An amplifier is a surefire way to introduce a crisp, clean, and quality sound. This guide delves in-depth into the best 4-channel car amplifiers on the market. Make the right purchase with our buying guide.
If you are looking for loud music, then an amplifier is a must. Amplifiers bring life into music. The 4-channel amplifier enables you to have better sound quality while increasing power to your subwoofer and speakers.
An external amplifier works well for your car because it does not take up too much space. The music that comes from your surround system is crisp and clean and does not strain your speakers.
Most car stereo systems come with an internal amp, but there is usually nothing serious about it. If you are looking for some quality sound with enhanced bass, then you need to invest in a proper amplifier. This buying guide helps you select the most suitable amp for your car.
Best 4-Channel Car Amplifier – Comparison Table
|Model||Rating||Weight (pounds)||Max Power (watts)||Purchase|
|Rockford R300X4 Prime||4.5||7.5||300|
|Alpine MRV-F300 - |
|BOSS Audio R3004||3.5||6.61||1200|
|Kenwood 22154656 Compact||4.5||6.69||600|
|Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4||4.1||3.04||300|
|Power Acoustic RZ4||4.0||5.15||1000|
1) Rockford R300X4 Prime – Best All-Round 4-Channel Amplifier
The Rockford amplifier can power all your car speakers while delivering 50 watts to each speaker. The amp can also be converted into a 2-channel speaker that delivers 150 watts to two speakers. You can include a subwoofer to the mix for that rich bass sound.
To ensure that you can use the amp for hours, it has been made from a heavy cast aluminum chassis. The chassis takes all the heat from the internal components and dissipates it, reducing overheating. The amp comes with built-in sensors that control the power supply temperature and output power and keeps a balance between the two, which safeguards the internal components.
To enhance the performance of your speakers, the amp comes with high- and low- pass filters. You can hook up this amplifier to any speaker courtesy of the multiple speaker inputs.
2) Alpine MRV-F300 4-Channel Amplifier – Editor’s Choice
This compact amplifier comes with an advanced technology called Enhanced Shutdown. Once the amp begins to overheat, it will reduce the output for a while until it cools down. All this happens while the music is playing, and after cooling, power goes back to normal.
The Alpine can be used on four of your rear and front speakers at 50 watts each, or you can have one subwoofer using 150 watts with two speakers consuming 50 watts each. The new Alpine model is ultra-small and can fit anywhere in your car.
You can control speaker frequency through the high- and low-pass filters. The amp also has durable gold-plated screw terminals that are rust resistant. Power is through MOSFET and for that extra bass you have a selectable bass boost. When you install your speaker inputs, the amp has automatic remote sensing that enables fast connection.
3) Infinity REF-704A 1000 W Peak (400W RMS) – Best Looking Amp
This good-looking amp from Infinity will deliver high quality sounds to your front and rear car speakers at 70 watts each or you can choose to turn it into a 2-channel amp that delivers 200 watts to two subwoofers at 4 ohms in bridged mode.
Power supply is through the MOSFET with LED indicators; red (protect) and green (power). You can also connect both high and low input speakers. To reduce overheating, the amp has a heavy-duty aluminum alloy heat sink; the chassis dissipates excess heat hence protecting your equipment.
Also, the Infinity amp comes with a three-way protection circuitry – overload, thermal and speaker short protection. You can include multiple speakers through the dual speaker terminals. With its slim chassis, the amp does not take up a lot of space making it suitable for car surround systems. The slim design is good for multiple installations.
4) Pioneer GM-A6704 4-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier – Best Amp for Bass Sound
Pioneer is renowned for quality sound systems, and this amplifier is no exception. If you are looking for power, then the Pioneer amp delivers an astonishing 1000 watts; enough to turn your car into a mobile discothèque. The amp is adorned in black and red colors.
You can have both rear and front car speakers getting 60 watts each from the amp, or you can have 190 watts in over bridged mode at 4 ohms. The amp also has switchable high- and low-pass filters. For that rich bass sound, try out the Pioneer’s adjustable bass boost.
The amp is easy to install and does not take up a lot of space. It also comes with an automatic signal sensing with a turn on.
5) BOSS Audio R3004 MOSFET – Best budget Car Amplifier
The BOSS amp delivers 1200 watts of power and comes with a subwoofer remote control. This is the right amp for your car stereo. Power is through MOSFET, and you have both class A/B channels. You can use the amp for your speakers or add in a subwoofer to the mix. It delivers 255 watts at 2 ohms.
