- R.M.S: 15wpc x2
- Channel: 2-channel
- Power supply: DC 12V 2A
- Size: 140 x 95 x 40mm (5.5 x 3.7 x 1.6 inch)
- Price: $24.95
There are times when all audio fans need a secondary amplifier to temporarily play music, but the thought of dragging a big old piece of gear is the last thing one wants to do. Recently, our founder was asked to create a long term temporary solution for a friend who was in need of music in their home. But with limited space and next to nothing of a budget, could only afford an amplifier to work with her iPod and dock. The result was found on eBay, a small chip amp by Lepai that could power a set of bookshelf speakers.
The Lepai LP-808 is about the size of a traditional paperback novel. Along the front is a black toggle power switch, a bass boost switch, treble and bass control knobs along with a volume control. All of these items had a nice feel, especially the knobs, giving the operator a decent sense of tactile feel and control. For such an inexpensive item the volume level increased or decreased audibly in a very smooth fashion.
The back panel has room for one set of RCA inputs, a mini-headphone input labeled MP3, four spring-loaded speaker wire inputs, and a plug in for the wall-wort power supply, a welcome low profile design. The LP-808 doesn’t come with rubber feet, therefore, if you are placing it on a nice surface, some sort of non-slip pads are recommended since the amp is so light weight. The speaker connection springs had no problem handling 16 gauge wire.
A look inside the LP-808, reveals as expected a compact layout with the power chip placed on the center of the board facing downward. Thankfully, the board slides in and out into place via a pair of rails on either side of the oval housing. Thus eliminating the easy cracking of the board when tightening screws too tight.
I placed the LP-808 on my office desk, brought out my iPod dock from the deep recesses of a junk drawer, and hooked up a pair of Audioengine P4 speakers. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. The LP-808 filled up my home office sound. The frequencies are muffled a small amount on both ends especially the highs. Not the most desirable shortfall, but for $25 it’s something anybody could overlook.
My iPod is loaded with lossless music, and I spent the next few days while working in the office letting it play on shuffle mode. The LP-808 played every type of music sans rap, and though limited, this little amp performed ably. It did struggle through full orchestration, muddying some dynamic passages, but so does my car stereo. I did try out the bass boost, and well, it’s best left off unless you’re a teenager willing to inflict suffering on family members.
From time to time I get nailed by emails, or our forum site on AudioCircle gets hit by readers craving super budget component reviews. Well, I’m happy to oblige with what may be the ultimate budget new in-a-box amplifier. The Lepai LP808 could very well be the simple, budget answer many are looking for. With its small footprint, and by placing the iPod dock on top, the combination took up just an inconsequential amount of desk space. In return, the LP-808 offered up a reasonable amount of sonic pleasure. If you lack real estate, but want more than typical computer speaker sound at the price of just two new CD’s, this amp is a simple and wallet-friendly step up.
Lepai LP-808 Video Review
from aﬀordableaudio, By Dan Nielsen