Amplifier Review

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

A dinky power amplifier with a big heart, Paul Rigby reviews the Edge A2-300

Power amplifiers, in general sonic terms, are good things. They reduce electrical noise cross contamination between the pre-amp section and the power amp section of an integrated amplifier. 

Firstly, separating the two into separate pre-amp and power amp chassis, you put physical distance between the two to lower or negate that very noise effect. 

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

Secondly, in general terms, the parts quality in a separate power amplifier will be of a higher quality which will, again, raise the sonic stakes (as will the extra space available in the chassis for those improved components). Thirdly, you have more flexibility in terms of positioning on a typical hi-fi rack. Lastly, you’re given greater flexibility in terms of future upgrades because you can upgrade the power amplifier at a different time to a pre-amp and you can pick and choose your next power amp upgrade from a different brand manufacturer to the pre-amp upgrade, finding ‘best quality’ specialists for each. 

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

This power amp is a small unit, when compared to much of the competition out there. Spanning a mere 200 x 58 x 285mm and weighing just 2.3kg, the A2-300 could almost be described as fun size.

Because of the lack of bulk of its aluminium and steel chassis, it allows easy conversion to a monoblock because, if you flip a rear ‘stereo/mono’ switch to mono you can link two A2-300 boxes together to act as a stereo monoblocks. 

XTZ also provides matching connector and faceplates to blend nicely into a 19” racking system, allowing a single amp to be racked or you can double up, connect two amps together and add racking ‘ears’ to the far left and right.

XTZ go Lego.

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

But back to the plot and the 150W (into 8 Ohms) stuffed into this compact cutey. The Edge is based upon ICEpower Class-D technology, which will be familiar to some. I’ve reviewed ICE amps before and found them…pretty good. Different. Interesting. 

The front of the Edge is the usual holding area for the brand name and logo plus power light. The business occurs at the rear. Apart from the meaty speaker connectors, the RCA inputs, power socket and rocker power switch, there is a gain knob. Small yet useful, it can be used to maximise the power to prevent speaker damage, balance the volume during bi-amping or, on a more day to day, practical level use the gain for other sources such as a smartphone or media player.

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

There’s also a Signal Sense switch that either keeps the Edge ‘always on’ or it will shut the amp down into standby if no signal is pushed through it for a (seemingly) arbitrary eight minutes. Not seven. Not even 53. But eight. 

And it sounds like?


I began with vinyl and the country ballad, You’re Free to Go via Emmylou Harris from the album, Thirteen. 

The A2-300 tackles sound in a particular way. It always seems super excited to be playing music and tracks the same in very enthusiastic kinda way. Music is lifted and projected towards you in a “Oh, you gotta hear this, let me show you…” sort of way. So Harris’ voice is raised a touch. She elevates herself from her backing instruments so that you can hear more of her when she delivers. 

What the A2-300 did here was quite special. It created, around Harris, an intimate space. Her inflections were detailed and accurate, yes, but the A2-300 seemed to go one step further. Harris seemed to open up. For one thing, I could hear her taking breaths in between lines – quite a rarity, even with very expensive amplifiers. More, her voice seemed to almost shudder with emotion. I felt the urge to run to my turntable with a hanky.

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

The low noise presentation of the amplifier aided the epic nature of the piano, giving it a truly grand persona, while the strumming guitars retained that essential ‘ting’ sound of the metallic strings. This last bit is important because the metal strings featured their own reverb tails, adding realism and texture to the entire song. Meanwhile, drums were solid and the mandolin solo during the middle eight was on the money in terms of transients. 

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

Was I happy so far? Oh yes. I reached for Queen on CD and the dynamic track, Dead on Time from the album, Jazz.

Firstly, I was interested, in dynamic terms, how the A2-300 coped with the slightly strident nature of the mastering. Such was the dynamic room from this amplifier, that aspect of the sound was never really and issue, which will lower listening fatigue for those albums suffering from a bright demeanour. 

Edge A2-300 Power Amplifier From XTZ

I was also intrigued how the A2-300 balanced the energy of the music, the power of the drums and the firm confidant nature of the bass and the raucous nature of the guitars, with the delicacy of the cymbal hits and vocal nuances. All were handled with some aplomb and without any apparent effort of strain. 

The sense of instrumental separation meant that each instrument was given enough room to perform properly without being masked by its neighbour. This added to the layering effect of the music, increasing the richness and depth of the delivery of the song itself.


The Edge A2-300 screams value for money. Really, it should be twice, maybe three times (more?) of the current asking price. You’re getting a lot for your cash with this one. And, although I was unable to test it here, the upgrade possibilities on turning this power amp in a pair of mono blocks are mouth watering indeed. 

Bathed in clarity with impressive transparency to boot, the XTZ A2-300 is a little gem of a power amplifier.


Price: £440

Tel: 01642 232188


GOOD: clarity, firm bass, transparent soundstage, intimate midrange

BAD: nothing



[Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Group, The Audiophile Man: Hi-Fi & Music here: for exclusive postings, exclusive editorial and more!]


