Best Car Amplifier with Pros, Cons & Recommendations

 

Welcome to the Best Car Amplifier Award Show!

After spending the last 18 days partially locked in my garage running wires, soldering, heat shrinking, fine-tuning and cranking the volume to the max, meanwhile skipping on house chores and bedtime stories (sorry honey…), I’m ready to reveal which are the very best car amplifiers on the market today.

Look:

Finding the perfect car amplifier comes down to three things your system, power needs and budget. As soon as you know these, it will be easy to find the perfect fit.

For the past 20 years, I’ve been installing audio systems. You name it; I’ve probably done it. I know for a fact how much time you need to find that perfect amplifier. This is why I’ve decided to create this review to save you time and avoid lemons.

I’m ranking these 12 best of the best amplifiers one power delivery, ease of install, looks, impedance and performance.

Now you can rest assured that picking any of the amps below is a guaranteed winner. Only the best of the best made it on my list; you can’t go wrong with them.

Let me see those amps already!

 

What Will I Learn?

 

#1 Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X5 – The Best Car Amplifier Overall

We have a WINNER!

I will share this right out of the gate; it’s not the cheapest amplifier on this list; however, it’s truly the best one. It has everything you will ever need to have a great sounding system. Better yet, it enhances your listening experience, and it will make the commute fun.

Do you want to know a secret?

This Rockford Fosgate amplifier delivers more power than advertised. This means that you get extra juice without spending a dime. Wait, there’s more.

I have a friend who has been bumping with this amp for more than two years. He lives in South Carolina, and the summers are melting hot. This amplifier is working as if it would be its day 1. Talk about high build quality.

Power Specs:

  • 75 Watts x 4 + 150 Watts x 1 at 4-Ohm
  • 125 Watts x 4 + 300 Watts x 1 at 2-Ohm
  • 500 Watts at 1-Ohm

This amplifier is a 5 channel one, and it’s a hybrid. The 4 channels meant for speakers is Class A/B, and the 5th channel is Class D which is meant for the subwoofer.

Warning! Be careful with the volume; you can blow your ears out. My highest tolerance was at 3/4, and it was getting uncomfortable after a while. If you want a clean deep sound, look no further.

This is why it’s top of my list:

  • For the Ultimate Bragging Rights: Anybody who walks by your car will be impressed with the beautiful and loud the sound is. Plus, it will make you smile every time you turn it on
  • Kicks So Much Butt: Wow, simply wow, this amplifier is so loud and delivers a hell of a thump. The bass is clean and hard-hitting, just what the doctor ordered
  • Top-Down Certified: Finally, an amplifier that delivers enough juice even when the top is down, the music is heard. Plus, you will enjoy every second of it

A few drawbacks to consider:

It’s not the cheapest amp on the market, and they want more of your money if you need the bass control knob sadly it’s not included in the package.

Since it’s a Class A/B amplifier, it will run warm to hot. Depending on the climate you live in, you might need to get some cooling fans to keep this one knocking.

You can’t go wrong with this amplifier. It delivers everything it promises, and as a matter of fact, it gives you more power than advertised. Rockford did an awesome job with this amp.

Since it’s one of the best-selling car amplifiers on the market, you shouldn’t be surprised that they are running low, so you have to move fast. If you want this powerful beast in your ride, then buy it now or risk waiting for weeks on end.

If you want something cheaper, then check out #2 on my list.

 

Pros:

Space saver since it replaces two amps

Happy driver since the speakers are maxed, and the sub is delivering that incredible bass

Quality build since it can take the heat no problem

Cons:

The bass knob is not included

The crossover settings are not beginner-friendly

 

#2 Rockford Fosgate P400X4 – Best Car Audio Amplifier

Ladies, if you happen to be reading this review, this would be the perfect present for Christmas; you can’t go wrong.

I’ve installed quite a few of these, and the latest installs came from referrals of the previous ones. People simply love the clean sound and the amazing power it delivers.

Having a 4 channel amplifier like this one makes all the difference. Plus, it’s compatible with factory stereo.

Power Specs:

  • 50 Watts x 4 at 4-Ohm
  • 100 Watts x 4 at 2-Ohm
  • 200 Watts x 2 at 4-Ohm Bridged

Since this amplifier delivers so much power, no wonder the speakers perform at their absolute best. When the first time I’ve turned it on, my jaw dropped, and I couldn’t believe the clarity of the song. It’s been a while since I had a pleasurable experience like this.

It’s built like a tank. It’s sturdy and small at the same time.

