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Published Feb. 6, 2020

To get the best quality sound in your car, you need speakers that perform with absolute clarity, including the tweeters, mid-range, and main component speakers. In most cases, the head unit isn’t able to supply enough power to get the best sound out of them. A good quality amplifier will make the music sound better, and you’ll also be able to crank the volume up higher without worrying about distortion or crackling. Below we take a look at the best amplifiers available on the market to power your component speakers.

The Best Amp for Component Speakers

The JBL GX Series amplifier has built-in crossovers and bass boost equalizers on the rear channels. It is easy to install and has a cast-aluminum heatsink for cooling purposes. Its four channels makes it versatile enough to work with most setups. The peak power output is 435 watts.

JBL is an American company that was founded in 1946. It specializes in an assortment of high-quality sound equipment, including headphones, wireless speakers, car audio systems, and home audio systems. As a result, it should come as no surprise that this product is our top choice for all of the aforementioned reasons.

Key Features
  • Four channels
  • 2 ohms: 85 watts x 4 channels
  • 4 ohms: 60 watts x 4 channels
  • Max output: 435 watts
Specification
  • Brand JBL
  • Model GX-A604
  • Weight 6 pounds
PROS

Easy to install

Compatible with most head units

Produces clear sound

CONS

Gets hot fast

Channels can sometimes fail

Not the best low-range sound

Kenwood is a reputable company in the audio business and has been around since 1960. It is one of the market leaders when it comes to manufacturing receivers, subwoofers, and receivers. This amplifier has five channels and comes with a peak power rating of 1600 watts. It is ideal for powering a medium-sized sound system, including all the speakers and a subwoofer. 

The Kenwood KAC-D8105 amplifier is a Class D amplifier. Class A and B amplifiers have different circuit designs and are generally larger and heavier and consume more power. Class D amplifiers are more advanced and are smaller, lighter, and more energy efficient while producing good sound quality.

Key Features
  • Five channels
  • 2 ohms: 500 watts x 4 channels
  • 4 ohms: 75 watts x 4 channels
  • CEA-2006 compliant
Specification
  • Brand Kenwood
  • Model DX1800.5
  • Weight 15 pounds
PROS

Comes with installation cables

Can run most audio components

Has a Class D rating

CONS

No separate adjustments for some frequencies.

Questionable long-term durability

Quite expensive

The Audiotek At804s Power Car Amplifier is a great way to get loud and clear sound out of your component speakers without breaking the bank. It is relatively small, so it is easy to mount in smaller spaces and can fit into a wide range of vehicles. 

It might not be at the top of the range, but the 1000-watt output and four channels are more than enough for normal component speakers. This reliable amplifier is known for producing clear, crisp sound.

Key Features
  • Aluminum alloy heat sink
  • Continuously-variable input gain control
  • Nickel-plated RCA and speaker level input
  • 1000-watt output
Specification
  • Brand Audiotek
  • Model At804S
  • Weight 7.73 pounds
PROS

Compact size

Easy to install

Good sound quality

CONS

Not CEA-rated

Plugs break easily

Difficult to adjust the settings

The Crunch PX1000.4 Power Amplifier has four channels and can be used for a variety of audio setups. It has built-in crossovers, and there are both low-level RCA inputs and outputs as well as high-level inputs. The diagnostic lights make it easy to monitor overloads and speaker shorts.

This amplifier offers great value for the money. It packs a punch with crisp sound at both high and low volumes and no crackling.

Key Features
  • Class A/B
  • Four channels
  • 2 ohms: 450 watts x 4 channels
  • 4 ohms: 125 watts x 4 channels
Specification
  • Brand Crunch
  • Model PX1000.4
  • Weight 6 pounds
PROS

Inexpensive

Good quality sound

Easy to install

CONS

Suspect power ratings

Can overheat quickly

Not as robust as some of the competition.

MB Quart is a German company founded in 1962. In more than 50 years of existence, it has specialized in making a range of high-performance microphones, headphones, speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers. Despite its large portfolio, it focuses mainly on car audio equipment.

