that’ll enhance the quality of your collection.

This is part of a two-article series where I discuss the best integrated amplifiers for all budgets, and here you’ll find exclusively mid-range to high-end options.

For my take on the top options in the $200 to $500 range, check out my pick of the best budget integrated amplifiers.

Here are all the integrated amplifiers I recommend in 2024:

Also, be sure to check out the Honorable mentions for amplifiers that didn’t quite make my top list but are still nonetheless worth your attention.

Best overall: Mark Levinson No 5805

  • Power: 125 W per channel (8 ohms)
  • Digital I/O: USB, optical, coaxial
  • Analog I/O: speaker terminals, RCA, XLR, 1/4″ (6.35 mm) jack
  • Phono stage: Yes, MM/MC
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Streaming: No
Mark Levinson No 5805 integrated amp
No 5805 integrated amplifier | Image: Mark Levinson

If you’re familiar with the world of high-end audio systems, then I’m sure you know the legendary brand Mark Levinson.

Committed to delivering audio gear of the highest quality since the 1970s, the American producer designed their 5000 Series to offer exceptional audio standards at a more affordable price.

The Mark Levinson No 5805 is a joy to look at and hold. It comes in a sleek design that’ll please modern audiophiles: it’s built to last a lifetime and designed to seamlessly blend in any environment.

It comes with multiple inputs and supports a wide variety of digital formats thanks to a high-quality digital-to-analog converter that ensures accuracy and detailed reproduction.

The refined audio quality, certified by Mark Levinson’s legacy, combined with excellent craftsmanship and modern connectivity, make the No 5805 an ideal choice for audiophiles looking for the finest listening experience.

What I like

  • Versatile and powerful.
  • Exceptional sonic transparency.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.

What I don’t like

  • Nothing to note.
See current price at: CrutchfieldMusic Direct

Best at $3000: Marantz Model 30

  • Power: 100 W per channel (8 ohms)
  • Digital I/O: None
  • Analog I/O: speaker terminals, RCA, 1/4″ (6.35 mm) jack
  • Phono stage: Yes, MM/MC
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Streaming: No
Marantz Model 30 and SACD 30n
Model 30 in a stack with a CD player | Image: Marantz

Although one of the most affordable integrated amplifiers on the list, the Marantz Model 30 is quite versatile, delivers exceptional sound quality, and is an excellent option for music lovers looking for a pure analog amp.

The Marantz Model 30 comes with the patented HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module), which ensures low-noise amplification and pristine audio reproduction across all playback systems.

To further magnify the quality of your audio system when listening to your vinyl collection, you can adjust the impedance across the spectrum through the front-panel knob.

All in all, the Marantz Model 30 performs magnificently for the money, capturing every musical nuance with accuracy. Its versatility and advanced technology make it one of the best options for the audiophile on a budget.

What I like

  • Warm and detailed imaging.
  • Versatile.
  • Reasonably priced.

What I don’t like

  • No digital I/O.
See current price at: AmazonCrutchfield

Best for versatility: Naim Uniti Nova

  • Power: 80 W per channel (8 ohms)
  • Digital I/O: USB, optical, coaxial, HDMI
  • Analog I/O: speaker terminals, RCA, 1/8″ (3.5 mm) jack
  • Phono stage: No
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Streaming: AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Qobuz, Roon Ready, Spotify, Tidal
Naim Uniti Nova all-in-one player
Uniti Nova all-in-one player/amp | Image: Naim Audio

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to your aural needs, the Uniti Nova is an integrated amplifier designed to do it all: from streaming audio to high-quality digital and analog reproduction, defined by the finest standards of the renowned British manufacturer.

What I love the most about Uniti Nova are its modern streaming capabilities and extensive connectivity options. It supports streaming from all the most popular platforms and also offers wireless streaming through AirPlay 2 and Chromecast.

The multiple digital inputs also include an HDMI ARC, which allows you to connect directly to your TV and upgrade your cinematic experience.

When it comes to analog reproduction, old-school audiophiles will be able to connect turntables, CD players, and other audio reproduction devices, as well as adjust the sensitivity of the analog inputs (though the Uniti Nova doesn’t come with a built-in phono stage).

If that wasn’t enough, the Uniti Nova offers a vibrant and detailed audio reproduction, making it the perfect Swiss Army Knife for the modern music listener, and a personal favorite of mine!

What I like

  • Ultimate all-in-one solution.
  • Plenty of connectivity and streaming options.
  • Exceptional for both music and home theater.

What I don’t like

  • No built-in phono stage.
  • Being a Jack of all trades, other integrated amplifiers might offer fewer features but better sound quality.
See current price at: AmazonCrutchfield

Best at $1000: Cambridge Audio CXA81

  • Power: 80 W per channel (8 ohms)
  • Digital I/O: USB, optical, coaxial
  • Analog I/O: speaker terminals, RCA, XLR, 1/4″ (6.35 mm) jack
  • Phono stage: No
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Streaming: No
Cambridge Audio CXA81 in stack
CXA81 in a stack with a network player and CD transport | Image: Cambridge Audio

Despite the entry-level price tag, at least among the other integrated amps in this list, the Cambridge Audio CXA81 is an impressive, all-rounder amplifier.

After all, the British manufacturer is known for delivering affordable gear that punches way above its weight, and the CXA81 is one of the finest examples of their approach to craftsmanship.

