11 BEST COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIERS
Please don’t think that smaller in size means less facilitation and fewer features. Some of these amps are designed with portability in mind so that they can be used outside of the vehicle as well. With features like remote control volume adjustment, built-in EQs, and many more features discussed below in detail, these amps make it easy to make any ride fun!
Rockford Fosgate PBR300X2
- 300 Watt
- 2 Channel
- 12 Volts
- Car Mount
- patented Boosted Rail technology
- Channels: 2
- LxWxH: 9.84 x 7.09 x 2.36 inch
- Wattage RMS @ 4 ohms 60 W x 2
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 70 kHz
- Max. Wattage (2 ohms): 250 W x 2
- Class D
- 1800 Watts Max
- 1/2/4 Ohm
- Remote Level Controller
- BASS KNOB INCLUDED
WHAT IS A COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER?
A compact car amplifier is a type of portable power amplifier that provides sound reinforcement in a compact size and weight, particularly useful for live music performance situations where pa speakers are not available or too large to transport. A compact car amp must be lightweight, small, and portable – Useful for live music performance when pa speakers aren’t available.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER?
A compact car amplifier is much smaller than your average car amp, so it can be much more easily installed. Compact Car Amplifiers are specifically designed to fit in tight places while delivering big power and great sound. These amps are great for many different reasons, below are some of them:
1. ADJUSTABLE FOR SMALL SPACES:
The Compact car Amplifiers are specifically designed to fit in tight places while delivering big power and great sound. The boost comes from the small size of the amplifier, which means it will fit into small spaces, such as behind seats or under a seat – maximizing precious space for other components.
2. LEAST ENERGY USAGE:
These Compact amplifiers are designed to produce high-quality audio while using the least amount of energy possible, ensuring years of trouble-free service without draining your battery or alternator.
3. EASY INSTALLATION:
They are easier to install and work with very little power consumption.
They are very lightweight – So don’t worry about the extra burden on the vehicle. It also makes it easier to install when combined with a smaller size amplifier.
5. PORTABLE THAN REGULAR AMPLIFIERS:
They are much more portable than regular amplifiers – You can easily take them with you in the trunk of your car or carry them around, which is great for setting up DJ sets at parties or any performances outside of normal pa speaker set ups.
6. A LARGE AMOUNT OF POWER:
They provide a large amount of power – All compact car amps provide more than enough power to run your speakers, so you won’t have to worry about the sound quality being affected by lack of power or volume.
7. GENERATE LESS HEAT:
They are very efficient and generate less heat – This makes it easier for you to take care of them as they retain a smaller temperature.
8. COST EFFECTIVE:
They are very cost effective – You can get a decent compact car amp for a cheap price, which is great if you’re on a budget or need an affordable option.
BEST COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIERS AT A GLANCE:
1. Best compact mono amplifier-[Pyle PLA2200, Black]
2. 500 watt Car Amplifier-[Pioneer GM-A3702 2-Channel Bridgeable]
3. Best Monoblock compact Amplifier-[BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Riot Series]
4. Best compact 4 channel car amplifier-[Planet Audio AC800.4]
5. Best Class AB compact Amplifier-[Audiopipe APMI-4095 Class AB]
6. Best Mono Car Amplifier-[CT Sounds CT-700.1D]
7. Best Small car amplifier-[Kenwood KAC-M1814 4-Channel]
8. Best Class D Micro Amplifier-[NVX VADM4 400W RMS Full Range Class D 4-Channel]
9. Best class D Mono Amplifier-[DS18 CANDY-X1B Amplifier in Black – Class D, Monoblock]
10. Best Compact 2 Channel Amp-[Rockford Fosgate PBR300X2 Punch]
11. Bluetooth car amplifier-[Kenwood 1177524 Compact]
11 BEST COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER 2023 REVIEWS
There are many types of compact car amplifiers that appear in the market today with price ranges from cheap to expensive. If you want to get the best performance without spending too much, we recommend that you take a look at our expert’s selected reviews list deeply.
1. BEST COMPACT MONO AMPLIFIER
Pyle PLA2200 is a compact car amplifier with 1400W dual channel power. It can provide high quality sound for your car audio system. The Pyle amplifier has two sets of RCA inputs and outputs, which allows you to connect two sets of speakers or other devices simultaneously.
You can also adjust the bass boost and crossover frequency on the unit to meet your needs. This Pyle amp delivers a clear, crisp sound that will make your music come alive while driving down the road!
