What is a Pre-Out and What Are its Uses - A Complete Guide

April 18, 2022
What is a Pre-Out and What Are its Uses - A Complete Guide
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Receivers can be complex devices where it can get difficult to track the specs and ports you require. Receivers can be confusing especially the feature of pre out amp. Looking to buy an A/V receiver? Then it is imperative that you understand what a pre-out is and its high-utility features. 

Let’s deep dive into the need of a preamp output

Pre-out stands for preamplification output. 

They are commonly used with a subwoofer and provide aid in adding all kinds of channels to your home theatre. By using preamp output, you can consider serious upgrade options. 

It is a way to take your signal out from your amp before it passes through the power section. Also, it is the primary control unit in a stereo or home theatre system. Preamplifier is a parallel output made available before the signal is amplified to be reproduced by the loudspeaker. 

Pre-out is a volume-controlled, source-selected analogue audio output. It facilitates the signal to pass through and subsequently be amplified by another power source.

It comprises all the signal processing present in the preamp stage, such as channel volume or EQFunctions like source selection, volume control, DSP and other effects are controlled by the receiver, the power amplifier just drives the speakers. 

It connects an external power amplifier in place of the built-in one integrated in the receiver. Pre-outs can be used with subwoofers that have their own internal amplifier.

How to use a preamp output?

  • The first step is to identify if your speakers will be using the receiver’s amp or an external amp. For the external amplifier, look for the corresponding pre-out connection on the receiver
  • It would be a good idea to use an RCA cable and Y-Splitter if there are multiple sub inputs
  • Once your receiver and speaker are plugged in and connected, you are all set to play audio

A pre-out amp has both benefits and drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons: 

 Advantage and Disadvantage

Pros of using pre-out

Cons of using pre-out

Your AV receiver now has to utilise less power when you use pre-outs with an external power source

It can pinch your pocket. If a high-end home theatre system is on your wishlist, then buying a more expensive and powerful A/V receiver becomes necessary
Knowledge of pre-outs is essential for more cutting-edge systems and help overall sonic character of your system will improve manifold There is higher power consumption involved especially as the more advanced system utilises additional power and pre-out connections like your subwoofer will also required to be plugged into an outlet
It boosts the capabilities of your surround sound system. Pre-outs make complex setups like Dolby Atmos possible Cable clutter is unavoidable and lead to a lot of confusion and slight inconsistencies in the sound


It is noteworthy to mention that right in the beginning, when you first buy a receiver, there is not much to be hassled about the pre-outs, but eventually they bring a fair amount of flexibility later.

Hopefully this blog will help you get insights into the subject and for everything else our team of experts are just a click away! We will help you discover the best options and harness their utility effectively.


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