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on December 27, 2013
I have been using the Lepai amp for almost 2 years. There are good and bad things that I noticed. Below is my summary of the Lepai mini amp:

The GOOD:
1) This amp is really inexpensive. If you cannot spend more than 20 bucks then you may want to take a close look at this amp.

2) The sound quality albeit at low volume is pretty decent. This amp uses the TA2020 chip set which does offer quite low distortion at low volume.

3) The amp has tone controls so you can fiddle with the sound to some degree.

The BAD:
1) You'll be hard pressed to drive a pair of low-sensitivity or 8-Ohm speakers to decent volume with this amp. With an 8 Ohm speaker, you get clean sound to around 5 Watts only. If you crank the amp up to 10 Watts you'll already hit 10% distortion. With 4 Ohm speakers you can get up to 10 Watts per speaker. In fact, the wattage rating of this amp (2 x 20 Watts rms) is truly false. The power supply that comes with this amp gives 2 Amps at 12 Volts. At a power efficiency of 90% you'll get 2 x 10 Watts rms at the most. However, if you have some fairly small speakers then you may be fine. Otherwise, spend a little more and buy another amp.

2) This amp DOES NOT connect to many newer TVs which often no longer have analog RCA outs. Instead you'll either need to get an SPDIF-to-RCA converter or an amplifier such as the Amphony 250 or similar model that has an optical input which is compatible with TVs. My TV luckily does have RCA outs but be sure to check if your TV does.

3) The enclosure of this amp is fairly bulky and not exactly high quality. I opened up the enclosure and found that most of the interior is empty. What a waste of space! Also, there are some gaps and areas where Lepai could have spent a little more attention to detail in terms of quality. The knobs are fairly basic too and tend to come loose.

4) The rear speaker connector easily snaps out of its socket and doesn't accept thicker speaker wire easily. So you'll have to stick to fairly thin speaker wire.

To summarize, if you really cannot afford more than $20 on an amp then the Lepai is a decent choice. But don't expect the amp to drive larger speakers.
1515 comments| 372 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
I like this little amplifier, it's not exactly perfect (distortion at the higher volume levels), but for the price and the size, at this point I would definitely buy again.

I mounted this outside in a plastic enclosure to weatherproof it. After sealing the wire holes and securing the amplifier to the enclosure, I was very pleased with what turned out. The intent is to basically leave this outside 365 days a year, and this amplifier drives two rock speakers on opposite sides of the garden.

Set up is quite fool-proof. I do find I have better sound overall when I use the RCA inputs vice the 1/8" connector directly to the output of the iPhone/iPod that we use, but I assume that's because of the attenuation provided by the RCA inputs.

I am not impressed when I really crank the volume. There is definite distortion past 80/90% and I haven't been able to mitigate that with adjusting the volume on the device very well.

That's by no means a show-stopper because the intent of using simple rock speakers is to have ambient music in the background, not push a couple Mach II's (five points for the reference).

The single biggest complaint I have is the power supply is obviously fickle. If it moves around, just a little bit, the power goes on and off. That's a bit disturbing. I've compensated by laying down some silicon ensuring that nothing moves around, but it's not ideal. The power connector looks actually worn after the initial set up, which is unimpressive.

All and all I really like this little guy. It's not perfect, but it works. The picture is of the very simple enclosure that I placed this in. I couldn't see doing this another way that would allow me to keep a separate amplifier outside all year long. And this plus the speakers, was still significantly less than a set of wireless speakers (plus I get to use what I've got).

Other thoughts: I would NOT use this to replace my home stereo, and the little blue light doesn't bother me at all. In fact, since it's outside, it's nice to know when one of us left it turned on.
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on December 7, 2014
Had a pair of 1987 vintage Bose 2.2 speakers that I wanted to use in my basement. Looking at 2-channel receivers to do the job when I came across the Lepai amp. Mostly use an IPOD Classic 6 80 mb and IPAD as source for music, XM/Sirius, and Internet radio. Didn't want/need a tuner or remote so it looked like the Lepai filled the bill. It sure did. Drives the Bose speakers effortlessly at 1/2 volume. A few comments on reviews a read while researching this product. 1) My amp had the "CE" certification. 2) Came with a 13.5 volt/3.0 amp power converter. 3) No RCA/mini cord with my amp. 3) Amp is quite light in weight so I attached it to wood block for stability. 4) Blue light on front panel is quite bright, but this is not an issue for me since I use it in a lit basement. 5) I prefer the sound in "direct" mode, bypassing the bass/treble control. Great value for the price.
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on June 5, 2015
I purchased this as a test for possible use in the future. When it first arrived, there was no power supply. I contacted the seller and they were apologetic and quickly sent one, which arrived a week later.
I have left it powered on for about a week now, occasionally playing music and sound effects through it, and the sound is pretty good. No qualms there. I don't know if there is a problem with the volume potentiometer or what, but when I am adjusting the volume right channel cuts out regularly. If I press the knob in I can get it to stop cutting out. This could be a deal breaker for future purchases for me, as I was hoping to use them for audio installations that are up for multiple months. I will update after a month to see if it has any other problems.
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on October 8, 2016
I bought another after two years. I drive two small 15A speakers for an outdoor hot tub area. I have it mounted above the ceiling tiles on an outside wall inside my house and plugged into an outlet that I installed for this purpose. I leave the amp on always, yes, for two years. I have a bluetooth receiver set up and always on as well plugged into the MP3 or audio input. After two years, one of the speaker channels failed. I just bought the newer version. Why even though it failed? Because this unit was on all the time and for the $25 purchase price it did well. Will I set this new one to only come on when I use it via a wall switch? Yes. Lesson learned.
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on November 22, 2015
I've used a number of these as "utility" amps with great success. They're small, beautifully packaged, and work perfectly. The controls have a nice, solid feel - smooth acting pots, nicely finished knobs, a good feel to the power switch. Silly little things, I know- but if you've ever used some of the other cheap amps on the market (Radio Shack?), these just feel right and work perfectly. I haven't tried to measure specs, but that would be like examining what goes into sausage. Better to just say this works exactly as it should, and as we'd hope.
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on January 1, 2016
Similar to some other reviewers, I ordered a Lepai LP-2020A+ and was shipped a Lepy LP-2020A instead. The box for the Lepy says that Lepy is the Chinese trademark for Lepai, but that's not actually true. The Lepy is in fact a knock-off of the Lepai amp. While it works, it only produces about half the power that the Lepai amp does (it uses a different amp chip). From what I've been able to learn on-line, the Lepy chip produces a theoretical maximum of 10 watts per channel into 8 ohms at 10% THD, or about 7 watts per channel at a more reasonable 0.1% THD. This assumes that the supporting components are adequate to drive the amp chip to its full potential. I don't have testing equipment, and therefore can't verify that that's the case for this amp.

