11 BEST BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIERS
With a good amplifier, even if your factory speakers are not high-quality or don’t have much power behind them, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite music at a much higher sound level.
You may want to consider upgrading to an amplifier. An amplifier will increase the wattage, and provide a cleaner sound and louder volume.
A lot of people are not sure which is the best budget car amplifier for their needs, so we have done some research and found 11 products for this purpose that might work well for a variety of applications.
Also, we have discussed 52 factors to consider before buying the best budget amplifier car.
11 BEST BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIERS AT A GLANCE
1. Best cheap car amp-Rockville RVT-1 1000w 2 Channel Car Amplifier Stereo Amp
2. Best 4-channel amplifier under 100$-Autotek TA2050.2 TA Series 2 Channel Car Audio Amplifier (Black)
3. Best budget mono car amplifier-Harmony Audio HA-A400.1 Car Stereo Class D Amp
4. Best budget 4 channel amp - Rockville Krypton F1 1600w Peak / 400w RMS 4 Channel Amplifier
5. Best budget car amplifier 4 channel-KICKER CX400.1 400 Watt Class D Mono Amplifier
6. best budget sub amp-Planet Audio AC2400.4 4 Channel Car Amplifier
7. Best budget 2 channel car amplifier - Crunch PX-1000.2 2 Channel Amplifier + Wiring Kit
8. Best budget class d car amplifier- Hifonics ZXX-1200.1D Zeus Mono Channel Car Audio Amplifier (Silver)
9. Alpine MRV-F300 4-Channel Car Amplifier- Alpine MRV-F300 4-Channel Car Amplifier, 50 Watts RMS x 4
10. Best budget 5 channel car amplifier- BOSS Audio Systems PV3700 5 Channel Car Amplifier
11. Best powerful low budget car amplifier- Sound Storm EV5000D Car Amplifier
11 REVIEWS OF BEST BUDGET CAR AUDIO AMPLIFIER 2023
If you want to enjoy the music you listen to in the car, you need a great sound system. And if you want to enjoy your music with maximum clarity and volume, you need a quality amplifier. Now we’re going to take a look at 11 of the best budget car audio amplifier reviews on the market today.
1. ROCKVILLE RVT-1 – BEST CHEAP AMPLIFIER FOR CAR
The Rockville RVT-1 is a 2 channel car amplifier that delivers 1000 watts peak power @ 2 ohms, and 500 watts RMS power @ 4 ohms. The RVT-1 also features a fully adjustable high pass crossover with differential circuitry and a fully adjustable bass equalizer.
This amplifier is MOSFET based and has been designed for ease of installation. It also comes with all the connections you need to get your system up and running quickly, including speaker level inputs which allow you to connect this amplifier to almost any factory radio.
The power output of this compact amplifier is astounding for its size. The versatile 2/4 channel configuration allows you to run multiple speakers or components when used in conjunction with our Y-S splitter accessory (sold separately). If top of the line sound quality is what you are looking for in an amp, the RVT-1 delivers in a big way.
The amplifier circuitry is equipped with a differential circuit, which utilizes a pair of transistors that are configured to take out any distortions caused by electrical imbalances. With this method, your music will be played back the way it was recorded and heard in the studio…as if you were listening to the original CD.
The amplifier circuitry is capable of operating at a very low distortion threshold, something that other amplifiers often fail to do. The MOSFET power supply works especially well with bass frequencies as it helps to reduce system noise and allows for better sound quality without any background hiss or unwelcome pops and clicks.
This amplifier is equipped with a variable electronic equalizer, which allows you to adjust your system’s bass sound between +12dB and -12dB. The adjustable high pass filter makes this amplifier perfect for both full range speaker applications as well as component speaker systems.
- Very powerful for its size
- Good price/quality ratio
- High-pass crossovers with differential circuitry
- Bass eq with independent controls
- Not a lot of bass boost options available
2. AUTOTEK TA2050.2 – BEST 4-CHANNEL AMPLIFIER UNDER 100$
Autotek TA2050.2 Car Audio Amplifier is a Class A/B 2000 Watt, 2 Channel Amp with Marine Grade Protection that delivers powerful sound and bass boost. It has an easy installation design with tone control and class A/B channel options for your car audio system.
TA Series amplifiers are built for power; they can handle up to 2 ohm loads without breaking a sweat. The TA-2000.2 is the second smallest amplifier in the series, but don’t let the size fool you. It packs 2000 watts of real power and sounds into a small package for your car audio system.
The amplifier has efficient heat control that keeps the components cool even in the most demanding conditions and it comes equipped with patented Vector Shield protection to reduce interference from other electronic devices nearby.
- 2000 watts power
- Good design
- compact size
- Marine grade protection
- Big fan inside takes up some space
- Not recommendable for installing in tiny vehicles
Sample Customer Review:
“I love the way this amp fires my pioneer 5 way 6 x 9 s . I have tried many different budget amps, and this one is the one. Sound is clear and crisp and can be heard over the bass knock from subs. I highly recommend these amplifiers from Autotek I have both 2050.2 and 2050.1 class d.”