So what kind of music can I play with it? This is actually the icing on the cake; it performs well with all types of music.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • It’s a Beast: OMG, this is a monster. The music is crisp and clean, and there are no distortions, and it will get loud
  • Speakers Will File a Complaint: If you let lose this amplifier, you might get charged with assault with battery if the speakers would bleed
  • It comes with a Bonus: You will be getting more power than you’ve paid for. Since Rockford is a quality brand, they deliver more power than advertised.

Here are a few drawbacks:

This time Rockford Fosgate included the bass knob in the package, and you won’t be able to use it. I mean, if you install it under the seat, then good luck reaching for it while you’re driving.

They have kinda dropped the ball with the documentation for the EQ. If you’re a beginner setting up the EQ will be a challenge.

All in all, this Rockford Fosgate amplifier does a great job as a car audio amplifier. It’s true that it has a few minor flaws; however, it’s still a big winner in my book.

Listen, since this is a popular amplifier, you might experience out of stock issues. The last time I’ve checked, there were still a few left, so you need to grab one before someone else does.

Pros:

Underrated, you’re getting a lot more power for the price

It puts the speakers on notice and cranks every performance out of them

Every music genre will sound amazing

Cons:

Getting access to the bass boost is difficult

EQ instructions are weak

 

#3 Kicker 46CXA8001– Best Car Amp for The Money

Installing this amplifier will make a night and day difference. If you want to power your subwoofer to the max and don’t want to hurt your wallet, then this is the right choice for you.

Can you keep a secret? Even if this is a monoblock amplifier, you can easily power two 10″ or even two 12″ subwoofers.

Power Specs:

  • 1600 Watts Peak Power
  • 600 Watts RMS @2omhs
  • 800 Watts RMS @8ohms

The whole magic is housed in a tiny box, and don’t let the size fool you because it will punish the subwoofer, and it might even kill it if it’s a cheap one.

This is what you get after installing this amplifier: you will be able to enjoy some wonderful music. Best of all, the installation is super easy; no engineering diploma is needed. As a matter of fact, you can get the best sounding system in years by using this little amplifier.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Deep Bass: The perfect choice if you want to feel that hard-hitting bass. As a matter of fact, the bass is tight and hits harder than before actually it can shake the whole truck
  • Not for Cheap Subs: This amp is the real deal, and if you match it with cheap subs, you will be in a world of pain. The subs will have to take the punishment the only way to get something terrific out of them
  • Shock Value: This amplifier delivers so much power that people didn’t believe me when I said it’s just a 10″ subwoofer; they actually measured it

Here are a few drawbacks:

There were a few complaints that these amplifiers tend to go hot. I have never experienced it myself, and here’s a great tip. Make sure you have at least 6″ of space, so there’s some airflow.

Oh, come on, Kicker, you could’ve kicked the bass remote in for FREE, but NO, now we have to pay for it. I hate it when brands do this.

All in all, this Kicker amplifier is the best car amp for the money, even if it has a few minor flaws. It will make your music sound way better.

However, I have some bad news. The chip shortage hit Kicker as well, so there are stock issues. If you want that pitch-perfect music in your car, you have to move fast while supplies last.

Pros:

Tight and Deep bass that hits harder than you can imagine

Over-deliver since you can power two 10″ or two 12″ subwoofers

Sounds amazing, excellent quality in a compact package

Cons:

If it overheats, it will shut down

The bass knob has to be purchased separately

See more: [Revealed] Best budget car amp list

 

#4 Rockville dB55 – Best Amplifier for the Mids and Highs

The smile on the face of my client grew to a grin as he cranked the volume up. Holly cow this amplifier makes the system way too loud.

Warning! It might blow your ears out if you’re not careful.

Power Specs:

  • 120 Watts x 4 + 500 Watts x1 at 2 Ohm
  • 80 Watts x 4 + 300 Watts x 1 at 4 Ohm

If you’re looking for those perfect mids and highs then you have found just the thing. This 5 channel amp will make your whole system sound expensive and the complements will soon follow.

The main reason why this sub won the award was that it delivers a lot of power and it has lots of adjustments so you can get the max out of your speakers and subs.

The looks aren’t that shabby either. All this matched with an amazingly low price.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • It Rocks: Being a 5 channel amp it shocked me how good the mids and highs are. Also the bass is insanely strong. Perfect for the whole system
  • Battle Tested: I’ve installed it for a friend of mine and after years he’s saying that this is as perfect as it was on day 1 while it survived a few Arizona scorching summers and Oregon winters.
  • Power-House: This amplifier will make your system loud. The only way you will feel that it’s too loud is when you realize that you have to scream your lungs out just so passengers can hear you

Here are a few drawbacks:

A few people complained that this subwoofer had overheated a few times. It’s a hybrid amplifier both Class A/B and Class D is present so the best fix is having adequate space for ventilation and even getting a few cooling fans.

