Hi-Fi Corner: Don’t let the cuteness fool you, this little amp has tons of talent

ps audio sprout amp first look stereo amplifier counter1  featured

Who’d have thought that music-listening enthusiasts in 2015 would be spinning vinyl one moment and streaming digital music via Bluetooth the next? Indeed, a hunger for a more tactile music experience has resulted in a resurgence in records, but that same crowd that digs spinning wax also sees the value in the ease of streaming tunes from their phones. How, then, do you marry these two disparate audio acts, and do it with a dash of style?

We think the PS Audio Sprout amplifier does it quite nicely.

The Sprout is sleek, yet unassuming; hip, yet not ostentatious; slight in stature, yet jam-packed with power. Underneath its wooden hood lay a premium phono pre-amp, a top-notch high-res digital-to-analog converter,  and a low-impedance headphone amplifier, all backed by 100-watts of power that PS audio claims is enough to drive any pair of loudspeaker … that’s right, all of speakers, ever.

Related: Yamaha’s A-S2100 brings big-time class to your home stereo

While that may seem a bold claim, the Sprout seems to have the goods to deliver. This is an amplifier with a remarkably smooth sound for a digital amp, and its performance in both the analog and digital domains is of impeccable caliber. This little champ can make your records sing, then turn around and transform your digital music collection’s sound quality. Shoot, even Internet radio sounds pretty good through this thing.

But this thoroughbred will cost you a few … $800, to be exact. Sure, that seems like a lot for such a little box, but when you consider what this little box can do compared to space-hogging components many times its size, that premium price starts to make some sense.

We’ve only begun what we expect will be a long, enjoyable journey of music re-discovery using the Sprout, but so far we’re having a blast.

Food & Drink

How the German Roots of Japan’s Sapporo Were Crucial to its American Success

Next time you drink a Sapporo, take a moment to think about how it's more than a Japanese beer.
Fashion & Style

Our 7 Favorite Men’s Watches Under $500, From Stylish to Smart

You don't have to break the bank to own an awesome timepiece.

Dollar Shave Club is Getting into the Fragrance Field with New Line of Blueprint Cologne

The Dollar Shave Club doesn't just want you to look good — it wants you to smell good too.

Get Under the Covers with the Warmest Throw Blankets for Winter

Become the human sushi roll you've always wanted to be with one of these best blankets.

Backcountry Zzz’s: The Five Best Sleeping Bags of 2016

We've tested this year's sleeping bags everywhere from spring road trips to off-trail excursions, and found the very best sleeping bags for any wilderness adventure.

Stay In Control With These Oil Free Moisturizers

Hydrate, nourish and protect your skin while getting rid of the shine with these oil control moisturizers.

Upgrade your Game and Eliminate these Bad Pick-Up Lines from your Flirting Repertoire

Revamp your repertoire and rid yourself of these real-life bad pick-up lines, as told to The Manual by the Digital Trends staff.

How to Detox from Head-to-Toe

Repent for your summer sins.

The Definitive Guidebook to Watches is Here

This is not an average book about watches. “Comprehensive” is an understatement.