If you want to buy a car amplifier under 100$ then here is the guide: Best car amplifier under 100
3. HARMONY AUDIO HA-A400.1 – BEST BUDGET MONO CAR AMPLIFIER
Harmony Audio HA-A400.1 Car Stereo Class D Amp, 800 Watt Subwoofer Amplifier – 1 Ohm Stable – Includes Bass Remote. Includes Speaker Wire to RCA Adapter to Connect to an OEM Factory RadHarmony Audio’s HA-A400.1 is a mono subwoofer amplifier that can be used for amplifying a single or dual voice coil subwoofers and features a high level of power (800 watts) and low level of distortion (0.06%).
This amplifier is sturdy enough for frequent use and can be easily programmable from a remote controller. It has a frequency range of 20 Hz to 200 Hz (-10 dB) and a signal-to-noise ratio of 80 dBA. This product is able to effectively protect your speakers from damage due to voltage surges, high temperatures, short circuits, etc.
For additional protection, it has a 12 V trigger, thermal overload protection, and over/under voltage shutdown. This is the perfect amplifier for anyone that enjoys deep bass in their vehicle.
This is a great choice if you want bass but don’t want to alter your factory radio or replace it entirely. It is fairly easy to install if you have a little knowledge of electrical work. If not, you can always hire a professional and still be confident in the quality and output of this amp.
- Thermal overload protection
- Low distortion
- It’s very powerful
- Power and gain are adjustable on the amp itself
- Very affordable for the power and features it provides
- Doesn’t include speaker wire or RCA to connect your OEM radio, but does come with the required wiring harness
Sample Customer Review:
“I am using this to drive a subwoofer in my Travel Trailer. I have tried it into 2 ohms, 4 ohms, 8 ohms and also into an oddball that burned up its amplifier that measures 29 ohms. That amp just powers through. I have to put the gain way down or it would make the 15 inch sub destroy my trailer.
Only about 10 hours on it so no real look at long term yet. So far I am not really stressing it at all so I think it will last as long as I do. It could be improved with some additional markings on the settings dials to at least indicate approximately where various frequencies are. You have to think in logrythmic to make guesses. I will have to dial in settings once I have the whole HT done.”
Also Read: 7 Signs of a bad car amplifier-Guide
4. ROCKVILLE KRYPTON F1 – BEST BUDGET 4 CHANNEL AMP
The Rockville Krypton F1 1600w Peak / 400w RMS, the best budget 4 channel car amplifier with Adjustable Bass EQ is a great amp for a beginner or even a professional. This amp is extremely powerful and can handle any speaker that you throw at it with ease. It has multiple channels, an adjustable bass equalizer, and a subsonic filter to help eliminate unwanted noise from your speakers.
The Amp is perfect for your car audio system because it can be set to fit your needs and provides great sound and power without breaking the bank.
This Amplifier is the most powerful car audio amplifier on the market. This amp can be used for multiple purposes, such as powering a subwoofer or two, powering four speakers in one door, or powering eight speakers in two doors.
The power of this amp makes it perfect for any type of speaker setup you may have. It has separate Pre-Outs which allow you to easily hook up an external amplifier or subwoofer.
This amp includes a remote bass knob to control the bass from anywhere in your car. There are also 32 Bit digital signal processors, which means that the sound quality is outstanding!
The built-in crossovers can be set at different frequencies for each speaker. The Rockville F1 Car Audio Amplifier also has a cable that is used to plug into your CD player. This allows the car amplifier to turn on and off with your stereo, so it turns on every time you get in your car!
- Great Sound Quality
- Easy Installation
- The bass knob can be difficult to adjust while driving
Sample Customer Review:
“Amp showed up early…. very well built pushes my kicker 12 inch subwoffers to the absolute limit.”
5. KICKER CX400.1 400 – BEST BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIER 4 CHANNEL
The Kicker CX400.1 400 Watt 4-Channel Class D Mono Amplifier is the perfect amp for your car stereo speakers, and it’s 1 ohm stable, giving you even more power and wiring options for your system. A powerful 12 dB crossover and 24 dB subsonic filter are included, letting you quickly tune your system to perfection.
Use the full-range outputs to expand your system with other bass amps, or a full-range amp to complete your system. CX.1 Amplifiers accept up to 40 volts of speaker-level input signal. They also feature a Bass Remote, giving you full command at the touch of a button.
With an all-discrete internal construction and carefully tuned control features, Kicker bass amplification is designed to make your system sound the absolute best.
- You don’t need a converter in order to run the radio off your factory stereo.
- This is useful because you do not need to use a remote to turn on
- Small and compact
- Also keep in mind that the knob is not included
Sample Customer Review:
“The sound quality is great. It does exactly everything I need it to do. Pairs perfectly with my 12” Kicker downfiring passive radiator."
6. PLANET AUDIO AC2400.4 – BEST BUDGET AMPLIFIER FOR CAR SUBWOOFER
There are a lot of amps that are suitable for small cars and this amp is one of them. The Planet audio amp delivers 2400 watts of power, making it the perfect choice for high-performance vehicles and systems with multiple amplifiers. The Class A/B, 2-4 ohm stable design is engineered to drive any subwoofer and speaker combination to its full potential without clipping or distortion.
This amplifier features a variable low pass filter (50-200 Hz) with 12dB per octave slope as well as a variable bass boost (0-18 dB) which can be applied simultaneously or independently from the low pass filter. Frequency response is variable from 20-200 Hz for both the low pass and bass boost filters.
