Is Crown REALLY the answer? A Review of the XLS 2502 power amplifier!

Is Crown REALLY the answer? A Review of the XLS 2502 power amplifier!

Underappreciated or Overhyped?

Intro music by: Edgar Hopp – ‘Skyfall’

Adoramas Crown XLS 2502 Product Page:

#Crown #XLS2502 #ZeroFidelity

Amps featured in this review:

Jungson JA-99C (Note: You will need to e-mail China HiFi to get the price of the amp by itself)

XTZ Edge A2-300

Denafrips Hyperion

Speakers used in this evaluation:

Harbeth P3ESR

Dynaudio Evoke 10

Buchardt Audio S400

System Audio SA-Legend 5

Tekton Design Double Impact

Klipsch Cornwall IV

Klipsch RP600M

ELAC Debut Reference DBR62

Debut Reference DBR-62 Bookshelf Speakers

Triangle BRO3

HiFi Bookshelf Speaker – Borea BR03

Triangle Australe EZ


  1. Common Sense on September 4, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    As soon as you said class D I lost all interest in this product. I don’t care what they do class D amplifiers do not give you the power that you need or that I need in my application live band sound. Next

  2. DoovyBro on September 4, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Looks like a rack mounted server.

  3. Mac on September 4, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    He really enjoys “duh depf”?

  4. Michael Warburton on September 4, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Would you go this route or monoblock Outlaw 2200’s?

  5. Northern Dirt on September 4, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    "most accurate" sold

  6. DJ Teknovibe on September 4, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    It is NOT one of the best amps you can buy regardless of the price who ever told you that is one dumb idiot, sorry but they are. QSC’s RMX series sound better around the same price, regardless of price Powersoft, MC2 and Lab Gruppen sound way better. I’ve been in the live sound world for two decades and have used many amps, set many amps up and sound systems up and done many dance music parties myself. The Crown XLS series is Crown’s budget series they’re not bad but they are definitely not even close to being one of the best amplifiers, not even for their price range.

  7. pseudoty on September 4, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    How would this pair with my Yamaha RX-A860 and B&W CM9 S2?

  8. Matthew Taylor on September 4, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    The hi fi. Press will ignore this amp or find something to rubbish it about

  9. Dungy Sphincter on September 4, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    I have couple of the Crown 2502’s. I can max the volume without pushing a signal to the amp… I only hear a slight hiss with my ear almost against the tweeter. Not enough that you could even hear in a dead silent room. I have had vintage audio equipment of pristine status that was on par with the Crowns. My speakers sensitivity are 98db SPL too. I have owned quite a bit of high end gear. The Crown’s can hold their own. For the money, they can’t be beat for power, efficiency and features. Not yet… The Crowns match very well with the Emotiva PT-100 (which has a decent DAC built in, or use of a different good DAC (Aune X8 Magic DAC, JDS Labs EL DAC II, The ES9038Q2M SABRE32 Reference DAC, AK4490 – AK4499 etc.) and also using tubes as a buffer, if you want a fuller bodied richer sound. I would use good quality JBL or Klipsch speakers at least. People can get Audiophile grade gear on the cheap these days!!! What can be had for $5,000 today, would have cost you $50,000 or more 20yrs ago. Think about it…

  10. Brandon Singletary on September 4, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Thoughts on bridging this w/ IOTAVX SA3? instead of the IOTAVX PA3

  11. Igni Aulfsborg on September 4, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    25 minutes, 3-4 amplifiers…no sound demo or comparisons? Missed opportunity. Why just talk about what it sounds like when you have the ability to demonstrate? A comparison would afflict all amplifiers with the same obstacles for the the audience and wind up leveling the field.

  12. Anthony Mak on September 4, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    10:51 “smooth treble”, so does this mean it’ll be a good match for the KEF LS50s, whose metal tweeter can sound harsh with the wrong gear?

  13. Philip Ketchum on September 4, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Adorama is a great place to do business with.

  14. Dan Donna on September 4, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    you can use banana plugs, use screw to pull out a plug in center of the screw terminator

  15. Scott Lowell on September 4, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I put my finger on exactly what the limits of these PWM amps are.
    In measurements, these amps have a HIGH noise floor, that is almost like a dither above 15khz. To some, this may sound like a smooth tube-like treble. And that soft top makes the bass stand out more due to lack of spectral balance.
    Additionally, the FR above 15khz gets sporadic.
    The reason class D and other PWM amps are "Not there yet" is firmly rooted in these issues.
    Questions? Check out these measurements for a basic idea:

  16. SFG on September 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    It may sound high end but it looks like a Pyle.:)

  17. Roy Cspary on September 4, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    well done you get a+ for picking the rolled off treble the digital signal processing is notas good as the power amplifier, I’m wondering if using an external high res dsp and bypassing the inbuilt dsp would result in a giant killer

  18. Bob on September 4, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    I just got a XLS 2502 yesterday, and it sounds GREAT!

  19. Silentt29 on September 4, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    That glue job reminds me of the Verge’s thermal paste application lol

  20. Jeff on September 4, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Check out this video to see how to use banana plugs with these amps. I have the XLS 2002 connected to some KEF LS50s with OFC 10 gauge speaker wire with some right angle banana plugs.

  21. drfunker23 on September 4, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Bought one and after a couple of days of listenning, here are my subjective observations: the fan turns on quite often, the noise floor is considerably higher than within all other class D amps I’ve ever heard. And there is a noise just from the amp itself at all times, even if you unplug all cables. BUT(!): I can’t hear any noise at my listening position. Only if I sit in front of my gear to manually adjust things. But then the noise level is really loud, so loud in fact, that I thought about putting it back into it’s box right away. It’s really strange, because if I move away about 1m, I can’t hear shit! Ok, I am 42 yo and my ears might have suffer a bit from to many concerts. People with more sensitve ears might disagree, but for me it doesnt matter. Because of that I’ll just keep it. Because it has a really, really good sound for the money! But I wouldn’t pay the full price. You can get it considerably cheaper almost any day of the year at around two thirds of the retail price. At least here in Europe.

