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Best Car Subwoofer Amplifier Buying Guide

If you truly love music, you want to make sure that you give yourself the best music experience possible at all times – which means outfitting your car with the best subwoofer amplifier available. If you want the best music experience, you’re going to need the best car amplifier. This guide will show you how to find that. The first step to finding a great subwoofer amplifier is understanding what your subwoofers need in order to give you the best sound quality possible. To understand this, you need to know the difference between RMS and Peak power.

How are RMS and Peak Power Different?

When reading about different subwoofers and subwoofer amplifiers, you’re going to encounter a lot of descriptions mentioning the Max or Peak power as well as the RMS. Many people try to find the best amplifier for their subwoofers by looking for the highest Peak power, but this is a mistake. Peak power is the amount of power an amplifier can generate for a very short period of time – not continuously. If you want to know what kind of power an amplifier can handle for a sustained period of time you need to look for the RMS rating. The RMS rating shows the realistic amount of power you can expect to be generated by your amplifier for an extended period of time. Think of it as an average of the wattage output of the amplifier over a certain amount of time.

How Do I Use This Information?

Now that you know that you should be looking for the RMS ratings when searching for an amplifier, you have to take this information a step further. If you want to have the best music experience possible, you need to find the perfect pairing between your subwoofer and a subwoofer amplifier. To do this you need to take the RMS rating and find subwoofers that have similar ratings. The closer the two are, the better your music will sound when they are combined. Make sure to take a look at our subwoofer comparison here.

For example: If an amplifier has an output of 900 watts x 5 channels, you can use 5 subwoofers that have a 900 watt rating as well.

To help you get started in your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best car subwoofer amplifiers available. Keep reading to learn more about each amplifier and how it performs.

Best Alpine Car Amplifiers

Alpine PDX-V9 5 Channel

Alpine pdx v9 one of the best car amplifier

Part of the wonderfully designed PDX series, the Alpine PDX-V9 5 Channel is truly spectacular. With the high performance quality and attention to detail, its no wonder that the PDX-V9 was selected as a recipient of the Innovations Honors award. Unlike other class D amplifiers, the PDX series is capable of providing low distortion and wide frequency responses, making them truly amazing. In fact, the distortion actually decreases as the frequencies rise, leaving a crisp and clear sound in the air.

It also comes with some nice safety features. There is a thermal protection circuit that will kick in if the amp gets too hot. It causes the power output to decrease until the amp is able to cool down again. Once the amp has returned to a safe temperature, the power output will increase again and resume its normal levels. A similar response is given if the device senses that the battery is too low. This enables the PDX to continuously play quality music with no interruptions!

Specification List

General Features:

  • 5-Channel PDX Series Car Amplifier
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 100 watts x 4 chan. + 500 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 100 watts x 4 chan. + 500 watts x 1 chan.
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 200 watts x 2 chan.
  • PDX Technology for increased performance and durability
  • Sleek Aggressive Design w/ End Caps
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • Variable Bass Boost (0 to +12 dB bass boost at 50 Hz)
  • Soft start turn-on
  • 5/4/3 channel operation
  • Wired Bass Remote Ready
    • Alpine RUX KNOB Required and Sold separately
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation
  • Nickel-plated RCA level inputs
  • Nickel-plated screw terminals
  • Input sensitivity:
  • Variable high-pass filter (30-600 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Variable low-pass filter (30-600 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Variable Subsonic filter (3-30 Hz)
  • Damping factor: >500
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • Frequency response: 5-45,000 Hz
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is required for installation. Contact us for information regarding a discount on select amplifier kits from our website when purchased together with this amplifier.
  • Dimensions: 10-5/8″W x 7-1/2″D x 2″
Alpine PDX V9
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Alpine MRV-M500 Mono

Alpine 500 watt amp MRV m500

The Alpine MRV-M500 is truly a remarkable 4th generation device. It offers the same power as earlier models in a 40% smaller chassis and now boasts a class D status. You’ll be able to get the power output that you need even if the instillation area is limited.

Additionally, the new snap on terminal covers make the instillation process much easier than it was before. This model also offers a new circuiting system to help thermally protect the amp by absorbing the thermal output and gently controlling the power system. All of these qualities add up to make an amplifier that will provide you with clear music no matter where you are!

