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SpeakerCraft Vital 850

8-channel multi-room power amplifier

1 Review | 3 questions - 12 answers

Item # 866VTL850

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Our take on the SpeakerCraft Vital 850

SpeakerCraft's Vital 850 eight-channel amplifier offers versatile setup flexibility and plenty of clean, high-quality power when and where you need it, for top-notch sound. You can customize this powerful 8-channel amp to best suit your specific multi-room applications. Enjoy clear stereo sound in four rooms, or combine two channels into one to give your speakers more juice — a great option for power-hungry outdoor speakers. Use a single channel of power for mono sound in smaller listening areas, like a walk-in closet or bathroom.

Install-friendly amplifier puts power where you need it

SpeakerCraft's Vital 850 eight-channel amplifier offers versatile setup flexibility and plenty of clean, high-quality power when and where you need it, for top-notch sound. You can customize this powerful 8-channel amp to best suit your specific multi-room applications. Enjoy clear stereo sound in four rooms, or combine two channels into one to give your speakers more juice — a great option for power-hungry outdoor speakers. Use a single channel of power for mono sound in smaller listening areas, like a walk-in closet or bathroom.

More flexible options for enjoying music throughout your home

The Vital 850 can distribute music from one audio source, such as a networked music streamer, to multiple rooms in your home. Or you can connect additional sources directly to the individual amplifier channels and assign each one to a single listening room. Each channel features its own separate level control so you can easily adjust the volume to fine-tune the sound of your system.

Overall a solid amp. I especially like the flexibility to set up specific line inputs for each channel. Also like the bridging feature.

Hugh, North Carolina

What's in the Box:

  • 8-Channel amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 2 Rack-mount brackets
  • Owner's Manual

Product Highlights:

  • 8-channel amplifier
  • power output:
    • 50 watts RMS per channel into 8 ohms (two channels driven, remaining channels driven at 1/8 of rated power)
    • 75 watts RMS per channel into 4 ohms (two channels driven)
    • each pair of adjacent channels are bridgeable for 170 watts RMS x 4 into 8 Ohms (two channels driven)
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (±0.7 dB at 8 ohms, ±1.5 dB at 4 ohms)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 102 dB
  • total harmonic distortion: 0.40% (20-20,000 Hz, 8 ohms), 0.50% (at 1kHz, 4 ohms)
  • individual gold-plated RCA audio inputs for all 8 channels
  • stereo RCA main bus and auxiliary inputs for connecting audio sources
  • stereo RCA main bus and auxiliary outputs for "daisy-chaining" additional amplifiers without the need for "Y" adapters or signal splitters
  • source selection switch for each channel allows you to select between the common bus or auxiliary inputs, or the individual channel input
  • individual selector switches allow three audio playback options for each channel: left, right, or left plus right (mono)
  • independent level controls for all 8 channels
  • three turn-on modes: audio signal sensing, voltage trigger, and manual
  • 5-way binding post speaker connectors
  • independent protection circuits for each channel
  • detachable AC power cord
  • rack mountable (brackets included)
  • 17-1/8"W x 5-7/8"H x 17-5/16"D
  • weight: 43 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

SpeakerCraft Vital 850 Reviews

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Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The SpeakerCraft Vital 850 amplifier delivers the power and fidelity needed to distribute music throughout your home. This amplifier includes the necessary features needed for flexible, reliable custom installation. Sophisticated design and superior internal components, result in outstanding sound quality, performance, and long term reliability.

50W x 8Ch Amp: The SpeakerCraft Vital 850 amplifier is rated at 50 watts x 8 channels (in 8 at 20-20kHz with 2-channels driven and 0.40% THD), or 75 watts x 8 channels (in 4 at 1kHz with 2-channels driven and 0.50% THD).

Bridgeable: The power output of adjacent amplifier channels can be combined to provide extra power when needed in certain locations & applications. This is easily accomplished by flipping a single switch on the amplifier's rear-panel. Bridged power rating of the amplifier is 170 watts x 4 channels (in 8 at 1kHz with 2-channels driven and 0.50% THD)

Binding Posts: The SpeakerCraft Vital 850 amplifier is fitted with gold-plated, binding posts for each channel. The binding-post terminals will accept bare-wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and banana plugs (dual or single).

Flexible Input Selection: Each of the amplifier channels can be assigned a variety of source inputs; a dedicated input can be assigned to each channel or each channel can be configured to play common signals from the Bus or Auxiliary inputs. This provides the flexibility needed in sophisticated custom audio installation.

