Sound quality should be your end goal when setting the car audio system. This article will help you add one of the best car amplifiers for sound quality to your sound system.
A car amplifier makes the most out of your stock speakers or custom subwoofers. They surely provide the power that you are looking for and can make the difference between an average sound and one that turns heads around as you pass by.
You can still get hard pumping beats without diminishing a clear, efficient, and good sound quality audio system powered by an amplifier.
Top 10 Best Car Amplifiers for Sound Quality
|Rankings||Name||Price and More Details|
|Rockford Fosgate PBR 400x4 Powerful Amplifier||Click Here|
|Alpine MRVF300 4-channel Digital Signal Processor||Click Here|
|MTX Audio Jackhammer Mono Subwoofer Amplifier||Click Here|
|Pioneer GMD8601 Class Car Amp Speaker System||Click Here|
|JL Audio JX10001D Amplifier For Your Cars||Click Here|
We have put together the market’s best equipment for those who are looking for an amplifier that is recognized for sound quality.
Here you will find an array of amplifiers with the industry’s best features at reasonable costs. Feel free to browse the ones you find fit for your audio system goals.
Whether you are putting together a decent setup or hard-knocking competition-grade beats, this is the list you need to start accomplishing your dreamed car audio system.
1. Rockford Fosgate PBR 400×4 Powerful Amplifier for Sound Quality
Rockford Fosgate’s Punch PBR400X4D is designed for stereo front/rear systems and holds power with an impressive 400 watts of RMS in a small case that is ideal for cars, motorcycles, UTV’s, hybrid-electric vehicles, and mobile installs. The company improved the flexibility of installment by adding dual, selectable high pass crossovers pointing at 60Hz and 80Hz.
A full-range 4-channel amplifier hosts the Boosted Rail Technology, or BRT, that provides power on demand and circuitry that allows RCA and speaker level signals, which makes it fairly easy for OEM integration. Its integrated C.L.E.A.N technology helps users to set up the amp output controls quickly and eliminates distortion.
The Punch PBR400X4D is a versatile, powerful, lightweight amplifier that does not compromise much from your electrical system. Users can pump this amp in either 2 or 4 channel mode to pump a couple of speakers or car subwoofers at a max of 200 watts RMS per unit. The model is encased in an aluminum heat sink that features Rockford Fosgate’s heat management technology for non-stop playing time.
2. Alpine MRVF300 4-channel Bridgeable Amplifier
The Alpine MRVF300 is a synonym for amplifier versatility. It delivers 50 watts of RMS at 4 ohms and 75 watts RMS 2 ohms, both to four speakers outputs. When connected at 4-ohm in bridged mode, the amp pumps 150 watts RMS. The power is delivered no matter the option, and the rest is a matter of personal choice.
This Class D digital amplifier holds the same power in a 40% smaller chassis when compared to previous models. Its new snap-on terminals allow a fairly straight-forward installation and compatibility with your OEM. Users can also run the amp in a 3-channel mode and feed a pair of speakers at 50 watts and a subwoofer at 150 watts.
Heavy users find the Alpine MRVF300 4-channel bridgeable amplifier very efficient and convenient because of its Enhanced Shutdown Performance technology. This prevents the amp from shutting down by signaling the unit to roll back the output and continue playing your music until it cools down to return to max power.
3. Pioneer GMD9705 5 Channel Amplifier for Sound Quality
Users love the Pioneer GM-D9705 GM Series because it can feed all your speakers and your subwoofer at the same time, thanks to its 5-channels. This class D amplifier is enclosed in a durable, rugged frame design and a textured flat panel that offers a strong yet simple unit.
This powerful model rates at 2,000 watts max with a subwoofer output of 500 watts at 2ohms. Pioneer improved the user’s control and flexibility of the unit with its variable crossover networks and easiness of installment for an all-in-one solution specifically engineered for power and convenience.
The amplifier has a variable low-pass filter that allows the audio frequency to adjust to the subwoofer features and the user’s taste. User’s feedback highlights this amplifier for the sound clarity it projects, its lack of noise when operating, convenient small chassis, and the ability to power up a whole car stereo system while boasting lots of power.
4. Alpine PDXV9 5-channel Extreme Power Digital Amplifier
The Alpine PDX-V9 5-channel class D Digital Amplifier received the Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Honors Award because of its top-notch technology and user feedback. It brings a stackable installation feature with front-panel controls for maximum convenience and usability. The CEA-2006 compliant amplifier has an optional RUX-KNOB and a wired remote level control for the sub-channel.
