What is a multi channel amplifier?

In most cases, a multi channel amplifier is a device that can control multiple channels at the same time.

Take a look at the real world

In the past, the world distinguished between multichannel and multizone.

Multichannel means to have one audio source in multiple channels with the same power in one amplifier.

Multizone means controlling several zones in one amp with different sources and settings for each zone.

But it's 2021 and there is no more need to differentiate between multizone and multichannel since there are multi channel amplifiers that can control, patch, and set up each channel individually.

In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all number of channels a multi channel amplifier should manage. Every installation is different and has its own needs. This is why flexible zones are a must-have of every multi channel amplifier. Sometimes space is the main challenge and you need a small device like the MA32/LP². Sometimes an installation requires a huge amount of channel power, like with a MA32/HP².


Let's say we have a residential apartment integration project and we have to decide which amplifiers fit in the project. The project consists of 4 audio zones. Kitchen, living room, bathroom, and some apartment wide ambient ceiling speakers. In the bathroom and the kitchen, we have a simple stereo setup. In the living room, we have a 5.1 sound system for the TV. In the whole apartment, we have 4 ceiling speakers for the ambient audio. In sum, we have 14 audio channels to power. In this case, we would recommend buying a 16 channel amp like the MA16/D². So you could bridge 2 channels for the subwoofer on the TV and have one channel left in case you need one more in the future. In this case, you would control the 4 zones individually and connect them with the media input of your choice.

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