11 Best Amplifiers for Car Subwoofers in 2023
After a tiring week, there’s nothing like unwinding with a long drive with your favorite playlist on. Picture this: the wind in your hair, shouting out your favorite songs at the top of your lungs — it’s the perfect way to kick back and recharge! It can make a night out with your friends more fun than it already is.
However, having an average sound system can be a buzzkill, especially if you’re a big fan of songs with low basses. Having a sound system with a lousy amplifier makes your listening experience bad. So, to create a clean and powerful bass, you need to purchase the right amplifier for your car subwoofer. Buying the right compatible components is very important when upgrading your car’s sound system. Or your entire sound system might get ruined.
With JBL, Alpine, and Boss dominating the market, which one should you buy? Here’s a list of the 11 best amplifiers for car subwoofer.
Things to consider while buying an amplifier for a car subwoofer
If you buy the wrong components for your car’s subwoofer, there are high chances of losing your sound system’s true potential. So, how is the amplifier right? Here are a few points to remember when buying an amplifier for your car’s subwoofer.
Car audio systems don’t necessarily need a vast amp wattage to sound loud. But the more the merrier. However, you can still look into different variations of power output according to the size of your vehicle.
If you drive a small car, hatchback, a sports car, or a small-cab pickup, then an amp of 50 watts would suffice. If you want a louder amplifier, or if you have a bigger vehicle, then step up to 75 watts. And, if you want to maximize your sound system, get an amp of 100 watts RMS or more per channel.
Type of Amplifier
Car amplifiers are classified into different classes according to their circuit design and efficiency. The most common type of car amplifiers are class A, class AB, and class D.
Class A: These amplifiers are mostly known for their strong audio output. Despite the sound quality, they could be more energy efficient, making them a less popular choice for car amplifiers.
Class AB: This class of amplifiers provides the perfect balance of efficiency and audio quality. They are made by combining the amplifiers of classes A and B. The only con of this amplifier is potential power distortion.
Class D: They’re the most popular amplifiers out of all the classes. Class D amplifiers are highly efficient, and the sound quality is also amazing.
Bass Boost feature
A bass boost feature mainly enhances the low-frequency output of the subwoofer. You have the flexibility of boosting the bass frequency according to your liking.
The lower frequencies are typically amplified around 40 Hz to 80 Hz. This produces a deeper bass. But, just like adding bass is important, adding too much bass can potentially damage your subwoofer. It creates more noise distortion.
Remote Control feature
Having a remote control feature can be a pretty big plus point because you can easily control the amount of bass you want. And the best part is, you can do it right from your passenger seat!
However, there are a few types of remote controls you can explore. For example, you can either opt for a dedicated remote level control, a digital signal processor remote control, or a remote bass boost control. But whichever remote you opt for, we would highly recommend you always check whether there is a remote control feature in your amplifier.
Every car audio system needs a crossover filter, just like an amplifier is needed. A crossover filter specifically filters the unwanted frequencies of any kind of sound that is produced.
For a car subwoofer, the crossover filter mainly acts like a low-pass filter. So, it only allows low frequencies (80 Hz to 100 Hz) to pass through the subwoofer, so it only plays bass sounds. The main speakers better handle the sounds with higher frequencies. Make sure you check the crossover filter before buying the amplifier.
Size & Ease of Installation
A handy size is always a must while looking for an amplifier. Firstly, measure and note the dimensions of your intended installation location. Then, you can buy the amplifier according to that size.
Apart from the size, make sure the overall installation process is easy. Look for amplifiers with accessible connections and installation accessories.
Best Amplifiers for Car Subwoofers | Top11 Picks
- JBL Club A600
- Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D Prime
- BOSS Audio Systems R1100M
- Hifonics BG-3300.1D Brutus Gamma
- Rockville dB15 6000 Watt Peak
- Rockford Fosgate T500
- Skar Audio RP-1200
- Alpine S-A60M Mono Digital Subwoofer
- Lanzar B52 Car Audio
- Planet Audio AC1500
- Kicker 46CXA8001
Dimensions: 8.94 x 11.02 x 4.45 inches
Special Features: Compact size, wired remote bass control
The JBL Club A600 comes in a compact size, a perfect fit for your car’s dashboard. Besides the size, other features of this amplifier have made it to our list of best amplifiers for car subwoofer.