Sadly this Rockville amplifier is overrated you won’t be able to get those power figures that they advertise.

All in all this Rockville is the best amplifier for the mids and highs. I know there are a few drawbacks for this sub and they are minor ones. The durability and the sound quality makes it all too perfect to look them over.

This Rockville amplifier is not just great for the highs and mids but it’s super affordable and here’s the biggie. People are buying it like crazy. Your only chance to get this amp is to get it now. There are still a few available and if you click now you might get lucky and get it.

Pros:

Amazingly clean sound with plenty of oomph

It rocks with a lot of power and works as advertised

Resistant to Arizona summers and Oregon Winters

Cons:

It’s overrated at the current values

There were some overheating issues with a few

 

#5 Alpine MRV-F300 – Best Amp For Car Speakers

This 4 channel amplifier is exactly what the system needs to produce some amazing sound. If you want to bring out the absolute best from your speakers this is the right choice it won’t disappoint.

This Alpine amp handles like a champ. You can crank the volume up to max and I highly advise not doing it because you can get some hearing damage and still it will be clear. After adjusting everything there was no distortion, hissing or humming what so ever only pure clean music.

Power Specs:

  • 75 Watts RMS X 4 at 2 Ohms
  • 50 Watts RMS X 4 at 4 Ohms

Now if you have an old system you can easily breathe new life into it thanks to this amplifier. It will sound fantastic.

It’s built to last one of my earliest installs is over 4 years old and delivering as if it would be day 1. If it lasted 4 years it would last a lot more. It’s a top of the line amplifier which costs less than JL audio. The super-affordable pricing makes it brain-dead simple to buy.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Excellent for Car Speakers: This amp delivers crystal clear audio without distortions or hums. Better yet it’s more SQ than SPL. It nails the mids and highs while delivering good lows
  • It Rocks! This is one loud SOB I couldn’t take the volume. Also on a lower level you can hear and feel the bass kicking
  • Man, this is Awesome: What you’re getting with this Alpine amplifier is quality and space-saving in the same package. Plus it’s at an unbeatable price

Here are a few drawbacks:

Alpine, Alpine this is a serious blooper the mounting tabs are made out of plastic. Hopefully they can take some abuse.

The screw terminals aren’t the best options for easy installation, fork terminals would’ve been a better choice.

All in all this Alpine is the best amplifier for car speakers because it’s distortion-free and loud. Plus it comes with an unbeatable price.

Alpine is known for making great products and it’s the case with this amplifier as well so we shouldn’t wonder why there’s a shortage because everybody is buying it. Now if you really want this amplifier then you have to step one and buy one until they run out.

Pros:

Like a champ in its prime, no distortions or clipping

The perfect amp for the mids and highs

Exactly what your system needs for clean, crisp music

Cons:

The mounting tabs are plastic

Fork terminals would’ve been a better option

 

#6 Taramp’s Smart 3 – Best Compact Car Amplifier

OMG! This amp really delivers 3000 Watts I’ve tested it.

There’s no beating around the bush this amplifier is so powerful that it almost made my sub jump out of its box. It’s a monster waiting to be unleashed.

It’s a class D amp which means it’s tiny and it’s very efficient. It also has a clip indicator to keep everything safe.

Power Specs:

  • 1 OHM: 3000 Watts RMS
  • 2 OHMS: 3000 Watts RMS
  • 4 OHMS: 2000 Watts RMS

Again, don’t underestimate the size of this amp because you might just pass over it while being a real monster. If you have the right sub then with the help of this amp you will be able to flex your car.

Did I mention how super affordable this amplifier is? I don’t know how they’ve managed to cram in this much power at such a low price. Maybe they have made a mistake with the pricing so jump on it before they raise it.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Compact Car Amplifier: Thanks to Class D tech you’re not only getting superior sound quality but it’s packaged in a tiny box which offers a ton of mounting options
  • Subwoofer Torturer: I really hope that you have some decent subs and they can take the punishment if not the second smell won’t be from the burn-off period
  • It’s a Monster: The power it delivers is insane so get ready to vibrate your windshield wipers and occasionally shake off the door panels

Here are a few drawbacks:

This is an expensive amplifier if you want to get that 3000 Watts power. You will need a second battery and an alternator that can crank out 150 Amps at least.

This was my first amplifier that had a burn off smell. I thought something happened with my speakers or sub and it was the amp. Luckily it went away in a few days.

All in all this Taramp’s is the best compact car amplifier. It delivers insane power while being budget-friendly; not this is what I call a keeper.

