How to Choose an Amplifier for Car Speakers in 2022

Last Updated on May 1, 2022 by Devon

This blog post will help you how to choose an amplifier for car speakers. Because amplifiers are not difficult to comprehend, therefore let me assist you in selecting the ideal amplifier for your automobile speakers. We’ll be talking about almost all key points to consider when making your decision on which amplifier is right for you, as well as a few different options to choose from.

This article will go over all of this information, including all rising questions in your mind so that it’s easier for you to make an informed choice on what amplifier will work best with your vehicle and budget!

What do we learn here?

  1. What is a car amplifier?
  2. What is a car amplifier used for?
  3. Why should I buy a speaker amplifier for my car audio system?
  4. Why some people don’t like built-in amplifiers?
  5. Categories of car amplifiers
  6. How many types of car amplifiers
  7. Essential considerations before buying an amplifier for car speakers
  8. Classes of car amplifiers:
  9. TOP Car Amplifier’s Trusted Brands
  10. Recommendations for Amplifier for Car Speakers
  11. Where should you put your amplifier?

 

What is a car amplifier?

A car amplifier, also known as a power amp, is an electronic device that boosts the low current output of your car radio or MP3 player and sends the signal to your car speakers with increased voltage. This gives you much better sound quality than if you tried sending the weak signal directly to your speakers.

What is a car amplifier used for?

A car amplifier or an integrated amplifier is a device that takes the weak electrical signal produced by the radio receiver and other components in the car, increases it to a level that can drive speakers. It has pre-amplification stages to offer high amplification power at low RMS currents.

Why should I buy a speaker amplifier for my car audio system?

First of all, if you are like and love music, there is nothing better than pushing a nice set of speakers to their full limits. There are several reasons you should buy a speaker amplifier. Adding an amplifier to your car audio system will allow you to push your factory speakers to their full limits.

With more power being sent to your factory speakers, you will be able to hear the music at its best quality, meaning you will have less noise and distortion.

Why some people don’t like built-in amplifiers?

Many people may not like the sound quality of their factory-installed speakers, or they want to add more power to their speakers, subwoofers, etc. They may have had a bad experience with an amp in the past that has caused them to swear never to buy another one again. There are many reasons why people might dislike built-in amps, and a lot of them have to do with sound quality.

The sound produced by an amplifier is also more clear than that of a built-in amp radio because it doesn’t have any noise or interference from the other electrical components in your car, such as the engine.

Additionally, a built-in amp in a factory radio might be limited to 20 watts RMS per channel while an a

mp could produce up to 100 or more watts RMS depending on the model and make of the amplifier. For example, my car’s stock stereo only has 45 watts RMS per channel while my amplifier produces 270 watts RMS

Why should I buy a speaker amplifier for my car audio system? (continue)

Every speaker has a maximum power rating that it can handle without being damaged. Some speakers even have two different maximum power ratings; one for the woofers and one for the tweeters (higher wattage is usually required for the higher frequencies).

You probably listen to the top 40 songs with the bass turned up nice and loud, so I’m constantly pushing my woofers to their limit without an amp.

Of course, this means that the lowest frequencies are being reproduced more loudly than they were ever meant to be which can distort your speakers. However, with an amplifier adding more power, your woofers will be able to play at higher volumes without distorting.

Why should I buy a speaker amplifier for my car audio system?

Your factory stereo is usually limited in volume due to the amps not being powerful enough and the fact that you could blow your speakers if they receive too much power which would result in an expensive repair or replacement.

With a more powerful amp, you will be able to turn up the volume to higher levels while still keeping your speakers intact.

Also, you will be able to hear finer details in your music because you are receiving all of its frequencies without any noise or distortion. For example, if there is a small part in the background of a song that was previously masked by other sounds or too much noise, you will be able to hear it if the noise and distortion were reduced.

When you add an amp to your system, your speakers will sound as though their quality has increased because they are now receiving more power. As well as, many car amps come with some sort of bass settings that can make your music even more powerful sounding without hurting your speakers (more on this in a bit).