The MB Quart Onyx Car Amplifier provides fantastic low-range and high-range sound. Its four channels are ideal for more advanced audio systems, and it has more than enough power for component speakers. It is also easy to adjust with the built-in equalizer settings.

Key Features
  • 2 ohms: 200 watts x 4 channels
  • 4 ohms: 100 watts x 4 channels
  • Built-in system diagnostics
  • 800 watts maximum power
Specification
  • Brand MB Quart
  • Model OA800.4
  • Weight 8.8 pounds
PROS

Multi-channel configurations

Good value for the money

Offers lots of power for mids and rears

CONS

Questionable durability

No white noise reduction

Heats up fast

Pioneer is one of the most well-known car audio brands in existence. It was founded in 1938 in Japan and makes a range of audio equipment and DJ equipment. 

This Pioneer amplifier has four channels and both high and low-pass filters to get the best possible sound quality. It also has preamp and speaker-level inputs as well as 520 watts of max power. The amplifier automatically detects an input signal and turns itself on. Apart from the performance, the small size means it can easily fit in a wide range of vehicles. 

Key Features
  • Four channels
  • 4 Ohms: 40 watts x 4 channels
  • 2 Ohms: 65 watts x 4 channels
  •  
  • Class A/B
Specification
  • Brand Pioneer
  • Model GMA4704
  • Weight 5.15 pounds
PROS

Preamp and speaker-level inputs

CEA-2006 compliant

Clean sound

CONS

Not as powerful as expected

Can switch off occasionally

Low-end sound not the best

Best Amplifier for Component Speakers Buying Guide & FAQ

Why You Need the Best Amp for Your Component Speakers

The main reasons to get an amplifier for your component speakers are to increase the maximum power and increase the sound quality. In most cases, the standard head unit in the car won’t have enough power to get the best out of the speakers, especially if aftermarket speakers are added. Amplifiers don’t have the same space constraints as the head unit and can range between large and small sizes depending on the requirements.

The end result of having an amplifier powering your speakers will be louder, clearer sound with no distortion. A good amplifier will ensure that both the low-range and high-range sounds are crisp. The overall lifespan of the speakers will increase by having an amplifier and the chance of them blowing will be much less. 

Many people who want the best sound possible in their vehicle will add at least one subwoofer. Subwoofers also require power, which the head unit just can’t provide. 

Benefits

  • Better sound quality
  • Ability to add more components
  • Longer lifespan for the speakers

Guitar amplifier

Types of Amplifiers

There are a wide range of amplifiers available to satisfy many different requirements. Car audio setups can range from basic to very complicated and without the correct amplifier, none of the other components will sound their best.

When it comes to amplifiers, the number of channels determines how many other components can be attached. The number of channels normally ranges from a single channel up to five channels. The most versatile and popular amplifiers are the two-channel and four-channel variants. 

  • Mono-Channel

As the name suggests, a mono-channel amplifier, also known as a “monoblock,” only has a single channel. Because of this single channel, its use is limited to running only a single speaker. However, because it is only powering one channel instead of many, it can send large amounts of power through that channel.

Due to their design, mono-channel subwoofers are normally used exclusively to power subwoofers, with another amplifier dedicated to the other speakers in the system. Mono-channel amplifiers aren’t recommended to power component speakers because there will be no stereo sound due to the single input.

  • Two-Channel

In most cases, a two-channel amplifier is a basic requirement when building a custom sound system. Because they have two channels, they can run two speakers. In most cases, the two channels can also be bridged to provide more power to a single speaker.

Two-channel amplifiers are ideal if you are just running some component speakers and one subwoofer and need an extra boost. If you are planning to run more speakers or add more subwoofers, it’s advised to upgrade to at least a four-channel amplifier.

  • Four-Channel

Four-channel amplifiers have four channels that can be used individually or bridged if needed. By having four channels, they are generally versatile and can power component speakers and a subwoofer at the same time. 

Because a four-channel amplifier is bridgeable, it’s possible to run the component speakers on two channels and bridge the remaining two channels to power the subwoofer.