Specification List

General Features

  • V-Power Series Class D Monoblock Digital Amplifier
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 300 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 500 watts x 1 chan.
  • Max power output: 500 watts x 1 chan.
  • Integrated wire and mounting screw terminals
  • S.T.A.R. circuitry
  • LED power (blue) and protect (red) indicators
  • Variable Bass Boost (0 to +12 dB bass boost at 50 Hz)
  • Soft start turn-on
  • 4 or 2 channel operation
  • 4-channel speaker-level inputs
  • Preamp RCA outputs to daisy chain multiple amps
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Dual speaker terminals simplify the hookup of multiple speakers
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink
  • Input sensitivity: 0.4V – 10V
  • Non-fading pre-amp output
  • Variable low-pass filter (50-400 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is required for installation.
  • Dimensions: 7-7/8″W x 7-7/8″L x 2-3/16″
Alpine MRV M500 Mono Amplifier
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Alpine MRV-V500 5 Channel

Alpine 5 Channel Amp MRV V500

Another 4th generation amplifier, the Alpine MRV-V500 5 Channel is sure to make a lasting impression. Like the Alpine MRV-M500 Mono, it also maintains the same power output as previous generation models in a 40% smaller design.

This class D amplifier will provide you with crisp, clear music no matter where you are! It also boasts a high efficiency design to allow non-stop music playback and provide gradual thermal absorption. If you need an amplifier that will provide you high quality beats while taking up minimal space, the Alpine MRV-V500 is just what you need!

Specification List

General Features

  • 5-Channel V-Power Series Class D Amplifier
  • Full Range Channels RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 40 watts x 4 chan. , 14.4V ≤0.07% THD+N
    • 2 ohms: 60 watts x 4 chan. , 14.4V ≤0.09% THD+N
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 120 watts x 2 chan.
  • Subwoofer Channel RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 150 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 250 watts x 1 chan.
  • Total RMS power output: 490 watts
  • CEA-2006 Compliant Amplifier
  • Compatible with Alpine RUX-KNOB for Sub Channel control
  • Soft start turn-on
  • Speaker-level (high-level) inputs
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink OR high-density split-dome convection heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 81 dB
  • Variable high-pass filter (ch. 1 – 4): 50 – 400 Hz
  • Variable low-pass filter (sub ch.): 50 – 400 Hz
  • Variable Bass Boost (sub ch.): 0 to +12 dB
  • Fuse Rating: 30A x 2
  • 4 – 8 gauge power and ground wiring is recommended for installation.
  • Dimensions: 8-5/8″W x 9-3/4″L x 2-1/4″ 
Alpine MRV V500 5-Channel Amplifier

 

NVX audio's Best Car Subwoofers reviewed

 

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NVX True 900 Watt RMS 5 Channel

NVX Car Subwoofer Amplifier

The NVX True 900 Watt RMS 5 Channel is truly a work of art. It’s about the size of a sheet of notebook paper and about 2” thick, making it perfect for installation. You’ll be able to easily fit it under the seat of your car – or anywhere else for that matter.

It also generates minimal heat and reduces the high frequency interference that is characteristic of older class D models. This amplifier will provide clean and pristine music whenever you feel like blasting your tunes!

Specification List

General Features

  • CEA-2006 Compliant
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 70 watts x 4 chan. + 220 x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 115 watts x 4 chan. + 440 x 1 chan.
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 230 watts x 2 chan
  • Sonic Electronix Certified Power Rating*:
    • 4 ohms: 95 watts x 4 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 158 watts x 4 chan.
    • 4 ohms: 302 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 462 watts x 1 chan.
  • Non-regulated efficient S.M.P.S power supply design
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • Variable Bass Boost (0 to +12 dB bass boost at 50 Hz)
  • High speed rectifying diodes
  • Soft start turn-on
  • 5/4/3 channel operation
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink
  • Nickel-plated RCA level inputs
  • Nickel-plated screw terminals
  • Variable high-pass filter (40-4000 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Variable low-pass filter (80-4000 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Variable subsonic filter (20-38 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Input Sensitivity: 200mV-6V
  • Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is required for installation.
  • Dimensions: 6-7/10″W x 12-8/10″L x 1-8/10″

NVX True 900 Watt RMS 5 Channel Car Amplifier
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NVX True 1200 Watt RMS Mono

NVX 1200 Watt Car Subwoofer Amplifier

The NVX True 1200 Watt RMS Monoblock is similar to the 900 Watt RMS model, though it does have some striking differences. Like its sibling model, the 1200 Watt RMS is about the size of a piece of notebook paper and is about 2” in width.

It also shares the same thermal protection technology and is able to eliminate the high frequency interference that other class D amplifiers cannot. In addition to all of these wonderful qualities, the 1200 Watt model comes with a remote bass level control knob that you can install on your dash for easy accessibility!

