Audio Research Reference 160S


The Audio Research 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

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Audio Research Reference 160S

Audio Research Reference 160S

Audio Research is pleased to announce the Reference 160S stereo power amplifier.

A vacuum-tube design, 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.

The Audio Research 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 45kg. and a chassis depth of 21.5“(54.6 cm), two rear handles have been 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 distills 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.

Please note black finish is a special order item.

Specifications Audio Research Reference 160S

Audio Research Reference 160S Specifications


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).


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


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


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


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


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


16 ohms, 8 ohms, 4 ohms.


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


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


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


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)



Audio Research Reference 160S Black

The perfect combination with Audio Research Ref6 SE

Additional information

Weight 46 kg

Black, Silver


Audio Research

Audio Research

The state-of-the-Art in music reproduction

Audio Research is one of the oldest continually operating manufacturers in American audio. The company was founded in 1970 in Minneapolis with one goal in mind: to advance the state-of-the-art in music reproduction. Today, Audio Research remains a performance-oriented company by philosophy and design. New product introductions are driven only by genuine advances in technology and performance — the HIGH DEFINITION that is the hallmark of the company’s products. The company occupies a 48,000 square-foot, technically-advanced production plant and administrative headquarters in Maple Grove, Minnesota, where approximately 50 technical, assembly and support staff guide the product line from concept to finished goods.


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