The next generation of integrated amplifier from Boulder will begin shipping in all analog form ($12,250), followed shortly by the streaming analog+digital ($14,450) version. The 866 all-analog version offers 200W of maximum output power into an 8-ohm load, and three pairs of full-balanced inputs, with a new protection scheme that allows for greater current output and peak power delivery. Featuring customizable display and input indicators with user uploadable photos for each input, the all-analog version of the 866 allows factory direct software updates by Ethernet or USB memory device. All input selections, setup, and control is made via a 7.0” (18 cm) full-color touch screen or the dedicated app.
Features of the analog+digital version include three pairs of balanced analog inputs as well as Toslink, S/PDIF, Ethernet, USB, and AirPlay digital input capability. Apart from the Boulder app for Apple and Android mobile devices, the analog+digital version of the 866 offers Roon endpoint integration, and Apple AirPlay wireless streaming capability, with subscription music services accessible through Roon or their own native app via AirPlay. The built-in server software support connection to media storage devices over USB or Ethernet, with UPnP/DLNA wired and wireless streaming over Ethernet.
The 866 Integrated is Boulder’s first integrated amplifier to feature the option of digital inputs. According to the company, a premium was placed on value in the 866 and greater effort was put into the efficiency and cost reduction of design and manufacturing than any previous product from Boulder. Cost savings include circuit board production (up to a 25% reduction for some boards), casework and power supply cost reductions, reduced loading and turns for metalwork machining, material efficiency, and the reduction of production and testing time.
"More than twelve years after the release of the original 865, this has enabled Boulder to price the all-analog 866 at $12,250 with 200W of power output, whereas the 865 was priced at $14,000 and had power output of only 150W. The analog+digital 866 also includes full digital capabilities and greater power output but costs only $450 more than the 865," the company states.