Our best car amplifier is the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier which has 300 watts of power at 4 Ohms and it also has 500 watts of power at 2 Ohms. This car amp has a frequency band from 20 Hz to 250 Hz and in addition, the material for the casing is made from cast aluminum heat sink that comes with a stealth top control panel that is mounted. This amp includes an on-board punch EQ that you can enjoy playing the settings with +18 dB boosts up to 45 Hz and it has an infrasonic filter and a 12 dB octave low-pass / high-pass and AP crossover. It comes with a punch level control wired remote. This is a class D version – there is also a mono block version.
As for our step-up pick, we have the Rockford Fosgate Prime 1,200-Watt Class-D 1-Channel Amplifier. With on-board punch equalization, this car amp has an 18 dB boost up to 45 Hz and in addition, it comes with an infrasonic filter. The tri-stage protection makes it safe from over current, short circuits and thermal problems. It also includes a variable crossover at 12 dB and octave slopes and comes with a PEQ level control remote.
Our budget pick is the ViewHD 2 Port 1×2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter for 1080P & 3D | Model: VHD-1X2MN3D which can operate up to 225 Mhz. It includes an HDMI 1.3 that comes with HDCP 1.0 / 1.1 / 1.2 and it can support 1080p, 720p, 1080i, 576p, 480p, 576i and 480i. The duration of the EDID is 4 seconds and its maximum extension for the cable is 10 m for the 28AWG HDMI cable and 15 m for 26AWG.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Who else likes it?
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Waterproof Car Amplifier
- Best 4-Channel Car Amplifier
- Car Amplifier that Comes with an AM/FM Tuner
- Best 5-Channel Car Amplifier
- Best 2-Channel Car Amplifier
- Best Class A/B Car Amplifier
- Best Class D Car Amplifier
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
A car amplifier is a device that helps enhance sound volume without sacrificing quality. Car amplifiers are supposed to be compact and easy to install on any car or vehicle so that it can improve the car’s subwoofers or a new set of speakers.
Car amps have been around ever since people wanted to pump up their sound system and enjoy a good old party with friends. They can be installed by proper wiring. There are different car amplifiers – there are class A/B amps and class D amps, which both have different power outputs so it is best to know which one works best for you and our car’s sound system.
How We Picked
In choosing the best car amplifier, we picked from the following criteria:
Is the car amplifier durable? It should be able to withstand pressure and should not overheat as much even with frequent use. Most car amps have an auto shut-down and do not have a cooling system and this can be irritating for most car amp owners. If you want uninterrupted high quality sound, you should get a car amp that is not just durable but also protective against thermal problems and does not heat up a lot even with long hours of use.
What is the overall price? Car amps range from $50 to $200 and above but this all depends on its features. Make sure what you get is what you pay for so that you will have the best for your money. It is also a good idea to have a car amp that is very new in model so that the years to come will still see it running on your sound system.
Does it come with a lot of features such as bass boost and filters?
What do the reviews say about the car amplifier? Get to know if there are cons that can be bothersome on the car amplifier. There should be a few cons but they should not be deal breakers. Weigh in all the pros and cons of the car amp before buying and using it.
Is it a class A/B or a class D? Take note that there are differences when it comes to power outputs of a class A/B car amplifier and a class D car amplifier. Class D amps are mostly pricier than class A/B but it all depends on its features.
What is the maximum power output? This also depends on whether you get a class A/B or a class D and the size of the car amplifier.
Can it protect the unit against dangers such as short circuit, overloading and thermal problems? Car amps are frequently used and they can heat up fast if they do not have a good thermal protection system. They can also be in danger of short circuits and overloading and this is why you should have a car amplifier that protects from all of those things.
Despite its weight and features, is it very portable? Most car owners are looking forward to a car amp that is portable and easy to install on almost any car or vehicle to enhance their subs or speaker system.
Top Pick: Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier
For our top pick as the best car amplifier and with over 300 watts of power at 4 Ohms, the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier is our pick with 500 watts of power at 2 Ohms. This awesome car amplifier has a frequency band from 20 Hz to 250 Hz and is a great stereo companion.
The material for the casing is made from cast aluminum heat sink that comes with a stealth top control panel that is mounted, so you can be assured of the car amplifier’s durability. Other than that, this powerful amp includes an on-board punch EQ that you can enjoy playing the settings with +18 dB boosts up to 45 Hz so you can further customize your sound quality and mix it to your taste.