  22. KJ on September 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Hi thanks for the review, I was looking below and maybe I missed it. But did you list what pre-amps you used?

  23. Brian D. on September 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Certainly doesn’t look like a McIntosh on the inside.

  24. Travis Gulley on September 4, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Crown is owned by Harmon and because of this Crown shares their profit with Harmon crown power amplifiers are top of the line

  25. Rohit Rao on September 4, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Got the amp from Amazon. Thanks for your recommendations. You are accurate on all fronts! You are also right about the background noise that is controllable by keeping the gain at 50%. BTW, my DIs have never sounded the way they do with this amp. More bass and well controlled too. Also, the sound stage is eerily enveloping. Thanks again Sean for spotting these gems.

  26. Henrik Sørensen on September 4, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Class D. Oh NO. No it’s not as good as expensive amps.
    I prefer gryphon.
    I had devialet 440 pro. Also class D. Very very clean sound, Deeeep soundstage. Very high resolution.
    But the most important thing was missing,: it was not engaging, the sound was boring. thin midrange, typical of class D.

  27. Jemdost on September 4, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    How can I have individual volume control remotely of each channel? Preferably under $30

    Thought about splicing up two RCA bass knobs + – input with the sub wire then the other out RCA on the knob directly into the amp….but I don’t understand how to determine if that is suitable for the potentially upwards of 300+ watt RMS draw from each channel

    Will this work and if so any concerns/cons? Or any better options? Would appreciate replies from anyone that would be knowledgeable on best way to accomplish this. Cheers!

  28. thomas ponnan on September 4, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    at 5:06 what you are saying actually..?? only accept bare wire.. can’t understand that, please explain

  29. Jack Conde on September 4, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    So, this or the emotiva a-300?

  30. Micah Rose on September 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    How to make this usable with banana plugs.

  31. JUAN ROCA WITTE on September 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Has anyone tried a bi-amp with this for bass and an AB for mids and highs?
    Could it be a good idea?

  32. russmaleartist on September 4, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I am using a different model: the Crown 1502. With my DBX DriveRack PA2, I am able to make my speakers work with my room and adjust the sound of my speakers to MY TASTE which to me, is ultimately the goal — not to suit an audio expert’s bias, etc. In other words, my money, my time, my choice!

  33. Gus on September 4, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    One thing Sean didn’t mention is that this amp actually goes through AD-DA conversion meaning it digitalizes the signal and uses its built in preamp.

  34. Raymond Ward on September 4, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    I’d say no, because it is so incredibly inexpensive to make a decent sounding Class D amp. Now, if you want real power, spl and dynamic range find an old Micro-Tech or QSC 1500 from back in the 1980s! They weigh about as much as an elephant but if they were taken care of they likely still work!

  35. John Oakes on September 4, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    I am wondering how the Behringer class D reference amplifier A800 stacks up to the Crown XLS 1002 class D power amplifier. The A800 is 220wpc @ 8ohm and 800w @ 8 0hm bridged, which the XLS 1002 is 215wpc @ 8ohm and 700w @ 8ohm bridged. I heard they compare very evenly…but, I have yet to see any reviews comparing the two. I am in hopes you could do a comparison review of the two. TY very much for this review of the Crown XLS 2502. Have a great day!

  36. Aravind Mj on September 4, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    For a moment there, I wasn’t sure if I was watching a wine tasting/review.

  37. Soundfx222 on September 4, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    Hi There, that sound diffuser panel behind the speaker really caught my eye. Whats the material? Wood? Rope?

  38. El Chuy on September 4, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Is this better than the xli 2500?? I need to power two pv215 speakers

  39. IYONA14 GranTurismo GT6,GT SPORT Legendary Racers on September 4, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    As the proud owner of a Crown XLS 1500 and 2500 that’s 4000 true watts into two subs…I much prefer the original look..just gorgeous…the new is trying too hard

  40. mustardymayo on September 4, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to use Speakon Connectors, especially if you plug & unplug all the time.

  41. BigMike SantaCruz on September 4, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    My speakers all use Speakon connectors just like those on the back of this unit. I guess he hasn’t used them before.

  42. Robert Drake on September 4, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Power isn’t everything, what are the distortion figures at any given power level (RMS). Betting it pumps out lots of distortion.

  43. Naveen Bali on September 4, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    My local vendor says that using professional amplifier will ruin my speakers in long run and recommend me to stick me with emotiva. Can anyone guide?

  44. Les Matthews on September 4, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Who has 2 ohm speakers?? (except car audio).

  45. Panzerfaust on September 4, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Is this amp safe to use in preouts for an av receiver?

  46. Sami Debs on September 4, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    It’s $ 599 on Amazon

  47. X Guillaume on September 4, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Regarding noise, believe you didn’t well grounded, try wired it with Pre-AMP, then no more noise at all! it’s a little bite tricky to do grounding since the connector is not a normal one, need some creativity.

  48. Chandan Goswami on September 4, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    How does this work with KEF LS50 and a Schiit Ragnarok as source

  49. F430 Ferrari on September 4, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Looks cheap as hell. It’s like having an ugly ass car that has lots of power.

  50. nyr36 on September 4, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    Why do we need 400 comments about banana plugs. OMFG. Like 3 people can say it and then leave it at that. I want to read comments about opinions

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