If you are in the market for a new car amplifier, there are many things that should go into the buying decision. Technology continues to advance at break-neck speeds, and what was something to consider only a few years ago might not be an issue these days because the amplifier has evolved significantly. Don’t settle for a unit that is not going to deliver as per your needs, now is the time to do your research.
If you want to get the most value from your dollar, consider this step by step guide on how to choose a car amplifier.
Car Amplifier Warranty
Regardless how great of a model or power output of the amplifier, it will be worthless if it breaks down in a few weeks and you have to spend that money again. The best thing that you can do before choosing any amplifier is inquire about the warranty. Here is something to carefully consider, most of the amp manufacturers won’t honor the warranty that you think is valid unless you made the purchase from an authorized retailer. Although this doesn’t seem fair, the reasoning behind this is the manufacturer has spent considerable time and money setting up those distribution chains, and they trust those they work with. If the product was sold by an authorized distributor, the company can follow the car amplifier by serial number every step of the way since it left their factory.
When you buy a car amplifier from an unauthorized dealer, the manufacturer has no way of telling where it has been and what could have been done to it. To ensure you are getting a valid amp warranty, verify the seller is an authorized dealer by calling the company to make sure they are on the list. If you buy the amp and get a warranty from an unauthorized dealer, buyers beware.
Value For Money
It might be tempting for you to spend $200 on that 2000 watt car amplifier, but step back and do a little analysis here of the numbers. Check the voltage of your vehicle, the average for most vehicles is about 13.5 volts. Now consider the draw, or fuse rating of the amplifier you are considering to buy, they average 0.6 for a Class AB car amplifier and 0.8 for the Class D amplifiers. For sake of this example, if your amplifier is fused at 50 amps and you are going with the Class AB, then 50 (amps) X 13.5 (volts) X 0.6 (rating) will equal only 405 watts. That means 405 watts is the most AB amp fused at 50 amps can produce. Knowing the math, look for a car amplifier that advertises their exact rating, then check the fuse and do the math yourself to make certain you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Physical Size Of The Car Amplifier
It doesn’t matter how many features or how powerful the car amplifier you are considering has, if it doesn’t fit in your vehicle, it isn’t going to work. Take exact measurements of the space that you have in the vehicle set aside for the amp, because that huge car amplifier you have your eyes on will never fit under the car seat no matter how hard you try. Like we said earlier, technology is evolving at record speeds in the area of car amps, and the same power output of an amp from three years ago could be three times smaller in size. Don’t assume a small amp means small power, these little devices can compete with the biggest and baddest of them. The car amplifiers being produced today are tiny, but so are vehicles in which these amplifiers are fitted. Take exact measurements of the space in the dash or under the seat, and then shop with that space in mind. The newer car amp model you choose, the smaller the physical size without compromising any of the sound.
Never assume that the wiring is the amp kit is going to serve your needs, you simply need to do your homework and make certain you are getting what you paid for. When it comes to amp wire kits, the best you can find are oxygen-free copper. Although the price of cooper is skyrocketing and so is the cost of the wires, in this case you get what you paid for. These wires will help produce superior sound and last longer than copper clad aluminum wire kits. The copper is a far better conductor of electricity then the aluminum. If you put it in clear terms, an 8 gauge OFC wire kit carries more current than a 4 gauge CCA wiring kit.
One other thing to consider when it comes to the wiring of the car amplifier, the size of the wires in the kit. A decade ago, a 4 gauge wire was truly a 4 gauge wire. Today, with imports of these kits, quality is being compromised, and thicket coating and little wire are being sold as 4 gauge. Beware of Chinese manufactured wiring kits, check reviews before making the purchase, and consider OFC wire kits.
Car Amplifier Compatibility
Don’t assume that the car amplifier that you have your eyes on will be compatible with the ohm load that it will be wired to. If you are not taking the steps to ensure that they are a perfect match and you overload the car amp, the manufacturer will not honor the warranty in most cases. There are some people who hastily bought a one channel amplifier for a four channel application and watched the unit fry right before their eyes. If you have questions or concerns, ask the seller or reach out to the manufacturer help desk. Many have live chat on their websites in addition to around the clock technical support.
If you are connecting the car amplifier to a factory deck, then you need to make sure the amplifier has high level inputs that will work with that direct connection. If you have a sub-woofer, you need to make sure the amplifier has high level inputs that will work with that direct connection. If you have a sub-woofer, you need to make sure the amplifier has a subsonic filter. You also need to make certain that the amplifier will be stable when connected to your desired ohm load.
