Best Car amplifier 2018 – Best Of Best
Hitting the road without an outstanding sound system is unimaginable, don't you agree? Whereas you may be having your best music playlist, it may turn out to be your worst if your sound system is flawed.
There's quite a lot to take into account when it comes to the overall sound system but today, let's shift our focus to the car amplifier. An amplifier simply gives you a booming bass or rather gives you much more than what your speakers are giving you.
As much as there are a lot of amplifiers, there’s only one problem- getting the best. It’s no easy task and most people may do this wrong which calls for an expert’s aid. Taking this into account, we’ve invested quite a lot of hours in research to give you a guide that will sure as eggs get you an amp worth your money.
How about we get started right away?
Here’s a comparison chart of 3 of our best Car amplifier to get you started.
- 1 Here’s a comparison chart of 3 of our best Car amplifier to get you started.
- 2 A guide to The Best Car Amplifier in 2018
- 3 Only choose from 10 of the best car amplifiers.
- 4 3. Planet Audio AC1200.4 Anarchy 1200 Watt
- 5 4. Soundstream T1.6000DL 6000W Tarantula Series Mono Block Class D Car Amplifier
- 6 Skar Audio RP-2000.1D Mono Block Class D Mosfet Subwoofer Amplifier
- 7 BOSS Audio AR2000M Armor 2000 Watt, 2/4 Ohm Stable Class A/B, Monoblock
- 8 Lanzar Amplifier Car Audio
The price tag on these amps vary but even so, getting the best is about going for what you need rather than spending too much on what your vehicle does not need.
Here’s a comparison chart of the top 3 best car amplifiers in 2018.
Kenwood 22154656 Compact 4 Channel Digital Amplifier
Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier with Wired Bass Boost Remote
Rockville dB15 6000 Watt/3000w RMS Mono Class D 2 Ohm Amplifier Car Audio Amp
A guide to The Best Car Amplifier in 2018
Even though every vehicle does have some sort of an amplifier, not all of the amps are external. You’ll get most of these built into the head unit and the truth is, most of these amps will not give you the boost you are looking for.
What defines an outstanding amp anyways?
Well, this is basically cannot be answered in one or two clauses. For instance, you may crank up the volume of your car audio system and notice some distortion despite having a good head unit and a set of speakers.
This is due to the presence of an underpowered built-in amplifier. Also, the power handling capabilities of your speakers have a big role to play but with the best car amplifier, how good your stock sound system will perform is going to blow your mind.
To simplify things as much as possible for you, we've narrowed down our research to 3 main things that you should look into when upgrading your amp or purchase your first:
Is the amplifier compatible with your system?
In most cases, no matter what the manufacturers say about the car stereos, most of them do not exceed about 10 watts of RMS power output per channel.
With such a low amount of power, you cannot be able to conquer the noise on the road without the sound getting distorted. One of the best ways you can get to overcome this is doing an overall system upgrade- this has to include an amplifier mainly. You'll also include other sound processing gear that is exclusively meant to boot the overall performance of your automobile. At the same time, the interior will not lose the factory appearance.
So as to end up with amazingly clear sound quality, it is important to consider providing a signal that is not amplified by your amp. The best way to do this is going to a head unit that has got preamp outputs which sadly, you cannot get in most factory-installed head units as well as most of the aftermarket ones.
Whereas getting a new head unit with preamp outputs will solve this, it may prove somehow difficult to get one not to mention you’ll be spending some extra cash.
Rather than getting a new head unit, you can alternatively go for an amp with speaker level inputs. This will not only save you the hassle of doing a lot of wiring but you will also get a better sound than you would have when using an external amplifier.
Don’t go low on the power.
Power handling is one of the most important things to take into account as far as doing an upgrade to your present sound system is concerned. Regardless of whichever upgrade you are doing one thing always holds- always provide your system with the right amount of power.
So as to get the best sound from your head unit, most people end up picking out their speaker sets first then finding an amplifier that’s enough to power them.
