What are stereo speakers without sustained power to push it? Choosing the best car amplifier to support your sound system can be really easy with a little math.
Choose an amplifier that will power your speakers at the highest levels of consistency. Better known as the ‘RMS rating’, matching amp and speaker ratings will mean consistent sound quality output and longer speaker life-spans.
Car Amplifier Reviews
Boss Audio R1100M Riot Monoblock Amplifier
The R1100M Riot Amplifier by Boss Audio features 1100 W Max Power with MOSFET power supply. It comes with Bass Boost and Variable Low-Pass Crossover for sound customization and Remote Subwoofer Control for enhanced performance. It also features Short Protection that automatically shuts off the amp to prevent it from overheating.
Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Amplifier
The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is a Class-D Mono amplifier at 500 Watt Power. It features muted turn-on, cast aluminum heatsink, over current protection, short circuit protection, and a MOSFET power supply. It also comes with high level inputs, RCA pass-thru outputs, phase switch, real-time output, and thermal sensing.
Boss AR1500M Armor Mono Amplifier
The Boss Audio AR1500M Armor amplifier comes with 1500 W Max Power and a MOSFET Power Supply. Bass Boost, Remote Subwoofer Control, and Variable Low-Pass Crossover let you customize and enhance the sound. The amplifier has an automatic shut-off feature to prevent shorts and overheating.
Pyle PLA2200 MOSFET Amplifier
Pyle PLA2200 is a high-efficiency MOSFET amplifier with 1400 Watt Max Power. It allows you to fully customize the sound with Gain Control, Variable Bass Boost, and Electronic Crossover Network. It also includes safety features such as protection and power LED indicator, thermal and short protection, and soft turn-on/off.
Planet Audio Anarchy AC1500 Amplifier
The Anarchy AC1500 by Planet Audio is a Mono Class A/B amplifier with MOSFET power supply and 1500 W Max Power. It features Bass Boost, Remote Subwoofer Control, and Variable Low-Pass Crossover that allow you to enhance the sound. It also comes with Short Protection safety feature and Switchable Input Sensitivity.
Kenwood KAC-M1804 Amplifier
The Kenwood KAC-M1804 is a Class D 4-channel car amplifier. It has an extruded aluminum heatsink design and 400 Watts Max Power output. Its unique circuit board construction makes it well-suited for marine applications.
Pioneer GMA3602 Amplifier
The Pioneer GMA3602 is a 2-channel bridgeable car amplifier with 400 Watts Max Power. It has a compact design and notable functionality and flexibility. It features built-in high pass crossover, oversized power terminals, and speaker level input for easy connection to a head unit.
Kenwood KAC-5206 Car Amplifier
Kenwood KAC-5206 is a 2-channel Class A/B car amplifier with 400 Watt Max Power output. It comes with MOSFET power supply and 60 Watt RMS power. It has signal sensing turn-on, speaker level input, and cast aluminum heatsink design.
Elegiant Mini Car Amplifier
The Elegiant amplifier is a lightweight 1-channel car amplifier with 300W Max Power. It can also be used in home theater, MP3, computer systems, and other audio equipment. It features Variable Bass Boost for sound enhancement and safety features such as overload, thermal, and short circuit protection.
Crunch PX1000 Amplifier
The Crunch PX1000 is a 4-channel, Class A/B amplifier with 1000 Watt Max Power. It has Quick Thermal Dispersion (QTD) technology and Variable Input Voltage. The amp also comes with a low-noise feature, Variable Electronic Crossover, high-level inputs, and low-level RCA outputs and inputs.
How to Select the Best Car Amplifier?
A car’s sound system has a kind of amplifier, which is not external. If you seek to install a brand new amplifier or upgrade an existing one, you need to look into certain factors – system compatibility, power, and channels.
Channels – Amplifiers come in various configurations. The right channel number depends on the number of speakers you have. Generally, you need a channel for every speaker to amplify.
