Everyone knows you need an amplifier in your car’s audio system if you want thumping, window rattling, trunk vibrating bass, but adding an amplifier will provide so much more than you expect. With a high quality amplifier you’ll get much better overall sound quality. And if you’ve upgraded your speakers or added a new subwoofer, a separate amplifier will provide the power needed to get the most out of them. It will provide the power that the amplifier inside a dash mounted receiver just can’t deliver.

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Amplifiers are categorized according to classification, number of channels, and power rating in watts. The class of an amplifier refers to its circuit design. There are Class A, Class B, Class A/B and Class D amplifiers, with the latter two being the ones most commonly used in car stereo applications. Class A amplifiers feature simple design, the highest linearity over other amplifier classes, and produce the best sound quality. However, they are inefficient because current flows through their output transistors all the time.

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    • (4 reviews)
      # mpn2805218096
      Universal GM Series Class AB 4-Channel 1000W Amplifier by Pioneer®. Amplify every note with the extremely powerful amplifier from Pioneer that's a perfect partner for any music head on the road. Perfectly equipped with the latest...
      Number of Channels: 4Amplifer Class: Class AB
      $107.45
    • (0 reviews)
      # 776737895
      Universal THUNDER Series Class AB 4-Channel 800W Amplifier by MTX®. The THUNDER 75.4 car amplifier features a class A/B design to provide the highest sound quality to any style full range speaker. Class A/B topology is designed to...
      Surface Mount Design - Resists vibration for reliability under the harshest conditionsSmall Footprint - Easy install in any vehicle, anywhere
      $199.95
    • (5 reviews)
      # mpn325251204
      Universal Phantom Series Class AB 2-Channel 2200W Amplifier by BOSS®. Boost your sound quality with this outrageously powerful BOSS amp that will help play your favorite tunes loud enough for the entire world to hear. Featuring the...
      High and Low Level InputsVariable High Pass Crossover, Variable Low Pass Crossover, Variable Bass Boost
      $102.16
    • (0 reviews)
      # sp10423
      GM Original Equipment™ Audio Amplifier by ACDelco®. Designed utilizing the latest technology, this product by ACDelco features premium quality and will perform better than advertised. Perfect for your vehicle and lifestyle, it is...
      Designed to deliver trouble-free, consistent performanceRight for your vehicle and lifestyle
      $117.85 - $657.27
    • (0 reviews)
      # 940139014
      Universal Candy Series Class D 2-Channel 800W Amplifier by DS18®. With remote subwoofer level controller. The DS18 CANDY Series offers mini, compact amplifiers that not only have the juice to power your system but will also save you a...
      Produces impressive power output wattage resulting in more volumeComes with built-in audio filters for optimal sound adjustments
      $109.24
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4429995528
      Universal HED Series Class AB/D 5-Channel 1200W Amplifier by Cerwin-Vega®. This amplifier by Cerwin-Vega is designed to drive even the most inefficient speakers and/or subwoofers and bring out their performance capabilities to the...
      Surface layer component technologyCompact size with ambient backlit logo
      $379.99
    • (1 review)
      # mpn1409777881
      Universal Class D 4-Channel 600W Amplifier by Kenwood®. Want more sound and exceptional quality? This compact and tough Kenwood amp is designed to provide bullet-proof audio performance in your prized possession. Offering the latest...
      CEA-2006 CompliantClass D
      $119.76
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4487610989
      Universal Power Drive Series Class AB 2-Channel 1500W Amplifier by Crunch®. Crunch POWER DRIVE with QTD Technology delivers huge power in a cool running efficient heatsink. Features include built-in electronic crossovers and high-level...
      Pre-Amp Circuitry (Low Noise PreAmplifier) - Maximum low voltage signal from the source unit comes into the amplifier through a low voltage circuit which delivers minimal distortion through the amplification processInputs (Low voltage RCA Inputs) - Highest sound quality connection with quality RCA materials helps prevent interference and minimize distortion in the signal path