Pyle’s PLA2200 2-channel amp is a versatile, powerful solution for powering your car audio system. This compact amp is equipped with 1700 watts of power to drive a pair of speakers in your vehicle.
It can also run a subwoofer! The bass boost function allows you to adjust the low-frequency response to get the most out of your favorite tunes. RCA inputs and outputs let you interconnect with any audio source. And the amp even comes with a wireless remote control!
Pyle Sport PLA2200 produces up to 1700 watts of power per channel at 4 ohms (1400 watts at 2 ohms). The two-channel amplifier can be bridged for mono output of up to 1400 watts at 4 ohms.
The amp is equipped with two pairs of stereo RCA input so you can connect it to any audio source, including a head unit or a portable MP3 player. The amp also includes a pair of speaker level inputs that allow you to use the amplifier in car-audio systems that do not have pre-amp outputs. The included bass boost remote control allows you to adjust the amount of low frequency output from your music with ease.
Front Panel: Gain Control, Bass Boost Control, Low Pass Crossover Control, Subsonic Filter Control, Power/ Fault Indicator LED. Rear Panel: Two Pair Audio Inputs, Two Pair Audio Outputs, Remote Turn-On, Ground Screw.
The amplifier also has an included wireless remote control for convenience when adjusting the bass boost and crossover frequency when in your vehicle. This Pyle car mini audio amp is protected by a thermal/limiter circuit that automatically shuts down the system to prevent damage to the amplifier.
- Cheap compact amplifier
- For its size, it’s a strong amplifier
- Easy installation
- Wonderful sound and slim design
- Little bit heating may occurs but not overheating issue
Sample Customer Review:
“My previous amp suddenly stopped working and the company is out of business. I wanted a replacement that was affordable. I really though this price was too good to be true but purchased it anyway crossing my fingers. Once installed, I was amazed at the quality of my sound. It is pushing the 15s in my Camry sounding like I spent hundreds of dollars. This is no shabby discount Amp!”
2. 500 WATT CAR AMPLIFIER
The Pioneer GM-A3702 amplifier is a complete car audio system solution. It features a 2 channel bridgeable amplifier for powering all of your speakers with 500 Watts Max Power. The Auto Turn On feature makes it easy to add this amp to any vehicle’s factory radio without the need for installation or special adapters.
This unit also has an adjustable Hi-Volt input level control, balanced isolator input circuit, and automatic signal sensing and turn on.
The Pioneer GM-A3702 2-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier (500 watts max.) is meant for use with full-range speakers in factory car audio systems when bridging the front end of an amplifier is desired.
It features an easy to use design that allows you to connect your speaker cables directly from the amp to the speakers. This product also features a MOSFET power supply for clear sound reproduction and stable power output.
- Very detailed and loud sound with 2, 3 ohm speakers
- The terminals are the best because the Philips screws firmly tighten the wires between a washer and plastic.
- Inexpensive compact amplifier
- Great little amp
- The only bad thing is that there is no pass-through for the RCA’s and no crossovers
Sample Customer Review:
“Amplifier is perfect for sub-woofers from 1200-1800w, no audible distortion normally, gain control works like volume control & best to keep max 80%, peak gain is constant so gain control is useful for those listening at lower volumes, low pass filter LPF cuts about 50-60hz so mid bass is removed and volume output lowers, however must note that normally audio tracks don’t have super low bass so I’ve kept LPF off.
Amp does heat up & best to keep in ventilated area. I’ve used for home audio bass reinforcement & used meanwell 12v 200watt 17A power supply. Images will show DIY connections required. Idle no output current draw is about 6.5watts. I am using a Sony 1800W ~ 420W RMS 4ohm subwoofer with this amp which can produce about 420W RMS at 4ohms in bridge mode, so ideally suitable setup. Must use min. 16gauge speaker cable to handle the output.”
3. BEST MONOBLOCK COMPACT AMPLIFIER
The R1100M Riot series of Class A/B, 2-channel audio amplifiers are designed for those who want excellent audio performance in a compact and affordable package. The R1100M is a monoblock design that delivers 1100 watts into 2 ohms or 550 watts into 4 ohms.
It also features low level inputs with adjustable gain control as well as variable bass boost. In addition, the amplifier comes standard with speaker level inputs and outputs so you can easily add an amplifier to your factory radio system without having to cut any wires.
Innovative engineering is apparent throughout the R1100M. The variable bass boost on the amplifier gives you up to 12dB of adjustment and features a remote subwoofer level control (item number 205R77). This way, you can adjust the amount of low-frequency output from your subwoofers without having to leave your vehicle.
