This question has been asked many times, is a monoblock amp better than a 2 channel one? We will be looking into this and find out as much as possible. Before we start, you might want to read up about what is a monoblock amp used for so as to have a better idea.
Is a Monoblock Amp Better than a Stereo Amp
A well-designed stereo or 2-channel amp will sound better than a lower-quality monoblock amplifier. It is also the same for higher quality monoblock amp which will most certainly sound better than a poorly designed stereo amplifier. But what if both types of amp are of the same caliber? If that’s the case, then a monoblock amp will typically perform better than a 2-channel amp. Since a monoblock amplifier is isolated and focuses on amplifying a single speaker/channel, it could provide higher sound quality such as lower noise and distortion. The higher performance is also partly due to completely separated power supplies.
Most audiophiles who have the budget to really invest in their hobby will usually go for monoblock amplifiers. Driving each stereo speaker with one monoblock amp. There are some audiophiles who even bi-amp each speaker by using two monoblock amps. Some home theater enthusiasts will also use monoblock amplifiers to drive their main speakers such as the center, left, and right channels. They tend to provide a larger soundstage and better stereo separation than a 2 channel amplifier.
If you visit HiFi shows, you will notice a lot of the great sound systems are using monoblock amplifiers to drive their high-end loudspeakers. This indicates that the speaker manufacturers are trying to get the best audio quality from their loudspeakers, hence the usage of monoblock amps. They are after all trying to sell their loudspeakers and are competing with other brands at the same time, The decision to use monoblock amplifiers instead of 2-channel ones should have undergone rigorous testing and considerations.
2 Channel Amp’s Advantages Over Monoblock Amp
A 2 channel amplifier of the same caliber is usually more affordable than getting two separate monoblock amplifiers. Not to mention, you also save space when using a stereo amp. You don’t need to get a bigger rack to contain more amplifiers if you just go for an integrated amplifier (2-channels) which also helps you to cut down on cost. Some 2-channel power amp models have the bridged mono feature and this gives you an upgrade path in the future.
The monoblock amps are better choices only if you have the budget to invest and the space to accommodate them. Some might say the difference in sound quality is not worth the additional cost which can be true as the returns diminish as the price points get higher. We highly suggest you be your own judge by arranging an audition to have a side-by-side comparison between the monoblock and 2 channel amps.
The two types of power amps you are auditioning for should be the ones in which you are most interested. Use music/soundtracks you are very familiar with during the test as it will be easier for you to notice any difference in sound quality between the monoblock and 2-channel amp. It will be best if you could arrange the amplifier auditions in your own listening room using your own speakers and HiFi gears. Do note that the auditioned amps should match well with your speakers too as sometimes their sound signatures might deteriorate each other’s sound quality.
If you are unconvinced or don’t find any difference in sound quality then simply choose the amp which fits your budget. The most important judge in sound quality will always be yourself and your ears. Just go for the amps which you deem worthy and enjoy the music. It is that simple but if you have the time and curiosity, you should explore more. The process of finding the right HiFi audio components for your stereo setup can be a fun process, not to mention, a rewarding experience too.