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What is an audio power amplifier?
An audio power amplifier (commonly called just an amp, amplifier, stereo amplifier, etc.) is a type of electronic signal booster which amplifies very low-level signals to drive loudspeakers. Audio amplifiers are extremely common and find a very wide variety of applications such as home stereo systems, church or stadium sound systems, public address (PA) systems, vehicle audio systems, and musical instrument amplification.
Audio amplifiers modify an incoming supply voltage to create positive and negative voltages of a sufficient level to power output transistor stages which can deliver high power output to speakers. Most units also include signal stages before amplification that allow gain (boost) adjustment, noise reduction, high or low-pass crossover functions, and more.
As the audio signal output of media devices such as MP3 players, instruments, CD players, and other sources cannot drive speakers directly an amplifier is required.