When it comes to creating your own audio system, the first thing that appears in mind is the need to purchase qualitative speakers and similar sound-reproduction components. Unfortunately, this is one of the most spread mistakes among beginners. They tend to save money on purchasing low-powerful or completely unsuitable amplifiers for their systems because they don’t see any sense in it. The sound will be on in any case, won’t it?

The dilemma isn’t that simple, frankly speaking. Such a circuit is applied to increase the signal’s magnitude as for its input. In this perspective, the power, current, or voltage will be enhanced. The component takes the signal you’re your head unit, amplifies it, and sends out the correct power to all the speakers.

However, to achieve a multifunctional and efficient system, each element has to be selected correctly. That is why so many customers would like to understand the next notion — what is a 4 channel car amplifier? Commonly, it is one of the wide-spread options in the industry.

Stay tuned to find out the truth under specific terms. Onwards!

General Background

What is an amplifier? One of the best explanations to break the topic down is as follows — it is the heart engine of any audio system. If you have a weak amplifier, everything else fails. Taking into account this component is a mediator between different parts of your system, to underestimate its influence on sounding means to spoil the performance of all the elements you have. It won’t make a great deal if your speakers are best in the class, if they are incompatible with other engines.

Most people over the past years of amplifiers’ existence on the market tend to under-power their systems, since the most neglected part is an amplifier. Enthusiasts can spend thousands of dollars on super functional woofers and speakers, and then they wimp out on the amplification device. In order not to become the part of this pity statistics, it is necessary to understand why four-channel amps are so recommended for car audio enthusiasts.

Analysis of Standard Configurations

In general, the diversity of amplifiers available can’t help but impress. They are different in their circuit construction, power supply, and many other quality-influential characteristics. One of the main features people decide on when choosing amplifiers is the number of channels.

This feature defines how compatible the system will be. The bigger the number is, the more connections are possible. Apart from monoblocks, amplifiers can have five and more channels, but standard and most common layouts are two- and four-channel options.

What is the difference between a 2 channel and 4 channel amplifier?

There are certain types of situations when someone just needs to amplify one pair of speakers, and only then two-channel amps may come in handy. This solution will serve nicely for those who are interested in amplifying boat tower speakers, for instance.

Overall, a car audio system includes front and rear speakers, as well as subs. When you are dealing with a 4 channel amplifier, this solution is made to run the four quadrants of the interior speakers. There is no need to make the system too complex and hard in adjusting by preparing a separate amp for each pair of devices. It is easier to get everything controlled at one point, isn’t it? Besides, installation space provided by cars isn’t eternal, so to waste it for unnecessary equipment instead of implementing auxiliary and functional tools is a huge step back.

While one two-channel model is suitable to drive two speakers or one sub, its alternative under consideration is capable of working with either two sets of speakers or one set and one subwoofer.

Basically, it depends on the actual equipment your vehicle possesses whether this or that solution will help you be up in arms. Please note that each amplifier’s channel is a separate gamer, and it functions as a unique power source, although under the same chassis.

Number of Channels vs. RMS Power

On the one hand, it is important to select a matching amplifier to your system. On the other hand, the power rate can’t be omitted from considerations. As a rule, amps have to be more powerful than other equipment available.

On the amp box or in the manual, users will be able to see the wattage. For instance, a four-channel device can produce four hundred watts of RMS power. Due to simple calculations we can understand that each separate channel will drive the connected tool with the power rate of one hundred watts.

Let’s imagine that your speakers have an output of fifty watts RMS. In this case, you shouldn’t go for amps which offer the same efficiency. The system will perform, but the amount of power won’t be enough to help your audio components show off. At least seventy-five watts RMS are necessary per speaker, according to the described scenario. A little difference won’t influence the quality of sound reproduction that much.

At the same time, it is not recommended to select too powerful amps for your car speakers. Otherwise, the risks to damage the system are increased.


If you are looking for a product to achieve more “energy” for your front and rear speakers, then the best amplifier configuration to select is a standard four-channel amplifier. As you already know, its title is given for the number of channels the unit has.

As a rule, one speaker can be driven by a separate channel. Since the number of speakers of an average vehicle is four, the style of amplifier is logical and absolutely predictable. With the increase in the number of channels, you will get more opportunities to grow your system by adding more compartments. For instance, five-channel solutions will work to cope with all the speakers and a sub.

Don’t forget that with the increase in the number of channels the power rate per each decreases — consider this fact when going for a particular amplifier.

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Troy Hanks

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