Anthem Integrated 225 Review

Anthem’s entirely solid state Integrated 225 is able to take listeners to that magical place for $1500.
Anthem’s entirely solid state Integrated 225 is able to take listeners to that magical place for $1500.
Anthem’s entirely solid state Integrated 225 is able to take listeners to that magical place for $1500.


  • Pure, accurate and engaging sound
  • Extremely powerful
  • Clean, attractive design
  • Outstanding phono input
  • Balanced XLR inputs


  • Overly sensitive volume control

In our article, “Receivers vs. separates: Solving the audiophile’s dilemma” we discuss the differences between two approaches to home audio and the pros and cons of each. At one point during our not-so-brief historical account of the progression of home audio components we do a fly-by on the integrated amp (you know, that overachieving yet oft overlooked “middle child” of the consumer audio world) then, rather abruptly, move right past it.

We did this because the vast majority of consumers purchasing audio equipment today are smitten with surround sound, and why shouldn’t they be? Today’s home theater experience is very accessible and higher quality than ever before. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. All those bone rattling explosions, whizzing movie effects and multi-channel music mixes are impressive and just plain good times.

Until recently, it seems the integrated amp has remained the darling of a slim segment of an already sparsely populated 2-channel music enthusiast community. But with vinyl records making resurgence, high-end media streamers becoming more affordable and iPod/iPhone owners demanding better sounding gear, the integrated amp has an opportunity to attract a new fan base.

Anthem A/V’s Integrated 225 appears to be just the sort of unpretentious stereo-based solution a new crowd of music fans could get into. It offers a high-quality phono input, a headphone output, a bunch of power, and a sleek, clean design. It costs around $1500 which, compared to some audiophile components, is chump change. But, to those who balk at a $600 iPod speaker dock, $1500 may seem a little far-fetched; especially considering you still need speakers to go with such an amp. Never mind that you can get 7 channels of powerful amplification, built-in media streaming, video upconversion and a whole bunch of other bells and whistles from an A/V receiver at that price.

In our Anthem Integrated 225 review, we take a closer look at this stereo amp’s guts, analyze its performance and discuss whether the Integrated 225 brings enough musical wow factor to the table to convert would-be A/V receiver owners to a purer form of audio religion.

Out of the box

42.6 pounds may not sound like a lot, but when you cram that much weight into a space that measures 5-7/8 x 17-1/4 x 18-inches, it has a way of feeling like a box of bricks. We’ve always contended that, when it comes to class A/B amplifiers (in other words: not digital), the heavier it is, the better it will probably sound. By that logic, the Anthem Integrated 225 should sound like a million bucks. To put this kind of weight in perspective, the 2-channel Integrated 225 weighs 4.4 pounds more than the 7-channel Denon 4311ci A/V receiver which, by the way, is nearly twice the size and houses a lot more circuitry. In short, Anthem puts a generous serving of its money into the Integrated 225 where it counts most: the power supply.


In the box with the Integrated 225 we found a thick, grounded AC cable, a remote control and some batteries.

Features and design

Anthem appears to have stuck close to the K.I.S.S. (Keep it Stupid Simple) principle when it came to designing the Integrated 225. Both the appearance of the front face and component layout inside the case are kept incredibly simple and straightforward.


The front face is made of a thick slab of solid metal. Into it are mounted 11 small silver buttons with LEDs for each, a 3.5mm input jack, 6.35mm headphone jack and four control dials.

The Integrated 225 offers 8 stereo inputs, including balanced XLR, Phono and what is marketed as a “mobile device” input, though it’s labeled as AUX 4 and good for anything that can be connected with a small headphone cable (which is a LOT). Bass, Treble and Balance controls are available, but for purists (yours truly included) a tone defeat switch will take the bass and treble dials out of the loop. A mute button and volume control round out on-board controls.

The Integrated 225’s connection bay on the back couldn’t be better laid out either. Of course, it helps that Anthem didn’t have to try to cram in a truck-load of HDMI, optical, component, composite and surround speaker jacks. There are a few surprises lurking back there, though. We didn’t expect to see 12v triggers or an RS-232 port, either.


Inside, the Integrated 225 is one badass looking power supply accompanied by two very serious looking capacitors. The two combine to help deliver 225 watts of continuous power to each the left and right channels at 8 ohms and a stable 310 watts per channel to 4 ohm speakers.

The Integrated 225’s phono input can handle moving magnet and moving coil cartridges and was specially designed by Anthem to incorporate both passive and active EQ to maximize the vinyl audio reproduction. According to Anthem’s website, active EQ is used with 50 Hz and 500 Hz roll off points, while equalization at the 2122 Hz mark is passive. If our engineering translator is working correctly, that means the phono stage will improve low and low-mid frequency output while leaving the high frequencies alone.

The volume control is something special as well. Not only is it motorized (for use with the provided remote control or via RS-232) it also feels spectacularly solid and smooth as you turn it by hand. Anthem says the analog potentiometer it uses tracks “exceptionally well”.

The only time Anthem seems to have deviated from its aim of simplicity is with the provided remote and that seems to have been motivated by the desire to make the remote as versatile as possible. Here you’ll find cursor controls for satellite boxes and DVD or Blu-ray players. More impressive to us is the fact that the remote is actually backlit! We can think of several A/V receiver models that can’t say the same.


Unlike, say, the Outlaw RR2150 stereo receiver, the Anthem Integrated 225 lacks any digital processing. That means no digital inputs, no bass management and subwoofer output, no streaming media files via USB. That’s part of the beauty of this piece, though. There’s an absolute minimum of components generating noise and surplus heat. Maybe it’s a purist thing, but we like it and, as we’re about to discuss, we think it makes a pretty significant difference.

Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Movies & TV

LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 gets an official release date

LeBron James has brought on Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce his upcoming Space Jam sequel, with Terence Nance attached to direct the film. Space Jam 2 is expected to hit theaters in July 2021.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Home Theater

Apple may be making noise-canceling headphones safer to use on the streets

Over-the-ear headphones are massively popular, but they block a lot of outside sounds, which increases the risk of accidents. A new Apple invention hints at a way to have great sound, and great safety, and it might be coming soon.
Movies & TV

Battle of the movie ticket sites: How to make sense of the fledgling industry

MoviePass may be the industry leader in subscription-based movie ticket sales, but the company's troubles have opened the door for competitors AMC Stubs A-List, Sinemia, and Cinemark Movie Club. Here's how the services compare.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Amazon delivers a sale on Sony wireless noise-canceling headphones

Among the most popular noise-canceling wireless headphone brands are Sony, Beats by Dre, Sennheiser, and Bose, but they can all be expensive. Amazon is discounting Sony's WH-CH700N wireless headphones now. Pick up a great pair of…
Home Theater

Sony slowly rolls out its 2019 lineup of enormous TVs, with pricing to match

Like the slowly retreating glacier that is the winter of 2019, new TV prices are beginning to be uncovered. Sony is the latest company to reveal what we'll have to pay, but so far, only one model has shown up.