Leema Acoustics Pulse IV with Tyler

We’d like to introduce Tyler, one of our local music-loving friends who digs great quality and has his own blog where he writes about audio gear. Tyler will be appearing here to share his thoughts on some of the hifi components we carry.

While we know precisely what it is we love about the brands we work with, it’s important to us that you take more than just our word for it. Now you’ll be able to hear about these great hifi brands from someone who has had the components in his home. Enjoy!

Are you someone who loves music? Do you listen throughout most of your day, whether you’re getting ready in the morning, running errands in the car, or relaxing with a drink in the living room at the end of the day?

If so, the Leema Pulse IV integrated amplifier might be perfect for you. It lets you hear your music on another level, bringing it closer to how it was truly intended to sound.

The Pulse IV is an integrated amplifier in Leema’s Stellar line. It has a low profile of 3.54 inches and a full width of 17.5 inches. The amplifier features unique industrial styling, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and a variety of analog and digital inputs and outputs.

The Pulse IV integrated amplifier features two large dials flanking a bright blue display with the Leema emblem smoked out etched into the thick aluminum front panel, secured with four industrial-looking bolts. The left dial controls volume, with a press muting the audio and holding it for three seconds putting it in set-up mode. The right dial selects inputs, and holding it down for two seconds powers the amplifier on and off. The knobs are solid, with a satisfying muted click upon pressing. The Pulse is available in black or silver.

copyright Tyler Gerace
photo copyright: Tyler

By adding a source, such as a Bluesound Node, and a pair of your favorite speakers, you can set up a system that is capable of engaging critical listening at higher volumes while still being equally impressive at low volumes for entertaining guests. The Pulse IV presents music with a sense of authority, clarity, and control, regardless of volume level. The imaging and soundstage are extremely good, and during the review period, the Bowers and Wilkins 705s2 speakers seemed to disappear with most recordings, giving the listener the fun experience of music consistently floating in space between the speakers.

The Pulse hosts an 80W per channel (8 ohms) class AB amp , which should be enough power to drive most speakers. However, with two sets of analog pre-outputs, you can connect one or two subwoofers and an external amp with more power if needs change down the road.

The Pulse has a great internal ESS Sabre DAC (Digital to Analog Converter), which brings it closer to being an all-in-one minimalist system that can be the hub of your entertainment setup. It also includes a phono stage that can be switched between moving magnet and moving coil for vinyl enthusiasts.

Leema Pulse IV (rear panel)
Leema Acoustics Pulse IV (available in black or silver)

This product is versatile and performs well in most situations (although it may not be the best for movies, as mentioned below). I do wish it had tone and balance controls, as well as dedicated subwoofer connections. Pre-outputs can be different [editor’s note: less convenient] than dedicated subwoofer outputs, which means you may have to increase the subwoofer’s volume significantly to achieve the same effect as you would with lower subwoofer volume settings connected to a dedicated subwoofer output. In my experience, integrated amplifiers with dedicated subwoofer outputs provide a more explosive sub region for movies.* The remote, considering this price point, is not great but performs very well and has a powerful IR output that works flawlessly even when pointed in a general direction.

In conclusion, the Leema Pulse IV is a very nice integrated amplifier that looks and sounds fantastic. If you’re looking for a high-quality two-channel integrated amplifier, it’s definitely worth a listen. If you’re hoping to include it in a system with TV and movie streaming in mind, there may be other options like the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120, the NAD C-399, and Marantz Model 40n. These integrated amplifiers come with HDMI ARC and dedicated subwoofer connections and are more geared towards streaming video while still providing an incredible two-channel listening experience.

Thanks for reading and happy listening.


* editor’s note: hi-fidelity equipment like the Leema Pulse IV is designed with 2-channel music listening in mind, not television or movies, and pre-outs are designed more for audiophile listening

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