To increase efficiency, the MOSFET transistors quickly switch from full to non-conduction. The class A/B channels enhance sound quality by reducing distortion, while at the same time increasing efficiency.
The user has greater control of the frequencies that pass to the subwoofer due to the variable low-pass filter while the high-pass ones filter frequencies going to your speakers. The BOSS has been built for greater bass sound. It comes with a wireless remote that enables you to customize the output from your subwoofer. This is in addition to the variable bass sound that comes with the amp.
The amp design is great with an illuminated BOSS logo. To protect the amp and your speakers from damage, the amp has an automatic shut off feature that comes into play when it gets too hot. You can add more units to the amp courtesy of the high and low-level inputs.
6) Kenwood 22154656 Compact 4 Channel Digital Amplifier – Best for Outdoor events
Kenwood has, over the years, built itself as a brand for electronic devices. This amp is no different. With coated main printed circuit boards, the amp can be used for outdoor events without being effected by moisture. The amp delivers 75 watts at 2 ohms making it perfect for cars, ATVs, and boats. The amp at 6.5 inches X 1.75 inches X 3.9 inches is small enough to fit in a car’s glove compartment.
With the amp outputs, you can power four speakers and a subwoofer. The amplifier has been rated class D, meaning it is very efficient with the bridged RMS power output being estimated at 150 W X 2. Peak power is at 600 watts.
The amp comes in a solid aluminum chassis that lasts long. The chassis dissipate any excess heat, which ensures that all your components are kept safe.
7) Kenwood KAC-M1804 Compact – Best Amplifier for Marine Applications
This sturdy amplifier by Kenwood is perfect for your boat. It comes with a conformal-coated circuit board that keeps moisture from destroying the amp. The aluminum chassis is durable and works well to dispel excess heat.
The amplifier delivers 45 watts per channel which is enough to power up your car, ATV or boat comfortably. The amp is also compact enough to fit in small spaces. It comes with class D amp technology with a MOSFET power supply.
To eliminate the need for separate remote lead, the amp comes with a signal sensing turn on. You can begin enjoying your music with the RCA cables and speaker harness. The amp is non-bridgeable and uses 4 ohms per channel.
8) Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 300 Watt Ultra-Compact – Best heat management amp
The Rockford amplifier will deliver a punch without draining all your power. It is compact enough to be used on ATVs, motorcycles, and vehicles. Rockford amps deliver 300 watts courtesy of an efficient technology called BRT (Boosted Rail Technology). The amp will deliver 75 watts to each of your speakers.
It is in how the Rockford handles heat that makes it stand out from the crowd. With a dynamic Thermal Management system, the amp keeps all internal components cool while at the same time maximizing the potential of the components. The Rockford amp is also known for its Maximum Efficiency Heat Sink Application (MEHSA). With this system, the amp can dissipate heat up to five times more than MOSFET.
NOMAD is a technology found in the amp that protects the speaker wires from shorting and prevents low speaker impedance. The Rockford, even though small, delivers higher power with a 20 percent reduction in thermal impedance. The devices can squeeze more power per cubic inch courtesy of the MOSFET.
9) Power Acoustic RZ4 -1200D Class D 4-Channel amplifier – Most Powerful Small Amplifier
The speakers are capable of delivering up to 1200 watts of power courtesy of an efficient SMT technology and class D topology. The amp is small enough to fit into your car’s glove compartment. The amp delivers 150 watts at 2 ohms.
Power Acoustic is very efficient due to the MOSFET power supply that comes with audiophile. You also get high-level input with signal sense auto turn on. The amp is powerful enough to power a 300 watts subwoofer. The heavy-duty aluminum chassis is not only long lasting but efficiently dissipates heat.
The amplifier also has red, and green LED indicators. This mono channel amp delivers the base that you want due to its variable bass boost. You also get a three-way protection circuitry (overload, thermal and speaker short protection). The terminals are nickel coated to make them long-lasting.
10) Crunch PX-1000 Car Audio with amp wire kit– Best Amp with Kit
The amp from Crunch comes with a full wire amp kit. The package includes ring terminals, wire tires, spades, butt connectors, and grommets. The amplifier delivers a maximum of 1000 watts at 125 watts X 4 channels at 2 ohms. Sound output is maximized due to the single-ended push-pull technology.
