The vast majority of cars nowadays come with some built-in amplifier. However, these amplifiers aren’t external. They’re usually built into the head unit, and they’re not as powerful as you may have once thought.
So how do you choose the best car amplifier for your car?
It’s not always right to blame your speakers if you crank up the volume on the stereo to find out that all your speakers can bring is some stodgy, flat music. If that’s the case, then there’s a great chance that you’re missing out on an amplifier that could take full advantage of your speakers or subwoofers.
If you care about sound quality, it just doesn’t really get any better than a powerful car audio amp that will breathe life into your music, bringing out all of its excitement and sharpness.
Purchasing a good car amplifier might be a bit overwhelming, especially since there are different types of amplifiers in the market. In this guide, we look at how to choose the best car amplifier for your car. If you are on the lookout for an amplifier, here are a few different factors you should pay close attention to get the right amplifier for your money.
Channels – What is the Right Number of Channels?
The right number of channels you should be looking for in an amplifier depends on how many speakers you have in your sound system. Of course, the more speakers you have, the more channels you’ll need to power them. In general, you’ll need a channel for each speaker that you want to amplify. However, if you’re adding a subwoofer to your system, a mono-block amp will do just fine.
Multi-channel amplifiers tend to be more versatile. A 2-channel amp, for instance, could be used to power two subwoofers, two speakers, or you can bridge it to power a single sub.
Car amplifiers with multiple channels can be used to power multiple speakers. For instance, you could power all your four speakers off the same 4-channel amp and then use a completely new mono-channel amp for the subwoofer. However, things can get a bit complicated with components, as you may end up needing more than one amplifier and other components. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you get your set-up installed by a professional if you believe that you can’t get it right without blowing the system.
Power – How much power your speakers can handle?
Underpowered speakers are the main cause of flat, boring sound in vehicles. For this reason, if you’re building your stereo system yourself, it’s highly recommended that you pick out speakers first, then look for an appropriate amplifier that can put out enough juice to power them. However, if you have no intention of changing or upgrading your speakers, you’d still need to find the RMS power rating of your factory speakers, then choose an amplifier that’s capable of putting out at least 75 to 150 percent of that RMS.
Head Unit Compatibility
If you’re building your sound system from scratch, you should go for a head unit with pre-amp outputs. A head unit that includes pre-amp outputs will allow a direct connection from the receiver to the amplifier, resulting in much greater sound quality. On the other hand, a head unit with no pre-amp can directly connect to the receiver.
In such situations, an amplifier with speaker-level inputs will be required. This will save you from messing around with additional wiring and adapters, and it will result in much clearer sound than you’d get without an external amplifier.
Car Amplifier Installation
Installing an amplifier isn’t rocket surgery, but things can get a bit messy if it’s your first time installing an amplifier.
OK. You’ve decided to do it yourself. You’re confident, and you’re ready. Awesome. We believe you can do it too. The next step is to equip yourself with the right products and tools to get the job done.
If you didn’t buy an amp yet, make sure you check out our guide; we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. In addition, we’ve compiled a complete list of the best and high rated car amps out there. Don’t miss it!.