If you feel you’re ready to install a subwoofer in your car, you will need an amplifier with the required subwoofer connections. You could either get that or go for a mono subwoofer option which sends a single-channel signal that’s ideal for a singular subwoofer design.
A monoblock amplifier is able to meet the needs of your subwoofer without any issues. The connections of a mono amp provide power for low frequencies. A good quality monoblock amplifier is able to withstand all the power without overheating.
Most amplifiers in cars are mostly made for hands-free calling or radio use. They offer a high output upgrade, but if the necessary connections are missing, then they wouldn’t accommodate a subwoofer as a standard fare. The ability of your speaker to perform well depends on the capabilities of your amplifier.
The difficult part of choosing a subwoofer amplifier is going through the numerous options available on the market today. It can be difficult to separate between high-quality amplifiers and the ones that built their reputation through marketing hype. When shopping for an amp for your subwoofer, you need one that will provide you with performance and power, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank in order to get an amplifier.
But, you do not have to worry; in this article, we will provide you with a buying guide that will inform you on everything you need to know about selecting the best subwoofer amplifier. You will also be provided with a review list on the best subwoofer amplifiers; that way, making a choice will be much easier.
BUYER’S GUIDE FOR PURCHASING A SUBWOOFER AMPLIFIER
Buying a subwoofer can be confusing for many of us, especially when it comes to impedance and configurations. Add that to a whole lot of technical talks, and you would be way in over your head. To make things easier, we will be simplifying various speaker amplifier terminologies. With the information simplified, you will be able to read through their marketing jargon and find what you need.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MOSFET POWER SUPPLY?
Mosfet is an abbreviation for Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor, and it is what a Mosfet uses to perform. It provides it with the ability to withstand the wavering between non-conduction and full conduction, which causes it to have a much better output power and efficiency.
The form of the power consumption mimics a ‘V’ shape, so it is oftentimes referred to as V-set or V-Mosfet. They were first introduced to the commercial world in the 1970s, and they have a few advantages.
They work faster, with increased power, and they have a better transit frequency. What this means is that they need a simpler form of protection for the short circuit, so they are less likely to fail or fall victim to secondary issues.
They are able to handle higher transient currents better, without the formation of a Beta droop which is the main cause of distortion due to current draining; they also use a smaller sized driver transistors to work. This simply means that they can be used in smaller appliances. They also have the ability to switch devices off much faster, which gets rid of crossover distortion.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF RMS?
RMS is an abbreviation that stands for Route Mean Square, a mathematical calculation of the mean (mean is the average of the numbers calculated by dividing the sum of the numbers by the total number of terms) an arrangement of square numbers.
In simple terms, it describes the maximum power output level that an amplifier can produce in a single second during the loudest part of a song. However, it doesn’t refer to the maximum constant output power, which is usually much lower.
WHAT IS PEAK POWER?
This is the amount of power an amplifier can produce in a very short period before any failure or damage happens. This rating is mostly discarded by industry professionals as they consider it more of a marketing power rating. The amplifier may be able to produce the acclaimed amount of power, but it would not sound pleasant to the ears, and it won’t take long before the amplifier blows or shuts off. That is why it is seen as a useless measurement of power output and is not considered a worthy rating.
CLASSES OF AMPLIFIERS
You may or may not have noticed that amplifiers are usually classified with one or two letters, but you should know that it doesn’t define them as worst to best or best to worst in alphabetical order.
This is because it isn’t actually a grading system. The letters are a way to reference the efficiency of their wave functionality. Amplifiers conduct through waveforms. An amplifier in class A will conduct throughout 360 degrees of a waveform. What this means is that in a single-ended design, they will less likely have any background hum because the distortion levels will be reduced. They work in a push/pull manner where they have 2 outputs sharing the negative and positive parts of a wave cycle.
An A class amplifier needs a high-level current flowing through it continually, even when there is no output power in the process. This provides you with high-quality audio, which is why they are so often talked about by people who appreciate high-quality audio. However, it also means that they have to conduct at all times.