In addition, this car amp also has an infrasonic filter and a 12 dB octave low-pass / high-pass and AP crossover so you can further tweak your sound settings and add in really cool effects. The amp also comes with a punch level control wired remote for better and easy control. Take note that this is a class D version – there is also a mono block version.
The good thing about this car amp is that it complies with CEA-2006. Adding to that, it also includes a MOSFET power supply. To make it useful and keep it safe from unit breakdowns, this car amp has a protection against short circuit and it also has protection against over current.
The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier includes high level inputs and also has RCA pass thru outputs. In addition, it comes with real time output and it also has power supply thermal sensing. This amp comes with a phase switch and it also has a muted turn on.
As a whole, the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier is a great car amplifier to consider. It requires 1 12V battery and it weighs 5.4 lbs, has dimensions of 8 in x 6 in x 2 in.
Who Else Likes It?
Various reviews from Crutchfield have hailed the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier. It was said to be super small and portable and in addition, it has low heat and does not shut down when being pushed. The cool thing is that it can fit perfectly under the car seat. Needless to say, the car amp is very easy to install and it has an awesome bass amp. It produces hard hitting bass and it is also praised for having a really great sound quality. Other reviewers have said that it is also quite affordable for a car amplifier. Being built from solid construction, it is ready to take any kind of adventure you use it for.
Adding to the review, it also said that the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier has a clean look, design and finish. The only things you need to know are that it might require a cap because it draws quite a lot of power, it does not come with mounting screws and both the amp and the remote knob have a very bright LED light. However, these are only very minor cons.
The site Ridebass has included the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier as one of their best car amplifiers. The overall review has praised for its good sound and it is lined up with many other awesome car amplifiers.
Another website that has reviewed other car amplifiers out there, the Online Car Stereo reviewed the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier. According to the review, it is a great improvement from most market contenders and it is super powerful for a car amp. Most of what was said in the review has somewhat implied that it is a car amp that is worth the money that is equipped with a great sub knob. It has an awesome output that is close to 650 watts RMS.
Quality Mobile Video also reviewed the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier. It has been praised for having great value. The review also said that the installation is easy and both the sound and the unit itself are of high quality. With a great price, the car amp’s durability is excellent. Overall, the reviews said that it can greatly improve your sound system.
A review from Buri Shop Market said that the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier has a great amount of features such as the easy low pass filter. It also has a great punch boost for maximum bass impact. Furthermore, it can be easily hooked up to just about any system. The real time output and great power supply add up to its high value for its price.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
There are only a few flaws to mention for the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier. For instance, it was said in most reviews that the LED light of the remote knob and amp may be too bright. It also does not come with mounting screws which can be a bit troublesome but can be worked around, and in addition, it might also require a cap due to the fact that it can draw a lot of power, but this is minor compared to its big advantages as a car amp.
As for our car amplifier that has on-board punch equalization, we have the Rockford Fosgate Prime 1,200-Watt Class-D 1-Channel Amplifier which also has an 18 dB boost up to 45 Hz. This step-up pick car amplifier comes with an infrasonic filter. In addition to its good features, its tri-stage protection makes it safe from over current, short circuits and thermal problems.
The car amp includes a variable crossover at 12 dB and octave slopes and also, it comes with a PEQ level control remote. It weighs 15 lbs and has overall dimensions of 11 in x 6 in x 2 in. The car amplifier is a 1 channel amp at 1,200 watts as it comes with remote bass knob.
Being a very powerful amp, it comes with a sheet listing for its ohms. This is small and compact for a 1,200-watt amplifier and it has a very cool design and a sleek finish. This car amp also comes with a bass equalizer to make things spicier. It is quite easy to set up and wire. The only known con is the blinding light of the bass knob.
ViewHD 2 Port 1×2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter for 1080P & 3D VHD-1X2MN3D
The ViewHD 2 Port 1×2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter can operate up to 225 Mhz and is our budget pick for this review of the best car amplifiers. It is an HDMI 1.3 that comes with HDCP 1.0 / 1.1 / 1.2 and it can support 1080p, 720p, 1080i, 576p, 480p, 576i and 480i.
The duration of the EDID is 4 seconds and adding to that, its maximum extension for the cable is 10 m for the 28AWG HDMI cable and 15 m for 26AWG. The car amp can split 1 HDMI source up to 2 HDMI displays, making it great for STB, HDTV, DVD, projectors and others. All in all, the ViewHD is available in a variety of HDMI packages. It has overall dimensions of 4 in x 4 in x 1 in and it weighs 4.8 oz.