A speaker will normally have an RMS rating and this is normally represented a range- say for instance 10-60 watts RMS. The higher end of this scale represents the driving power the speaker will play to its fullest based on the manufacturer.
Whereas most speakers are rated to take a lot more power than their rating, this cannot be so if they don’t get as much as ¾ of that power rating.
So, assuming you already have the aftermarket speakers with you, here’s what you ought to do:
First off find out their top RMS rating. If your speakers come in a pair, it should be easy since this will be the same in both of them. On the contrary, if the speakers are installed in different locations, go ahead and use the rating for the lower-powered speakers. You should then multiply that number by (75%)0.75 which is the minimum RMS the amp that'll work best for your set up should have per channel. Now multiply that rating number by (150%)1.5 since most speakers are able to operate way past their RMS; this is the max output channel you should want your amp to have.
At the same time, if you cannot find an amp that is small enough to handle the low power ratings, you can alternatively set your amp's gain low enough such that it won't have to attain its max power. This way, your speakers are guaranteed to be safe.
Moving on to the easy part:
Most people seldom use their rear speakers which is why they go for the dual-channel amp. This is needed when you only need to power a single pair of speakers.
4 channel amps
Considering everyone has a different taste when it comes to setting up their sound system, you may want to gain the front-to-rear control in which case the best car amplifier is the 4-channel amp.
3 channel amps
In the case where you'd want to include a subwoofer, you can go for the 3-channel amp which handles a pair of speakers with the sub as well. You can also employ a 4-channel amp to handle the sub- simply bridge two channels together for the sub and let the remaining two handle the remaining speakers.
The 4-channel amp not only allows you to take care of the sub but at the same time allows for potential future expansions of your system. You can either add a sub in future or another speaker to your current music system.
5 channel amps
Powering the whole if your system from one package can conveniently be done with a 5-channel amp. This can take care of the speakers, more than one subwoofer and also leave room for the addition of other components.
If you may need to run 3 and 4-way systems, you can go for the 6 or 8 channel amps. These work well by dedicating each of the channels in the amplifier to handle the different drivers.
Tip: in some cases, an amplifier cannot always be able to handle the power capabilities of a subwoofer which is why there are the mono amps. These can exclusively be used to handle the subwoofer so that it is able to make use of an optimal amount of power to get to its full potential.
Setting up your car amplifier
Knowing the type of amp you need is not enough if you won’t be able to set it up as one with your system. The truth is, correct amp wiring is much more complicated than swapping your speakers or a head unit considering there’s no dedicated location meant for the external amp installation.
How about we move on to the amplifier installation guide right away?
First off, to get started, here are the basic connections you need to be aware of when wiring up an amplifier:
- Audio input
- Audio output
- Ground connections
- The battery power
- Remote turn on
The battery power a remote turn on and the ground connection are essential when supplying power to your new car amplifier. First off, hook up the battery power cable to tot battery’s positive terminal directly. Considering this will be going directly to the positive terminal of the battery, you should go for a thick cable- most preferably 10 and 1/0 AWG through the specific cable gauge for the amp can be found in the manual that comes with the amp.
The rule of thumb when it comes to the type of cable is that the one you’ll be using to connect to the battery is what you’ll also use for a ground connection though this won’t be as long as the power cable.
For the remote turn on wire, you will need a thinner cable and in addition to this, it should only be long enough to get to your stereo from where you’ll be setting the amp up from.
The audio input and output should be easy since this only needs a speaker wire to get things done. RCA audio cables should be enough to do this conveniently. These cables are basically those with red and white connectors or red and black in some cases.
Getting the right components for amplifier wiring.
Even if you look the external car amplifiers online, you’ll notice that they do not come with wiring cables which means that you’ll be purchasing most of the components. To make things easier, you can purchase them as being part of a car amp installation kit.