More benefits to buy car amplifier

1. Ability to playback through the radio if desired

2. Residential installation service available for purchase with most models of amplifiers

3. Analog sound waves are amplified with it so all speakers are at the same level of sound output for more cohesive audio

4. It can solve most stereo problems or show off what is really possible with two or four speakers in a care package set up just not high fidelity sounding but you have to take into account its application and utility”

5. Can add a subwoofer to your car without running wires from the trunk to the rear deck of the car.

6. Omnidirectional sound, depending on how it’s set up can send out sounds that hit you from all directions- really cool effect!

7. Another great thing about an amp is that if you have speakers that are burned out, you can buy upgrade ones or they come in different price ranges.

8. And lastly, for the techies out there who want to know, an amplifier increases voltage and current to suit your car audio speaker needs.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with owning an amp so don’t go getting one until you read this article and see what good they can do for you!

Categories of car amplifiers:

There are two main categories: Tube and Digital (or SS). Tube amps use vacuum tubes to process and amplify signals whereas digital ones use transistor circuits to do the same thing. It simply comes down to personal preference as to which you choose; however there can be some slight sound quality differences in the analog ones, and they tend to be a little bit more expensive.

How many types of car amplifiers:types of car amplifiers

Mono, two-channel, and multi-channel car amplifiers are the three forms of automobile audio equipment. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

What does mono mean on a car amp? 

A mono car amplifier is designed to power a single speaker. A mono amplifier takes the input signal from the head unit and amplifies it so that is powerful enough to drive a subwoofer or full-range speaker.

A mono amplifier can be made into a 2-channel system by adding an external signal processor, which will allow you to amplify multiple signals at once. Mono car amplifiers are typically only used for subwoofers.

What is a 2 channel amplifier? 

A two channel car amplifier is designed to power two different speakers at once, which can include subwoofers or various speakers.

The main channel of the amplifier will power either a subwoofer or full range speaker, while the secondary channel powers another full range or full range speaker.

A two channel amplifier can be made into a 4-channel system by adding an external signal processor, which will allow you to add another pair of channels to the system.

Two-channel car amplifiers are easily found in most car audio systems and are typically used for subwoofers or front speakers.

What is a multi channel amp?

A multi-channel car amplifier can be made into a 4 or more channel system by adding an external signal processor, which will allow you to add more channels to the system.

Multi-channel amplifiers are typically used for powering front/back speakers in a home audio system or components in a car audio system.

Read Related Article: 7 Signs of a bad car amplifier – Guide 

How to Choose an Amplifier for Car Speakers?

How to Choose an Amplifier for Car Speakers is not an easy task but we will make it simple for you after reading these important considerations.

The number of channels– How many speakers are you using? If your car only has two speakers, it doesn’t make sense to buy a four-channel. However, if you have four or more speakers then it might be worth buying a 4 channel amplifier.

How much power do you need? The more speakers (i.e., channels) you have, the more power is needed to avoid clipping or distortion. A good rule of thumb for RMS Wattage per channel is the following: – 4 channel amplifier- 30W RMS per channel – 5 channel amplifier- 45W RMS per channel – 6 channel amplifier- 60W RMS per channel – 7 channel amplifier- 75W RMS per channel – 8 or more channels- 90W/channel or more.

*Make sure the amplifier you buy is powerful enough to power your speakers. Don’t buy one that has less power than what your speakers need

Do you need a Second Battery for Car Audio?

car amplifier battery

An amplifier is an electronic device that enhances the power of input signals. Car amplifiers are used in cars to get more power out of the sound system.

Low-power head units cannot produce enough current for powering woofers and subwoofers, so they usually need external amplification. A car amp works together with a car battery to supply current for the car audio sound system.

A car amp is powered by a car battery through the car’s electrical wiring. A typical car amplifier takes about an average of 14 volts while running and it can drop to 10 volts depending on its demand (how many watts the amplifier is using).

The problem with this method is that you need two different batteries: one for the car and the other for the amplifier. Having two batteries will increase the weight and size of your vehicle and you would need to spend more on battery maintenance as well.

