What is a pre-out on an AV Receiver – Complete Details

You would have often heard about the term pre-out on an AV Receiver while researching or buying an AV Receiver. Today in this article we will cover what is a pre-out, when you need a pre-out and what are the different kinds of pre-outs.

what is a pre-out on an AV Receiver

What is a pre-out on an AV Receiver

A pre-out on an AV Receiver is a port for signal pass through without the internal or built-in amplifier. AV Receivers these days are receivers and amplifiers built into a single device. But a pre-out port on an AV Receiver is a port that allows only signal to pass through without internal amplification, instead requiring an external power amplifier to amplify the signal.

When you need a pre-out

A pre-out functionality on your AV receiver adds much-needed flexibility to your setup.

If you have any kind of active speakers, you don’t want an amplified port for that. In this case, a pre-out port is your best bet, as you don’t want an amplified signal for the speaker which has its inbuilt amplifier.

Also if you want more powerful amplifiers than built-in amplifiers in your AV Receiver or you need to add extra channels to your home theater setup, you will be requiring pre-out functionality in your AV Receiver.

Also if you want to add zone 2 or zone 3 speakers in another room of your house, this can be achieved with a single AV Receiver with the help of pre-out functionality on the AV Receiver.

What is a subwoofer pre-out?

Most of the subwoofers these days are active subwoofers, meaning they have their built-in amplifier present in them. Hence they don’t require an amplified signal to power them.

A subwoofer pre-out lets you connect an active subwoofer to an external source without the AV Receiver powering or amplifying the signal. Most good AV Receivers have two or more subwoofer pre-outs.

What is a pre-out vs line out

The main difference between a pre-out and a line out is, that a pre-out is a variable signal which is meant to be connected to an external power amplifier while a line out is a fixed voltage signal.

A pre-out functionality is used when you require volume control as most external amplifiers have fixed gain.

Line-out functionality on the other hand is unaffected by the volume control as it comes before the volume control.

A pre-out is used when you want to use a signal for an external amplifier with no volume knob on it. While a line out is used when you want to feed a signal to an amplifier with a volume knob on it.

Can I use pre-out and speaker terminals at the same time

Yes, you can use your receiver pre-outs to get power from an external amp and speaker terminals to get power from built-in amplifiers, at the same time.

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