AmplifiersBuyers Guide

Class AB Amplifier vs Class D – Detailed Guide by Stereo Authority

Class AB Amplifier vs Class D

Today we are going into detail on the hot topic of Class AB amplifier vs class D amplifier. Choosing an amplifier is confusing to many people. In addition, there are many varieties of amplifiers available in the market, and you may be wondering which one is the best. Moreover, which one is best for you and your sound system.

So, let’s look at both types of amplifiers. We hope that after reading this article carefully, you will understand which one you need.

Class D Amplifiers have long been termed un-musical and as a result, ignored for years. On the other hand, Class AB Amplifiers are famous for better sound. However, Class D Amplifiers are the future. Moreover, they are a better version of all classes. Not only do they deliver better and enhanced sound, but they are also more energy efficient.

Let’s get started.

Comparison chart for Class AB Amplifier vs Class D

To start, here is a comparison chart between these two amplifiers, Class AB and Class D. The chart highlights the differences in power use, heat, specs, efficiency, and ease of use, among other relevant comparisons.

Amplifier Class AB amplifierClass D Amplifier
Power consumptionRequire a lot of powerGood power efficiency, consuming less power
Heat generation Generates a lot of extra heatLess heat generation
WeightA little bit heavyLight in weight
EfficiencyWastes a lot of energyHighly efficient
AmplificationNormal amplificationShows a little bit difficulty in amplification
Future Popular, but the highly efficient products rank on topFuture will belong to Class D amplifiers
Sound Fidelity Normal sound qualityHigh quality and excellent sound production
Easy Switching These amplifiers push their transistors to a constant under loadClass D has different types of transistors for constantly switching to on and off
Size Quite bigMedium sized
Sound DistortionNo sound distortionA little bit of sound distortion
Personal Preference They are good if you want to choose themI would suggest Class D amplifiers

This chart will help you to understand the clear-cut difference between the class AB and Class D amplifiers. In the end, it all depends upon your personal preference, which amplifier you like the most. However, if you are confused on which one to choose, use this chart as a guide.

Class A Amplifier

Class A amplifiers are the most common type of amplifiers that are used widely. These amplifiers are the simplest ones among all of the available class amplifiers. This is because they use only a single switch transistor, and they have a very simple emitter circuit configuration to generate an inverted output.

These are the simplest designed circuits that have the pure power of Class A amplifiers. Whenever you switch it on, it will give you all the power that is capable of. In other words, it delivers the moment you turn them ON. Then, they are at full blast the whole time.

Benefits of Class A Amplifier

Here are the benefits of Class A Amplifiers:

  • Class A amplifiers tend to be most accurate as they have the most unique design
  • With these Class A amplifiers, it is very easy to control the noise
  • Also, they have a good audiophile to give a natural presentation
  • Finally, they produce a sound with a lot of density and mid range

Disadvantages of Class A Amplifier

On the other hand, Class A Amplifiers also have some disadvantages. To start, they are very inefficient with power, as they are ON or at their full blast all the time. As a result, they consume a lot of voltage and waste a lot of power. Moreover, they generate a lot of heat.

Class B Amplifier

Now, let’s talk about Class B amplifiers. To begin, they have active transistors that conduct half of the cycle of the input signal. That means their conduction is at the angle of 180-degree centigrade. So, they consume a little bit of less power than the Class A amplifiers. As a result, their efficiency is much more improved.

Next, Class B amplifiers have a maximum efficiency of 78.5 percent. This means they create a lot of sound distortion, and that is a negative point to most people. You will not find Single ended class D amplifiers in products these days. However, was popular in some older gadgets or products.

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Benefits of Class B Amplifier

The benefits of class b amplifier are:

  • Highly efficient as compared to Class A amplifiers
  • NO DC component in its output at all

Disadvantages of Class B Amplifier

Here is the list of disadvantages of a Class B amplifier.

  • Sound distortion is the biggest problem of the Class B amp.
  • Increased size and cost also because of coupling transistors.
  • Not a good performance in case of heavy loads.

Class ab Amplifier

When we talk about Class AB Amplifiers, many people ask, what does AB mean? AB amps are a kind of hybrid of both Class A and Class B amplifiers. In addition, they include the trade-offs between Class A and B configuration. As a result, they improve upon their originals’ efficiency and sound fidelity.