The AC2400.4 also offers protective circuitry that ensures that your valuable equipment will be safe from shorting, overloads, and overtemperature without shutting down the music when its amplifier gets too hot.
The ultra secure cover with quick release clip ensures your amplifier stays safely in place while allowing quick and easy access.
- Variable bass boost
- Nice clean sounding
- Suitable for off road
- Not suitable for small car
Sample Customer Review:
“Got this amp hooked to 4 kicker 12s on 2 channels and 8 6 inch highs on the other 2 channels. Lows right over half level highs under half level, not competition loud but definitely amazing sound!”
7. CRUNCH PX-1000.2 – BEST BUDGET 2 CHANNEL CAR AMPLIFIER
The Crunch PX-1000.2 is a 1000 Watt 2 Channel A/B Car Stereo Amplifier with Wiring Kit. This amplifier has high quality circuit and hardware designs along with exclusive technologies to improve sound quality and minimize distortion.
The Crunch POWEREX incorporates full Class A/B technology in stereo and 4 channel amplifiers along with Class D in the mono, which offers you unprecedented power output at an affordable price.
You can expect this amp to deliver plenty of clean power to your speakers while maintaining audio fidelity through its advanced circuitry design that works to provide a natural and dynamic sound.
New Class D technology has allowed Crunch to create amplifiers that deliver more power with less current draw from the vehicle’s electrical system.
This results in increased efficiency, cooler operating temperatures, and amazing power output! Add to all this an impressive Peakx Plus™ overload protection system and you have an amplifier that will last for years to come.
The Crunch PX-1000.2 is one of today’s most powerful and technologically advanced amplifiers available in the car audio industry.
- Plenty of power to your speakers
- Mount up nice, easy, and looks great
- This speaker has a loud and clear sound, and it has great bass
- Quality circuit and hardware design including the parts in the wiring kit
- Exclusive technologies improve sound quality and minimize distortion
- Heavy and bulky, not really meant to be mounted anywhere in the vehicle
Sample Customer Review:
“It was normal to setup. I am just running one 12in sony xplode. It sounds good. I dont have a lot of power running to the sub because it’s in a single cab truck. I saved some money because it came with the installation kit. All high quality stuff.”
8. HIFONICS ZEUS ZXX-1200.1D – BEST BUDGET CLASS D CAR AMPLIFIER
Hifonics ZXX Series amplifiers are designed for the modern car audio enthusiast. The Hifonics Zeus ZXX-1200.1D is a high quality, low impedance mono amplifier that can be used in numerous applications.
This 1200 Watt Class D Mono Amplifier features an aluminum heat sink with variable electronic crossover, illuminated logo, and bass remote control included, and is 1 ohm stable.
The amplifier’s variable electronic crossover allows you to select the frequency range of your speakers with switchable high passe and low pass. This amplifier is also equipped with a variable bass boost that allows you to tailor the low frequencies of your system with your Hifonics Zeus amp’s gain, frequency, and Q settings. (0-18dB adjustable.
The control panel features LED indicators for status of power, thermal protection, speaker terminals shorted or open circuits, and protection. The 3rd LED will light when the remote bass control is activated. All of this in a stylish black aluminum chassis with brushed gold accents, an illuminated logo, and blue power indicators make this amplifier both stylish and impressive.
The Hifonics Zeus ZXX-1200.1D Class D Mono Amplifier is perfect for powering subwoofers and systems with 50 watts RMS per channel at 4 ohms. This is the ultimate class D amp for powerful bass!
- No, overheat issues
- Good sound quality and lots of power
- Deep bass and it’s not too expensive
- Factory settings on crossover set pretty high but that’s no big deal
Sample Customer Review:
“I’ve had two of these amplifiers now and they’ve both worked great. I’ve got a stock alt and 1/0 wiring from Skar audio so it’s probably not getting the best voltage at all times but it does good for what it’s getting.
Wired everything up in one night and had two kicker comp R’s in a kicker box and blew them that night (used the remote bass knob in the kit and was trying to push the kickers too hard) but at least I know this amp can push some good power! Overall a great buy!”
9. ALPINE MRV-F300 – BEST BUDGET CAR SUBWOOFER AMPLIFIER
Alpine MRV-F300 4-Channel Car Amplifier, 50 Watts RMS x 4 Alpine’s new high power, low profile MRV-F300 amplifier is a great choice for a variety of applications. Its compact design makes it ideal for tight spaces and its 75W x 4 output gives you plenty of power to drive the speakers in your vehicle.
The MRV-F300 is built with evolution to a class D digital platform that delivers excellent sound quality and high efficiency. It also features a variable bass boost (0 to +18dB) for improved sound performance in your car.
The amp also works well with a variety of speakers and provides a separate 2-volt pre-amp output for powering a subwoofer amplifier. It includes a wired remote bass level control for easy access from the driver’s seat.
- Sounds are bright and clear
- The compact size makes installation a breeze
- Sleek design
- High efficiency (90% class D)
- No large digital display
Sample Customer Review:
“I use these MRV amps in my boat. Very efficient power supplies. Good clean power. Not as much heat exchange. I always measure my amperage usage and voltages when I go key off. All 4 of these amps in my boat run cooler than my previous Rockford power. I am using less dc power to achieve my volumes now!”
