If you want to get the absolute maximum from your car stereo system, you are going to need a decent amplifier. Especially if you want to add extra speakers, particularly subwoofers, for that extra earth-shattering bass boost.
Not only will this allow you to crank the volume up even louder, but it will also improve the sound quality. This is achieved by a reduction in the level of distortion experienced when listening at high volumes.
So, join us as we take a good, hard look at the best car amplifiers currently available and find the perfect ones for your ride…
- 1 Top 9 Best Car Amplifiers For The Money In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Boss R1100M – Best Compact Powerful Car Subwoofer Amplifier
- 1.2 2 AudioControl The Epicenter – Best Bass Boosting Car Amplifier
- 1.3 3 Taramps TS 400X4 – Best 4 Channel Car Amplifier
- 1.4 4 Kenwood KAC-M1824BT – Best Bluetooth 4 Channel Car Amplifier
- 1.5 5 Rockford Fosgate R2-500X1 – Best Affordable Subwoofer Car Amplifier
- 1.6 6 Velex VXSOS – Best 4 Channel Amplifier with Aux and USB Input
- 1.7 7 Taramps DS 800X4 – Best Full Range 4 Channel Car Amplifier
- 1.8 8 Kicker 46CXA8001 – Best Multiple Sub Car Amplifier
- 1.9 9 AudioPipe APCL2004 – Best Affordable Car Amplifier for Highs and Mids
- 2 Best Car Amplifiers Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for Quality Sound in your Vehicle?
- 4 So, what are the Best Car Amplifiers?
Top 9 Best Car Amplifiers For The Money In 2021 Reviews
1 Boss R1100M – Best Compact Powerful Car Subwoofer Amplifier
Our first amplifier comes from Boss Audio. It’s a popular brand and has a history of delivering fantastic car audio products. The T1100M is one of Boss’s best-selling products because of its ease of installation and impressive sound quality.
Finished in a dark brushed metal, the device has a premium feel and look. The Boss logo is emblazoned along the top in silver and lights up blue when powered up. This only adds to the already appealing design.
At the rear of the amplifier, you will find all the connectors and switches clearly labeled. There is also a place where you can hook up a remote for controlling your subwoofer level. Perfect for if you need to take your Grandma somewhere and need to dial it down a bit.
On the other end of the amplifier, you’ll find the speaker and power connectors. Boss uses a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors) power supply. This controls the flow of current, allowing for high power efficiency.
Huge list of features…
There are far too many cool features to list here, so we will stick with our favorites. First is the Variable Input Control. This matches the amplifier input with the head unit’s output, resulting in optimal performance when adjusted correctly.
Another feature we liked was Short Control. This automatically shuts off the amplifier if overheated or if there’s a short. We feel we also need to mention the Switchable Bass Boost, which allows for increasing low bass +18db.
- Easy to install and compact.
- Remote subwoofer control.
- Short Control for safety and protection.
- Only suitable for single subwoofers.
- Can distort if the gain is too high.
2 AudioControl The Epicenter – Best Bass Boosting Car Amplifier
Next up in our best car amplifiers review is for those after something that can specifically supply your car audio system with low, clean bass. If that’s you, look no further. The Epicenter is often the centerpiece of many champion sound installation systems.
This isn’t just an amplifier; it is known as a Bass Restoration Processor. It is capable of providing heart-pounding bass as you would feel at a live music event. For those who wish to get the maximum out of their subwoofers, keep reading…
Restore the bass…
When you connect a smart device to your head unit, it thinks it’s a pair of headphones and removes the bass. Having the Epicenter restores that earth-shaking power that you’re looking for and desire.
This process is achieved by detecting bass harmonics. The processor then digitally recreates the underlying fundamentals resulting in low, powerful bass. AudioContol’s patented process works with all types of source materials.
Breathe more life into your music…
For songs that were recorded before the digital era, this amplifier can add lows that you didn’t even realize were possible. This is particularly useful for anyone who enjoys music from the 60s, 70s, and even 80s.
Included is a wired dash mountable bass remote for taking control from the driver’s seat. Have complete control over your bass levels at your fingertips. From the amplifier itself, you can also adjust both wide and sweep settings.
- Trusted competition product.