However we know that miracles don’t last. This is the case with Taramp’s as well. The secret is out and people are buying hot cakes. Brace yourself this amplifier might be out of stock by the time you click it. Just in case find one grab it before someone else does.

Pros:

A small monster that delivers insane power

My subs never sounded this good

It’s a steal of a deal, and you can’t get anything better at this price range

Cons:

Serious investment needed for the electrical system

There’s no low pass filter included

 

#7 MTX Audio THUNDER75.4 – Best Class AB Car Amplifier

For being a class AB amplifier these things sure rock. Even if it’s bigger than a Class D it still fits under the seat so it won’t take up any valuable storage space.

The 4 channels provide those sweet and perfect sounding mids and high. Best of all you can tweak things to your liking because there is a separate frequency controller for the front and back channels.

It’s s solid amplifier that delivers a lot of power and sound enthusiasts are falling in love with it.

Power Specs:

  • 75 Watts x 4 Channels at 4 Ohms
  • 100 Watts x 4 Channels at 2 Ohms
  • 175 Watts x 2 Channels Bridged at 4 Ohms

I know everybody hates doing the installs and guess what they have thought of you as well. The screw compressions are real time savers. It’s so easy to install it that you can’t get it wrong.

I didn’t dare to crank the volume above 30% because I was afraid that I would damage my hearing. So if you like very, very loud music then this is your love at first sight amplifier.

MTX is synonymous with outstanding value and you’re getting away better warranty than the rest of the brands.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Affordable Thumper System: With this MTX amplifier you’re getting quality sound on a budget. There’s nothing better at this price range.
  • Sounds Like a Concert Hall: Wow the music is out of this world and there are no distracting hisses, hums  or static
  • Bragging Rights Unlocked: While testing people were all were impressed with this amp. It’s good to feel like the champ

Here are a few drawbacks:

This amplifier is not small like its Class D cousins. Plus you will need a cooling fan if you’re living in hotter areas.

Depending on where you’re installing this baby the bright LED light might bother you in the evening. I personally don’t like blue light because it messes with my sleep.

All in all this MTX Audio is the best Class AB car amplifier. It has a few drawbacks and the pros heavily outweigh those minor issues.

MTX is a well-known and liked brand so it is expected that people are buying almost mindlessly. The stocks are running low so you need to move fast and buy one before they run out. Take action now and enjoy your new sounding system.

Pros:

An affordable, powerful Thumper system

Great for bragging rights

The perfect amp if you value distortion, static, hiss free music

Cons:

It’s a Class A/B amp, so you will need cooling fans in hot areas

The blue LED. light might be distracting for some

 

#8 BOSS Audio Systems MC900B – Best Bluetooth Car Amplifier

Who else hates fishing under the seat to adjust the amp? Or to fiddle around with some clunky remotes? This is the problem that this Bluetooth enabled amplifier solves.

I love this tiny amplifier. It’s as big as a smartphone which means you can install it wherever you want. Just in case you want to preserve the OEM look than this will nicely fit behind the head unit. The install will be easy, nice and flush.

This Boss amplifier is plenty loud and it’s a great way to annoy those pesky neighbors.

Power Specs:

  • 500 Watts Max at 4-Ohms
  • 94 Watts RMS x 4 at 4-Ohms

For being a cheap/affordable amp Boss offers a 6-year warranty. I’ve pushed this amp to the limit for 8 hours straight and works without issues. Even after 1 year of heavy use it’s flawless so you won’t regret getting it.

Heads Up! Boss confused people with the settings. When you see the LED red it means that it is muted and not dead. All you have to do is hit the power button and once it turns blue you’re ready to rock.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Super Strong Bluetooth: The amp can be controlled from 30 feet and best of all you don’t have to get in and out of the car to do it
  • Makes Speakers Scream without Distortion: This amplifier delivers clean power so it makes the speakers come alive and there’s no distortion even on high levels
  • Phone Sized Amp: This unit is so tiny that it fits anywhere let it be a golf cart or a beach buggy. Thanks to its size you can mount it behind the head unit to keep the OEM look

Here are a few drawbacks:

The main drawback is that there’s no way to adjust the rear and front power so you might not get the most out of your speakers.

With this amp there’s no built-in equalizer so you need to get one there’s a ton of free and paid one out there

This Boss is the best Bluetooth amplifier that you can go with. It’s true that it has a few drawbacks and these are not deal-breakers. On the other hand getting that comfort to control the amp at a tailgating party is simply priceless.

Since this amplifier is small and super affordable the shelves are constantly running empty. Now the last time I’ve checked there were still a few available. You have to move fast and buy it or risk waiting for weeks for the next shipment.