I have been using the Lepy amp for a couple of months, and it has worked ok driving a set of small 8 ohm speakers. A few watts per channel is often adequate for moderate listening levels using reasonably sensitive speakers.

I also have a real Lepai LP-2020A+, bought directly from Parts Express, and will say that the real thing works very well and is an incredible value. I suggest that if you order the Lepai from Amazon and get a Lepy instead, you should immediately return it. Not that it doesn't work, but it's not what you paid for.
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on August 5, 2017
I purchased this little fellow in September 2015. I installed it out of doors to run outdoor speakers. While not directly exposed to rain or sun, it is definitely exposed to humidity, temperature fluctuations from +100F to 0F. It is also exposed to insects and spiders. Lots of spiders.

Based upon suggestions in other reviews, I did immediately upgrade the power supply to a larger form-factor laptop power supply.

I leave the amp running 24-7. Since it draws very little power, I concluded that running the amp would help avoid wild temperature fluctuations; I also thought that a little bit of heat would also drive out humidity and reduce internal corrosion. Oh BTW I also treated all connections with Corrosion-X to prevent oxidation (rust).

So far the little amp has survived two winters and 1-1/2 summers. It has held up extremely well. Plenty of power for what is asked of it. (Secondhand garage sale speakers). I am quite pleased with this purchase.

I have enclosed a photo showing how I set it up in the field. This is after I dusted off the nasty cobwebs.
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on September 12, 2013
In March 2012, I ordered one of these amps so that I could build some Airplay speakers (I already had the speakers and an Airport Express lying around). It worked out so well, I bought another one (plus a refurb Airport Express) to turn two other speakers into my garage sound system. I was very happy with both amps.

About a year later, the first unit started having issues with the volume control. I would get some static and occasional loud pops. By manipulating the volume control, I could get the noise to stop, but it became obvious it was only a matter of time before the problem got too bad to tolerate.

Last week, I finally decided the time had come to buy a replacement and decided to order another one of these. When it showed up, I immediately noticed that the volume control was bent. It worked and the unit sounded good, but the volume was difficult to adjust. I could probably live with it, but I had concerns about how it got bent. Had it been dropped? Would the reliability be adversely affected? I decided to return it and get another one.

The replacement unit showed up and... no output. It made no sound at all. The blue light came on, but it wouldn't work at all (I used both the included power supply and a leftover one from my original unit). So, this time I returned it and asked for a refund.

These amps sound good when they're working. I'm sure that the majority of these will be reliable enough to be worth the very reasonable cost. However, 3 out of 4 having issues (and two right from the factory) is too much and I cannot recommend these amps.
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on August 9, 2016
If there were more than five stars, I would give it! for the price of this amplifier, I did not expect this power and sound quality.

I've been using this amp for the past 1.5 years every day to drive two 20W 4-ohm Bose drivers. I got to admit the sound quality is incredible, and it never failed me! and i've been using the same power adapter that they supplied.

Also I am amazed at the low noise level. When there is no music playing, I often forget that I left the amp on because its so quite.

Pros:
1. Its not a powerhouse but its a powerful little thing. you'll be surprised how much power it can give (using a good power adapter, or even the one it comes with)
2. Low noise - there's practically no noise all the way up to 90% volume. thats incredible! if you do hear noise, check your input.
3. Blue light - thats a great plus for me because it reminds me to turn it off when i'm done watching TV. since there is no noise, so you can't really hear that the amp is on, so the blue light is a great indicator!

Cons:
1. Adapter can be better - even though I've been using the adapter that it came with for the past year, I believe a more powerful adapter will give a bit more power. but since I don't need more power, it works well!

If you're an average joe like me who likes to enjoy good quality sound for music and movies - this amp is for you!
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