- Extract bass from any music.
- Remote control included.
- Made specifically for subwoofers only.
- Requires correct adjustments for maximum performance.
3 Taramps TS 400X4 – Best 4 Channel Car Amplifier
While the first two products have been great for boosting subwoofer performance, there are other reasons for adding an amplifier. This four channel amplifier can supply up to 100 watts RMS per channel.
This is great for adding some extra speakers to your stereo or even improving the sound quality of your existing ones. Only a little bigger than an Xbox controller, it won’t take up too much space either.
The original Tweet…
While you can power a small subwoofer with 400 watts, you won’t get the best results. If you’re hoping to get the utmost out of some tweeters, though, the TS400X4 is fantastic. But that’s not the only thing it can excel at.
Have some 6 x 9 inch or some 6-inch speakers that are distorting? Or even some 2-way speakers that don’t sound quite right? Add in this great little amp so you can pump your tunes at a higher volume without losing sound quality.
There are three options to wire your speakers. The first is four channels at 2 ohms with 100 watts RMS per channel. At 4 ohms across four channels, you will receive 63 watts RMS per channel. The final option is bridging two channels at 4 ohms for 200 watts RMS per channel.
To protect both the amplifier and your equipment, there is thermal and short-circuit protection. An LED light indicates operation at the opposite end to the power and speaker terminals, along with gain and crossover switches.
- Compact size will fit almost anywhere.
- Affordable performance option.
- Safety and crossover features.
- Minimal subwoofer performance.
- Only three terminals per two speakers.
4 Kenwood KAC-M1824BT – Best Bluetooth 4 Channel Car Amplifier
Now for another four channel amplifier, this time from Kenwood. Suitable for cars, motorcycles, or even boats, this amplifier offers a maximum of 180 watts RMS. That means up to 45 watts per channel, more than double most head unit capabilities.
Because it is so tiny, it can be mounted almost anywhere, making it easy to position in the most convenient location. The build quality is great and immediately noticeable from the first time you pick it up.
The magic of Bluetooth…
A nifty trick up this amplifier’s sleeve is the addition of Bluetooth. Once you have the speakers wired in, this thing will actually run them without a head unit. That’s right, run it straight from your Bluetooth enabled device.
This is achieved by using the included wired control. This is what your device pairs to, and once connected, can also be used to control your device’s audio. Play, pause, and skip tracks, or even adjust the volume directly from the remote.
That sounds amazing…
Overall, we thought the sound produced from this amplifier was very good. We found it to be dynamic, crisp, and responsive. Volume could be cranked up high, and there were no signs of distortion, except for a hint at absolute maximum.
If you do plan on installing this on a motorbike or boat, there is some great news for you. The controller has an IPX-5 water resistance rating. That means it will continue to operate even when soaked in water.
- Impressive build quality.
- Bluetooth allows operation without a head unit.
- IPX-5 rated remote control.
- Lower RMS power output than competitors.
- No bridging switch for RCA inputs.
5 Rockford Fosgate R2-500X1 – Best Affordable Subwoofer Car Amplifier
Back to the subwoofer amplifiers, because everyone loves some deep, driving bass. This amplifier from Rockford Fosgate will pump out up to 500 watts of RMS power at 2 ohms, or at 4 ohms, 300 watts RMS.
Rockford Fosgate is renowned worldwide for being underrated because they always surpass specifications. This results in generating more power than their ratings. So if you want a reliable amplifier that won’t break the bank, look no further.
Rockford uses integrated level setting technology called C.L.E.A.N. This stands for Calibrated Level Eliminates Audible Noise. This helps match the source unit and the amplifier’s levels for optimal audio output.
Not only is this amplifier clean, but it also provides power. This amplifier uses a power supply circuit design. It allows the amplifier to increase output power as voltage increases, resulting in cleaner and more leveled sound.
Stay in control…
Included is a wired bass controller operated by a dial that can be mounted under your dash. Now you can adjust your bass levels without having to scroll through menu settings on your head unit.
Being a mono channel amp, this has been designed specifically for use with a subwoofer. That means that all of the power will be directed through the single channel, giving you a massive boost in bass power.
- Five hundred watts RMS of power.
- C.L.E.A.N leveling technology.
