The Good The NAD Electronics D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier is a sleek, compact integrated stereo amplifier that takes up much less room than a typical AV receiver. The D 3020 has an excellent set of features, including built-in Bluetooth with aptX support, two digital audio inputs, and a dedicated subwoofer output. There's also a USB port, so the D 3020 can connect to a computer as a USB DAC. And the sound quality is outstanding, with plenty of power for most living rooms.
The Bad The D 3020 feels expensive compared with cheaper (albeit larger) AV receivers that include a lot more functionality. The included remote is tough to read, especially in a dim room.
The Bottom Line If you're looking to ditch your giant AV receiver for a compact stereo amp, the NAD D 3020 is the one to get.
The best AV receiver alternative
Integrated amplifiers have been around for decades, but they've quietly become a viable alternative to AV receivers, thanks to TVs that nowand more integrated amps that include an optical audio input.
That's the context in which we looked at the NAD D 3020 ($500 street), along with several other integrated amplifiers that include an optical audio input. The D 3020 is the best of the bunch, with terrific sound quality, a solid feature set (including built-in Bluetooth) and a handsome, compact design. The D 3020 also sports a dedicated subwoofer output, making it simple to set up a 2.1-channel speaker system, plus there's a USB port, so you can connect it to a computer for high-resolution audio playback. And unlike the, the D 3020 can be powered on and off from its remote, so it plays nicely with universal remotes.
Cost is the biggest issue with the D 3020. It feels pricey when you compare it with($400 street price), which costs less and offers a lot more functionality, including six HDMI inputs and built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and AirPlay. Ultimately, you're paying for the D 3020's excellent compact design and minimalist simplicity, rather than a big box with a bunch of features you may not ultimately need.