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AIYIMA A05 Review (Budget Amplifier)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the "upgraded" TPA3221 chip based AIYIMA A05 integrated amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $80 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

For a budget amplifier, the controls feel nice:

AIYIMA A05 review amplifier budget desktop.jpg


As you see, tone controls are provided. Alas, there is no detent or switch for flat response. If you center them, you actually get too much bass. I had to adjust them using iterative measurements to settings you see in the picture above for flat response (see measurements later in this review).

A giant external power supply providing 32 volts is included which dwarfs the size of the unit itself:

AIYIMA A05 review amplifier back panel power supply budget desktop.jpg


I dislike these little speaker terminals but they are very common in this price class. They are too close to each other to connect beefy locking banana connectors I use for testing.

Bluetooth is provided which I did not test.

In use, the unit never even got warm so efficiency must be quite high. Or else, the heat is not transmitted to the case.

AIYIMA A05 Measurements
Here is our usual dashboard:

AIYIMA A05 measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


SINAD is dominated by distortion and ranks below average of all the amplifiers tested to date:

Best cheap amplifier review.png


Still, for this price and category, I think this is pretty good.

Signal to noise ratio becomes good at full power:

AIYIMA A05 SNR measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


Crosstalk is decent as well:

AIYIMA A05 Crosstalk measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


Here is our frequency response with my adjustments of the tone control:

AIYIMA A05 Frequency response measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


As you see we get a typical peaking of the response when I change impedance to 8 ohm. This is due to the filter in the class D amplifier interacting with the load. Fortunately you have tone controls here so you can compensate for it.

Multitone shows best performance in mid frequencies which is a good thing compared to the alternative:

AIYIMA A05 Multitone measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


Let's see how much power the A05 can produce into 4 ohm load:

AIYIMA A05 Power into 4 ohm measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


This is much more than I expected. We get decent amount of power even with 8 ohm:

AIYIMA A05 Power into 8 ohm measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


Above is with 1 kHz. Let's see how it does when we vary that:

AIYIMA A05 Power into 4 ohm vs Frequency vs Distortion measurements amplifier budget desktop.png


Not pretty at either high frequencies or very low. As noted, mid frequencies do well which is good as that is where we are most sensitive.

Conclusions
Getting decent amount of power and low distortion and noise is hard in ultra low price category but the AIYIMA A05 gets there. So I decided to grade it on a curve and give it my recommendation.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

rammster

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Can the power supply be the reason of bad performance?
I wonder what is its contribution and how much improvement can be gathered by change of PSU to linear type or to some good quality heavily filtered switching type unit.
 
Last edited:

DSJR

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I reckon this is par for the course performance in a mid 1970's lower cost integrated amp (which would cost a hell of a lot more if made today, accepting the greater versatility of course). In fact, I'd suggest it could be better in basic amp performance, as many lower cost far eastern amps back then fell over when asked to deliver into 4 ohms as it was all voltage swing with little current ability I gather...
 

Matias

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When price forgives the sins.
 

Matias

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@amirm can we see the 1% THD+N 4 ohms power please?
 

daftcombo

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Thanks! Would a listening test be possible, please?

I wonder if it produces hiss in the speaker, for instance.

And what is the effect of tone controls?
 
Last edited:

fordiebianco

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It's still better than various amps significantly more expensive. Nice little office unit. I have the A07 which does a pretty good job.
 
Last edited:

respice finem

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the "upgraded" TPA3221 chip based AIYIMA A05 integrated amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $80 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

For a budget amplifier, the controls feel nice:

View attachment 152055

As you see, tone controls are provided. Alas, there is no detent or switch for flat response. If you center them, you actually get too much bass. I had to adjust them using iterative measurements to settings you see in the picture above for flat response (see measurements later in this review).

A giant external power supply providing 32 volts is included which dwarfs the size of the unit itself:

View attachment 152057

I dislike these little speaker terminals but they are very common in this price class. They are too close to each other to connect beefy locking banana connectors I use for testing.

Bluetooth is provided which I did not test.

In use, the unit never even got warm so efficiency must be quite high. Or else, the heat is not transmitted to the case.

AIYIMA A05 Measurements
Here is our usual dashboard:

View attachment 152058

SINAD is dominated by distortion and ranks below average of all the amplifiers tested to date:

View attachment 152060

Still, for this price and category, I think this is pretty good.

Signal to noise ratio becomes good at full power:

View attachment 152061

Crosstalk is decent as well:

View attachment 152062

Here is our frequency response with my adjustments of the tone control:

View attachment 152063

As you see we get a typical peaking of the response when I change impedance to 8 ohm. This is due to the filter in the class D amplifier interacting with the load. Fortunately you have tone controls here so you can compensate for it.

Multitone shows best performance in mid frequencies which is a good thing compared to the alternative:

View attachment 152064

Let's see how much power the A05 can produce into 4 ohm load:

View attachment 152065

This is much more than I expected. We get decent amount of power even with 8 ohm:

View attachment 152066

Above is with 1 kHz. Let's see how it does when we vary that:

View attachment 152067

Not pretty at either high frequencies or very low. As noted, mid frequencies do well which is good as that is where we are most sensitive.