The CXA81 offers a punchy and detailed soundstage. What I find the most impressive is the level of clarity, with a dynamic and perfectly timed sound you wouldn’t expect from such an affordable amp.

The low end feels immersive and organized, while higher frequencies are vibrant and enhance the beauty of every composition. The result is a pleasant, realistic, and enveloping sonic experience.

And let’s not forget the abundant connectivity options the CXA81 provides. From the USB input to Bluetooth, this integrated amplifier is the perfect option for any modern listener who wants flexibility, and a great sound, all at a reasonable price.

What I like

  • Excellent sound.
  • Wide range of connectivity options.
  • Great value for money.

What I don’t like

  • No phono stage.
See current price at: AmazonCrutchfield

Best vintage sound: VAC Sigma 170i

  • Power: 85 W per channel
  • Digital I/O: None
  • Analog I/O: speaker terminals, XLR (optional)
  • Phono stage: Yes, MM/MC (optional)
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Streaming: No
VAC Sigma 170i integrated amplifier
Sigma 170i integrated amplifier | Image: VAC

The VAC Sigma 170i offers excellent musicality and power, making it a great choice for music listeners across a variety of genres.

Handmade and built to last a lifetime, every aspect of the Sigma 170i was crafted to deliver an unforgettable sonic performance.

In terms of audio reproduction, the Valve Amplification Company did an excellent job at recreating the tube sound of old, with a detailed midrange, a crisp high-end, and a detailed bass that gives the music an impressive sense of spatiality and dynamism.

I’d recommend the Sigma 170i to audiophiles interested in defined transients and detailed imaging. You can’t go wrong with this fantastic amplifier.

What I like

  • Excellent expressiveness and fluidity.
  • Transparent representation with a vintage vibe.
  • A must-have for the serious audiophile.

What I don’t like

  • Quite heavy.
See current price at: Fidelis Home Audio

Best at $5000: Audio Hungary Qualiton A20i

  • Power: 20 W per channel
  • Digital I/O: None
  • Analog I/O: speaker terminals, RCA
  • Phono stage: No
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Streaming: No
Audio Hungary Qualiton A20i tube integrated amplifier
Qualiton A20i tube integrated amp | Image: Audio Hungary

If you’re looking for a meticulously crafted integrated amplifier that offers a pure sonic performance, the Qualiton A20i by Audio Hungary is a great option at just under $5000.

This all-tube integrated amp comes with a minimal yet timeless design and is built with high-quality aluminum. It offers three unbalanced RCA inputs and a remote control.

Elegant design and excellent sonic reproduction meet in a high-quality integrated amplifier that’ll perform magnificently without breaking the bank.

What I like

  • Warm and timeless sonic reproduction.
  • Sounds better than amps twice more expensive.
  • Superb design.

What I don’t like

  • No digital I/O and phono stage.
See current price at: True AudiophileTweek Geek

Honorable mentions

Although they didn’t make it into my top list, there are other excellent integrated amps worth checking out.

The options below are reliable and good-quality alternatives you should consider, especially if my top picks are not available or to your liking.

  • Lab12 Integre4 Mk2. With the Integre4, the Greek manufacturer Lab12 aimed at recreating the stripped-down design and vibe of a bygone era. Sound-wise, it offers a warm, enveloping soundscape, with KT-170 pentodes that provide power and a natural sound across the whole spectrum.
  • Enleum AMP-23R. Despite being tiny and offering a relatively low output, the AMP-23R delivers full expressiveness with the purity and detailed imaging expert audiophiles crave for. When paired with the appropriate (not too powerful) speakers, the sound is warm and enveloping, creating a cinematic effect you’d expect from amps two or three times its price tag.
  • NAD C 389. The C 389 comes with plenty of digital and analog connections, a low-noise MM phono stage, and an HDMI socket that provide the versatility every entertainment system needs these days. With 130 watts per channel, the C 389 delivers a detailed and expansive soundstage that works magnificently for both music and movie enthusiasts.
  • Rotel RA-1572 Mk2. It might look like its predecessor, but the RA-1572 Mk2 comes with a high-end DAC that can process MQA files, which makes it stand out compared to the previous version. The RA-1572 Mk2 sounds magnificent and has plenty of customization options to optimize your listening experience.

Recent updates

  • May 16, 2024: I’ve updated the selection by adding more options to suit different needs and budgets. I’ve also updated the text for clarity and accuracy.
  • May 15, 2024: I’ve improved the article structure for better user experience and moved the Enleum AMP-23R and Lab12 Integre4 Mk2 to the Honorable mentions.
  • January 4, 2024: I’ve fixed minor inconsistencies in the Quick specifications.
  • May 25, 2023: I published the original selection, providing great options for most people.

Final thoughts

I hope this guide shed some light on the intricacies of integrated amplifiers and will help you in your quest to find the perfect stereo amp for your needs.

There’s no doubt that choosing the right amplifier for your hi-fi system is fundamental: it can take the sound’s accuracy and warmth to a whole new level, enhancing the quality of your music collection, be it on vinyl, CD, or streamed from a mobile device.

Before purchasing your next integrated amplifier, ensure it’s compatible with your speakers, including their sensitivity and impedance.

More importantly than the quality of single components, the seamless connection between different elements of your gear is the factor that will guarantee a pleasant, high-quality listening experience.

Good luck!