The R1100M also features the Riot Custom Skin with included grille, which is paintable and removable. The amplifier comes standard with an easy-to-install shroud with built-in sight level to make mounting fast and simple. We’ve even made it possible for you to change your amp’s look by offering optional grilles in different colors!
- This device sounds good. It has a clean bass
- It is easy to install
- The blue led light is cool
- Sometimes the adjustment knob on the RCA does not control the volume of the speakers. A different knob is needed for this
Sample Customer Review:
“This amp has been in my GMC for about 5 months. I bought it on Amazon, had it installed at Best Buy and its been working great for me so far. It was worth every penny. I really can’t believe how good it sounds for the price that I paid. I’ll be buying one for my Miata as well.”
4. BEST COMPACT 4 CHANNEL CAR AMPLIFIER
The Planet Audio AC800.4 is a 4-channel, 800 watt (RMS) class D amplifier that delivers great sound quality with plenty of power for your subwoofers or speakers.
This amp provides you with the ability to install multiple speakers in your vehicle without having to worry about running out of power. This amp features variable bass boost and gains control, as well as adjustable crossover controls for all channels, making it easy to get the perfect sound no matter what type of music you listen to.
The AC800.4 also comes equipped with a MOSFET power supply, allowing the amplifier to produce more efficient power for your speakers.
This amp does not require any installation tools and comes with one pair of RCA cables and mounting hardware for easier installation in almost any vehicle. This amplifier also comes equipped with a small remote subwoofer level control that allows you to adjust the volume directly from where ever you are sitting in the car.
The four-channel Class AB MRB (Maximum Power Remote Bass) amplifier delivers big power for audio performance that will impress even the most demanding audiophiles.
This compact amplifier has enough muscle to run a couple of subwoofers or can be bridged for mono performance in a full-range system. Designed and engineered with the most demanding audio enthusiast in mind, the Audiobahn Class D MRB Amplifier is big power in a small package!
On top of that, it includes a subwoofer level control knob right on the amp so you can adjust your subwoofer levels no matter where you are sitting in your car! Audiobahn Class D MRB Amplifiers deliver the good stuff! Any car audio enthusiast knows the importance of an amplifier, so make sure to pick up a Planet Audio AC800.4 before your next road trip.
- 4 Channel compact car Amplifier
- Nice clean sounding system
- Cheap Amplifier in price
- The control knob is a really cheap plastic
Sample Customer Review:
“Needed an amp with a small footprint and this one just fit. I am running it as a 3 channel with 2-6.5” full range and 1-12" sub. Also hooked up a Bluetooth adapter to run it directly from my phone, no head unit. The high and low pass filters are working ok. I was pleasantly surprised with the sound. I am not going to be rattling windows with my set up, but for the price, I would recommend it."
5. BEST CLASS AB COMPACT AMPLIFIER
The amplifier is a compact and powerful amplifier, with bridged operation. It has the ability to drive the low impedance load of your subwoofer while delivering high power output. The APMI-4095 fits into small spaces and offers an easy installation.
The APMI-4095 features four channels that are capable of powering up to four speakers at the same time. Each channel has its own level control knob and bass boost knob. Its four channels allow you to add more speakers or component amplifiers for additional functions such as running front and rear dash speakers, tweeters, midranges, horns and crossovers all at once.
The compact amplifier features low-level inputs to easily integrate with factory radios or aftermarket receivers. It incorporates a built in 33hz 12 db/octave high pass crossovers for the front and rear channels while the subwoofer channel has a variable 50hz – 200hz 24 dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley crossover. This amplifier features Class A/B circuitry with a MOSFET power supply and bridgeable operation for high output.
Amplifier is designed with soft start turn-on as an added safety power-up measure. It has a high performance design and is engineered for maximum sound quality and output. This amp can be used in many applications such as car stereo systems, home theater systems, or even PC audio systems.
- The sounds coming from this speaker are very loud. The speaker has a lot of power and can play loudly
- Compact size allows to fit it anywhere easily
- Affordable Price
- Attractive Look
- It has no fuse for the remote wire connection
Sample Customer Review:
“Perfect replacement for the 4090 that went out on me. Works good didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Showed up on time. Well 12/28/18 8 months and it quit working. JUNK.”
6. BEST MONO CAR AMPLIFIER
Your search for the best car amplifier is over; the CT Sounds CT-700.1D Compact Class D Car Audio Monoblock Amplifier has arrived! This powerful mono amplifier for car subwoofers will give you the perfect amount of power to push your subs to their limits while giving you peak performance and amazing sound quality.
