music in the car
Posted By Eve Denehy
How to Choose a Car Audio Amplifier

Car audio amplifiers are the power that runs your speakers and subwoofers. If you don’t pick the right one, you will spend too much, and your car stereo could sound terrible. So how do you know you’re purchasing the right car audio amplifier for your car? Read on to find out.

How to Choose The Right Car Audio Amplifier

Choosing the best car audio amplifier for your vehicle’s stereo system is actually one of the biggest decisions you will make in the course of your life. All of your car sound will be traveling through your audio amplifier so you will want to ensure that you have purchased a high-quality amp that can produce enough power for all your speakers and make them play as loud as you want them to. It’s imperative to know that your car’s amplifier takes signals from your car’s head unit and makes them loud enough to power your speakers. So, if you’re looking to buy a car audio amplifier, the following are some of the things to consider.

The Right Number of Channels

When purchasing a car audio amplifier, it’s important to check how many channels it has as car audio amplifiers come with varying channels. The number of speakers you have in your car will determine how many channels you’ll need in an amplifier. As a rule of thumb, one channel is usually needed for each speaker you have, including the one in your car’s sound system subwoofer. However, if the amplifier has an even number of channels, it’s able to power an even number of speakers even the number of speakers is more than the number of the amplifier’s channels.

So as long as your car’s audio amplifier gives enough power for each of your speakers, you are good to go.

Too Much Power for Your Speakers

Regardless of the kind of speakers you’re working with, the amplifier you’ll choose must provide sufficient power to all speakers in your car audio system. Ideally, an amplifier must have the capability to provide about 75 – 150 percent of the total RMS value of all the speakers in your car audio system. So, because of this, it’s often said that it’s better to exceed the needed power for the speakers than to have too little. In fact, too little power to the speakers could blow up or fry them in a matter of minutes.

Moreover, it’s also recommended to select the speakers for your car’s audio unit and then use them as a benchmark for picking an amplifier. We recommend Caraudiologic’s research on 4 channel amps to make the right decisions on your car audio system.

Compatibility with Your Head Unit

In a car’s audio system, the head unit, also known as the stereo, multimedia player, or radio, connects to the amplifier which then connects to the speakers in your system. A factory head unit does not usually come with preamp outputs so means the amplifier you choose should have speaker level inputs. Conversely, a head unit with a preamp output requires an amplifier with a line level input. So, to avoid buying incompatible amplifiers, you must first find out whether your car’s head unit has a preamp output or not.

Need for an Extra Car Battery

If your car’s sound system demands at least 600 watts of the total RMS power, then your car’s starting battery should be upgraded if you don’t want to buy an additional battery. A sound system, at this level, can be very demanding in terms of power requirements. If you find that the bass is dropping and your car’s headlights are becoming dim, then you surely need an additional battery to keep up with your car’s energy demands.

Make Sure That The Amplifier is Covered by Manufacturer’s Warranty

In most cases, manufacturers only honor a warranty if the item was bought from an authorized dealer, and this is the case when it comes to car audio amplifiers. So, before choosing a certain amp, it’s good to verify the credentials of the seller. Buying a car audio amplifier from any seller may lack the guarantee that the amplifier is original or has the quality intended by its manufacturer. To check this, you can easily find all the authorized dealers online on the manufacturer’s website.

If you follow the above tips, you’ll be able to choose the right amplifier for your car sound system.