f you have a stock stereo system in your car or maybe you don’t enjoy your current party speakers system, you might be missing out on one of the very important components of a good SQ System. You could be possibly one of those who hates listening to their favorite artist’s new album in their car because of that missing thumping bass sound which you enjoy.
An amplifier and subwoofer are the key components that make your overall sound quality pop out and make it enjoyable. If you don’t have an amplifier and a subwoofer installed in your car stay tuned, in this post we will share the best and budget-friendly amplifiers available in the market today for powering your subwoofers.
You might already have both the amplifier and subwoofer installed but if they are not providing you the result you expected, it’s probably because of the mismatching between both the components or it could be a low wattage amplifier or vice versa.
Today in this guide we will share the list of best amplifiers for subwoofers that you can buy and install easily in your car and enjoy your favorite album.
We will also share a thorough guide explaining the technical aspects of an amplifier, what kind of amplifier you want and lastly what are the factors you need to consider before buying an amplifier.
Main Categories of Amplifiers for Car Subwoofers and Speakers:
There are different types of amplifiers available to buy in today’s age which makes it difficult for consumers to choose the one which matches their requirements.
Amplifiers are generally of 6 types, which are differentiated on the basis of how many speakers/subwoofers that particular amplifier can support.
Let’s learn what those different types of amplifiers are.
Mono Amplifiers are the ones that are specially designed to power high powered subwoofers. These amplifiers have a single channel which means that the audio is processed through a single channel. If you buy a high RMS Rated mono-amplifier (which we will explain below) you can run multiple subwoofers on that single channel. As the subwoofers only require mono-frequency because low-end frequencies are not heard clearly like the mid-range and high-range frequencies that your stereo speakers produce. High-end mono-amplifiers also come with filters and tone controls which allow you to set the amount of bass and quality.
2 Channel Amplifier
Let’s talk about 2 Channel Amplifiers, these types of amplifiers have two channels as the name explains but these can be used in two configurations. You can run two stereo speakers or you can bridge both the channels and run a subwoofer from both of those channels. These 2 Channel amplifiers are further divided into two categories which are called Class A and Class AB Circuit. The Class A amplifiers consist of a single transistor which is used for sending the sound impulse, these provide a very clear and direct signal, but they produce a lot of heat and use consume more energy. The other type called Class AB amplifiers consists of two transistors instead of one which divides the load and makes it an energy-efficient and reliable choice.
3 Channel Amplifier
3 channel amps are a combination of two amplifiers, by this we mean two channels are used for powering two speakers in most cases these are the front two speakers whereas the other channel is used for powering your subwoofer. These amplifiers have Class AB and Class D circuitry. These types of amps are great if you want something decent in less price but if you want a full SQ sound system you should look for other options.
4 Channel Amplifier
This is the most common type of amplifier. The 4 Channel amplifiers are capable of running four speakers on all 4 channels or two speakers on 2 channels and one subwoofer by bridging the other two channels. These are great for running a good quality music system at a competitive price.
5 Channel Amplifier
5 channel amplifiers are great for what they offer, like 3 Channel amplifiers these also have two units built into one. A 4 Channel circuitry and one mono channel circuitry, The 4 Channels are used for powering four speakers usually two at the front and two at the back whereas the mono channel is used for powering your subwoofer. This is the most powerful channel in this amplifier because subwoofers require more power.
6 Channel Amplifier
The last type in our list is the 6 Channel amplifier, it is not very commonly used but it is great for bigger high-end cars or SUVs, trucks having more than four speakers. With a 6 Channel amplifier you can power up to six individual speakers or you can power up to four speakers and one subwoofer by bridging two channels. It is highly recommended for people having bigger cars or the ones who like a high-quality sound system.
Technical Terms or Power Ratings You Need to Know Before Buying an Amplifier for Subwoofer:
We have explained above the different types of amplifiers available in the market. We have used a term a number of times which is called a channel. A channel is basically two power points to run a speaker or a subwoofer. A single channel can run one speaker or a subwoofer if it has enough power output. The best type of amplifier for subwoofers is the mono-channel amplifier. We will share a list of the Best mono amplifiers for subwoofers below.
RMS Watts or Peak Watts/Peak Power Handling:
There are two factors involved in matching the power of an amplifier with a subwoofer or vice versa. These factors are called RMS watts also known as Root Mean Square Wattage and Peak Watts or Peak Handling. The RMS is the rating that shows how much power your subwoofer can handle continuously whereas Peak Watts or Peak Handling refers to the maximum amount of power a subwoofer can handle for longer periods before getting any damage.
How to Match an Amplifier with a Subwoofer/Speakers or Vice Versa?
To do that you need to compare the RMS Watts of the subwoofer/speaker with the RMS Watts of the amplifier. Many amplifiers in the market indicate an RMS Wattage range which indicates the minimum and maximum power that an amplifier can produce. To match it with your subwoofer/speaker, the minimum RMS wattage range of your amplifier should be 75% of your subwoofer/speakers whereas the maximum power should be 150% of the subwoofer/speaker’s range.
Can we run multiple Subwoofers on one Mono-Channel amplifier?
Remember! If you have a high powered mono-amplifier you can wire two amps on the same channel depending upon the RMS rating. For example, if you want to install two 300 RMS watts subwoofers, then you need an amplifier with a power rating of 450-900 RMS watts. Otherwise, both the subwoofers will receive half the power and won’t perform up to their full potential. If you feel like adding one more subwoofer to your system you need to upgrade your amplifier as well.
In simple words, Impedance measures electrical resistance. For easy understanding matching the impedance of your subwoofer/speaker with an amplifier is like matching water hose to a faucet. Water won’t flow effectively if you use a small hose with a large faucet and vice versa. Same is the case with impedance in amplifiers and subwoofers/speakers if you fail to match the impedance of both your amp and subwoofer/speaker they might end up heating up and producing very bad sound quality.
For example: if you want to install two 4 ohm subwoofers you need to buy an 8-ohm amplifier to match the impedance.
Few Factors to Select a Suitable Amplifier:
Size is one of the very important factors because you don’t want a huge rectangular amplifier lying in the trunk or at the back seats. Before choosing one make sure to check out if you have enough space to place it somewhere where air can pass easily.
Decide your budget first and then search for an amplifier in that range because amplifiers are priced very differently depending upon the brand and audio quality. Amplifiers are priced at a range from hundreds to thousands of dollars so make sure to choose the one which suits your needs and is affordable to you. You don’t want to be getting a five hundred dollar amplifier for speakers which are worth below a hundred. So choose wisely!
We will highly recommend you to always buy products from reputable and trustable brands. Don’t cheap out on amplifiers and wiring kits, they can be dangerous.
Evaluate your needs that how many speakers or subwoofer you are going to run. Based on that buy the suitable channel amplifier.
We will highly recommend you to first of all check the power ratings of your car speakers or subwoofers and then buy the amplifier after matching with those readings.
Once you’ve evaluated your requirements and found the amplifier that matches the RMS ratings and Impedance of your subwoofer/speakers, All you need to do is connect the subwoofer/speaker to the amplifier and amplifier to the stereo and you are good to go, but always remember to use high-quality wiring kits for safety and better quality, don’t ever buy cheap wiring kits they can be dangerous.