Best Car Amplifier | Ultimate Guide To The Best Amplifier For Cars

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The best car amplifier transforms power to generate clean, full sound output through your speakers. The best car amplifier maximizes generated power from your battery to your sound system.

The best car amps are compatible with your speaker inputs and sound system that output low bass and high frequency sounds. When your built-in amplifier fails to produce enough power for your car components, or your custom audio system sounds weak or muddled, it is time to research external amplifiers! Nothing ruins a ride more than to have indeterminate noise coming out of your elaborate audio setup. Amplifiers are essential car audio system components. An amplifier receives a low voltage signal from a source (i.e.: radio, stereo, etc.), boosts it, and delivers it to your speaker(s) for output. The more powerful the amplifier is, the cleaner the resultant output sound will be. An amp is practically required if you have several subwoofers and component speakers.

We’ve compared top-rated vehicle amplifiers and found the best amplifier for car sound, power, channel and class, watts, ohms, remote, size, and quality.

The best car amplifier transforms power to generate clean, full sound output through your speakers. The best car amplifier maximizes generated power from your battery to your sound system.

The best car amps are compatible with your speaker inputs and sound system that output low bass and high frequency sounds. When your built-in amplifier fails to produce enough power for your car components, or your custom audio system sounds weak or muddled, it is time to research external amplifiers! Nothing ruins a ride more than to have indeterminate noise coming out of your elaborate audio setup. Amplifiers are essential car audio system components. An amplifier receives a low voltage signal from a source (i.e.: radio, stereo, etc.), boosts it, and delivers it to your speaker(s) for output. The more powerful the amplifier is, the cleaner the resultant output sound will be. An amp is practically required if you have several subwoofers and component speakers.

We’ve compared top-rated vehicle amplifiers and found the best amplifier for car sound, power, channel and class, watts, ohms, remote, size, and quality.

The Best Car Amplifier (Full Car Amplifier Reviews Below)

RANKINGIMAGEPRODUCT 
1.BOSS Audio R1100M Riot 1100 WattCheck Price
2.Rockford Fosgate R500X1DCheck Price
3.Planet Audio AC1500.1M Anarchy 1500 WattCheck Price
4.PIONEER GM-D9601 2,400-Watt Class D Mono AmpCheck Price
5.BOSS Audio AR1500MCheck Price
6.BOSS Audio R1004Check Price
7.Rockville dB55 4000 Watt/2000w RMS 5 Channel AmplifierCheck Price

best car amplifier

#1 BOSS Audio R1100M Riot 1100 Watt

best car amplifier 2018The BOSS Audio R1100M Riot is a powerful 1100-watt, Class A/B full-range, 2-ohm stable monoblock amplifier with high and low speaker-level inputs. It has 100 mV – 2 V low level input sensitivity and 2V – 8V high level sensitivity. It has a frequency response of 9 Hz to 50 kHz ±1 dB, 0.01% THD (total harmonic distortion), and 102dB signal/noise ratio. This and other Riot Series amplifiers are considered to be the best car amplifier for the price, and a great first time car audio choice. A Riot amplifier is the best amplifier for car bass sound and performance without spending a lot of money.

This R1100M Riot amplifier has a 550-watt MAX Power, 413-watt RMS /4-ohm 1-Channel rating. It also has a 1100-watt MAX Power, 825-watt RMS /2-ohm 1-Channel rating. This R1100M Riot amplifier has a variable low-pass crossover at 35-160 Hz/octave and variable full bass boost at 0-18dB that allows you to customize your sound. Adjust the bass with the subwoofer remote control and feel the difference.

The R1100M Riot’s compact heavy duty aluminum heat-sink chassis protects internal components from extreme heat damage that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play. It has a pulse width modulated MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors), Class A/B circuitry, which quickly switch from full to non-conduction, for high efficiency output. Power and sound quality are increased without additional distortion as a result. 8 AWG power and ground connectors and ground leads, and 30-amp in-line fuse are recommended. A convenient wired remote bass level control is also included. It has a LED green power indicator and a red protect indicator, which alerts you to the status of the 3-way circuitry protection that addresses thermal, overload, and speaker short problems. The system also has a soft-start turn on.