If you’re integrating a subwoofer into an existing system, then a mono-channel amplifier can do the job. Some single-channel amplifiers are also designed specifically to put off less heat and use less power when amplifying the subwoofers.
Power – If you seek excellent sound in your car audio system, don’t under-power the speakers. If you’re using the factory speakers, look for the RMS value and choose amplifier that can put out from 75-150% of that value.
Amplifier and Head Unit Compatibility – If you’re making your own car audio system, purchase an amplifier with line level inputs and a head unit with pre-amp outputs. With an unamplified signal, you get the clearest possible sound.
Installation of Aftermarket Car Amplifier – Wiring and installing an amplifier is manageable, but consider the location and how the wires will be routed while you’re still searching for an amplifier. You may also need to run extra wires.
Types of Car Amplifiers
The car amplifier types are listed according to the number of channels. The mono channel amplifiers are Class D and normally produce more power than multi-channel amplifiers. You can use them to power car audio subwoofers.
Two-Channel – It gives power to 2 speakers. It can also handle two stereo subwoofers. It serves a vehicle that does not utilize rear speakers, like a truck.
Three-Channel – This amplifier serves vehicles with little extra space for another amplifier, like 2-door coupes or small trucks. Two kinds of circuitry are built into one amplifier.
Four-Channel – These versatile amplifiers can power a vehicle’s entire audio system. It works for a vehicle where rear speakers are unnecessary, but a subwoofer would be needed.
Five-Channel – Like a 3-channel amplifier, this one is a combination of two amplifiers. A subwoofer is powered by a mono amplifier, while a 4-channel amplifier (circuited separately) gives access to 2 rear and front speakers.
Six-Channel – Less common than others, the 6-channel amplifier is a convenient alternative for running a high-powered or larger audio system. They can run up to six speakers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Amplifiers
How to shop for an amplifier? Match your speakers’ power handling with the amplifier’s power output. If the power handling of your rear and front speakers differ, use the lower rating and choose an amp with the closest rating.
Can factory speakers be amplified? An amplifier added to factory speakers may not work. If you seek better sound and consider an amplifier, you may want to upgrade to compatible yet powerful speakers, too.
How many channels are needed? It depends on the number of speakers to power and what you need to power. A mono amplifier can power one speaker. Two speakers are powered by two-channel amplifiers.
RMS rating, peak power, or max power? It’s recommended to look at speakers and amplifiers’ RMS power ratings. RMS ratings reflect your amplifier’s performance more than max power or peak power.
Why are amplifiers needed? While many factory stereos have built-in amplifiers, they can’t produce loud volume sounds without distortion. The bass suffers. Adding an amplifier is essential to get better quality sound.
Is an amplifier needed if speakers are upgraded? You may have upgraded the stereo system in your car. However, it may not make a difference if you’re not adding enough power to it.
How to Install a Car Amplifier?
A car amplifier’s installation can be done by a dedicated hobbyist or a professional. All safety provisions must be followed, as electrical systems can pose dangers.
Some of the tools required in installing a car amplifier include wire cutters, screwdrivers, crimp-on electrical connectors, O-ring connectors, sandpaper, masking tape, and a utility knife.
Preparation – Look for your amplifier’s location. The common position is in the back, underneath the passenger seat (front) or beside a subwoofer enclosure. Amplifier kits simplify the installation process by bundling up the wiring.
Connecting the Amplifier – After disconnecting your car battery, attach the power wire’s fused end to the battery’s red (+) terminal. Run the cable through the car’s firewall and to your amplifier.
Connect the ground wire to a metal screw attached to a car’s body. Detach the head unit and install the remote-on wire and RCA cables to the back. Run the wires and connect the power to the amplifier.
Connecting the Speakers – Attach 12- or 16-gauge speaker wire to each subwoofer and speaker. Make sure to secure the amplifier. Reconnect the car’s battery then run a test on your amplifier system.
Hi, I am Brad. Car Independent is your source for independent views on cars and car accessories. Whether you looking to buy a new car or something cool for your car, you have many options. My aim to help you make the best-informed choices.