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All vinyl was cleaned using an Audio Desk’s Ultrasonic Pro Vinyl Cleaner 

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  • Reply
    Phil Masters
    21st December 2018 at 7:25 am

    Hi Paul
    How good is this? It is always very difficult to understand what HiFi delivers at what price point. Ie does a £440 amp getting 9/10 better than a £1500 amp receiving 7/10? I am looking for a temp amp to pair with a musical fidelity m8 pre and focal 1028. Would this be asking too much?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      21st December 2018 at 9:37 am

      How good? You need to read the review. It’s all there. I tend to rate based on a variety of variables, most are discussed in the review itself. One of those is the price. Don’t expect a £440 amp to sound as good as a £1,500 amp. That’s the first point. For an elaboration as to why that amp received a ‘7’, again you need to read the review. If, after reading that lot, you’re still confused, then give me a shout 🙂 In broad terms, though, the Edge is worthy for your needs in terms of the speakers, I would suggest.

  • Reply
    Peter Chalkley
    11th January 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Paul

    Just purchased this amp to replace an elderly Linn LK75 power amp whilst do a great job with a pair of PMC FB1s but Edged out. Four hundred quid has shown me how much has changed, I thought what timing was about till the EDGE A2-300 came along. I have now received the Gold Note PH10 and the two are making music. The Columbia and DECCA curves have made dramatic difference with older pressings. Thanks Paul.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      12th January 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Glad I could be of help, Peter 🙂

  • Reply
    Graeme Durie
    18th April 2019 at 2:42 pm

    I purchased this amp for my TV setup, its very good for the money. no triggering required due to signal sensing. The only thing I would say is that they should consider a model with balanced inputs, this amp deserves that level of connectivity. I’ve only been running mine for a few hours but I can already tell how good this amp will be burned in. The value for money in the is amp is unbelievable, I think its fair to say you get more than you pay for. Very pleasantly surprised. A pair of these in monaural mode would be very interesting indeed. I may just have to try that some day.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      18th April 2019 at 2:53 pm

      That’s a good point re the balanced inputs Graeme. Yes, I think the mono block approach would be well worth a try 🙂

      • Reply
        11th August 2019 at 12:27 am

        Be careful with what to expect here, though. Like pretty much all class D amps, these cannot be “mono blocked” or “bridged” the same way as class A/B amps. Even with the switch set to mono, there is no change in maximum voltage or current output, hence max. power is the same.

        The only thing the mono switch does is to sum up the L and R input signal. In particular, if one input is left open, both pairs of speaker sockets will put out what has been delivered to the one connected input.

        This is purely a convenience feature for bi-amping use, since there is no need for an input signal splitter. It’s a cool feature, but don’t be fooled into thinking that two of these could deliver twice the power. into one single speaker terminal.

  • Reply
    Ulrich Hirner
    17th August 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Regaring using them as mono blocks. It is correct, that output cannot by added like with traditional A/B amps, but either you use them for BI-Amping, then you would have the full power output, but even using them as “Mono” blocks will give you a higher power output. According to a XTZ technician, the power output is limited by the power supply in the amp and if you run only one channel, the max output increases to 450 W at 4 Ohms.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      19th August 2019 at 10:46 am

      Thanks for the info Ulrich.

  • Reply
    18th September 2019 at 11:01 am

    Hi Paul, I listen mainly to LPs with Technics SL1200GR, audiolab 6000a and MA Silver 200 (but also play CDs with the 6000cdt). I sometimes turn up the volume till -15, and therefore wonder if I need more power (speaker specs does recommend 60-150W amp…). One option is to switch to a stronger integrated – the new Cambridge cxa81 seems to be a great option (will need a decent phono stage also), the other is to add the xtz edge and use the 6000a in preamp mode. The latter option will probably start the path to separates. I appreciate your thoughts: maybe -15 volume level is actually typical/ok? cxa81 vs xtz-edge if I choose to upgrade? (I hold a conception that class A/B amp may be better than class D for home stereo listening). Love your writings 🙂

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      18th September 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Remi – thanks for your kind words. If you’re looking at a pre/power combo because of power requirements then I would strongly recommend going for a dedicated pre-amp now and not using the Audiolab for this purpose. A dedicated pre-amp will offer lower noise and higher sound quality. You can spend a lot on an audiophile-level integrated to find lots of power but an Edge with a pre-amp will provide high power at a *relatively* low cost. Depends on the budget, of course.

      • Reply
        19th September 2019 at 9:10 am

        Thx Paul. In case anyone can recommend on a pre-amp to go with the Edge I would love to hear. (Knowing what should be the reasonable budget range for such will also help).

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          19th September 2019 at 12:21 pm

          Hi Remi – actually, it depends on the cash you can supply. So, if you can provide a figure, I can offer some advice.

          • Remi
            19th September 2019 at 2:43 pm

            I am thinking up to 500 EUR (but can starch a bit if for a good reason or if decent pre-amps that match the level of the Edge simply cost more). thx!

          • Paul Rigby
            19th September 2019 at 3:34 pm

            Hi Remi – check out this example:

  • Reply
    19th September 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Thx Paul for being kind and helpful. Pls allow me a final question: in case I want to go cheaper and smaller, would it be wrong to prefer the Saga + (or S) over the Freya S to go with the Edge?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      20th September 2019 at 11:52 am

      That should be fine, Remi. Make sure you do extra research, though. Check the specs, the facilities you will require and ask about a home demo to see if you can test the box in your proposed hifi chain.

  • Reply
    27th September 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Hi Paul, can this class D power amp work well with a passive preamp or maybe as such it does need some additional colour? any suggestion for passive or active is welcome. I am thinking about spending the same as the Edge for a preamp, either passive or active.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      29th September 2019 at 7:49 pm

      Hi Yaniv – I make sure the I isolate the sound of anything I review and report on that in the review. As for pre-amps at that price? Hmmm, I would look at products from Schiit.

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