Reviews say the R1100M Riot is the best car amplifier for the price, power, quality, clean sound, and resistance to overheating to be attractive features.

BOSS Audio R1100M Riot 1100-watt amplifiers are backed by a 6-Yr. Manufacturer’s parts and labor warranty. They also offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

#2. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D

best amplifier for car 2018The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is a monoblock subwoofer amplifier with speaker-level inputs and pre-amp outputs that allow you to connect to almost any system (including factory) and feel the bass! It has 150 mV – 4 V input sensitivity. It is a high-efficiency design that operates on Class D circuit topology with a frequency response of 20-250 Hz. This amplifier is designed to reduce current consumption from the charging/battery system. It is a 300-watt RMS /4-ohm, 500-watt RMS /2-ohm unit. It has a 0-12dB/octave variable Punch EQ low-pass crossover (at 50-250 Hz) and variable bass punch boost (at 45 Hz) that allows you to gain maximum bass (from the sub and your vehicle enclosure combined). It is the best car amplifier of its type.

The R500X1D has a 0/180 phase switch, overcurrent and short circuit protection, and 4 AWG power and ground connectors, although 8 AWG power and ground leads and a 50-amp in-line fuse between the distribution block and the amplifier, when there are multiple amps in the system, are recommended.

The R500X1D’s compact heavy cast aluminum heat-sink chassis protects internal components from heat damage that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play. It has a top-mounted control panel MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors), Class D circuitry, which quickly switch from full to non-conduction for high efficiency output. Power and sound quality are increased without additional distortion as a result. The real time output and power supply thermal sensors track the output current and power supply temperature. They automatically detect drops in subwoofer impedances, which are constantly changing, or a short circuit. A convenient on-board punch bass wired remote PLC (Punch Level Control) is also included. The system has a muted turn on.

This amplifier is CEA-2006 compliant. It has been tested and its ratings verified by the Consumer Electronics Association as one of the best car amps.

The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D package includes a mono subwoofer amplifier, remote punch level control module and 18′ cable (RJ-25 connector on both ends), 6″ speaker level input harness, Installation & Operation Manual, and amplifier verification certificate. Allen wrench, self-tapping screws, and washers are also included. Wiring, hardware, and onboard fuses are NOT included.

Reviews say the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D is one of the best car amps for the price, its easy installation, power, size, quality, clean sound, low battery draw, and resistance to overheating to be attractive features.

Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D amplifiers are backed by a standard 1-Yr. Manufacturer’s warranty. They also offer a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee.

#3. Planet Audio AC1500.1M Anarchy 1500 Watt

best car audio amplifier 2018The Planet Audio AC1500.1M Anarchy is an affordable 1500-watt, Class A/B, 2-ohm stable monoblock subwoofer amplifier with high and low speaker-level inputs. It has 100 mV – 2 V low level switchable input sensitivity and 2V – 8V high level sensitivity, which allow head unit input control to balance power and sound quality. It has a frequency response of 15 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.01% THD (total harmonic distortion), 102dB signal/noise ratio, and dampening factor of 125+.

The AC1500.1M Anarchy has a 750-watt MAX Power, 563-watt RMS /4-ohm 1-Channel rating. It also has a 1500-watt MAX Power, 1125-watt RMS /2-ohm 1-Channel rating. This amplifier has a variable low-pass filter/crossover at 46-90 Hz/24 dB/octave that gives you control over the sub’s frequencies. The variable full bass 0-18dB boost allows you to customize your sound and rev up the bass. Adjust the bass with the subwoofer remote control and see what a difference the best car amplifier can make.

The AC1500.1M Anarchy’s compact heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink chassis protects internal components from extreme heat damage that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play. The unit has heavy-duty set-screw terminals and nickel-plated contacts. Chrome-plated connections enhance durability. 4 AWG power and ground connectors and ground leads are recommended.