The fact that they have to continually conduct means that high amount of energy is wasted which is then converted to heat. The continuous build-up could lead to overheating problems. Also, the circuitry of an A class amplifier also needs a much larger chassis compared to other classes. A Classes have extremely accurate output, no crossover distortion, and a very good high-frequency response. However, they also have their bad side, which includes their large size, they are quite heavy, generate a lot of heat, they can be inefficient and expensive.
A B class amp comes with a single end push or pull feature that ensures that only half of the device is working at a given point in time, with each of them covering 180 degrees portion of the complete 360-degree wave. This makes it more efficient with less wastage; however, it causes a nominal delay between both amplifiers.
B class models have a decent quality audio output, and they are more efficient than the A class, but they have their downside as they have crossover distortion, generate heat, and are expensive.
Because of this reason, there are more A/B models available on the market, as they provide a combination of both models and increase the efficiency a bit more. A/B models have acceptable levels of distortion and are more efficient than the A class amplifiers, and they generate less heat compared to the A class amplifiers. However, they are also quite expensive.
There are also G and H class speakers available, but we won’t be discussing them as they are not relevant to this article.
The most efficient class of speakers is the D class, so they are known as the best. They are known as the best because they can rapidly fluctuate the connected devices between an on and off state. Being able to idle lets them to fully utilize power consumption.
This class of amplifiers generates very little heat; they have a smaller size, are affordable, and are more efficient than the A class amplifiers. Their downside includes sound quality and crossover distortion.
They can provide higher outputs thanks to their design specifications and are less vulnerable to overheating problems. They are also contained in a smaller enclosure, making them a more compact option, thus providing you with more freedom over where you install them in your vehicle.
They are also referred to as Ohms. It is a measurement of the resistance a speaker adds to the circuit. When it comes to car audios, the usual full range, mid-range speakers, and tweeters are usually rated at 4Ohms.
It is important that the amplifiers impedance matches the impedance of the speaker, and it is the main concern when it comes to subwoofers because most multi-channel and full-range amps are configured for 4 Ohms.
When an amplifier meets little to no resistance, it will produce more power output that it was orginally designed for, leading to damages to the unit. However, if you use an 8 Ohms speaker with a 4Ohms amplifier, you will get reduced output.
For instance, connecting two subwoofers rated 500 watts but wired in an 8 Ohms confirguration to an amp that produces 1000 watts. What will happen is that most of the power produced by the amplifier will be overwhelmed by the resistance of the 8 Ohms configuration. The speaker will likely only be able to use 250 watts. That is why it is important that the amplifiers impedance matches the impedance of the speaker’s configuration.
These are electronic devices that are found inside amplifiers, and they control the frequencies that are sent to your speakers or subwoofers. They are extremely helpful because they allow you to fine-tune your amplifier to the selection of your speaker or vehicle. Filters come in both Fixed and Variable.
A Fixed filter is one that features only one setting that the manufacturer predetermines. On the other hand, a Variable filter allows you to make adjustments to the settings so you can choose what frequency will be affected by the filter.
Types Of Filters
- High Pass Filter: This is an electronic type of filter that lets signals higher than a specific frequency pass through the circuit while frequencies that are below the specified frequency are muted.
- Low Pass Filter: This is the exact opposite of the High Pass Filter, it works by allowing frequencies lower than the specified frequency to pass through its circuit while frequencies above the specified frequency are muted.
- Subsonic Filter: This type of filter mutes the extremely low frequencies that are out of the audible range, this, in turn, reduces the stress on both the amplifier and the speakers.
Adjustable Input Level
This is a function of an amplifier, and it allows you to either boost or cut the signal that is sent to the amplifier by the speaker or subwoofer. This allows you to dial in the input signal strength to your amplifier in order to help you reduce the distortion inside your unit.
