7 Best Car Amplifiers for the Money (Review) In 2023
Amplifiers are like the heart of your car audio system; they can either make the whole music experience enjoyable or brake the sound system (at least make it worse that requires replacing). And when it comes to replacing the car aftermarket or OEM subwoofers, speakers, or other musical gears, none of them come cheaply.
Thus, you must equip your car sound system with the best car amplifiers for the money. It will empower the audio components and enhance your musical experience. But how do you find a car amplifier with quality full of every essential requirement and value for the money?
Please don’t get yourself distorted thinking about it.
We have reviewed the popular amplifier manufacturing brands to come up with this review on the eight most reliable, long-lasting, and powerful car amplifiers for the money.
But we didn’t stop there.
We have included a buying guide on the same topic along with the FAQs that you might find useful in your daily car driving life.
So, shall we begin?
OUR TOP 3 PICKS
|Rockford Fosgate Channel Amplifier |
|Rockford R250X1 Fosgate Amplifier |
|Kenwood KAC-9106D 2000W Amplifier |
A car amplifier performs a myriad of jobs. It optimizes the car audio system for running at full throttle and controls distortion, speaker output, and even bass.
We looked at all these capabilities of the amplifiers that you are going to see in the following review section.
1. Rockford R250X1 Fosgate Amplifier
The first amplifier on our list is from no mug. In fact, Rockford specializes in making some of the most craving and handy amplifiers for cars. And our top pick of the list, R250X1 from Rockford, is compatible with both OEM and aftermarket car audio units.
The unit we are reviewing has a monoblock channel, but there’s a gate open for you to upgrade the system to a 4-channel amplifier with class-D functionality.
The chassis of the amplifier is straightforward and compact. While you might not be looking at the size, we mention it because you should know that older car models aren’t compatible with large amplifiers. Also it is perfect for newer models as well.
R250X1 has two outputs, 150 watts, and 250 watts, respectively, at 4 ohms and 2 ohms. However, consumers claim to have gotten 300 watts at the time, which is an impressive feat.
The included phase switch comes excellent at connecting the amplifier with any speakers to the highest possible amplifying capacity.
Lastly, the unit has Punch Boost and a low-pass filter. Both reduce sound distortion and acoustic anomalies within the car. So, you will always enjoy the cleanest and richest bass.
- 250 watts and 150 watts RMS output.
- Punch EQ reduces sound irregularity.
- Stealth control panel for durability.
- A phase switch ensures maximum impact with every audio system.
- Compact design.
- Sturdy construction for durability.
- Consistent output.
- Only minimal output range.
2. Rockford Fosgate Prime 750-Watt Class D 1 Channel Amplifier
If you are looking for a top-of-the-line car amplifier with moderate subwoofer power, then the Rockford Fosgate 750-watts amplifier certainly deserves your consideration. It is a Class D mono-channel amplifier that serves every music enthusiast with quality and premium music experience.
Its 750-watts sound output brings a perfect ambiance to your car environment. Moreover, the noise control is made superb with the infrasonic filter. You can, thus, control the low-pass filtration between 50-500 Hz to enhance the crisp sound quality.
Also, the 750-watts sound capacity is particularly helpful for deep-hitting subwoofers. Other notable features include onboard Punch EQ and Gain. There’s even an 18dB boost at 45Hz. You can adjust the EQ, Infrasonic filter, and frequency HZ with the intuitive front control panel.
The last thing that we have to mention about the amp is its patented Tri-stage protection. It safeguards the unit from overheating, short circuits, and over-voltage, making it one of the best car amplifiers for the money.
- 750-watt RMS output supports deep subwoofers.
- Infrasonic filter for noise cancellation.
- Onboard punch EQ.
- Variable and intuitive controls.
- Fantastic protection.
- Compact design.
- Clear sound.
- Pricing isn’t cheap.
3. Kenwood KAC-9106D 2000W Amplifier
The Kenwood KAC-9106D combines reliable performance, consistency, and top-class sound quality that you cannot help loving. It is a serious amp when it comes to producing staggering wattage, and that too at an affordable cost.
The monoblock amp is rated at 2000 watts max with 500 watts at 4 ohms. Also, you get another alternative of 1000 watts at 2 ohms. So, you will never ardently run out of options to choose from for the audio output.
