Our Recommendations for Choosing the Best Car Amplifier!

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4

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Choosing the best car amplifier is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the sound quality of a car audio system. The main goal is boosting the signal that your head unit puts out, which significantly improves the sound quality you experience in your car.

Many aftermarket speakers require more power to operate correctly, But most available head units with built-in amplifiers cannot power these speakers. In this case, and without an outboard amplifier, you could never experience high-quality music reproduction in your car. For this reason, using a separate amplifier comes in handy for audio enthusiasts.

Choosing the best car amplifier can be a tedious task as there are many types, models, and brands in the market. However, the interactive chart below and the analysis that follows will help you decide and determine which car amplifier is for you.

Ultimate Car Amplifier Guide – Things To Look For When Choosing the Best Car Amplifier

Car amplifiers come in various varieties and types, so you can easily choose what will work best for your vehicle. First, however, understanding the terms related to car amplifiers is the key to picking the right car amplifier. These terms include but are not limited to amplifier class, channels, RMS power, peak power, bass boost …

Knowing what each of these terms means is very important to make an informed choice. So we are here to help.

Amplifier Class

Car amplifiers are classified by class. These classes represent the general architecture and features of the amplifier’s electronic circuitry. In addition, they are usually associated with some particular characteristics relating to energy efficiency, sound performance, and power dissipation.

  • Class A – Class A amplifiers feature high-quality sound. They are the most desirable amplifiers but because of their high levels of operating temperatures, they are considered inefficient. This is because their output transistors always have current running through them even if there’s no audio signal (the output transistors are never turned off, hence the amp heat up unnecessarily).
  • Class B – Class B amplifiers are an enhanced version of Class A amplifiers. Unlike Class A, the output transistors of Class B amplifiers actually turn off for half of every signal cycle which significantly improves efficiency and saves energy, However, these amps tend to distort at high frequencies.
  • Class AB – Class ‘AB’ and class ‘B’ amplifiers are very similar. However, Class AB amplifiers allow current to run through their output transistors when there’s no audio signal, but at a much lower rate, Which makes them the best compromise.
  • Class D – Class D amplifiers follow a different approach. They are designed to use the output transistors as switches to control power distribution. Though their transistors switch on and off rapidly, these amplifiers tend to deliver higher distortion than class AB amplifiers.

You’d want to go with a class AB amplifier in many cases because it’s the most suitable among the other classes. However, class D amplifiers tend to be the most appropriate, especially with low-frequency sound applications.

We highly recommend going with class AB when choosing the best car amplifier because it offers both class A and class B benefits without sacrificing the sound quality.

  • Bass Boost: It stands for some built-in circuits that specialize in increasing the output of low frequencies. Some car amplifiers allow users to tune the bass boost, therefore adjusting the center frequency which results in changing the character of the bass.
  • Car Amplifier Channels: A channel is an electronic circuitry output used to power a single speaker/subwoofer. Car amplifiers with multiple channels can power multiple speakers.
  • RMS Power of Car Amplifiers: RMS(Root Mean Square) is the amount of continuous power that an amplifier produces.to put it simply the higher the RMS rating, the louder and cleaner your music sounds. for this reason, the RMS rating is the most important thing you should pay the most attention to.

Finally, and as we’ve already stated, understanding the terms related to car amplifiers is the key to picking the right car amplifier. Feel free to contact us here if you have any concerns about these terms.

Top 5 Car Amplifiers

If you want to make the best decision for yourself, you must consider both the advantages and disadvantages of a certain product. Of course, there isn’t a product 100% perfect, but some car amplifiers can actually get pretty close.

So, here you have a comparison of the technical specifications of each of the 3 top amplifiers, as well as their Amazon rating and their price:

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Amplifier

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 is a Multi-Channel Amplifier. It’s undoubtedly one of the best car amplifiers on the market. It combines powerful sound and impressive sound clarity into a versatile tiny power amplifier.

Rockford Fosgate configured the PBR300X4 with an overall RMS of 300 watts in total (75 Watts x 4 @ 4-Ohms), which is more than enough power to fill your car’s interior space with great-sounding music.

Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 is of class BR, which stands for “boosted Rail.” It’s a new technology that consists of using capacitors and high-speed circuitries to boost the amp’s power supply voltage. This technology allowed Rockford Fosgate to build this powerful amplifier that fits almost anywhere.

So, if you are looking for a good investment, then Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 is your best option.