  • Five-Channel

Five-channel amplifiers are newer to the market and designed to power a complete sound system. In the past, two amplifiers would be needed if the car had multiple sets of speakers and a subwoofer. Nowadays, a good five-channel amplifier can do the job of both with two channels going to each set of component speakers, and one dedicated to the subwoofer.

Modern five-channel amps provide the benefits of using multiple smaller amps, but with extra savings on time, money, and space. The only downside is that if it has a problem, then the whole system will be down. 

What to Look for When Buying an Amplifier for Component Speakers

With such a huge variety of amps on the market—each with different features—it’s hard to decide on what to get. Most of the time it depends on how you want to set up your system, as well as the power requirements of your components. If you are running a single set of component speakers, only the requirements come down, but it is always wise to plan ahead in case you wish to add more speakers or a subwoofer later.

  • Power

The power rating of the amp is one of the most crucial aspects to get your system sounding good. It’s advisable to buy your speakers first so by the time you get your amp, you already know what kind of power you’ll require. Having underpowered speakers will cause distortion and can even damage them in some cases. 

When choosing an amplifier, it’s best to make sure that the RMS rating per channel is no higher than the RMS rating of the speaker. If a subwoofer is to be added, make sure the amplifier will have enough extra power to power it.

  • Size

Not all vehicles have the same amount of space to mount audio equipment. Some vehicles might have space, but mounting the amplifier might impede practicality. 

Before buying an amp, it’s best to plan where you want to mount it beforehand and take measurements to avoid issues. Common mounting spots are the trunk, under the seat, or behind the seats in a truck. 

The good news is that amplifier technology has come a long way and these days, it’s easy to get a small unit that can still perform well and deliver brilliant sound.

  • Compatibility

Any amplifier you buy should be compatible with your head unit. Most reputable amplifiers have line-level inputs and will work with the majority of head units, provided the head unit has preamp outputs. 

Some factory head units aren’t designed for high performance and don’t have preamp outputs. This means that you’ll have to get an amp with speaker-level inputs. These inputs will eliminate the use of extra cables and adapters while still making great sound.

Tips for Buying and Using Amplifiers for Component Speakers

The amplifier is just one piece of the entire sound system and has to be compatible with the rest in order to get the best results. Before buying the amp, it’s best to check what other components it will be working with, including the head unit, speakers, and subwoofer to make sure they are suitable.

Other considerations are power ratings, the number of channels, and the amount of space it will take up. You can avoid extra costs in the long run if you plan ahead and get an amplifier that can accommodate more components should you wish to add more.

When it comes to audio equipment, it’s worth buying from reputable companies with a track record of making high-quality equipment. Most of the best brands will offer some sort of warranty. It doesn’t matter how good the equipment is if the wiring isn’t good. Always buy the correct wiring to avoid shorts and get the best sound possible.

  • Make sure the amp is mounted in a safe place where it won’t get wet.
  • Do not plug or unplug the amplifier when the system is on.
  • Always use the appropriate load and impedance when using your amp.

Hi-fi amplifier with multiple knobs and buttons

Best Amplifier for Component Speakers FAQ:

There’s no doubt that adding an amplifier can improve your sound system and get the best out of your sound system. If you buy a good quality amp, it will last a long time and be there on many happy journeys. If you buy the wrong one, you can end up with distorted sound, or even blown equipment. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions with regard to amplifiers.

Q: How many channels should I get?

For one set of component speakers, the minimum amount is two channels. If you are planning on adding a subwoofer or more speakers, then it would be better to get four or five channels.

Q: How much power do I need?

For a normal set of component speakers, the minimum is generally around 50 watts RMS per channel. This is a general minimum and it depends on the exact specifications of your sound system.

Q: Do I need an additional car battery?

In most cases, the standard car battery should be fine to power the audio system. If the total sound system is around 600 watts of RMS power, then it is worth considering a battery that can handle it.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick is the Kenwood KAC-D8105 Amplifier. Being a Class D amplifier, it has the highest performance rating possible. It also has five channels, which should be more than enough for most sound systems. Kenwood is a reputable brand that makes amazing products and this amplifier continues its fine tradition.

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