Does your car have four speakers? If so, then having a good old stereo output may just not be enough to unleash the full potential of such a setup. Imagine that every speaker is supplied with its own signal that you can individually control without sacrificing the output power. This means you can make the listening experience more pleasant for passengers in the back of your car, or, in case you’re driving alone, you can surround yourself with enough audio atmosphere to feel as if you’re in the centre of the sonic universe. Even more, in many cases 4 channel car amplifiers allow for various modes giving you’re a lot of flexibility. After all, we are talking about twice the power of a traditional stereo!
In this article we will cover a number of 4 channel car amps highlighting strong points of each, so that you can find the best solution for your needs. To make this review more efficient for you, we will provide the top list of our picks for you.
1. Rockford Fosgate R400-4D Prime
Rockford Fosgate is a name on the audio market that can be trusted by not only serious audiophiles, but also by those just starting their journey in the world of car audio. RF has been in the play for long enough to be able to offer products for pretty much every category of car amplifiers. Their amps come in three series Prime, Punch and Power. Prime is considered as their most value-priced type, but in no way this series should be underappreciated. Another reason we placed Rockford Fosgate R400-4D in our Top 5 list is we are trying to cover the widest consumer segment, and this amp is a perfect product both for experienced listeners and beginners. Note, that R400-4D is one of the 4 top rated 4 channel car amps on the market.
The seemingly not so huge power output of 400 watts RMS is actually more than enough to push your front and rear pairs of speakers to express their full potential. Rockford Fosgate R400-4D is pretty slim and it will fit in most car models. This, together with the rest makes it the best compact 4 channel car amplifier in our opinion. The build of the amplifier is durable and made to last. Being a Class D amplifier R400-4D is quite efficient on power. The sound quality that R400-4D produces is just excellent for the price. Besides, you would need to have a very sensitive ear to note any differences with RF amps from the Punch and Power series that are designed for more picky audiophiles. To further enhance the sound you have variable low and high pass filters and also variable Punch EQ treble and bass boost of up to 18 dB. The bridgeable nature of this amp allows you to give you 3-channel output to feed front speakers and a subwoofer through combined power of the other two channels, or even feed two subs when both pairs are bridged. The only downside is the bridged mode only supports 4-ohm setting, but even with this Rockford Fosgate R400-4D can really deliver.
Rockford Fosgate R400-4D can easily become your choice if you want quality sound while not looking for too much extras that are usually sought by more predetermined users.
2. Pioneer GM-D8704 4-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier
Pioneer GM-D8704 has been released in 2019 and with this amp the manufacturer has tried to make some steps towards a golden middle: by combining certain aspects of what consumers expect from a 4 channel car amplifier Pioneer attempted to come up with a device that will be appealing to a wide range of listeners. Despite being so young, Pioneer GM-D8704 has already won high ratings among audiophiles. First, they made an effort to squeeze enough power into a smaller casing, which was made possible with using Class D topology. Not only moderate on power consumption, GM-D8704 can deliver up to the good 600 watts RMS with support of 1, 2 and 4 ohms, whereas many manufacturers neglect the 1 ohm setting. The amp’s amazing peak power is capable of 1200 watts, which is twice the RMS power. Since, we are talking about a Pioneer product, all that was done with the sound quality in mind. So no sound quality was sacrificed. In fact clear sound is observed throughout the entire frequency range, which is amazing compared to many other 4 channel amps on the market. Variable low and high pass filters leave no chance to any potential sound flaws.
It would have been sad, if such a great amplifier had a weakness on the performance side, so Pioneer magicians took care of that. The improved circuit design features “Protection Control System” that automatically controls the power input levels based on the unit temperature, which prevents shutdown. You can be sure you may lose some of the signal power, but never will you be left irritated by losing your song in the middle of it.
The great job was done by Pioneer on combining the power with the sound quality. Now Pioneer GM-D8704 gives you a chance to enjoy what most of the audiophiles may call the sweet spot of sound technology.
