Since amplifiers are often buried deep in your car, it is easy to blame your speakers for scratchy sounds at high volume rather than an underpowered amplifier. Truth be told – the most important part of your car audio system is perhaps the amplifier.
However, finding the best car amplifier in the market might be a daunting task. Fear not – we are here to help. Go through our guide for choosing the best amplifier, and you will surely get your money’s worth.
Best Car Amplifier Reviews in 2018
1. Alpine MRV-M500
The Alpine MRV-M500 is a fine little car amplifier for bass with great efficiency gain. It’s a class D model with RMS ratings at 500 and 300 watts for 4 and 2 Ohms respectively.
Compared to its size, it punches well above its weight, with the ability to provide with high-efficiency gain. Its thermal performance is reliable, feedback modulation is dual, and easy installing amplifier for car subwoofer.
- Powerful amplifier with easy installation
- Small, stylish design
- RMS of 500 and 300 watts at 4 and 2 Ohms respectively
- Clean bass
- A bit pricey given its size and power
- Sometimes can provide a lower power than advertised
2. BOSS Audio AR1500M
The incredible Armor series of amplifiers from Boss is reputed for packing amazing power. Its Audio AR1500M holds up that legacy, with a mighty 1500-watt peak power from a 2-Ohm amplifier.
This Monoblock best amplifier for a subwoofer and its Bass Boost, as well as Variable Crossover, will deliver crisp, rich sounds in your car. Add to that a remote control system for the car subwoofer, and you get a rocking sound system for your vehicle.
- 2-Ohm, 1500-watt amplifier power supply
- Slim, convenient design that takes little to no extra space
- Remote control system for subwoofer
- Variable Crossovers for Low Pass
- Bass Boost
- Bass under 90-100 Hz does not come out as crisp as expected
- The subwoofer amplifier can produce some buzzing at times
3. Rockford Fosgate Prime R600X5
Five channels. 300 watts. 2 Ohms. The Rockford Fosgate Prime R600X5 is a powerhouse that can take on the entire sound system of a car. With a dedicated channel for car subwoofer and four 75-watt speaker channels, it is hard to go wrong with this monster of an amplifier.
- Aluminum heatsink plus Controls for Top Mount
- High and RCA level inputs are processed with ease
- Crossovers range to 12 dB per octave
- It can get a little hot at times
- Some users have reported sort of an engine noise even after grounding the connections
4. Pioneer GM-D9601
As far as value for money deals go, the Pioneer GM-D9601 is a great pick. This budget car amplifier delivers 800 and 1200 watts RMS for 2 and 1 Ohms respectively. This class D mono amplifier can churn out solid performance over the years, better than most other amplifiers in its price range.
- Great value for money
- Stylish, compact design
- Can power two 10-inch car subwoofers with ease
- Weighs only 8.4 pounds
- Can get hot with constant use
- Sounds can come out muffled if subwoofer amplifier wattage does not match this amplifier’s RMS rating
5. Audiopipe APCL-15001D
With a maximum output at 1500 watts and an incredible bass boost level from 80 Hz to around 180 KHz, the Audiopipe APCL-15001D will give you the full range of your car audio like never before.
This amplifier car audio system for bass comes with THD less than 0.05 percent. It is also adjustable for bass boost frequency and level, subsonic, filter for low pass, and phase.
- Complete MOSFET amplifier
- Remote control for bass level
- Protection for short circuit and overload
- Allows for easy bridging
- At maximum level, the power is not very stable
- Can go into protective mode every now and then
6. JL Audio JX1000/1D
The JL Audio JX1000/1D is a power-packed Class D Monoblock amplifier car audio system that comes with PWM switching sort of unregulated power supply. It also packs signature JL features like variable bass and soft system turn-on.
- Anti-clicking and popping system when the system turns on
- Provides 500, 750, and 1000 RMS ratings at 4, 3, and 2 Ohms respectively
- Up to 12 dB bass boost
- Stylish, convenient size
- Can sometimes under-deliver on power
- Maintenance can be a bit bothersome
7. Planet Audio ANARCHY AC1000.2
The Planet Audio ANARCHY AC1000.2 delivers on its promise of crisp, thumping sound, and then some. It comes packed with all the standard features – variable crossovers for the low and high pass, bass boost, and remote subwoofer control.
This car amplifier for bass delivers a peak power of 1000 watts at 2 Ohm. Measuring at just about 10 x 10, it is a powerhouse for your car sound system.
- MOFSET power system, full-scale class A/B topology
- Remote control for the subwoofer
- Elegant blue backlight
- Variable bass boost and filter
- Can get a bit too hot for comfort at times
- The bass knob might rarely be non-functional
8. Hifonics Zeus ZRX2016.4
If you need the Hifonics Zeus ZRX2016.4 to be summed up in one word, it is POWER. This amplifier 4 channel can blast your sound through 4 channels at 500 watts, or 2 channels at a whopping 1000 watts.
- Can compete with the top of the range stereo amplifiers
- The best amplifier for subwoofer
- Size makes for a bold fashion statement
- Can power up to 4 speakers
- Might be a bit too big in size for many at 22 inches
- Accommodating in the trunk or back seat along with subwoofer enclosure may be a problem for smaller cars
9. Kenwood KAC-7005PS
When it comes to 5-channel power amplifiers, it is hard to beat the Kenwood KAC-7005PS. With a peak power of 1200 watts, it can power all four of your speakers, as well as your subwoofer.