  • Classification: Class BR
  • Audio Channels: 4
  • Bridgeable: Yes
  • Rated Power @ 4 Ohm : 4 x 75 W
  • RMS Output Power: 300 W
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Features: 4 Ohm Stable, NOMAD Protection, Speaker Level Inputs
  • Power Supply: MOSFET
  • Dimensions : 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Limited Warranty: 1 Year
Sale
Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Punch 300 Watt 4 Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier
  • Our ultra-compact (1.53” x 4.25” x 6.75”) Punch PBR300X4 is a full-range 4-channel amplifier designed for stereo front/rear systems that packs a Punch with 300 Watts of power without sucking a lot of juice from your electrical system
  • Designed to be compact and efficient while providing big power - RMS Power Output: 75 Watts x 4 @ 4-Ohm (4-Ohm only)
  • Featuring our Class BR, Rockford Fosgate’s patented Boosted Rail technology that sips current while retaining a storage reserve for extended bursts of power. Perfect for smaller stealth installations, motorcycles and recreational vehicles
  • Featuring high level inputs, MOSFET output stage, variable 4-6 volt hi level DC offset voltage input turn-on control, and 12dB/octave Butterworth crossover
  • Famous Rockford Fosgate build quality with a full 1-year warranty when purchased from an authorized Rockford Fosgate reseller

Planet Audio AC2000 2-Channel Amplifier

Planet Audio AC2000.2

If you’re looking for a 2-channel amplifier and you’re on a budget, then Planet Audio AC2000.2 amplifier is your best bet. It has a great RMS power rating (700 watts x 2 channels), with a respectable frequency response. In addition, planet Audio AC2000.2 comes with various features, including a soft turn-on circuit, a remote subwoofer level control, as well as an input sensitivity selector, and power & protection LEDs, which make it the most adaptable & adjustable amplifier in the market.

With an impressive amount of power and surprisingly various features, the Planet Audio AC2000.2 secures a top spot on our comparison. If you’re looking for powerful 2 channel amps, this amplifier will not disappoint you.

  • Audio Channels : 2
  • Bridgeable : Yes
  • Rated Power @ 2 Ohm : 2 x 700 W
  • RMS Output Power : 700 W
  • Frequency Response : 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • Power Supply : MOSFET
  • Dimensions : 13-9/16″L x 10″W x 2-3/16″H
  • Limited Warranty : 1 Year
  • Features: Soft Turn-On Circuit, Remote Subwoofer Level Control, Input Sensitivity Selector, Power & Protection LEDs
Planet Audio AC2000.2 Anarchy Series Car Audio Amplifier - 2000 High Output, 2 Channel, 2/8 Ohm, High/Low Level Inputs, High/Low Pass Crossover, Full Range, Hook Up To Stereo and Subwoofer,Black
  • Power - 1000 Watts Max x 2 @2-Ohms, 500 Watts Max x 2 @4-Ohms, 2000 Watts Max x 1 Bridged @4 Ohms
  • Class A/B Topology - Class ‘A’ amplifiers have enormous amount of current flowing through its output transistors with no audio signal. Class ‘B’ amplifiers have no current flowing through its outputs with no audio signal
  • Full Range - With a Full Range amplifier you not only have the option to run your speakers, but also your subwoofers
  • Mosfet Power Supply - A MOSFET is an electrical switch that allows the flow of electrical current. It controls the output voltage and current precisely by removing the output current sensing loss & eliminating all secondary feedback circuitry
  • Variable High-Pass Crossover - Speakers reproduce sound based on high, low or mid-range frequencies. What the Variable High-Pass Crossover does is that it gears specifically towards “highs” such as all size speakers including mid ranges and tweeters

Boss Audio R1100M Monoblock Power Amplifier

Boss Audio R1100M

When it comes to monoblock amps, we’re really torn between the Boss Audio R1100M and Kenwood KAC-M1814. Both of these amplifiers scored near to perfect as we could justify.

Boss Audio R1100M boasts some impressive specifications and RMS Output Power that surprised us. So if you’re looking for a powerful, cheap, and reliable amp, this is it.

  • Classification: Class A/B
  • Audio Channels: 1
  • Rated Power: 1100 Watts
  • RMS Output Power: 250 Watts x 1
  • Power Supply: MOSFET
  • Frequency Response: 9 to 50000 Hz
  • Dimensions : 2.25″ x 9.125″ x 10.4375″
  • Limited Warranty: 1 Year
  • Features: Soft Turn-On Circuit, Remote Subwoofer Level Control.
Sale
BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Riot Series Car Audio Subwoofer Amplifier - 1100 High Output, Monoblock, Class A/B, 2/4 Ohm Stable, Low/High Level Inputs, Low Pass Crossover, Mosfet Power Supply, Stereo
  • 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 through its output transistors with no audio signal. Class ‘B’ amplifiers have no current flowing through its outputs with no audio signal
  • Mosfet Power Supply - A MOSFET is an electrical switch that allows the flow of electrical current. It controls the output voltage & current precisely by removing the output current sensing loss & eliminating all secondary feedback circuitry
  • Low & High Level Inputs - A low level (RCA) input is measured in voltages. A high level (+/- wire) input is measured in wattages. Both essentially carry signal from your receiver to your amplifier to your speakers
  • Variable Low-Pass Crossover - Subwoofers reproduce sound based on a number of different low-range frequencies. You can set exact sound specifications for the bass frequency reproduction

Kenwood KAC-M1814

Kenwood Kac-M1814  is one of the best monoblock amplifiers that you can find out there. It’s built with high standards, and it offers long-term reliability as well as high sound quality. This amplifier has the ability to push up to 900watts to your subwoofers. In addition, it comes with 2 cooling fans that allow it to withstand the harshest circumstances.