It’s important to know the length of wire you’ll need to run the cable between the car’s battery and where you are to install the amp. This can be under the seat, in the dash or at the rear of your vehicle. The same should also be done for the head unit so that you’ll know how long the remote turn on wire needs to be.
Lastly, go ahead and check what you need between the traditional speaker wires and the RCA cables; simply check whether your head unit has a line-level RCA output. If the RCA outputs are present, you’ll just need the speaker cables to hook into your amplifier given it’s got speaker level inputs.
Now that you already have your amplifier and have already listed down all you need to complete the installation, you’ll need to go ahead and hassle to purchase them. Speaker wires and cables are easily available and if you’re lucky, you can get them cut in the correct lengths. It’s always advisable to allow some slack in your wires and at the same time don’t have them being too long to avoid tangles.
Amplifier wiring kits for your vehicle.
Even though the car amplifiers do not come with any of the installation cables, you'll be forced to do the installation yourself.
If this is your first installation or you just want to get everything that’s required all at once without leaving anything out, then the car amp wiring kits ought to suit you best.
These packages basically come with everything you’ll need to do the installation conveniently on your own which saves you both the time and money it takes to get this done by someone else. Normally the basis on which these kits are categorized is by the gauge wire.
You can get the 10-gauge, 8-gauge, etc.car amp installation kits and know the type of gauge wire that you need to set up your amplifier. Besides just the gauge wires for ground connection and connection to the battery, you’ll also need to know whether or not you’ll need the audio input and output cables i.e. the RCA cables.
Will as much info as we’ve just mentioned in mind, getting the perfect car installation kit for you should be quite simple. All in all, here’s a list of the minimum components that should be contained in your amp installation kit:
- The power and ground cables
- RCA cables otherwise known as speaker wires
- A remote turn-on wire
- An in-line fuse and a fuse holder
Besides the above-mentioned equipment, here are some additional components that you should probably consider giving the first priority when shopping for a car amplifier wiring kit:
Here’s a little bit information that will definitely come in handy
Whereas setting up an amplifier isn’t as difficult as we probably thought it would be, you’ll want to give some thought where you’ll have the amp installed as well as how you’ll set up the wires. This is basically the tricky part considering that most vehicles do not come with a car amplifier pre-installed.
Regarding the measurement of the amplifier, you should take the measurement of the potential installation location as well as the length of the wires.
You could install your amp in any one of these places:
- Under the seat
- In the trunk of your car
- Against the firewall of the passenger side.
Measuring up these spaces prior to placing your order will save you a lot of hassle.
Only choose from 10 of the best car amplifiers.
Now that you know what to look for in a car amplifier in relation to your car’s current music system, let’s move on to the second part- a review of the top 10 best car amplifiers in 2018.
1. Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier with Wired Bass Boost Remote
It won’t come as a surprise that the Pioneer GM-D8601 might probably the smallest car amplifier you’ve come across. Even so, let not the size of this multimeter defraud you- there is more to it than meets the eye.
First off, for the power handling threshold, it can be able to provide as much as 1600 watts which as we all know is quite a lot to power up your amplifier. Considering that this happens to be one of the Class-D digital amplifiers, it’s smaller size makes installation a walk in the park.
Speaking of installation, your package will include a 3mm Allen wrench, four 8/8" self-tapping screws, two 3/8-inch self-tapping screws. There will also be a user manual that will let you in on a thing or two as far as the amp installation is concerned.
Though purchasing the best car amplifier is a hassle? Well, wait till you start wiring it up; this might be another problem. Most amps require you to bet the RCA cables so as to set them up. In this case, however, the Pioneer GM-D8601 has got speaker level inputs that permit you to set it up with your head unit- you definitely won’t be needing a pioneer head unit.
Protection Control system- here’s something you’ll not be getting in just any amplifier; a way to protect the internal circuitry from damage. The circuitry of the amp is able to sense the internal temperature of the amp and moderates the internal input accordingly. With the stable circuitry, the unit is able to achieve the 1 -oh connection which enhances the flexibility of the unit to be used in a number of subwoofers.