The 4-way protection circuitry features high voltage, low voltage, over current, and high-temperature protection. The adjustable gain control lets you make quick and easy adjustments to the amp’s input to ensure it works well with a variety of factory or aftermarket head units.
The amplifier is built from top quality parts for unbeatable durability and long life, making it a great choice for those looking for a high performance amplifier that can stand the test of time.
High-quality components and rugged durability make this a great choice for high power car audio amplification. This amplifier provides you with up to 700 watts of clean, stable power and is perfect for getting the most out of your subwoofers.
The 4-way protection circuitry ensures that the amplifier will never short out, overheat or go into thermal shutdown. This compact amp is light enough to mount almost anywhere in your vehicle but still packs enough power to give you amazing sound quality and performance.
- The power of this machine is rated and it has a knob for bass
- This is heavy like a little brick
- Great sound, crisp and punchy bass
- Easy to strip
- The ground and power terminals are close to each other
Sample Customer Review:
“Let’s me just say what a little power house this amp is!! Currently hooked to a single 12 Kicker CompQ wired at 1ohm. The gain is turned up a hair and that sub hits deep clear bass I love it!!! Can’t wait to turn the gain up on this amp! The box was custom made for sub 2 cubic ft and tuned at about 34hz. Ran Recoil 4 gauge amp kit.”
7. BEST SMALL CAR AMPLIFIER
Kenwood’s KAC-M1814 4-Channel Compact Bridgeable compact amplifier is the ideal choice for powering your speakers in marine/motorsports applications. This 400W Max Power compact amp features Digital Amplifier Technology, which provides superior sound quality with minimal distortion and noise.
The amplifier also has a Speaker Level Input w/ Signal Sensing Turn-on that allows you to connect directly to your vehicle’s speaker wires without needing to tap into your vehicle’s factory radio harness or RCA preamp outputs. The amp’s high-pass/low-pass crossovers let you filter out the low bass frequencies that your subwoofer eats up, sending only high frequency sounds to your speakers.
This amp is designed with detachable MMCX connectors that allow for easy removal of the unit’s black metal faceplate while maintaining a weatherproof seal. The amp’s compact design won’t take up valuable space in your car or truck and it’s easy to mount with the included hardware.
The KAC-M1814’s 12dB/octave, 4-channel design makes it ideal for powering midbass speakers on either side of your vehicle. The amp features a large range of input voltage from 7 – 16VDC so you can power it up in virtually any car or truck with an accessory/cigarette lighter power source.
- Easy to setup (Read the directions)
- Really boosted the volume without distortion
- Small enough, fit it in your dash behind the deck
- Compact charming design
- Good product but missing the RCA cables for sometimes
Sample Customer Review:
“I have the amp mounted in a saddlebag and I push it at full volume for hours at a time. The 1814 is mounted next to a 1824BT. It’s bridged powering 2 x 4ohm PSM3s. It does get hot, I measured 138 F degrees with an infrared temp gun after a 1 hour ride between 80% and 100% volume. Other than heat, sounds great.
EDIT: I installed with thicker gauge power and ground wire and the no longer gets too hot, maybe hits 98 degrees.”
Must Read: 7 Signs of a bad car amplifier-Guide
8. BEST CLASS D MICRO AMPLIFIER
The VADM4 is perfect for powering four full range speakers or components such as tweeters, midrange speakers, and subwoofers. It features a bass remote to control the subwoofer channel, and it is a Bridgeable amplifier. NVX’s VADM4 is a compact, four-channel amplifier that delivers up to 400 watts of power per channel into 2 ohms. The VADM4 features balanced differential inputs and speaker level inputs with adjustable high pass crossovers on all channels.
A three-way protection circuit provides short circuit protection, thermal protection, and over voltage protection. The compact design makes the VADM4 perfect for marine applications and car audio systems where small footprints and low depth are a necessity.
Like all NVX amplifiers, the VADM4 is built with high-grade components and fully tested to ensure dependable operation in rough conditions. The amplifier has LED lights that tell you something is on.
With a full range of applications for both marine and automotive usage, the VADM4 is a versatile amplifier solution for those who want great sound quality and reliability – NVX Style!