To convert your factory sound system into a bass-thumping, tune-blasting beast of a sound machine, look no further than the Kenwood KAC-7005PS.
- Class A/B and D
- Can power five channels
- Great power at just 10 inches dimension
- Thermal shutdown can be an issue
10. JL audio slash v3
Another great product from JL, the JL audio slash v3 is a great monoblock best amplifier for a subwoofer. It has a 600-watt RMS rating between the range of 1.5-4 Ohms. It also comes with a filter for variable high and low pass.
- Great monoblock amplifier for subwoofer
- 600 watts RMS rating
- 4-gauge ground and power leads
- At around 13 inches width, the JL audio slash v3 can be a bit big for some people
- Sound output at peak power differs little from lower settings
Types Of Car Amplifiers
Four major types of amplifier for car subwoofer currently exist in the market. These are:
These amplifiers are referred to as ‘always on’, meaning they are always active whether there’s any sound coming in or not. These are usually bigger in size, and the least efficient.
These are better defined as ‘switched’, meaning they can switch themselves off when there is no audio coming in. This results in higher efficiency than class A, but also less audio fidelity for the stereos.
These are an interesting hybrid of both Class A and B. The biggest plus of these amplifiers is that even though they are always active, they can decrease the amount of current greatly when there is no output. As a result, these are the most popular, ‘full-range’ amplifiers used in cars, and provide great efficiency.
Class D amplifier works by quickly switching on and off the flow of current through it to maximize efficiency. However, these amplifiers produce quite the distortion when playing higher frequencies.
Our Two Best Amplifier For Car subwoofer Recommendation:
Rockford Fosgate Prime R600X5
With a five channel output of 300 watts at 2 Ohms, the Rockford Fosgate Prime R600X5 is a great all-in-one solution for your car audio. It can power four 75-watt speakers as well as a subwoofer with ease.
This amplifier 4 channel plus subwoofer is further equipped with High and RCA level input processing and crossover ranges up to 12 dB per octave.
JL Audio JX1000/1D
The JL Audio JX1000/1D is a great monoblock car amplifier for bass that comes with variable bass, sift-system turn-on, and an unregulated power supply based on PWM switching.
It can provide RMS ratings at 500, 750, and 1000 at 4, 3, and 2 Ohms respectively.
How To Choose A Car Audio Amplifier
While choosing a good audio amplifier for your car, keep in mind the following things:
The Number of Channels
Your preferred amplifier for car subwoofer should come with the right number of channels for your car. The rule of thumb is to have one channel for each speaker, like 2 channel, or 4 channel.
In case of sub-woofers, a mono-block amplifier should be enough. You can also choose multi-channel amplifiers that can support multiple speakers or sub-woofers interchangeably.
The Power Factor
The main reason audio car sound systems sound flat is that your speakers are not getting enough power from the amplifiers.
Your amplifier should have an RMS power rating (that is Root Mean Square – a unit of power for sound systems) that matches at least 75 to 100 percent of your speakers’ RMS rating.
Compatible Head Unit
Check your head units before buying an amplifier. It is best if your head unit comes with a preamplifier or kicker, as it can be connected straight to an amplifier or subs for crisp sound output.
If that’s not the case, you might need a more expensive amplifier with speaker-level output system.
A space Headache
Before buying a third party amplifier, make sure you have enough space for installation of the system.
You can compare the dimensions of the amplifier with the place where you want to install it, for example, under the seats, or in the trunk, before you buy it on a whim.
What To Consider When Buying Amplifier For Car subwoofer
Keep in mind your budget before going through the products. There’s no point in choosing an amplifier way outside your price range and come out disappointed, right?
As mentioned above, you should buy your amplifier and speaker system according to available space. Bigger amps can sometimes look cooler and sound amazing, but if your car can’t accommodate them, ditch that choice.
Streamline Your Expectations
What do you expect from your car amplifier in a car? Crisp sound? Thumping bass? Or out-and-out quality audio? Choose your model according to what you expect to hear as output.
Are you going to install the unit with all the wiring yourself or going to get professional help? Depending on the answer to amplifier installation, get a model that takes less time and effort to install.
Benefits of Using Amplifier Car Audio System
Better Sound Quality
The best quality car audio amplifier increases the quality of the car speaker greatly on any system. It can take out the noise, and provide an amazing sound experience.
Who doesn’t love to blast the car stereo at full volume while driving through the roads? The factory stereo in the dash is almost never good enough for high volume outputs. Well, amplifiers are your solution for the speaker system.
Nothing says good car audio system better than a thumping output, be it 2 way or 4 way. For having that crispy, ear-pleasing sound, an amplifier is almost a must.
Better Interior Style
A stylish, well-designed, illuminated amplifier in the enclosure can make a car look and feel a lot cooler instantly.
As for our recommendation for the best budget car audio amplifier, we absolutely love the powerhouse Rockford Fosgate Prime R600X5. It has a five channel output of 300 watts at 2 Ohms and can power four 75-watt speakers as well as a subwoofer with ease.
Another one of our favorite picks is the JL Audio JX1000/1D. A great monoblock power amplifier that comes with variable bass, swift-system turn-on, and an unregulated power supply based on PWM switching, it can provide RMS ratings at 500, 750, and 1000 at 4, 3, and 2 Ohms respectively.
A quality amplifier can enhance the quality of your car sound several folds. If you haven’t done so already, it is a high time you are got rid of the stock sound system of your car, and get yourself the best car amplifier for the crisp, quality car audio output you deserve.