Although the best car amplifier for subwoofer is relatively complex in manufacture and design, it serves a simple purpose. It takes the audio signal from the in-car head unit and amplifies it to be distributed to component subwoofers and speakers.
In simple terms, a car amplifier enables for more volume and can also boost the quality of sound by offering a better signal to noise ratio and reducing distortion when compared to a head unit. Buying this device doesn’t mean that the user has to change the speakers but this might be an option if he/she doesn’t know how to pick the right unit for his/her car.
With that in mind, here is a review of the top five amplifiers in the market today and a guide of how to choose the best for a particular car.
Top Five Car Amplifier Comparison Table
BOSS Audio R1100M Riot 1100W Car Amplifier – Class A/B
BOSS Audio R1100M is a class A/B Monoblock amp with 1100W max power and MOSFET power supply to take the car’s audio system to another level. It features a Bass Boost, Remote Control, and Variable Low Pass Crossover for customizing the sound to make it clearer than before.
Its Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors easily switch to non-conduction from full for high-efficiency output. This class A/B unit comes with specific linear circuitry that boats the power output as well as sound quality while eliminating distortion and enhancing efficiency.
The amp powers 2-ohm subwoofers or speakers when in use at two-ohms leading to more volume and power for that additional energy. It features low-level inputs that accept pre-amp output signals and high-level inputs that accept speakers’ output signal to enable for the addition of processors and amps to aftermarket source or standard factory units.
- Remote subwoofer control
- Automatic shut-off
- 1100W Max power @ 1 channel x 2 ohms
- 6 years platinum warranty
- Variable low-pass filter for frequency control
BOSS Audio R1100M Riot is perfect for people searching for an affordable amplifier with power.
Rockville RW10CA 800W Car Amplifier – Class A/B
Rockville RW10CA is an all-in-one unit that gives users great sounding bass in their cars without taking much space. This amp enclosure is just 2.7 inches thick so that it can smoothly fit under the seat.
The unit is built-in, so wiring and installation are clean and easy to offer the installer much needed time to complete other things. The developer wanted to give the installer easy time by adding high inputs so he/she don’t need to wire the unit manually – it comes with a smart circuit that turns on the radio.
Another great feature that users will enjoy when they buy this amp is finding that the outputs and inputs are on the same side. This also makes wiring easier and neater. Other models are hard to install.
The amp boats of 800W of peak power and 200W RMS and is CEA-2006 compliant, meaning its ratings are approved by a regulator to give the user the required guarantee.
- Low-level RCA input
- 30 days return guarantee if not satisfied
- PWM MOSFET power supply
- 800W peak and 200W RMS
- Auto turn-on technology
Rockville RW10CA is superb for people who don’t have sufficient space in their vehicle.
BOSS Audio R3400D Riot 3400W Amplifier – Class D
BOSS Audio R3400D Riot is a class D Monoblock unit that boats of 34W max power as well as MOSFET power supply to get the bass pumping. Its features a Subsonic Filter, Remote Subwoofer Control, Bass Boost, and Variable Low Pass Crossover for customizing the sound – attach this unit to another R3400D for better performance.
The device generates more power and runs more efficiently using a more solid design than the customary class A/B amplifiers. It comes with an effective Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect which changes to non-conduction from full for better and higher output.
The 1-ohm stable offers the user the maximum power for maximum wattage and performance with minimal heat. The device also comes with a variable low-pass filter that provides the user control over the frequencies that run through the subwoofer.
- 3400W max power @ 1 channel x 1 ohms
- Remote subwoofer control
- Low-level inputs, switchable phase control, RCA pre-amp outputs
- Variable Bass Boost, Variable Low Pass Crossover, Variable Subsonic Filter
- Enhance bass in large vehicle
BOSS Audio R3400D Riot is a great product for people who love music.
Planet Audio TR4000.1D 4000W Amplifier – Class D
Planet Audio TR4000.1D is a class D monoblock amplifier that features MOSFET power supply and 4000W max power to offer powerful and stable bass. It is able to customize the sound with its Bass Boost, Variable Low Pass Crossover, Switchable Phase Control, Remote Subwoofer Control, and Subsonic Filter.
When strapped with another TR4000.1D, the user is guaranteed to enjoy double the performance of 8000W @ 2-ohms. It’s designed for those who cannot resist pumping it up and is built to last for decades.
Planet comes with variable input feature that allows the amp input to match the output to achieve maximum performance when turned correctly. Its switchable input sensitivity offers adjustable control over the input to offer balance between sound quality and power.
Another notable feature of this unit is the phase control that let the user switch the subwoofer phase with the amp if the subwoofer or speakers are connected “out of phase”.
