Best Car Amplifiers for Subwoofers- Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

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People love listening to music in their cars, whether it’s blues, country or hiphop. Subwoofers give music depth and richness, but just how exactly do you control the levels? This is where an amplifier comes in. They are used to increase the power of a signal from your stereo system. An amplifier also gives you the option of getting clear and defined channels in your car. The type of speaker is an important factor when considering what type of amplifier you need. Here we’ll look at the best type of amplifiers for your subwoofers. An amplifier is a key component to a great sound system, making their influx in the market, high which might intimidate any buyer.

Some people might see choosing an amplifier as an easy task of just going and picking any from a shelve, but there are some considerations to be made. There are several types of amplifiers that are designed for specific subwoofers, so you need to look at some specifics before purchasing one.

Things to consider when getting an amplifier

Number of channels

An amplifier can process a number of audio signals through several channels. One of the best amplifiers is the one that has a single channel. Even when you wire serval subwoofers to this amplifier with the single channel they will all receive the same mono frequency.

Amplifier power

Most users usually go for the highest power capacity in amplifiers while sacrificing the sound quality. However this should not be the case as you can get both great power and sound in one amplifier. Unlike other power measurements, the one in amplifiers is measured in Watts and Ohm with the frequency being measured in Hz. Manufacturers may offer some potentially misleading reports when it comes to amplifier power. Average power is generally more reliable than the exaggerated quotations on the products.

You need to match the RMS watts of the subwoofer with the RMS watts of the power amplifier. The RMS wattage represents the minimum and maximum power range an amplifier can stand. If the power amp has a wattage range, you want to ensure the minimum power is 75 percent of your subwoofer’s RMS watts and the maximum is 150 percent of the RMS watts

Impedance

This is the measure of electric resistance. In order to avoid overheating of your subwoofer and amplifier you need to match their impedance correctly. Matching impedance can be an easy task if you’re attaching one or two subwoofers. However it becomes trickier when attaching multiple subwoofers and devices with two input and two output connections.

Total harmonic distortion

This is a measure on how much effect the amplifier has on the sound output. This is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to sound. Distortion levels from the amplifier under one percent are fine and hardly distinguishable. An amplifier with a 10 percent THD would yield very poor quality sound at both high and low volume levels. Theres also signal-to-noise ratio which expresses the correlation between sound signal and background noise levels. Background noise is unwanted noise produced by the amplifier itself. This information can be found on the packaging of the amplifier or its manual.

Size and use of the amplifier

Amplifiers come in a variety of sizes and weights. You can find one that fits the space you want to put it. The size doesn’t dictate how well it functions, so don’t weigh your car down with an amplifier that’s too big. Good quality can come in small sizes in amplifiers.

How you plan to use the amplifier also counts. How many devices do you want to connect to it? What kind of sound will you play? Do you need more than one channel? All these questions determine the type and make of amplifier you need.

Class of amplifier

This has to do with harmonic distortion as it is connected to the output stage when distortion occurs. It has two sub stages: amplification of negative voltage signal and amplification of positive voltage signals. Ranging from class A where both sub stages are on at the same time making it highly efficient. Class B where when one sub stage is on the other is off with an efficiency of 50-75 percent. Class AB is a hybrid of sorts in which both sub stages are on at the same time but they alternate between high and low signals. Class D it’s input signal undergoes a conversion into a sequence of output pulses of higher voltage with a power efficiency of 90 percent.

Reviewing the five best amplifiers for subwoofers

Comparison table

NameDimensionsWattsOhms/ channelsClassBuy here
Hifonics Zeuz ELITE ZEX135012x10x2.4 inches13001 ohm, 1 channelDAmazon
Planet Audio TR4000Depth 15”x width 9.5”x height 2.1”40001 ohm, 1 channelDAmazon
Performance Teknique ICBM 77216.5×9.8×2.2 inches8002 channelsDAmazon
JL Audio slash series 120023x12x12inches12001-4ohmsDAmazon
BOSS AUDIO PV3700 PhantomDepth 17* width 10.3* height 2.3 inches37002/4 ohm, 5 channelsA/BAmazon
  1. Hifonics Zeuz ELITE ZEX1350

Hifonics Zeus Elite is a black amplifier that has a 1300 Watt Mono 1 ohm stable. As a Class D mono subwoofer car audio amplifier its features include: an onboard electronic crossover with angled and illuminated terminal and an added bass remote.

It consists of :

  • Simpatico coil design (SPC) Ultra-Fi Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • LED power (blue) and protect (red) indicators
  • Wired remote bass level control included
  • Variable Bass Boost (0 to +12 dB bass boost at 45 Hz
  • Soft start sound function
  • Mono channel operation
  • Preamp RCA outputs to daisy chain multiple amps
  • 4-Way System Protection circuitry (thermal, overload, DC, and speaker short protection)
  • Dual 12 gauge speaker terminals simplify hookup
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy vented heatsink for maximum heat dissipation
  • Silver nickel-plated RCA level inputs and screw terminals
  • Input sensitivity: Variable level: 200mV-6V

Pros

  • Long lasting even under heavy use
  • It gives off loads of power
  • Doesn’t overheat even in hot temperatures
  • It looks good
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Lights can be a bit too bright
  • Might go into protective mode if not well installed

It comes with great features and sustainability even under heavy use making it a good purchase. Its long lasting quality makes sure you don’t spend money buying another amplifier for a long time.

 

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  1. BOSS AUDIO PV3700

Boss Audio Phantom PV3700 enables you to enjoy clean and clear sounds. Its a Class A/B Full Range Amplifier. It has a 3700 Watts Max Power and MOSFET power supply making it an ideal amplifier for your entire audio system. This 5-Channel Amplifier can power 4 or more speakers plus your subwoofer(s). You can customize the sound with variable low and high pass crossover, bass boost and a remote subwoofer control. You can also bridge the channels for more power and flexibility. The Phantom Series offers eye-catching Multi LED Backlit Illumination and customization for an outstanding entertainment experience.