3. Alpine MRV-F300 4-Channel Car Amplifier
Alpine is another maker of car amplifiers that is well known to a great audience. MRV-F300 is their Class D 4 channel car amplifier that we are going to look at today. Anyone familiar with Alpine products will know these guys put a great deal of effort into making solid reliable products. Alpine MRV-F300 is no exception – just have your hand over the unit and you will get that feel of solid and quality craftsmanship. With Alpine’ devotion to use quality components and their own engineering this amp will work and live a long rich life, especially with the way it looks. Its small design will let you find a spot for MRV-F300 easily – as you may have noticed, we pay great attention to such aspect as the size of amplifiers as even the most great features will come useless if you simply can’t find room for a device.
The power output of Alpine MRV-F300 is fair 300 watts RMS with twice the peak power. The amp supports bridged mode that can be used to hook up a subwoofer. The limitation however is that such set-up will not give maximum RMS power to bridged channels. The great thing about this amp is that the above mentioned limitation can be worked around with the amp’s wide range crossover going from 50 to 400 Hz. With this more of the lower end will be streamed into the sub compared to most of other amps, and with this you won’t need more than 100 watts on the sub. With great THD of only 0.03 percent you’ll be sure to get great sound from the amp. The installation of Alpine MRV-F300 should be easy and reliable with its high-quality connectors and protective caps. It is also worth to mention the featured speaker level inputs that allow for connecting the amp with factory stereos.
Alpine MRV-F300 is just another great product from Alpine. If you are familiar with this maker, then you need no additional motivation to go for this amp. If you are new to Alpine, then you might want this amp if quality and reliability is your thing.
4. Skar Audio RP-150-4AB 1000 Watt 4 Channel Car Amplifier
Compared to the amps we covered earlier Skar Audio RP-150-4 slightly falls out from the group. Let’s be honest, Skar Audio is not the top tier name on the audio market, but there are reasons why RP-150-4 made it to our Top-5 list. Let’s see why it is so interesting and what audience it may be appealing to. First thing you’ll notice is its size – not in any way compact, RP-150-4 is measuring crazy 24 inches wide. It may not be a trivial task to find a spot for such device in your car. On the other hand, such big profile is a sign of a fair game – it would be harder to believe a smaller amp to carry hefty 1000 watts RMS. Yes, at 2 ohms you get 250 watts for each of the four channels. In bridged mode you’ll have 500 watts, which is enough to power your subwoofer to go along with the front speakers. Or even two subs, if your set-up demands that. Skar Audio RP-150-4 looks as aggressive as the amount of power it gives. Besides, the casing itself is one huge heatsink to let the unit lose its heat during performance. While you may consider bridging the amp’s channels to feed your sub, do not forget that clarity of the highs and mids of RP-150-4 are not to be underestimated.
Such an evil boy as this amplifier, Skar Audio RP-150-4 definitely needs some protective measures to sustain its own power during non-stop operation. This is done with 4-way protection circuitry that helps you stay at ease in regards to the safety of your speakers, thermal control, voltage and DC. All that is topped with some glazing on the cake: soft turn-on and adjustable crossover controls.
Getting a very powerful amplifier from a well-known brand may be just way to expensive. If a name in your opinion is just a name, then you can try a bad boy from the street like Skar Audio RP-150-4. We are sure this amp will not disappoint you.
5. Hifonics ZRX1016-4 Zeus 600 Watt 4 Channel Car Amplifier
Hifonics is a reputable brand that is well-known in the car audio making industry. For those closely familiar with the brand the slogan “Power from the Gods” means almost exactly what it says. And what ancient god can be more powerful than the Zeus himself. Right, Hifonics ZRX1016-4 belongs to the Zeus series that represents years of car amp making experience. Here, we are talking about 1000 watts RMS, equally distributed between 4 channels to feed the most demanding speakers one may have in their car. With so much power the sound quality is not at all sacrificed – listeners will get decent clarity, which can be fine tuned even more with variable low-pass and high-pass filters. While a 4 channel amplifier is not exactly designed to be used with subwoofers, the bridged mode can bring 500 watts per pair of bridged channels, one of which can be connected to a sub. The bass can be further pumped by 12dB bass boost. The bridge mode, however, is somewhat limited as it only supports 4 ohms.
