Car Amplifier Buying Guide
If you want the music you listen to in your car to come through as loudly and clearly as possible, you will need to find the right car amp. Since there are so many different car amps to choose from, it is important that you make a point of knowing what your options are like. When you spend some time researching these amps, you’ll get a much better idea as to which one you should purchase. The right amp can really intensify and enhance your overall music listening experience while driving, so you will need to know what to look for.
Benefits of Car Amplifiers
You will quickly discover that there are quite a few different benefits associated with getting a new amplifier for your car, including:
- Improved sound qualify: One of the most common reasons that people get car amps is because they want better sound quality with the music they listen to. A good amp can make a very noticeable difference when it comes to the overall quality of your music. You will have cleaner-sounding music without all of the interference, buzzing and other noises that can really take away from the quality of the music you play in your car while driving.
- More power: If you still have the factory sound system in your car but have upgraded speakers, a new amp is essential. Those who want to get the most out of their speakers will definitely need to make a point of investing in one of these amps as soon as possible. The increased power can make a tremendous difference when it comes to how your music sounds in your car.
- Subwoofer power: The fact is that subwoofers need more power than a traditional receiver, which is why a lot of people end up getting car amps. If you want to get the most out of your car’s sound system, this is definitely something to consider.
Best Car Amps
Rockville RXH-F5 Amp
The Rockville RXH-F5 is one of the best amplifiers on the market right now, and its many useful features make it worth looking into. Rockville is a highly reputable company that is well-known for their quality car audio systems and amplifiers.
Planet Audio Amp AC 4000.1 D
When you want to get the best possible sound system for your car, it is important that you take the time to explore your options. There are tons of different amps that you can get, but the Planet Audio AC4000.1D is one of the better choices you have.
Skar Audio Review LP-1000
If you want to enhance your car’s sound system, it’s important that you get the right amp. The amp you purchase will make all the difference when it comes to not just the volume but the quality of the sound. This skar audio review will provide you with the details you need to make a decision on the best amp for your car.
Number of Channels
Once you start looking into your options, you will discover that car amplifiers are available in a wide variety of configurations. The number of channels you need is directly related to the number of speakers you are using in your car’s sound system. As a rule, you need one channel per speaker that you wish to amplify. Those who are putting a subwoofer into their current sound system will want to look for a single-channel car amp.
There are quite a few car amplifiers that are rated Class D because of the fact that they are designed to consume less power so that they don’t generate as much heat when they are amplifying your subwoofers.
The more channels a car amp has, the more versatile it is. Car amps that have two to six channels can provide power to multiple subwoofers. A 4-channel amp is a good choice for those who want to add in only one subwoofer but have numerous full-range speakers. Take the time to consider this before you decide how many channels you really need.
Power is Important
Power is definitely one of the more important factors to consider when you are shopping for car amps. The last thing you want to do is underpower the speakers in your car, because you will definitely notice a significant decrease in sound quality. Even those who are using factory speakers in their car will still need to determine the RMS value and select an amp that has an output of 75-150 percent of the overall number.
If you are planning to use a sub from the same car amp that you use to drive your speakers, power will certainly be a crucial factor to keep in mind. While some people bridge two different channels on multi-channel amps, this configuration won’t work well all of the time. The more you focus on getting enough power for your speakers with the right amp, the better off you will be.
While it might sound a little strange, you should purchase an amp that has more power than you actually need. This is always better than buying an amp that doesn’t have enough power. Most speakers are blown because of too little power, not too much. This is a common mistake that many people make when going about buying car amps, and it’s one that you will need to avoid.
Those who are putting together a car sound system from scratch will need to look for a head unit that comes with pre-amp outputs. You will also need an amp that features line level inputs. The only way that you can get the clearest possible sound is by providing your amp with an unamplified signal.
A majority of factory head units do not feature preamp outputs, which means that you will most likely have to buy aftermarket. Make sure that you find an amp with speaker level inputs so that you can get the best possible sound. If you do not use an external amp, you won’t realistically be able to expect a great, robust sound from your system. This will also save you some money and effort because you won’t have to worry about any adapters or extra wiring.
Types of Car Amps
There are numerous types of car amps available, so you will need to do some research before deciding on one in particular. Each type of amp has something different to offer, so not everyone will want to go with the same option.