- Automatic shut-off
- 4000W max power @ 1 channel x 1 ohm
- Variable low pass crossover, variable subsonic filter, variable bass boost
- Remote subwoofer control
- Able to strap with another unit
Planet Audio TR4000.1D is for users with vehicles that have the power to satisfy its hunger.
Pioneer TS-WX120A 150W Amplifier – Class D
Pioneer TS-WX120A is a 150 powerful amp subwoofer system that allows installation in small spaces because of its compact size. It is pretty easy to install it under seats as well as other small spaces.
Many users consider it to be the best car amplifier for subwoofer due to its MOSFET power supply that produces solid and deep bass. Its cover is made of aluminum which facilitates steady bass response.
The unit also comes with a wired remote for easier control of audio adjustments.
- Extremely compact
- Powerful subwoofer system
- Wired remote to control gain
- 150W built-n MOSFET amp
Pioneer TS-WX120A is a good amp and is worth every dollar.
Best Car Amplifier for Subwoofer Buying Guide
Remember that all components in a vehicle will have an influence on its system design. To get it right, always keep these points in mind:
- A car requires a head unit with RCA output to connect to the amp.
- The amp will need to be powered by the vehicle’s battery.
- Speakers and subs will need to have the same output power as that of the channels on the amp.
With that in mind, there are a few things that the buyer will need to consider before making that important purchase.
1. Type of Car Amplifier
Car amplifiers are generally broken down into three categories:
- Single or mono channel amplifiers – These are used for subwoofers.
- 4 channels amplifiers – These are used for interior speakers.
- 5 channels amplifiers – They are used for a combination of subwoofers and interior speakers.
2. THD and RMS Power Ratings
In addition, the buyer needs to pay attention to these specifications:
- Total Harmonic distortion Level or THD
- RMS power ratings
All the amplifiers we reviewed above are of great quality. They have a relatively THD, often less or equal to 1 percent.
The best unit should also be efficient and come in a small size. See the physical dimensions of every amp from the table.
3. Check the CEA Compliance
Note that the best amps for subwoofer follow CEA-2006 compliance concerning RMS rating guidelines.
- Number of watts (W) x Number channels RMS @ Number of Ohms at 14.4 volts.
Buyers should ensure that they look at the amp’s RMS power rating and see what Ohms or impedance it is rated at. Some fake car amp firms out there will advertise an unreasonable power handling rating to grab the buyer’s attention.
Generally, it is only when the buyer looks at the manual does he/she find these ratings listed at an unreasonable impedance such as less than 1 ohm.
For interior speaker amps, frankly speaking, the user is always going to run the amplifier at 4 Ohms. For subwoofers, the final impedance should be between 2-4 ohms. Anything less than two ohms is often too little resistance for an amp to handle effectively.
Therefore, buyers should pay attention to the RMS ratings when purchasing these gadgets. RMS stands for Root Mean Square – an estimate of continuous average power.
4. Power Vs Sound Quality Vs Size Vs Budget
The most popular amplifiers are in the 500W powering handling category and above. When shopping for the amp, buyers should also test the sound quality and ensure it is within their budget.
5. Technical Specifications
There are lots of buyers who don’t take time to inspect the specs of what they buy. After all, they are confusing. These specs might be hard to comprehend.
Here are some of the features that should be looked at:
- Decibel – This is the ratio between the reference point and the value of the measurement. Higher value shows the amp will be louder.
- Frequency response – This is simply the pitch or note of a tone. A good amp should be able to handle the pitch within a certain spectrum.
- Impedance – This is the resistance to the current flow and is expressed in ohms. Lower impedance means that more current will be needed to produce the required power.
- Sensitivity – This is the measure of the efficiency of the amp. With a greater sensitivity, a louder sound can be achieved. This minimizes power usage and heat production.
- Total harmonic distortion – This is the change in harmonic current along the amplification of the sound and is expressed as THD. A great car amplifier for subwoofer should have lesser THD as this means lesser change for added accuracy.
A car great amp should be seen as an investment for an enhanced music experience, so don’t hesitate to spend the money for it will bring much joy when riding in a pumped up vehicle. With that said, a car amp doesn’t need to be expensive to provide the much-needed enjoyment – cheap doesn’t necessarily mean low quality.
The search for the best car amplifier for subwoofer isn’t easy. However, if the buyer keeps in mind the things we have discusses above, including some of the amps that we have reviewed, he/she will find it much easier to make the ideal decision.
Troy is a freelance sound engineer with over ten years’ experience in the music industry. His passion for music started when he was young. He would often be found dismantling old radios or television sets and fixing them. Troy is renowned for hosting some of the best live concerts in his hometown. When not working, Troy loves taking his thirsty Ford Mustang for a long drive in the wild. He has been married to Jane for the last 20 years, and together they have two lovely girls. His also known for his delicious, honey coated, barbecued pork chops; which he prepares in his backyard.