10. BOSSS PV3700 – BEST BUDGET 5 CHANNEL CAR AMPLIFIER
The newest addition to the Phantom series, the PV3700 is a high-current, high-power 5 channel amplifier with 2200 watts of RMS power at 4 ohms and 3700 watts of RMS power at 2 ohms. The PV3700 is equipped with a Mosfet power supply for maximum efficiency and reliability.
The new Phantom features an updated look with black powder coated aluminum top cover, brushed aluminum faceplate, and gold binding posts. A new feature on this amp is variable gain control which allows you to adjust the input sensitivity from 200mV up to 11V.
Like previous models, the amplifier is equipped with a variable low pass filter (50-200 Hz) and subsonic filter (.5-60 Hz).
The Phantom series has become increasingly popular due to its small footprint and versatile installation options. The new PV3700 offers even more flexibility to fit into tight spaces while still offering the maximum amount of power and sound quality.
A great place to use this amplifier is in a sealed enclosure with 4-6 subwoofers that require up to 3200 watts of total power (1 channel per sub). This amplifier can be configured as a class H or B amplifier if desired, but it will operate as an A/B class amplifier by default.
The internal wiring on this amp can be upgraded to 4 gauge wire and you can also use a remote bass knob with the preamp outputs. A great way to set this set up is with a single 4 ohm DVC subwoofer wired for 2 ohms with an external 250-500 watt mono amplifier powering the other 3 to 4 subwoofers in a sealed box.
A great option for this amplifier is using an HDC series class D mono amplifier at 1 ohm to power one of the Phantom’s channels and a ZX-Series MOSFET amplifier at 4 ohms bridged to power the other channel.
- Great sound quality
- Difficult to install
- Black powder coated aluminum top cover
- Variable gain control circuit for easy installation and amplifier setup
- No mounting screws included
Sample Customer Review:
“Easy install! Great sound and quality. Well worth the money. Paired it with a boss stereo and speakers and everything sounds great!”
11. SSL EV5000D - BEST POWERFUL LOW BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIER
The EV5000D is the perfect amplifier for those who wish to have a high level of quality sound in their car. The amplifier has been designed to be compact and lightweight, making it easy to install. It also comes with a remote subwoofer control which means that you can control your bass from the driver’s seat.
With 5000 watts max power, this Class D Monoblock is able to provide excellent sound quality and volume levels. It features a MOSFET power supply meaning that there is no need for an external heat sink as well as a variable low-pass filter which means that you can control the output of the amplifier.
The installation of this MOSFET power supply ensures that there is minimal heat emission and it uses 1 Ohm stable impedance meaning that you never have to worry about blowing it up due to using incompatible speakers. This also comes with RCA input so no need to buy an adapter as it is included in the package.
This amp is also able to perform well with both 12 and 24 volt vehicles meaning that it can be used on both stock and aftermarket stereos easily. It comes with a 2 Ohm monostable which means that installing this amplifier will give you high quality sound without having to worry about your car’s electrical system or whether you will blow up your amplifier or not.
The design of this amplifier also means that it has a compact size which makes it easy to hook up and install. The input sensitivity is adjustable so you can adjust the volume levels accordingly.
It features a variable low pass filter so that you can easily control the way that your bass is outputted and it can be adjusted from 50 to 250 Hz.
The variable frequency of the subsonic filter is 15 Hz and the built-in MOSFET power supply ensures minimal heat emission due to the design of the circuit layout.
This also comes with remote signal sensing so that you can control your amplifier without having to reach inside of your car. It also features a variable bass boost at 45 Hz and the subsonic filter comes with a 24 dB/octave slope.
The speaker level inputs on this amplifier allow you to connect your OEM unit and it is compatible with both 4-8 Ohm speakers as well as 2 Ohm stable which makes it universally compatible with almost every car, truck or SUV that you can think of.
This amplifier also features a compact size design which means that it is easy to install and hook up in your vehicle without having to worry about space issues or not being able to run your cables easily.
This amp provides power at 1 Ohm for outstanding performance even when your vehicle is in a stock configuration. This amplifier is also able to perform well with a wide range of speaker impedance which means that it will work even when you change the speakers in your car.
The design of this amp means that it can be installed easily and does not produce much heat due to its low voltage MOSFET power supply. It also provides low distortion levels in the sound which means that you get to enjoy clean, crisp, and clear bass in your car without having to worry about distortion or any noise playing with the music.
The input sensitivity of this amplifier is adjustable so you can control the volume level accordingly.
- Never goes into protection
- AGM battery with a small cap
- Easy to install
- Comes with remote bass control + RCA input
- Performs well on low impedance speakers
- Has adjustable gain control
- Variable low pass filter
- Little bit expensive
Sample Customer Review:
Awesome amp for the price. It has plenty of power, I have two 12 inch kicker cvxs and a dhd audio 12. I had them hooked up at 4 ohms because I looked at the wrong wiring diagram, so when I fixed my wiring and put them at 1 ohm I blew the dhd audio sub instantly my fault because I forgot to turn the amp levels down.
I plan on buying another and I am very happy with my purchase, it was cheap and arrived a day earlier that than the arrival date. So overall I am very pleased with my purchase!
HOW TO IND THE BEST BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIER? COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE:
This guide is from basics to advance factors, if you have any confusion to consider all factors then no issue, just remember the most important points according to your requirements.
