Are you contented with the frequent distorted and foggy audio from your front and rear doors?
And how can you put up with the weak bass from your subs?
Maybe you are thinking about how expensive a full sonic upgrade could be. Luckily, there’s an affordable 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. Before the introduction of 5-channel amps, car audio lovers would install two amps. Today, 5-channel amps are used to provide the benefits that come with using multiple amps. They save on space, time, and money.
We’ve reviewed the best 5 channel amps here to help you make that much-needed audio upgrade in your car.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table of 5 Channel Car Amplifiers
- How We Carried Out This Review
- 1. Rockville dB55 – Overall Best 5 Channel Amp 2020
- 2. Planet Audio AC1800.5 Anarchy – Best Budget Amplifier
- 3. BOSS Audio PV3700 Phantom – Massive power at a very favorable price
- 4. Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime
- 5. JL Audio XD700/5V2 – Powerful, compact amp
- 6. Polk Audio PA D5000.5 – Coolest compact 5-channel amp
- 7. Kenwood KAC-M8005 – Class D 1600W Max Bridgeable Marine Power Amplifier
- 8. Skar Audio RP-600.5 – Great amp when you are on a tight budget
- 9. Alpine PDR-V75 – Great amp for cool play
- How to Choose the Best 5 Channel Amp
Comparison Table of 5 Channel Car Amplifiers
|Rockville dB55 [Overall Best]||2000 w||AB/D|
|Planet Audio AC1800.5 Anarchy[Budget Choice]||900 w||A/B|
|BOSS Audio PV3700 Phantom||1650 w||A/B|
|Rockford Fosgate R600X5 Prime||600 w||AB/D|
|JL Audio XD700/5V2[Most Compact amp]||700 w||D|
|Polk Audio PAD5000.5||900 w||D|
|Kenwood KAC-M8005||800 w||A/B|
|Skar Audio RP-600.5||700 w||AB/D|
|Alpine PDR-V75||750 w||D|
How We Carried Out This Review
Many car audio enthusiasts frequently inquire about how to improve the quality of sound in their car audio systems. According to car audio experts, installing an amplifier is one of the best ways of improving the volume, clarity, and depth of a stereo system. 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 include in terms of features and benefits. 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. Rockville dB55 – Overall Best 5 Channel Amp 2020
Rockville dB55 belongs to the db series, the most efficient and best-sounding amp series Rockville has ever created. This 5-channel amplifier has solidified Rockville’s leadership position in the sound systems industry mainly due to its exceptional power. The amp distributes up to 4000w peak power across 5 channels. It has a frequency response 15 – 35 KHz and a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 90%.
Unique Features of Rockville dB55
- Rugged switching MOSFETs – A high-speed MOSFET power supply sets the dB55 apart from the rest of the competition. The most striking characteristic of MOSFETs is that they are highly energy efficient. Due to this attribute, the dB55 sends the optimum power to various channels. It will push your audio system to its best potential.
- Sound control – Rockville appreciates the fact that your listening requirements are different from the next user. You can use different sound customization tools to adjust the audio system’s sound to fit your listening needs. These tools include a fully adjustable 12dB bass equalizer and low, high, and subsonic filters.
- High flexibility to match performance demands – The dB55 has an optical coupler, which facilitates the smooth transition between class D and class A/B operation. You can be sure that the amp will give the best output at all frequencies and volumes. In addition, the amp uses a professional peak limiter that guarantees you distortion-free music at all levels.
- Full IC-controlled protection circuit – Every part of this Rockville power amplification champion is made to the highest standards, and this includes its protection features. In addition to providing cutting-edge thermal protection, the circuitry offers under-voltage protection at 10V and over-voltage protection at 16V. You should, therefore, not be worried about basic damage for Rockville has put the right amp protection measures in place.
- Massive power output for all channels at 2 and 4 ohms
- Distortion-free music playback at all levels
- High-efficiency built-in equalization technology
- Superior value for money
- Easy-to-use sound controls
- The amplifier is heavier than most comparable models
- It May not fit in some cars
Verdict: Rockville dB55 is for individuals who need serious power for their custom car sound system. At its current price, this amp is an incredibly valuable upgrade for your audio system.
Install this CEA-2006 rated amplifier and get amazed by the uplift it adds to your in-car entertainment.