The extremely powerful amplifier packs 1600 watts max was designed to provide users a higher level of sound quality while keeping performance and the unit’s reliability over long periods of usage thanks to its thermal management control. One of the best features of this amp is the ultra-wide frequency response, offering listeners unmatched sound detail and resolution when playing any music genre.
Alpine’s PDX series is among the top 5 best performing digital amplifiers in the market because it is capable of producing clean power without distortions or static. In other words, the PDX-V9 delivers impeccable performance, clear output, tight bass, and maximum sound efficiency. The improved power management processor monitor’s the amp’s voltage and temperature, so you can listen to your favorite tracks non-stop.
5. MTX Audio Jackhammer Series Monoblock Amplifier For Bass Boost
The MTX Audio Jackhammer offers loud pumps and multiple setups versatilities with its 1,100 watts at 1ohm, 775 watts at 2ohms, and 450 watts RMS at 4ohms. Users find this convenient because it allows them to integrate the amplifier with a built-in or custom car audio system.
It is engineered for easy access to the control panel, which shows a remote bass knob for the management of low frequencies. The unit has low-pass and subsonic filters that make the best out of the sound input to a subwoofer.
This Jackhammer series monoblock amplifier is a great performer when it comes to blasting 10” and 12” subwoofers. The RMS power holds to what the company promises, and its patented MTX technologies are capable of process and amplify the audio signal without wasting precious energy or overheating.
6. JL Audio RD400/4 NexD 4 Channels Amps
Efficiency and reliability that is what the model RD400/4 is about. The model pushes 200 watts RMS x 2 at 4 Ohm, for a total of 400 watts of RMS audio power that is loud yet clean. This amp simplifies the connection with multiple speakers from its dual terminals.
The NexD Technology of the RD400/4 is one of the best technologies in the market when it comes to delivering outstanding sound fidelity. The heavy-duty aluminum alloy heat sink brings another layer of safety when compared to other amplifiers, thanks to the 3-way protection circuitry that covers overload, thermal, and short speaker protection.
The unit is ultra-compact and can feed your car’s front and rear speakers with 75 watts RMS of clear low distortion sound. The RD400/4 features a dual-color LED light that shows the overall status of the amplifier. Overall, the amp offers a clean and powerful sound at a reasonable price.
7. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime Car Amplifier for Sound Quality
The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is one of the best quality amplifiers in the market, featuring a short circuit and over current protection, a phase switch, real-time output, and power supply thermal sensing, remote bass control, and great pumps while remaining CEA-2006 compliant.
Any audio enthusiast finds the model as a perfect match to either a car or an SUV, powering subwoofers with ease and allowing to daisy chain another amplifier with its pass-thru jacks. One of the best features is the Rockford Fosgate’s Punch boost, so you can maximize the bass from the subwoofer and its enclosure.
The R500X1D A integrates well with any factory system and supports long-term play efficiently as it draws away heat from its core components. The amp includes a wired remote so you can control the volume level, and its built-in sensors protect the unit from short circuits. If you plan to install multiple amps in a system, it is recommended to add a 50-amp in-line fuse between the distribution block and this amplifier.
8. Kenwood KAC-M3004 Compact 4-channel Car Digital Amplifier
The Kenwood KAC-M3004 amplifier is a great choice for those who want to power up a complete audio system. It provides 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4-Ohms and 75 watts RMS x 4 at 2-Ohm, which is enough for most users. An option of 150 watts x 2 is available when bridged, mostly used to power two subs.
Power sports, ATV, motorcycle, and boat owners find this amp a must because it has a coated circuit board that protects the unit against moisture, dust, chemicals, and high temperatures. The model picks signals from all sources, whether it’s from RCA cables or a stock stereo, and turns itself on when it senses the signal from the coaxial speaker level inputs.
The amp provides a clean and dynamic sound. It can double the output from your head unit while still producing great pumps at a minimum distortion rate. In essence, the KAC-M3004 is one of the most compact amplifiers in the market, greatly enhances the output of your system audio, and is probably the best fit for multiple ground and water vehicles.
9. Skar Audio SKv2-15001D Competition Grade Amplifiers for Bass Quality
Skar audio SKV2-15001D is an extremely powerful amplifier that pumps 1,800 watts RMS at 1-Ohm, 930 watts at 2-Ohm, and 500 watts at 4-Ohm, and a towering 3,600 watts RMS at 2-ohms when strapped, for maximum user flexibility.
The company states that this amplifier “represents the pinnacle of innovation and engineering”. If we judge by the amount of power and features, it holds to its promise. The heavy-duty aluminum heat sink and the built-in 4-way internal circuitry protection design (thermal, voltage, DC, and speaker) allows the unit to operate at its best while keeping the amp cool, easily outperforming other amplifiers in its class.
