Dayton Audio Hybrid Tube Amplifier Review 2021

With a unique feature set and combinatorial artistry of modern technologies, the Dayton Audio hybrid tube amplifier has taken the market by storm since its launching. 

It’s as efficient and powerful as an AB amplifier and as warm as a vacuum tube preamp. The top-tier blend results in natural, articulate sounds that only refined ears are worthy of.

If you’re thinking of buying the amplifier, here’s a full review of its features, specifications, and pros and cons.

Construction and Outputs

The Dayton amplifier’s construction is something to speak of. For starters, its chassis is made of brushed anodized aluminum, which is highly durable and resistant to impact. There’s also an ABS plastic cover with a power transformer sitting underneath. 

However, the first thing that’ll catch your eyes is probably the two 6F1 Pentode vacuum tubes sitting on top of the chassis. They’re surrounded by acrylic finger guards for protection, and they have control knobs sitting right in front of them.

There’s also a 2.4 GHz antenna coming from the backside of the amplifier that’s responsible for Bluetooth 4.2 single reception.

The amplifier’s base is made of slip-resistant steel, and it has ventilation slots to provide enough cooling to prevent overheating.

Moreover, the amplifier has a non-detachable cord for powering, with a standard power of 120V, 60Hz.

The HTA20BT features a rocker power switch positioned on the back panel for easy access. As for the top panel, it sports two equally sized knobs—one for input selection and the other for gain control. They’re both made of plastic.

Moving on to the outputs, the amplifier has a USB 2.0 port for onboard media players. You can also use it to access MP3, WMA, WAV, and APE files. You’ll find small buttons for Audio Video Remote Control Profile Control (AVRCP).

Besides the USB port, you’ll find two analog inputs via RCA connectors, in addition to an external antenna for good wireless performance.

Dayton Audio HTA20BT Hybrid Stereo Tube Amplifier with Bluetooth 4.2 USB Aux in Headphone Sub Out
  • Tube warmth, class D efficiency
  • Bluetooth 4.2, Aux, and USB inputs
  • Subwoofer output for adding an active subwoofer
  • High quality headphone amplifier built in
  • Extremely low THD <0.1% @ rated power

Hybrid Power

It’s hard to match the power of the Dayton HTA20BT amplifier. It combines Modern-day Bluetooth technology, Thermionic valve technology of the vacuum tubes, and Class-D amplification. 

The hybrid amplifier has built-in Bluetooth streaming, thanks to the antenna protruding out of its backside. Imagine a pentode vacuum tube preamplifier built around a Class-D amplifier section, and you get the Dayton HTA20BT. It can also serve as a vacuum tube amplifier for headphones; hence, the ‘hybrid’ label.

The amplifier’s vacuum tubes have a blue LED backlight that goes well with the amber glow. 

Buy It Now At Amazon.com

Specifications

  • Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Power: 12 watts RMS per channel
  • Inputs: Bluetooth 4.2, AUX, and USB
  • Subwoofer output
  • Minimum speaker impedance: 4 ohms
  • Frequency response: 20–20,000 Hz
  • Dynamic range: >80 dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: >80 dB
  • Channel separation: 65 dB
  • Preamplifier tubes: 6F1
  • Input sensitivity: 300 mV
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 9.3 x 6.18 inches
  • 5-year warranty

Pros

The hybrid Dayton amplifier has a lot of pros we’re about to list, but the most prominent one is probably the value for money. Seeing its affordable price, you wouldn’t expect much, but it exceeds almost everyone’s expectations.

For starters, the amplifier’s finish is sleek and highly durable, like that of high-end devices. On top of that, its knobs and buttons feel great, thanks to the subtle textures that top them off. You’ll also love the LED blue backlight that glows against the amber light of the tubes. It doesn’t add to the amplifier’s functionality, but it’ll look good on your desk.

Looks aside, the amplifier has a subwoofer output in case you have an old subwoofer that you want to use. Most similar amplifiers only support stereos. In addition to that, it gives warm, rich sounds that are hard to achieve in this price range.

In terms of power, the amplifier is decent enough to power any pair of speakers you have and still produce great output.

Lastly, the amplifier comes with a setup manual that’s pretty helpful for beginners. You can also refer to it any time you face an issue.

Cons

Although the Dayton HTA20BT amplifier is close to perfection, no product is ever empty of cons. In this case, users mostly had things to say about the distorted sound. When the amplifier receives music at low sound levels, it may distort the sounds.

However, the issue doesn’t always happen, and some users reported it only occurs when connecting one speaker. If you connect two speakers, you shouldn’t have any problems. 

Moreover, when the sound is in the treble range, it may become too bright and defined for your liking.

Aside from the sound issues, the amplifier has no tone controls, which could’ve been pretty useful for attenuating the treble and avoiding the bright sound. That being said, the affordable price typically comes with a couple of downsides. For the impressive sound quality, we can neglect the tone controls issue.

Not to mention, if it causes a problem for you, you can always get a tube preamp that has tone controls.

Dayton Audio HTA20BT Hybrid Stereo Tube Amplifier with Bluetooth 4.2 USB Aux in Headphone Sub Out
  • Tube warmth, class D efficiency
  • Bluetooth 4.2, Aux, and USB inputs
  • Subwoofer output for adding an active subwoofer
  • High quality headphone amplifier built in
  • Extremely low THD <0.1% @ rated power

What Customer Reviews Say

Seeing the Dayton HTA20BT Hybrid amplifier’s reviews on Amazon, you’d understand why people love it. Out of 68 reviews, there are 67% 5-star ratings and 5% 1-star ratings, which says a lot about its quality.

Users mainly had good things to say about the amplifier’s construction. They love the aluminum chassis and the ABS housing. Additionally, one of their favorite features was the blue LED light on the vacuum tubes.

Some users praised the ease of use that makes the amplifier suitable for beginners.

However, what all users seemed to agree on was the excellent value for money the amp offers. For that affordable price, they didn’t expect high sound or build quality.

As for the negative reviews, they mainly revolved around the lack of tone controls, which shouldn’t be much of a problem if you own a tube preamp.

Conclusion

The Dayton Audio Hybrid tube amplifier is worth every dollar you pay for it. It’s more affordable than most competitors, yet it still produces great sound and offers an exceptional feature set. Seeing what users had to say about it, I doubt you’d regret getting it.

Buy It Now At Amazon.com