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
- Bridgeable, tri-mode operation – best for powerful subs: The bridging ability of this amplifier is unique. When you set the AC1800.5 into tri-mode, you enable it to bridge two channels into a single channel. Your subwoofer gets more power and hits harder with less distortion.
- Superior build quality for higher performance and durability: Just looking at this amp’s structure will tell you that it’s designed to win. Nickel-plated contacts, heavy-duty set-screw terminals, and chrome-plated connections enhance its quality build. These are among the main reasons the amp ranked among the best 5 channel amps in 2020.
- Achieve the best balance between power and audio quality: This amp is designed with Switchable Input Sensitivity that allows you to control the input signal from the receiver. Thus, you’re able to customize the sound to suit your desired listening needs.
- Enjoy your favorite tunes knowing your system is fully protected: Planet Audio takes system protection to a higher level using a 3-way System Protection circuitry. Your stereo components are under full thermal, current overload, and short-circuit protection. The heavy-duty aluminum heatsink also prevents thermal breakdown by dissipating heat efficiently.
- Powerful enough for dedicated subs
- Well-built structure
- Offers excellent sound customization abilities
- Reliable system protection features
- Less expensive compared to others
- May overheat a little bit
- Minimal distortion may be experienced
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 attention, whereas the multi-LED backlight illumination inevitably fixes your eyes on it, and its power and flexibility inevitably raise your love for quality sound.
Outstanding Features of the PV3700 Phantom
- Massive power output: If you have been wondering where to find an amp that can work seamlessly with your big subs for audiophile-level kind of bass, Boss Audio PV3700 might be what you have been missing. You know what 3700 watts peak power capability can do.
- Class A/B topology and MOSFET power supply: Boss Audio PV3700 is where high energy efficiency, flexibility, and quality sound production meet. The A/B linear circuitry increases the quality and output of audio and minimizes distortion. The MOSFET power supply improves efficiency and minimizes heat production.
- 2-ohm stability and bridgeable: Being a 2-ohm and stable amp, it’s able to power your speakers and subs comfortably so that the system delivers louder and more powerful sound. When bridged, the amp provides a substantial increase in power output for the production of more bass.
- Build a high-power audio system from any source unit: The amplifier has both high and low-level inputs which provide a great deal of flexibility. Whether you have a factory or aftermarket source unit, you can easily control the frequency passing through your full-range speakers and subwoofer.
- The amplifier is well protected against temperature and voltage upsurge: When you have a high power system, you want to know that its protection properties are reliable. The PV3700 has a protection circuitry that constantly monitors the thermal and voltage conditions of the system to ensure that it’s not damaged due to overheating or current upsurge.
- Among the most powerful amps in our selection
- Very loud and punchy music
- Lower price than that of higher-power amps
- Easy to install and user-friendly
- Eye-catching LED backlight
- Nice build quality
- Heats up a bit quickly
- Shuts down into protective mode when under heavy use
- Not fused
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 by having 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
- It runs your entire system comfortably: Rockford Fosgate R600X5 is the perfect all-in-one solution for your amplification needs. It runs your 4 speakers and subwoofer without tiring and can also be bridged to run at 2-ohm. Its speaker-level inputs make it work with any stereo, including factory systems.
- Unmatched sound quality and listening experience: We have experienced Class A/B and Class D amplifiers but have never known how impressive the combination of all the three classes (A, B, and D) feels like. The R600X5 gives you the best of all worlds: Class A’s excellent sound quality, Class B’s minimized overheating, and Class D’s high level of efficiency.
- Consistently loud and undistorted audio: This amp doesn’t struggle to blow you out of the car, but it consistently fills your car with an extremely clean, satisfactory, and loud sounds. It does this by sending 50 watts to each regular speaker and 300 watts to the sub.
- Easily turn the boom up while driving: You can use the Punch EQ adjustable bass boost to push your system to produce deeper bass from the comfort of your driving seat. Remember the amp has the ability to send car shaking bass kicks with its 700 w of peak power. Thus, make good use of the bass boost remote control.