      $76.29
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn470430249
      Class AB 4-Channel 1000W Amplifier by VDP®. Amplify your sound with this powerful VDP workhorse. This superior amp will add power to your sound system and provide impressive bass with stunning sound quality to let you enjoy an...
      Expertly crafted from superior materialsProvides exceptional reliability
      $191.19
    • (2 reviews)
      # mpn1863250
      Universal HCCA Series Class D Mono 24000W Amplifier by Orion®. Orion has transformed HCCA Amplifiers to a super powerful sound machine. Technology, quality and extreme power were combined to create efficient and very powerful...
      Class D monoBalanced input
      $2,399.00
    • (1 review)
      # mpn2582068
      Universal Classic Series Class AB 2-Channel 1000W Amplifier by Pyramid®. Get a perfect sound for your prized possession with the award-winning Pyramid equipment. Delivering substantial power and a cleaner, more smooth audio experience,...
      Two Channel Bridgeable AmplifierTri-way Configuration: 1/2 Channels
      $45.42
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4429996922
      Universal Power Series Class AB 4-Channel 2000W Amplifier by Pyle®. When power isn't enough, you need Pyle Power. This four-channel, 2000W power supply is bridgeable. It's equipped with everything you've come to expect from quality car...
      4 Channel Bridgeable MOSFET Amplifier2 Ohms Stable
      $82.83
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn2139163387
      Universal Bomber Series Class D 2-Channel 1000W Amplifier by Cerwin-Vega®. This amplifier by Cerwin-Vega is designed to drive even the most inefficient speakers and/or subwoofers and bring out their performance capabilities to the...
      Ultra Compact High Density Aluminum Alloy ChassisBTR™ Port Optional Upgrade To Bluetooth Receiver
      $229.99
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4487610971
      Universal PowerX Series Class D Mono 2000W Amplifier by Crunch®. Crunch POWERX Technology delivers huge power in an efficient heatsink. Features include built-in electronic crossovers and high-level inputs. Crunch POWERX 2000W mono car...
      Pre-Amp Circuitry (Low Noise PreAmplifier) - Maximum low voltage signal from the source unit comes into the amplifier through a low voltage circuit which delivers minimal distortion through the amplification processInputs (Low voltage RCA Inputs) - Highest sound quality connection with quality RCA materials helps prevent interference and minimize distortion in the signal path
      $83.78
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4479274599
      Universal Zeus Series Class AB 4-Channel 600W Amplifier by Hifonics®. Boost sound quality and power to the next level with this high-performance Hifonics amplifier. This supremely powerful and efficient amp offering the latest modern...
      Pre-Amp Circuitry: Low Noise PreAmplifierMaximum low voltage signal from the source unit comes into the amplifier circuit with minimal distortion
      $87.72
    • (1 review)
      # mpn2558685
      Universal Chopper Series Class AB 2-Channel 1400W Amplifier by Pyle®. The Pyle Chopper series has been specially designed from the bottom up to provide quality sound in a sturdy form factor. You'll be blasting your tunes and rocking the...
      Variable Hi/Lo Electronic Crossover NetworkVariable Input Level ( Gain ) Control
      $55.62
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4477896553
      Universal Q Series Class D Mono 750W Amplifier by Cadence®. Q Series Amplifiers Creating a new standard for both Novice and Experienced audio enthusiast, combing creative aesthetics, a full feature set and state-of -art electronics. Our...
      Remote bass knobLow level RCA inputs
      $81.60
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4429995626
      Universal XED Series Class AB 2-Channel 600W Amplifier by Cerwin-Vega®. This amplifier by Cerwin-Vega is designed to drive even the most inefficient speakers and/or subwoofers and bring out their performance capabilities to the highest...
      High Quality 2-Channel Class AB Topology DesignSwitchable Crossovers
      $129.99
    • (1 review)
      # mpn1437295179
      Universal Class D 4-Channel 200W Amplifier by Audiopipe®. Boasting the latest in technology, this first-rate amplifier from Audiopipe is the finest piece of competition car audio gear that will take your listening experience to a whole...