It has a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors) PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) power supply. Power and sound quality are increased without additional distortion as a result. The real time output and power supply thermal sensors track the output current and power supply temperature. The 3-way circuitry protection LED green power indicator and red protect indicator alerts you to thermal, overload, and speaker short problems. It automatically detects short circuits and drops in subwoofer impedances, which are constantly changing. A convenient remote subwoofer control is also included. The system has an illuminated blue backlit Anarchy Logo enhancement. It is the best car amplifier in its Class.

The Planet Audio AC1500.1M Anarchy 1-Channel Class A/B package includes a mono subwoofer amplifier, remote subwoofer control module and cable (RJ-25 connector on both ends), and Owner’s Manual, and amplifier warranty card. It is the best car amplifier of its type.

Reviews say the Planet Audio AC1500.1M Anarchy 1-Channel Class A/B is one of the best car amps for the price, its power, size, quality, solid construction, clean sound, and resistance to overheating to be attractive features.

Planet Audio AC1500.1M Anarchy 1-Channel Class A/B amplifiers come with a standard 1-Yr. warranty, and 6-Yr. Manufacturer’s warranty that includes parts and labor. They also offer a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee.

#4. PIONEER GM-D9601 2,400-Watt Class D Mono Amp

best car amplifiers 2018The Pioneer GM-D9601is a monoblock subwoofer amplifier with speaker-level inputs and pre-amp outputs that let you connect to almost any system, including factory systems. It transfers as much as 2400 watts RMS to any sub setup for powerful bass! It is a high-efficiency design that operates on Class D amp technology. This amplifier is designed to reduce current consumption from the charging/battery system. It is a 800-watt RMS /2-ohm, 1200-watt RMS /1-ohm unit. It has a 0-12dB/octave variable low-pass filter (at 40-240 Hz) and variable bass boost (0-18dB at 50 Hz). The low-pass filter allows rapid adjustment to sharpen and focus the bass to your vehicle’s particular interior environment. It is the best amplifier for car bass. A wired remote boost allows bass control.

The GM-D960’s compact chassis easily fits into a glovebox and efficiently protects internal components from heat damage that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play.. It easily handles a 1-ohm load and effortlessly matches impedance to subs you may eventually add to your system. A convenient on-board punch bass wired remote is also included. Connecting and tuning are easy. RCA adapters are included (if needed) to help you connect this amp to your system to get the required speaker-level input. The GM-D960 amplifier automatically switches its input mode when the high-level signal is detected. Four AWG power and ground connectors are recommended.

This amplifier is CEA-2006 compliant. It has been tested and its ratings verified by the Consumer Electronics Association.

The Pioneer GM-D960 1-Channel Class D kit includes a mono subwoofer amplifier, remote bass boost control and 19′ cable (RJ-25 connector on both ends), 8″ speaker level input adapters, Installation & Operation Manual, and Warranty information. Allen wrench, self-tapping screws, and three, 40-amp, installed, fuses are also included. Wiring and hardware are NOT included.

Reviews say the Pioneer GM-D960 1-Channel Class D is the best car amplifier for the price, power, easy installation, size, remote gain, clean sound, and in/out pre-empt and stability to be attractive features.

Pioneer GM-D9601 Class D amplifiers are backed by a standard 1-Yr. warranty as well as a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee.

#5. BOSS Audio AR1500M

best car amps 2018The BOSS Audio AR1500M is a powerful 1500-watt, Class A/B full-range, 2-ohm stable monoblock amplifier with line and high and low chrome RCA speaker level inputs. Class A/B circuitry quickly switches from full to non-conduction, for high efficiency output. Power and sound quality are increased without additional distortion. The AR 1500M has switchable low level input sensitivity and high level sensitivity. It has 0.01% THD (total harmonic distortion), and 105dB signal/noise ratio.

