Stereo systems that come with cars often don't cut it. Even more, modern vehicles come with poor-performing factory amplifiers that are difficult to replace. Fortunately, you can invest in the best car amplifier to cost-efficiently upgrade your vehicle's sound arrangement.
Accordingly, we have curated an informative buying guide to assist you in making a wise purchase. Even so, let's first understand the concept of a car amplifier.
What's the best car amplifier on the market?
What is a Car Amplifier?
A car amplifier is an electrical device that boosts the power, quality and volume of a car's audio arrangement. As such, a car amp increases the strength of a weak audio signal to make it audible with an enhanced mixture of sound features. In this context, we have taken an interest in aftermarket car amplifiers for improving your built-in car stereo.
Additionally, a car amp enables the installation of a subwoofer in your car for easy sound controls. When it comes to power output, different amps come with different watts RMS and peak capacities. In light of this understanding, read on to identify the five best car amplifiers.
1. BOSS R1100M Riot Car Audio Subwoofer Amplifier
- Power - 1100 Max x 1 @ 2 Ohms, 550 Max x 1 @ 4 Ohms
- Class A/B Topology - Class ‘A’ amplifiers have enormous amount of current flowing...
- Mosfet Power Supply - A MOSFET is an electrical switch that allows the flow of electrical...
- Low & High Level Inputs - A low level (RCA) input is measured in voltages. A high level...
- Variable Low-Pass Crossover - Subwoofers reproduce sound based on a number of different...
Our front-runner for the best car amplifier is the Boss R1100M Riot Car Subwoofer Amplifier. This mono amplifier from the Bass Riot series is ideal for first-timers looking for an enhanced stereo and bass at a budget-friendly price. In addition, this Class A/B monoblock amp can power a subwoofer with outputs ranging between 1,100-3,400 watts.
More to its quality sound, this amp has a MOSFET power supply for precise current and voltage control. Other features of this amp include high and low-level inputs, switchable bass boost, variable low-pass filter and a variable Input Gain Control. Also, for easier subwoofer tuning, this amp comes with a wired remote. In the end, this amp ensures your car subwoofer produces superior audio with controlled frequencies.
2. Planet Audio AC1000.2 2 Channel Car Amplifier
- 500 W MAX Power @ 2 Ohm x 2 Channels
- 250 W MAX Power @ 4 Ohm x 2 Channels
- 1000 W MAX Bridged Power @ 4 Ohm x 1 Channels
- Full-Range, Class A / B Topology, MOSFET Power Supply
- Low and High Level Inputs, Variable Filter, Variable Bass Boost
Another powerful amp on our list is the 2-channel Planet Audio AC1000.2 amplifier. This amp belongs to Class A/B with an output ranging from 600 watts RMS x 2 channels to 2, 600 watts for peak power. Moreover, this amp is bridgeable, with stability on either 2 or 4 ohm. At 4 ohm, it can produce a maximum of 650 watts RMS x 2, while at 2 ohm, it can produce a maximum of 1300 watts.
Also, this amp has a MOSFET power supply for efficient auto power adjustments. Other features of this amp include low and high inputs, variable bass boost, variable low pass crossover and switchable input sensitivity. Overall, the Planet audio AC1000.2 ranks among the best car amps for offering such incredible sound features at an affordable price.
3. BOSS Audio Systems R2504 - Riot 1000 Watt Car Amplifier
- Power - 250 Max x 4 @2-Ohms, 125 Max x 4 @4-Ohms, 500 Max x 2 Bridged @4 Ohms
- Class A/B Topology - Class ‘A’ amplifiers have enormous amount of current flowing...
- Full Range - With a Full Range amplifier you not only have the option to run your...
- Variable Gain Control - The gain control is not for adjusting volume. It simply adjusts...
- Variable Bass Boost - With Variable Bass Boost you have the control of exactly how much...
If you are looking for a full-range amplifier that can power a whole set of speakers and a subwoofer, we recommend the BOSS R2504 Riot Amplifier. This BOSS Audio amp is built for four channels with a Class A/B topology. Additionally, this amp features maximum power of 1000 watts for four channels and a varied 188 and 94 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohm and 4 ohm, respectively.
In understanding its effective sound output, this amp is built with a MOFSET system for controlling its power across a whole sound system. Asides from its four-channel capacity, this amp also features sound customization through its bass enhancer, bridge channels, variable high pass and variable low pass filters. With this four-channel amplifier, you can also easily control your amp using a remote.
Particularly on its ability to bridge, you can increase this amp's power output by combining it with another 4 or 2 channel amp. Therefore, this is an excellent example of revolutionalized digital amplifiers that can take your car's stereo to another level through enhanced bass and performance.
4. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier
- 300 Watts x 1 @ 4-Ohms, 500 Watts x 1 @ 2-Ohms, Frequency 20Hz to 250Hz +/-1dB
- Onboard 12dB/octave LP/HP/AP crossover & Infrasonic filter. Power Wire Gauge- 4 AWG. Power...
- On-board Punch EQ with +18dB boost at 45Hz. Input Sensitivity: 150 mV to 4 V
- Cast Aluminum Heatsink with Stealth top mounted control panel
- Includes wired remote (Punch Level Control). High efficiency amplifier design that reduces...
You can also add more power to your car's stereo system through the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Amplifier. This Class D mono-amp boasts a compact design that can ergonomically fit in most cars, especially under seats. Furthermore, this amp is highly efficient on power consumption through reduced current consumption.
When it comes to power control, this amp is enabled through the MOFSET power management circuit for monitoring voltage. In addition, this Class D amp is enabled by a phase switch, a power supply thermal sensing, an aluminum heatsink, over-current protection, RCA pass-thru outputs, real-time output and high-level inputs. Eventually, you use its remote control to improve its overall sound quality and adjust its frequency range.