- This thing handles a bridged load at 2OHMs beautifully
- It stays cool to the touch, with no overheating
- This product is high quality and looks good. It also produces clean power
- Nice deep bass
- Gets a little warmer but touchable
Sample Customer Review:
“This amp is a little footprint powerhouse. I have it paired with the Nvx 10 farad Capacitor pushing two NVX Vcw124’s and let me tell you. This thing will shake other people’s vehicles at stop lights without question and destroy your own vehicle. If you like blurry vision and the cleanest sounding bass for less than a fortune, this amp is definitely the way to go. Couldn’t be happier”
9. BEST CLASS D MONO AMPLIFIER
DS18 CANDY-X1B is a class D monoblock amplifier that can produce up to 1800 watts. It’s the perfect choice for your car audio system when you want to upgrade your speakers without spending too much money. This compact amp has a super small design, but still packs plenty of power.
It comes with RCA input and output connectors so you can easily connect it to your existing audio system. The bass knob allows you to adjust the bass level according to your taste, and a blue LED indicator which glows when the amplifier is powered on. It features built in MOSFET power supply for low distortion and high efficiency.
The amp has a variable bass boost control that allows you to increase the bass level by +12dB at 45Hz frequency range. This unit also comes with a remote subwoofer level control which allows you to adjust the volume of your subwoofer from the front of your vehicle without having to get out of it!
You can connect up to 2 pairs of speakers to( this amplifier. This amp is a great choice for those who love to increase their sound system performance and output!
- Easy to tune
- No overheating issues
- Great amp for mids and highs
- Little bit expensive
Sample Customer Review:
“I ordered one and had it installed by a professional installer, it had power to it but not going out. I contacted the seller they sent another unit. Had it installed and it works and sounds GREAT.
GREAT amp and seller”
10. BEST COMPACT 2 CHANNEL AMP
Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR300X2 300 watt 2 channel amplifier is ideal for the budget-minded consumer who wants great sound and plenty of power. This ultra-compact, efficient amp can be used as a power supply for a subwoofer and also drives two full range speakers.
The Punch PBR300X2 features Rockford’s patented Boosted Rail Technology, which uses high current density circuitry to increase the power output capability of the amplifier.
The Punch PBR300X2 features an ultra compact design that makes it easy to install in small areas, behind the seat of a truck, or even under the seat of many vehicles. The amplifier can accept up to 2 ohms on its two channels for powering subs.
The amp includes bass remote wiring and an adjustable low pass filter with crossover points at 50Hz or 80Hz so users can fine-tune how their system sounds. The Punch PBR300X2 is designed to work with either 2 ohm or 4 ohm speakers.
- Installers say that this is an easy product to install and it also makes great sound
- Nice and compact things also work great on the bike
- The Harley sound system is easy to install. It only takes a few minutes!
- For cars, use a 12-volt squirrel cage fan to blow air through it
Sample Customer Review:
“This amp was designed to fit under the batwing of harley touring models. You wont find a better quality amp for the money that fits under your batwing. I’m running the 4 channel with Rockford 5.25s in the front and 6x9s in the bags of my 08 streetglide, and I couldn’t be happier.
Sure, you could put a better system in your bike. But you would have to spend way more to top this amp and the Rockford prime series. Dollar for dollar you cant touch the quality you get from this amp. I was blown away. Dont hesitate.”
11. BLUETOOTH CAR AMPLIFIER
This amplifier delivers 45 watts x 4 at 4 ohms, and 400 watts peak power. It features IPX5 waterproof construction and a conformal coated main PCB (printed circuit boards) which offer extra layers of protection to help prevent moisture or damp air from damaging the product.
The amp comes with remote control with a mic, and it has built-in Bluetooth for hands free calls and music streaming from your phone or iPod/iPhone. This Marine amplifier includes 4 speaker level inputs and 1 set of preamp outputs. It can also be wired in “parallel” which doubles the output power!
A nice little feature is that it has a built-in equalizer with multiple presets so you can get the best sound out of your speakers. Some common presets include flat, pop, rock, jazz, classical, and others. It has a frequency response of 20-20kHz (nice and flat), it can handle 4-ohm speakers (most amps cannot), the size is roughly 14.75 x 6.75 x 3.25 inches, and the actual weight of this amp is only 2.2 pounds.
- Due to built in bluetooth it never fails to connect to your phone
- This is easy to install. You can do it in minutes
- Sounds great, and Bridgeable
- For a bike, it feels like a factory sized
- No gain control
Sample Customer Review:
“Installed this on my Road King Classic. after wiring it up, and connecting speakers – this thing rocks. Great sound around town as well as on the highway. Only issue – not the Amps – is placement in the saddlebag of my classic. I looked high and low for the right configuration.