Specification List

General Features

  • CEA-2006 Compliant
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 500 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 800 watts x 1 chan.
    • 1 ohm: 1200 watts x 1 chan.
  • Sonic Electronix Certified Power Rating*:
    • 4 ohms: 662 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 1037 watts x 1 chan.
    • 1 ohm: 1384 watts x 1 chan.
  • Non-regulated efficient S.M.P.S power supply design
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • Wired remote bass level control included
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • Power and ground Gauge adapter included (Up to 0 gauge)
  • Soft start turn-on
  • Mono channel operation
  • Preamp RCA outputs to daisy chain multiple amps
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Dual speaker terminals simplify the hookup of multiple speakers
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink
  • Nickel-plated RCA level inputs
  • Nickel-plated screw terminals
  • Variable subsonic filter: 20 – 38 Hz, 24 dB/octave
  • Variable low-pass filter: 40 – 320 Hz, 24 dB/octave
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 111 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <1.0%
  • Damping factor: 200
  • Input Sensitivity: 200mV-6V
  • Frequency response: 20 – 200 Hz
  • Fuse Rating: 40A x 3
  • Accepts 8, 4, 2, and 1/0 Gauge wire with gauge adapter
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is recommended for installation.
  • Dimensions: 6-7/10″W x 12-8/10″L x 1-8/10″H

NVX True 1200 Watt RMS Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
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NVX True 800 Watt RMS 4 Channel

NVX 800 Watt Car Subwoofer Amplifier

The NVX JAD800.4 4-channel is ideal for running a couple of pairs of speakers or even a couple subwoofers. Like the other models in its series, the 800 Watt Model can easily be fit under a seat as it is about the size of a piece of paper and is only 2” thick. It was built with advanced class D circuitry to help decrease its size and make the instillation process more simple.

Additionally, thanks to the amazing IR chip used to build this amp, you won’t be hearing any frequency interference in the background while playing your music. This model is also CEA 2006 Compliant. This means the manufacturer submitted their device to be tested and it was found to have an accurate wattage power output. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this fantastic amplifier!

Specification List

General Features

  • Class D 4-Channel Amplifier
  • CEA-2006 Compliant
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 125 watts x 4 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 200 watts x 4 chan.
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 400 x 2 chan.
  • Sonic Electronix Certified Power Rating*:
    • 4 ohms: 175 watts x 4 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 297 watts x 4 chan.
  • Non-regulated efficient S.M.P.S power supply design
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • High speed rectifying diodes
  • Soft start turn-on
  • 4, 3, or 2 channel operation
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink
  • Nickel-plated RCA level inputs
  • Nickel-plated screw terminals
  • Input sensitivity: 200mV – 6V
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <1.00%
  • Signal to Noise Ration: 106dB
  • Selectable crossover modes: BPF / FULL / LPF
  • x1 & x10 Frequency multiplier, Front & Rear
  • Variable high-pass filter: 20 – 400 Hz or 200 – 4,000 Hz, 24 dB/octave
  • Variable low-pass filter: 50 – 500 Hz or 500 – 5,000, 24 dB/octave
  • Fuse Rating: 25A x 3
  • Gauge adapter included, allowing amplifier to accept 8, 4, 2, and 1/0
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is recommended for installation.
  • Dimensions: 6-7/10″W x 10-4/10″L x 1-8/10″H

NVX True 800 Watt RMS 4 Channel Car Amplifier

Best Pioneer Car Amplifiers

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Pioneer GM-D8604 Class FD 4 Channel

Pioneer GM-D8604 Subwoofer Amplifier

The Pioneer GM-D8604 Class FD 4 Channel amplifier is remarkable! The sophisticated class FD design offers amazing efficiency as well as high quality sound! Perhaps what is even more impressive is that this amplifier is half the size of the class A and B of GM models currently on the market!

With this combination, you’ll be able to easily find the space to install this amp and be able to enjoy listening to your music in no time! Never bought from Pioneer before? No need to worry! You don’t need a Pioneer headunit to get started. The speaker level input of this model allows you to connect any non RCA-type input directly to it without having to buy any adapters. You’ll be ready to go in no time!