5. Planet Audio TR1500.1M Monoblock Car Amplifier
- 1500 w Max power x 1, 1125 w x 1 RMS @ 2 ohm, 563 w x 1 RMS @ 4 ohm Monoblock class a/b,...
Last on our list is the Planet Audio TR1500 monoblock amplifier. This amp is another excellent option for modernizing and optimizing the sound your car audio system can produce. We particularly love this car amp for its affordability without compromising power even on its watts RMS mode.
In terms of installation, this unit comes with a compact design for easy installation in most vehicles, as also enabled by its low and high-level inputs. You can also customize your sound experience through its bass booster and its filter for variable low crossover. Moreover, its low-pass filter provides adequate control over your subwoofer's frequencies.
If this amp gets too hot or when there is a short, this unit is designed to automatically shut off for electrical safety. Due to its high cranking ability, this car amplifier has a durable build for a stable bass boost. Finally, this unit comes with a remote for controlling a subwoofer.
Class Types Car Amplifiers
Primarily, car amplifiers are differentiated through classes. Therefore, in this sub-section, we have provided the necessary descriptions regarding the different amplifier classes.
This type is most commonly used in cars due to its price efficiency and effective performance. The class A amp uses a simple linear model and runs on a single transistor.
The Class B category has a better sound and consists of a dual transistor system. Nonetheless, this type is prone to sound distortions during a crossing over.
This type combines Class A and B amplifiers and is significantly an affordable option. Both classes work effectively with no power input, but it gives out a static current from its ports, causing distortions.
Class D amplifiers also work through a linear system and a single transistor. In their simplicity, they only come with a power button.
This last class type is an improved version of the A/B and produces better performance. Accordingly, the G/H class can accommodate different power inputs without any distortions or incompatibilities.
Why Do You Need a Car Amplifier?
Probably, you might be asking, what is the need of adding an aftermarket amp while your car already has a functional sound output? In most cases, car manufacturers often don't find it necessary to install high-quality sound features. Simply put, amps that come with cars aren't good enough, and an aftermarket option is necessary to add quality output to your car speakers. If your upgraded head unit is not adequate, here are some reasons why an amp will be the best option for your car's sound output.
- Improvement of audio quality: While it is true that amplifiers boost your music's volume, they also combine different audio features, including tones and notes. For instance, an amplifier provides the ability to fine-tune the bass to your desired levels.
- Addition Sound Power: This aspect ensures that your car speakers are audible over a distance for an impact, such as during an impromptu backyard party. Also, car amplifiers come with features such as a variable subsonic filter and bass knobs to accord your complete control of an amp's power.
- Subwoofer Connection: Asides from the standard car speaker set, the best car amplifiers facilitate the addition of a subwoofer for heavy bass output. So, considering that most head units don't have pleasant loudspeaker capabilities, it is best to invest in an amp for a full range of sound quality.
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Car Amplifier
Finding the best car amplifier means understanding the power you need for your car's sound system. In this case, the bass feature is directly related to the power capacity of your select amp. For every quality amp in the market it comes with a peak and an RMS power rating.
For peak watts, the ideal car amp should have ratings between 400 and 5,000. Nonetheless, when it comes ot the continuous power of an amp in watts RMS, it will be impossible to find a quality amp with 1,000 watts. So, in the end, a powerful amplifier depends on the sound system of your car and your desired sound output.
Additionally, most vehicles don't come with designated spaces for audio amplifiers, especially if they don't come built-in into them. Therefore, the size of an amplifier is important to consider in line with the space available in a car. In most cases, car audio amplifiers are placed below car seats, but you should always start with identifying the suitable space to place an amp.
Another versatile feature to consider while buying a car amp is the channel capacity. Channels depend on how many speakers you want in your car. Ideally, there is the option of a single or multi-channel amp. Below is a brief description of the different amps you can find under the channel factor.
- Mono channel: This amp is simple with no tuning options but gives out an excellent sound performance. Usually, mono-channel/class-D amps have multiple transistors with only a power button. In some cases, this type might be referred to as a Class-D amplifier.
- Dual-channel: This amp is adequate to power two speakers and even a subwoofer without compromising on sound quality.
- Three-channel: This amp works using two different circuits in one amplifier and can power more than one speaker. This type is compact for perfect lower-room fitting.
- Four-channel: This amp can power a whole speaker set and requires more space like in the car trunk.
- Five-channel: This type is as big as a four-channel car amplifier for an additional connection to a subwoofer. Accordingly, this amp requires more placement space and is ideal for cars with large dedicated spaces.
- Six-channel: Last in this breakdown is the six-channel amp which is also rare. This type requires a larger placement space but can support any connectivity for a core shaking bass.
Having an amplifier in your car doesn't necessarily mean your car's audio system will sound amazing. Sometimes, multi-channel amps produce distortions that adversely affect the output stage of a system. Nevertheless, you can avoid sound distortions by searching among the best car amplifiers and seeking the help of an expert.
Finally, it would help to strike a balance between an amp's suitability and its price. As a result, you will always get the best value out of your money by getting an amp that fits in your car and matches your desired sound output. For instance, it would not be significant to buy an expensive amp or a six-channel amp that doesn't fit in your car or doesn't match your vehicle's sound system.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Car Amplifier
1. How does a car amplifier work?
A car amplifier as an electric device works through resistors and capacitors to boost an inaudible line-level signal from a source, in this case being the car's stock system. As a result, the sound will be audible in all directions and have clear bass. When it comes to the power output, car amplifiers are usually rated in terms of watts RMS for continuous outputs and peak power for short sound bursts.