1. PURPOSE TO BUY
It is important to consider the purpose to buy a car amplifier before purchasing one. For example, if you need better sound quality from MP3s and want the sound system to be loud enough for a party of 5-6 people in a small room, then it makes sense to purchase low watts budget car amp.
However, if you need to listen to loud music for a group of 10-12 people in a large room, then purchasing high wattage budget car amps is the best choice. You can also consider power subwoofers or satellite speakers with the amp. Power subwoofers are an alternative to buying just an amplifier for better sound quality.
2. SOUND QUALITY
The sound quality of the best budget car amps is excellent due to well-designed circuitry and better grade components. They produce crystal clear sound even at high volume levels. The bass response is fantastic with excellent clarity and detail.
These amps are able to handle maximum power without any distortion or damage to the audio system. A budget car amplifier with strong and flat bass and high frequency will be suitable for music lovers.
3. NO. OF CHANNELS
If you want to connect 2-3 speakers and a subwoofer, then the best budget car amp is offering 4 channels. If you need more sound sources like 3 pairs of headphones, an FM radio tuner, and iPod control, then go for 5 or 7 channel amplifiers.
4. CLASS A/B VS CLASS D AMPS
The amp type you choose for your amplifier should be based on the overall quality of music that you desire. Class A/B is used in most car amps because it has a high dynamic range and better sound quality.
Class D amps are used in budget car amps because it dissipates less power than A/B models. Class D is also more efficient than the class A/B amplifier and that’s why they drain out less battery power when running.
5. IDENTIFYING THE CHANNELS OF CAR AMPLIFIER
1. Mono or single channel amplifier: the mono amplifier is the simplest form of car amplifier. The output power of each channel in a mono amplifier is equal to 1/N, where N stands for number of the channels.
2. 2 channel or two-channel amplifiers: In a two channel amp, each channel’s output power ranges from 1/2 to 2 times of the power in the mono amplifier. For two channel amplifier, each channel’s output power is equal, and they share a common ground wire (if there are more than two channels).
3. Multichannel amplifiers: There are four types of multichannel car amplifiers; 4-channel, 5-channel, 6-channel, and 7-channel amplifiers.
4. channel amp: each channel in a 4-channel amplifier can have an output power from 1/4 to 2 times the power in a mono amp. In a multichannel car amplifier, a common wire is used for sharing between two channels at a time. If there is a left and right channel in a two-channel amplifier, there will be 4 channels in a four-channel amplifier.
5. channel amp: each channel in a 5-channel car amplifier can have an output power from 1/2 to 2 times the power in a mono amp. In such multichannel car amplifiers, there is no common ground wire among all channels.
6. channel amp: each channel in a 6-channel amplifier can have an output power from 1/4 to 2 times the power in a mono amp. If there are left, right and rear speakers in a three-channel amplifier, there will be 6 channels in a six-channel car amplifier.
7. channel amp: each channel in a 7-channel amplifier can have an output power from 1/2 to 2 times the power in a mono amp. In such multichannel car amplifiers, there is no common ground wire among all channels.
COMPACT DESIGN: Compact design is a very useful feature if you want to install your best budget car amp in a small space. You can choose from a variety of compact mini amps that have low power ratings and dimensions that match the interior of your vehicle. These best budget car amps also support low impedance subwoofers and high power speakers.
The next thing to consider is how many speakers you have and what size they are. Speakers that have a higher power rating produce better sound but require more amplification which means that buying a few good ones can be expensive compared to buying cheaper 4 or 6-inch speakers that will not give the same quality of sound.
7. SPACE AVAILABILITY IN CAR
If your car doesn’t have the space for an amp under the seat or behind the headrest, then there are several slim-line models that will fit into tight spaces while still providing plenty of power to your speakers.
Price is the first thing I would consider before buying a budget car amplifier. If you know that a friend or a family member has an old one lying around then ask them if want to sell it since they could be very cheap and in about the same shape as new ones.
If you do not have any luck there then check out online stores that offer a wide variety of products and models with a large inventory that is constantly changing.
9. STEREO HEAD UNIT
Another consideration when buying a budget car amplifier is your stereo head unit. The type of stereo system you have determines the type of amps needed in order to get the perfect sound quality for certain areas such as speakers, subs, or even tape decks.
For example, if you have a 2-Channel amp then this is needed for just speakers since it has to be used with either one or two small speaker set-ups. If your stereo system only has 1 RCA preamp output then it means that in order to get sound quality in aux inputs you have to have an external amplifier that comes with the line out.
10. BRIDGING ABILITY
You should consider Bridging ability before buying the best budget car amplifier. You may not know what audio bridging means but this feature allows for an amp to power up multiple speakers in different zones which will allow you to have much more control over your sound system.
Related Article: 11 Best budget mono car amplifiers
11. PROTECTION CIRCUITS:
The circuit overheats, power overload and speaker short circuits are the most common protection circuit in budget car amps. Better quality budget car amps have these protections to protect your valuable system from damage due to voltage fluctuations or electrical problems.
12. MOSFET TRANSISTORS
Better quality budget car amps have MOSFET transistors for better sound quality. These transistors are more powerful and efficient than ordinary transistor units. You can expect a better bass response even at high power levels without overheating.