- Mono amps: These car amps are designed specifically to reproduce lower frequencies, and they come with bass boost as well as low-pass filters. A class D amplifier is usually the best option, simply because they don’t generate as much heat or draw as much current. You will find that these amps are also more efficient than traditional amps in a number of ways.
- Two-Channel amps: If you are planning on putting together a component or full-range speaker system, a two-channel amp is probably the best way to go. Make sure you get an amp with a high-pass filter though, because otherwise you are just wasting your money.
- Five and six-channel amps: There are plenty of car amplifiers with fix and six-channels designs, and they are usually for those who have speakers in the front or back of their vehicles. These are among the most versatile amps, and certainly a good choice for anyone who wants a full-range system.
- Multi-Channel amps: There are also multi-channel amps, which are perfect for full-range speakers as well as subwoofers. If you are going to get a multi-channel amp, you will need to carefully consider how much power you need before making a decision.
Car Amp Installation
While it certainly doesn’t take a genius to wire up and install a car amp, there are a few things that you should know before getting started. When you are looking around for the best car amp, you will need to consider where you are going to put it and how you are going to route all of the wires. These will be important factors to keep in mind when you are trying to select the right amp, and it will save you a lot of frustration later on.
Most people who put an amp in their car put it under one of the seats, in the truck or against the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle. You should also make a point of taking the necessary measurements so you don’t get an amp that is too big for your car. You will need to provide your amp with power, so you’ll have to do some additional wiring.
You can always pay a professional to install your new car amp, though it is usually fairly simple. The level of difficulty of installing a car amp really depends on where you want to put in your vehicle and the wiring configuration. Sometimes it is a good idea to hire a professional for this type of job, because they know exactly what they are doing. When you hire one of these people, you can trust that everything will be done properly the first time.
A lot of the people who try to wire up and install their own car amps do it incorrectly, and as a result they end up blowing them out.
Getting What You Pay for
You need to remember that you always get what you pay for when it comes to car amplifiers. While it can be tempting to go cheap and get an amp for a couple hundred dollars, you most likely won’t get very much. It’s always better to spend more, because you will get better overall sound quality with more features. There are plenty of good car amplifiers for reasonable prices, but you will need to do your research. Take the time to compare some of the amps you are interested in at different places so you can get the best possible deal on whatever you want.
If you want to get the very best deal on a car amplifier, you will need to make a point of using the internet to your advantage. There are numerous sites that you can go on to compare prices for different car amps until you find one that you like at the right price. Going too cheap on an amp for your car can mean wasting your money, so you shouldn’t be too stingy.
It’s also a good idea to consider the warranty you get with each car amplifier. The last thing you want is to have to purchase a whole new amp if the one you buy breaks after only a couple of months. Most car amps come with a warranty, but some of them are better than others. It’s important that you look for a car amp that will provide you with a good length warranty so that you won’t have anything to worry about. You also need to consider what the warranty covers and how long it is.
The wiring of the car amp you buy is definitely going to be one of the more important things to keep in mind. You want to get an amp with good-quality wiring material, such as oxygen-free copper or OFC. The quality of your amp’s wiring will ultimately determine the sound quality and how long it is going to last before something breaks.
The size of the wiring is another factor that you should consider when shopping around for the best overall amp. It’s always better to have a high wire-to-insulation ratio. Many of the cheap car amps that are made in China have thick insulation but very little actual wiring. This is something that you will want to check on before making a final decision.
What Will it be Powering?
One of the more important questions that you must ask yourself when you are choosing a car amplifier is what it will be powering. You will need to make certain that the amp you get will work with the ohm load that it will be going to. A lot of people end up ruining their amps because they overload them, so you will want to avoid this issue from the start.
Anyone who wants to buy a new car amp will have to make a point of taking enough time to look around before deciding what to get. Since there are so many different options available, you will need to look for one that will fulfil all of your needs exactly. The biggest mistake that you can make when buying one of these amps is to not invest enough time in doing the necessary research. A good car amp can really do wonders for the overall sound quality of the music you listen to in your vehicle, but you have to choose the right one. When you take the time to do this research, you will be able to get what you need.