10 Best Car Amplifiers in 2021
Some of the best car speakers on the market have been tested recently, so what kind of music critics we'd be if we didn't give you a good look at the top 10 best car amplifiers to power your new pair.
If you're updating, and you don't have a brand new setup for the audio system, chances are you're going to need an update to the amplifier. This is expected to be a few watts more than the regular stock model.
View The Best Car Amplifiers Below
1. Rockville dB45
A solidly made, rough Rockville amplifier, which provides a very powerful 3200 watts, was first tested this week (800 watts RMS).
The dB series is a reasonably impressive one overall, the components used are of great quality and can hold their own from top rivals Rockford Fosgate and Kicker among the most common amps.
This inexpensive, 4-channel amplifier offers a low impedance, high output solution to power the bass speakers of your vehicles. It has a fantastic subsonic filter and has a crossover with differential circuitry that is fully customizable so that users can tailor their bass to their taste.
Another major benefit is the built-in soft start delay technology that prevents the device from switching on at the maximum volume at which it has been turned off, avoiding harm to the driver. They are also covered by a professional grade peak limiter by regulated peak circuitry, to ensure distortion-free reproduction of top quality.
+ Power supply for high speed.
+ Security regulated by complete IC.
+ Fully adjustable equalization for bass.
Why We Liked It -It is a great choice, without breaking the bank, to power some high output speakers.
2. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D
For a look at the market, turn to one of the most famous car audio specialists. At the same price level as the first, we have chosen to review an amplifier. Now, to be frank with a brand with the experience and know-how of industry experts like Rockford Fosgate, this price range really just covers their one-channel model.
It also has a MOSFET power supply and features advanced over current and under current safety. It is a prime 500-watt mono amplifier. To further avoid overheating, it also has a cast Aluminum heat-sink and highly sensitive, real-time power supply thermal sensors.
An simple to use Punch EQ control is on board for a full range of adjustability. It has RCA pass-through outputs and high-level inputs.
+ Robust layout.
+ Made expertly.
+ Several security measures in operation.
Why We Liked It -It is a high-quality single-channel amplifier with a high performance that outperforms most other mono versions.
3. BOSS Audio R1100M Riot
This fab model from the Boss Audios Riot series will be another top MOSFET Mono-block option. It is a mix that places it on the best selling list and with good reason, very well done and very low priced.
It is a Class A/B amplifier with linear circuitry of great consistency, which is why it can cope with high power outputs so effectively. It racks up an incredible 1100 watts at just 2 ohms giving an RMS of 825 watts.
To help achieve maximum efficiency, it has high and low-level inputs and a variable low-pass filter that puts you in charge of what goes through to the subwoofer of your vehicles. Through a wired-in remote, the woofer levels can be adjusted. It also has a bass boost feature which, with a simple switch, adds a whopping 18 decibels to the low end.
To avoid shortcuts, it also benefits from automatic shut-off safety. It actively tracks the connected speakers to detect heat problems and electrical faults.
+ For linear circuitry.
+ High and low choices for input.
+Function for bass boost.
Why We Liked It - The crossover enables users to tailor their sound fully to their taste.
4. BOSS Audio AR1500M
While the other is fresh in your mind, for a direct comparison, here's a fast look at a slightly higher powered option from one of the other common BOSS lines, The Armor series. It probably should come as no surprise that BOSS is on our list, while we are on the topic we should probably send you a fast heads up that in this article we have included a fair few BOSS items.
It's a robust, but slim, edgy looking, 1500 watt killer choice. To effectively perform with high outputs, free of distortion, it benefits from the same great Class A/B linear circuitry. With its fully-variable low pass filter control working hand in hand with its Bass Boost switching capability and Remote Sub control, it has some beastly bass tones and really puts users in control.
It also has a MOSFET power supply that can switch between complete and non-conduction immediately and dish out 1125 watt peak RMS power capably.
It also provides switchable inputs and its responsive controls allow for a personalized optimum balance to be changed directly from the head unit. It also has short, built-in protection that will automatically shut down if the possibility of overheating or speaker failure is detected.
+ EQ Drums.
+ Affordable Probability.
+ Switchable boost for bass.
+ Elevated production (1500 watts).
+ Smart Security.
Why We Liked It - For a mono amplifier, it is a solid option, provides meaty low ends and implies industry.
5. Rockford R300X4 Prime
If you want more than a mono option, the RX300X4 from Rockfords is a great 4-channel choice, which is a step up from the Rockville we opened our reviews with.
It is only marginally higher than the Rockville price, but benefits from the expertise of Rockford Fosgates in engineering audio electronics. It features Class A/B circuit topography and also has the benefit of a cast aluminum heat sink incorporated by Rockford to keep things going smoothly.
It is a very powerful amplifier capable of operating an entire device that can provide 2 ohms or even 2 bridged channels working at 150 watts with either 4 separate 50-watt channels running at 4 ohms/4 separate 75-watt channel (4 ohms).