Adjustable Output Level
This offers you control over the signal strength that is sent by the amplifier to the speakers. This ensures that your speakers are not overwhelmed and that the amplifiers are protected from overheating and distortion.
Due to the High-Resolution Audio ultra-wide frequency response, which is up to 100kHz, the majority of the standard amplifiers cannot reproduce all the audio. Most of these tones will never be heard on their own, but once they are combined with the original audio from a recording, the recording will become new, offering more ambiance and depth.
Speaker Level Inputs
It allows you to use the speaker outputs from your subwoofer to send signals to the amplifier. This can be extremely helpful when you don’t have line-level output (RCA) in your car’s receiver.
Digital Signal Processing DSP
Some manufacturers of amplifiers produce models that come with onboard DSP. This component provides you with the ability to fine-tune your amplifier to your vehicle’s means of adjusting the EQ, Phase, and Signal Delay so that you get the best sound out of your subwoofer.
WILL A MORE POWERFUL AMPLIFIER MAKE YOUR SUBWOOFER LOUDER?
A more powerful amplifier will provide your audio system with a larger headroom, which improves the audio’s sound quality. More power allows you to turn up the music before the amplifier begins to distort. But, if your speaker or subwoofer cant handle the extra power, they will distort. Using a more powerful amplifier and speakers that can handle the power, your speakers will definitely be louder.
Wiring specifications are recommended by manufacturers, especially when it comes to the thickness (gauge) and material of the wire used for their products. Using wiring of low quality or too thin will cause the amp to receive less power to perform at its best. This means the amplifiers performance will be limited.
This is when two channels are joined together in a configuration to form one channel. This process reduces the ohms load in half, causing it to provide more power to the speaker that the amplifier is connected to. This is commonly done to power subwoofers on a multi-channel amp. For instance, if you have a 4 channel amp, channels 1 and 2 will be used to power the right and left speakers, which channels 3 and 4 will be bridged to power a subwoofer. Keep in mind that not all amplifiers are able to bridge.
After going through the buyer’s guide, you should be well informed on the technicalities of subwoofer amplifiers and what they mean. If you’re still having trouble selecting a subwoofer amplifier, you don’t have to worry, as we will be providing you with a list of the best subwoofer amplifiers. Let’s dive into the list.
The Best Subwoofers Amplifiers Are Reviewed Below
Below is a list of the best subwoofer amplifiers; we have reviewed them and provided you with their specifications, key features, pros, and cons. Having this information will allow you to make an informed choice and select the best subwoofers amplifiers for your needs.
BOSS Audio Systems Riot 1100M Monoblock Car Amplifier
The first model on our list is from the brand Boss; they are well known for their best-selling car audio speaker designs available on the market.
The R110M is an amplifier with a single channel mono subwoofer model that was designed specifically for subwoofers. It has a high output that is able to deal with 1100 watts of optimum power at 2 Ohms of your sub-bass speaker.
The amplifier is also able to provide an alternative 550-watt peak power level at 4 Ohms which makes it a versatile option for your subwoofer. It is quite easy to install the class A/B subwoofer amplifier in your car, thanks to its simple design and layout. It features a bass boost button and a low pass frequency dial. You can fine-tune the bass a bit and make sure that no high-frequency notes are sent to your subwoofer in order to get maximum audio efficiency.
It has a sturdy and compact design. It benefits greatly from a MOSFET power supply that keeps it performing at an optimum rate for high-efficiency output. It is protected from shorting thanks to its circulatory adaptation and comes with a variable input level control which makes it ideal for your car.
- High-level inputs
- Low pass crossover
- Variable bass boost
- 3 year warranty
- Brand: BOSS Audio Systems
- Model: BOSS Riot 1100M Monoblock Car Amplifier
- Weight: 4.4 Pounds
- Dimensions: 9.13 * 10.44 * 2.25 inches
- Color: Black
- It features a low pass crossover filter
- It has one high and one low output channel
- It comes with a variable input control
- It is well built
- Easy to install
- It features a boost button
- Pay attention to the venting to prevent overheating
Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier
The Rockford Fosgate model we chose as our second option is the R500X1D Prime. It is a D class model that is quite affordable, and it has a compact design that has been well constructed and engineered to provide a peak RMS of 500 watts at 2 Ohms or an alternative of 300 watts at an impedance of 4 Ohms.