2. Rockville dB15 6000 Watt/3000w RMS Mono Class D 2 Ohm Amplifier Car Audio Amp
When we hear amplifiers, the first thing we’ll go ahead and look into is the power handling. Well, in this case, you can tell from the title alone that the Rockville dB15 will deliver a sound like no other.
Power handling & impedance.
With as much as 3000 watts for the RMS, the continuous amount of power this amp is going to feed your subwoofer or speaker is mind-blowing. Backed up with double the RMS, the 6000-watt peak per channel allows the sub to push beyond its limits for the best experience.
For the impedance, you’ll be getting 2 ohms of these. The lower the impedance the greater the amount of power the amp is able to channel as much power as possible for the best bass which brings us to our next point
Get the best bass.
On the amplifier is a low pass filter that handles frequencies ranging between 50Hz and 250Hz and if you think this is as good as the bass gets, wait till you use the subsonic filter that gets the lows even lower- 15Hz-55Hz. If you’re looking for something that’ll give you a bang for your buck, this one’s definitely it.
Something else that makes this be best car amplifier for your money is the 12dB bass equalizer that at the same time is adjustable.
3. Planet Audio AC1200.4 Anarchy 1200 Watt
The next amp on our list is probably going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.Normally, a good amplifier is normally expected to be outstanding when it comes to delivering the bass. That being said, here’s what you’ll be getting.
The planet audio AC1200 comes with a fixed high pass crossover to take care of the higher frequencies. on the other hand, so as to ensure you’ll be getting the best bass, there is the variable low pass crossover. This simply allows you to set the bass to just the way you like it.
Bridgeable and 2-ohm stable:
So as to give you a bigger power output, you can combine the channels of either the 4 o the 2 channel amps- this obviously will give you a better and louder bass. Upon using the 2-ohm stable, you can comfortably power speakers or subwoofers.
High and low-level inputs- enough for everything.
This amp comes with high-level input which accepts the speaker output signal and a low-level input that accepts pre-amp output signal. Both of these allow for the addition of amplifiers and processors to the factory installed speakers or the aftermarket speakers.
Short protection and switchable input sensitivity.
The automatic shut-off feature protects the amp just in case it gets too hot or if the speaker fails to cause a short. The switchable input sensitivity provides an adjustable control over the input signal from the head unit to achieve a customized balance between power and sound quality.
4. Soundstream T1.6000DL 6000W Tarantula Series Mono Block Class D Car Amplifier
Known to dominate the soundstream amplifier arsenal are the tarantula amplifiers. Well, how about we take a closer look at what makes it such a good amp?
To start with, it is a monoblock class D car amplifier. This simply means that if you need something that'll work with your subwoofer perfectly, consider putting your money on this one.
The maximum power handling is 6,000 watts; definitely not something you’ll get on just any amp. Well, there is no other better way of saying this other than the bass will shake every inch of your car.
For the RMS power rating, you get a 4-ohm impedance in 800watts x 1 channel; 2 ohms for 1400 watts x 1 channel; 1 ohm for 2500 watts x 1 channel
It also includes a 4-channel, 1-ohm stable class 5-channel, and monoblocks. In addition to this, there is also a 5-ohm stable 3000-watt monoblock thrown in which allows you to make an even better personalization to your sound system.
Skar Audio RP-2000.1D Mono Block Class D Mosfet Subwoofer Amplifier
In all of the RP amplifier series, the RP-2000.1D form skar is the most powerful monoblock amp. First off, from its name alone, the fact that it’s a MOSFET amplifier makes it by far a better choice when it comes to the high-power threshold and efficiency.
Being rated at 2000 watts RMS at 1-ohm operating load, it can give you as much as 2,800 watts maximum power at 1 ohm. Other than just being a MOSFET amplifier, the circuitry is a 4-way protection and has got an advanced PCB board design among other outstanding high-quality internal components.
