How to Choose the Best Car Amplifier

How do you choose the best car amplifier? What functions and features should the ideal car amplifier have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.

Why buy a good car amplifier?

The role of a car amplifier is to amplify electrical signals transmitted by your car’s audio unit to deliver more power to your car speakers.

Not only does the amplifier produce more power, but it even improves the sound quality and allows you to connect a larger number of speakers. Most cars are factory-equipped with a powerful enough amplifier for standard speakers.

Installing a new car amplifier is usually done when you want to upgrade your factory car speakers. If you want to add more bass sound to your car, you can use a car amplifier on a single channel that can connect to a car subwoofer.

The professional installation of a car amplifier is recommended to ensure that you do not damage your equipment by improper wiring. Incorrect installation of audio equipment in the car can also lead to accidents and injuries.

Top 3 Recommended Best Car Audio Amplifiers

The Best Car Amplifier: What to Look for

Most of the cars are equipped with integrated amplifiers in the audio unit, but adding an amplifier is about adding an external stand alone amplifier. It must be compatible with the audio system present on the car and you need to consider the number of channels and the power you want.

If you like an awesome sound, you’ll have to choose an amplifier with a dedicated channel for low sounds (bass). Knowing from the beginning what you want will help you choose the best car amplifier for you that will deliver the desired sound.

Music Preferences

The style of music you regularly listen to can largely influence the type of amplifier you require.

If you’re an aficionado of bass-heavy genres like hip hop or electronic music, an amplifier with a dedicated subwoofer channel (mono or multi-channel) is crucial to achieve those deep lows.

Conversely, if your music tastes lean more towards classical, acoustic or vocals, a 2-channel or 4-channel amplifier could suffice, focusing on the mid and high range frequencies.

Number of Audio Channels

The best car amplifiers are equipped with a specific number of channels. These channels refer to the number of audio outputs or the number of speakers you can connect to the amplifier. Each channel includes two speaker terminals (one positive and one negative).

A mono amplifier usually offers a single channel and is used most often to add a subwoofer. A 2 channel amplifier (stereo amplifier) is used to connect two car speakers (one on the left and one on the right).

Multichannel car amplifiers can have two to six channels in this way that can couple a whole complex audio system. The latter are quite bulky and require more space for installation.

Impedance

Measured in ohms (Ω), impedance is a measure of electrical resistance. Most car amplifiers are designed to handle speakers with 4-ohm impedance.

Be sure to match the amplifier’s impedance with that of your speakers to prevent overheating and damage.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)

This specification indicates how well the amplifier can distinguish between the audio signal and background noise.

An amplifier with a higher SNR will provide a cleaner, crisper sound. Ideally, look for an amplifier with an SNR of 90dB or more.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

THD is a measure of sound distortion — the lower the percentage, the better. A good amplifier should have a THD of less than 1%.

Amplifiers with high THD may produce a noticeable hiss or buzz, especially at high volumes.

Built-in Crossovers

Amplifiers with built-in crossovers allow you to control which frequencies are sent to specific speakers.

For instance, high-pass filters can remove low frequencies from your door speakers, while low-pass filters can ensure only low frequencies reach your subwoofers.

This feature can significantly enhance the overall audio quality.

Maximum Power

The maximum power of a car amplifier is given by RMS (power) or total output power to each speaker. It is important to know the amount of RMS power of the speakers you own and then to choose an amplifier that has a power of at least 75% of that power.

For example, if your loudspeaker has a power of 150 watts, you’ll want to buy an amplifier that can generate between 125 and 175 watts of power per speaker (or channel). If you do not pay attention to these values, you will not get the best results for your car’s audio system.

Types of Amplifiers

Once you’ve understood these basic specifications, you’ll need to decide on the type of amplifier that’s best suited for your system. The three primary types are:

  • Mono Amplifiers: Perfect for powering subwoofers, these deliver power through a single channel, ideal for bass-heavy music lovers.
  • 2-Channel Amplifiers: These can power two speakers or be bridged to power a single subwoofer. They are a versatile choice for smaller systems.
  • Multi-channel Amplifiers: With four or more channels, these amplifiers can power a complete sound system, including door speakers and subwoofers. They are excellent for complex, high-performance systems.

Amplifier Class

The ‘class’ of an amplifier refers to its circuitry design, which impacts efficiency, power output, and heat production.

Class D amplifiers are typically more efficient and run cooler, making them suitable for small spaces, though some argue they may compromise on audio quality.

On the other hand, Class A/B amplifiers are known for excellent sound quality but can generate more heat.

System Expansion

Consider any future upgrades you might have in mind. If you’re planning to add more speakers or subwoofers down the line, opt for an amplifier with more channels.

This approach will save you from having to buy a new amplifier when you decide to expand your system.