This AR1500M has a 750-watt MAX Power, 563-watt RMS /4-ohm 1-Channel rating. It also has a 1125-watt MAX Power, 1500-watt RMS /2-ohm 1-Channel rating. This R1500M Riot amplifier has a variable low-pass crossover and variable full bass boost at 0-18dB that allows you to customize your sound. Adjust the bass with the subwoofer remote control and feel the difference.

The BOSS Audio AR1500M’s compact heavy duty aluminum heat-sink chassis protects internal components from extreme heat damage that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play. It has a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors) PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) power supply. 4 AWG – 8 AWG power and ground connectors and ground leads, and 30-amp in-line fuse are recommended. A convenient wired remote bass level control is also included. It has a LED green power indicator and a red protect indicator, which alerts you thermal, overload, and speaker short problems. The system also has a soft-start turn on and variable gain controls.

The AR1500M 1-Channel Class A/B package includes a mono subwoofer amplifier, remote subwoofer control module and cable (RJ-25 connector on both ends), and Owner’s Manual, and amplifier warranty card.

Reviews say the AR1500M 1-Channel Class A/B is the best car amplifier for the price, power, clean sound, and resistance to overheating to be attractive features.

BOSS Audio AR1500M 1500-watt amplifiers are backed by a 6-Yr. Manufacturer’s parts and labor warranty. They also offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

#6. BOSS Audio R1004

Best amp for cars 2018The BOSS Audio R1004 is a small, 4-Channel, Class A/B, full-range, 2-ohm stable monoblock Riot Series amplifier unit. It is not bridgeable. The R1004 has high speaker-level inputs that accept speaker output signals. Low-level inputs accept pre-amp output signals. These allow you to add amps and processors to standard factory units or to aftermarket source units. The R1004 has a frequency response of 12Hz to 22 kHz ±1 dB, 0.01% THD (total harmonic distortion), and 90dB signal/noise ratio. This small amplification unit and other Riot Series amplifiers are considered to be the best car amplifier, and a great, affordable first time car audio choice.

Riot amplifiers generate more bass and performance without spending a lot of money. This R1004 amplifier has a maximum power output of 400 watts. It has an 80-watt MAX Power /4-ohm 4-Channel rating and a 38-watt RMS /4-ohm 4-Channel rating. It has a 100-watt MAX Power /2 ohm 4-Channel rating and a 50-watt RMS /2-ohm 4-Channel rating. MAX Power is produced for an instant at the loudest part of the song.

The R1004’s compact amplifier is conformal coated PCB that protects internal components from overheating that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play. It has a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors), Class A/B circuitry, which quickly switch from full to non-conduction, for high efficiency output. Power and sound quality are increased without additional distortion as a result. 8 AWG power and ground connectors and ground leads, and 15-amp fuse are recommended. It has a LED green power indicator. The system automatically shuts off to protect the amplifier when it detects the amplifier is overheating or the speakers fail, causing a short.

The BOSS Audio R1004 4-Channel Class A/B package includes a 400W monoblock amplifier,

Owner’s Manual, and amplifier warranty card.

Reviews say the BOSS Audio R1004 4-Channel Class A/B is the best car amplifier for the price, the best car amplifier replacement/upgrade, size, and 6-yr. warranty to be attractive features.

BOSS Audio R1004 400-watt amplifiers are backed by a 6-Yr. Manufacturer’s parts and labor warranty. They also offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

#7. Rockville dB55 4000 Watt/2000w RMS 5 Channel Amplifier

best car audio ampThe Rockville dB55 4000 amplifier is a 5-Channel, full-range, 2-ohm stable, Class A/B technology amplifier unit. It is a high-efficiency design that operates on Class A/B + D optical coupler class technology. It has a fully-adjustable 12dB/octave variable low-pass (bass equalizer) filter crossover (at 50-250 Hz), variable high-pass bass punch boost (at 15Hz – 4kHz), and subsonic filter (at 15 Hz – 55 Hz), which allows you to gain maximum bass (from the sub and your vehicle enclosure combined).

