“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Emotiva XPA-2 Conclusion

By

XPA-2.jpg Not only does Emotiva have a winner on their hands with the XPA-2 two channel amplifier, but they’ve literally hit the ball out of the park with this creation rewriting the rule book on high performance amplifiers on the cheap. The XPA-2 is not only the most powerful amplifier that has come across my test bench, but it represents the best value in consumer two-channel amplification that I’ve ever seen. Its closest competitor is their very own RPA-2 which cannot compete dynamically to this amplifier nor does it offer the bridging feature capabilities of the XPA-2. Quite frankly, when I think about it, the XPA-2 is a lone wolf in a pasture of sheepish amplifiers. The XPA-2 can pump out ungodly power without ever breaking a sweat and its also very friendly installable, thanks to its cool running operation. My only caution is to make sure you feed this baby plenty of juice. Emotiva recommends at least 10A of reserve on your 120V line so don’t go plugging this into the same outlet you’re running your lights and hair dryer on. In fact, I always recommend 1 or 2 dedicated 20A lines run specifically for you’re A/V gear.

No, the XPA-2 doesn’t treat my music with the kid gloves that my much more expensive $7k Denon POA-A1HDCI amplifier is able to do, but it shares many of its sonic virtues while also besting it in sheer output power. The XPA-2 is the best antidote for the common receiver which often tend to be power shy, especially when driving 4 ohm speakers. The fact that I would even compare far more expensive amplifiers in this review speaks volumes for just how good the XPA-2 really is.

Emotiva was very clever in the roadmap of their products of the XPA family of amplifiers. A typical user can purchase an XPA-2 for the front channels and an XPA-5 for the rest of their 7.1 setup, or purchase an XPA-3 for the three front channels using the internal amplifiers of their receiver for the remaining channels, ensuring clean high power amplification for their entire setup for less cost than a mid priced A/V receiver. I am fearful for the competition once Emotiva launches their highly anticipated UMC-1 pre/pro for $699 which will empower fellow Audioholics with a high performance separates solution at less than ½ the price of a flagship receiver and certainly less expensive than competitor separates solutions. The only question that remaining is, are you ready to drink some fine wine at beer prices or do you prefer to continue paying for beer at wine prices?

Emotiva Audio Corporation
106 Mission Court
Suite 101
Franklin, TN 37067

615-771-1224
877-EMO-TECH
Fax: 615-771-1128

XPA-2 Review
MSRP: $799

Read Consumer Reviews on
audioreview logo

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Frequency Response LinearityStarStarStarStarStar
SNRStarStarStarStar
Output ImpedanceStarStarStarStarStar
Measured Power (8-ohms)StarStarStarStarStar
Measured Power (4-ohms)StarStarStarStarStar
Multi-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStarStar
FeaturesStarStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStarStar

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

View full profile

Recent Forum Posts:

flemingg posts on September 24, 2013 05:10
Contacted renting it right now.



Darkwing_duck posts on September 24, 2013 03:30
Irvrobinson, post: 857390
Just out of curiosity I read this review recently, since I'm in the amplifier market right now. The quote above fascinated me. Gene, do you believe that there are audible differences between well-designed amplifiers performing within their specifications?

Good question Im curious to know as well
Irvrobinson posts on January 13, 2012 15:29
No, the XPA-2 doesn’t treat my music with the kid gloves that my much more expensive $7k Denon POA-A1HDCI amplifier is able to do, but it shares many of its sonic virtues while also besting it in sheer output power.

Just out of curiosity I read this review recently, since I'm in the amplifier market right now. The quote above fascinated me. Gene, do you believe that there are audible differences between well-designed amplifiers performing within their specifications?
scott911 posts on March 20, 2010 17:00
I'd like to see an option of a plexi or lexon type replacement cover… a very nice interior design. It's nice to see that level of attention to detail and pride.
PaulF posts on May 16, 2009 16:48
Gene, I noticed you used the unbalanced inputs for your review. What would be the resultant noise floor if balanced inputs were used?

I agree that an input sensitivity switch would make sense, I see no value in reaching 100% amplifier output with the volume at 50% when using a decent pre/pro. In fact I would prefer the more precise control the volume would allow with a lower gain amp.
Post Reply