Warranty and Service

Warranty of the chosen car amplifier protects you if it fails after it has been installed in your car. Depending on the warranty conditions, some manufacturers also provide warranty for damage to car speakers if they happen due to a manufacturing failure of the amplifier, provided that the installation has been made by professionals.

Take great care of who you buy the car amplifier from, many manufacturers have the mandatory requirement to purchase from an authorized dealer to provide the warranty for the product.

Conclusion

While the prospect of choosing the perfect amplifier may initially seem intimidating, it ultimately comes down to understanding your needs and how each amplifier specification aligns with those.

An amplifier is a significant investment, and the right choice can greatly enhance your in-car audio experience, making every journey a musical pleasure.

Although factory-installed car amplifiers are much better than they once were, buying an additional car amplifier will help you get the most out of your car audio system.

Making an informed choice you can be sure that you will choose the most suitable car amplifier for you.

Recommended Best Car Amplifiers

Taking into account the above criteria and analysing the offer on the market we can recommend below some models of car amplifiers that offer excellent quality/price ratio. Of course you have to choose a model according to your audio system, but the models below are a good starting point on the way to the right car amplifier.

Recommended Product No. 1
1 Reviews
XJYMCOM 5800W 12V High Power Car Amplifier,Car Stereo Audio Power Amplifier,4-Channel 4Ohm Super...
  • 【4 Speakers】4-channel 4Ohm subwoofer amplifier, meeting the needs of most users, bringing you the most perfect sound quality.
  • 【5800W Powerful Power】5800W 12V high-power car amplifier is universal and suitable for all cars. The sound quality is high-fidelity and clear, bringing you and your family and friends an auditory feast.
  • 【Wear-Resistant and Durable】The stereo audio amplifier is made of high-quality iron and aluminum alloy, which is sturdy and durable and suitable for long-term use.
SaleRecommended Product No. 2
52 Reviews
Pioneer GM-A5702 2-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier (1000W) with Bass Boost
  • Item Package Weight: 2.68 kg
  • Item Package Length: 11.0cm
  • Item Package Width: 27.0cm
Recommended Product No. 3
42 Reviews
Juice Car Audio JA1504 1500W 4-Channel Bridgeable Car Power Amplifier, Thermal Protection, RCS...
  • IMPROVED CIRCUIT DESIGN - To prevent circuit shutdown, Juice's new digital amplifier circuit, senses its internal temperature and automatically moderates input level accordingly. Stable, durable circuitry lessens the risk of high input power for the unit to achieve 1 Ω connection. This design enhances the flexibility to connect multiple subwoofers to a system
  • VARIABLE HPF - Variable HPF adjust your high-pass filter frequency for greater audio system flexibility
  • VARIABLE LPF - Variable LPFadjust your low-pass filter frequency for greater audio system flexibility
SaleRecommended Product No. 4
1,760 Reviews
LEPY LP-2020A Amplifier
  • RCA Input ,Can be plug in with Ipod,MP3/MP4
  • Mini size and easy to install by DIY without the use of manual
  • Fits perfectly for a car, motorcycle or boat
SaleRecommended Product No. 5
4 Reviews
4-Channel Audio Power Amplifier, amplifier HiFi 7900W High Power Amp. Four-Way 12.0V Car Stereo...
  • 7900W high-power car amplifier can effectively improve the sound quality of car audio and bring a nice experience to users.
  • It can amplify the weak signal from the audio source or pre-amplifier, without changing the sound quality, and promote the sound of the speaker.
  • Premium aluminum alloy housing, exquisite and beautiful, high-end texture, strong shock resistance. With multiple cooling holes, quick heat dissipation and nice stability.
Recommended Product No. 6
6 Reviews
Juice Car Audio JA1201D 1200W 1-Channel Mono Peak Power Car Amplifier, Bass Remote, 1 Ohm Stable,...
  • IMPROVED CIRCUIT DESIGN - To prevent circuit shutdown, Juice's new digital amplifier circuit, senses its internal temperature and automatically moderates input level accordingly. Stable, durable circuitry lessens the risk of high input power for the unit to achieve 1 Ω connection. This design enhances the flexibility to connect multiple subwoofers to a system.
  • VARIABLE HPF - Variable HPF adjust your high-pass filter frequency for greater audio system flexibility
  • VARIABLE LPF - Variable LPFadjust your low-pass filter frequency for greater audio system flexibility
Recommended Product No. 7
Lrtzizy 1000W Car Audio High Power Amplifier Amp Board Powerful Bass Sub Woofer Board 12V
  • High efficiency, wide frequency, quality.
  • Strong heat dissipation power drawing technology is compact.
  • 12V 1000W car audio amplifier board provide a wonderful in-car entertainment.

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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