Conclusions
Getting decent amount of power and low distortion and noise is hard in ultra low price category but the AIYIMA A05 gets there. So I decided to grade it on a curve and give it my recommendation.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Those amps, which probably not many would buy for Hi-Fi duties, save lots of energy compared to their predecessors, in millions of shops etc. around the world. Good enough for this, or Skype & Co. plus casual music @the desk, at least for the non-audiophile.
 

AudioSceptic

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the "upgraded" TPA3221 chip based AIYIMA A05 integrated amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $80 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

For a budget amplifier, the controls feel nice:

View attachment 152055

As you see, tone controls are provided. Alas, there is no detent or switch for flat response. If you center them, you actually get too much bass. I had to adjust them using iterative measurements to settings you see in the picture above for flat response (see measurements later in this review).

A giant external power supply providing 32 volts is included which dwarfs the size of the unit itself:

View attachment 152057

I dislike these little speaker terminals but they are very common in this price class. They are too close to each other to connect beefy locking banana connectors I use for testing.

Bluetooth is provided which I did not test.

In use, the unit never even got warm so efficiency must be quite high. Or else, the heat is not transmitted to the case.

AIYIMA A05 Measurements
Here is our usual dashboard:

View attachment 152058

SINAD is dominated by distortion and ranks below average of all the amplifiers tested to date:

View attachment 152060

Still, for this price and category, I think this is pretty good.

Signal to noise ratio becomes good at full power:

View attachment 152061

Crosstalk is decent as well:

View attachment 152062

Here is our frequency response with my adjustments of the tone control:

View attachment 152063

As you see we get a typical peaking of the response when I change impedance to 8 ohm. This is due to the filter in the class D amplifier interacting with the load. Fortunately you have tone controls here so you can compensate for it.

Multitone shows best performance in mid frequencies which is a good thing compared to the alternative:

View attachment 152064

Let's see how much power the A05 can produce into 4 ohm load:

View attachment 152065

This is much more than I expected. We get decent amount of power even with 8 ohm:

View attachment 152066

Above is with 1 kHz. Let's see how it does when we vary that:

View attachment 152067

Not pretty at either high frequencies or very low. As noted, mid frequencies do well which is good as that is where we are most sensitive.

Conclusions
Getting decent amount of power and low distortion and noise is hard in ultra low price category but the AIYIMA A05 gets there. So I decided to grade it on a curve and give it my recommendation.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Max power 46 W into 8 Ω doesn't sound much but anyone else remember the Quad 303 (45 W into 8 Ω)? The Quad seemed quite beefy at the time. I know the Quad's FR would be much flatter, but I wonder how the other figures would compare.
 

Doodski

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Can the power supply be the reason of bad performance?
I wonder what is its contribution and how much improvement can be gathered by change of PSU to linear type or to some good quality heavily filtered switching type unit.
The power supply seems to be providing enough power at 32 volts 5 amps. A change to a linear supply would maybe change the peak power output but the end result might be better or worse than the SMPS is. A "heavily filtered" SMPS is a bit of mis-labeled nomenclature because the SMPS design uses smaller capacitors and smaller inductors due to the comparatively higher frequency used in the power transfer of the SMPS design. A linear type power supply design uses heavier components as the design is improved. The rule for SMPS is the inductors and capacitors size is inversely proportional (They get smaller and more lightweight) to the frequency of the SMPS and with linear supplies the size of the inductor and capacitor size is proportional (They get heavier and larger.) to the output power and smoothing. For this TPA3221 design the rated power supply is 7 to 30 volts and so the size of the SMPS used at 32 volts is already at maximum when loaded down and no improvement can be realized without possibly damaging the amp from too much voltage and power.
tpa3221.png
 

AudioSceptic

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Those amps, which probably not many would buy for Hi-Fi duties, save lots of energy compared to their predecessors, in millions of shops etc. around the world. Good enough for this, or Skype & Co. plus casual music @the desk, at least for the non-audiophile.
That is a great point. How much energy is saved using 1000s of these compared with old A/B amps of similar power?
 

Colonel7

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Rise in distortion at low frequencies(20 Hz) is opposite of A07. Not understanding the recommendation here with 50s SINAD
 

nyxnyxnyx

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That's the kind of snobbery and gatekeeping that drives folks away from taking an interest in audio gear.
You pretty much described everything I thought at times in this forum. I've seen some comments of some other dudes comparing that $9 apple dongle to many other products and say they're bad value, while completely neglecting they are different types of products and have different variations for each use.
 

thefsb

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I'm interested to know if the Bluetooth is acceptable. If so, this is an attractive way to put my old bookshelf speakers to use.
 

sarumbear

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Another toy with high noise, high distortion and frequency response modulated by load impedance. Beheaded panther would suit it best.
Horses for corses. This is not solely a Hi-Fi forum. There are areas where an affordable amplifier is required. For instance PA or background music where the ambient noise masks even a terrible SINAD value.

Do you know a better suited product at this price range?
 
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