The SKv2-1500.1D model was built for extreme sound output levels and long-term usage. Moreover, the control panel features everything a user needs for proper management and customize the amps bass boost, gain levels, and phase control. Furthermore, it features both RCA inputs and outputs for an easy daisy chain if you want to include multiple amplifiers. If you are looking for a deep, clean, and efficient amplifier, this is the one.
10. BOSS Audio Systems Elite BE4000D Powerful Amplifier
The BOSS audio systems Elite BE4000D pumps are like any other amplifier in the game with its 4,00 watts. Amazing when compared to other amps in the market.
Speaking about versatility, the model offers 2,000 watts of max power at 2-Ohm and 4,000 watts of max power at 1-Ohm and holds a variable low pass crossover, a subsonic filter, and a bass boost. When strapped bridged, the amp delivers very stable and consistent power. Watch out if passing nearby this monster!
This is a Class D amplifier that is efficient and generates more power thanks to its compact design and state-of-the-art metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors. As one of the Elite series, the BE4000D is an eye-catching amp develop for a quality clean sound and maximum performance. If you are a hardcore using you should know that the amp features an automatic shut-off that protects the amplifier if it gets maybe too hot or because of speaker fail shortage.
Best Car Amplifiers Buying guide
We have put together this car amplifier buying guide to help you make a better decision when choosing the right amp for your sound system. Speaker wiring is also really important when putting together your sound system. Here are some factors to consider when buying amps for sound quality:
RMS power rating
Users notice that the RMS power rating is always present in speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers. In all, this is one of the best features and what most users seek when they try to purchase. The RMS (root mean square) power rating is the measure of continuous power that an amplifier or speaker can output. This statistical measurement is applied to voltage or current and is related to the max power that an amplifier can handle for long periods without suffering any harm.
Other measures like peak power handling do not represent the number of watts that a speaker or amplifier can handle for long, and if tried, can cause several damages to the unit. You can enjoy peak power for a very short time and put it back to RMS to make sure that your subwoofer or amplifier lasts.
Back in the mid-70s, the Federal Trade Commission instated its Amplifier Rule to counter the not so truthful power claims made by manufacturers. That’s why every speaker, amplifier, or subwoofer has to state their peak and their RMS power handling. Audio experts recommend a ratio of 1.5 to 2 times the amplifier to a speaker or subwoofer power.
Number of channels
This is a big one and makes a huge difference when setting a complete audio system. As you may have noticed in the above reviews, some amplifiers have either 4, 2, or 1 channel. The job of an amplifier is to get the signal from your stereo and use its power source to translate it into a more powerful signal into your speakers and subwoofers.
Users typically feed all their car speakers (usually four, two in the front and two in the back) and a subwoofer. If you relate to this, it means that you need an amplifier with many channels to provide the power source to this audio equipment.
On that thought, a four-channel amplifier is by far the most popular. Nevertheless, a five or six-channel amp provides a greater option. Now, if all you want is to pump up a subwoofer, a one-channel amplifier delivers the best value for you.
So before you purchase the amp, make sure that you become aware and decide how exactly you intend to use the unit, and thus you will know how many channels fit your needs.
Any modern amplifier brings a built-in soft starting module. Its purpose is to limit the start-up current of large power amplifiers. Without it, the start-up current can blow fuses easily.
The soft starting main goal is to limit the destructive inrush currents by momentarily introducing a resistance, usually of about three seconds, between the power transformer’s primary current and the mains supply. This brief delay is enough to charge the filter caps and stop the huge initial current.
Low pass filter
There’s not a single amplifier without a low pass filter, and their job is to pass signals with a frequency lower than a selected cutoff frequency and is mainly a complement of a high pass filter.
They are present in many forms, including electronic, acoustics, and digital filters. In electronic settings, like a car amplifier, the low pass filter is used on inputs to subwoofers to counter high pitches that they are unable to reproduce efficiently.
They consist of a resistor and a capacitor. However, modern low-pass filters combine a series of parallel capacitors and inductors.
In summary, the low-pass filter plays a major role in eliminating all frequencies above the cutoff, also known as corner frequency, while passing the other ones below without changes.
Mosfet power supply
It is defined as a metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), and its mission are to handle power levels of your amplifier by switching efficiency and speed at low voltages.
This is the most common power semiconductor in the market because of its paralleling capabilities, wide bandwidth, ease of application, and its fast switching speed. It is mostly used in power supplies, motor controllers (low voltage), and DC to DC converters.