Pros:

Cons:

No power adjustment options for the channels

No built-in EQ

 

#9 Kicker 47KEY2004 – Best Car DSP Amplifier

Wow simply wow, this is an amazing amplifier. Here’s the main highlight: it’s a huge time saver. You see typically tuning in the system requires a few hours of testing and some expensive specialized equipment.

Kicker just changed the game. This 4 channel Class D amplifier comes with a DSP. All you need is just 5 minutes of your time and the pink noise self-tuning CD. What kind of wizard tricks are these? Talk about a beginner-friendly amplifier.

Power Specs:

  • 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms

The amp is small so it’s perfect for hiding it between the head unit and the dashboard and best of all you don’t have to drill into it to keep the OEM look.

The highs and lows are great and to vocals are clear. You can’t ask for more than this at the current price range.

I was blown away by this impressive amplifier. The price is a steal and the 1-click setup save a lot of time even if this is your first install.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • The DPS Has Blown Me Away: I have tuned so many amps in the past year manually that I couldn’t believe how super simple is the few minute auto-tuning
  • Seriously Impressive Amp: This amplifier turns an average system into a high-end recording studio
  • Beginner Friendly: The installation is super easy plus the tuning is a piece of cake plus you can’t get it wrong

Here are a few drawbacks:

A few people mentioned that this amplifier is not that loud. Well it comes down to personal preference for my taste it’s hilariously loud.

Dip switches are confusing because it’s not straightforward when they are on or off. It looks like some drunken monkeys did the design. When switched up it doesn’t always mean on and if switched down it doesn’t always mean off.

All in all this Kicker is the best car DSP amplifier. Getting that perfect sound has never been easier. In a matter of minutes your system is tuned and you’re ready to rock.

I’m afraid to say it so I get it out either way. It’s a highly popular amplifier and as I’m writing this there’s only one left in stock. So you need to step on it before it runs out. Grab it right now before someone else does.

Pros:

DPS makes tuning a breeze; in a matter of minutes the system is up and rolling

Small amp so you can keep the OEM look; no drilling into the dash

Beginner-friendly amplifier

Cons:

A few said it could be louder

The Dip switches are confusing

 

#10 Taramp’s DS 800×4 – Best Car Amp Under 200

This small amplifier has blown me away. Who would’ve thought that this Taramp’s can deliver so much power and it’s priced under $200. I hope you have some power-hungry speakers or else they will be drinking form the fire hose.

I’m pretty sure that you can use this amplifier for competition systems. It takes up so little space and delivers a lot of power and is priced affordably can you ask for more?

It’s a Class D amplifier with 4 channels so you probably know it’s super-efficient and you don’t need any cooling fans whatsoever. Best of all there’s no chance of overheating.

Power Specs:

  • 4 x 200 Watts RMS at 1 Ohm
  • 4 x 136 Watts RMS at 2 Ohm

The sound that it delivers is amazing. It’s clear and clean just like it was intended to listen to. You’ll be getting a lot of power in a tiny package it’s so worth it.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Competition Grade Amp: I’m serious it delivers a lot of power for common systems. It can easily handle competitions because it can push more than 4 speakers
  • Great Bang for the Buck: They have probably made a mistake pricing this unit so I wouldn’t be surprised if they bump the price in the near future
  • Unlimited Power: Just kidding. In all fairness this little thing delivers a lot of power more than you need which is perfect because later on you can upgrade

Here are a few drawbacks:

It seems that Taramp’s has dropped the ball with the crossover settings. They aren’t that good while other products from them are excellent.

Another thing that I’ve heard from other people was that the packaging is weak. I mean many people said that they got a dud because it wasn’t properly packaged and it got damaged during delivery.

All in all this Taramp’s is the best car amp under $200. It has a few inconveniences yet it makes up with all the great things it has to offer. Not to mention the great price you can get it. So if you hurry you might just get one before they run out but you have to be fast.

This amplifier is one of the hidden gems on the market and someone spilt the beans and now everybody wants one. This is the reason why there are so few in stock.

Pros:

Amazing power at an unbeatable price

You can use it as a competition-grade amp if you’re on the budget

A lot of power in a small package

Cons:

The crossover settings are weak

Fingers crossed to have enough packaging during shipping

 

#11 BOSS Audio Systems R1100M – Best Car Amp Under 100

What can you expect from an amplifier that is priced under $100? In most cases not much until you try this Boss one.

This amp is filled with surprises.

Power Specs:

  • 1100 Watt x 1 at 2 Ohms
  • 550 Watt  x 1 at 4 Ohms

Boss has designed this amplifier right because it’s super easy to install. It will do everything that you expect from an amp: thump, bump, loom and pound. Best of all you can enjoy some bump in the car without disturbing the peace.