- Wired bass level controller.
- Subwoofer use only.
- Only a single channel.
6 Velex VXSOS – Best 4 Channel Amplifier with Aux and USB Input
Back again to the four channel amplifiers. This product is very similar to the Kenwood amplifier we looked at earlier. Manufactured by Velex, this little powerhouse can provide up to 200 watts RMS total output.
Each channel can output up to 50 watts each at either 4 ohms or 2 ohms. Its small and compact size means it can easily be mounted almost anywhere. Because it is water-resistant not only great for the car, but for your motorbike, ATV, boat, or even jet ski.
No head unit needed…
Just like the Kenwood, there is no need for a head unit, as this amplifier can be used via Bluetooth. The wired controller can be paired with any smart device or laptop that has Bluetooth capabilities.
Controlling the tracks can be done either directly from your device or using the controller. Don’t worry about it getting wet either, because the controller has been given an IPX-5 resistance rating.
Multiple input options…
Of course, you can still connect a head unit to this amplifier if you wish. And there are still two other options for listening to your favorite tracks. There is a 3.5mm audio input jack that can be connected directly to your audio device with an aux cable.
The other option is using an external USB storage drive. If you have any audio files saved on the drive, they can be read and played using the controller. And if you’re not using the USB port to play music, you can use it to charge your device.
- Works via Bluetooth.
- Water-resistant IPX-5 controller.
- Aux and USB inputs.
- Lower power output than competitors.
- Some distortion at very high volume levels.
7 Taramps DS 800X4 – Best Full Range 4 Channel Car Amplifier
We have already shown you an amplifier from Taramps. If you liked that, how would you like one with double the power? We knew you would, and so did we, because who doesn’t love more power?
Of all the best car amplifiers in our review, this is the most versatile by far. Pumping out an impressive 800 watts RMS total output, this thing rocks. At 2 ohms, each channel can output up to 200 watts RMS. Using 4 ohms, each channel can output up to 136 watts each.
While the less powerful Taramps amplifier doesn’t perform so well with subwoofers, that’s not the case here. This model can be used for pretty much any combination of speaker setup your heart desires.
You can bridge all the channels together and direct all the power into your subwoofer. Or you might want to run everything but your subwoofer using each channel individually. Why not bridge two channels for a small sub, and use the other two individually?
Big power in a small package…
Even though this amplifier is capable of punching out some high power figures, it doesn’t take up too much space. Measuring 7.17 x 2.05 x 8.94 inches (18.2 x 5.2 x 22.7 centimeters), it is much smaller than older amplifiers with this much power.
Compatible with any frequency makes this beast of an amplifier full range. With the use of crossover switches, you can direct the frequencies and power to what the connected speaker is best suited for.
- Powerful amplifier.
- Can be used for any speaker combination.
- Small size for the amount of power.
- Heavier than other products.
- Might be too powerful for certain speakers.
8 Kicker 46CXA8001 – Best Multiple Sub Car Amplifier
For anybody after an efficient Class-D mono amplifier for powering up their subwoofer, the Kicker 46CXA8001 is a great bet. Kicker’s CX series has the perfect combination of big power and true reliability.
If you run this amplifier at 2 ohms, you can get a maximum of 600 watts RMS output. Running at 1 ohm, the maximum power output increases to 800 watts RMS. More than enough to power two 15-inch subs sufficiently.
Great for multiple subs…
Because this amplifier is stable down to 1 ohm of impedance, it is well suited for running multiple subwoofers. Whether you prefer a massive pair of 15-inch subs or an array of smaller 8-inchers, this amp will have them pumping.
You won’t need to worry about drawing too much power from your battery either. It can run off as little as 9 volts, reducing the load on your vehicle’s alternator. So no need for any battery upgrades.
Choose your mounting option…
Decide if you would prefer to mount the amplifier standard or vertical. All the hardware is included for both options, so the decision’s up to you. Not only can you mount this amplifier the way you want, but you can also tune it too.
A powerful 12db crossover and 24db subsonic filter let you quickly tune your system to perfection. Although it is not included, there is an option to add a remote bass controller, so you can adjust the levels from inside the car.
- Stable at 1-ohm impedance.
- Can power multiple subwoofers.