Gain complete dominance over your music:
With the amp, you'll be enjoying the low pass filter, a subsonic filter, an adjustable gain control as well as the bass EQ control- get your bass just as you love it.
This amplifier has got an oversized I/O gauge power and ground input terminals for maximum current flow and hassle-free connection as well
There is a bass remote control feature control hence you can adjust the amount of power that gets to the subwoofer simply at the comfort of the driver’s seat- definitely one of the best car amplifiers.
BOSS Audio AR2000M Armor 2000 Watt, 2/4 Ohm Stable Class A/B, Monoblock
We're past halfway through our product listing and so far, I'd say we're doing just fine. Coming up 6th, we’ve got the BOSS Audio AR2000M. let’s see what trick it’s got up its sleeves underneath that slim design it comes in, shall we?
First off, it’s got the MOSFET transistor within it which clearly qualifies it as being an above average amplifier. This simply allows it to switch from full conductivity to non-conduction hence you get to have a high-efficiency output. Other than this, it is a class A/B amplifier which features a circuitry meant to increase the sound quality and power output while at the same time reducing distortion and efficiency.
Thinking of how you can give the optimal amount of power to your speakers or subwoofer without damaging them, well, this ought to do the trick. When using this amp at 2 ohms, you’ll simply give them an unimaginable amount of power and volume.
A variable low pass filter and a variable bass boost
The variable low pass filter gives you ultimate control over the frequencies that pass through the subwoofer. There is also a variable bass boost that allows you to set the bass.
The BOSS Audio AR2000M does also have short protection which is made possible by the automatic shut-off feature if the amp gets heated up too much or the speakers short.
BOSS AUDIO PV3700 Phantom 3700 Watt
Looking for something that’ll allow you to customize your system as much as you like for the best bass, well, this might just be it.
A variable low and high pass filter- need control over the frequencies passing through the sub, then the low pass filter will this conveniently. The variable high-pass filter, on the other hand, gives you control over the frequencies passing to the full range speakers.
A variable input control: so as to match the input signal from the head unit, this amp comes with the variable input control that makes this possible hence you get to achieve optimum performance if you do the adjustments properly.
Switchable sensitivity: in order to achieve a balance between power and sound quality, you can be able to adjust the input signal from the head unit for the best sound quality.
Short circuit protection and multi-LED backlit: with the automatic shut-off, the amp is protected against damage if it gets too hot or in the event of speaker failure. The multi-LED on the other hand just gives the amp an attractive red glow when it is turned on.
The bridgeable and 2-ohm stable feature: whereas the latter allows you to combine the 2 or 4 channel amp for a bigger power output, the 2-ohm stable powers up the subwoofer when in use at 2 ohms hence more power and volume.
The dimensions of the BOSS AUDIO PV3700 are 17 depth x 10.3 width x 2.3 inches height. This will not be difficult to have in place on your vehicle. As for the weight, it’s 12.5 pound which is fairly light considering it’s features which we’ll have a look at shortly.
Lanzar Amplifier Car Audio
If you’re looking forward to getting your first amplifier, then you should definitely put your money on this one. Here’s why…
Considering it comes with RCA jacks already, you can be able to build multiple amplifier systems without having to use splitter cords for signal distribution. This simply makes it easier to bring one set into one amplifier and then use the line out jack to feed the next one.
Bluetooth connectivity: now here's something that'll blow your mind. The wireless built-in Bluetooth enables you to wirelessly stream audio provided your device is Bluetooth enabled.
So as to get the most out of the amplifier, it comes with a 2-Ohm impedance and a bridgeable 4 ohms. This allows you to extract as much power as possible to get the most out of your speakers or subwoofer
Other than just being a 6-channel amplifier, it is completely equipped with safety features that include power and protection LED indicators; soft turn on/off; thermal; overload and speaker-short protection. As for the dimensions, it measures 8.81 x 19.29 x 2.24 inches and simultaneously weighs 30.9 pounds.
