Difference Between Amplifier and Receiver (With Table)

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.  

Amplifier and receiver are two of the important sub-components of home stereo. They both come under the terminology of the audio industry. Both terms are generally used interchangeably by most people, but many differences are highlighted in this article. 

Amplifier vs Receiver 

The main difference between amplifier and 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 radio built-in section with radio functionality.  

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/ videos receivers. They not only route and amplify audio from various sources but also process route and video signals to their intended displays. 

Comparison Table Between Amplifier and Receiver 

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, inputs selection, and more.
InventedIn 1906In 1895
InventorLee De ForestOliver Lodge, Marconi, and Alexander Popov
All-in-one unitNoYes
Space consumptionMoreLess

What is Amplifier? 

An electronic amplifier or simply amplifier is an electronic device to increase the signal power. 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 generally the ratio of output current, power, or voltage 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 are 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 generally 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 amplifier because it looks are 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 organizers all the electronics in a single area. It spread all over many boxes and in all serious system, it is considered as 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.  

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. 

Main Differences Between Amplifier and Receiver 

  1. Manufacturers of amplifier generally focus on the task of amplifying audio and performs 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. If someone is choosy with the individual parts of a system, then it is better to purchase an amplifier and other sub-components, while it is not possible to repair the receiver and have to think for the long term.
  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 for making them work.  
  5. In an amplifier, if a single aspect gets damaged, then it is possible to repair and the sound quality might not much vary. On the flip side, if a single aspect of the receiver got damaged, then the sound quality might not be great. 


It can be concluded that both amplifier and receiver are two of the subcomponents of home stereo. The main aim of the home theater system is entertainment in the house. In the audio industry, both come under the terminology which seems quite similar but are far different.  

The amplifier is a device that amplifies an audio signal so that audio can be played from speakers. On the other hand, the receiver consists of an amplifier that has extra functionalities like radio, volume control, preamp tuner, inputs selection, and more. The amplifier is not all in one unit, whereas the receiver is all in one unit because it consists of several components in a single system. 


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/205619/
  2. https://www.kritik-relativitaetstheorie.de/Anhaenge/TechnicalDirective_CGGTTS_Metrologia31_1994.pdf
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