  • Bus Input: The Main bus input (stereo RCA) allows outputs from receivers, CD players, TVs or an stereo audio sources to be amplified across all channels of the amplifier for easy multi-room applications.
  • Aux Input: The Auxiliary input (stereo RCA) allows an additional audio source to be played on any channels that are switched to AUX.
  • Dedicated Channel Inputs: Individual channels inputs (mono RCA) allow you to connect different audio sources to each channel of the amplifier.
Note: When either a Bus or Aux input is selected, there is a switch on the rear-panel used to direct the channel to play the left signal, the right signal, or a combined right and left signal from that amplifier channel.

Bus & Aux Outputs: The Bus output (stereo RCA) allows the Bus input of the amplifier to be sent to another amplifier in your system. The Auxiliary output (stereo RCA) allows you to daisy-chain the amplifier's input to other amplifiers in your system.

Channel Level Adjustment: Each channel has its own level adjustment. This allows the loudness of each speaker to be perfectly matched to its location and application and balance your system's sound.

Protection Circuitry: Each channel of the amplifier is individually protected. If the advanced circuitry determines that a channel must be shut down for protection (a rare occurrence) only the channel affected will be turned off, while the other channels continue to play. Once conditions return to normal, the affected channel will be turned back on and operate as normal.

Note: When the Protection LEDs (Red) on front of the amplifier are lit, it is indicating either a fault in the wiring, the speaker, or the amplifiers of that particular channel.

Power Modes: There are three ways to turn the amplifier on; Constant, Trigger, or Audio Sense. This allows the amplifier to operate seamlessly as part of a sophisticated custom installation. The 3-way power mode switch is located on the amplifier's rear-panel.

  • Constant: Select Constant mode when you wish to manually turn the amplifier on and off by using the front mounted power button.
  • Trigger: Use Trigger mode if you prefer the amplifier turn on when it receives voltage (3-30V) from an external source and turn off once that voltage has stopped. The voltage source must be connected to the trigger input jack (3.5mm) on back of the amplifier.
  • Audio Sense: Audio Sense mode turns on the amplifier when the amp's main input receives an audio signal. Once the signal stops, the amplifier waits 3 minutes and then turns itself off.

Trigger Output: A separate output trigger (2.5mm) allows the amplifier to activate other components via a 12-volt trigger.

Rack Mountable: The amplifier includes a set of rack ears for rack mounting applications.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Seemed like a good comparison buy... [ jasper  Dec 07, 2015 ]

3 questions already asked

Sorry you're having trouble. I would recommend contacting our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Otherwise we can set up a return or exchange if needed. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. [ Kenny  Mar 05, 2016 ]  Staff
Thanks for your question. Yes it has a 2 year parts and labor warranty from the manufacturer. You'll find this information on the product page on the details tab under Features and Specs. Hope that helps. [ Kenny  Mar 05, 2016 ]  Staff
This is a fantastic unit, I LOVE it! There is no remote with the unit, Keep in mind that you will need a pre-amp to run things with the unit, there is were you can have a remote doing the work. - Chris [ CHRIS  Aug 22, 2015 ]
The SpeakerCraft 850 does not come with a remote. All of the settings can be setup on the back of the unit (volume, source, bridging, etc) so there is really nothing to control. Additionally, you can set up the power to turn on/off automatically when the unit receives either a voltage trigger or an audio signal. Admittedly it would be nice to have a remote to adjust the volume but I installed individual speaker volume controls to resolve this. Overall the SpeakerCraft 850 has good volume - especially in the bridged mode - which I use exclusively. [ Hugh  Aug 21, 2015 ]
This unit does not come with a remote, although it has some options for turning on, methods to have other devices power this unit up. If you need a power amp for driving multiple speakers this unit works well. [ SEAN M  Aug 21, 2015 ]
Yes it does but we use a universal remote for all the components. [ THOMAS  Aug 21, 2015 ]
i should have added that the receiver and its remote control the amp quite well. [ Joseph  Aug 21, 2015 ]
No, it's an amp to power more than just one zone. A pre amp comes with a remote to switch from main zone to zone 2. [ KIMBERLY  Aug 21, 2015 ]
No. [ Joseph  Aug 21, 2015 ]
No remote. It is more of a distribution amp than a receiver or integrated type of amplifier. You will want something that has volume control and a remote to feed into this unit. I use Bluesound equipment to drive it and find it is a nice combination. [ John  Aug 21, 2015 ]
Yes. I use Speakercraft volume controls with the Vital and it works well. [ John  Aug 21, 2015 ]
Yes. [ Ingrid  May 05, 2015 ]