This amp paired with Kicker 40PSM34 100” 3" Weather-Proof Enclosed Mini 4 ohm Speaker System and Satechi Bluetooth Button Series (Media Button) provides a great setup – low profile speakers – no requirement to run the amp BT controller to the handlebars. Pair iphone with the Amp BT control – pair the media button – and now you have wireless sound controlled by a non-intrusive handlebar controller.
My next modifications will be to hardwire the iphone to the amp – and let my passenger connect to the Amp BT if we need to swap music. You will not go wrong with this configuration! only recommendations – is given this is a marine amp – Kenwood give the option to include waterproof Deutsch type connectors/harness."
Related Article: What are the causes that make a car amplifier hot?
HOW TO FIND THE BEST COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER? BUYING GUIDE:
Here is a complete guide for your perfect and best selection.
This mini car amplifier buying guide will help you find the best one for your vehicle. You can also take a look at our reviews of compact car amplifiers. Things you need to consider while buying the best compact Car Amplifier.
1. POWER HANDLING:
It is very important to check this parameter before going for a mini car amplifier. The amount of power handled by the amp will let you know about its performance and output. If you buy one with small power handling, it means that it will not give you the desired result even if it is rated in the higher wattage.
2. REQUIRED POWER:
It is not necessary to buy a high wattage amplifier for your vehicle. If you want to upgrade the sound quality of your system, you can always go for a mini car amplifier that can give high-quality output even with low power speakers. Remember that if the amount of power handled by an amp is very high, its cost will also be higher.
3. SIZE OF THE SPEAKER IN YOUR VEHICLE:
It is not very difficult to know about your speaker size. If you want to upgrade your system, you will need an amplifier with high power handling. A good mini car amplifier will be able to give good sound quality even if it is connected with low power speakers.
4. VEHICLE COMPATIBILITY:
This is an important factor that should not be neglected because some types of compact cars do not support the installation of car amplifiers. Vehicle compatibility usually depends on the type of compact car amplifier. 2-channel and 4 channels usually have size that is standardized, so you can find it more easily in the market today.
In car audio, an amplifier is a device that takes a small current from the car’s battery and multiplies it into a larger amount of power which in turn drives a loudspeaker. There are different types of amplifiers in common usage today: class A, A/B, and class D. The one you choose will depend on your needs.
This type of amplifier provides high-quality sound, but it requires very high idle currents and wastes a lot of power in the form of heat. It is not efficient and cannot deliver much output for its size. Some people say that you need a big car to use a class A amplifier with a very big power supply that may be needed. They are perfect for those who require extremely high-quality sound, with realistic detail and depth.
These amplifiers comprise the bulk of units out there today and have been used in car audio for a long time. These are robust and reliable, but they waste power by continually delivering power to their output devices regardless of whether or not they are playing music. The amplifier’s “saturation” voltage is relatively low, which gives it strong bass and good reliability.
These amplifiers use switching techniques to deliver very high efficiencies while producing less waste heat than class A/B designs. They also lack the hiss and the background noise that the other two classes of amplifiers emit. If you want clean, crisp sound with all the power you can get, then class D amplifiers are the way to go.
6. NUMBER OF CHANNELS:
Not all types of compact cars can be installed with any type of compact car amplifier. Before you buy a compact car amplifier, check if your car speaker can match the number of channels.
One channel – mono power amplifier: Mono amplifiers are mainly used in the rear of the car to power speakers installed on one side of the car, e.g.: left or right front door speaker, rear door speaker or a subwoofer. The mono amplifier is set up with special resistors which remove low frequencies from signal that goes to one speaker.
In this way, there is no need to use a capacitor between amplifier and the speaker – resistor takes its place. Only exception from this rule is speakers located close to each other, in which case a capacitor is required between them.
2 channel – stereo power amplifier for two front speakers (left and right) but not a subwoofer. This amplifier is mainly used in the front doors, rear deck, or dash.
4 channel – quad power amplifier working on 4 speakers simultaneously including subwoofer speaker if there is any fitted in the car. The same type of installation can be done with 2 amplifiers – one for left side and one for right side all four speakers.
5 channels – Five channel power amplifier designed to work on 5 speakers simultaneously including subwoofer. This type of installation can be done with 2 amplifiers – one for front pair and second for rear side all five speakers.
The same type of installation can be done with 4 amplifiers – left pair, right pair, front speaker, and rear speaker all five speakers.
6 channel – six channel amplifier is a versatile variant working on two front speakers, rear deck speakers and subwoofer all at the same time. This amplifier can be set up with an adjustable low pass filter which allows fine tuning of bass response in particular car audio systems.
