Top Rated and Best Amplifier for Your Car: A Buyer’s Guide
If you want your favorite 6.5” speakers to sound heavenly inside your car, you certainly have to provide them with the best amplifier widely available in the market today. For your best car speakers, it is a great move that you have the finest sounds emanate from a source highly regarded as the heart of your car’s stereo system, the amplifier.
A car amplifier is the heart and soul of a downright enjoyable car speaker system and pairing it with similarly lively subwoofers creating the best sound quality possible. We have assembled a list of 5 of the world’s most popular amplifier brands and we are just glad to tell something about them, but first, have a look at some facts about car amplifiers.
What is a car amplifier do?
Just like any other type of amplifiers, a car amplifier boosts electrical signals across your car’s speaker system. Although much smaller than home amplifiers as car dashboard space is often limited, a car amplifier has similar functions. Concerning basic car audio, the amplifier handles low-power output signals from radio, CD player, and other auxiliary connections, and boosts the electrical signals up to the point that it can power up subwoofers and car speakers.
How to match an amplifier with a speaker
What matters most in car audio is the power ratings (3). The aim is to match the power handling capacity of your amplifier with the power of your speakers or subwoofers. As the rule of thumb would suggest, the RMS power should be considered as the true power and nothing else, as other “power” is mute and almost useless when comparing them within the system.
Find out below our in-depth explanation of the different types of power concerning audio systems.
- RMS (Root Mean Square) Power Ratings
As one of the most used “power” term in the audio system, the RMS power rating is the continuous power that an amplifier could sustain, or a speaker can drive. The RMS power rating is also considered as the most accurate representation of the statistical measurement range of various quantity and is addressed to the voltage or current passing through the audio system.
Although the RMS power has its imperfections and inaccuracies, it is still the real depiction of the continuous power so far as the industry is concerned.
Max or Peak Power Rating
No matter how you put it, the Max or Peak power rating is the amount of power an amplifier or the speaker could handle in a short (or abrupt) burst without damaging the system. It should not be confused with the RMS, as it is described as the continuous power, while the Max or Peak is the “instant” power in a short period of time.
How to choose the best car amplifier
Now you know some basic facts about audio systems, it is now time to make a decision in picking the right amplifier for your car, with these criteria:
- RMS Power Rating
Pick the amplifier that matches the RMS Power Rating of your speaker if you already have a pair. If you do not have at the moment, better to choose the same brand of speakers and amplifier so they match perfectly.
- Best sound quality
Choose the one with the best sound quality and not just the bass. You are certainly making your car as your second home, in fact, you might be spending half of your adult life inside your car. It is only proper that you pick the finest sound your amp can provide while you are reminiscing memories.
Pick the one that could provide the maximum convenience while you maximize the potential of your amplifier. Why choose the one that could only give you powering up a set of speakers if there is an amplifier that could utilize more than a pair? Or an additional subwoofer channel to boost the sound? These things add up to your entertainment, so why not pick a versatile amplifier?
And finally, weigh more about the amplifier’s cost-effectiveness and qualities when dealing with price. Not all low price brands are inferior and those high-priced ones do not necessarily have the ideal traits. Use your instincts and vast knowledge on what other reviews have to say.
5 Best Amplifiers for Car in 2017
The Rockford Fosgate brand is a great option for fine and cost-effective products which offers a wide range of merchandise, including amplifiers. The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime Amplifier is one of those products that the company should be proud of. This amplifier is a high-performance one that is a compact Class D device which is quite better as an alternative for upgrading your car’s audio system without the high price tag.
The R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Amplifier is designed using the DTM (Dynamic Thermal Management) technology. The DTM is a 3-stage thermal system that enables forced air to evenly dissolves heat away from the amp. One other process, called MEHSA (Maximum Efficiency Heat Sink Application), is a trademarked operation that permits air to escape more air from the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) gadgets to the conductor.
- A monoblock type of amplifier.
- Power handling capacity is 300W X 1 RMS at 4 ohms and 500W X 1 at 2 ohms.
- Has a frequency range of 20Hz to 250Hz at +/-1dB.
- Produce minimal distortion of sound due to an efficient combination of proprietary technology (DTM and MOSFET).
- A heatsink is cast aluminum that has Stealth control panel at the top for easy operation.
- At 5.4lbs item weight, this device is one of the heaviest among leading brands.
- Slightly priced higher among other brands of the same class.
The Planet Audio AC1500.1M Car Amplifier is currently one of the best-sellers in the market and also one of the least expensive audio equipment for your car. The Anarchy AC1500.1M, as this audio equipment is popularly known among car enthusiasts, is a 1500W Mono Class A/B amp that is so powerful and capable of high and low-level inputs. If you purchase this one, the remote control for a subwoofer is included, which is sometimes not included in other similar products.
The Anarchy is quite amazing, as this could enhance bass control where it has the Variable Bass Boost so you could adjust the low bass within the range as you would like it to be. Having the Anarchy in your arsenal of audio equipment will also give you more freedom to connect this system to any source unit that you may desire without the hitch.