A600 also provides variable crossover and bass boost. This feature allows the amplifier to do precise fine-tuning and performance. This amplifier has also been incorporated with balance differential inputs that ensure low noise distortion, even at higher output levels.
- Compact size
- Includes variable crossover and bass boost
- Not too pricey
- The plastic trim ring feels cheap
For someone with a minimal budget, the JBL Club A600 is a good deal. The installation is pretty simple, and the noise distortion ratio is very low. So, we would recommend buying this amplifier.
Dimensions: 13.8 x 9.3 x 4 inches
Next up, we have Rockford’s Fosgate R1200. This mono-class D amplifier is intricately designed to bring more power to the music you listen to. It can transform your entire listening experience.
The Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D Prime amplifier is a great choice for car audio enthusiasts looking for powerful bass performance. It’s 1-ohm stable, which means it can handle low-impedance subwoofers with ease, ensuring safe and effective operation without risk of damage. This is a key feature if you’re looking to get that deep, impactful bass in your car’s audio system.
Moreover, it also includes low-pass subsonic filters and a patented 12dB octave low-pass and high-pass crossover. This means that this amplifier allows precise control over the audio output, making it the best car amplifier for bass. A point to note, however, is that this amplifier may run hot when it’s under a lot of load. So, make sure there’s room for ventilation when you’re installing this amplifier.
- Lightweight and compact
- Flexible frequency response ranges from 20 Hz to 250 Hz with precise control.
- Includes a wired Remote Bass Control
- The bass knob is cheap
- Tends to overheat
If you’re after that perfect bass in your car’s audio setup, the Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D Prime is a top-notch option; just remember to give it some breathing room, or else it will get overheated.
Dimensions: 9.13 x 10.44 x 2.25 inches
Special Features: Class A/B topology, Variable Low-Pass Crossover, Switchable Bass Boost
BOSS’s R1100M is deemed to be one of the best car audio amplifiers. And why wouldn’t it be? The unique A/B monoblock design, switchable bass boost, and low pass crossover have made this amplifier worth the money.
R1100M delivers a maximum power of 1100 watts at 2 ohms, ensuring a robust and powerful audio output as well. Apart from the amazing audio quality, the design and build of this amplifier are sleek. The illuminated BOSS emblem provides a chic enhancement to the interior of your vehicle, adding a stylish flair.
- High power output
- MOSFET power supply
- Remote Subwoofer Control
- Bass Boost and Low Pass Crossover
- The installation process is complex. Needs professional help
The BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Riot amplifier is a high-powered, efficient, and versatile option for upgrading your car’s audio system. In our opinion, if you want a high-powered amplifier for a car subwoofer, then R1100M is a good option for you. Its combination of efficiency, sound control features, and convenient remote control makes it worth the money.
Dimensions: 15.13 x 8.25 x 2.38 inches
Special Features: Ultra-Fi™ MOSFET Technology, Super D-Class™ Technology
Hifonics BG-3300 amplifier offers a wide range of features that make it one of the best amplifiers for car subwoofers.
The BG 3300 is intricately designed with Super D-Class™ Technology, ensuring it doesn’t overheat during heavy use. This technology not only prevents overheating but also reduces distortion for clearer sound. Moreover, this amplifier is also incorporated with Ultra-Fi™ MOSFET Technology. So, say goodbye to distorted noise signals because BG 3300 will only provide ultra-clear and dynamic audio quality.
- Includes Super D-Class™ Technology and Ultra-Fi™ MOSFET Technology
- Provides a versatile sound control
- Bass remote included
- Durable design
- It might be a bit bulky for a few users
If you’re not on a budget and if you want an amplifier with flexible settings, then the BG 3300 is perfect for you. The versatile sound control, like variable electronic crossovers, parametric EQ, and bass boost, makes it the best amp for subs.
Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 inches
Special Features: High-Speed MOSFET Power Supply, phase control switch
Rockville offers both affordability and versatility in terms of pitching its products to audio enthusiasts. The dB15 is no different. Its features and affordable price have made it one of the best cheap amplifiers for subwoofer.
The db15 offers high power output since it has a Dyno-Certified power rating of 1,500 watts. The best feature of this amplifier is that it comes with a dashboard subwoofer control. So you can easily adjust the subwoofer’s volume level right from the driver’s seat. Moreover, there are other features like a subsonic filter, adjustable bass equalizer, and soft start technology, which provide the best user experience.
- Offers robust sound
- Includes features like adjustable bass equalizer and subsonic filter
- The build isn’t durable enough
The Rockville db15 is hands down, one of the best amplifiers for car subwoofers, even on a budget. Most people are skeptical about this amplifier after noticing the price tag. But, even though it’s not on the expensive side of amplifiers, apart from the design, the audio output performance is mind-blowing.
Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.1 x 2.1 inches
Special Features: MOSFET Technology, RCA Pass-Thru Outputs
The Rockford’s Fosgate offers a compact yet powerful build that will enhance your audio experience. It is one of the best car audio amplifiers on the market.
The Rockford Fosgate T500 amplifier is designed for precise audio control, thanks to its 24dB/Octave Crossover, which lets you fine-tune your sound. Additionally, its balanced differential inputs significantly reduce noise interference, ensuring clearer audio. Plus, the MEHSA^3 Technology in this amplifier effectively keeps it cool, reduces distortion, and enhances overall sound quality. This makes the Fosgate T500 a solid choice if you’re looking for an amplifier that delivers both clarity and power.
- Includes infrasonic filter
- Includes MEHSA^3 Technology and 24dB/Octave Crossover
- Easy installation
- Does not include the PEQ bass remote
If you’re looking for a compact yet powerful amplifier capable of driving a strong bass response in your car audio system, this could be a great choice. The advanced features like MOSFET technology, a 24dB/octave crossover, and a Punch Bass EQ for enhanced bass control make it stand out the most. However, if you’re looking for a simpler amplifier, you can look into other options.
Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 2.5 inches
Special Features: Clearer audio quality, 4 Way protection circuitry
Skar’s amplifier has outperformed itself compared to what the users are paying. Its build, design, and amazing features have made it land on our list of best amplifiers for car subwoofers.
With other brands fighting for the spotlight, skar’s RP 1200 has outshined most of them with its simple yet efficient design. It comes with a compact size and sleek design. The RP-1200.1D is rated at 1,200 watts RMS power at a 1-ohm load, which means that it is capable of driving powerful subwoofers efficiently. The key feature of this amplifier is that it has a user control panel that includes a bass EQ switch (0, +6, +12dB) and variable adjustment tunings for gain level. You can easily customize it to meet your needs. Additionally, the 4-Way Protection Circuitry protects the amplifier from power cuts and overheating.
- Easy installation
- Flexible controls
- Controls might be too complex
The easy installation, flexible controls, and reliable build make it one of the best amplifiers for car subwoofers on a budget. There are no noticeable drawbacks to this amplifier, so we would highly recommend buying it.
Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 5 inches
Special Features: Variable bass boost, Durable build
Alpine has been offering top-notch products since its inception. But, the S series amplifiers are something different. It has a simple design with a compact build, yet it provides a powerful bass.
- Highly flexible
- Suitable for enthusiasts
- Delivers powerful and robust audio quality
- Not for bigger cars
- Not beginner-friendly
If you’re someone experienced who’s looking for an upgrade, the S-A60M is the best amplifier for car subwoofer out there. The customizable settings will leave you in awe. So, don’t wait any longer and buy it!
Dimensions: 13 x 8.8 x 2.4 inches
Special Features: Sleek design, bass boost feature
Lanzar’s B52 is the most budget-friendly amplifier on our list. It’s one of the best subwoofer amplifiers under 100$.
