Best 5 Channel Car Amplifiers – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2018)
Are you contented with the sometimes distorted and foggy audio from your front and rear doors?
And for how will you put up with the weak bass from your subs?
Maybe you are thinking about how expensive a full sonic upgrade could be. But there’s a less expensive way of upgrading your car audio system and that’s using a high-quality 5 channel amplifier?
Why use a 5-channel amp?
If you have four door speakers and a sub, there’s quite a good chance that you’ll need two amps (maybe a 4-channel and a 1-channel) to drive the system to its optimum performance. Installing two amps was what car audio lovers did before the introduction of 5-channel amps. Now, 5-channel amps are used to provide the benefits of multiple amps and are great space, time and money savers.
We’ve reviewed the best 5 channel amps here to help you make that much needed audio upgrade in your car.
Comparison Table of 5 Channel Car Amplifiers
Pioneer GM-D9605 GM [Overall Best]
Planet Audio AC1800.5 Anarchy[Budget Choice]
JL Audio XD700/5V2[Most Compact amp]
How we carried out this review
Many car audio enthusiasts frequently send us questions on how to improve their car audio systems’ quality of sound. According to car audio experts, installing an amplifier is one of the most popular ways of improving a stereo’s sound volume, clarity and depth. We decided to compile a comprehensive review of the best car amplifiers as part of our response to these questions.
The review process kicked off with a brainstorming session aimed at bringing together diverse views of what the best amplifier should be. Our sound engineers, car audio equipment installers, reviewers and real customers threw in their ideas, which formed the basis for selecting the first list of 5-channel amps. Every amp in this list was tested to verify its performance and other quality indicators.
It was quite a rigorous exercise but we are happy to present to you our well-researched reviews of the top performing 5-channel amps.
1. Pioneer GM-D9605 GM – Overall Best 5 Channel Amp 2018
Pioneer’s GM-D9605 Class D bridgeable amplifier is a sharp-looking, powerful enhancement to your car’s entire stereo. High efficiency and excellent sound amplification are its unique strengths. The amp gives 75 watts RMS to each of the front and rear speakers and delivers up to 600 watts RMS to your subwoofer.
Unique Features of Pioneer GM-D9605
Verdict: If a compact, powerful and highly flexible amp is what you view as the best amplifier, Pioneer GM-D9605 won’t disappoint you.
Install the GM-D9605 in your car, boat or ATV/UTV and enjoy the uplift it gives your audio.
2. Planet Audio AC1800.5 Anarchy – Best Budget Amplifier
Why ride with weak, boring sound while Planet Audio has brought to the market one of the most favorably priced 5-channel amps?
The AC1800.5 packs up to 1800 watts for your system and allows you to customize your sound as you like so that every ride is party time for you.
Features and Benefits of Planet Audio AC1800.5 Anarchy
Our view: Do you need to drastically improve the volume and overall quality of sound in your car. Planet Audio will give you that quick inexpensive sonic upgrade you are looking for.
Take this great chance: Get Planet Audio AC1800.5 Anarchy at its current pocket-friendly price.
3. BOSS Audio PV3700 Phantom – Massive power at a very favorable price
Everything about BOSS Audio is captivating. Getting impressed is the only option with this amp. Its 3700w MAX power catches your hearing attention, the multi-LED backlight illumination inevitably fixes your eyes on it, and its power and flexibility inevitably raises your love for quality sound.
Outstanding Features of the PV3700 Phantom
Our say: Boss Audio PV3700 makes it to the top 5 amps in our review because of its exceptional power abilities, flexibility and favorable price. It is probably the quickest and most inexpensive stereo upgrade for an audiophile.
Customize your beats for total amusement from your music. Have the PV3700 amp installed today.
4. Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime
You know Rockford Fosgate is a performing brand but you are eager to see what this rugged package, the R600X5, has for your listening needs. It can continuously drive four speakers with 50 watts each and power a sub with up to 300 watts. What can it do when bridged? See below…
Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Highlights
Our say: Rockford Fosgate has really tried to use its proprietary design to make sure this amp delivers superior sound quality. With this CEA-2006 compliant amplifier, you know you have a dependable upgrade for your car stereo.
Order Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime for long-term, high-efficiency sound amplification.
5. JL Audio XD700/5V2 – Powerful, compact amp
JL Audio has continued to awe car audio enthusiasts with great equipment. The brand is currently featured in almost all reviews of top speakers and amplifiers. We investigated JL Audio XD700/5V2 and here are the amazing features our review managed to confirm.
Unique Features of JL Audio XD700/5V2
Verdict: Clearly, JL Audio XD700/5V2 has specs only found in the best multichannel amplifiers. There’s a reason for its high price, but those who have experience with car audio equipment know that you can only pay for quality once.
If your budget can allow, don’t hesitate to order the XD700/5V2.
6. Polk Audio PA D5000.5 – Coolest compact 5-channel amp
First things first; Polk Audio PAD5000.5 runs as cool as any amp can ever run for as long as you want it. This ultra-efficient Class D amp will make you miss being behind the wheel as it powers gives your stereo lots of power to produce music full of purity and clarity.