Best Waterproof Car Amplifier
Pyle PLMRMP3B 4 Channel 800 Watt Waterproof Micro Marine Amplifier
The Pyle PLMRMP3B 4 Channel 800 Watt Waterproof Micro Marine Amplifier is an ideal waterproof car amplifier. It has 100 watts rms x 4 at 4 Ohms, has 300 watts rms 4 at 2 Ohms and has 200 watts max at 4 ohms.
With overall dimensions of 6 in x 3 in x 1 in, it was designed to have a sleek black color. It has a soft turn on and off and it also comes with a volume gain remote control. The car amp’s THD is at 0.05% and what makes it unique is that it comes with a waterproof poly bag for iPod and mp3. The channel separation is 65 dB and it comes with RCA line input.
Adding to its features, it has an electronic crossover network and can be stable at 2 ohms stereo. The car amp’s circuitry is greatly protected from short and overloading and in addition to that, the frequency response is from 10 Hz to 40 KHz. This awesome amp also includes an anti-thump features and the fuse used is 10A. It also has a 3.5mm stereo to RCA adaptor.
As a 4 channel car amp, the Pyle PLMRMP3B 4 Channel 800 Watt Waterproof Micro Marine Amplifier can push up to 800 watts. You can easily fine tune sounds and audio with polarity, gain control input level, volume control and RCA stereo input. With an S/N ratio of less than 95 dB, the high and low level inputs are adjustable. With dimensions of 11 in x 5 in x 3 in, it has an overall weight of 2.4 lbs and a shipping weight of 2.1 lbs.
Best 4-Channel Car Amplifier
Kenwood KAC-M1804 Compact 4-channel Amplifier
The Kenwood KAC-M1804 Compact 4-channel Amplifier is our best 4 channel car amp. It has dimensions of 5 in x 3 in x 1 in. The RMS power rating is 4 Ohms at 45 watts x 4 channels and the max power output is 400 watts.
The heat sink design is an extruded aluminum finish and it requires 1 12V battery. Adding to that, it has left and right audio RCA inputs. Being small but very powerful, most people use it for Harley Davidson stereos. It is a compact class D car amplifier and the coated circuit board is conformal and okay to use for marine applications.
Car Amplifier that Comes with an AM/FM Tuner
Pyle P3001AT 3000W Hybrid Pre Amplifier with AM/FM Tuner
If you want to enjoy a car amplifier that functions as a radio tuner at the same time then go for the Pyle P3001AT 3000W Hybrid Pre Amplifier with AM/FM Tuner. The max power is at 3000 watts and it includes a digital AM / FM tuner that has an auto seek feature.
This car amp is capable of accepting input from mp3 player or iPod and in addition, it has a sturdy built quartz synthesized tuner. The subwoofer output has an RCA and it also includes an RCA dedicated record line output and a preamplifier output. One more thing to add is that it comes with binding post outputs and banana plug and also includes individual gain controls.
Enjoy a car amp that is switchable between 110 V and 220 V for use on different countries. It has protection against overheat, short circuit and over current. It also includes a convenient cooling fan to add to its protection features. It allows for two 1/4 inch inputs for microphone and with an easy adjustability for mic echo, bass and treble, it has a sleek digital fluorescent output display.
With a 1 year warranty, the Pyle P3001AT 3000W Hybrid Pre Amplifier with AM/FM Tuner weighs 14.3 lbs. It has 850 watts at 2 ohms, 300 watts at 8 ohms, 550 watts at 4 ohms and also has a digital karaoke system. With dimensions of 19 in x 3 in x 13 in, it also comes with 50 station presets for the tuner and includes power cord.
Best 5-Channel Car Amplifier
Alpine PDX-V9, 5-Channel Extreme Power Density Digital Amplifier
The Alpine PDX-V9, 5-Channel Extreme Power Density Digital Amplifier is our pick as the best 5 channel car amplifier. The spear connectors have a quick connect feature that makes it convenient to use and in addition, it runs on 500 watts RMS x 1 and 100 watts RMS x 4.
Being complies with CEA-2006, this 5 channel digital amplifier is greatly and conveniently stackable chassis design when it comes to installation. The Alpine PDX-V9, 5-Channel Extreme Power Density Digital Amplifier weighs 7 lbs with a shipping weight of 7.8 lbs and 13 in x 9 in x 4 in dimensions.