      Made to offer exceptional sound qualityClear sound at high frequencies
      $65.48
    • (1 review)
      # mpn2315870
      Universal Riot Series Class AB 4-Channel 1600W Amplifier by BOSS®. Boost your sound quality with this outrageously powerful BOSS amp that will help play your favorite tunes loud enough for the entire world to hear. Featuring the latest...
      High and Low Level InputsFixed High Pass Crossover, Variable Low Pass Crossover, Variable Bass Boost
      $81.37
    • (1 review)
      # mpn1409777789
      Universal Class D 4-Channel 400W Amplifier with Built-In Bluetooth by Kenwood®. Want more sound and exceptional quality? This compact and tough Kenwood amp is designed to provide bullet-proof audio performance in your prized possession....
      Singal Sensing Turn-onCEA-2006 Compliant
      $250.00
    • (4 reviews)
      # mpn1285669
      Universal GM Series Class D Mono 2400W Amplifier by Pioneer®. Amplify every note with the extremely powerful amplifier from Pioneer that's a perfect partner for any music head on the road. Perfectly equipped with the latest technology,...
      Wired remote bass level control includedCompact Design for Versatile Installation Options
      $174.35
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4487611084
      Universal Power Drive Series Class AB Mono 1500W Amplifier by Crunch®. Crunch POWER DRIVE with QTD Technology delivers huge power in a cool running efficient heatsink. Features include built-in electronic crossovers in this 1500W mono...
      Pre-Amp Circuitry (Low Noise PreAmplifier) - Maximum low voltage signal from the source unit comes into the amplifier through a low voltage circuit which delivers minimal distortion through the amplification processInputs (Low voltage RCA Inputs) - Highest sound quality connection with quality RCA materials helps prevent interference and minimize distortion in the signal path
      $78.57
    • (1 review)
      # mpn4429995185
      Universal Chaos Fury Series Class AB 2-Channel 800W Amplifier by BOSS®. Boost your sound quality with this outrageously powerful BOSS amp that will help play your favorite tunes loud enough for the entire world to hear. Featuring the...
      High and Low Level InputsFixed High Pass Crossover, Variable Low Pass Crossover, Variable Bass Boost
      $58.94
    • (4 reviews)
      # mpn2805218095
      Universal GM Series Class AB 2-Channel 500W Amplifier by Pioneer®. Amplify every note with the extremely powerful amplifier from Pioneer that's a perfect partner for any music head on the road. Perfectly equipped with the latest...
      Balanced isolator input circuitNumber of Channels: 2
      $63.60
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn1862273
      Universal Cobalt Series Class AB 2-Channel 5400W Amplifier by Orion®. The Cobalt Amplifiers are coming to change the complete vision of the car audio market. They offer more power, more quality and much better price than any other...
      Class AB 2 channelsBass boost control
      $399.00
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4477896543
      Universal QR Series Class D Mono 1500W Amplifier by Cadence®. QR Series Amplifiers Creating a new standard for both Novice and Experienced audio enthusiast, combing creative aesthetics, a full feature set and state-of art electronics....
      Remote bass knobLow level RCA inputs
      $129.29
    • (0 reviews)
      # mpn4429995533
      Universal HED Series Class AB 4-Channel 900W Amplifier by Cerwin-Vega®. This amplifier by Cerwin-Vega is designed to drive even the most inefficient speakers and/or subwoofers and bring out their performance capabilities to the highest...
      Surface layer component technologyCompact size with ambient backlit logo
      $199.99
    • (1 review)
      # mpn2558687
      Universal Power Series Class AB 2-Channel 2000W Amplifier by Pyle®. When power isn't enough, you need Pyle Power. This two-channel, 2000W power supply is bridgeable. It's equipped with everything you've come to expect from quality car...
      2 Channels Bridgeable MOSFET Amplifier2 Ohms Stable
      $61.57
    • (0 reviews)
      # 776737888
      Universal THUNDER Series Class D Mono 1000W Amplifier by MTX®. MTX THUNDER500.1 is designed to work with an assortment of subwoofers and is capable of delivering up to 1000 watts peak power (500 watts RMS) in an incredibly small package.
      Small Footprint - Easy install in any vehicle, anywhereExtruded Aluminum Heat Sink - Keeps the amplifier cool without a fan
      $179.95