The Rockville dB55 has a frequency response of 15Hz to 35 kHz ±1 dB, 0.01% THD (total harmonic distortion), and 90dB signal/noise ratio. It has a damping factor greater than 100 @ 100Hz.

It is a 240-watt RMS /2-ohm 4-Channel + 1000-watt RMS /2-ohm 1-Channel, 160-watt RMS /4-ohm 4-Channel + 600-watt RMS /4-ohm 1-Channel unit. Its MAX Power is 320-watt /4-ohm 4-Channel + 1200 watts /4 ohm 1-Channel. MAX Power is produced for an instant at the loudest part of the song.

The Rockville dB55’s compact conformal coated PCB chassis protects internal components from heat damage that compromises reliability, life, and long-term play. It has a high-speed MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors), Class D, 5-Channel, rugged-switching power supply. It quickly switches from full to non-conduction for high efficiency output. Power and sound quality are increased without additional distortion as a result.

The system has a full IC-controlled protection circuitry and LED status mode and power indicator. Under voltage protection is at 10V. Over voltage protection is at 16V. The system automatically shuts off to protect the amplifier when it detects the amplifier is overheating or when speakers fail due to a drop in subwoofer impedances, which is an indication of a short circuit. A convenient dashboard subwoofer remote control is also included. The system has a mute and delay soft start system turn on.

This amplifier is CEA-2006 compliant. It has been tested and its ratings verified by the Consumer Electronics Association as one of the best car amps.

The Rockville dB55 4000 Watt/2000w RMS 5 Channel amplifier package includes the Rockville amplifier. bass remote, 2 AWG wire kit, ANL 100% Copper RCA fuse holder, 17’ two-channel twisted pair RCA split pin100% copper cable, a 150-amp AGU gold-plated fuse, birth sheet with manufacturer’s double-tested power certification, Owner’s manual, mounting screws, and amplifier warranty card.

Reviews say the Rockville amplifier is one of the best car amps for power, LOUD clean sound, easy installation, quality, and resistance to overheating to be attractive features.

Rockville dB55 4000 Watt/2000w RMS 5 Channel amplifiers are backed by a standard 1-Yr. Manufacturer’s warranty. They also offer a 90-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Choosing the Best Car Amplifier for You

Most car sound systems have built-in amplifiers that stress speakers and distort sound when they’re cranked up. The amp (and maybe the speakers) is generally underpowered. Adding an external amplifier powers your speakers without straining them. The best car amplifier will make all your music sound cleaner at every volume level.

Choose the best car amps that

  1. are compatible with your stereo and speakers,
  2. have the right number of channels (for all speakers and subwoofer),
  3. have enough power (for the best sound), and
  4. are affordable.

best car audio amplifierPower

The amplifier must provide enough RMS and Peak (MAX) Power to your stereo and speakers to continuously produce quality sound as well as amplify short increases or sound bursts. Consider adding more power if you also have a subwoofer. RMS and Peak Power ratings are stated in “watts” on the amplifier. They should match your speakers’ rating.

The RMS number – represents the amount of continuous power the amplifier produces. Match the RMS watts to the RMS power rating on your subwoofer and speakers. The higher the RMS rating, the louder/cleaner your music should sound. Your speakers might be underpowered or overpowered and potentially overheat if the RMS and speakers numbers do not match!

Best Car Amplifier for:

Compact vehicles/small PU: 50 RMS watts per channel; 35 RMS watts: top-rating for speakers.

Larger vehicles/trucks: 75-85 RMS watts per channel; 50+ RMS watts for speakers.

For extreme volume: 100 RMS watts per channel; 75+ RMS watts for speakers/components.

The Peak (MAX) Power number – represents the power that is available for brief bursts of sound or sound increases. (This number is higher than the RMS number).

Subwoofers – The subwoofers and amplifier must be evenly matched to get great bass! The amp will dispense power needed according to the impedance load it reads. Ohms measure subwoofer impedance load.

A subwoofer may need its own amp for more power, unless there are no significantly high-powered speakers in the car and the amp has multiple channels.

