Making your first venture into hi-fi or perhaps looking to upgrade a budget system? We've tracked down four of the best stereo amplifiers available for under £500...

The traditional amp has evolved over the last decade to not only cater for traditional sources, but to also meet the demand for wireless streaming and digital connections.

When drawing up your wishlist, bear in mind that more power doesn't necessarily mean better quality. Similarly, more money doesn't always guarantee a better product.

The four stereo amps we've listed below prove that you can get sensational kit for relatively modest prices. So, without further ado...

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Tested at £200 / Best price £199 at Sevenoaks

Our favourite budget amplifier, this is arguably the most entertaining affordable amp around. It boasts agility and a wicked sense of rhythm. 

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Tested at £300 / Best price £229 at Superfi

The Award-winning Marantz might be long in the tooth, but it's still a firm office favourite. One for your list should you be in the market for a budget stereo amplifier.

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Tested at £400 / Best price £399 at Sevenoaks

The NAD is a clever, compact stereo amp with a host of useful features and a punchy, exciting sound.

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Tested at £500

This 2015 What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year is a lively performer with expressive dynamics and a surefooted sense of rhythm. Build quality is impressive too. 

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