If you care about the looks then you don’t have to worry. This Boss amplifier is not some kind of ugly hide-away freak. The design looks cool and the lighting makes it even better. The unbeatable price delivers serious noise.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • So, so good: After my wife heard it bumping now she wants one as well. It’s under $100 so it’s not a biggie, hopefully the kids don’t get a taste for it though
  • Not a Throw-Away Amp: I’ve installed this amplifier for a friend of mine and he has been pushing it to the limit almost every day for 6 months; it’s still thumping as if it would be day 1
  • Bang for Your Buck: This amplifier is cheap yet it’s not cheap. It’s sturdy and delivers plenty of power. If nothing else it’s great in case ish happens amplifier

Here are a few drawbacks:

Well you have probably guessed it you won’t be getting 1100 Watts with this amplifier. It’s highly overrated but can you expect that much for an amp under $100.

A few people mentioned that the bass remote is not working. Sadly the manual is not clear and this is how to use it. First you turn it to the max and then you set the desired level.

This Boss is the best amplifier under $100. You can’t go lower in price than this. I mean it delivers decent power and it’s sturdy and it’s long lasting. The price is unbeatable.

It’s all good news until you land on the shopping page. If you’re in luck there are still a few left that’s your cue to buy one before they are all gone. This amplifier used to be the secret before it got leaked now everybody is buying it.

Pros:

Build to last many friends are bumping to it for a long time

The bass delivered is nice you can’t go lower in price than this

Steal of a deal, you can get some good thumping on the budget

Cons:

Overheating because the vents are facing downwards

There’s no subsonic filtering

 

#12 Planet Audio AC2600.2– Best Cheap Car Amp

Can a cheap amplifier like this break the windows? Well I heard that urban legend and there’s a hint of truth in it.

The looks are breathtaking. The way Anarchy shows up with the LED backlight is so cool. You will smell the stench of envy miles away.

Power Features:

  • 1300 Watts MAX Power at 2 Ohm x 2 Channels
  • 650 Watts MAX Power at 4 Ohm x 2 Channels
  • 2600 Watts MAX Bridged Power at 4 Ohm x 1 Channels

What you’re getting with this Planet audio amplifier is really good quality for the money. I just loved the amazing clarity it’s delivering. Plus it hits the lows like a champ.

The bad news is that I couldn’t crank the sound up too much because I couldn’t take it. This amplifier makes the subs sweat because it works them so hard.

If you want a cheap amplifier that delivers and is built to last then you just found the one.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Bad A$$: It delivers so much that people will get envious of you. Well what can I say it’s lonely on the top and I love the view
  • Eye Shaker: You won’t regret getting this amplifier because it will blow everyone away. If you want to see instant jaw-dropping just let this beat loose
  • Great for Budget Builds: This amp provides a lot of power for not a lot of money. Plus it’s a two-channel amp so you can use it in multiple configurations

Here are a few drawbacks:

Well you have probably guessed it this amplifier is overrated. There’s no way it delivers 2600 Watts. My best estimate is 1800 Watts if you’re lucky.

Why on earth did you choose such a tiny drill holes? This makes the installation a lot longer than it should be.

All in all this Planet audio is the best Cheap Car Amp. It has everything you need to deliver clean and great sound. Best of all you won’t need a second mortgage to pay for it.

As you have guessed this amplifier has the same big issue as the rest. Since it’s popular people are buying them like crazy and there are constant shortages. Now if you don’t want to wait weeks on end take action and buy it now. You won’t regret it.

Pros:

Really good quality for the money

It can easily handle two 10″ and 12″ subs

Amazing looks mixed with big pounding bass delivery

Cons:

It’s highly overrated for 2600 Watts

The amp is big and the screw holes are too small

 

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Car Amplifiers

The list above only contains tried and tested amplifiers. So you are safe no matter which one you pick because there are no lemons.

However there’s more research to be done so you get the very best amp for your vehicle. This is why I’ve put together this guide so you will be super confident that you made the right choice when buying your amplifier.

How does a car amplifier work?

As the name suggests it amplifies the power. The car battery is running at 12 Volts and this is not good enough if you want some good music for your commute. Also if you have to power a subwoofer you can’t get anything decent out of it if you don’t use an amp.

In essence the amplifier increases the power so speakers, tweeters and subwoofers perform better and deliver higher quality sound.

What are the different types of car amplifiers?

There are a lot of amplifiers on the market. There are some that are small while other are large. There are different classes of amplifiers such as A/B or Class D amplifier and also there are hybrids.

