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Emotiva Announces Emersa Line of Preamps and Power Amplifiers

Emotivas Emersa line includes a complete line preamps, processors, and amplifiers

Emotiva's Emersa line includes a complete line preamps, processors, and amplifiers


  • Product Name: Emersa
  • Manufacturer: Emotiva
  • Review Date: February 07, 2016 11:00
  • MSRP: $599 - $999
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Full specifications will be forthcoming when the Emersa line will be released.  Preliminary specifications are as follows:

Emersa EMP-1: 7.1 channel preamp processor, Bluetooth, USB DAC

Emersa EPA-1: modular, stereo preamp. Four pairs of stereo line level analog inputs.   Moving magnet phono input. Optional modules include USB connectivity, DAC, audio streaming via USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, and wired Ethernet including  

Emersa EPI-1: integrated amplifier with 100 watts RMS per channel.  

EDA-2: 2 channel amplifier with 140 wpc into 8 ohms.  

EDA-5:  5 channel amplifier at 125 wpc into 8 ohms.  

EDA-7: 7 channel amplifier at 125 wpc into 8 ohms.   

Hot on the heels of announcing a major upgrade to their XPA series of power amplifiers, Emotiva has unveiled a brand new line of audio gear dubbed Emersa.  Given Emotiva’s already expansive lineup, you may be wondering what is so special about the new lineup.  The answer is, plenty. 

With the Emersa lineup, Emotiva is targeting home users who want to balance elegant design, performance, and lifestyle options.  In other words, this is gear that is supposed to look cool, take up minimal space, and sound great. To that end, there are some basic hallmarks to the Emersa line.  Each model shares an elegant and slim chassis.  A beautiful, bright, and easy-to-read OLED display is standard. The operating system is based on Emotiva’s flagship XMC-1 processor.  

The Emersa lineup signals another ongoing shift for Emotiva.  Every Emersa component is made in the USA.  Just about everything, including the PCB subassemblies down to the board level, is built in America. While the Emersa line is targeting home users, Emotiva didn’t pull any punches with the components included in the lineup.  The lineup consists of audiophile-grade separates and as well as an all-in-one integrated.

 Emotiva Airmotiv Speakers, Emersa and XPA Amps at CES 2016

Here’s a breakdown of the initial Emersa products:

The Emersa EMP-1 is a full 7.1 channel preamp processor.  It has unbalanced analog outputs plus a balanced subwoofer out.  As with Emotiva’s flagship processor, Dirac Live room correction is included.  As one would expect in a lifestyle product, Bluetooth connectivity is standard.  The Emersa EMP-1 likewise has a USB DAC.  Emotiva hasn’t cut any corners.  The EMP-1’s remote isn’t cheap plastic but rather machined aluminum to match the look and feel of the processor. 

Emotiva Emersa EPI-1 Integrated Amplifier

The Emersa EPI-1 Integrated Amplifier highlights the line's slim chassis, sleek look, and gorgeous OLED display

For those who don’t need a multichannel processor, there is the Emersa EPA-1 stereo preamp.  There are some slick expansion options with the EPA-1 via three optional digital input modules.  The  DAC1 input module will let you take advantage of USB connectivity and streaming.  The DAC2 input offers an audiophile-quality USB DAC input with an AKM 32-bit D/A converter.  The Universal Streaming Module offers digital audio streaming via USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, and wired Ethernet.

Vinyl lovers rejoice.  In addition to its digital inputs and four pairs of stereo line level analog inputs, there is also a moving magnet phono input.

Emotiva says that in stereo mode, the EPA-1 can be connected to a stereo power amplifier or a pair of powered speakers.  In 2.1-channel mode, the main outputs on the EPA-1 can be configured with a fixed 80 Hz high-pass crossover, and a separate summed output is provided to connect a subwoofer.

For those who an all-in-one solution, there is the Emersa EPI-1 integrated amplifier.  The EPI-1 is an Emersa EPA-1 with two channels of ICEpower Class-D amplification that deliver 100 watts RMS per channel.  Because it’s based on the EPA-1 architecture, it has all of the features of the EPA-1 plus the optional digital input modules. 

On the amplification front, Emotiva is delivering three initial Emersa amplifier models.  Every Emersa amp—regardless of the number of channels—is housed in the same 1RU chassis with ICEpower Class-D power amplification.  Dan Laufman, Emotiva’s president, told me that the Emersa amplifiers are using the latest generation of ICEpower modules which are said to deliver full power bandwidth into 4 ohm loads unlike their predecessors.  We will have to get these on the bench to confirm but given Emotiva put their name behind this, we are reasonably confident this is true.

Emotiva Emersa 7 Channel Amplifier

The Emersa EDA-7 is a 7-channel amplifier with 125 watts/channel into 8 ohms

The Emersa EDA-2 is the series stereo amp with 140wpc into 8 ohms.  The EDA-5 features 5 channels at 125wpc into 8 ohms.  The EDA-7 is the series 7 channel amp with 125 watts/channel into 8 ohms.   

Of course, the Emersa amplifiers can be used in any setup and it marks the first time that Emotiva has made a commitment to using ICEpower Class-D amplification in any of its stand-alone amplifier models.   

I had a chance to sit with Emotiva’s President Dan Laufman and get a sneak peek of some of the Emersa lineup at their Nashville headquarters.  All I can say is that the Emersa lineup looks gorgeous in person.  The OLED display is crisp and sharp and each component is incredibly light.  If Emotiva delivers on its sonic promise, the new Emersa line could give many audiophiles and home theater lovers some great-sounding gear that finally win the aesthetics war at home. 

 As you’d expect from Emotiva, the Emersa lineup comes in at an unbelievable price/performance mark.  

  • EMP-1 pre-pro: $899
  • EPA-1 stereo-preamp: $599
  • EPI-1 Integrated Amp: $799
  • EDA-2 Amplifier: $599
  • EDA-5 Amplifier: $799
  • EDA-7 Amplifier: $999

Projected availability of the Emersa models will be early 2016 with even more models in the lineup announced later in the new year. 

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Theo is a serious audiophile and home theater enthusiast—a passion he's enjoyed for over 20 years. He heads up many of our speaker system and receiver reviews as well as covering the latest in streaming technologies and Ultra HD video.

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