Types of Amplifiers

Amplifiers are categorized according to their Class rating: Class A, Class A/B, Class D, etc. They are further grouped according to the number of channels they provide (Mono, 2-Channel, 3-Channel, 4-Channel, etc).

Channels

A single amplifier that provides power for all the speakers typically has multiple channels. Each channel is dedicated to its own speaker. Four-Channel amps are the most common since most cars have 4 speakers. Five- or six-channel amps provide channels for speakers and a subwoofer unless there are other high-powered speakers.

  • Mono(block) 1-Channel Amps are designed to power subwoofers. They produce more power than multi-channel amps, which makes them ideal for powering subwoofers. Class D mono amps are the most efficient design. They pull less current and generate less heat compared to the classic mono amp design.
  • 2-Channel Amps are good if you only use front speakers and need to only power a pair of speakers. They are typically used in single cab trucks and are the best car amps for 2-door coupes/sports cars and other vehicles that do not have rear speakers. Two sets of speakers can be powered from a 2-channel amplifier stable at 2 ohms. However, the amp becomes more prone to overheating, which eliminates fading.
  • 3-Channel Amps may power a pair of speakers and a subwoofer.
  • 4-Channel Amps is the best car amplifier for powering two sets of speakers, or a pair of speakers and a subwoofer. They are also the best car amps in vehicles where space is limited. They can bridge down to a 2-channel or a 3-channel amp to gain more power output, although stability will be decreased when bridged.
  • 5-Channel Amps can power 4 speakers and subwoofer. It is the best car amplifier you can get to power your entire system.
  • 6- and 8-Channel Amps are intended to run 3- and 4-way active systems (each channel is dedicated to a driver or channels may be bridged, for example, to run a subwoofer). Six-channel amps are rare, but they are used in marine operations and are the best car amps for large SUVs. They have 6 low-power speaker outputs to power 3 sets of speakers.

best car ampsAmplifier Class

The amplifier’s Class rating refers to the amplifier’s internal circuitry.

  • Class A amplifiers are “always on” due to their analog angle of flow input signals. These amps use internal circuitry that is designed to have continuous current passing through the output transistors. A Class A amp is the best amplifier for car sound output quality. Class A amps have the highest sound quality and clean output as a result. They are the best car amps for high fidelity and low distortion. They tend to be large and the least efficient class of amplifiers. They also do not dissipate heat very effectively.
  • Class B amplifiers are the best amplifier for car models that have little room for larger amplifiers. They are smaller than their Class A and A/B counterparts but also receive analog angle of flow input signals. They are also more efficient and create less heat. Class B amps use internal circuitry that allows them to effectively cancel (“switch off”) their output transistors when there is no audio signal to amplify. Because of this overall improved efficiency, Class B amps are considered the best car amplifiers and well-suited to car audio applications. They tend to have lower audio fidelity and signal distortion, however.
  • Class A/B amplifiers are hybrid amps designed to run more efficiently and dissipate heat better than Class A amplifiers, and have less distortion than Class B amplifiers. Their transistors have current continuously flowing through them, but they use circuitry that limits the amount of current when there is no signal. Class A/B full-range hybrid amps are the best amplifier for car audio systems. Class A/B amps also tend to be more reliable and produce lower distortion than Class A amps, even though Class A amps also receive analog angle of flow input signals.
  • Class D amplifiers are the only Class to have a switched angle flow input signal design. They are the best amplifier for car audio systems. The switched (pulsed) output signal is mapped to the analog input signal, which results in a degree of distortion in the higher frequencies. The low-pass filter alleviates most of the distortion so it is barely noticed by the human ear. Lower frequencies are not subjected to this distortion. They are the best amplifier for car mono subwoofer and full-range Class D speakers. They are very popular and considered one of the best car amps classifications because of their size and power. Class D amps are the most efficiently running amps of all the Classes. They run cooler than Class A/B amps, but are more susceptible to distortion at high frequencies.

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