13. BUILT-IN CROSSOVERS
Crossovers filter out high and low frequency sounds from speakers. They help to prevent your amplifier from overloading due to too many bass signals. Manufacturers have included built-in crossovers with better quality budget car amps for smooth sound distribution at all volume levels without distortion.
These built-in crossovers help you to protect your speakers from damage due to overloading. The adjustable crossover frequency features are useful to set the subwoofer cut-off point without affecting mid-bass.
The power ratings of the best budget car amp should be considered while purchasing one. The wattage of the amp is divided into low and high pass filters, subsonic filters, and type of amplification (class A/B vs class D).
15. POWER RATING
Power rating indicates the amount of power the best budget car amps can handle without getting damaged or overheating due to load fluctuations and high volume levels. Higher sound output requires a higher power rating for better performance. It is important to look for an amplifier with rated power that matches your speakers and the acoustic space of your car.
16. LOW AND HIGH PASS FILTERS
The low pass filter for a subwoofer is used to cut the lower frequency signals coming from full range speakers. On the other hand, the high pass filter of the best budget car amp cuts out all bass and low frequency signals sent to tweeters (treble).
17. SUBSONIC FILTER
This filter is used to protect the speakers from high bass notes. If you play music with deep and powerful bass, then it may damage your speaker cones because of too much sound pressure. You can prevent this by adding a subsonic filter to the amplifier circuit.
18. AMPLIFIER WIRING
Wiring your amplifier to car speakers is not difficult. If you are able to connect the components of a home stereo system, then it shouldn’t be a problem for you. It may vary from model to model and some models have 3 channels while some have 4 channels. The manufacturer’s guidebook will be helpful for you to wire the amp to speakers and subwoofers.
19. WIRING HARNESSES
Wiring harnesses are a great feature that allows you to plug and play with some best budget car amps. They have color coded connectors for better compatibility and easy installation. They also allow you to remove any unused inputs if not needed. These wiring harnesses make the installation process as easy as possible.
20. DRIVERS OF A BUDGET CAR AMP
The driver is a small circuit board that takes the input from the pre-amp and boosts it along with power amplification before sending it to the speaker. Get an amplifier with at least 12 dB/octave, which will provide you with excellent low frequency response for music clarity.
21. NOISE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIER
The lowest noise specifications amplifier will help you to play good quality music without raising the volume too high. If you want better sound even at low system volumes, then go for a budget car amp with lower THD+N ratio.
22. NOISE SUPPRESSION TECHNOLOGY
Noise suppression technology is useful to suppress the audio signal even at high current levels. It allows you to play your audio system at full power without overloading or damaging it due to voltage fluctuations or electrical problems. You can use this feature with subwoofers to get a punchy sound.
23. NOISE ISOLATION SYSTEM
If your budget car amp has a noise isolation system, it will filter out background noise for better sound quality. The output power of the amplifier won’t be affected even if there is any noise in an electrical system. It also helps to prevent alternator whine and light dimming.
24. DISTORTION IN CAR AMPLIFIER
For better sound quality, you should avoid budget car amps with high distortion. The distortion rating of the amplifier should be less than 1%.
25. COMPONENTS OF AMPLIFIER
A good budget car amp has a durable circuit, sturdy wires, and an aluminum heatsink. There are many models of the best budget car amps with low noise specifications from lead free RoHS compliant components. The weight of the amplifier should be less than 10 lbs or 4 kg. It will help to install it easily.
26. BUNDLED ACCESSORIES
A best budget car amp comes with good quality RCA cords, remote control, and a warranty. Better installation accessories will help you to set up the system easily. If there are fewer accessories in the package, then you can purchase them at a reasonable price from outside stores.
27. FUSE RATING
You have to buy the best budget car amp, considering the fuse rating of your car. The Fuse Rating should be within10-15% higher than the battery charging system in your vehicle.
Always check the current ratings of factory installed accessories and replace them if necessary before purchasing an amplifier. This will help you to avoid blowing fuses frequently.
28. SPEAKER LEVEL VS LINE LEVEL
Speaker level inputs mean that the amplifier is compatible with factory normal, premium, and base model speakers. These amps can be installed easily without removing factory audio system. While Line level means that the amp is compatible with aftermarket head units only. They have special outputs for line level signal connection to the amplifier.
29. GRAPHIC EQ
If you want a budget car amp with pre-amp out signal for adding a subwoofer in the future, then buy an amp that supports Graphic EQ control. A few models of budget car amps have this feature to enhance sound quality and increase volume along with adjustable crossover frequency. They are good for those who have factory speakers and want to add a subwoofer for deep bass without changing the head unit.
30. INPUT ATTENUATION
In input attenuation, you can control the amount of output voltage from the amplifier so that it doesn’t overdrive your car speakers. The better quality budget car amps come with 4-6 dB of input attenuation to avoid sound distortion at high volume levels.
31. TUNER OUTPUT
If your unit is compatible with an FM tuner, you should buy an amp with tuner output. This will help you to connect the subwoofer amplifier directly to the head unit via speaker level inputs without cutting any wire. It will also help you to play the sound on both speakers and subwoofers.
32. DAMPING RESISTORS:
Budget car amps have a special resistor connected to the output terminals to limit speakers from over-excursion. They also provide thermal protection to the speakers. Better quality budget car amps have this feature for clean bass sound at high volume levels.
