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Amp recommendation to connect to TV and phone


New Member
Feb 21, 2023
Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I am looking for some advice, I hope this is the right place.

I am looking to get a pair of loudspeakers and an amplifier. The sources will be my TV (which can output HDMI eARC and optical) and my phone where I have all my music - I can connect it with USB or Bluetooth or maybe it is also possible to stream over Wifi? In terms of loudspeakers I am looking to get a pair of bookshelves like KEF R3 or something similar. I am planning to try out a few different ones to see which ones sound better to me. Just thought to mention those so you know my amplification requirements.

In terms of amps I see the following options:
1. Some sort of AV receiver as they all have eARC which is quite convenient as I can control the volume from the TV. The drawback is that since I will only be using 2 channels out of the 5+ that they have, I would not be making the most out of it. So I assume that for the same money I get better quality with just a stereo amp. Also they are quite bulky, I assume due to all the amplifiers they have inside, which I don't like.

2. Probably better would be a stereo amp/DAC. However the selection seems to be a bit limited, these are the ones I found:
a. TEAC AI-303 - this has all the connections I need (HDMI eARC, Bluetooth, USB, Wifi). Also has a sub out in case I add one in the future. However power output seems a bit low at 25W @ 8 Ohm.
b. Pioneer SX-S30 - HDMI (not eARC though) and Bluetooth but no USB. Power is 85W @ 4 Ohm, they don't specify 8 Ohm.
c. NAD C 389 - HDMI eARC & Bluetooth but no USB. Plenty of power with 135W @ 8 Ohm.

3. Another option would be to get a power amplifier and a separate DAC/preamp. So something like a Topping DX5 could get the optical output from my TV, or Bluetooth/USB from my phone, and act as a preamp to an LA90. The benefit is that this can also act as good headphone amp. The drawback is there is no HDMI input, so I lose the convenience of controlling the volume from the TV remote.

What do you think? Do you have any specific recommendations, or any options/configurations I may have missed?

Budget is similar to the options above. I think the most expensive one is the NAD C 389 at around $1500.
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