- Multiple mount options.
- Less affordable than other options.
- Remote bass controller not included.
9 AudioPipe APCL2004 – Best Affordable Car Amplifier for Highs and Mids
For our final product, we have a four channel amplifier from AudioPipe. It provides plenty of high-quality power best suited for high and mid speaker performance. It can still be used for a subwoofer, but you will get better results with your smaller speakers.
The AudioPipe is capable of pushing out a maximum of 600 watts RMS in total. At 4 ohms, each of the four channels will produce a maximum of 100 watts RMS each. At 2 ohms, this will increase to 150 watts RMS each.
Great heat dissipation…
AudioPipe took great care in designing an amplifier that would not overheat. They used a high-quality heat sink constructed from aluminum. The fins are embedded in the top plate and run along each side, resulting in excellent heat dissipation.
As well as regulating heat, AudioPipe also ensured voltage was regulated too. They achieved this by using oversized toroids, which are basically just wire coils. This ensures even and consistent power for impressive sound quality.
By utilizing high-level inputs, installation is made much more manageable. This is because they completely eliminate the need for RCA cables and line output converters. This amplifier can pick up the audio signal directly from the speakers.
This thing really performs well for the price. We were able to pump out various genres of music at maximum volume through a pair of 2 ways and a pair of tweeters. We didn’t detect any distortion; however, we did miss the low driving bass.
- Maximum 600 watts RMS power output.
- Good value for money.
- Low chance of overheating.
- Poor results with subwoofers.
- Larger and heavier than other products.
Best Car Amplifiers Buying Guide
We have now shown you a great range of car amplifiers that are available for purchase right now. As you can see, there are so many different things to consider when purchasing a new amplifier, and that’s where our buying guide comes in.
We want to guide you in making the best choice for what will best suit your personal needs. By identifying the key differences between all of these products, you should get a better understanding.
If purchasing a single channel amplifier, all the power is directed through one output. That makes these products perfect for use with subwoofers. Because the speakers are so large and often rely on heavy magnets, they require more power.
The Boss can pump out an amazing 1100 watts of RMS power, ready for any sized sub. If you prefer a crisp, clear sound, the Rockford Fosgate might be for you. For multiple sub setups, take another look at the Kicker.
For powering pairs of speakers such as 2 ways, tweeters, or the good old 6 x 9s, you will want a multiple channel amplifier. Some of the more powerful multi channels can still run subwoofers; however, they will not offer the same performance as a single channel.
Taramps offer both a 400 watt and 800-watt model. The 400 watt is most suitable for paired speakers, while the 800 watt is more versatile. If you are worried about overheating, then go for the AudioPipe with its massive heat sink.
Amplifiers don’t only have to be installed in cars. If you want to install one in your boat, on your motorbike, or even on an ATV or jet ski, a Bluetooth amp is your best bet. As you will be limited on space, you won’t require a head unit.
The Kenwood model has a solid build quality and is exceptionally reliable. They have been in the industry for a very long time and have plenty of experience. If you would rather take advantage of additional USB and aux inputs, go for the Velex.
Still can’t decide?
If you’re still having difficulties deciding on which product to choose, maybe our next section will help. Join us as we reveal our decision on which product we think tops all the other best quality car amplifiers reviewed, but before that…
Looking for Quality Sound in your Vehicle?
If you’re after the best quality sound, you’re going to need more than just an amplifier. So, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Car Speakers, the Best Car Tweeters, the Best Double Din Head Units, the Best Flip Out Head Units, and the Best Bluetooth Headsets for Drivers for your money in 2021.
Got a bike? We’ve got you well covered too! Head to our latest reviews for the Best Motorcycle Radios and the Best Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers! Or maybe you’re interested in the Best Motorcycle GPS Trackers currently available?
Back to the best amplifiers for cars…
So, what are the Best Car Amplifiers?
With such a variety of applications, making a choice for the best was difficult. We decided to base our decision on the following criteria:
The amplifier must provide all-round performance in all applications. It must have superior build quality, and at the same time, represent excellent value. The product we felt delivered in all these areas is the…
It is suitable for both paired speakers and subwoofers. Not only is it capable, but it also performs well, producing enjoyable sound quality across a range of music genres.