33. PREMIUM COMPONENTS
Better quality budget car amps include premium components like large transformers, extra-thick circuit boards, and oversized power supplies for better performance. These features make the amplifier robust and reduce possible damage due to voltage fluctuations or electrical problems.
34. PREMIUM RCA CONNECTORS
Better quality budget car amps have premium connectors with high durability for better reliability and long life. The low impedance design of these connectors reduces wear and tear due to heavy current flow. They can sustain high signal levels without any distortion.
35. BETTER GRADE COMPONENTS
Better quality budget car amps include better grade components like top of the line resistors, polypropylene capacitors, and more powerful magnets for a clean sound. They also have oversized heatsinks for better thermal management and maximum power transfer from the audio system.
36. PREAMP OUTPUTS
Preamp outputs are useful to send an audio signal from the amplifier to a subwoofer or another amplifier for better sound quality at all volume levels. Preamp outputs have low impedance and can handle maximum current with minimum distortion, which is very good for long term reliability.
37. TOP MOUNTED CONTROLS
Top mounted controls are easy to access in some best budget car amps. They are made using high quality materials for a better life and lower power consumption due to less contact resistance.
These controls include bass boost knobs, signal inputs, crossover frequency knobs, preamp outputs, and more that you can access on the top face of the amplifier.
38. BASS BOOST
The frequency of Bass Boost is variable and adjustable in some best budget car amps. This feature will help you to increase the output power at maximum audio levels without overheating or damaging your audio system. You can adjust it with an RCA-type bass knob or remote control.
39. BASS BOOST CONTROL KNOB
A bass boost control knob is a good feature that allows you to enhance the sound quality at all volume levels. This knob has a central frequency offset and varies from 0-18 dB in many best budget car amps. It starts to work when the volume level reaches 40 Hz. You can use this feature in low bass notes to get a punchy sound.
40. SPLIT LOAD FEATURE
This feature allows you to connect multiple amplifiers in parallel with your car stereo amplifier. It gives you the option to link your audio system components like subwoofers, tweeters or mid-bass drivers easily without any difficulty. This feature allows you to upgrade your bass system with ease.
41. AMPLIFIER GAIN CONTROL
Amplifier gain control is another useful feature that adjusts the input signal for compatibility with the output stages of the amplifier. Gain controls are generally used to match low level signals from factory car systems, head units, and other components. They allow you to maximize sound quality with balanced sound levels.
42. CHASSIS MOUNTED
Chassis mounted car amps offer better vibration and resonance control than normal amplifiers. They use thicker and more rigid metal enclosures to reduce noise, which is good for your overall audio system performance. Thicker materials can handle more power without getting damaged or distorting the audio signal.
43. STANDARD RCA INPUTS
A Standard RCA input is an analog audio input that carries a single channel signal from your car stereo system, MP3 player, or any other device to the amplifier. They use low level speaker wires because they have lower power ratings and lesser current handling capacity. Standard RCA inputs can be used to connect a subwoofer or low power speakers to the best budget car amps.
44. SIGNAL SENSE
A signal sense feature in some best budget car amps automatically detects incoming audio signals when the amplifier is turned off, so that it can start playing music when you turn on the car stereo. This is a very useful feature for people who are looking to save battery life in their vehicles.
Passive and active inputs on some best budget car amps may be used interchangeably. Passive inputs are usually found in the front end of the amplifier for speaker level signals, while active inputs are placed closer to the power source for high current audio components. These features help you achieve better sound quality with a more powerful system.
46. BEEP SIGNAL WHEN IT’S WORKING, ETC.
Last but not least, be sure to carefully review anything that can give you extra signs of quality such as an indicator light that tells you when the amp is working, a protective cover to prevent the amp from overheating, and any other special features that can help you to protect your investment.
The conclusion is pretty simple: if you stick to a budget then it’s unlikely that you will find premium quality car amps for cheap but there are decent models out there. The key is to do your research so you can avoid buying low-quality models that are not economical in the long term.
47. ELECTRICAL ASSOCIATIONS AND CONNECTIONS
One of the most important things to consider before buying a budget car amplifier is the weather and climate you will be in because this determines if you need an amp with speaker level inputs or RCA pre-outs. Another consideration when buying cheap car amps is the warranty length and customer support quality that comes with it.
48. SPEAKER SET-UP
It is also a very important factor to consider when purchasing a car amplifier is the speaker configuration. A 2-channel amp can power two speakers, while a 4-channel amp draws from four speakers.
Some models have high and low settings for the channels if you don’t want to use them all, or a switch that changes how the channels work.
49. MANUFACTURER SPECS
The Next thing you should consider before buying the best budget car amplifier is its manufacturer specs. Always check if an amp has a CEA-2006 certification since this means that the manufacturer will have to provide more accurate and realistic ratings for power and size in order to be allowed to put these numbers on their product packaging.
50. CEA-2006 SPECIFICATIONS
CEA-2006 standards are set by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) which is “a not-for-profit, international trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers.” They used to allow companies to exaggerate their claims about the power of car amplifiers but now all specifications must be accurate.
51. REVIEWS AND RATINGS
It is always a good idea to read customer reviews to see what experiences others have had with a product before making a purchase. Reviewers will often list the pros and cons of an item, as well as any features that stood out or failed completely. You can also find expert reviews online from reliable sources that can help you make a decision.