Most modern amps are being built with the maximum output power that is at least 4x50W. This means that they can put out 200W on each channel, resulting in a total system power of 400W. Some high-end amplifiers have peak power levels up to 1000W. As a result, the power of such amps is 1000W on each channel, which results in a total system power of 2000W.
It’s important to notice that most car amplifiers have RMS wattages. RMS stands for Root Mean Square and it represents the continuous power available from an amplifier according to Ohm’s law. An amp’s RMS wattage is proportional to the square root of its supply voltage (V).
The impedance of an amplifier is usually given in ohms, just like speakers have. The nominal impedance means that the speaker presents a specific load to an amplifier while working on some power. The nominal impedance is given with a letter (normally it’s the letter “Z”).
The lower the number of an amplifier’s ohms, the more power it can put out. It is always good to choose an amp that has at least as low as an ohm as your speaker’s nominal impedance.
For example: if you want to put out 100W on 4 ohms speakers, then it’s better than an amplifier that has at least 4 ohms of impedance. So, both monoblock and multi-channel amps can have lower than 4 ohm impedance.
In general, you should choose an amplifier that has more power on each channel and a lower average RMS wattage rating for better sound quality.
9. VOLTAGE AND POWER:
In the case of amps, voltage is a very important parameter to take into consideration. The higher the operating voltage is, the higher power output you’ll be able to get. Multichannel amplifiers usually have lower working voltages than monoblocks and component models as they use several smaller and less powerful amps.
Some amps have DC offset or DC level output at their outputs. These parameters are important as the signal reaches the speakers as it is. If there was no such parameter, then your amp would put out a distorted signal as it was too low for your speakers.
There are some amps that have higher DC offset than others, so they don’t put out too low signals that could damage your speakers. This means that you should check this parameter while buying an amp and get the one that has a lower value of DC level output.
10. THD AND S/N RATIO:
Other important things to look at while buying an amplifier are its THD and S/N ratio. THD is the total harmonic distortion of the amplifier’s sound. The smaller this value is, the more precise signal it has as it doesn’t include any harmonics which makes your music sound distorted.
The THD+N parameter also has a great impact on this sound quality as well. This parameter shows how much distortion there is added to all other distortions inside an amp. You should also get an amp with low THD+N as it will make your music sound more precise and better.
S/N stands for signal to noise ratio and it tells you how much noise can be heard in your music. As it is easy to understand, the lower the S/N ratio is, the more noise you’ll hear while listening to your favorite song.
11. DAMPING FACTOR:
Another thing you need to know before buying an amp is the damping factor it has. This parameter tells you how much power the amp can absorb. This is an essential parameter for multichannel amps as it shows how much power each of your speakers will receive.
As you know, if this value is lower than what your speaker needs, then there will be distortion in your music. So, if you buy an amp with higher damping factor than your speaker needs, then your music will sound less distorted.
12. HIGH PASS FILTER SETTING (HPF):
The Next thing you need to know is that some amps have a HPF or a high pass filter setting. It is used for front and rear speakers in an active setup with a subwoofer. You can see this parameter mostly on component models of 4-channel amps as they have higher power levels.
Budget plays an important role in choosing a compact car amplifier. You should consider your budget before buying a compact car amplifier because you will get the best results if you can match it with your pocket.
WHAT ARE THE BEST BRANDS FOR COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIERS?
They consume less power and show good performance when it comes to sound quality. There are many options available when you decide to buy one for yourself though there is a long list of brands that offer the best result.
The best brands for compact car amplifiers are:
- JL Audio,
- Boss Audio,
- Rockford Fosgate,
- Planet Audio, Skar,
- Pyle Auto,
- CT Sounds,
- Audiopipe etc.
COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIERS AND SUBWOOFERS: THE PROBLEM TO SOLVE:
The power supply in a compact car amplifier can barely put out enough RMS power to run one subwoofer properly, let alone 2 or more. Portable amplifiers are typically about 25% the size of a regular car amplifier and the power supply is about 50-75% as big. You can run two or three 8" drivers off of an 800 watt external switching amplifier fairly easily.
But those same drivers will be overdriven and clip with lower frequencies as you add more subs. A 400 watt compact car amplifier only has enough voltage to properly drive one subwoofer at a time. You can run two or more subs on it, but the overall dynamics of the system will be compromised compared to using a lower power amplifier dedicated to each subwoofer.