Hifonics ZRX1016-4 is designed to handle fair amount of stress. For that the amp is equipped with enough armour. For one, it is built with military grade Printed Circuit Boards to work under most extreme conditions. The amp also features 4-way DC, Short Circuit, Thermal and Overload Protection. The unit itself is one huge heat sink featuring Hifonics proprietary design for heat dissipation. No wonder one of the features of Hifonics ZRX1016-4 is their Hifonics Surface Mount Design. Should there even be any troubles, the diagnostics is made easier with Diagnostic Indicators.
Just like its siblings from the Zeus series, Hifonics ZRX1016-4 has demonstrated its ability to deliver surely very loud and more than satisfying sound. In case of doubts the turning point may be its price, which is realistically adequate.
6. Rockford Fosgate P400X4 Punch 400 Watt
Rockford Fosgate P400X4 is our next to most expensive amp on the review. This is probably one reason we didn’t place it to the top. We started this review as best 4 channel car amp, but at some point it became obvious that price is a major factor here. Of course, P400X4 is a Punch series amp and it can deliver great 400 watts RMS to four channels. Also, it has muted turn on feature and on-board Punch EQ with +18dB bass boost. The size is fairly compact and the weight is not the greatest among many other car amps. Well, we just think it may a little too expensive. Within a $1000 range it could have been a winner, but on the review with vast majority of amps just under two hundreds, Rockford Fosgate P400X4 must stay where it is now.
7. Rockford Fosgate R300X4 Prime
While this time we are trying to cover a bigger number of amps with tight competition, you can’t expect Rockford Fosgate product to be at the bottom. Compared to its brother in the first place of this review, Rockford Fosgate R300X4 only loses a bit in terms of power. Also, being an A/B amplifier it is a bit heavier. In all other aspects it is still a good old RF product of the same series. What you lose in RMS output, you win with the price. Think of R300X4 as of a budget type version of our winner. Total of 300 watts is still enough to power up 4 speakers in a small car, where loudness is not exactly sought for. Also, since it works great with both aftermarket and OEM source units, Rockford Fosgate R300X4 makes a great candidate to start upgrading your stock audio system at a fair price.
8. Rockford Fosgate R250X4 Prime
This is exactly why we love Rockford Fosgate – it seems that they offer amplifiers to satisfy demands differing just by a small fraction. How about this: 300 watts is too expensive for you? Well, there is a 250-watt analog just a little cheaper! Everything we said above can be applied here, with just a slight decrement. Specifics? Rockford Fosgate R250X4 has a little less power. But what do you get instead? Lots! R250X4is lighter, smaller and less power consuming. This can ensure this amp will not overheat. You have your cut on the price, if 20-30 bucks makes a difference for you. All in all, you get a decent 4 channel amplifier made with quality as any other Rockford Fosgate products.
9. Skar Audio RP-75-4AB 500 Watt
Skar Audio RP-75-4 is basically a twice less powerful analog of the holder of the 4th place on our list. Such relationship with a Top-5 dweller should give you an idea of a good nature of this amp as it belongs to the same RP series. Please keep in mind that even though RP-75-4 carries only half of its sibling, it still provides more power than many car amplifiers on this review. 125 watts RMS per channel is a total of 500, which is pretty impressive. Just like any other Skar Audio RP series amps, this one has the same features as Soft Turn-on, tri-mode bridgeable capabilities and a 4-way protection circuitry: Thermal, Voltage, Speaker and DC. The same with variable low and high pass filters. It also has a substantial size, although smaller than its relative from our Top-5. Obviously, the dollar-per-watt value is less attractive, which is why Skar Audio RP-75-4 is only at the 9th place.
