What are the Best Car Audio Capacitors? Expert Answer With Pros and Cons
Capacitors are electronic components that store electric energy and discharge it rapidly.
Unlike batteries, they’re built to store and discharge energy rapidly. Every capacitor comprises of dielectric and two electric conductors.
The dielectric acts as an insulator between the conductors. When a source of electric current powers the conductors, a field of static electricity is generated and stored around the dielectric.
With that said, what’s the use of a capacitor in car audio?
Car audio capacitor is used to prevent dimming of dash lights and headlights when playing loud bass notes. They work by supplying the car amplifier with rapid jolts of power.
But how would you get to know the best capacitor for your car audio? It’s simple. Read on through this article for a review of the top 7 best car audio capacitors.
This buying guide will assist you in making a more informed decision upon knowing the features, pros, and cons of the top 7 best capacitors for car audio.
Planet Audio PC10F [Overall best]
Soundquest SQCAP2M[Budget Friendly]
12 to 16V DC
How We Wrote This Review
We have interviewed many car owners who complain about dimming headlights and dash lights when blasting their music.
They always wondered how they could fix this problem. Well, from our research, all they needed is installing a car audio capacitor.
With a little investment, they installed car audio capacitors and are no longer experiencing the problem of dimming lights.
Also, we have done analysis from existing research on car audio capacitors to have a deeper understanding of the features that a good capacitor must-have.
Most noteworthy, we have gathered reports from product experts to know more about the performance of different capacitors in the market.
The results of our research show that different car stereo capacitor perform differently.
As a buyer, you need to know the best audio capacitor for your car.
This is where this review comes in handy. It has everything you need to know as a buyer regarding the best car audio capacitors.
1. Planet Audio PC10F - Overall Best Car Audio Capacitor
Planet Audio PC10F boasts of being one of the best 10 Farad car audio capacitors. It’s unique in that it supports a capacitance value of 10 farads.
This means that it can store and discharge more power than its main competitors. Hence, it can power more powerful car amplifiers than rival capacitors.
Features and Benefits of Planet Audio PC10F
Our Verdict: Planet Audio PC10F capacitor is ideal for car owners who need to power more powerful car stereo systems. Although it’s a little more expensive than some of its competitors, it worth its price considering its higher capacitance.
2. BOSS Audio CPBK2-2
BOSS Audio CPBK2-2 is a 2 Farad audio capacitor. It’s unique for its compact size and weight, making it one of the smallest, yet a reliable capacitor in the market today.
Its small size makes it less visible upon hooking up in your car stereo. Its compact design makes it easier to fit in even the smallest spaces.
Features and Benefits of BOSS Audio CPBK2-2
Our Verdict: BOSS Audio CPBK2-2is one of the best capacitors for car audio on the lower price tag. It’s most ideal for car owners with a tight budget and less powerful amps. It will surely offer you the convenience you need, thus consider it in your shortlist.
3. Sound Storm C22
The Sound Storm C22 capacitor is yet another great car stereo capacitor. Its key unique feature is its chrome-plated posts.
The chromium plating gives the posts a decorative surface finish. It also enhances the resilience of the posts.
In addition, chromium plating makes the posts stronger and more durable.
Highlights and Benefits of Sound Storm C22
Our Verdict: If you really need a medium-priced capacitor for your car stereo that charges pretty fast, then you can add Sound Storm C22 in your shortlist. It’s ideal for anyone with less powerful amplifiers.
4. Stinger SSCAP2M
The Stinger SSCAP2M is yet another great capacitor. Its main unique feature is its aluminum brushed casing.
The brushed aluminum body is light, yet durable. Moreover, brushed aluminum is more attractive than standard aluminum.
In addition, aluminum resists corrosion and is more resilient especially in colder environments.
Features and Benefits of Stinger SSCAP2M
Our Verdict: In case you’re searching for one of the most inexpensive yet reliable capacitors for a car music system, then you need to check out Stinger SSCAP2M on Amazon. Consider it in your shortlist give your car amp more power.
5. Rockford RFC1
One of the most notable capacitors is the Rockford RFC1. It’s a 1 Farad capacitor with a unique feature of having a platinum-plated body.
Plating the capacitor body with platinum enhances its hardness. This makes it more durable and less prone to surface damage.
For instance, it’s not easy to scratch a platinum-plated capacitor.
Features and Benefits of Rockford RFC1
Our Verdict: Rockford RFC1 capacitor is ideal for any car owner who needs a capacitor that can charge quite fast and one that can perform remarkably despite working under high temperatures. Although it’s a bit more expensive, remember quality matters.