In order to solve this problem, a new car battery specifically designed for an amplifier is required. This means that you only have one battery powering both devices. The power supply is still separate, but it is shared. This will decrease the weight and size of the car and also save money as you only need to maintain one battery.

This idea seems like a great solution to an everyday problem. However, some experts argue that this system can actually increase the current draw of the head unit by as much as 30%. They say that the amplifier will try to get all of its power from the car battery.

The head unit also draws about 1 to 3 amps depending on the model (which is not much), but it should be taken into account as well if this new system is to work effectively.

The additional car battery for an amplifier should become more popular among audiophiles and it will probably be a great investment if you like to keep your sound system in good condition.

However, most users agree that the current car battery is enough for powering their car audio set up and they do not want to spend more money on another device. Some people believe that this idea might have some flaws that need to be fixed before taking off the market.

It is always a good idea to have an extra battery for powering your car’s audio components. You can buy one from many automotive stores or online. The price of this accessory might be a little high, but it will all pay off in the long run. Remember that most batteries will last about four years, so you do not need to change them very often.

Classes of car amplifiers:class d amplifiers

It is also very important to know, what are the classes of car amplifiers?. Car amplifiers come in four different classes (A, B, AB, and D). Each car amplifier class offers a different level of sound quality.

Class A amplifiers are the best-sounding option if you want high quality music reproduction. They also use more power than other amps do and tend to be larger and more expensive. Audiobahn’s AEQ-202A is an example of a Class A amplifier.

Class B amplifiers are slightly less efficient than Class A amps but still provide high quality sound reproduction when used correctly. They use more power than Class D amps so they tend to be larger and cost more in general, but not as much as Class A amps.

Class AB amplifiers are a good choice if you want the sound quality of Class A and B amps, but don’t care about efficiency. They tend to be smaller than Class A and B amps but use more power.

Class D amps (also known as switching class) are the most efficient and cost effective, but don’t offer the same quality of sound as Class A and B amps. Many mid-level and bass amps are class D because they require less power and run cooler than other types of amps.

The System Compatibility – What system are you using? Most car audio manufacturers have a specific line of amplifiers that use the same technologies as their speakers. For example, if you have Infinity speakers then you might consider buying an amplifier by Alpine or JL Audio to maintain compatibility.

The amplifier Compatibility with Your Head Unit – Can your head unit deliver enough power for the amplifier? Some amps require a lot of extra voltage to be turned on and this is called “pre-out”. If your head unit doesn’t have pre-out then you might not be able to power on the amplifier.

Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): This is the difference between how loud you want your music and all of the background noise that you don’t want. The closer this number is to zero, the better. If it gets too close to zero then some desired sounds like voice might not be able to play.

Crosstalk: Crosstalk is a phenomenon that occurs when one channel interferes with another channel’s output. The closer the number is to zero, the better.

Space limitations for the amplifier placement – Will you be mounting the amp in a secure location or putting it somewhere loose where it might slide around. If you have big wiring, do you have enough space to stuff your wire into the amp’s input and output ports? Again, make sure you have enough space before buying an amp. It is very simple to measure your space and match an amplifier.

Matching Impedance for the Subwoofer Amplifier: If your impedance isn’t matched then it may cause damage to your speakers. In other words, if there is a mismatch between RMS for each channel, your speakers might “see” more power than they can handle.

Related Article: Best Class D Car Amplifier

TOP Car Amplifier’s Trusted Brands

Companies like:

  • BOSS Audio,
  • Rockford Fosgate,
  • Alpine,
  • Kenwood,
  • Pioneer,
  • Skar,
  • Tramp,
  • Rockville,
  • kicker,
  • MTX or
  • JL Audio etc.
  • CT Sounds

are very well known in the world of car audio and have many years of experience designing amps. If you’re not familiar with different brands, it might make sense to choose a company you know and trust.

Power and Ground Wires: The power and ground wires carry the needed energy to the amplifier.