10. Kenwood KAC-M3004 Compact
Kenwood KAC-M3004 is one of the most versatile amp out there: due to its compact size it can be installed in small cars, due to its Class D power efficiency and its small weight it can be installed on ATVs and motorcycles, and due to coated circuitry KAC-M3004 can be used on a boat. It is very easy to install, which means that potentially one amplifier can serve your entire fleet of vehicles, on land and on water. Quality of the sound that Kenwood KAC-M3004 delivers is pretty decent – you get crisp and clear sound. Low and high pass variable filters give you more flexibility to fine tune your sound. One thing that may make you think twice before buying is that 75 watts RMS power at 2 ohms and 50 at 4 ohms is not exactly the most powerful set-up. But the amp’s capability to handle peak power of 600 watts can compensate. If your vehicle is small Kenwood KAC-M3004 is for you. If you ride a bike this amp is for you. If you have a boat, then definitely look at Kenwood KAC-M3004.
11. BOSS Audio Systems PF2600 Phantom 2600 Watt 4 Channel amp
BOSS Audio Systems PF2600 is the loudest amp on this review. The RMS ratings are 488 watts at 2 ohm and 244 watts at 4 ohm for each channel. When bridged PF2600 can deliver two pairs of 975 watts each – and that is amazing. The peak power however is tremendous 2600 watts. At a price so kiddy this amp will shake the earth. It even has a remote subwoofer control, which will come in handy if you decide to its bridged mode for front speakers and a sub. It is also supplied with such features as variable high pass crossover, variable low pass crossover, variable bass boost. Keep an eye on this one if you need lots of power and cheap.
12. Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Punch 300 Watt 4 Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier
Here’s another Punch series amp by Rockford Fosgate. It’s good, and it is really good, but due to certain reasons it didn’t make it to the top of our list. Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Punch is a full-range 4 channel amp that is small enough to fit on smaller vehicles like motorcycles and ATVs. Using Rockford Fosgate proprietary Boosted Rail Technology the amp stores extra energy to be available on demand for boosting rail voltage. With that at can deliver decent 300 watts at 4 channels. The two limitations should still be noted. The impedance is limited to 4 Ohm only. Additionally, PBR300X4 is not bridgeable. With that said we believe its price may have been a little lower.
13. Hifonics ZRX616-4 Zeus Car Audio Amplifier
Hifonics ZRX616-4 is a lesser alternative to another Zeus series amp we’ve been talking earlier in this review. Basically, with ZRX616-4 you will get the same set of features. The body of the amp acts like one big heat sink that helps getting rid of extra heat. Additionally, Hifonics ZRX616-4 has a 4-way protection that takes care of DC, Short Circuit, Thermal and Overload. Military Grade PCB is made to handle most rigid conditions. Not to mention diagnostic Indicators and MOSFET power supply. It has total power of 600 watts. With its price the dollar-per-watt value is a bit higher, but still you can consider Hifonics ZRX616-4 as a great way to make your four speakers pump at their loudest.
14. Planet Audio AC1600-4
Here we have Planet Audio AC1600-4 – one of the loudest 4 channel car amplifiers. Not only it can direct 400 watts to each of the four channels, it can also operate in bridged mode with 600 watts at each coupled pair. Some younger listeners who are hungry for lots of sound power may be willing to take a good look at AC1600-4. Its price is more than budget friendly, the amp looks very cool with its blue illuminated logo and stylish finish. In fact, Planet Audio AC1600-4 has all the essentials: high and low level inputs, variable high and low pass crossovers, variable bass boost and even a remote subwoofer control! AC1600-4 is definitely ready to throw some pumping into your car and outside.
15. Planet Audio AC800-4
We are not exactly sure why nine years after the release of the amplifier from the above entry Planet Audio decided to introduce a reduced version of it – their AC800-4. They may have had their reasons, but the fact is sound: while AC800-4 carries basically twice less power than our entry 14, today they both can be purchased at prices that barely differ. Other than the substantial reduction in watts from 1600 to 800, every other aspect did not undergo major changes – these amps both come from the same Anarchy series. But hold on, there is one more thing that AC800-4 is missing – it has no remote bass control.
