Best 5 Channel Car Amplifiers – (Reviews & Buying Guide For 2020)
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.
Rockville dB55 [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 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
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
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 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 byhaving 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 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
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
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 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 for 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-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?
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 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 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 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?
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 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 for 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 under performance 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 is 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 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 at 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.