It is powered by MOSFET and comes with a durable cast aluminum heat sink to prevent overheating. This works together with its thermal sensing circuitry to offer over-current protection and short protection, keeping the amplifier at its most efficient.
Its flexibility between the signal channels allows it to satisfy a wide range of users. It comes with a control panel that is mounted at the top and enables you to set your low-end frequency from 50 to 250 Hz; it also allows you make adjustments to the input gain and switch the phase degree from 0 to 180. It also gets a lot of benefits from a 12 dB/octave Butterworth crossover.
This subwoofer amplifier comes with a remote bass control/punch level control, so you can always fine-tune your bass’s characteristics to whatever you want. One of the best features of this amplifier is that it mutes upon startup, so if you left the volume at the maximum level, you wouldn’t have to worry about blowing a speaker when powering up the amplifier. The connection used by this amplifier is 4 gauge and well-grounded. It is easy to install and made to last.
- Onboard 12dB/octave LP/HP/AP crossover
- Onboard punch EQ
- Infrasonic filter
- Cast aluminum heatsink
- Stealth top-mounted control panel
- Brand: Rockford Fosgate
- Model: Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime Amplifier
- Weight: 6 Pounds
- Dimensions: 8.5 * 6.7 * 1.9 inches
- Color: Black
- It comes with punch level control
- It features 2 to 4 Ohms options
- It is well designed and can serve up to 500 watts
- It is incredibly efficient
- It is compact
Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier
This product is a top-quality model with an affordable price tag. The GM-D8601 is a D class amplifier that performs better than some A/B types available on the market.
This subwoofer is able to produce 1600 watts of maximum power output over a 1 Ohm connection. This amplifier was recently updated with a new compact enclosure to make installation easier, and it has also gone through some circuitry overhauls for better optimization.
It comes with dual 40 amp ATO fuses that keep the amplifier safe from shorting out. It also has flexible connectivity. It allows you to connect your OEM unit directly to the amplifier thanks to the 8-inch speaker level inputs it features. It also comes with a 19-inch remote cable that has an RJ-25 plug at each end; this provided you with a lot of flexibility when it concerns mounting.
It comes with a wired Bass Boost remote that gives users the ability to use its variable bass control through its low pass filter that can adjust from 40Hz to 240 Hz. This allows you to fine-tune the low-end sound to your preference.
- Wired bass boost remote
- Variable bass control
- 40 amp ATO fuses
- 90 days limited warranty
- Brand: Pioneer
- Model: Pioneer GM-D8601 Amplifier
- Weight: 6.9 Pounds
- Dimensions: 11 * 13 * 5 inches
- It has a high output
- It comes with a variable bass boost
- It is a class D amplifier
- It features circuit protection
- It is well-engineered
- It offers flexible installation options
- It may have some crossover distortion
MRV-M500 - Alpine Monoblock RMS V Power Series Amplifier
The Alpine brand is a well-known brand, and this model of an amplifier can compete with the best of them. This amplifier has an affordable price point and has most of the features as other amplifiers on this list. It produces a peak RMS of 500-watt channel at 2 Ohms or an alternative 300 watts at an impedance of 4 Ohms.
Recently it was upgraded to a D-class model, so it now compromises of 40 percent smaller chassis. It has well-designed circuitry that gets rid of overheating and shorting. It comes with a new snap-on terminal cover to ensure installment is simple and easy.
This subwoofer amplifier comes with speaker-level inputs that do not need a remote cable because the amplifier has an in-built line output converter (LOC). It can automatically sense the voltage required to tailor itself respectively.