Besides classes there are channels from monoblock, to two-channel, 4 channel, 5 channel and even 6 channel amps. More on this a bit later.

Also another important thing to look at is the impedance AKA the ohm value. The higher this number the amp has to work harder to deliver the power.

Finally there’s the power rating. The best practice would be matching the amps power rating with your system.

2 channel vs 4 channel amplifiers

As you have probably guessed the main difference between these amplifiers would be the number of channels. There’s no quality difference between them.

The 2 channel amp has only two channels so it can power two speakers or a speaker and a subwoofer. However there are a few more combinations.

The 4 channel amp on the other hand can power 4 speakers or 3 speakers and a subwoofer. This too has more combinations.

Which is better? This comes down to your system. If you have two speakers in the front and two in the back it’s obvious that you’re the best choice would be the 4 channel amp. However if you don’t have that many then the fewer one will do the job.

4 channel vs 5 channel

These two amps are very similar and there’s only one major difference. Yes you’ve guessed it right there’s one more extra channel with the 5 channel one.

This extra channel has the purpose of powering a subwoofer. It might seem that it’s a minor difference however the 5 channel one has a completely different architecture.

In most cases the 4 channel amps and the 4 part of the 5 channel amp is Class AB and the 5th channel is class D. This is the optimum design to get full range sound and spare the unit from overheating.

Amplifier Channels

Besides the 2,4,5 channel amplifiers there are mono or also called as monoblock amplifiers which are typically designed to power subwoofers.

Also there are 6 channel amplifiers these are for large SUV’s and also there are 3 and other variations.

Amplifier Classes

Again here there are more amplifier classes and the most popular ones are Class AB and Class D. The class AB is an older technology that delivers the very best sound quality however the efficiency is not that good and produces a lot of heat.

The Class D amp is a newer technology and it’s the most efficient one out there however the sound quality isn’t as clean as its AB counterpart.

The class AB has an efficiency rating of 65% and the rest is heat. This means you will have to ensure adequate ventilation and even cooling fans.

The class D amplifier has an efficiency rating of 95% and you can blast this with full power during an Arizona summer and it won’t overheat.

Also the Class D amplifiers are way smaller than their AB counterparts.

Amplifier Size

As you have probably seen amplifiers comes in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your vehicle and setup you should choose the right size amplifier.

There are such small amplifiers that you can install them between the head unit and the dashboard. This means that you can keep the factory look and you don’t have to drill into the dash. Also some will fit the glove compartment.

There are bigger ones that fit perfectly under the seat or in the trunk. And also there are bigger ones that will need the trunk.

One more important thing to mention is that some amplifiers are meant to be shown off so you would be doing a disservice if you hid it under the seat.

Amplifier Power Ratings:

All amplifiers have a power rating. Typically cheaper brands advertise the maximum watts while established brands the RMS one. Of course the peak power rating looks great yet these are highly inflated and you will never reach it.

This is why you should always look at the RMS value. This RMS value has to be in the 75-100% of your speaker, subwoofer’s RMS value.

If you have more power that’s not a biggie because you can turn it down however if you don’t have enough power then you can damage your speakers and subwoofers.

Where Do I Mount my Car Amp?

Where it fits the best would be the best answer. If you don’t care much about bragging rights and want a clean system look then if it’s small enough you can mount the car amp behind the head unit or in the glove compartment.

If it’s bigger than you can mount it under the car seat or in the trunk.

If the amplifier is cool enough and you want to show it off you need to display it properly.

 

Conclusions on the Best Car Amplifier Awards

We have reached the end of this award ceremony. I hope you had a blast reading because I had a great time testing these out. I did my best to bring winner on the list.

Make sure that the amp delivers the right amount of power. If it delivers more no biggie you can always upgrade your system later however, if it’s not enough you can potentially harm your speakers.

When I’ve created this list I did it so it covers everything. I’ve added only 12 amplifiers so no matter what kind of system you have you will find your match here.

Finally I have to mention that these amplifiers are in high demand so you need to move if you want one. In most cases only the very last few were available. Buy it soon or you risk waiting for weeks.

As always if you questions or tips feel free to reach out to me.

Roger and Out

 

What’s the best brand of car amp?

The Top 7 Best  Car Amplifiers for Your Ride Are:

  • Rockford Fosgate

  • Kicker

  • Alpine

  • JL Audio

  • MTX Audio

  • JVC Kenwood

  • Polk Audio

Which brand amplifier is best?

The Top 8 Very Best Amplifiers in the World

  1. Crown Audio

  2. Niles

  3. McIntosh

  4. NAD Electronics

  5. Anthem

  6. Cambridge Audio

  7. Rega Research

  8. JL Audio

What is the most efficient car amplifier?