Behind the sleekness of Polk Audio PAD5000.5
Our view: The PAD5000.5 is among Polk Audio’s most energy-efficient digital amplifiers. You will pay a premium price for it but what you get in return is something any other amplifier of this size would struggle to deliver.
Arm your car audio system with the right amount of power and you’ll always be blown away by the music it gives you.
7. Kenwood KAC-M8005 - Class D 1600W Max Bridgeable Marine Power Amplifier
Rarely will you find a 5 channel amp that powers your entire audio system the way Kenwood KAC-M8005 does. If you have a set of high-performance speakers and a sub, this amp is more than enough to drive them crazy with power and drive your moods up with exceptional sound quality.
What to expect from Kenwood KAC-M8005
Verdict: This CEA-2006 compliant amplifier a great pick. It comes from a leading brand, it’s compact enough to fit in small spaces and it’s sufficiently powerful to run your entire car audio system.
Have you ever experienced marine-grade power in sound amplification? Try Kenwood KAC-M8005
8. Skar Audio RP-600.5 – Great amp when you are on tight budget
Are you looking for an amplifier with specs that bring on board serious sound amplification?
Try Skar Audio RP-600.5, a Class AB/D full-range amp that uses a high speed MOSFET power supply to run your system and a 4-way protection circuitry to the stereo the ultimate protection.
Unique Features of Scar Audio RP-600.5
Verdict: If you are tired of the weak audio from your system and want an upgrade with a limited budget, consider Skar Audio RP-600.5. It is highly efficient and has premium features for stereo protection.
View current price of Skar Audio on Amazon.
9. Alpine PDR-V75 – Great amp for cool play
Alpine PDR-V75 showcases great improvement on the basic Class D amp design. Real users’ sentiments portray it as one of the best sounding and most compact 5-channel amps. You get high sound quality from a small, lightweight amp that can fit well under the driver’s seat or in the dash.
Why choose Alpine PDR-V75?
Our thoughts: Alpine PDR-V75 is currently on high demand because of its high power performance and unique thermal management system. And it is of course one of the most compact multichannel amps on the market.
Get this superb performer today for a complete transformation of your audio system.
How to Choose the Best 5 Channel Amp
So, you know of a number of top performing 5-channel amps.
But you still have to close in on one amplifier that best matches your listening needs. Maybe you want to get rid of the boring distortion you experience from your car stereo or the system’s inability to crank up your favorite jams.
We’ll discuss the most important factors to consider as you aim to give your audio system the best upgrade.
1. Does the amp meet your system’s power requirements?
You need an amp that will make your system sound more awesome. Sound volume and bass are definitely top on the list of required improvements. But your speakers and subs have specific power ratings (RMS and MAX power indications). These ratings should guide you when choosing the best amp for the system.
One important thing to remember is that you’d rather overpower than underpower your speakers and subs. Underpowering speakers often damages them.As such, consider amplifiers that have an RMS rating higher than that of your speakers and subs.
2. Is the amplifier bridgeable or not?
While it’s obvious that 5-channel amps are designed mainly for 5-channel systems, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same amp cannot be used with a 3-way system. The only requirement is that it is bridgeable. Most of the amps reviewed above are bridgeable and we did that intentionally.
If you’d like to change the composition of your car audio system in future – for instance add more speakers – you’d better buy a bridgeable amp today because it offers more flexibility.
3. What is your main reason for buying a car amplifier?
There are many sound ills that 5 channel amplifiers treat. What is the most disturbing problem affecting your car’s sound system?
4. Check the impedance rating
Every amplifier has an ohms rating, which describes its impedance - how hard it has to work to drive power through. The lower the impedance, the easier it is for the amp; and the higher it is the harder the amp has to work. Most 5 channel amplifiers have a rating of 4 or 2 ohms, but always check to ensure you get the right one for your audio system.
5. Other desirable features
The following qualities make an amplifier more desirable to real users. Check them out.
- Thermal, voltage and short protection – especially crucial for amps with high power capabilities.
- Adjustable equalizer – gives you more control over your system and ability to tweak your music to your liking
- Subwoofer remote control – gives you control over your sub from the driver’s seat.
- Amps that are easy to install
- Aluminum covers - excellent heat dissipation
Lastly, don’t forget to consider the size of the amplifier to ensure that it fits in your vehicle. Technology has made it possible to design extremely compact amps. You can get an amp as thin as a text book and as long as your palm. Make sure you check the installation space requirements before buying your new amp.
Our Top Pick is…
Pioneer GM-D9605 showed unique strength especially in power output and energy efficiency. It can run your system continuously, giving each of the front and rear speakers enough power to produce excellent high and mid frequencies. For your sub, the amplifier packs up to 600 watts RMS so you can be sure to receive some explosive kicks and incredible sound volume.
Being a Class D amp, the GM-D9605 exhibits exceptional energy efficiency, meaning it will give your audio system more power than it currently gets. Another feature that puts this amp ahead of the competition is its Total Vibration Control technology. We could not get enough of the smooth, clean sound this amp produced thanks to its superior vibration minimizing abilities.
And you don’t have to break the bank for this excellent performance. Pioneer has placed an average price tag on the GM-D9605.