Class AB amplifiers are a little bit less efficient than that of Class B amplifiers. The class AB amplifiers have their transistors slightly biased to the conduction angle, a little bit more than 180 degrees and much less than 360 degrees. In addition, they come in an affordable range, and you can easily switch to A or B mode when you need to. So it’s the best of both worlds.

Benefits of Class AB Amplifiers

  • No distortion of sound, and gives completely clear and good sound
  • No need of coupling transformers
  • Affordable range
  • Good channels range available

Disadvantages of Class AB Amplifiers

  • Class AB amplifiers offer less efficiency than Class B amplifiers
  • Also, they have DC components in output as the load is directly coupled
  • Finally, they do not work best in case of heavy loads.

In addition, there are a lot of examples of class AB amplifiers. These include: Crunch AB amplifiers, National Semiconductor audio AB amplifiers, Electronics Board JINGLUYAO AB mono power amplifiers etc.

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Class D Amplifier

Class D Amplifiers are also called as switching amplifiers as they completely turn On and OFF. As a result, they are very power efficient. Moreover, they are very fun amps to work with. Class D amplifiers have a very efficient operation. Most all of these amplifiers do not consume a lot of power. In addition, they do not have the issue of excessive heat generation.

I have just posted another, even more in depth, article on class d amplifiers. The article focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of class D amplifiers in detail.

A constant switching from on and off make these amplifiers like Taylor Swift amplifiers.

Benefits of Using Class D Amplifiers

  • Class D Amps are highly efficient, as they start from zero to on
  • Less power consumption
  • Small size, fits everywhere, consumes only 200-300 watts
  • Pretty cool impression
  • They are as linear as they could be
  • Excellent bass controls

Class D Amplifier Filters

Class D amplifiers use filters inside that act like coil wire, and these will act like the resistors at high frequencies. While wires that act on lower frequencies are termed as inductors. So, a combination of capacitors and inductors forms the output filter of the class D amplifiers.

In earlier models, the filter adjustment in Class D amplifiers was not done properly. Add this problem to a little bit of sound distortion, and then you can understand why people thought these amplifiers were bad. However, now class D amplifiers are the best among all other amplifiers.

As you know, nothing is perfect, and neither are Class D Amps. There are pros and cons of class D’s, just like any other amp, and much of your choice will come down to preference. However, in my opinion, Class D amplifiers are still better than other amplifiers.

Manufacturers of class D amplifiers include: SMSL SA50 TDA7492, Fosi audio class D amplifiers, Power Acoustik 4 channel class D amplifier, Class D audio Power amplifiers, Sure electronics TDA7492 class D audio amplifiers etc. Of course, these are just a few examples, there are a lot more of this class amplifiers.

Future Class AB Amplifier vs Class D

It’s no surprise to say the future will be in favor of class D amplifiers. These are the best running amplifiers. All you have to do is to set the energy in its input and output state properly. In addition, you will need the right power supply, among other factors.

Many people love using these amplifiers. However, other people have the misconception that these are the bad amplifiers. This is because the first of these amplifiers were creating distortion in their midrange and treble.

But now a days, the market is full of affordable and high quality class D amplifiers. Actually, these are the main things and “must have” things in good amplifier: that it not waste all its power, produce no distortion, and never compromise on the sound fidelity. Along with this, no other amplifier can compare with the high efficiency of class D amplifiers.

Class ab Amplifier vs Class d Conclusions

Finally, I would say that which amplifier you buy depends completely on your choice. Buying an amplifier is a completely personal thing, and everyone has their own likes and dislikes and which benefits are most important to you.

The point of this article was to break down your choices in amplifiers in a simple way. So that even a newbie audiophile can easily understand.

In summary, Class AB amplifiers are also good choices having no sound distortion. However, they do not work as well under heavy loads, and they are less efficient. If this thing doesn’t bother you, then this amplifier will work fine for you.

On the other hand, Class D amplifiers are much more efficient, consumes less power, are small in size, and ultimately produce less power loss. Moreover, they have marvelous bass controls, and just a little bit of sound distortion.

So, if you are looking for a highly efficient amplifier along with other amazing advantages, then you should definitely go for Class D amplifiers. The switching amplifier technology is getting better every year.

Finally, after reading this article, we hope you can make the best amplifier selection for your situation. Your amp will help you to kick back and relax, and truly enjoy your music to its fullest.

All the very best,

Team- Stereo Authority

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