MOSFETs go on and off quickly based on a signal from an integrated circuit, which allows high current to flow through in short bursts while controlling the voltage sent to other components on the amplifier.
Watts per channel
Besides the number of channels on an amplifier, the amount of watts per channel is what most users should look upon when purchasing one. Watts per channel, also known as WPC, is always present on the product specifications of amplifiers and stereos.
While you may believe or perceive that more watts equal more volume, it’s not always the case. If your amplifier wattage rating per channel is 100 watts a 1Khz, a realistic wattage output if all four channels are operating simultaneously, all frequencies will be lower as much at 40 percent.
Consult with an audio expert to match your speakers and subwoofers to the proper measurement of the watts per channel of your amplifier. The idea is that you match your whole audio system with the amplifier so you can get pumping highs and lows with high quality and a clear sound you can enjoy.
RCA inputs, also known as phono plug, come in handy with amplifiers because, without them, there is no way you can connect an amplifier to a subwoofer or speakers and are labeled as an input or output.
The RCA output sends the audio from one device to another while the input receives audio from a third party. These connectors are colored red for the right channel and white for the left channel. The cables you connect to these RCA inputs match the color of the connector you plug them into.
If, for any reason, you don’t come across a red and white cable, just make sure that they are still marked as left and right so you’ll know where to connect.
Total harmonic distortion
Nobody likes to hear a distorted sound after spending time and money assembling an audio system. That can be a total frustration for a user. With that said, lowering the distortion is a must to reproduce accurate sound from your audio components like the amplifier, speaker, subwoofer, or even a microphone.
The total harmonic distortion, known by its two acronyms THD or THDi, is simply the measurement that tells you how much of the harmonic distortion is present in the signal. According to the Japan Industrial Standards, they define the THD “as the ratio of the harmonic component to the fundamental component”.
The distortion factor, used as a synonym for THD, is a key aspect in communications, power systems, and of course, audio and users should consistently keep this as low as they can. If you have low THD values, the less distortion you’ll get from the system output.
Amp Wiring kits
Audio wires are not created equal, and they represent a difference in how your amplifier and audio system reproduces sound. Also, not all amplifiers come with a wiring kit, and it is up to the user to identify the best option that matches the amp with the speakers and the subwoofer.
An amplifier wiring kit helps you reproduce a clear and efficient sound. They usually come with a capacitor, the ground wire, the fuses and their holders for the connections, and a 4-gauge power wire. They are all needed when you try to assemble a complete car audio system.
Make sure to look for those who offer heat resistant jackets for long-term operational expectancy of the wires. Also, an 18-gauge positive wire and ideally a 16 feet long RCA cable. Users get more value from copper wires as they provide a higher quality of strength and conductivity.
Different Amplifier Type To Use For Sound Quality
Here are the different amplifier class:
Class D amplifiers
By far, the Class D amplifiers are the most popular in the market. Also known as switching amplifiers, these type of devices operate their amplifier devices as electronic switches. In Class D, the audio signal passes through a simple low-pass filter to the loudspeaker while the high-frequency is countered.
The efficiency of a Class D amplifier surpasses 90% because the output transistors are not conducting simultaneously. Manufacturers pay close attention that these pair of transistors stay apart from conducting at the same time because otherwise, it can cause a short circuit between the supply rails.
In contrast, linear amplifiers operate using an SMPS as their source of DC power. On the other side, a Class D amplifier can use other types of power supplies like a car battery or an internal SMPS, making the power efficiency at 100%. In a general sense, a Class D amplifier’s role is to keep unwanted conduction away from the output, which in turn reduces distortion, unwanted noise, less heat, saves cost and board space, and extend battery life.
The Class AB is a hybrid amplifier composed of Class A and B that uses a DC bias current to prevent distortion and optimize sound quality. These types of amps have major power dissipation because the output voltages are usually far from the positive or negative supply rails.
One of the main advantages of a Class AB amplifier is its fidelity and efficiency. They keep the characteristics of a full Class A amp when the signal has low power.
In general, Class AB amplifiers have 60% higher efficiency than a Class A and a lot less distortion than Class B amps. Most users use these for home theaters and not car audio systems.
Difference Between A Digital Amplifier And A Subwoofer Amplifier
The digital revolution is a reality that has slowly taken over different industries across the world like finance, agriculture, banking, and healthcare. The audio industry is not an exception. A digital amplifier enhances the audio quality by allowing the audio signal to keep its true digital form from its main source until it is reproduced.
