Amplifier vs Receiver: Difference and Comparison

The Home theater system is one of the sources of entertainment in the house. It does not include standard equipment but accessory equipment that is intended to replace or enhance the standard equipment.

If you pay close attention to the home stereo, then you get to know about its important sub-components.  

The amplifier and receiver are two of the important sub-components of home stereo. They both come under the terminology of the audio industry.

Most people use both terms interchangeably, but many differences are highlighted in this article. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Amplifiers boost audio signals, while receivers manage multiple audio and video inputs.
  2. Receivers include an amplifier as a component but also provide additional functionality.
  3. Amplifiers focus on sound quality, whereas receivers serve as home theatre systems’ central hub.

Amplifier vs Receiver 

The difference between an amplifier and a receiver is that all amplifiers are not receivers because they do not consist of a receiver. On the other hand, all receivers are amplifiers because it has a built-in radio section with radio functionality.  

Amplifier vs Receiver

An electronic device in which the amplitude audio signal is increased is known as an amplifier. It utilizes electric power with a specified amount of gain to amplify the audio signal. Amplifiers can be manufactured and designed as standalone units.  

An electronic device that consists of an amplifier and some built-in radio tuner is known as a receiver. They also have a visual component which makes them audio/video receivers.

They route and amplify audio from various sources and process route and video signals to their intended displays. 

Comparison Table 

Parameters of ComparisonAmplifierReceiver 
InterpretationIt is a device that amplifies an audio signal so that audio can be played from speakers.It consists of an amplifier that has extra functionalities like radio, volume control, preamp tuner, input selection, and more.
InventedIn 1906In 1895
InventorLee De ForestOliver Lodge, Marconi, and Alexander Popov
All-in-one unitNoYes
Space consumptionMoreLess

What is an Amplifier? 

An electronic amplifier, or simply an amplifier, is an electronic device to increase the signal power.

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It is an electronic circuit of a two-port that, with the help of a power supply, gets electric power to increase the signal amplitude applied to its terminals and, at its output, produces a greater amplitude signal.  

When the amplifier provides the amount of amplification, it can be measured with the help of gain. Gain is the output current, power, or voltage ratio to input.

An amplifier can be either an electrical circuit within another device or a separate piece of equipment.  

Almost all electronic equipment amplifiers are used widely. The triode vacuum tube is the first practical electrical device that can amplify.

It was invented by Lee De Forest in 1906 which was considered the first amplifier in 1912. The usage of transistors is common among most amplifiers.  

Over the last century, several amplifier designs have been produced, which are probably in the hundreds of thousands. In modern life, these kinds of devices are ubiquitous features and are used in many appliances. 


What is a Receiver? 

The receiver has an amplifier with different audio functionalities. It consists of a radio, input selection, tuner, and other volume controls. Sophisticated receivers have more features.

It is confused by an amplifier because it looks quite similar to an amplifier. But the receiver has more knobs and buttons and also has a video connection.  

The receiver is just like a compartment that organizes all the electronics in a single area. It is spread all over many boxes, and in all serious systems, it is considered the basic part. This already combines the radio tuner, amplifier, and preamplifier.  

There are many two kinds of receivers while setting up an audio system. First is the stereo receiver, which is very basic and handles the audio signal. It can come with volume control, input selection, and a radio tuner. It has only two channels with a built-in amplifier.  

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Secondly, the A/V receiver is a completely different beast. It has both video and audio inputs, supports multiple simultaneous inputs, and is also compatible with TVs, gaming consoles, and other devices with media streaming. 

receiver 1

Main Differences Between Amplifier and Receiver 

  1. Manufacturers of amplifiers focus on the task of amplifying audio and perform much better than equally priced counterparts of the receiver.  
  2. It is much easier to upgrade an amplifier because it is not necessary to buy a whole new system, as none of the components of the system is not up to par anymore. But it is necessary to purchase a new unit because upgrading individual parts do not work.  
  3. Suppose someone is choosy with the individual parts of a system. In that case, it is better to purchase an amplifier and other sub-components, while repairing the receiver and having to think for the long term is impossible.
  4. When it comes to audio purposes, an amplifier is a better product. On the other hand, even with a large set of speakers, receivers fail to put out enough power to make them work.  
  5. In an amplifier, if a single aspect gets damaged, then it is possible to repair it, and the sound quality might not vary much. On the flip side, if a single aspect of the receiver got damaged, then the sound quality might not be great. 
Difference Between Amplifier and Receiver



Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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4 thoughts on “Amplifier vs Receiver: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The information provided here on the main differences between amplifier and receiver is useful in making a decision on which to purchase. Thanks for providing a clear analysis.

  2. This is a very well-written piece. I appreciate the in-depth look into the background of amplifiers and receivers, and how they function.

  3. The comparison table is particularly useful in understanding the differences between amplifiers and receivers. Great work on this post.

  4. Thank you for this comprehensive article. The detailed comparison between amplifiers and receivers was especially informative.


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