A great stereo system is not usually a primary deciding factor for many car buyers. However, any vehicle owners want a better musical experience in their cars. Thankfully, you do not have to break the bank to achieve a superior listening experience. A good budget car amplifier is what you need. It would give a bass boost and drive your car speakers.
I have carefully curated this review of the best budget car amplifiers you can purchase from various car amplifiers across features, class, prices, brands, and quality.
Here’s a run-through:
- BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Car Audio Subwoofer Amplifier
- Taramps TS 400×4 4 Channels Car Audio Amplifier
- Planet Audio AC1000.2 2 Channel Car Amplifier
- Blaupunkt 1500W 4-Channel, Full-Range Amplifier
Best Budget Car Amplifiers Review
BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Car Audio Subwoofer Amplifier
Many car amplifiers like the BOSS R1004, a low-power full-range amplifier. This feature is not only great for driving car speakers but also supports subwoofers. Sound setup with the amp would usually include another amplifier to breathe some bass into the mix.
This is where the BOSS R1100M comes in. The BOSS R1100M beast might be on the pricey end of this list, but it is a dedicated subwoofer amplifier. It packs all of that power into one single channel. It offers both 1100W max at 2 ohms and 550W max at 4 ohms. This means that you have a wider variety of subwoofers open for selection.
The sleek design means you can use it along with factory-fitted amplifiers to give your listening experience the needed kick. It comes equipped with a variable low-pass crossover, switchable bass boost, and variable input gain control. All of these allow you to control the production from the speakers to the finest details.
- Massive bass boost
- Easy to mount
- Great value for money
- Mono channel
This amplifier is for those looking for more bass to their factory-fitted or low-power aftermarket amp. Frankly, whether or not your vehicle’s sound system is a priority, the BOSS R1100M is a worthwhile investment. The pump in bass is worth the price.
Taramps TS 400×4 4 Channels Class D Car Audio Amplifier
Taramps TS 400×4 might be just 400W max power, but its versatility is its selling point. It has four channels which can be run individually at 100W RMS at 2 ohms and 63W RMS at 4 ohms. The amazing part is that these channels can be bridged to achieve 200W at 4 ohms. This means that the Taramps TS 400×4 can service a wide range of speakers with different configurations.
Beyond the versatility, the Taramps TS 400×4 is the only class D amp on this list. This implies that it has the highest efficiency of all the amps. It serves all of these perks for under $100. It is also a full-range amplifier. As long as those speakers are kicking, you would be getting the best out of the high and low end.
- Flexible with speaker setups
- Can be bridged
- High efficiency
- Small and can fit in more places
- Easy to mount
- Class D- slightly lower sound fidelity
- Not for bigger subwoofers
Taramps TS 400×4 is a great budget amplifier for those looking to take their car sound to the next level. It affords a lot of opportunity to fiddle with various speaker configurations. If you’re looking to get the most out of a vehicle’s acoustics, it is for you.
Planet Audio AC1000.2 2 Channel Car Amplifier
Planet Audio AC1000.2 combines power and adaptability to provide an all-around musical experience as a full-range amp. It has it all. A Variable low-pass crossover and high-pass filter allow for better signal distribution to the speakers in the setup. The switchable bass boost brings the option to add a kick in the bass to your fingertips.
This amplifier combines all of these features with the Variable input gain control and switchable input sensitivity to produce crisp-sounding audio to the listener’s taste. It can also be bridged to power a subwoofer at 750W RMS at 4 ohms.
- Impressive value for money
- Durable build material
- Provides just two channels
- Suited for door speakers and small setups
Despite offering two channels, this is a go-to amplifier for many situations. If you are starting and want to give your factory-fitted full-range speakers a boost, get the Planet Audio AC1000.2. It is also a great option if you want to add a small subwoofer to your setup.
Blaupunkt 1500W 4-Channel, Full-Range Amplifier
Finally, we get to see the big guns. At a staggering 1500W, this Blaupunkt is easily the most powerful on this list. It can fully power front and rear factory fitted speakers with four channels. This full-range amplifier will be sure to leave passengers dancing in their seats. The raw power means this amplifier can power both speakers and subwoofers in any suitable configuration.
Users can design their car sound system robust without needing a secondary amplifier. While bridging might be tricky, there would usually be no need to bridge with the power this amplifier offers. It provides both 150W RMS at 4 ohms and 300W RMS at 2 ohms in each channel.
- Clean and powerful sound
- Plenty of power to drive many speakers
- Full range, four channels
- Best value for money
- RCA-only inputs
- Cannot be bridged
This amplifier is a no-brainer for music enthusiasts and the average listener ready to have their minds blown away. If you’re prepared to bring the party on the road, buy the Blaupunkt.
|No of Channels||Amp Class||Output Power||Inputs||Impedance|
|BOSS Audio Systems R1100M||1||A/B||1100W||RCA and High Level||825W RMS at 2 ohms / 413W RMS at 4 ohms|
|Taramps TS 400×4||4||D||400W||RCA only||100W X 4 RMS at 2 ohms/ 63W X 4 RMS at 4 ohms/ Bridged 2 x 200W RMS at 4 ohms|
|Planet Audio AC1000.2||2||A/B||1000W||RCA and High Level||375W X 2 RMS at 2 ohms/ 188 W X 2 RMS at 4 ohms/ Bridged 750 W X 1 RMS at 4 ohms|
|Blaupunkt||4||A/B||1500W||RCA only||150W x 4 RMS at 4 ohms/ 300W x 4 RMS at 2 ohms|
How to Buy the Best Budget Car Amplifier
Here are the things to look out for when deciding what budget car amplifier you want to get.
Number of Channels
The number of channels you’ll be looking for in an amplifier is dependent mainly on the use and speaker setup. While some multi-channel amplifiers can be bridged to power subwoofers, a monoblock one would be preferred for the job. If you just want to add a subwoofer to the mix, you should be getting a single channel mono amplifier.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to power factory-fitted front and rear end speakers, a 2 or 4 channel amplifier is the way to go.
Beyond the electronics, the amplifier class majorly points to the efficiency and sound fidelity of the amplifier. Class A/B amplifiers are the most common as they provide a good balance between efficiency and sound quality. They offer power efficiency and good sound. Class D amplifiers are the most efficient and produce less heat but have relatively lower sound fidelity.
To avoid extra wiring and adapters, ensure that your head unit and amplifiers have the same level of output/input. If you don’t already have one, buy a head unit with preamp output and an amplifier with RCA inputs. This would allow for the cleanest output.
Output power is simply the wattage of the amplifier. What is more important is the amplifier’s RMS (Root Mean Squared) power. This is what goes into the speakers on average. When deciding what to buy, ensure that the speakers have matching or slightly greater RMS values than what the amplifier is putting out. This is to prevent overloading of the speakers.
The inputs are a means through which signal gets from the head unit into the amplifier. There are RCA or Low-level inputs and Speaker-level or High-level inputs. Be sure to check that your head unit matches the available inputs on an amplifier before purchase.
Speaker impedance is the voice coil’s total resistance to the flow of electric current, and it is measured in Ohms. While this is more scientific, it is vital to match impedances when selecting speakers alongside amplifiers. This would prevent volume and power distribution issues.
Read more: Bad Ground On Amp Symptoms
All things considered, the Blaupunkt 1500W amplifier seems to be the best budget car amplifier under $100. Every other amplifier on this list is also viable for the many broad use cases. What is essential is to meticulously determine your amplifier needs and tailor your purchase to your requirements.