From $2500-$6000 there are many Integrated amps with features from mild to wild. One just has to determine what features, power, etc. they are after.
Audio is subjective! Many will say AVR's, integrated, separates sound the same, etc., etc. One has to have their own experience to know if they hear a difference between components.
I for one found a sound difference between AVR's that I've owned. My previous flagship Onxyo TX-NR5008, TX-NR3008, TX-SR8006, Pioneer Elite SC-05, SC-25, SC-65, and entry Anthem MRX 300 have differences.
Playing 2 channel direct, I noticed a sound different between some of these units. In the end, I liked the entry level Anthem MRX 300 for all around HT and music.. even though the power and features does not match the BIG Onkyo or Pioneer. Nothing about the overall HT and music detail is entry level with this unit. The sound was less colored to me than the Onkyo or Pioneer. It seems to bring out more detail compared to the Onkyo. The Pioneer was the more powerful and forward sounding AVR that I'm sure some love. I plan to move to one of there newer units as some point.
Even further, 2 channel audio on the Anthem is good but not as good as I've heard it with some other 2 channel audio components. So, for me the goal is to have both and I'm currently planning to add either an integrated to my HT setup or an amp / preamp combo with HT bypass to the system.
I've considered something like a Schiit Audio Freya+ preamp mated with a powerful 3 channel Parasound, B&K amp. This way I get to have the same high power across the three front. I've also considered using an integrated. These have caught my attention even though they are different, they all have something to offer:
View attachment 53331
- Parasound NewClassic 200 Integrated (Built with the awesome Pascal class D amps)
- Musical Fidelity M3si, M5si (Or any Musical Fidelity!)
- Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 (RoomPerfect™ room correction )
- Classè sigma 2200i ( direct digital connection between the preamp section and the amplifier)
- Atoll IN200SE (Dual mono design, picture below)
There are tons out there with HT Bypass built in, here's a running updated list:
Audiophile.no has made a list of stereo preamps and integrated amps that have one sort of HT-bypass. This list is updated 26. August 2022 with amplifiers from Denon and Marantz, and will be will be continuously updated. Written by Karl Erik Sylthe, at 15.02.07 Translated to English in june...
Also, there are many integrated that allow HT Bypass use by turning the volume all the way down to achieve unity gain.