You can see the status of the power supply through the red and green indicators. Also, the amp has a pulse width modulated power supply. You also can add more stuff through the preamp RCA inputs. Added protection to the amp includes a three-way system protection circuitry (overload, thermal and speaker short protection).
You get extra bass through a variable bass boost with variable high- and low-pass filter. The Crunch PX can be operated on 2, 3 or 4 channels with an option for a subwoofer. The amp comes with a Rockville 8-gauge 4-channel car amplifier wiring installation kit.
Best 4-Channel Car Amplifier – Buyer’s Guide
Modern amplifiers come with so many cool features it can be hard selecting one for your car. Amplifiers not only increase power output from the speakers but they improve sound quality as well. You do not want to buy an amp that blows up when you hook it up to a subwoofer. Here is a list of factors to consider before you make that purchase:
While many may find loud music irritating, an amp should be able to handle your speakers and subwoofer with ease. When it comes to power the rule of thumb is that you buy an amplifier that can deliver twice the speaker’s program rating. If the speaker has 150 watts with 8 ohms, then select an amp with 300 watts at 8 ohms.
To ensure that the sound quality is not distorted, you will need an amp with extra headroom. Headroom is usually defined as the difference between the maximum level that the amplifier can pass without distorting and normal operating level of an amplifier.
Most of the amplifiers will use the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) power supply. This involves the oxidation of silicon. Due to the insulated gate, conductivity in the amp is greatly increased which increases the power supplied. Look for amps with these specifications.
Total Harmonic Distortion
The total harmonic distortion to noise ratio measures how the amplifier affects the sound output. If you find there is an increase in the sound coloration, then it means you are having increased distortion. If the figure is lower, the sound will be closer to the original recording. Signal to Noise Ratio deals with background noise. Large numbers are better.
Right Number of Channels
When buying an amplifier, you will need to consider how many channels you want with the speaker. You will need one channel for each speaker you want to amplify; this will include a subwoofer for a single channel. Look for amplifiers with a class D rating as they can use an amp without overheating while being power efficient.
Two-channel amplifiers can power two woofers, two coaxial speakers or through bridging, they can be used on a single subwoofer. The 4-channel amplifier can power your rear speakers plus subwoofer, or you can install a separate mono amp for the subwoofer while the amp powers four coaxial speakers.
Inputs and Connections
Depending on your inputs, it is important to find an amp that supports all your connections. You will need to look for an amp with RCA inputs. Some amps come with additional wiring cables which makes it easier to connect the amp. You can also find our best amp wire kits guide here.
This is a measure of resistance, and you will find most of the amplifiers have 4, 8, or 16 ohms. The amplifier impedance should be the same as the speakers. If the speaker’s ohms are very high, then too little power will be delivered while if the speaker’s impedance is too low, you can damage your amp and destroy your speakers.
Class D Amplifiers
Circuit designs in power amplifiers differ. Earlier designs for amplifiers were categorized into class A, B, and AB. These amps, while delivering quality sounds, were large and heavy which resulted in inefficient power consumption. Later on, class D amps came to the marketplace.
With improved technology, the amps delivered good sound quality while being efficient on power. They are also lightweight and can fit in most car glove compartments.
You can use two channels bridged together into one load. The purpose for this is so that the single channel produces more power. This process is called bridging. If you are looking for a single channel to have an output of 300 watts, you can bridge 100 watts per channel. To bridge an amp, you will need the speakers to have double the impedance of the minimum rating load.
Size of the Amplifier
The size of the amplifier will matter a lot depending on where you intend to use it. An amp for outdoor activities, while not particularly small, should be portable. But, if you are buying an amp for your car, then it needs to be small enough to fit in the car’s small spaces like the glove compartment.
Some amplifiers are made from waterproof materials which makes them ideal for motorcycles and boats. Do not let the small size of the amp fool you; some small amps come loaded with power. As for wiring, look for amps that use oxygen-free copper. Copper is good for amps, but you will find that prices are higher than normal.
Amplifiers are a great way to boost your car speakers. They enable you to run both your rear and front speakers with a subwoofer. In this review of the best 4-channel speakers, the editor’s choice is the Rockford R300X4 Prime 4-Channel Amplifier. The speaker has a durable aluminum chassis that dissipates heat well, and it delivers good, clean sounds to the car speakers.