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Lm386 Audio Amplifier Circuit- Creating Different Amplification Functions

Introduction to the Lm386 Amplifier

The LM386 is an 8-pin DIP (Dual Inline Package) IC that requires minimal external components to function as a complete audio amplifier. It is designed to operate on a single power supply ranging from 4V to 12V, making it suitable for battery-powered applications.

Key Features of the LM386

Feature Description
Low Voltage Operation Can operate on a single power supply from 4V to 12V
Low Quiescent Current Draws only 4mA of current at idle
Gain Adjustable Voltage gain can be set from 20 to 200 using external components
Wide Supply Voltage Range Maximum supply voltage up to 15V
Low Distortion Total harmonic distortion (THD) of 0.2% at 1kHz, 0.5W output
Built-in Short Circuit Protection Prevents damage to the IC in case of output short circuit

Basic LM386 Amplifier Circuit

The basic LM386 amplifier circuit requires only a few external components to function. The following schematic shows the minimum components needed for a functional LM386 amplifier:

[Insert basic LM386 amplifier circuit schematic here]

– C1: 100µF electrolytic capacitor (input coupling capacitor)
– C2: 10µF electrolytic capacitor (output coupling capacitor)
– C3: 0.1µF ceramic capacitor (power supply decoupling capacitor)
– R1: 10kΩ potentiometer (volume control)
– LM386 IC
– 8Ω speaker

In this basic configuration, the LM386 provides a voltage gain of 20 (26dB). The gain can be increased to 200 (46dB) by adding a 10µF capacitor between pins 1 and 8 of the IC.

Adjusting the Gain of the LM386 Amplifier

The voltage gain of the LM386 can be easily adjusted using external components. The following table shows the different gain configurations and the required components:

Gain Required Components
20 (26dB) No additional components needed
50 (34dB) 1.2kΩ resistor between pins 1 and 8
100 (40dB) 1.5kΩ resistor between pins 1 and 8
200 (46dB) 10µF capacitor between pins 1 and 8

To achieve gains between the values mentioned in the table, you can use a combination of resistors and capacitors. For example, to achieve a gain of 75, you can use a 1.2kΩ resistor in series with a 2.2µF capacitor between pins 1 and 8.

Bass Boost Circuit using the LM386

The LM386 can be configured to provide a bass boost function, which enhances the low-frequency response of the amplifier. The following schematic shows an LM386 amplifier with a bass boost circuit:

[Insert LM386 bass boost circuit schematic here]

Additional Components:
– C4: 0.047µF ceramic capacitor
– R2: 10Ω resistor

In this configuration, the bass boost is achieved by creating a low-pass filter using C4 and R2. The cutoff frequency of the filter can be calculated using the following formula:

f_c = 1 / (2π × R2 × C4)

With the given values of R2 (10Ω) and C4 (0.047µF), the cutoff frequency is approximately 339Hz. This means that frequencies below 339Hz will be boosted, while frequencies above this point will remain unaffected.

Tone Control Circuit using the LM386

The LM386 can also be used to create a tone control circuit, which allows you to adjust the bass and treble frequencies independently. The following schematic shows an LM386 amplifier with a tone control circuit:

[Insert LM386 tone control circuit schematic here]

Additional Components:
– C5, C6: 0.01µF ceramic capacitors
– R3, R4: 100kΩ potentiometers (bass and treble controls)
– R5, R6: 10kΩ resistors

In this configuration, the tone control is achieved by creating a Baxandall tone control circuit. The bass and treble frequencies are adjusted using potentiometers R3 and R4, respectively. The capacitors C5 and C6 in combination with resistors R5 and R6 create a bandpass filter that boosts or cuts the desired frequencies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the maximum output power of the LM386 amplifier?
    The maximum output power of the LM386 depends on the supply voltage and the load impedance. With a 9V supply and an 8Ω load, the LM386 can deliver approximately 0.5W of output power.

  2. Can I use the LM386 with a higher supply voltage?
    The LM386 is designed to operate with a maximum supply voltage of 15V. However, it is recommended to keep the supply voltage below 12V to avoid excessive power dissipation and potential damage to the IC.

  3. How can I reduce the noise in my LM386 amplifier circuit?
    To reduce noise in your LM386 amplifier circuit, you can:

  4. Use a regulated power supply
  5. Add power supply decoupling capacitors close to the LM386 IC
  6. Use shielded cables for input and output connections
  7. Keep the amplifier circuit away from sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI)

  8. Can I use the LM386 for stereo applications?
    Yes, you can use two LM386 ICs to create a stereo amplifier. Each IC will amplify one channel (left or right) of the stereo input signal.

  9. What is the input impedance of the LM386?
    The input impedance of the LM386 is approximately 50kΩ. This means that the LM386 can be easily driven by most audio sources, such as smartphones, MP3 players, or preamp outputs.


The LM386 is a versatile and easy-to-use audio amplifier IC that can be configured to create different amplification functions, such as bass boost and tone control. By understanding the basic circuit configurations and the role of external components, you can design and build LM386 amplifier circuits tailored to your specific audio needs. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, the LM386 is an excellent choice for low-power audio amplification projects.