At 24dB, the variable low-pass filter facilitates controlling between 50 Hz to 500 Hz. So, you can expect a pretty crisp sound with the amp. Next, its bass boost range is incredible, too, at 0-15HZ variation.
Another overwhelming benefit of the unit is its supreme versatility. The versatility of the amplifier is such that you can hook it up with almost every car audio system available currently. The amp is covered with neatly designed aluminum that gives the overall appearance a beautiful professional look.
- Maximum 2000-wattage audio output.
- Low-pass filter variation ranges between 50Hz-500Hz.
- Adjustable bass boost control levels.
- The aluminum cover protects the control panel and connections.
- MOS-FET power supply.
- Heat sink design for sturdiness.
- Widest installation range.
- Nothing prominent.
4. Pioneer GM-D8701 2400W GM Digital Champion Series Amplifier
Pioneer GM-D9701 is for those who want a smaller amplifier with a higher audio output. The Champion series amp is 50% lower in size compared to regular ones while it still delivers one of the highest outputs in the market- 1600 wattage precisely.
The compactness of the unit also makes it compatible with a wide range of installations, such as older model cars, trucks, SUVs, and many more.
And for the performance, you get 800 RMS at 1 ohm and 500 RMS at 2 ohms. There’s another option of 300 RMS at 4 ohms. Additionally, you can control the frequency range between 40 Hz to 240 Hz with noise cancellation filters to reduce musical anomaly.
The bass boost is controllable, too, with a range of 100 dB. You can control the bit with a remote without going close to the unit physically.
The last thing that we love most about Pioneer D9701 is its patented ‘Protection Control System to safeguard the device from overheating and short circuit issues.
- 800 RMS, 500 RMS, and 300 RMS output, respectively, at 1 Ohm, 2 Ohms, and 4 Ohms.
- 10 Hz to 240 Hz low-pass variable filtration.
- Improved circuit design prevents overheating and voltage.
- Bass boost level controller with remote.
- Contact design.
- Wide installation.
- Sometimes the sound quality is a bit inconsistent.
5. Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier
Are you seriously shopping for the best car amplifier for the money with top-of-the-line features and quality? Then, we were hoping you could look into the Pioneer GM-D8601 amplifier. There’s every reason why audiophiles rate this am so high.
Firstly, the unit equips with a remote control to boost the bass. Secondly, the amp comes with a 1600 watts max output. So, you can expect 800 watts of consistent RMS power output directly at your favorite pair of subwoofers.
Another notable feature of the Pioneer amp is its capacity to adjust the subwoofer output from 40Hz to 240Hz.
And the remote bass control mechanism permits you to upscale or downscale the bass level without having to go close to the amplifier.
What’s more is that you can connect the OEM head with the amplifier without any additional adapters, thanks to the built-in speaker input of the amp. Next, you will also love the versatile installation methods due to the compact design.
Lastly, the 3-settings for power output with noise cancellation serve audio enthusiasts with a smooth musical experience.
- Bass boost is controllable from a remote location.
- Power outputs at 300 watts, 500 watts, and 800 watts.
- Directly connects with the OEM head unit.
- Active 100 dB noise cancellation.
- Versatile installations.
- Improved output.
- Compact size.
- Front panel for controls.
- Nothing has been noticed so far.
6. Alpine PDX-V9 5-Channel Digital Amplifier
When it comes to Alpine, the first thing that pops up in everyone’s mind is a pretty powerful amplifier that comprises all the essential features one might ask for in a highest-rating amplifying device.
Similarly, our picked item for today’s review of the Alpine PDX-V9 is a digital amplifier with 5 channels to connect with multiple speakers or sub-woofers.
Besides, it is capable of empowering your entire factory-made car audio system. The state-of-the-art amplifier has a compact shape with breakthrough internal technology.
For instance, at 1-channel, it produces 500 watts of sound amplification and 100 watts of RMS for 4 channels while the max output reaches an extravagant 1600 watts. So, you get pretty much a concert-like ambiance inside the vehicle- plush the filtered and crisp musical experience.
Also, you have full control over the essential settings with a front-based control panel. The connections are made meticulously with an updated cool-off technology that ensures longevity. Thus, Alpine PDX-V9 makes sure you get the most for every penny you are spending on it.
- 4X100W RMS with 1600 watts maximum output.
- Fully stackable and compact design.
- Convenient front-panel control.
- Quick-connect technology.
- Intuitive controls.
- Crisp and clean sound.
