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Classe Sigma 2200i Integrated Amplifier Preview



  • Product Name: Sigma 2200i Integrated Amplifier
  • Manufacturer: Classe
  • Review Date: May 27, 2016 08:00
  • MSRP: $5,500
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • USB audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz
  • USB (Host) charging capability 2.0 Amps
  • AirPlay supported formats AAC (8 to 320 Kbps),
  • Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps),
  • MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
  • DLNA supported formats Apple lossless (ALAC), mp3, ac, wav, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, AAC
  • Frequency response 10Hz – 20kHz, -1dB into 4Ω
  • Output Power 2 x 200W rms into 8Ω, 2 x 400W rms into 4Ω
  • Harmonic distortion (THD+noise) 0.018% @ 1kHz Both channels driven to 1/8th power into 4Ω
  • Maximum input level (single-ended) 2 Vrms
  • Maximum input level (balanced) 4 Vrms
  • Maximum output level 113V peak to peak, 40Vrms
  • Gain Range -93 dB to +14 dB
  • Input impedance (single-ended) 50 kΩ
  • Input impedance (balanced) 100 kΩ
  • Signal-to-noise ratio 97 dB (re. full-scale input, unweighted)
  • Standby power consumption (Wake-on-Network enabled) < 3 W (Wake-on-Network disabled) < 0.5 W
  • Rated power consumption 185W
  • Mains voltage 90-264 V, 50/60 Hz
  • Overall dimensions (HxWxD) 5.50" x 17.00" x 14.57”(excluding connectors)
  • Net weight 26.7 lbs.
  • Shipping weight 34.3 lbs.

The Canadian manufacturer Classe, of The B&W Group along with Rotel, debuted its Sigma 2200i Integrated Amplifier at the 2016 International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year.  The 2200i made its debut this month as their flagship product in the integrated amplifier category.  This is yet another addition to Classe’s truly audiophile line of products ranging from 2/5-channel amplifiers, pre-amps/processors, and integrated amplifiers.  Like all their products, the Sigma 2200i is designed for consumers that desire high quality control and amplification from whatever source they choose.  As an integrated amp there is no need to purchase a separate pre-amp. Hence the name “integrated amp”, where both units are combined. 

The front of the unit consists of a power button on the top left. On the middle left of the cabinet is the IR window, the ¼” headphone jack (which naturally mutes the main audio output once plugged in), and a USB host connector.  In the center of the unit is the LCD touchscreen display with a GUI (Graphical User Interface), which is recessed into the face of the amp at a slight angle.  This display allows the unit to provide a considerable amount of controls without the clutter of buttons and knobs.  To the immediate left and right of the display is the Menu button and Mute button respectively.  The only knob, or something of that nature anyway, is the large volume control knob.  It seems rather flat, flatter even than the volume control knob on some budget receivers such as the current budget models available from Harman Kardon.  According to Classe, this multi-function knob is also used to adjust the balance, PEQ parameters, Q control, tone, and input selection.  The volume range is from -93.0 db to +14 db in 0.5 db increments.  Another physical feature that this unit has is the ability to be mounted to an entertainment equipment rack.  Simply unscrew the two side panels, rotate them, and flip them so the left is on the right and vice versa.  Classe recommends allowing two rack spaces above the unit to allow for proper ventilation.

Cool Running

A rather unique feature that Classe includes in this amplifier is an air intake.  Below the front LCD touchscreen display is a wide vent with a metal mesh grill.  Behind the grill there is a filter that can be accessed and removed to the right side of the front panel by removing two screws.  The filter is renewable and can be cleaned.  This vent is actually an air intake vent for an internal fan that cools the amp during operation similar to a computer CPU.  This air is then sent out of the back of the unit by means of a small internal fan that rotates at a low speed.  Classe states that all their products typically have a “warm-up” period but their products are designed that when they reach the “warm-up” point, they will be up and running as soon as they are switched on.  This type of ventilation system is very common among Classe’s other units in their product list as we've seen in our CT-2300 two-channel amplifier review.  If the 2200i utilizes the same ventilation system though it is not specified.  For example, in their Sigma SSP, the heat management system is controlled by what they refer to as the ICTunnel (pronounced icy tunnel).  This ICTunnel regulates the amp temperature to allow the amp to operate at optimal performance and reliability. It's quite an interesting and unique piece of engineering innovation on Classe's part and we are glad to see it trickle into this product too.

