Best Car Amplifiers
Your car amplifier is an essential component of your vehicles audio system. Most vehicles come with an "amplifier" of some sort, but most are not externally mounted, the majority are built into the stereo head unit.
Many are under the misconception that the only function of the amp is to crank up the volume, but the fact is that most aftermarket car amplifiers do much more. A high-quality amplifier can give you a rich, clean, and yes... powerful listening experience. The more power your amplifier delivers, the less distortion there is. Distortion makes your system sound bad, and it can also destroy your speakers meaning a costly repair.
Choosing the Right Amplifier Upgrade
Determining the best car amplifier upgrade to meet your needs requires examining three major factors. They are:
- - Number of channels
- - Power
- - Compatibility with your car's audio system
Number of Amplifier Channels
There are a number of different amplifier configurations. The number of channels you will need depends on the number of speakers in your system. As a general rule, you'll need one channel for each speaker requiring amplification. If you're only adding a sub-woofer to your existing system, you can use a one channel, or monoblock amplifier.
Multiple channel systems can be configured in various ways. For example, a four-channel amplifier can be used to run four speakers, or if powerful enough, two speakers and a sub-woofer. These are just a couple of examples, but the final options will depend on the size of your existing system and any additions you'd like to add, like upgrading speakers or adding a sub-woofer.
So, in order to upgrade your car audio system, you'll need to start by doing a little research and defining your needs, or seeing your local specialist for recommendations.
To get the best sound from your car's system, it's vitally important that you provide enough power. That's why many audiophiles will first pick out their speakers, and then choose the right amp to power them.
If you're upgrading your car's existing speaker array, you'll need to determine the RMS value of your current system and then choose an amp that can put out 75 – 100% of that number. Power is also important if, for example, you'd like to power your existing speaker system and add a sub-woofer on the same amplifier. Bridging two channels on a multi-channel amp can provide enough power to run a sub, but it's not always the best choice. If your amp can't meet your sub's power needs, it might make more sense to purchase a mono amp to do the job.
Compatibility of Your Existing System and Amplifier
If you're custom building a system, buy a head unit that offers enough pre-amp outputs and an amp with line level inputs. Feeding an un-amplified signal to the amp gives you the cleanest possible sound.
Unfortunately, many factory head units don't have preamp outputs. If your current head falls into this category, you'll need to choose an amp with speaker inputs. While not as clean as running directly to the amp, it will provide decent sound, but for the best sound, high to low level converters, or optimally a sound processor, can be used to get the best performance possible.
Why Add an External Car Amplifier
There are two primary reasons for adding an aftermarket amplifier to your audio system. The first is to power more, or larger, speakers. The second is to improve audio fidelity. Some other reasons might include replacing a broken amplifier, or adding additional features like a graphic equalizer or aux input to an existing system.
Many vehicles today come with a basic audio system installed. The stereo can power the existing speakers and provide a listenable experience, but many serious audiophiles prefer upgrading the factory system to improve the listening experience. Most aftermarket speakers require more, as well as cleaner power to operate at peak performance. Often factory installed car stereo systems are not up to the task.
Upgrading your amplifier can give you the listening experience you want. A power amp will not only allow you to crank up the jams, but it will noticeably improve audio fidelity, provide better response, and improve sensitivity.
Any amplifier you choose should provide clean power without interference, noise, or distortion at all volume levels. A low-quality amplifier can prevent other components from reaching their full potential. Splurge on quality to ensure the best possible performance!
Learn More About Car Amplifiers
Since 1974, Audio Express has been giving car owners the tools and products they need to improve their ride! We're experts on car audio and offer a wide selection of car amplifiers for sale from some of the top manufacturers in the industry including Kenwood, JL Audio, Alpine Audio, and more!
For more information on car amplifiers, audio upgrades, or more, get in touch. Our friendly, knowledgeable team is always here and ready to help with advice and the top quality products!