Audio Research Reference 160S Silver
Audio Research Reference 160S Silver
Audio Research Reference 160S Silver
Audio Research Reference 160S Silver
Audio Research Reference 160S Black
Audio Research

Reference 160S Stereo Amplifier

The Audio Research Reference 160S stereo power amplifier is A vacuum-tube design and it follows in the footsteps of the internationally-acclaimed 160M monaural power amplifier, introduced in 2018, which has won multiple amplifier-of the-year honours from publications such as Stereophile, Hi-Fi+, and others.

3 Years


The Reference 160S (REF160S) carries-over the stunning look of the 160M, with dual GhostMeters™ that float in front of the eight KT150 output power tubes.

The 160S continues the feature set introduced in the 160M, including a proprietary auto-bias circuit, switchable Triode or Ultralinear modes of operation, balanced and single-ended inputs, and an output tube monitoring mode. The 160S also uses a four-layer circuit board, allowing music to emanate from a jet-black background.

With a weight of 100 lbs. and a chassis depth of 54.6 cm, two rear handles were added to make it easier to lift and move. Larger 120mm, low profile fans are built into the bottom cover plate horizontally to provide ventilation.

The REF160S distils the astonishing resolution, dynamic impact, musical purity and finesse of the 160M into one beautiful and attainable chassis. It was designed for the music lover in all of us.

Power Output

140 watts continuous from 20Hz to 20kHz. 1kHz total harmonic distortion typically 1% at 140 watts, below 0.04% at 1 watt. (Note that actual power output is dependent upon both line voltage and “condition” i.e.: if power line has high distortion, maximum power will be affected adversely, although from a listening standpoint this is not critical).

Power Bandwidth

(-3dB Points) 5Hz to 70kHz.

Frequency Response

(-3dB points at 1 watt) 0.5Hz to 110kHz.

Input Sensitivity

2.4V RMS Balanced for rated output. (25.5 dB gain into 8 ohms).

Input Impedance

300k ohms Balanced; 100k ohms Single-ended.

Output Polarity

Non-inverting. Balanced input pin 2+ (IEC-268).

Output Taps

16 ohms, 8 ohms, 4 ohms.

Output Regulation

Approximately 0.6dB 16 OHM LOAD TO OPEN CIRCUIT (Damping factor approximately 14).

Overall Negative Feedback

14dB SLEW RATE: 13 volts/microsecond RISE TIME: 2.0 microseconds.

Power Requirements

105-130VAC 60Hz (210-250VAC 50Hz) 875 watts at rated output, 700 watts in Triode mode, 500 watts at “idle”, 3.6 watts off

Tubes Required

4 matched pair KT150 (Power output V1-4); 4 6H30 (Gain stage V5 and V6).


Width  19.0” (48.26 cm)

Height 10.25” (26 cm)

Depth  21.5” (54,61 cm)

With Handles and Connectors: 24” (60.96 cm)