Things To Consider When Shopping for Car Amplifiers

Posted by Linda | Comments Closed | Blog

If you’re a music lover who spends a lot of time in your car, you know how important it is to have a good audio system. A car audio system that can deliver clear, high-quality sound can make your drives much more enjoyable. However, even with a good set of speakers, you may still feel like your music lacks certain clarity or generally needs a boost. That’s where car amplifiers come in. Here’s everything you need to know about car amplifiers, how they work, and factors to consider when shopping for one.

What Are Car Amplifiers?

In general, an amplifier is used to boost the current, power, or voltage of a signal. So, a car amplifier makes the audio signal from the audio system of the car stronger and sends it to the speakers at a higher volume. All cars come with in-built amplifiers which are most times very basic, so music lovers may want to install better quality car amplifiers. Car amplifiers make the sound louder, clearer, and able to fill the whole car. It’s also a must-have if you’ve upgraded your car’s speakers and added a subwoofer, as these need more power.

How Does an Amplifier Work?

Amplifiers work with signals and there are two types of signals; Input signals and output signals. Input signals, as you might have guessed, are used to feed information to a system while output signals give back clearer information through the system. The following are the main things to put into consideration when shopping for an amplifier.  Shopping for car amplifiers can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with the technical aspects of car audio. Here are some factors to consider when shopping for car amplifiers:

Power Output

The power output of a car amplifier determines the volume and clarity of the music. The unit of measuring is watts RMS (root mean square). It is vital to consider the power requirements of your speakers when looking for car amplifiers. Always choose amplifiers that have a sufficient power supply to drive your speakers to their fullest capability. For instance, if your speaker’s power output is 250 watts, you should consider an amplifier with a power output of at least 550 watts. An amplifier with a larger wattage rating is not necessarily superior if it exceeds the power handling capacity of your speakers, as this might cause permanent harm.

Number of Channels

The number of channels refers to the number of speakers that an amplifier can power. For example, a 2-channel amplifier can power two speakers, while a 4-channel amplifier can power our speakers. If you have a multi-speaker system in your car, you’ll need an amplifier that can accommodate all your speakers.
Additionally, if you have a subwoofer, you’ll need a separate channel to power it. Some amplifiers come with a built-in subwoofer channel, while others require a separate mono amplifier for the subwoofer. Consider the number of channels you need based on the number of speakers and subwoofers in your car’s audio system.

Amplifier Class

There are several classes of amplifiers, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common classes are Class A, Class AB, Class D, and Class H.
Class A amplifiers have the highest sound quality but are also the least efficient, meaning they waste a lot of energy as heat. Class AB amplifiers are a compromise between sound quality and efficiency and are the most common type of amplifier used in car audio systems. Class D amplifiers are the most efficient, meaning they produce less heat and consume less power than other classes. They’re lighter and smaller, too, so setting them up is a breeze. However, they have a lower sound quality than Class A and AB amplifiers. Class H amplifiers are a hybrid between Class AB and Class D amplifiers. They use a switching power supply to increase their efficiency while still maintaining good sound quality. Consider the amplifier class that best suits your needs based on the sound quality, efficiency, and size you want.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

The amount of unwanted noise or interference that an amplifier creates can be quantified using the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). An amplifier with a great SNR generates less noise and interference. This gives an output signal that is clear and undistorted. A greater SNR rating, expressed in dB, indicates better quality.
Look for an amplifier with a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) when purchasing an amplifier for your car. When the SNR is 100 dB or greater, the signal-to-noise ratio is excellent.

Size and Compatibility

The size of the amplifier is also an important consideration. Amplifiers come in different sizes, and you’ll need to find one that suits the available space in your car. Additionally, consider the compatibility of the amplifier with your car’s electrical system. Ensure that the amplifier you choose is compatible with the voltage and wiring of your car to avoid electrical problems.

Brand and Price

Finally, consider the brand and price of the amplifier. Some well-known brands are known for producing high-quality amplifiers, while others may be less reliable. Similarly, some amplifiers are expensive and may not be worth the price. In conclusion, buying a car amplifier can be overwhelming, but by considering the factors discussed in this article, you can buy a car amplifier that improves music quality and lasts for years. To ensure quality and durability, choose a reputable brand and read reviews.