Best 2-Channel Car Amplifier
Rockford Fosgate PBR300X2 Punch 300-Watt 2-Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier
For a 2-channel amplifier for your car, you can depend on the Rockford Fosgate PBR300X2 Punch 300-Watt 2-Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier is available in 300 watt and 500 watt, it has high level inputs and has 4 to 6 volts variable high level DC offset.
In addition, it has a turn on control for DC offset voltage input. Durability is great because the chassis is ultra compact. All in all, the Rockford Fosgate PBR300X2 Punch 300-Watt 2-Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier weighs 4 lbs as it comes with a MOSFET output stage with overall dimensions of 6 in x 4 in x 1 in.
Best Class A/B Car Amplifier
BOSS AUDIO AR2000M Armor 2000-Watt Monoblock, Class A/B 2-8 Ohm Stable Monoblock Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control
If you are looking for a high quality class A/B car amplifier then look no further than the BOSS AUDIO AR2000M Armor 2000-Watt Monoblock, Class A/B 2-8 Ohm Stable Monoblock Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control.
This is a 2000 watt class A/B monoblock car amplifier – it has a remote subwoofer level control and it is 2 to 8 ohms stable. It also includes a variable bass boost and in addition, it has a low pass crossover that is variable. The car amp also comes with low and high level inputs and has MOSFET power supply.
With 750 watts at 1 RMS 4 Ohms and over 1500 watts at 1 RMS 2 Ohms, the BOSS AUDIO AR2000M Armor 2000-Watt Monoblock, Class A/B 2-8 Ohm Stable Monoblock Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control has overall dimensions of 13 in x 6 in x 2 in and it weighs 3.8 lbs with a shipping weight of 7.1 lbs. It requires 1 12 V batteries and bears a very versatile slim design.
The car amp comes with a warranty card, user’s manual, high level input plug, has short protection and automatic shut-off, has variable input control, subwoofer level control and it also has a variable low pass filter and bass boost. You get up to a 6 year warranty.
Best Class D Car Amplifier
Planet Audio AC5000.1D ANARCHY 5000-Watt Monoblock Class D 1 to 8 Ohm Stable Monoblock Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control
With a 5000 watts maximum, the Planet Audio AC5000.1D ANARCHY 5000-Watt Monoblock Class D 1 to 8 Ohm Stable Monoblock Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control is our ideal best class D car amplifier. It is a 1 Ohm stable and can run from 1 to 8 Ohms.
It has 3750 watts at 1 ohm, 1875 watts at 2 ohms, 938 watts at 4 ohms and 7500 watts at strapped bridged power 2 ohms. Adding to that, it comes with a remote subwoofer control and has a variable subsonic filter. It also comes with a MOSFET power supply, has low level inputs and comes with RCA pre-amp outputs. It also has a switchable phase control
The Planet Audio AC5000.1D ANARCHY 5000-Watt Monoblock Class D 1 to 8 Ohm Stable Monoblock Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control has 17 in x 10 in x 2 in dimensions, weight of 12.5 lbs and shipping weight of 14.4 lbs. It is under a 6 year warranty.
Car amplifiers that did not make it to our list are mostly too expensive or lacked unique features to make them the best car amplifiers out there. There are also some other ones that do not have a lot of reviews to tell of their pros and cons.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How important are car amplifiers?
A: According to About Autos , you get advantage for the louder sound without the music getting distorted and it is very important for powering up subwoofers. It can boost new speakers. Remember that 1 channel is enough but 4 channels and above can be used for coaxial speakers. Some amps also have filters for low pass and high pass and some of them also have bass boost and variable filters. Car amps all in all pack power and wattage and in addition, they improve audio strength and audio signal.
Q: What should be considered when buying a car amplifier?
A: According to Mobile Edge Online , one must make sure the price and features are equal. For instance, the voltage and power are different between class A/B and class D. You should also check the amplifier’s warranty – the car amplifier must come from a reliable seller. You should also know the overall size of the amplifier and its dimensions to ensure that it will fit on your car. In addition, the wiring must be sturdy and be aware of CCA or copper clad aluminum kits. Remember that copper wiring is better than aluminum wiring. You should also check out the amplifier’s feature set and make sure its features are more than what you need so that in the near future, it can still be useful.
Q: Any tips on installing a car amplifier?
A: According to Crutchfield , in installing any car amp, you should make sure you know the size of the wires and fuse. The amp should be mounted with a lot of space. If you have any other trouble, you can also get help from someone who is an expert in amplifier installation and car stereos.
Wrapping It Up
The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier is our overall pick as the best car amplifier due to being affordable and feature packed at the same time, ready to pump up any sound system and get high quality music across speakers and subwoofers.