Inputs Galore

In the rear of the Sigma 2200i there are 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output for connection to sources with the associated outputs.  These inputs feature up to 4K pass through capability at 24/50/60 fps, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, and x.v.Color.  The rear panel also consists of several analog ins/outs (1pair of balanced XLR and 2 pairs of RCA) and one can even be used for phono connection for a good ol’ record player such as the current Fluance RT80 or RT81.  Classe states that in order to take advantage of the phono connection a Classe dealer must be contacted for installation details.  Personally I believe the phono connection should already be available without having to install an optional phono stage, especially at this price.  An Ethernet input is also available which allows streaming audio through Apple’s AirPlay and the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).  One can have full IP control via the Classe mobile application, which is available for free on the Apple App store or Google play store for iOS or Android mobile devices.  There are also digital inputs and outputs for optical TOSlink connections, coaxial connections, and a USB host connection to connect a PC or Mac to the amp.  The optical connection only has a maximum data stream of 96kHz/24bit.  Meanwhile the USB host and coaxial connections can utilize a maximum data stream of 192kHz/24bit.   There is also a nice quality pair of 5-way binding posts.  Classe recommends any other connection but twisted bare wire to avoid fraying and oxidizing.  A nice addition that the Sigma 2200i has is a balanced XLR and single-ended RCA output for a subwoofer.


This powerful amplifier boasts 200w per channel at 8 ohms and 400w at 4 ohms with 0.018% THD.  You can rest assured that the sound quality is exceptional and your system can really crank the sound especially if you get some audiophile speakers to go with this amp like some Salk Soundscapes or B&W 800 series just to name a few.  According to Classe, the 2200i features the same amplifier section of its own Sigma AMP2 and CA-D200.  With that said, the 2200i’s class D amp eliminates the necessity for DACs and ADCs which results in shortening of the signal path from the preamp DSP to that of the amplifier section DSP.  This allows the input signal to remain digital until the amps’ output filters.  More of this is explained on Classe’s website. 

Classe_Sigma2200i_right #2.jpg 


Since introducing the production of their first amplifier in 1980, Classe has become the leader in high-end music and home theater components in Canada.  With products such the CA-D200, Sigma AMP5 and Sigma SSP one can understand why.  You can even read a formal review of some of these products here on Audioholics.  With the Sigma 2200i, though at $5,500 MSRP, one can get two products for the price of one.  In terms of Classe, this product is intended to be a more  simplistic unit focusing on two-channel, as it does not have as many audio ins/outs or the processing features of their AV Preamps such as the CP-800 and the Sigma SSP.  Grant it the Sigma SSP is a multi-channel unit, but the CP-800 is only a two-channel amp with a few more inputs both analog and digital that must be connected to something like the Sigma AMP2 for a complete two-channel solution.  If you are in the market for a truly twi-channel audiophile experience and money is no object, the Sigma 2200i is a great unit to buy.  It's great that this unit can effortlessly power 4 ohm speakers,but also realize if you have “normal” 8 ohm good quality speakers, you will have a great experience.  Despite the optional phono connection, I am sure one can expect to get what they pay for from this powerful innovative integrated amplifier.

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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Kevin is a blue-collar family man and A/V enthusiast who was introduced to music and movies by the age of five. He took courses on Film Music and Film History in college just for the heck of it along with receiving his BFA in Illustration from Cal State Fullerton. He grew up listening to music on vintage equipment, and soon took an interest in home theater.

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