- Heavy-duty cast aluminum alloy heatsink draws heat away quickly
- Bridgeable, Class AB/D technology
- Amp is CEA-2006 compliant
- Durable construction
- Easy to use controls
- Automatic thermal sensing
- Its loudness may not meet the standards of some audiophiles
- Lower power output
- Some connections are a little bit challenging to set up
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
- Small amp but packs massive power for your entire system: The XD700/5V2 surprised us with its power output – it delivers 75 watts RMS to your 4 (front and rear) speakers and up to 300 watts to your sub.
- Highly versatile to suit a wide range of systems: We’ve already seen that the amp can be used with a 5-channel system. What if you use active speakers or a 3-way speaker system? You can high-pass the front channels of the amp to run tweeters, band-pass rear channels for greater mid-bass output, and low-pass the subchannel for deeper bass.
- Unsurpassed efficiency and audio quality: Thanks to the NexD technology used on the XD700/5V2, your system is upgraded to produce exceptional audio quality with total energy efficiency. It plays your music with absolute fidelity, allowing you to enjoy an ever-pleasant listening experience.
- Advanced Rollback Protection (ARP): To eliminate those frustrating abrupt amp shut-downs caused by overheating, the XD700/5V2 uses JL Audio’s exclusive protection circuit (ARP) to monitor the amp’s thermal condition and make adjustments when needed.
- Very strong amp for beefy, audiophile-grade subs
- Can be directly controlled from the driver’s seat
- Great thermal protection system
- Can fit in any vehicle
- 2 auto turn-on modes
- A little bit expensive
- Not fused
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 it’s worth paying a bit more for quality.
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 since its power gives your stereo the ability to produce music full of purity and clarity.
Behind the sleekness of Polk Audio PAD5000.5
- The PAD5000.5 may look small but you are well enlightened not to be fooled by the size. This pretty amplifier continuously sends a whole 70 watts to each of the front and rear speakers and 500 watts to a sub. As you can see, it’s a sound amplification beast packed in a small chassis.
- Crystal clear sound: Your longing for clean, distortion-free sound ends here with Polk’s Class D technology and adjustable high- and low-pass filters. While the Class D design facilitates the reproduction of cleaner and more articulate audio, the two adjustable filters enable you to keep highs away from lows to make the overall sound flawless.
- Ultra-high energy efficiency: The amp uses the popular MOSFET power supply that ensures energy is used efficiently during sound reproduction. Energy efficiency also means less production of heat. The amp thus runs very coolly despite its very high power capabilities.
- Strong structure and stainless exterior: To ensure that your compact amp serves you for years to come, Polk Audio uses a coated PB board to make the PAD5000.5. The construction also features many stainless steel parts that don’t corrode easily even in harsh and humid environments.
- MOSFET modulated power supply
- Super energy efficient amp runs cool
- Thermal, short circuit, and reverse polarity protection
- Remote bass level control
- Highly durable build
- More expensive than most listed amps
- Works best with upgraded speakers
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
You’ll rarely 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
- Small amp but high power capabilities: The KAC-M8005 is probably the smallest 5-channel amp you have ever come across. But in its compactness lies an unfailing ability to run four full-range speakers with 50 watts RMS each and a subwoofer with 500 watts RMS.
- Weather-resistant music on the go: Kenwood KAC-M8005 is suitable for marine applications and power sports, thanks to its conformal-coated circuit board. This board protects inner circuits from moisture, dirt, and water. It makes sure the show goes on regardless of the weather conditions.
- Gives you the best tone for your music: Technology has given the modern sound enthusiast control over almost all aspects of entertainment on the go. The KAC-M8005 is designed with high- and low-pass filters that help you to tailor-make the sound output from your speakers and subs.
- The KAC-M8005 accepts input signals from any source – You can connect RCA cables or speaker wires from your receiver to the amp. It uses the speaker-level inputs to sense the signal for an auto turn-on (it turns itself on). This negates the need to turn on the lead on the receiver.
- Solid and compact for tight space installation
- Great power from a small amp
- Impressively loud with no distortion
- Weather-resistant build
- Easy gain adjustments
- CEA-2006 Compliant
- Doesn’t thump sub as much
- The conformal circuit board can be easily damaged by extreme heat or humidity
- Its price range is slightly on the higher side
Verdict: This CEA-2006 compliant amplifier a great pick. It comes from a leading brand, and it’s compact enough to fit in small spaces. Moreover, it’s powerful enough 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 a 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 4-way protection circuitry for ultimate protection.