Aftermarket Car Amplifier Installation: An amplifier’s installation process can vary depending on its design. Some amplifiers are designed to fit in tight spaces under seats or the trunk or glove compartment. Others have a relatively small footprint and can simply be placed in a secure location where it is safe from sliding around.

In some cases, you might need to build a false wall in your trunk or a custom installation kit that allows you to mount your amp securely. It is important to investigate all of these things before buying an amplifier.

Over the years, manufacturers have come up with many clever ways to keep an amp safe. Some amps are outfitted with cooling features, thermal sensors, overload protection, short circuit protection, and more. This can be very helpful for keeping your amp safe from damage if it accidentally overheats or gets water damage.

If you’re unfamiliar with amps then it might be a good idea to purchase one that has as many safety features as possible.

Safety Features: There are actually two sets of safety features: those that keep your amp safe from itself and those that keep the rest of your car safe from your amp. “Internal” or “self-protection” features to protect your amp from itself. These include short circuit protection, thermal sensors, overload protection, and more. “External” or “other car” protection features keep the rest of your car safe.

These might include cooling fans, crossovers to block certain frequencies, high impedance inputs for additional safety, etc.

How much are you willing to pay for an amplifier?

$20-$100 amps: Generally, these kinds of amplifiers don’t have a lot of power and only come with basic features. Some might not even have an input port so just be sure that it at least has gained and low out. If you’re just looking for a cheap amp that can power your speakers then this might be the right choice for you.

$100-$200 amps: These kinds of amps have more features and power than cheaper amps. They usually come with basic features like gain/bass/mid/high controls, crossover settings, variable input voltages, etc. – $200-$400 amps: These kinds of amps are typically in the middle range and offer very high power (i.e., 100-600W RMS).

They come with all of the features you would get at this price range like adjustable input voltage, gain/bass/mid/high controls, variable low-outs, etc.

$400+ amps: These amps are typically the top of the line with extremely high power (i.e., 800 W). They often come equipped with special features like adjustable crossover frequencies, remote bass controls, equalizer presets, preset time correction for the subwoofer speaker, etc.

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise: Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise is a specification that most companies listed on the amplifier’s specs, but not all of them put it in an easy-to-understand format. A good example would be Audiobahn which lists the THD+N as 10% at 1 kHz and 0.5% at 10 kHz.

This means that at 1 kHz, the distortion is 10% and at 10 kHz, it’s only 0.5%. THD+N is one of the most important specs when buying an amplifier because if the numbers are too high, it means your music will not sound clear.

Extra Features – Things like built-in crossovers, DSPs, high and low-pass filters can help your amplifier perform better. If these features don’t sound familiar or are confusing to you, then look for an amplifier that doesn’t have them. Some amplifiers come with LED indications.

Speaker Impedance: The number of ohms your speakers require, but if you are interested deeply then consider it.

How many ohms will each channel see while the amp is playing music? If the speaker impedance isn’t equal to or greater than the ohm rating of the amp, the damage might be done to this amp.

Also Read: Best Competition Car Amplifiers in 2022

Recommendations for Amplifier for Car Speakers

Where should you put your amplifier?

There are two places you can put an amplifier – inside of the car, or under your hood. If you choose to keep it in the interior of the vehicle, I suggest getting an amplifier that features remote bass knobs so you can adjust volume and tone without having to open up the hood every time you want to adjust.

This is another reason why it’s a good idea to have your amp under the hood so that you are not forced to keep opening up your car multiple times per day just so you can adjust bass or volume settings. Of course, if you choose this method, be sure that you can reach your amp easily. If you choose the interior of the vehicle, make sure that it is out of sight so that it looks clean and professional.

How much power do I need for a subwoofer?

You can figure out how much power you need for your subwoofer by looking at its RMS power and impedance. If they match, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, just follow the formula below:

Get your subwoofer’s RMS wattage (use a reliable source that lists this information) – Find another subwoofer with the same RMS wattage but with a higher impedance.

Take half of the difference in RMS watts between these two subs (sub-A & B), and this is roughly how much power you’ll need for your sub. You can round up to an even number to feel safe.