Complete range or part speakers on the front channels with subwoofers on the rear operating in bridge mode would be an ideal set up.
+ A/B class circuitry.
+ Polyvalent crossover.
+ Controls to top-mount.
+ Inputs for high and RCA level.
Why We Liked It - - It is an ideal workhorse amplifier, not too efficient, but capable of running a tiny device at acceptable levels, ideal for most listeners.
6. BOSS Audio PT3000 Phantom
Heading back to the BOSS Audio range for a flick through the specifications of the Phantom amplifiers that blow away the ones we've looked at at entry level. With eye-catching aesthetics, it is a high quality 2-channel class A/B amplifier. Its top notch MOSFET power supply provides a maximum power of 3000 Watts at 2 ohms, with a maximum RMS power of 1125 watts.
It features a variable circuitry crossover network that allows users to change the low-end crossover. By using the creative Bass Boost Switch, users can also shape their desired bass equalization. It also offers multi-layer on-board security against overloads, overheating, and prevention of short circuits. This increase in classification, refinement of circuitry and wattage comes at an expense, but its outstanding capabilities speak for themselves.
+ A/B class circuitry.
+ max power of 3000 watts.
+ Crossover Variable.
+ Designed in mechanisms of security.
Why We Liked It - This makes for an incredibly flexible two-channel alternative that packs a real punch.
7. Rockford Fosgate R150X2
While we are in the region of two-channel amplifiers, let us just take a fast nose at the Rockford Fosgates Prime series rivalry. It retails for about half the price of the above BOSS Audio, which is not surprising given that it is a much lower choice for production. Its two-channel versatility and onboard defense make it a top contender under the hundred dollar mark for best in its class.
Both high level and RCA level inputs are approved. At 4 ohms or 75 watts at 2 ohms, it can supply 50 watts to each channel, alternately bridging the two channels together into one 150 watt channel operating at 4 ohms. It has a variable crossover to customize your bass to suit your preferences in the mix. It benefits from one of the advanced aluminum cast heat sinks with top mount controls from Rockford Fosgates, and, of course, their superb short safety cut off technology.
+ Option for low performance.
+ Flexible options for input.
+ Variable crossover with low pass.
+ Half the top competitors' price.
Why We Liked It - It is suitable for full range, or part speakers, providing two channel choices.
8. BOSS Audio R1004
Back to BOSS Audio's other extremely low-priced alternative, which is a fairly amazing amplifier. We honestly don't know how they manage to give up, for almost no investment, a top quality, multi-channel amp, with pristine Class A/B circuitry.
It has four channels that can handle both high and low-level inputs. The channels can be used to supply 2 ohms of 400 watts or 4 ohms of 200 watts. The switchable input sensitivity allows changes from the head unit over the input signal, allowing a better overall balance between power levels and sound quality for eventually improved performance.
Some of the more important built-in features of the more costly BOSS models are still included, such as the MOSFET power supply, automatic shut-off safety to avoid shorting, and efficient linear circuitry free of distortion.
A variable low pass filter is the only thing that really seems to be lacking, but in fairness, this can be regulated somewhat elsewhere in the system.
+ Channel 2/4 alternative
+ max output of 400 watts.
+ Brief defense.
+ Incredibly low cost.
Why We Liked It -For a 4 channel option, it is extremely priced, it competes 3 or 4 times its price with some amplifiers, but the absence of a low pass filter control may be a deal-breaker for some of you, regardless of making our list as a top option.
9. Ignite Audio 2 Channel
Now, while we could potentially devote an entire article to car amplifiers from BOSS and Rockford, let's take a look at what the market has to offer elsewhere in order to try to stay impartial.
This cheap double channel option is first up for review and is a competitively priced Class A/B amplifier from the Ignite team.
You may use it as a 2 channel amplifier at a high output of 90 watts at 2 ohms or lower at 60 watts. The other alternative is to use it for 180 watts of peak RMS power as a bridged one-channel amplifier.
To help detect and stop potential overheating, it has high quality circuitry and has a sensitive heat sensory system.
+ A/B class circuitry.
+ Cheap choice for 2-channels.
+ Preventive strategies for overheating.
Why We Liked It -Installation and hook-up is straightforward. In terms of cash, it will not set you back and allows for a wide middle of the road 2 channel option that will run a small setup.
10. Skar Audio SK-2500.1D
This heavy-duty, high-impact, 4 channel choice from Skar Audio is last on our list. It is probably a D Class model, so the circuitry might not be as powerful as those we have previously perused, but in a compact size, it still offers great flexibility.
In reality, it is able to service more than 200 watts at 2 ohms for each channel, which is pretty darn admirable for its price level.