Additional features:

  • Low and High Level Inputs
  • Variable Filter
  • Variable Bass Boost
  • Red LED Backlit Illumination
  • Remote Subwoofer Control
  • 6 Year Platinum Dealer Warranty

Pros

  • Easy to install and use
  • Great sounding channels
  • Gives off great power
  • Reasonably priced
  • Nice build quality

Cons

  • Heats up quickly
  • Goes into protective mode and shuts down under heavy use

 

This amplifier gives clear and great sounds at a very reasonable price. Its long dealer warranty gives leeway for replacement and repair at no costs. You’re able to customize your beats and sounds depending on what you find fitting.

 

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  1. Planet audio TR4000

Planet Audio Torque TR4000 boosts the power behind your bass with efficiency. Its a Class D Monoblock Amplifier that has 4000 Watts Max Power and MOSFET power supply. This amplifier offers stable, powerful bass. You can customize the sound with variable low pass crossover, bass boost, subsonic filter and a switchable phase control. You can tweak the bass with the remote subwoofer control. Strap this amplifier to another TR4000.1D for double the performance of 8000 Watts @2-Ohms. Torque Amplifiers are built to last and designed for those who can’t resist cranking it up. Whatever your power and size need, there is a Torque Amplifier to fit the bill.

Additional features:

  • Strappable for 8000 Watts @2-Ohm Max Power
  • Low Level Inputs, RCA Pre Amp Outputs
  • Variable Low Pass Crossover, Bass Boost, Subsonic Filter and Switchable Phase Control
  • Remote Subwoofer Control, Chrome-Plated Connections
  • Illuminated Blue Planet Audio Logo, Power and Protection LEDs

Pros

  • Easy to tune
  • Offers clean sounds
  • Gives off great power
  • Amazing excursion
  • Audio badge lights up blue

Cons

  • Might draw a lot of power
  • Gets overheated quickly

It is an efficient amplifier at boosting your bass and giving clear tunes. Its gives off a lot of power enabling you to enjoy the full effects of your music. It can also be adjusted to accommodate more soothing notes of music.

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  1. JL Audio slash series 1200

This is a mono subwoofer amplifier with a 1,200 watts RMS x 1 at 1.5 to 4 ohms. It has a regulated, Intelligent Power Supply system with differential-balanced inputs. Its a Class-D amplifier design with a MOSFET power and output stages. It has an optional wired remote bass boost.

Features:

  • preamp and speaker-level inputs (speaker-level input requires an optional adapter)
  • preamp outputs
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads and a 100-amp fuse recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • no onboard fuses — when installing multiple amps in a system, an additional 100-amp in-line fuse between the distribution block and the amplifier is recommended
  • variable low-pass filter (40-200 Hz, 12 or 24 dB/octave)
  • parametric EQ bass boost (0-15 dB at 20-80 Hz)
  • variable infrasonic filter (15-60 Hz, 24 dB/octave) .

Pros

  • It has a wide ohm range
  • Produces an amazing bass
  • Has a great power output
  • Doesn’t overheat
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Its bigger and heavier compared to other amplifier
  • Some connecting parts are purchased separately

It accommodates a differential power output well while still enabling you to enjoy a great variety of sounds. With the right connectivity you’ll be getting a wide ohm range that will be flexible to your needs.

 

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  1. Performance Teknique ICBM 772

Performance Teknique is a Class A/B, 2-Channel car amplifier that has a RMS Power Rating of 4 ohms: 125 watts x 2 channels and 2 ohms: 175 watts x 2 channels. It has a Max power output of 3700 watts. It comes with a heavy duty aluminum alloy heatsink for extreme heat dissipation and a 4-gauge power and ground wiring is required for installation. Its 2 way system protection circuitry helps with thermal and short circuit protection.

Other features:

  • Double Sided PCB
  • Tri-Mode capability
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • Variable bass boost (0-18 dB)
  • Soft delayed power-on
  • 2/1 Channel operation
  • High and low level input through RCA that are gold-plated
  • Gold-plated screw terminals
  • Variable high-pass filter and low-pass filter
  • Input Sensitivity: 200mV to 6V Variable
  • Damping Factor: >180 @ 4 ohm
  • Low level Input Impedance: 47K Ohm
  • Frequency Response: 15-40,000 Hz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >95 dB
  • THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): 0.05%
  • Channel Separation: >30dB
  • 1-year Manufacturer’s warranty

Pros

  • Reasonable priced
  • Long lasting
  • Great power output
  • Offers two clear channels
  • Looks great

Cons

  • A bit bigger than other amplifiers
  • Might get overheated

Its good looking appearance compliments the interior of your car without looking too gaudy. It delivers a clear sounds and great power at a reasonable cost.

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Wrap Up

When buying an amplifier, its all about the power and sonic production balance. They should be suitable for the type of speakers they’ll be connected to. There are so many amplifiers available in the market that might suit your needs. Just because Hifonics topped this list means you can’t find others that work for you. Go out today and find your amplifier.

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About Author

Martin is a car and equipment enthusiast. Like many kids his age, he always liked cars since he was a kid and the passion stuck with him. These days, he lives out his passion on the blogosphere, giving others advice on handling equipment and car sound systems. He also enjoys teaming up with other enthusiasts and sharing the knowledge of car equipment with them, with the aim of fostering mutual appreciation. When he is not analyzing car sound systems or equipment, Martin is sampling tasty dishes in different places and exploring the world around him. He is an avid reader as well, and that energy translates well to the site.

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