Unique Features of Skar Audio RP-600.5
- Bridgeable, Class AB/D amplifier properties: The RP-600.5 is the biggest rival of Rockford Fosgate R600X5 when amplifier topology is considered. Class AB/D technology makes the amp extremely energy efficient while still producing loud, non-distorted sound with minimal heat production. The RP-600.5 can also be bridged to feed more power to your sub.
- Unmatched stereo protection: The majority of amplifiers have thermal, voltage, and speaker protection. Skar Audio RP-600.5 has a 4-way protection circuitry that offers DC protection in addition to other protective properties. This is the kind of amp that allows you to turn the music and bass up to the max without any worries of breakdown.
- Exquisite high and low frequencies: With the high- and low-pass filters and bass boost controls, Scar Audio RP-600.5 gives you the freedom to fine-tune your sound according to your preferences. That’s why it is so easy to get high-quality sound (crisp and precise highs and deep, articulate bass) from a system powered by this amp.
- Excellent heat dissipation: At the core of every high-quality amplifier’s chassis is a solid heat sink. Scar Audio uses a cast-aluminum heat sink for heat dissipation. It aids in the faster drawing of heat out of the system so that your system remains cool even when performing at its highest power level.
- Skar Audio has used the best gauge wire for this amp. A 4-gauge wire is the most suitable wire size for a system with 700 watts RMS power capability. This wire is able to handle the input power and grounding requirements of the RP-600.5.
- Great sound amplification that gives clean, non-distorted sound
- It pushes bass well for total enjoyment of music
- Price is on the lower side
- Delivers Class AB/D topology benefits
- Doesn’t overheat
- Sometimes goes into protection mode
- Maybe insufficient for a dual subs system
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.
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-quality sound from a small, lightweight amp that can fit well under the driver’s seat or in the dash.
Why choose Alpine PDR-V75?
- Your music keeps pumping even when overheating conditions are detected: The fact that every amp faces overheating challenges is not news. But while a typical amp will shut off momentarily when there is overheating, the PDR-V75 uses a more advanced inbuilt thermal management system that reduces (rather than shut off) output power when it detects overheating.
- Extra bass fun: In addition to Alpine’s standard adjustable high/low pass crossovers and bass boost, the PDR-V75 gives you the option of using a separate remote bass level control. This allows you to get even more bass from the system for a better listening experience.
- Exquisite high and low frequencies: With the high- and low-pass filters and bass boost controls, Scar Audio RP-600.5 gives you the freedom to fine-tune your sound according to your preferences. That’s why it is so easy to get high quality from a system powered by this amp.
- Excellent heat dissipation: At the core of every high-quality amplifier’s chassis is a solid heat sink. Scar Audio uses a cast-aluminum heat sink for heat dissipation. It aids in the faster drawing of heat out of the system so that your system remains cool even when performing at its highest power levels.
- Powerful sound reproduction at 4-ohm, 2-ohm, and bridged mode: This Class D amp can run 5 channels simultaneously as follows: i) 75w per channel for 4 channels + 250w for 1 channel (sub) – 4-ohm. ii) 100w per channel for 4 channels + 350w for 1 channel – 2-ohm. It can also function as a 3-channel amp when bridged.
- Removable wire terminals make the amp very easy to install. Even if you’ve never installed an amplifier before, you can quickly set up Alpine PDR-V75. The wire terminals can be plugged and unplugged once they are attached to your speaker wiring.
- Excellent audio quality
- MOSFET power supply – high energy efficiency
- Smallest 5 channel amp of its power rating
- Accepts speaker level inputs
- Flexible controls for sound customization
- Advanced thermal management system
- Controls are hard to access after installing the cover
- Top-facing controls don’t work well for some installations
- A separate adapter cable may be required for speaker-level inputs
Our thoughts: Alpine PDR-V75 is currently in 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 better. 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 damage 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 the future – for instance, to 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?
- Is it distortion? Amps with more linearity (such as Class A/B amps) are considered more suitable for producing distortion-free sound.
- Do you want more sound volume from a low-powered system? You can use a highly efficient amplifier to achieve superior sound reproduction. Class D amps are reputed with high energy efficiency and are therefore great for this purpose.
- You want more bass from your subs: Subs are wonderful components to have in your car but they feed heavily. Coupling them with a high-power amp is the only way to push them to their optimum potential.