As you can see, your specific needs must align with the specs of the amplifier to get the desired sound. Talk to a local professional shop, they do these installations all the time and will be in the best position to tell you what you need and what to avoid when selecting the right car amp.
Choosing a More Powerful Car Amplifier
You might think It is counterproductive to buy a more powerful car amplifier than you will need, but there is a good reason to beef up on this aspect of the purchase. Car speakers rarely get blown-out from too much power, in fact, blown speakers are a result of the amp having too little power. So you buy that 2000 watt amp we talked about earlier, it produces 405 watts, so you crank up the gain control and increase the clippings and fry the speakers. That amp didn’t have enough power, so by artificially ramping it up, you blew the speakers.
Buy a little more power than you really need with a car amp and the gains can stay at the appropriate settings. The result, better sound and less chance of your speakers being blown out.
Now that we have discussed the steps for choosing a car amplifier, it is time to select one from the thousands available for sale. There are good amps, there are bad amps, and the following list of the most popular car amps will at least have you headed in the right direction.
Consider the Following Top-rated Selling Car Amplifiers:
One of the best-selling and top-rated car amplifiers that you will find on the market. The slim design of this amp makes it perfect for fitting in even the tightest spaces. If you want the purest of bass sounds, this is the amp, you are certain to feel every beat as you roll down the highway. This amp has powerful 1500 watts max power, MOSFET power supply, and you can customize the sound with the remote sub-woofer control, base boost, and low-pass crossover.
Regardless if you are listening to metal, rock, or hip-hop, the amplifier brings out the best in the music so you can head every drum beat and guitar riff crystal clear. This is one of those car amplifiers that you will hook up today and still be enjoying the superior sound quality years from now, without any distortion in sound quality. This extremely powerful 2-ohm amplifier features specific linear circuitry that will increase the overall sound quality and the power output as it reduces distortion and improves efficiency. The amp measures in at depth 10.3’’ X Width 6.5” X height 2.3”
This top-rated and affordable car amplifier is one of the best buys you can make when transforming the sound system in your vehicle. The manufacturer has been in the amplifier game for a long time, and that means they stand behind the quality and performance of their units. This R500X1D car amplifier is rated 500 watts, features the MOSFET power supply, and over-current protection. This amp comes with a remote bass control, cast-iron heat-sink, and high level outputs.
Even though the physical size of the amp is small, it generates a tremendous amount of power. The blue lights on the amp and control knob are easy to see in daytime or night. Not only is this car amplifier a breeze to connect, it will transform the music you have been listening to, allowing you to hear every unique chord in a whole new light. Simple installation, high quality workmanship, and superior output sound is what you can expect with this powerful car amplifier. The box includes a manual, bass knob, and mounting screws. The amp measures in at depth 8.5” X width 6.8” X height 2.0”
Alpine has been in the car amplifier business for several decades, and in that time they have continually produced some of the top-rated and affordable car amplifiers on the market. The MRX-M110 RMS 1100W X-Power Car amplifier features a high-efficiency digital circuit design that utilizes adaptive feedback and a variable bass EQ to produce some of the smoothest sounds you will ever hear. Since Alpine has been in this game for many years, they produce other high-quality sound equipment too.
This car amps synchs up perfectly to other alpine devices or any sound system for that matter. The volume and clarity is impressive, losing nothing as you crank up the volume while maintain the perfect sound. The Alpine MRX-M110 RMS 1100W X-Power car amplifier comes with a certificate that will detail when the amp was tested, what was the ohm rating, and the wattage. For this price, you are getting more for your money, as it pushes the limits of any single or dual subs. The amp measures in at depth 13.3” X width 2.25” X Height 9.0”
Don’t let the size fool you. JL Audio XD400 produces thunderous sound quality and will have you enjoying all your favorite music all over again. This 400-watt amplifier is tiny enough to fit under most seats, and creates stunning sound that will push your speakers to their limits. High-rated car amplifier offers 75 watts continuous per channel at 4 ohms, creates crystal clean sound, and no noise during the quiet pauses in between songs.
Smaller in size than the average car amp with more channel output, you simply cannot go wrong with it. Can be easily integrated with an OEM stereo to produce incredible sound. One of the more efficient car amplifiers, barely warm to the touch after hours of usage, superior signal-to-noise ratio, and exceptional reproduction quality. Solid four channel car amplifier that is capable of rattling the windows if you crank it all the way up without any distortion. The amplifier is extremely compact, packs a huge punch, and the sound quality is better than most 4 channel units. The amp measures in at depth 8.5” X width 2.05 X height 7.09”