The improved collection of crossover switches, subsonic filters, and crossover multipliers as well as dampening controls are another of its greatest strengths, making it basically one of the most powerful amps we have looked at today. So run down for fast power; here are the numbers. 200 watts x4 2-ohm channels/ 130 watts x4 4-ohm channels
It has a bass boost feature and remote gain control (from 0dB to 9 dB), which is often a bonus for those who like their bass a little louder. This amplifier features 4-way on-board safety, most notably, against thermal, voltage, speaker and circuit failures.
+ Optical full-range mono-block amplifier.
+ Lightweight and flexible.
+ Selection of the full range crossover (HPF/Full/ LP-BP)
+ Improvement for bass.
Why We Liked It --It is another great choice, it may have a lower ranking, but it provides a high output solution to boot with 4-way safety circuitry.
Car Amplifier Buyers Guide:
Before you purchase a car amplifier, there are a few variables to remember, so we have answered some of your top questions to aid you in your hunt for an acceptable speaker amp.
What Does A Car Amplifier Do?
In basic words, from your head unit to your car speakers, a car amplifier provides power amplification.
The configuration of different speakers would include various options for output connections as well as different power outputs. Generally speaking, Mono, 2-channel (or dual) and 4-channel are the most common amplifier types.
Mono- can provide a solitary object with power and is better hooked up to a subwoofer.
The minimum requirement for a full range 2-way or 3-way class speaker is 2-channels, which is suitable for a sub and satellite set-up (left and right, and bass).
The 4-channel provides the most versatility because it allows users the chance to use 2 pairs of speakers for a more dynamic and full-range sound in combination with your subwoofer.
If you want to purchase a 4-channel but have only a 2-channel configuration requirement, you can bridge it, and if it takes your fancy in the future, you also have the option to install a secondary collection of speakers.
How Does A Car Amplifier Work?
An amplifier is a circuit of electronic transistors that uses capacitors and resistors to adjust electron flow. It takes a small voltage signal and uses it to control a much larger voltage signal, essentially boosting your head unit (car stereo) with an inaudible line-level signal until it can power your speakers' drivers to move their cones. Most head units aren't capable of driving a loudspeaker, so the only way to go is if you want a full-range sound to enjoy on a long road trip with better buzz-free audio and less synthetic. This is particularly true for those of you who want a subwoofer booming your bass takes a decent amount of power to pump and in this situation, a regular car stereo is just not fit for purpose.
You've probably noticed that most of those we've checked say that they have a power supply from MOSFET. This is an acronym for Field-Effect Transistors with Metal Oxide Semiconductor. It is a type of field-effect transistor that features a gate with an insulating layer separated from the body so that the device's conductivity can be set by measuring the voltage requirements. It induces very little to no conduction at all between the terminal and the drain source when the voltage is below the threshold.
This implies that they can alter the voltage to smoothly and safely amplify and turn electronic signals.
Having a MOSFET power supply means that there is no waste energy in your device will run efficiently, and you can not overload your speakers, resulting in distortion, overheating, shorting and long-term damage.
How To Install an Amplifier In Car?
The moment it was, you will have to look for a specialist for amplifier installations and while if you are a beginner or ill-equipped for the job, it is still recommended and even advisable, thankfully, modern models are not too difficult to install in your vehicle.
Many of the ones we checked come with detailed instructions and there are a host of YouTube instructional videos to help you like this DIY how to mount Crutchfield's car amplifier video;
Or how to mount a mono-block amplifier to power the AnthonyJ350 channel video subwoofer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch/watch? V=JGAXMntEwnUU v=JGAXMntEwnU=
Best Car Amplifier Brands
Kenwood, Rockford Fosgate, and Boss Audio are the three labels that control the market. We think Kicker is also worth special mention, both for home audio and car audio, their speakers are hugely popular. In reality, their amplifiers are fantastic and hold their own against their tough competition, but it's hard to compete with companies like Kenwood that have been behind their success for so many years.
In reality, in most set-ups, budget amplifiers do not have to cost the world, they are typically one of the cheaper parts, usually a subwoofer will set you back a lot more than the donkey who has to do all the leg work. You can find a decent amplifier for about the $100 mark thanks to the continually changing industry, but it may not suit a more grandiose set-up adequately.
Your channel requirements are the main thing to remember, which can be a little tricky, but we hope that our buyer's guide break-down would have helped shed some light. In advance, we suggest that you sit and prepare and then shop with your idea in mind. If you just want a fast update, check out the set-up that you already have and match it can add a few more watts to the punch or at least an improved L/R speaker with a new modern tweeter for better clarity, dynamics, and definition of audio.
In order to provide better control over the workload delegation of your system for better output and to enable you to shape your equalization, we also suggest going for an amplifier with a variable low pass filter adjustment.
It is always a good idea to power your car speakers with the same brand amplifier in the pursuit of a smooth set-up, with pristine communication, but this is not imperative in any way, it can make performance better.
Did you Know
The BOSS Audio Armor line has a fantastic 4000 watt option if you are still thirsty for more juice, which is well worth a look.