best car amps for high quality music

5 Best Car Amplifiers For Bass 2018

High quality car speaker systems need some sort of car amplifier in order to play audio clearly. The more power from the speaker, the more powerful the amplifier needs to be. The amplifier increases the music signal to the speakers for a better sound.

The best car amplifier is the JL Audio JX1000/1D that has 1000 watts RMS and vairable bass boost centered at 45Hz. It is a premium amplifier for those looking for the best sound quality from their car speaker setup.

Amplifiers come with various classes and feature a number of channels to run more speakers. This is an important factor if you have a large number of speakers.

Best Car Amplifiers for Sound Quality

Best Car AmpChannelsOur Rating
JL Audio JX1000/1D14.9
Rockford Fosgate R500X1D14.8
JL Audio XD700/5v254.9
Kenwood 2215465644.8
Pioneer Gm-D960114.7

When running active subwoofers, you will need a powerful car amp in order to move the cone. On top of this, you should invest into top rated double din stereos or single din stereos for more outputs and power.

The amplifier output is measured in watts, where the power is split up into the channels. For example, a 500 watt 5 channel amplifier will be a 5×100 watt amplifier.

Car audio enthusiasts usually invest heavily into amplifiers but its important to research thoroughly. Below is a list of the best car amplifiers for the money, which focus on bass and sound quality.

JL Audio JX1000/1D Monoblock Class D Amplifier

JL Audio are premium car audio manufacturers with some high end models going into the thousands. The JX series is the most popular and this amplifier combines value for money and superior power into one package.

The JL Audio JX1000 provides 500 RMS at 4ohms, 750 RMS at 3ohms and 1000 RMS at 2ohms with variable bass boost centered at 45 Hz. It also features a soft start turn on that prevent the irritating clicking and popping.

At just 11 inches length, 7 3/4 inches wide and 2 inches in height, the JX1000 is fairly compact and can be mounted almost anywhere in the car.

It is a monoblock amplifier but JL Audio offer the JX series with multiple channels if required. In terms of this car amplifier, it is the best monoblock amplifier for your car, which is perfect for a high powered subwoofer.

Most car audio enthusiasts purchase an amplifier to power their subwoofers. If this is the case, you will not be disappointed with the JL Audio JX1000 because it is the best car amplifier for subwoofers.

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Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Amplifier

JL Audio have a reputation for selling expensive car audio systems but for those looking for a cheaper alternative amplifiers with the same specification, the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is the answer. It amplifies the speakers with 500 watts at 2 Ohnms RMS through the single channel for excellent subwoofer power.

Other features of the R500X1D are an onboard 12dB/octave LP/HP/AP crossover & Infrasonic filter and onboard Punch EQ with and 18dB boost at 45Hz.

The MOSFET power supply provides an excellent source of powerful signals for your speakers. There is also a remote Punch Level Control that works in conjunction with the on board gain control.

The RCA pass through outputs are ideal for both OEM and aftermarket head units for additional speakers. Compared with cheaper alternatives, this RS500X1D will provide more power than is required for your subwoofer and speakers.

The dimensions are 8.5 inches in length, 6.8 inches in width and 2 inches in height, which again is fairly compact for easy placement inside the car. The matte and gloss black finish is sleek and stylish, which will complement any car audio install.

Overall, the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D  is the best cheap amplifier for powering up your subwoofer through a monoblock amp. For this reason alone, it is popular worldwide across many car audio communities.

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JL Audio XD700/5v2 5 Channel Car Amp

JL Audio are market leaders with the majority of car amplifiers and for car audio enthusiasts wanting to provide more power to additional speakers, this JL Audio amplifier has 5 channels to do so.

In terms of splitting the power between the 5 channels or bridging the channels, below are the specifications:

  • 75 watts RMS x 4 + 180 watts RMS x 1 (at 4 ohms)
  • 100 watts RMS x 4 + 300 watts RMS x 1 (at 2 ohms)
  • 200 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms + 300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

The 5 channel JL Audio amplifier is the best car amplifier for multiple speakers in a car. If you are running powerful speakers and want them to be playing audio at the best possible quality, this is the amplifier you need to buy.

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Kenwood 22154656 4 Channel Amplifier

Kenwood are a car audio brand known for their high quality sound and build. Their KAC-M3004 4 channel amplifier is no exception and is very popular across the US for large amounts of clear and non-distorted levels of bass.

In terms of specification the RMS power of the Kenwood amplifier are 40:50 Watts x 4, 20:75 Watts x4 with a peak power of 600 Watts.

The compact Kenwood amplifier is perfect for installing in small areas compared with other larger amplifiers which are far too bulky.

This KAC-M3004 is one of the best micro amplifiers with impressive power outputs from such a small unit (6.7 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches). As technology is improved, everything must get smaller and if you compare this to amplifiers from a few years ago, you will understand why Kenwood are one of leading car audio brands.

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Pioneer Gm-D9601 Amplifier


Another leading car audio brand with their take on amplifiers is Pioneer. Everything they develop is designed for the best sound quality possible but this usually results in a premium price. However, car audio falls within the “Buy Cheap, Buy Twice” category where cheap audio really does stand out.

The Pioneer GM-D9601 is a powerful amplifier and it is rated to deliver 800 watts RMS at 2 ohms or 1200 watts RMS at 1 ohm. Even though it is relatively small compared to similar power amplifiers, it still out performs the majority with very clean and loud audio.