In technical terms, a digital amplifier:
- Receives the digital input from a source, usually a linear pulse code.
- Digitally converts this linear pulse or input to a Pulse Width Modulation or PWM format.
The PWN subsequently produces a filtered signal that replicates the original audio input.
Some of the advantages of a digital amplifier include noise immunity and higher efficiency.
A subwoofer amplifier is a loudspeaker that reproduces low-frequency audio signals. As an amplifier circuit, they improve and enhance bass quality.
The low-frequency signal is amplified by a voltage amplifier while it filters and removes the high-frequency signals. Users can use a separate amplifier for the subwoofer, but it’s all going to depend on the equipment you have already installed or plan to install for your car audio system.
Where are car amplifiers mounted?
One of the main benefits of modern amplifiers is that they now come in small, compact sizes that give the users much more flexibility when it comes to installation.
While these are not intended for the under-seat, some have a size that allows them to fit such small places. However, the design is usually made to fit well on a vehicle’s trunk.
For those who have another type of vehicle, like an SUV, these also fit on the back. Before you purchase, make sure that you check the dimensions of the unit and make a realistic decision of where it can fit in your car.
Should I get 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm amplifiers?
It depends on your goal as a user. Nevertheless, amps come in either 2 or 4-ohms, making it easier to choose.
The 2ohm amplifiers deliver a louder sound when compared to 4ohm. However, they may reproduce a lesser quality sound against the 4ohm amps.
A 4ohm amplifier delivers much more electrical resistance, consumes less power, and is known to have a longer equipment life than 2ohm.
Users are more inclined to purchase the 4ohm model because the sound tends to be more compact and with higher quality.
Since ohms measure the resistance, you can maximize the power that the amp sends to a subwoofer if it holds a 2 ohm. For example, if an amp sends 300 watts to a 4ohm speaker or sub, the same amplifier reproduces 600 watts on a 2ohm speaker.
What are monoblock amplifiers?
Monoblock amplifiers allow the user to send power through a single power signal.
This type of power amp is a must if you are only looking to feed one or multiple subwoofers and get the most pumps at the highest sound quality.
One of the greatest benefits of monoblock amplifiers is providing the topmost quality sound. The mono amplifier is designed with two speaker inputs for parallel wiring.
A mono amp is not a full-range amplifier and alone does not reproduce stereo signals.
Should I get a bridgeable amplifier?
You will see a left positive and right positive speaker connection on bridgeable amplifiers.
They hold two channels, a common ground for these channels, and floating isolated output sections that you can easily put in a series using a switchable inverter or connecting two minus terminals.
Bridgeable amplifiers are attractive to users who want a higher output power as they use those two channels to push a common mono speaker load.
What is variable bass boosting?
This feature is a big one for low-frequency aficionados.
A variable bass boosting increases the low frequency fed from the amplifier to the subs or speakers.
When the amp pumps these low frequencies, the bass setting remains flat, so it doesn’t affect the reproduction of the low frequency of the speakers/subs.
Most amplifiers have a custom bass boost output that can either be a physical knob or a parametric equalizer with multiple adjustment options.
If you have a bass boost, try carefully turning it up to hear what the bass drum sounds like when you do. Applying just a little bass boost will bring up the kick a lot.
Be careful with the bass boost if you choose to use it — this is where distortion is often introduced into a system. If you hear distortion, lower the sub amp’s gain until it goes away. Use the bass boost to feel the beat in the air your sub moves.
Tips When Choosing a Car Audio Amplifier
- Understand the difference between a 5-channel and a 4-channel car amplifier.
- A mono or class d amplifier would work best for car subwoofers.
- Choosing a high-quality single din or double din radio can also boost the sound quality of your sound system.
- A marine audio amp is recommended for vehicles like the Jeep that tend to have no roof.
- A 5-channel amp typically comes with four channels for the speakers with an amplifier channel separately.
- DVD players and satellite radios will have different volumes when tuning your output levels.
A high-quality amplifier makes a big difference in the overall car sound experience. The amount of power and clean beats delivered by any of the ones listed in this article is a no brainier for any serious car audio user.
Remember that not all amplifiers are engineered the same. It is important to determine if you’re subwoofer and speakers can handle the input and variables like Ohm, bass boosting, number of channels, so the amp is up to par with your entire system audio and car stereo for top performance. Class D amps are by far the most popular and offer higher quality and efficiency.
A broad frequency range is something to look for. Each amplifier on this list has been proven to deliver powerful outputs and a crisp sound over the basis of innovation and high-end designs. If you need door speakers, please check out our post on component speakers.