Class D amplifiers are the most efficient car amps this moment. Their efficiency reaches 95% so there’s little or no heat created. Plus it’s a small amp so you can install it anywhere.

Do car amplifiers make a difference?

Yes amplifier make a big difference in a sound system. Typically the car battery doesn’t supply the necessary power for the speakers and subwoofers. The amplifier increases the battery power so the speakers and subs sound a lot better.

 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):

What are the features for the 10 best car amplifiers?

There’s a very good reason why i didn’t include many features for the 10 best car amplifiers because they are boring. Since you asked then here they are the features for the 10 best car amplifiers.

  • Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X5 1000 Watt 5 Channel Amplifier; mosfet power supply; bass boost
  • Rockford Fosgate P400X4 Punch 400 Watt 4 Channel Amplifier; mosfet power supply; variable bass boost;
  • Kicker 46CXA8001 Car Audio Class D Amp Mono 1600W Peak Sub Amplifier CXA800.1 ; mosfet power supply; variable bass boost; class d mono amp (class d amps); mono amplifier; monoblock amp; low level inputs
  • Rockville dB55 4000 Watt/1000w CEA RMS 5 Channel Amplifier Car Stereo Amp; mosfet power supply; variable low pass filter;  4000 watts maximum power output (peak power output)
  • Alpine MRV-F300 4 Channel Car Amplifier; mosfet power supply; variable low pass filter; power supply thermal sensing; alpine amplifiers
  • MTX Audio THUNDER75.4 Thunder Series 4 Channel Car Amplifier; mosfet power supply; variable bass boost; remote subwoofer control; low level inputs
  • BOSS Audio Systems MC900B 4 Channel Amplifier Weatherproof Amplifier – Bluetooth, 500 Watts, Bluetooth Multi-Function Remote, Full Range, Class A/B; ; mosfet power supply; variable bass boost; variable low pass filter; 500 Watts Maximum power output (peak power output) x 4 @4-Ohms; power management circuit; low level inputs
  • KICKER 47KEY2004 Smart 4 Channel Car Amplifier Digital Signal Processor 200W (digital amplifiers) Bass Revealer Audio Processor Vehicle Audio System; (channel car amplifier); ; mosfet power supply; class d mono amp (class d amps); variable low pass crossover; mono amplifier; bass boost; monoblock amp; high power outputs
  • Taramp’s DS 800×4 1 Ohm 4 Channel Amplifier 800 Watts (channel car amplifier); ; mosfet power supply; bass boost; low level inputs; remote sub control
  • BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Riot Series Car Audio Subwoofer Amplifier – 1100 Maximum power Output (peak power output), Monoblock, Class A/B, 2/4 Ohm Stable, Low/High Level Inputs, Low Pass Crossover, Mosfet Power Supply, Stereo; remote subwoofer control; variable low pass crossover; mono amplifier; bass boost; monoblock amp
  • Planet Audio AC2600.2 2 Channel Car Amplifier – 2600 Watts maximum power output (peak power output), Full Range, Class A/B, 2-4 Ohm Stable, Mosfet Power Supply, Bridgeable; remote subwoofer control; bass boost; low pass filter

Are factory amplifiers any good?

The thing with these amplifiers is that manufacturers do the bare bone minimal to get by. In most cases they don’t have: variable low pass crossover, mosfet power supply, variable low pass filter, variable bass boost, great quality sound, sound fidelity.

What to look for the best car amplifiers (car audio amplifier)?

On the best car amplifiers list you should check the following. Is it among the car amplifier brands, does it deliver high quality sound, is it free from weak audio signal. Also you need to match your car audio amplifiers with your current system. This means that the car audio system has to be in line with the powerful amplifier. The car’s audio system impedance and power inputs have to be roughly equal with the amp’s power outputs.

Do I need head units for the car’s audio quality?

Well the head units have a different job than amplifiers. However if they have a built in amp then they can make a better overall sound quality. The power outputs are the key for good audio quality for your  audio system, sound system. The best car amplifiers with a high power input offer better audio quality for the sound system and sound quality as well.

What do I need to improve on my car stereo to get the best sound possible?

If you want the best car stereo and audio quality for your audio system first you need a car amplifier. A simple car amplifier instantly will increase your sound quality even if everything remains stock. The problem is that there are so many car audio amplifiers so which are the best car amps? For this I’ve created a list of great car amplifiers.  These car amplifiers are the best of the best and deliver exceptional sound quality. After picking one of the car amplifiers from above you might need to think of getting after market speakers and subwoofers those will incrase the sound quality even more.

Last Updated on May 29, 2022 by Danny Reid