The Lanzar B52 is packed with unique features that most people don’t expect from a budget-friendly amplifier. It delivers a significant power output of 2,000 watts, making it capable of giving enough power to the subwoofers. Moreover, it also includes bass boost circuitry, which makes it possible for users to control the audio output’s bass level.
- Provides adequate power to the audio output
- The control knobs could be better
- Not great for users looking for a more powerful amp
Lanzar’s B52 is the right choice for you if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly amplifier. The lack of audio settings and durable build make it slightly objectionable for users to buy it. But if your budget is under 100$, then the Lanzar B52 is the one for you.
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 2.4 inches
Special Features: low pass crossover, variable bass boost
Planet Audio’s AC1500 is another amplifier that’s under 100$. Like any other amplifier, it offers the basic features, but there are a few that stand out the most.
This amplifier has a 2 ohm stability. So, it can easily take more load compared to other 4-ohm stability amplifiers. Besides the audio output, it offers a wide range of connectivity options due to both low-level (RCA) inputs and high-level inputs. Moreover, the continuously variable low pass crossover helps to filter out higher frequencies more accurately.
- Affordable price
- Includes bass boost feature
- Sound quality is average
Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 4 inches
Special Features: Bass Boost with KickEQ™
Kicker’s 46CXA8001 is a combination of reliability, powerful, and balanced output. It is capable of delivering a balanced and robust audio output, reaching up to 800 watts of RMS power at 1 ohm, showcasing its impressive capacity.
This amplifier is packed with unique features that make it one of the best amplifiers for car subwoofers. The amplifier features a sophisticated 12dB crossover and a 24dB subsonic filter set at 25Hz. These work together to fine-tune audio output, eliminating frequencies too low to hear. Moreover, the inclusion of KickEQ™ enhances the bass levels to a great extent.
- Easy installation
- Provides powerful audio output
- Includes bass boost with kickEQ
- It should include the remote
The Kicker is the best choice for users who prioritize high-quality bass. The inclusion of the KickEQ™ bass boost gives users the best experience in fine-tuning their audio output. So, hurry up and get the new Kicker 46CXA8001.
Does a car subwoofer need an amplifier?
Absolutely, a subwoofer does need an amplifier to hit those deep bass notes in your music. Subwoofers typically produce low-frequency sounds, which need a significant amount of power. In-dash car stereos cannot provide this power to drive the subwoofer. So, an amplifier is a must to provide this power. A subwoofer and amplifier can produce strong bass collectively, improving the overall sound quality. It would be impossible to produce without an amplifier.
What type of amp is best for subwoofers?
A mono-class D amp is the best amplifier for car audio stereos. It’s the best choice because of its efficiency, size, power handling, and low heat generation. A subwoofer needs enough power to generate the sound for perfect audio quality. And voila, a class D amp is the perfect choice for it. It can produce a lot of power without generating too much heat.
Should my amplifier be more powerful than my subwoofer?
Yes, you should consider buying amplifiers that are more powerful than subwoofers. The amplifier’s power output should equal or slightly greater than the subwoofer’s RMS. You should buy an amp that can handle 1.5x or 2.5x the power of your subwoofer’s RMS rating.
Do the amplifier make the subwoofer louder?
Yes, an amplifier can make a subwoofer louder. The main aim of an amplifier is to increase the power of the audio signal sent to the speakers or the subwoofers. An amplifier is also used for power enhancement, better control of the subwoofer, and improved sound quality.
In conclusion, selecting the best amplifier for a car subwoofer can seem like a pretty daunting task, but our list can make it 10 times easier.
While buying an amplifier, make sure you match your car’s requirements. Most people tend to make this mistake. The size, environment, and space of your car matter a lot when getting a new amp. Moreover, you should also keep your personal requirements in mind. For example, if you want a more powerful audio output, getting a 1-ohm stereo stable amp is better than a 4-ohm stereo stable amp. That’s how you should compare the features. However, we’ve highlighted the features very carefully, so getting the best amp would now be a piece of cake.