Kenwood 22154656 Compact 4 Channel Digital Amplifier
We’re almost done with our review now, coming up second last is the Kenwood 22154656. Well, the fact that it's from Kenwood alone should be enough to ascertain you that this amp is outstanding. Nonetheless, let’s see what it’s got in store for us, shall we?
An amplifier is as good as the amount of power it’s going to deliver, right? Well for the RMS, the Kenwood 22154656 will be giving you 50 watts x 4 at 4 ohms and 75 watts x4 at 2 ohms. Taking into account the ohm rating and the RMS on each, this amp will be able to extract as much power as possible to give you a decent bass.
Now here’s something interesting- compact in size and simultaneously has got all it takes to give you quite a bang. With the 4 channels, there will be enough room for your speakers as well as for a subwoofer- all you have to know is what is going to give you the best.
Installing an amp to your car leaves it compromised to harsh environmental conditions- this we can definitely agree on, can’t we?
What if I told you that you can install this almost anywhere and get it operating at its best at all times? I know this sounds too good to be true but the amp is meant to withstand quite harsh environments- don’t let the small size deceive you.
To make things even much more interesting, you should know that the amp uses a conformal coated main Printed Circuit Board. This gives extra protection layers that help protect the amplifier from damage to moisture or damp air.
If you’re looking for something that won’t get you worried about where to set it up, then this is definitely your amplifier. Unlike most amplifiers that limit you to space they conveniently work in, it won't be the case for this one. It measures 6 ½ x 1 ¾ x 3 7/8 inches for the width, height and length respectively.
It’s time to wrap things upand to finish with a bang, we’ve got one of the best as far as getting the best lows is concerned. Here’s what the Rockville RXD-M3 packs under the hood:
RMS and peak power ratings:
For the continuous power rating with which this amp will be running, here’s what you’ll be getting: 1Ohm: 2000 watts x 1 channel; 2 Ohm: 1500 watts x 1channel; 4 Ohm: 1100 watts x 1 channel. Without even taking into account the peak, the RMS alone should be enough to get you going.
For that split second when the amp exceeds its RMS limits, here’s what you’ll be getting: 1 Ohm: 4000 watts x 1 channel; 2 Ohm: 3000 watts x 1 channel; 4 Ohm: 2200 watts x 1 channel.
The low pass and the subsonic filter:
So as to ensure that you get the best bass, this amp comes with a low pass filter that handles frequencies between 50Hz and 250 Hz. If you though the low pass was everything, wait till you get to use the subsonic filter which handles even lower frequencies ranging between 15Hz and 55Hz
The MOSFET circuitry.
Now here’s something you’ll not be getting on just any car amplifier. This ensures that the amp is able to use the maximum possible amount of power without getting damaged. The MOSFET power supply gives you higher speed, a lower loss rate, lower noise and simultaneously delivers a cleaner and more efficient power with minimal distortion.
IC controlled circuit protection.
It's not every day that your amplifier will have this feature whatsoever. Considering that this one comes with a fully IC controlled circuit as well as a professional peak limiter circuitry, it is guaranteed to be distortion free at all musical playback levels.
A mono class-D engineering.
As compared to the typical class D amplifiers, the Mono RXD amps are quite ideal. This technology is referred to as optical coupler (OC)class D.it gives your system a punchier bass than what you would get from typical class D amps. One major difference is the separation of the preamp input and output stage in the circuitry. It is also less susceptible to noise which occurs from the preamp inputs.
Our final take on the best car amplifier.
It’s crystal clear that the car amplifier market is bloated and getting the perfect amp for you won’t be a walk in the park which is why we’ve listed down 20 of the best in the market. All of the 10 amps have been selected after bearing the customer’s interest in mind and how much they’ll be willing to pay.
We strongly advise against spending on what you won't need since you'll just end up underusing the amplifier. That being said, please do check your budget before putting your cash on the line.
The list, however, is not only composed of the budget amplifiers; simply put, we’ve got just enough for everyone- you need it, we’ve got it.