Can Home Theater And HiFi Coexist? Can AV Amplifiers Be Used To Listen To Songs?

- May 22, 2020-

For friends who only play HiFi and those who only play home theater, perhaps this issue will not be entangled. But for many people like me who play both HiFi and home theater, sometimes this issue is deeply entangled. Personally, for a long time, I will build two systems separately because HiFi and home theater are needed at the same time. That's right, a set of HiFi speakers and a set of home theater can solve this contradiction simply and rudely. However, not only does it cost twice as much, but it is particularly troublesome to switch between different systems, and the remote control will often be too wrong. . .

So, the question of the title gradually surfaced, which is also a question that many audiophiles often ask me. Can home theater and HiFi coexist? Can the AV amplifier be used to listen to HiFi?


The answer to the question is yes.


However, things are not that simple.


In fact, simply summarized, HiFi amplifier sound quality is good, AV amplifier can be tuned.


Sound quality

Let me talk about the sound quality, whether it is objective parameters or subjective listening, in most cases, the sound quality of AV amplifiers at the same price is indeed not as good as HiFi amplifiers. Especially for some entry-level models of AV amplifiers, the parameters are generally unsatisfactory.


Although the human ear's hearing limit for THD is not less than 0.1%, the nonlinear distortion of the power amplifier and the nonlinear distortion of the electroacoustic device are different in the final actual performance. Therefore, I think that it is difficult for many entry-level models of AV power amplifiers to achieve ideal standards in terms of parameters. To a certain extent, this will become a shortcoming of the entire system.


In addition to the parameters of the power amplifier section, the parameters of the DAC section of the AV power amplifier are also differently ignored. This is because whether it is an analog input or a digital input, it needs to be decoded by the DAC module, and if it is an analog input, it must also go through the ADC module. Of course, most of the next-generation AV power amplifiers now have a pure pass-through function, that is, the ADC / DSP / DAC part will be bypassed after opening, and the analog input signal is directly amplified by the amplifier module. Although this can improve the sound quality to a certain extent (if the analog input sound quality is better than the AV amplifier's own decoding), it will also lose the most important feature of the AV amplifier-DSP tuning.


In fact, many home theater amplifiers have considered the need to play music at the beginning of the design. For example, Yamaha will listen to music in addition to watching movies when evaluating the final effect of the amplifier. And most AV amplifiers have MUSIC mode or tuning EQ, even if these modes are not particularly suitable for listening to music, at least the manufacturers themselves have not completely given up.


For some high-end AV amplifiers, because of the use of high-end, the amplifier itself will no longer be a shortcoming of the entire system. So I personally think that listening to songs with some high-end AV amplifiers is completely OK.