The best compact car amplifier is 100 watts RMS:
You really shouldn’t try to go for any less, but you shouldn’t even think of getting more than 200 watts unless you have an extremely large car. If you want to use the amplifier with another power source besides your car battery (for example a solar panel), then you can get higher wattage models.
Just keep in mind that the more power you have, the more output devices you’ll need in order to get rid of distortion.
Basic compact car amplifier configuration:
These car amplifiers are configured so that low-frequency signals are handled by one or two subwoofers and high-pitched sounds are sent through an octave crossover speaker.
Subwoofers are perfect for handling the low frequency sounds because they can reproduce them with great accuracy. If you use an octave crossover speaker, then there’s no need to worry about sound distortion thanks to the built-in protection circuit. This type of configuration is used in all high-end audio systems and it works well because it’s easy to control.
Your amplifier should have at least one subwoofer output with adjustable volume. The octave crossover speaker should also have an adjustable volume, but you can connect it directly into your factory-installed speakers if there are no input jacks on the back of your head unit. If that’s not the case, you’ll have to use a mini receiver or an equalizer.
The power source of your amplifier should be connected to the car battery and all the output devices should be connected directly to that power source. Amplifiers with built-in crossovers are not recommended because they’re unable to prevent sound distortion at high volume levels.
As I said before, if you want to get rid of distortion and high sounds that hurt your ears, then the best way is to use an octave crossover speaker.
1. CAN I USE A HIGH-POWER COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER TO RUN TWO SUBWOOFERS?
This is a question we get from time to time from our customers and something that also comes up from the car audio competition scene. The simple answer is, yes you can do it but should you? Now we will go into detail about why lower powered amplifiers are better for running subs and how you can add more subs to an existing system without blowing things up.
2. WHAT IS A COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER 4 CHANNEL?
A compact car amplifier 4 channels is an amplifier with only four channels, which are used to connect speakers. There are two types of amplifiers: 2-channel and 4-channel. A compact car amplifier with 4 channels will play sound on four external speakers; it can be powered by four batteries or one battery (in the case of a mono amplifier).
Since compact car amplifiers can be used to power 4 speakers, they offer a good alternative to replace the original factory radio: it is much cheaper since it does not require an additional installation in the dash.
The main advantage of this type of amplifier is that you can connect four 10 inches subs to it if your car has four pre-installed speakers, giving you a very powerful sound. Even if it is small, it can be used to make your car’s audio system sound even better than the original equipment without having to install six or eight speakers in the vehicle.
3. ARE COMPACT AMPLIFIERS GOOD?
Yes, they are good. Compact car amplifiers are the most recommended to replace factory radios. By doing this you can get a much better sound quality than the one that comes with your original equipment.
4. HOW TO FIND THE BEST COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER?
It is not difficult to find the best compact car amplifier. You should know that it has a much better sound quality than factory installed radios and you can choose its wattage according to your needs, so there are no particular parameters to keep in mind when choosing your amplifier. The only thing you need to do is look around until you find one that meets your expectations in terms of quality and power.
5. HOW TO INSTALL A COMPACT AMPLIFIER?
The same as with any other audio system, you must select the necessary cables to connect the mixer (analog or digital) with your car’s speaker system. You can also make use of adapters depending on how much wiring work you want to do.
After all the speakers have been connected, connect your amplifier to the power supply of your car. At this point you can only turn on the volume and enjoy a good sound quality from your car’s audio system!
6. WHAT IS A MONO COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER?
Mono amplifiers are more powerful than those with 2 or 4 channels since they are able to produce sound on one channel. You can connect 4 speakers with a mono amplifier if they have an output power of 100 watts, but 150 watts is much better because it gives you the option to use it with bigger speakers that have more power.
You’ll need at least 400 watts of continuous power if you want to use this type of amplifier to power your door speakers, but if you connect 4 10-inch subwoofers then you’ll need at least 1000 watts of continuous power.
7. HOW TO CHOOSE A MONO COMPACT CAR AMPLIFIER?
It is even easier than selecting any other type of amplifier because the only thing you have to do is decide on its wattage. It is very easy to find a good mono amplifier, but you should keep in mind that the more watts it has, the better sound quality and power it will have.
We made this list of the 11 best compact car amplifiers and Buying Guide for helping you to find one that fits your needs and budget. All these amps are great, but not all will work for everyone. Our goal is to provide some guidelines so you can make an informed decision about which amplifier suits your needs best.
If we have missed any good ones on our list or if there’s a different amp style you were looking at please let us know in the comments section below!
We have only one request as always, please share this worthy experts research with your friends that are facing issues to find the best compact car amplifier.