Today, almost all cars come with an MP3 or CD player and an amplifier that are built in. The built-in amps, on the other hand, are not outside the head unit. Instead, they are built into the head unit and are not very powerful.
And most of the time, we blame the speakers when the car’s sound system doesn’t make the volume we want or the music sounds flat. But the problem isn’t with the speakers; it’s with the amplifier.
So, the best way to make your car’s sound system louder and sound better is to add a high-quality external amplifier.
Amplifiers help to improve the sound quality of the car’s audio system. They make the sound from the speakers and subwoofers more clear and lively.
Best Car Amplifiers for the Money
Updated on February 23, 2022, at 3:32 a.m.; contains affiliate links; images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How Does a Car Amplifier Work?
An amplifier is a piece of equipment that boosts the sound or audio signal sent from the MP3 or CD player to the speakers. Most of the time, you need an amplifier to make the sound louder, clearer, and more powerful because the basic audio signal from the player or the speakers is usually very weak.
The number of channels, which are basically the positive and negative terminals that send power to the speaker, determines the type of amplifier. The more channels an amplifier has, the more speakers it can power and the better the sound quality.
Sometimes, you can “bridge” more than two channels to get more power, especially if you need to power a big speaker or subwoofer.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Amplifier for Your Car
Before you buy an amplifier, you should know about the different kinds and know which one is best for you.
So, if you’re thinking about upgrading your current amplifier or installing a new one, here are some things you should think about.
Amplifier Class or Rating
Most of the time, amplifiers are grouped by their ratings, which are based on the design and features of the electronic circuit. Ratings can also be affected by things like the amplifier’s energy efficiency, operating temperature, and sound quality.
Most car amplifiers are put into one of four classes: A, B, AB, and D.
Class A Amplifiers
These are perfect for making high-frequency sounds.
They work at high temperatures but waste a lot of energy.
Class B Amplifiers
They use little energy and stay cool while running, but at high frequencies, the sound gets distorted.
Class AB Amplifiers
Class AB amplifiers use less energy and do a good job of playing back high-frequency sounds.
AB Class amplifiers also run at low temperatures, but their peak performance is a little lower than that of Class A amplifiers.
Class D Amplifiers
Class D amplifiers use less energy, stay cool, and make great sound at low frequencies.
But the high-frequency sounds don’t come through very well.
Class AB amplifiers are the most popular because they have the best parts of both Class A and Class B amplifiers. Class
D amplifiers are best for low-frequency sound applications.
A channel is a piece of electronics that sends power to the speaker in a car’s sound system. When an amplifier has more than one channel, it can power more than one speaker.
So, how many channels does the sound system in your car need?
The number of channels needed really depends on how many speakers are connected to the audio system, since each speaker needs its own channel for amplification.
Let’s talk about the different kinds of car amps:
Mono Channel Amps
These amplifiers only have one channel, but they usually have more power than amplifiers with more than one channel. Most of the time, mono channel amplifiers are used to power subwoofers with only one channel of bass speakers.
The best thing about these amplifiers is that they send signals to the speaker with a lot of power and very little heat.
2 Channel Amps
These amplifiers have two separate channels that can power two speakers or can be connected together to give more power to one speaker.
Speakers with two channels are mostly either Class A or Class AB.
3 Channel Amps
In the three-channel amplifiers, the Class AB and Class D circuitry are combined into a single amplifier.
The speakers use two channels, and the subwoofer uses the third. This is a great choice for small cars that don’t have a lot of room inside.
But if you want a completely amplified sound, you should choose a different type of amplifier.
4 Channel Amps
This has 4 output cables that can power 4 speakers or a subwoofer and 2 speakers by connecting 2 channels.
Most cars have four amplifiers that power the two front speakers and the two back speakers.
5 Channel Amps
These are made up of 2 amplifiers that have been combined into a single one. They have a 4-channel unit and a single-channel unit that work together to power 4 speakers and 1 subwoofer.
Since the subwoofer needs more power, the single channel that runs it is more powerful.
This is a very common layout that has enough channels and makes for great sound in the car.
6 Channel Amps
This isn’t used very often and is only for certain cars with big interiors, like SUVs.
The six-channel amplifier can power either six speakers or four speakers plus a subwoofer.
If you want a high-tech sound system for your car, you should use a 6 channel amplifier.
