An audio power amplifier is an electronic amplifier that amplifies low-power audio signals (signals composed primarily of frequencies between 20 - 20 000 Hz, the human range of hearing) to a level suitable for driving loudspeakers. It is the final electronic stage in a typical audio playback chain.
The preceding stages in such a chain are low power audio amplifiers which perform tasks like pre-amplification (this is particularly associated with record turntable signals), equalization, tone controls, mixing/effects, or audio sources like record players, CD players, and cassette players. Most audio power amplifiers require these low-level inputs to adhere to line levels.
While the input signal to an audio power amplifier may measure only a few hundred microwatts, its output may be tens or hundreds of watts for a home system or thousands or tens of thousands of watts for a concert sound reinforcement system.