- Widest compatibility.
- The pricing is a bit in the high range.
7. New Kenwood KAC-8406 Amplifier
We highly recommend the New Kenwood KAC-8406 amplifier for those who want consistency, reliability, and enhanced sound quality in a speaker.
Once you install the amp to your car audio system, you will be amazed at what you were missing until the day- crisp sound, tonal colors, and all those details of your favorite music.
The 4-channel amp delivers 70 watts of RMP on each channel. However, if you want to bring life to the OEM audio system, we recommend you use the amp on a 2-channel mode maximizing the audio output to 200 watts.
The low-pass filter variation is adjustable between 50-200Hz, and it even equips a switchable bass boost. So, you can control the bass between 0-18dB at 40 Hz.
Finally, the effortless installation with a wide range of audio systems makes the amp an unrivaled champion in the best car amplifiers for the money category.
- 900 watts of max audio output capacity.
- Turned-on signal sensing.
- High and low-pass filters with built-in variables.
- Cooling fan to reduce additional heating.
- Wide application.
- Professional finish.
- High-class sound output.
- Nothing significant.
The Best Car Amplifiers for The Money Buying Guide
When it comes to purchasing a high-quality audio system or amplifier, literally, there are limitless factors that you might need to consider. For instance, you need to consider RMS power, DBS, installation, controlling features, and anything in between these factors.
So, we have piled up all the factors in a zippy.
The Number of Channels for The Amplifier
You will find from a mono channel amplifier to the highest six channels amp in the market. So, things get a bit dubious here.
Mono channel amps are also known as D-class amps. It is ideal for those who want higher sound output. The trade-off is higher distortion.
The dual-channel amp connects with a subwoofer along with the two speakers, So you get a fantastic musical experience. And lastly, if you want all premium services in the same pack, purchasing a four-channel amp is recommended.
RMS and Max Power
It would be best if you prominently considered both outputs. Max output means the overall capacity of the amp to handle the highest audio output power in bursts. On the contrary, RMS refers to the amps’ ability to handle a continuous output at one time.
Ideally, both need to be higher so you can get better output.
The ohm of an amplifier is directly linked to the power output of the unit. Most standard amps come up with 1 ohm, 2 ohms, or 4 ohms capacity. However, some costly and high-end models consist of 8 ohms.
As a rule of thumb, a higher ohm means better output and crisp sound. However, an amplifier with higher outputs also requires more wiring, so keep an eye on it too.
Ideally, you get two alternatives for a car amplifier when it comes down to size. Some amps are so small that you can fit them quickly under the seat. On the contrary, the larger ones can take up to half of your car space.
Also, the size might be linked with power output and other features.
The amplifier control panel is of two types- the front panel and the rear panel. While both of these are good, you should consider one with an intuitive controlling facility.
Also, some unit offers a remote to control the bass and frequency output, which can be an excellent addition if you get one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I install my car amplifier?
If you get a larger amp, placing it underneath the car can be your last option. However, if you own a compact amp, you can mount it on a trunk. For the stashing, first, get a proper wiring kit for the amplifier with accurate gauging. Carefully hook it on the truck instead of bolting it permanently.
Thus the vibration of the amplifier will cover up the car vibration and lots of issues. It can be a real and ardent headache to find the car’s performance. Also, avoid mounting the amp upside-down, as it can trap the heat inside, causing inconsistency.
What are the best car amplifier brands?
There are several amplifiers for the car out in the market. However, not all of them maintain quality and consistency in performance. So, we investigated profoundly and found that Rockford Fosgate, Kenwood, and Boss Audio are the three top-tier amplifier brands in the market. We also should mention Kicker, which can be worth investing in for cars.
What is the primary role of a car amplifier?
Most car stereos have a limited audio output. Thus, a car amplifier takes the small audio signal from the car audio system and uses an electric signal to boost the low signal into a much bigger one. So, you get higher sound output with filtered clarity.
With the sheer advancement of technology, getting the best car amplifiers for the money has become a breeze task these days. You only need to consider the power output along with the channel requirements so it fits your car.
We sincerely hope that our buying guide has revealed the secret recipe for choosing the appropriate channel numbers and power output (RMS and max power) to help you in the cause. So, why not enhance the car audio experience to the next level?
Go and grab the one you liked most in our review- happy music & happy driving.
- Read more: Best Car Batteries for Hot Weather.