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 the 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 textbook and as long as your palm. Make sure you check the installation space requirements before buying your new amp.
Best 5-Channel Amplifiers 2020 FAQs
Q. How is a 5-channel amplifier configured?
A: A 5-channel amp is usually a combination of two amplifiers. A common layout is where a 4-channel amp is combined with a 1-channel unit. This amplifier combo can power four speakers and one sub. The one channel for the sub is more powerful as it has to drive more power compared to what channels regular speakers need to drive.
Q. Why should I go for a 5-channel amplifier?
A: 5-channel amps are a great addition to your system if you have/or plan to install one speaker for each corner of your car and a powerful sub at the back. The amplifier will power all your speakers better than most amplifier setups as each speaker is served by one dedicated channel. In other words, there is no sharing of channels between speakers.
Q. What are the advantages of a bridgeable amplifier?
A: Bridging multiple amplifiers is a common way of increasing the power supplied to a speaker. It is useful when you want to drive a single voice coil (SVC) or single-channel subwoofer. While the process is bridging is easy, it should be left to professionals to avoid problems with sound quality. Some of the issues that result from faulty bridging include harshness in the highs and midrange as well as thin bass. Amplifiers to be bridged must be identical.
Q. How do I tune my 5-channel amplifier for the best sound?
A: Buying an aftermarket amplifier is an excellent step toward better audio. The other critical step is tuning the amp so that it reaches all your speakers and subwoofer, and it attains its full potential. Failure to correctly tune your amp not only results to underperformance but also puts the rest of your audio equipment at risk of damage. Here are the settings you need to understand to set up your amp for optimal performance:
- Level/gain: Used to match head unit (Bluetooth player, radio, etc.) output voltage with amplifier output voltage.
- Crossover (X-Over): This setting has predetermined frequency ranges
- HPF and LPF filters: After setting crossovers to an appropriate frequency range, you can use high-pass and low-pass filters to further dial the crossovers. Proper tuning of crossovers and filters eliminates sound distortion and reduces the risk of damage to your amplifier, speakers, and subwoofers.
- Bass boost: Be careful with this setting. Turning up the bass boost adds more kick to your low-frequency notes. However, turning it up all at once is a direct route to distortion and possible damage to your sub.
- Other critical settings include the subsonic filter and remote (external) bass control.
Q. What should I consider first when choosing an amplifier: impedance or power rating?
A: Many people make this mistake: choosing an amp based on its power rating without first considering the impedance their subs can and cannot provide. Finding an amp that can do 2000W RMS does not mean it is the right amp for two subs each with a power handling of 1000W RMS. What impedance (ohms) are the subs wired to provide? Can the amp match this impedance? If yes, you can consider the amp, otherwise, it cannot work with your subs. It’s inherent to remember that wiring subs to the wrong impedance are one of the most common causes of burnt voice coils and blown subwoofers.
Q. Can I install a 5-channel amplifier even though I have less than 4 speakers in my car audio system?
A: Yes. If you have, say three speakers and a subwoofer, you can still use a 5-channel amplifier and leave one channel unused. Having more power for your speakers is not a problem. Under-powering them is a problem. Having an amplifier with unused channels also gives you an opportunity to add more speakers to your system in the future.
Q. Which are the best places to install a 5-channel amp?
A: When planning on where to install your amp, it helps to consider how you will route connecting wires. Popular installation locations for amps include in the trunk and under a seat. Record the measurements of these spaces and use them to select an amp of the appropriate size.
Our Top Pick is Rockville dB55
Search far and wide across different brands and models of 5-channel amplifiers and you will not get an amp as powerful and efficient as Rockville dB55. This amplifier sets up your system for next-level performance. It fulfills Rockville’s promise of excellent sound output at all frequencies.
Being a class AB/D amp, the dB55 combines energy efficiency and high audio quality. Besides, the amp has been rigorously tested to ensure that it delivers exactly how the specs say it should perform. Our view is that this amplifier is Rockville’s newest top performer. It competes well with leading amplifier brands, and this has continued to place the company in a favorable position among the market leaders. If you are looking for an amp that will deliver powerful, smooth, and clean sound, don’t hesitate to try Rockville dB55.
Featured image credit: Unsplash