Size of the Car
When choosing an amplifier, the size of your car is a very important factor.
For example, you can’t put a big amplifier with a subwoofer in a small car or a small amplifier with a couple of speakers in a big SUV.
So, check the dimensions of the car’s interior and trunk before choosing an amplifier.
Type of Music
The type of music you listen to most often will affect which amplifier you choose.
If the music you like has a lot of bass, for example, you should look for an amplifier that can power a subwoofer or bass speakers.
On the other hand, if you like music with more detail and clarity, look for an amplifier that can power 4-6 interior speakers.
Power is a very important thing to think about when buying a car amplifier, and it’s very important that your speakers don’t have too little power.
Always buy your speakers first, and then choose the amplifier that will work best with them.
If you are using the speakers that came with the car, check the RMS value of the speakers and then choose an amplifier that can deliver between 75% and 150% of the RMS value.
There are a lot of sound systems and amplifiers to choose from, and you can spend a lot of money on them. But it’s a good idea to decide how much you want to spend on your car’s audio system and then buy an amplifier that fits within that budget.
Choosing the right amplifier for your car can be hard because there are so many technical details to keep in mind and so many options to choose from.
We looked at some of the best amplifiers on the market to help you make your choice.
Best Car Amplifier Reviews
1. Pioneer 2,400-Watt Class D Mono Amp
If you like music and want an amp for your car, the Pioneer Class D Mono Amp is a great choice. The amplifier makes sound that is clear and of high quality.
With an RMS rating of 1200 Watts, the Pioneer is a fairly powerful amplifier that can make any subwoofer produce strong bass. The Pioneer amp is well-made, solid, and will last for a long time.
The amp is half as big as amps in categories A and B, and it also runs much cooler. The amp also has a wired remote control for the bass that lets you change the bass.
With the amp’s low pass filter, you can change the bass and tone to your liking.
Uses less power.
Easy to carry and not too heavy.
Prices are fair.
Not all models of subwoofers will work with it.
Can get quite hot.
The small Pioneer Class D Mono Amp has a lot of uses and can be put in almost any place.
Don’t let its small size fool you. The Pioneer is powerful and will change the way you listen to music completely.
2. Rockford Fosgate Prime Class D Amplifier
The Rockford Fosgate Amplifier is an excellent, high-quality mono amplifier with a rating of 500 Watts and an RMS of 2 Ohms. The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is a great choice if you want to buy a cheap amplifier for your car.
Even though it is small, the amplifier has a strong sound. The amplifier has a wired remote control. It also has a heat sink made of cast aluminium and a control panel that is on the top.
The way the amplifier is made makes sure that the charging system uses less electricity. The Rockford Fosgate Amplifier is very easy to put inside a car because it is small and has a stylish gloss and matte finish that will match the interior of any car.
The way the amp is made keeps it from getting too hot or shorting out.
Easy to put together and not too heavy.
Good sound quality is made.
When the amplifier is turned all the way up, it may vibrate a lot.
Doesn’t turn on by itself, and you have to use the remote.
In general, the Rockford Fosgate Amplifier is a cheap amp that works very well.
The amp is small and sleek, and it has a lot of features. It will give you a great musical experience while you’re driving in your car.
3. Alpine 5 Channel Amplifier
Alpine, a company that has won awards for making car audio systems, makes the Alpine 5 Channel Amplifier. It is a very well-designed amplifier with attractive controls on the front panel that can add to the style of your car.
The amplifier’s wiring is not hard to understand, which makes it easy to set up and use. The amplifier is very small and can power everything in the car, including the subwoofer.
The Alpine amplifier can be used for many different things and makes clear, high-quality sound.
The amp is easy to put anywhere because it has a small footprint.
Slim and stylish design.
Sound that is clear and loud.
Not good enough for two channels.
Even though the amplifier is on the pricey side, it is worth the money because it sounds great and works well.
The Alpine 5 Channel Amplifier is known as one of the best amps on the market. It will make your driving experience a real pleasure.
If you want to improve the sound system in your car, it’s very important to get the right amplifier for it. Under-powered speakers will only ruin your entire listening experience by producing low-quality sound.
So, it is a good idea to evaluate the various amps available in the market and determine the one that is best for your vehicle on basis of your car type, make and the kind of music listening experience you want to have.