If you have large subwoofers that require power, this is a very powerful car amplifier for subwoofers. The power and reliability from a rated Pioneer unit will give you peace of mind that your subwoofer has enough power for it to perform to its fullest.

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Car Amplifier Buying Guide

Before you select your car amp, there are a few factors that you need to consider. You will want to ensure you make the correct buying decision to power up your powerful car subwoofer or high quality car speakers.

Never spend huge amounts on your speakers and subwoofer but buy the cheapest car amplifier. If you do this, what is the point? An amplifier is often forgotten about by many beginner audio installers. You can only take it to the next level by buying the best car amplifiers for the job in hand.

Why Do You Need a Car Amplifier?

With an amplifier, you have a clean source of power that can be driven to your speakers without straining any of your equipment.

Car Stereos are usually limited to a maximum capability of 10 watts RMS (Root Mean Square) of power output for each channel.

The higher the RMS rating, the louder your car audio can be without distortion and this is the most important figure when looking at car audio.

This limitation prevents the stereo from being able to exclude road noise from interfering with the quality of the music, especially at high volumes.

Much unlike a built in amplifier, which can significantly improve the sound quality of your existing factory stereo.

Amplifiers also serve as sufficient power for superior high grade speakers. In the instance that you purchase expensive, top-of-the-line component systems or aftermarket speakers, the amplifier provides the correct voltage of power in order for them to work efficiently.

A compact four channel amplifier will provide sufficient power to boost both the front and rear speakers of your vehicle. Amplifiers are equipped with inputs that are designed to specifically handle the high-level signals that flows from the wiring of the speakers.

Speaker specifications publish continuous power ratings, or RMS ratings, that are presented as a range, such as “5-60 watts RMS power range.”

While the first number is not important, the second number is representation of the driving power of the amplifier into speakers in which the fullest and best operation can be derived.

Because these numbers are usually conservative when compared to their actual output, is important to keep in mind that your speakers may require an output that is as much as 150% of the rating in order to operate efficiently.

Typically speaking, the best results are often achieved when the speakers can derive, at minimum, 75% of the power rating. Additionally, amplifiers provide power for subwoofers as well, as they require an extreme amount of power that only an amplifier can provide.

Number Of Channels

An important aspect to buying a car amplifier is deciding on how many channels are required for your audio install. A 3-channel amplifier can effectively power a sub. But a 4-channel amplifier can be bridged together in order to operate the subwoofer with additional power.

A 5-channel amplifier can conveniently power a more enhanced system, in a compact manner. 6 and 8-channel amplifiers are specifically designed to operate 3 and 4-way systems, with one driver dedicated to each amplifier channel and two channels bridged together to operate a subwoofer.

The power of an amplifier is split between the channels. For example, if there is 300 watts of power between 3 channels, each would have 100 watts. If you only want to power up your powerful subwoofer, its advised that you go for a monoblock/single channel amplifier.

Speakers in your car that are under powered by a cheap amplifier will sound distorted. You are always better buying a more powerful car amp that will run with no stress for a reliable car audio setup.

Car Amplifiers for More Bass

People enjoy the feeling of the bass in the car, not just the sound. But your standard factory speakers and stereo system is not equipped to deliver such power. In order to achieve the hearty baseline, you must ensure that your amplifier has a low pass filter that only delivers low-frequency audio to the subwoofer.

Its important to note that if you have set your receiver up for low pass filters, bass boost or crossovers, do not do it with the amplifier too. This will increase the distortion and the overall sound quality.

Amplifying the bass with an improved amplifier that matches your speaker wattage is a great way to increase performance and bass for your car audio setup.

car amp for bass

Amplifier Type Classes

An amplifier class is the type of structure of the amplifier electronic circuit and characteristic. Different classes often have different efficiency, performance and power resources.

There are five main types of amplifier classes that are used within different amplifiers. They are A, B, A/B, G & H and D, which all have there Pro’s and Con’s.

Class A amplifier is the simplest that uses a single transistor in a linear mode. Class B use a pair of transistors in  push-pull type of application, which is more efficient than class A but crossover distortion may occur.

Class A/B is used for most low cost designs and is a mix of A and B, where there is a small continuous current when no input is present. When the input signal is high enough voltage, only one transistor will conduct but both of the transistors will conduct when the input signal has zero volts.

Class G/H is an improved Class A/B where both work on the power supply section. If the output power is high, then a higher voltage power supply is required. Class D is mostly used for low cost solutions where the the devices will work as electronic switches as opposed to a linear gain.

Car Amplifier Impedance

The impedance of a car amp is the electrical resistance of the speaker, which is measured in Ohms. However, if  you are looking for the best sound quality, this is a figure you will want to keep your eye on. JL Audio are usually have the top audio quality with low audio impedance.

Many manufacturers claim excessive peak power ratings but the actual output may be far less within cheaper models. The majority of amplifiers will be using a 12 volt system and you can measure the actual output power rating by multiplying the AMPS by VOLTS. Check the fuses to see what type of amps is being used for the audio system. This is usually a common car audio problem that most rookie audio installers come across when installing a powerful amplifier.

Bridging Amplifier Channels

For audio installers wanting to run a subwoofer without using a monoblock amp, bridging is a method of increasing an amplifier channels power. For example, 2X100 watts could create 1 200 watts channel. The majority of 2 and 4 channel amplifiers can be bridgeable to power up a subwoofer.

Amplifiers that have 3 or 5 channels such as the JL Audio amplifier sometimes have dedicated subwoofer channel that reduces the need to bridge between channels.

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