Specification List

General Features

  • GM Digital Series 4-Channel Class FD Car Amplifier
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 100 watts x 4 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 150 watts x 4 chan.
    • 1 ohm: 125 watts x 4 chan.
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 300 watts x 2 chan.
  • Max power output: 600 watts x 2 chan.
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • 4/3/2 channel operation
  • Preamp RCA outputs to daisy chain multiple amps
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • High-density split-dome convection heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation
  • Nickel-plated RCA level inputs
  • Nickel-plated screw terminals
  • Input sensitivity:
    • Low level: 200mV-6.5V
    • High level: 0.8V-16V
  • Variable high-pass filter (40-500 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable low-pass filter (40-500 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • Frequency response: 40-50,000 Hz
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is required for installation.
  • Dimensions: 10-7/16″W x 2-3/8″D x 7-7/8″H

Pioneer GM-D8604 Car Subwoofer Amplifier
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Pioneer GM-D9601 2400W Mono D

Pioneer GM-D9601 mono Car Amplifier

The Pioneer GM-D9601 2400W Mono D has some pretty amazing things to offer you! A class D device, it provides fantastic sound that outperforms all of its class A and class B counterparts. This amplifier is designed to redefine the way we think of quality. With this amp, you’ll get amazing power output at half the size of the regular models. You’ll be able to easily find a place to install this amp.

With included remote control you’ll be able to adjust the bass levels conveniently and maximize your music experience! It also boasts a protection control system to prevent a circuit shutdown. It does this by sensing the internal temperature of the device and adjusts the input level as needed to prevent the amp from overheating. The GM-D9601 will give you a fantastic sound experience!

Specification List

General Features

  • GM Digital Series Class D Monoblock Amplifier
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 500 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 800 watts x 1 chan.
    • 1 ohm: 1200 watts x 1 chan.
  • Max power output: 2400 watts x 1 chan.
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • Wired remote bass level control included
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • Variable Bass Boost (0 to +12 dB bass boost at 50 Hz)
  • Soft start turn-on
  • Mono channel operation
  • Preamp RCA outputs to daisy chain multiple amps
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation
  • Nickel-plated RCA level inputs
  • Nickel-plated screw terminals
  • Variable low-pass filter (40-240 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • CEA-2006 compliant amplifier
  • Frequency response: 10-240 Hz
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is required for installation.
  • Dimensions: 12-3/8″W x 7-7/8″D x 2-3/8″H

Pioneer GM-D9601 Mono Subwoofer Amplifier
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Pioneer GM-D9605 5 Channel

Pioneer GM-D9605 5 Channel Car Amplifier

If you’re looking for a big sound but don’t want to give up too much space, the Pioneer GM-D9605 5 Channel amp is for you! You’ll be able to fit this amplifier in virtually any vehicle. In fact, thanks to the flexibility with the instillation options of the GM-D9605 you can even install this amp in a boat! This incredible device also comes with a bass boosting remote so you can more easily adjust your preferences as well as a variable low pass filter adjustable from 40 Hz – 240 Hz. Regardless of what your listening preferences are, the GM-D9605 is sure to give you a fantastic sound experience!

Specification List

General Features

  • 5 Channel Champion Series Class D Amplifier
  • Max Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 150 watts x 4 chan. + 700 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 200 watts x 4 chan. + 1200 watts x 1 chan.
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 400 watts x 2 chan.
  • RMS Power Rating:
    • 4 ohms: 75 watts x 4 chan. + 350 watts x 1 chan.
    • 2 ohms: 100 watts x 4 chan. + 600 watts x 1 chan.
    • Bridged, 4 ohms: 200 watts x 2 chan.
  • Total power output: 2000 watts Max
  • CEA-2006 Compliant Amplifier
  • Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
  • Wired remote bass boost level control included
  • LED power (green) and protect (red) indicators
  • Soft start turn-on
  • Speaker-level (high-level) inputs
  • 5, 4 or 3 channel operation
  • Dedicated, large-block subwoofer terminal output
  • Nickle-plated RCA, Speaker and Power/Ground Terminals
  • Selectable input modes:
    • Front two channels (RCA Only) can provide signal to remaining channels
    • Four channel High-Level connection can provide signal to Subwoofer channel
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation
  • Input sensitivity:
    • Low level: 200mV – 6.5V
    • High level: 800mV – 16V
  • A/B Channel Frequency Response: 10 – 50,000 Hz (+0dB, -3dB)
  • Sub-Channel Frequency Response: 10 – 500 Hz (+0dB, -3dB)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): 0.05%
  • Signal to Noise Ration: 94 dB
  • Selectable crossover filter (Ch 1 – 4): LPF / OFF / HPF
  • Variable crossover filter (Ch 1 – 4): 40 – 500 Hz, 12 dB/octave
  • Variable low-pass filter (Sub): 40 – 500 Hz, 24 or 12 dB/octave
  • Variable Bass Boost (Via Remote): 0 to +18 dB bass boost at 50 Hz
  • Fuse Rating: 30A x 3
  • 8 – 16 Gauge speaker terminal outputs
  • 4 gauge power and ground wiring is recommended for installation.
  • Dimensions: 7-7/8″W x 12″L x 2-3/8″H

Pioneer GM-D9605 5 Channel amp