    Class B amplifiers are the most efficient because the output transistors pass current only when there is an audio signal, but they produce a lot of distortion. Class A/B amplifiers are a combination of the Class A and the Class B amplifiers, with a small amount of current flowing all the time, even when there is no audio signal, which results in greater efficiency with almost no distortion. Class A/B amplifiers are one of the most common used types of audio power amplifier design. In a Class D amplifier the transistors are switched on and off. Class D amplifiers are more efficient than Class A/B but produce more distortion. However, this distortion can be removed with a filter.

    Before choosing an amplifier for your audio system, you need to decide how you intend to use it and how many channels it should have. Usually, the number of channels should match the number of speakers in your system. As the name suggests, a mono amplifier is designed for one speaker, usually a subwoofer, however two subwoofers can be connected to a mono amplifier. 2-channel amplifiers are for two speaker systems, 4-channel for 4 speaker systems, and 5-channel amplifiers are for 4 speakers and a subwoofer. Some amplifiers can be “bridged”, meaning 2 channels can be combined into one for more power. A 4-channel amp could power two speakers and then have the remaining channels bridged to power a subwoofer.

    The amplifier’s power rating should coincide with your speakers’ RMS, or continuous power rating. If this rating is given in a range, go with the higher number. This is especially important to get maximum performance from aftermarket speakers. For best sound quality the amplifier should deliver at least 75% of the speaker’s RMS rating, and the average speaker can handle up to 150% of this rating without any problems. It’s always better to overpower speakers rather than under power them. The distortion caused when you make the most of a low-powered amp is more likely to harm a speaker than too much power. If you’re building a system from scratch, a small car won’t need as much power as a larger vehicle.

    In addition to the mentioned above, there are other features that you’ll commonly see in amplifier listings, like filters and bass boost. There are high pass and low pass filters. A high pass filter removes low frequencies so the amplifier is only boosting the high frequencies sent to small speakers for high notes, while the low pass filter takes out the high frequencies, such as would be common when powering a subwoofer. Variable filters allow you to select the frequency to be filtered. Variable bass boost control allows you to increase the bass level to tailor the sound quality. Whatever amplifier you need, on our website you'll surely find the right product for your audio system.

    Guides & Articles

    Useful articles fast to read and guides easy to understand written by mechanics and car enthusiasts to turn your shopping experience with CARiD into a pleasure

    • Amplifiers
      March 17, 2017
      The Five Most Important Factors For Your Car's...
      If you think car amplifiers are all about the bass, think again. The reality is they boost clarity, creating cleaner sound that lets you hear individual instruments...
      by Timothy Zahl
    • Amplifiers
      November 17, 2014
      Car Audio System Wiring Basics
      In this article, we'll discuss the basics of your vehicle's audio system wiring. Specifically, we'll look at the addition of one or two amplifiers to your system, and...
      by Timothy Zahl

    Car Amplifiers Reviews

    Average rating:  5  5 - 84 reviews
    3.8 of 5
    Kenwood AMP for 4runner
    This AMP fit nicely where stock amp was. It also had good instructions and nice adjustments for tuning.
    DPosted by Douglas (Lindon, UT) / January 25, 2018
    2003 Toyota 4Runner
    Was this review helpful for you? Yes
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