Car Amplifiers: Do You Really Need Them?

While both of these methods tend to introduce noise or distortion, the only other option is to buy a new head unit. The power of an amp dictates how loud and distortion-free the sound is. Each amp must be matched to the system that it’s going to power.

Some amps have low-pass or high-pass filters built in, which make them ideal for powering woofers or tweeters. Because the point of an amplifier is to increase the audio signal strength, the power of an amp is an important consideration. Head units that contain powerful amps are more expensive than basic models. Often, the more economical choice is to pair a head unit that features preamp outputs with a dedicated amp. The power of an amp refers to the wattage that it can send to the speakers.

Amplifiers are often associated with high-performance car audio. One main differentiating factor between amps is how many channels they have. If your head unit doesn't have preamp outputs, you'll need an amp with speaker-level inputs.

Michael Heine headshot These outputs bypass the built-in amplifier and send a clear signal to an external amplifier. In fact, a car stereo wouldn’t work without one.

Car Amplifiers: Do You Really Need Them?

Car audio amplifier essentials: channels, power, and clarity


p>Jeremy Laukkonen An RMS somewhere between 75 percent and 150 percent of the power that the speakers can handle is best, and overpowering the speakers a little is better than underpowering them. In both home and car audio systems, an amplifier strengthens a weak audio signal. For example, a four-channel amp can power four coaxial speakers, and a separate mono amp can be used for a subwoofer. However, every car audio system requires an amplifier, whether it’s a weak, built-in feature or a separate, high-powered unit.

Other amps have variable filters, bass boost, and other features. A decent head unit makes finding the right car amp easier. The key value here is the RMS, but there is no specific number to look for.

Jeremy Laukkonen is automotive and tech writer for numerous major trade publications as well as the creator of a popular blog and video game startup. The other option is to use a speaker to line level converter. Most car audio systems and simple upgrades don’t include a separate amplifier, although many include a dedicated amplifier to drive a subwoofer. At least one channel is needed for each speaker, but you can use more than one amp in a single car audio system.

The RMS of an amp should be matched to the power handling of the speakers, which is different in every car audio system. A fan of EVs since the early 2000s, he stays up-to-date on the myriad complex systems that power battery electric vehicles. Here are a few benefits of including a separate amplifier in your car audio system: When the signal that goes into the amplifier is too weak to drive speakers, the signal that comes out can get the job done.

Another factor to consider is whether the head unit includes preamp outputs. Some head units have enough power to provide relatively distortion-free sound, and adding a high-pass crossover can help clear things up. If you don’t mind a little distortion, and you have no desire to crank your head unit to 11, you can probably skip the amp and focus on the head unit and speakers.

They are available in multiple configurations from mono to six channels, each of which is best suited to different speaker setups. Although upgrading a head unit prior to adding an amplifier Toyota tundra 2008 in ghana costs more, it provides the best results.

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