- Evolution to D class
- Current protection
- Snap-on terminal covers
- Brand: Alpine
- Model: MRV-M500 Alpine Monoblock Amplifier
- Weight: 5 Pounds
- Dimensions: 4 * 10 * 10 inches
- It is affordable
- It has been improved into a D class amplifier
- It is well made and compact
- It is versatile
- Some customers have complained about sound distortion
Rockville dB11 CEA RMS Mono Amplifier
The Rockville 4000 watt model provides your subwoofer with an amplifier that will create a real rumble. It is MOSFET powered and comes with a compact enclosure. It is a high performance model that offers up to 2000 watts over a single channel at 2 Ohms or 1200 RMS over 4 Ohms.
It is a well-made D class amplifier that has high-quality optical couplers. It comes with a fully IC-controlled protection circuitry that has an under-voltage protection that’s set at 10 volts while the overvoltage protection is set at 16 volts.
It is made with durable chassis and is CEA compliant, and has a rating of less than 1 percent distortion despite its high-powered nature. It comes with a completely adjustable 12dB/octave crossover, a low pass filter that ranges from 50 Hz to 250 Hz, a phase control switch, and a proprietary subsonic filter that can be adjusted between 15 Hz and 55 Hz.
This amplifier comes with a remote mounter subwoofer control that lets the user adjust the equalization to your preference. It also allows you to mute it, and it uses the brand’s Delay Soft Start System to avoid blowing the speakers, making it the best subwoofer amplifier for people who tend to leave the volume way too high. The package includes a well-detailed manual and all the accessories, including screws needed for a successful mounting.
- RMS power rating
- Peak power rating
- Fully adjustable 12dB/ octave crossover
- CEA compliant
- Differential circuitry
- Brand: Rockville
- Model: Rockville dB11 1400w Peak/350w Amplifier
- Weight: 4 Pounds
- Dimensions: 8.9 * 2 * 5.5 inches
- It comes with an adjustable crossover and subsonic filter
- It is efficient
- It has circuit protection and a delayed soft start system
- It is high powered
- It has a bass equalizer dashboard remote with a mute function
- Some customers received defective products
Buying Guide Questions
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions concerning subwoofer amplifiers; you may find answers to some questions that have been bugging you.
What amplifier is best for subwoofers?
There are different subwoofer amplifiers to choose from, but our top pick is the Riot 1100M model from BOSS. It offers you everything you need from a good quality amplifier.
What is the best amp for 2 12 subs?
The amp you need for 2 12 subs would be one with 1200 watts RMS. If you choose an amp that is under, the sound quality will suffer.
Which brand amplifier is best?
Different brands have their reputation as good amplifier manufacturers, but our top brand is BOSS AUDIO.
What hits harder 1 Ohm or 4 Ohm? What hits harder 2 Ohms or 4 Ohms?
When subjected to the same amount of power, a 1 Ohm speaker may short out, but a 4 Ohms speaker can take the load without issues.
2 Ohms subwoofers are louder than 4 Ohms subwoofers.
Is a class D amplifier better? Are class D amps good for subs?
The efficiency of class D amplifiers is better than that of class A/B, which makes them better overall.
Class D amplifiers can be used for subwoofers.
What amp do I need for 2 1000 watt subs?
The capability of the amplifier has to match that of the subwoofer. Go for an amp with headroom above the rated power of the subwoofer.
What kind of amplifier do I need for 2 subwoofers?
The amplifier you get depends on the subwoofer’s impedance as it has to match the impedance of the amplifier.
You cant use a subwoofer without the correct amplifier; your best option would be a mono block single channel. There are many models to choose from.finding the right amplifier for your subwoofer can be difficult if you’re not used to the technical wordings used. Still, our guide should be able to shed some light on the subject, so hopefully, it would be easier for you to find the best amplifier for your subwoofer.
We have gathered a list of the best options available to you, and they are able to meet a range of needs, so you could either select one from the list or use the list as a guide to find the amplifier you want.