Denon PMA-50 Amplifier

All these were found in the firm's European summit a year ago, where it was clear in the layout of the screen it is taking private sound really seriously: while the AV receivers and the like were ordered round the sides of the exhibit space, the desktop computer products were quite actually put centre stage.

Oh, and at the same time as PCM-established high resolution content at up to 24-bit/192kHz, the PMA-50 may also manage DSD2.8 and 5.6, which will keep even the most fanatical computer sound enthusiast satisfied.

The Denon PMA-50 could not seem much more straightforward from the front, having only three buttons (power, input signal choice and Bluetooth), plus a volume control and 'appropriate' 6.3mm headphone outlet. When the amplifier is switched off the OLED screen is concealed, and there is a touch-point on the lefthand side-panel for pairing with NFC-able Bluetooth apparatus.

In flat orientation PMA-50 may be used such as the DA-300USB, the PMA or for example to save lots of desk space. The feet fit into four threads on the correct side panel, and unscrew in the foundation, when the amp is turned vertically, the screen reorients itself, and four covers are provided to fill the holes left from the feet that are removed.

Besides that low-latency aptX Bluetooth input signal as well as the asynchronous USB-B socket, the PMA-50 also has two optical and one coaxial digital input signal, just one pair of input signals that are analogue, along with a subwoofer output signal as well as the speaker outs. Power output signal is quoted into 8ohms, doubling into 4ohms.

An easy credit card-sized remote handset is given the amp, and additional adjustments past the fundamental volume and input select on the front panel can be found inside the menu system of PMA-50. Equilibrium and tone controls can be found, with a 'source direct' choice to avoid them; it is possible to select between three gain settings for the headphone output signal; turn off Bluetooth entirely to reduce noise and empower or get the better of the power-saving vehicle standby function, made to change the amp off after half an hour of no signal.

Sound quality

The PMA-50 may just be 200mm broad and 86mm tall in flat orientation (or 80mm wide by 206mm tall when perpendicular, thanks to all those movable feet), but also for a tiddler it packs quite a surprising clout. I take advantage of it both within my desktop computer system as well as in a little-room set up, and not find it fighting to match the needs that I place upon it or lacking for power.

OK, so it is not likely to be a good pick for people with a hankering for club, cavernous rooms or hulking great floorstanding loudspeakers /front row of an arena gigabyte sound pressure levels. Nonetheless, used within its limitations, for pretty close up listening with loudspeakers of fair-to-high sensitivity (which covers a lot of the most popular selections in the sub-£500 stadium these days), it's really capable of an attractively comprehensive and punchy sound, coupled with the inherent smoothness and refinement.

Ahead of that, Denon's Advanced AL32 processing, which tends to create only the kind of nicely comprehensive but smooth and rich sound that is very much in evidence here, and interpolates oversamples and filters incoming digital information is utilised by the amp.

But if this makes it seem in this way is one for chamber music enthusiasts and the armchair jazzers, nothing may be farther from the facts.

Concurred I Have heard Moon's manic assault when managed at ear, provided with more conviction and Daltrey's terrific bellow threatening amounts by amplifiers costing twice as much but contemplating affordable cost, flexibility and the compact measurements, this can be quite remarkable things.

Nor are the other input signals only there to compose the numbers: I am no great fan of Bluetooth, discovering it frequently sounds quite parched and anonymous, but the Denon's bang-up to date enactment appears to deliver the goods somewhat better than some - at least provided you do not opportunity things with low-bitrate MP3 files, which seem terrible whatever you do with them.

In addition, this is an extremely completed headphone amp, as you would possibly expect given Denon's recent type of this type as well as the product's desktop computer dreams: whether with some of easy going Bang & Olufsens or the rather more demanding Oppo PM-1s, it provides a fresh, clean and though significant sound, without any trace of a fight nevertheless hard I shove it.


Sensibly priced, nicely equipped designed and having a sound that can have broad appeal, the ultra-streamlined Denon PMA-50 is much more as opposed to novelty it may seem: it is an actual hifi amplifier, as well as an excellent one at that - only smaller.

Denon PMA-50 Amplifier photo