16. Hifonics ZXX-2000-4 Zeus 4 Channel Bridgeable Amplifier
Hifonics ZXX-2000-4 represents Zeus series and it has all the features one may expect. Again, we can see solid preparation for long operation under stressful conditions: nickel plated high temperature impact resistant inputs, MOSFET power supply to minimize heat generation, aluminum heat sink that covers the entire body of the amp, and also diagnostic indicators DC, speaker short circuit, thermal and overload protection monitor with lighted indicators on the amplifier end panel. Hifonics ZXX-2000-4 can deliver 2000 watts in total and can operate in 2, 3 and 4 channel mode. Obviously, its size is quite huge and the price is on the higher end compared to other Zeus amplifiers by Hifonics.
17. Kenwood KAC-8406 900 Watt
Kenwood is a brand that has been mostly into making of home shelf amplifiers all this time, and they did not completely master the car audio market. You can clearly see that if you look at a number of their car amps – they simply do not go after lots of power that is so demanded these days. KAC-8406 is the most powerful Kenwood amp on this review and it only has a total of 400 watts. Of course, for older audience this is good enough, but you wouldn’t want to consider KAC-8406 to impress your friends at college. Moreover, the bridged mode only supports 4 ohm setting. The looks of the amp are rather boring, so you may want to buy Kenwood KAC-8406 if all you need is feed your speakers with quality sound. Besides, it is rather bulky.
18. Kenwood KAC-M1804 Compact 4-channel Amplifier
Oh, Kenwood KAC-M1804 is an interesting device. The primary aim was definitely to take as little space as possible while provide enough resources to satisfy a four-speaker systems in your car. The power output is far from the greatest as KAC-M1804 is only capable of directing 45 watts into each channel. But without demand for lots of loudness this amp can do a decent job in a small vehicle. The peaks will be taken care of with max power of 400 watts. The great thing about Kenwood KAC-M1804 is its profile: it is the slimmest and the lightest amp on this review – you can literally fit it on your palm less than 2 pounds will not seem as a lot of weight. With such parameters KAC-M1804 can be used on motorcycles, ATVs and on boats. Didn’t we say it is suitable for marine applications? With conformal coated circuit board it truly is.
19. Crunch PX1000-4 Power Amplifier
Crunch PX1000-4 is next to the cheapest amp on this review. Even new ones go around a hundred bucks, but in fact you can get one much cheaper. No doubts that serious audiophiles will not even turn their heads to this brand, but it can be a salvation to a student or whoever is budget-limited. Can it give you anything good? PX1000-4 delivers 250 watts to each channel, so this is loud. What really surprised us is the signal-to-noise of over 98 dB – pretty impressive. Operation supports 4 modes: four channel stereo, dual stereo bridged, stereo + bridged mono, dual bridged mono. There is a whole bunch of interesting features, but price so low means that Crunch did not use the most expensive components. So you decide. And oh yes, you’ll need to have a vehicle that can fit this not the smallest device.
20. BOSS Audio Systems Elite BE1600-4
Another cheap option for a 4 channel car amplifier is BOSS BE1600-4 from their Elite series. BOSS is not the most expensive brand in the first place, so their elite will stay within an affordable price range. BE1600-4 is full-range amplifier that has just a little more than the basics. Its RMS power is 300 watts per channel, and the max is 1600 watts. Also, it supports bridged mode operation at 4 ohms. Since, it can be bridged and has enough power for that, the amp comes with a remote subwoofer control, which is nice. Additionally, BOSS folks did not skip on the crossovers – fixed high pass and variable low pass filters are present. Another interesting thing about BOSS BE1600-4 is its 5 years Elite warranty. This is their attempt to compensate for not the most expensive components that made this amp so affordable.