For example, sub-A has an RMS wattage of 500 watts at 4 ohms, and sub-B has an RMS wattage of 300 watts at 8 ohms. Half of the difference between these two subs is 200 watts at 4 ohms (300 – 500 = -200 / 2). This means that you’ll need at least 200 watts for your subwoofer. If you want to be safe and double this number (400 watts), then go with 600 watts RMS for your subwoofer.

Where should you put your car amplifier?

There are two places you can put an amplifier – inside of the car, or under your hood. If you choose to keep it in the interior of the vehicle, I suggest getting an amplifier that features remote bass knobs so you can adjust volume and tone without having to open up the hood every time you want to adjust.

This is another reason why it’s a good idea to have your amp under the hood so that you are not forced to keep opening up your car multiple times per day just so you can adjust bass or volume settings. Of course, if you choose this method, be sure that you can reach your amp easily. If you choose the interior of the vehicle, make sure that it is out of sight so that it looks clean and professional.

Mounting an amp in your car’s trunk is a popular place for people to install them, but this may not always be ideal. If you have limited space and are driving around on an SUV or another large vehicle with room only upfront, then consider mounting behind one of the seats instead!

What kind of amp for door speakers?

I know you have a question in your mind, what is the best amp for door speakers. There are many different options available when it comes to choosing an amplifier for your vehicle’s door speakers. If you want to read completely, then click this link, here we have discussed 12 best car amplifiers for door speakers including their reviews.

1. MTX Audio THUNDER75.4 Thunder Series Car Amplifier

2. Alpine BBX-F1200 280 Watt 4-Channel Amplifier

3. Zapco ST-4X II 4-Channel 320W RMS Class AB Amplifier

4. Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Punch 300 Watt 4 Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier

5. Alpine S-A32F S Series 4 Channel Digital Amplifier 80 Watts RMS x 4, 2 Ohms

6.TORO TECH – RX4, 65 Watts x 4 RMS @ 4 Ohm / 4 Channel Amplifier

7. JL Audio JX400/4D 4-channel car amplifier — 70 watts RMS x 4

8. Pioneer GM-D1004 400W 4-Channel GM Digital Series Class FD Amplifier

9. Sony XMS400D 4 Channel Micro Amplifier (Black)

10.4-Channel High Power MOSFET Amplifier – Slim 2000 Watt Bridgeable

11. Cerwin-vega Mobile CVP1200.4D CVP Series 4-Channel Class-D Amplifier (600W RMS)

12. Pioneer GM-A6704 4-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier with Bass Boost, Black/red

and if you’re in a rush, here are some suggestions to make your decision simpler.

JBL unit comes with a built in crossovers, and four channels which makes it the best choice for door speakers. It is also compatible with an aftermarket head unit and can be used to power both front and rear speakers simultaneously.

JL Audio M700/55 channel amplifier with low level inputs to make it compatible with any head unit. It comes with a bass remote control which allows you to adjust the subwoofer’s volume from anywhere in your vehicle. This amp is also capable of powering your door speakers.

Kenwood KAC-M3004

The Kenwood KAC-M300 is a four channel car amplifier that has an RMS power of 300 watts. It produces 90 decibels at 50 to 60 hertz and it can handle up to two pairs of speakers or one subwoofer with the impedance being no more than five ohms each.

The unit comes in black and it has a variable low pass crossover that can be adjusted between 30 and 400 hertz. It also comes with three different settings for the subwoofer; normal, maximum, or off.

Rockford Fosgate P600X amplifier is a powerful and versatile option to choose from. It can take high power output at 600 watts RMS (300W x + 150W @ 14.400Hz).

The Rockford Fosgate P600X amplifier is a handy tool for your car. It can be used to power up the speaker of the door and rear seat, as well as the subwoofer.

Thank you for reading carefully! If you have any questions please drop a kind comment below. I have only 1 humble request please share this article with your friends who do not know, How to Choose an Amplifier for Car Speakers.

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