Kenwood Kac-M1814 amplifier is engineered to be extremely robust, thus increasing their output, which will allow you to experience the best possible sound out of your subwoofers or speakers.

Tough this amplifier is a bit pricy,  It’s still worth every penny you spend on it. We highly recommend this amplifier if monoblock amps are what you’re looking for.

P.S = This amplifier is not designed to power full-range speakers.

  • Classification: Class A/B
  • Audio Channels: 1
  • Rated Power: 900 Watts x 1
  • RMS Output Power: 500 Watts x 1
  • Power Supply: MOSFET
  • Frequency Response: 9 to 50000 Hz
  • Dimensions : 2.25″ x 9.125″ x 10.4375″
  • Limited Warranty: 1 Year
  • Features: Soft Turn-On Circuit, Remote Subwoofer Level Control.
Sale
Kenwood KAC-M1814 4-Channel Compact Bridgeable Marine/Motorsports 400W Max Power Digital Amplifier
  • Digital Amplifier Technology
  • Speaker Level Input w/ Signal Sensing Turn-on
  • 2 Ohms Load Capability. High Pass Filter : 50Hz-200Hz, -12dB/oct (A/B)
  • Power MOS-FET Switching Power Supply
  • 1m (3.3ft) RCA Cable

What Are the Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Car Amplifier?

Things to look for when choosing the best car amplifier include amplifier class, RMS power, peak power, channels, bass boost circuits, equalization, remote level controls, and more. These are essential features to consider when buying a car amplifier. A good rule of thumb is to pair the amplifier with speakers that can handle at least 50 watts of RMS power.

What is the Most Important Thing to Consider When Buying a Car Amplifier?

The amplifier class is arguably the most important thing to consider when buying a car amplifier. These classes characterize the overall design and characteristics of the amplifier’s circuit. Furthermore, they are frequently connected with features related to energy economy, sound performance, and power dissipation.

How many car amplifier classes are there?

There are two main groups of car amplifier classes: 

  • The controlled conduction angle amplifier classes (A, B, AB, and C) are depicted by the length of conduction states across a specific region of the output waveform.
  • The switching amplifier classes (D to T) constantly toggle the signal by employing digital circuitry and PWM.

What Amplifier Class Should I Choose?

Class A amplifiers generally offer the best results. They are known for their simplicity, high linearity, maximum amplitude, and sound fidelity. Therefore, it is pro-choice for high frequencies. However, it is expensive and inefficient compared to AB or D.

What Are the Best Car Amplifiers?

The best car amplifiers include:

  • Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Amplifier
  •  Rockford Fosgate P400X4 Punch
  • Planet Audio AC2000 2-Channel Amplifier
  • Boss Audio R1100M Monoblock Power Amplifier
  • Kenwood KAC-M1814
  • Kicker 46CXA8001
  • Rockville dB55
  • MTX Audio THUNDER75.4
  • Alpine MRV-F300
  • Rockford Fosgate P400X4
  • Kicker 47KEY2004

What Are the Advantages of a Car Amplifier?

The advantages of a car amplifier include:

  • Gaining enhanced volume
  • Reduces disturbances that affect sound quality by sending clean audio signals to speakers
  • Multiple-channels amps offer updating abilities and adaptability
  • Helps utilize power efficiently
  • Provides power for optimal performance

FAQ

What Are the Differences Between Class AB and Class D Amplifiers?

Class AB is used mainly with speakers, while Class D is used to power subwoofers. Class AB is inefficient even though it has a clean sound. It is limited to 65% power efficiency compared to the 95% power efficiency of Class D. The higher the efficiency, the lower the heat produced, eliminating the need for a cooling system.

Which Amplifier is Currently the Best for Sound Quality?

The Rockford Fosgate P400X4 Punch is currently the best amp for sound quality. This Rockford Fosgate amplifier is a four-channel amp that can power anywhere from two to six speakers. In addition, the Class A/B design ensures the high-quality audio reproduction you’ve been searching for.

Where Are Car Amplifiers Mounted?

Big and heavy amplifiers are mounted in the trunk, while small and lightweight amplifiers can be fitted under the seat. Some class D amplifiers are between 4 and 6 inches and can be kept in the glove compartment. It generally comes down to preference and size.

Conclusion

When choosing the best car amplifier, the main goal is to make sure that all the car’s speakers or subwoofers are sufficiently powered, which significantly improves the sound quality of an audio system. However, car amplifiers aren’t just about boosting the sound. Check out the top 5 advantages of using a car amplifier.

If your speakers or subwoofers aren’t well powered, don’t expect too much from them. Moreover, if your speakers are not powered properly, you risk damaging or wearing them out prematurely, which is not what you want. So make sure your speakers/subwoofers are powered adequately, and make sure you review the terms we discussed above before you go shopping for a new car amplifier.

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Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4

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