52. WARRANTY LENGTH AND CUSTOMER SUPPORT QUALITY
The next thing to consider before buying the best budget car amplifier is its warranty length and customer support quality. Even if you find the cheapest model out there it can be more worth it to spend a little bit more if the manufacturer is well known for its great customer service in case there are any problems with your amplifier.
WHAT IS THE BEST CAR AMPLIFIER FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE?
The most efficient car amplifier available today is the Class D amplifier. These amplifiers are able to achieve an efficiency rating of 95%, meaning they don’t produce much heat and don’t require cooling.
WHAT TO ANTICIPATE WHILE SHOPPING WITH A LIMITED BUDGET?
When you’re shopping for a budget amplifier, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. You should be aware that the least expensive amps are not going to be as good as the more expensive ones.
However, you can still expect good quality and performance from a budget amp that has the features you need and sufficient power, as long as it has good buyer reviews.
It’s important to remember that many buyers have unrealistic expectations of budget amps and leave negative reviews, so it’s always a good idea to read more reviews and look for patterns before making a decision.
Also, budget amps often use “peak” power ratings for sales purposes instead of continuous RMS power or CEA-2006 industry-standard ratings.
If your budget allows, you can always add a second amp later. When purchasing your amp, it’s a good idea to get a decent quality amp wiring kit to save time and shipping costs.
It’s important to keep in mind that budget amps are not designed in the same way as the big name brands that cost more. However, if you’re on a budget, you’re on a budget and that’s okay. Just make sure to keep your expectations realistic and prioritize the features you need.
BEST AFFORDABLE CAR AMPLIFIER WE RECOMMEND: ROCKVILLE DB12
Our tech experts tested several car amps and determined that the Rockville dB12 is the best affordable option available. It has standard power ratings that are backed by lab testing, so you can trust that it delivers what it promises.
It also comes with a subsonic filter, subwoofer control, short-circuit protection, bass remote port, and adjustable low pass filters that all work together to produce balanced sound and strong bass.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIER
Important factors to think about when selecting a budget-friendly car amplifier:
Power Output: You’ll want to make sure the amplifier has enough power to drive your car speakers. Look for an amplifier with sufficient RMS power output for your system.
Number of Channels: Consider how many channels you need for your system. If you have a basic setup, a 2-channel amp may be enough, but if you have a more complex system with multiple speakers, you may need a 4-channel amp.
Compatibility with your Car’s Audio System: Make sure the amplifier you choose is compatible with your car’s audio system. Check the impedance rating and ensure it matches your speakers.
Size and Dimensions: The size and dimensions of the amplifier are important to consider. You’ll need to ensure it fits in the space you have available in your car.
Build Quality: A good build quality ensures the amplifier is durable and will last for a long time. Look for an amplifier with a sturdy construction and quality materials.
COMPARISON OF THE TOP BUDGET CAR AMPLIFIERS
Comparison of the Best Affordable Car Amplifiers:
Power Output and RMS Ratings: Check the RMS ratings of each amplifier to ensure it has enough power to drive your speakers. Look for an amplifier with sufficient power output for your system.
Number of Channels: Consider the number of channels you need for your system. If you have a basic setup, a 2-channel amp may be enough, but if you have a more complex system with multiple speakers, you may need a 4-channel amp.
Size and Compatibility with your Car’s Audio System: Ensure that the amplifier you choose is compatible with your car’s audio system. Check the impedance rating and ensure it matches your speakers. Also, consider the size and dimensions of the amplifier to ensure it fits in your car.
Brand Reputation and Customer Reviews: Look for a brand with a good reputation and positive customer reviews. Reading reviews can help you determine if a particular amplifier is reliable and performs well.
Price and Value for Money: Compare the prices of different amplifiers to determine which one offers the best value for money. Don’t just go for the cheapest option, as it may not have the features you need or may be of poor quality.
1. Do I Need a Car Subwoofer Amplifier?
In a word, YES! A car subwoofer amplifier is not only useful and effective in producing sound waves that feel like they shake your entire car, but it also helps improve the overall power of your speaker system.
Subwoofers on their own can be underwhelming; you really need an amp to make your subwoofers shine and push them further toward their performance limits.
2. How much power does a car’s speaker system need?
Answer: For the bass, it should have at least 50 to 200 watt RMS of power. But for other audio ranges, 5 watts is enough to get the audio function working. The higher the voltage (RMS), the more efficient the speaker system will be when playing at louder volumes.
3. What does amplifier power rating mean?
RMS stands for “root mean square.” It is a mathematical term that describes the continuous power output capabilities of an electrical device.
In other words, it’s the amount of power an amplifier can put out without overheating and shutting down. The RMS power output specification of an amplifier is usually expressed as wattage (i.e., 300 watts).
But it can also be expressed as voltage (i.e., 60 volts). The RMS rating of an amplifier is always lower than its peak or maximum power output rating, which technically is the maximum potential instantaneous power that an amplifier can deliver to a speaker.
4. HOW MANY CHANNELS SHOULD A CAR SUBWOOFER AMPLIFIER HAVE?
This really depends on what you are using the amplifier for. Most subwoofer amps will have between one and four channels (Channels 1-4).
A 2 channel amp is typically used for powering a subwoofer only, while three to 4 channel amps are multi-purpose type amplifiers that can be used to power front or rear speakers as well.