- With thermal protection when the amp gets too hot as the circuit is turned off allowing the device to cool down.
- Use MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) technology and used as a switch or in enhancing the signal.
- 2-ohm acceptable resistance producing more power and great volume.
- Using only 2 ohms, this amp can power speakers and subwoofers with all channels.
- Hybrid A/B class amplifier producing high-quality sound compared to pure Class A.
- With just one-year over-the-counter exchange warranty.
3. Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Punch BRT 300-Watt Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Amplifier
The Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 is a 300W, 4-Channel, and 4-ohm only amplifier. It comes in a full-range amp that is quite a hit among car lovers with minimal space to spare on their dashboard. This amplifier is also great for large motorcycles, ATVs, luxury boats, hybrid-electric vehicles and other recreational automobiles. The various applications make the PBR300X4 a one-of-a-kind amplifier for a wide range of the market.
The price is also competitive considering it cost less than $200 with superior quality compared to many expensive brands. If you are adept to a speaker system with great sound quality, the Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 really has the punch!
- The power rating of 75 Watts X 4 at 4 ohms RMS and 300 Watts RMS total power.
- Compact design that is suitable for front or rear stereo system with limited space.
- Uses MOSFET design technology enhancing great signal and varying the width of the channel.
- Also, uses BRT (Boosted Rail Technology) to amplify the power efficiently without overheating.
- The BRT is also equipped with a variable hi-level DC offset turn-on circuit making, it more compatible with any OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) system.
- Has high- and low-level inputs, variable 4-6 volts of high-level DC offset, and with a power wire gauge of 10AWG.
- This unit should be put in a well-ventilated space in your car to avoid overheating when using power volume in full.
Certified as a Class A/B power amplifier, the Boss Audio R1100M Riot is a monoblock and MOSFET equipped amp system that is surprisingly cheaper than most audio equipment of its class. MOSFET equipped amp systems to have higher-grade of quality compared to most FETs (Field-effect Transistor) because having this capability requires less current in operation, hence they are more suitable for car audio systems.
The Boss R1100M Amplifier has a total output of 1100 Watts and an impedance rating of 2 to 8 ohms. It has an RMS power of 825 Watts at 2 ohms and a Peak Power of 550 Watts at 4 ohms, more satisfying specifications among other powerful amp systems.
- Robust 1100 Watts maximum power with 1 Channel.
- With MOSFET power supply, enhancing refine signal.
- Back-lit logo in a beautiful blue hue that glows sharply in the dark.
- With only a load of 2 ohms, this amp can power subwoofers or the whole speaker system with ease.
- Hybrid Class A/B producing astounding sound compared to pure breed Class A.
- Wide frequency response range of 9Hz to 50kHz.
- Has a variable low pass filter enabling you to control the frequencies passing through the subwoofer.
- With Switchable Bass Boost that enables you to enhance the low bass up to +18dB.
- Larger and heavier than other amp products of its kind. Definitely not a space saver.
The Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime Amplifier has a classic look which you will be mistaken for a closed laptop on first glance. But mind you, this 5-Channel amplifier has too many features compared to other high-end brands. Despite its higher price compared to other brands, this wonderful amplifier boasts of several high-quality attributes that you can’t find in other amp systems.
The Prime Series R600X5 can boost 4 speakers at the same time with 50 Watts RMS each. This, in simultaneous operation of powering up a subwoofer with up to 300 Watts RMS. The R600X5 is truly fully-packed with traits that are not available in other brands and it maintains sizable dimensions (16.5 X 10.3 X 4.3 inches) making it still an awesome space saver to medium-size cars.
- Aside from driving up 4 speakers at the same time, this powerful amp can also bridge the amp to a 2-Channel mode.
- Utilizing a 2-Channel mode will make the amp to drive a pair of a high-performance component system (with 150 Watts RMS).
- Has subwoofer channel with a capability of producing 300 Watts into 2 ohms resistance.
- Complete accessories (including washers and harnesses) inside the box. The package has a total of 10 items. No need to purchase other essentials.
- The subwoofer channel is Class D amp technology.
- Has a selectable Punch EQ bass boost.
- Best sound quality.
- Included in the package is a remote Punch level control.
- Installation and operation manual in various languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German).
- With higher price tag compared to other similar products of its kind, but the additional cost shows on its immense capability.
- Heavier at 8.6 lbs. and requires 1 piece of a 12V battery to operate.
- No built-in fuses. An additional 80-ampere in line fuse is recommended when installing multiple amps in a system.
If we are going to choose among the 5 best amplifiers for cars listed above, without further ado, we go with the Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime 5-Channel Amplifier. We find this brand satisfying majority of our criteria (versatility, RMS Power Rating, and sound quality) in choosing the perfect brand for our car. Although the R600X5 5-Channel Amplifier is among the most expensive ones, we find it reasonable enough considering its immense and admirable features.
We also find the Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime Amplifier can run an entire car audio system, we don’t need to buy more stuff to fill the void. A true cost-efficient decision and a really great brand, indeed.