21. BOSS Audio Systems Elite R1004
BOSS R1004 is the cheapest amp on this review. You can literally buy one if you just skip a night at a bar. There are limitations of course. First, the power is only 75 watts per channel. Second, there is no support for bridged operation. There are no low and high pass filters. What you do get, however, is a MOFSET power supply, high and low level inputs, switchable input sensitivity, and conformal coated PCB. Also, BOSS R1004 is a fairly compact amplifier with full-range functionality. So the verdict is if you need just bare basics, you can get it at half a hundred bucks with this amp.
To help you find your amp we’ll cover several aspects we think are important. To get the best sound quality look at our winners Pioneer GM-D8704, Alpine MRV-F300, and PBR300X4 and R400-4D by Rockford Fosgate. If you look for as much power as possible then you may like Skar Audio RP-150-4, BOSS PF2600, and two amps by Hifonics ZRX1016-4 and ZXX-2000-4. The more affordable options that still have lots of power are BOSS Elite BE1600-4 and Planet Audio AC1600-4. Kenwood solely occupies niche for amps with marine and outdoors applications on ATVs with their two models KAC-M3004 and KAC-M1804. They also have the most compact amp KAC-M1804. The budget options are represented with BOSS R1004, Crunch PX1000-4, Planet Audio AC800-4.
|Rockford Fosgate R400-4D||****||1.97 x 6.77 x 9.10||5 pounds||4*100/75 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||D|
|Pioneer GM-D8704||***||10.4 x 2.4 x 7.9||8.82 pounds||4*125/150/100 Watts @ 1/2/4 Ohm||D|
|Alpine MRV-F300||****||7.9 x 7.9 x 2.16||3.8 pounds||4*75/50 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||D|
|Skar Audio RP-150-4||****||24 x 7 x 3.25||9.7 pounds||4*250/125 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Hifonics ZRX1016-4||***||15.7 x 2.4 x 10||8.53 pounds||4*250/125 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Rockford Fosgate P400X4||*****||2.4 x 7.76 x 11.03||6.94 pounds||4*100/50 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Rockford Fosgate R300X4||***||16.5 x 10.3 x 4.3||7.94 pounds||4*75/50 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Rockford Fosgate R250X4 Prime||***||1.98 x 6.77 x 11.22||5.95 pounds||4*60/40 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Skar Audio RP-75-4||***||19.5 x 7 x 3||7.4 pounds||4*125/75 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Kenwood KAC-M3004||***||6.5 x 1.75 x 3.9||2.2 pounds||4*75/50 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||D|
|BOSS PF2600||***||17 x 10.3 x 2.25||10.2 pounds||4*488/244 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4||*****||1.53 x 4.25 x 6.75||2.54 pounds||4*75 Watts @ 4 Ohm||BR|
|Hifonics ZRX616-4||**||12.6 x 2.4 x 10||8 pounds||4*150/75 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Planet Audio AC1600-4||**||13.5 x 10 x 2.4||9.7 pounds||4*400 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Planet Audio AC800-4||**||10 x 10 x 2.4||6.6 pounds||4*150/75 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Hifonics ZXX-2000-4||***||22 x 2.4 x 10||13 pounds||4*500/250 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Kenwood KAC-8406||***||15.5 x 10 x 4.5||5.73 pounds||4*100/70 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|Kenwood KAC-M1804||***||5.5 x 1.3 x 3.56||1.63 pounds||4*45 Watts @ 4 Ohm||D|
|Crunch PX1000-4||**||12.6 x 10.8 x 3.7||5.35 pounds||4*250/125 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|BOSS Elite BE1600-4||**||11.9 x 7 x 2.25||6.75 pounds||4*300/150 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
|BOSS R1004||*||7.75 x 9 x 2||3.1 pounds||4*75/38 Watts @ 2/4 Ohm||AB|
We tried to review in a different format trying to cover as many amps as we could find suitable. Hopefully this will help you find your way through a quite large number of 4 channel car amplifiers to find your perfect one.