6. Soundquest SQCAP2M - Budget Friendly
The Soundquest SQCAP2M is yet another affordable 2 Farads car capacitor. Its key feature is the brushed aluminum body.
The finishing is highly authentic and decorative for a capacitor of its price range. Brushed aluminum capacitor body makes it weather-resistant, thus it is ideal for use in a car environment.
Features and Benefits of Soundquest SQCAP2M
Our Verdict: Considering its great features, the Soundquest SQCAP2M is a good option at its affordable price tag. Thus, it’s ideal for anyone with a tight budget, yet it offers all you need in a capacitor for your car stereo.
7. Power Acoustik PC1.5F
Power Acoustik PC1.5F boasts of being an average priced 1.5 Farads capacitor. It’s most noteworthy feature is automatic shutoff protection.
This enables the capacitor to shut off the charging electric current whenever it’s fully charged.
Automatic shutoff protects the capacitor from damage that may result from voltage overload.
Power Acoustik PC1.5F Key Highlights and Benefits
Our Verdict: The capacitor is worth its middle price range, considering its great features. If your car amp does not demand a lot of power, this power capacitor will be good enough and you’ll surely appreciate what it has to offer.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Car Audio Capacitor
Capacitors for car audio systems are not designed the same way. Different capacitors have different features.
They have different pros and an equal share of cons. Thus, a capacitor that works for one car audio system may not work effectively in another car audio.
Therefore, you’ll want to choose the best capacitor for your car to get the most out of it. But how would you choose the best capacitor for your car audio?
Well, there is some considerations you need to think about before making your final decision.
Here are the things to consider before buying the best capacitor for your car audio:
Capacitance Value Rating
The capacitance value rating of a capacitor describes the charge that a capacitor can store.
The capacitance value is represented in Farads. The higher the capacitance value, the more powerful the capacitor.
Before buying a capacitor for your car audio, consider the power of your car amplifier. If your car amp is rated less than 2000 watts, a capacitor with a capacitance value of 1 to 2 Farads can suffice.
However, if you have a more powerful car amp, then consider a capacitor with a higher capacitance rating for the best performance.
Rated Voltage and Surge Voltage of the Capacitor
Different capacitors have different rated voltage. In general, most car batteries and alternators produce a voltage of 12 to 14.8V DC.
Thus, you’ll want to consider a capacitor that can handle up to 16V DC rated voltage. The surge voltage should be on the higher side.
A surge voltage rating of around 20V DC should suffice to ensure your capacitor does not get damaged in case of a sudden voltage surge.
Voltage Overload and Low Voltage Protection
Each and every capacitor has a maximum voltage level it can take. Exceeding the maximum voltage may damage the capacitor.
Also, low voltage can damage the capacitor. Thus, consider a capacitor with both voltage overload and low voltage protection to increase the chances of using it for more years to come.
If you can get a capacitor with an automatic shutoff, the better.
Ease of Charging and Installation
Another factor to consider is how easy it is to charge the capacitor. You wouldn’t want to invest in a capacitor that takes too long to charge or is complicated to charge.
Also, consider how easy it is to connect the capacitor to your car audio sound system. It should be effortless to connect or disconnect.
Moreover, it should come with mounting hardware, including mounting brackets and screws.
Audible Alerts for Unfavorable Conditions
While driving, you might not always check your capacitor for charge level with the aim of driving safely.
Thus, you should invest in a capacitor that can give you audible alerts for unfavorable conditions such as low voltage and overvoltage. Also, consider a capacitor with reverse polarity alerts.
LED Voltage Display
It’s ideal to invest in a capacitor that has an LED voltage display to easily know the current charge level of the capacitor.
An LED voltage display eliminates the need to use voltmeters which only make it more challenging to use a capacitor in your car audio.
Durability of the Capacitor
Whenever investing in any product, you’ll always want something that can serve you for many years.
The same case applies to buying capacitors. It’s ideal to consider the material and finishing of the capacitor.
Choose a capacitor made of a material and finishing that can resist corrosion and weather elements. The end terminals should also be made of a strong material that resists abrasion.
Well, it’s obvious that your budget determines the type of capacitor you can afford.
Some capacitors cost more due to extra features while others are more affordable due to limited capacities.
At the same time, it doesn’t mean that affordable capacitors don’t have great features.
However, you will not want to buy a capacitor just because it is cheap. You also need to consider its quality.
Thus, you should consider balancing price and quality. Always avoid compromising the quality of the capacitor over cost.
Hence, consider a capacitor that has the features you need and is within your budget, else stretch your budget a little bit.
In conclusion, the final decision you’ll make when buying the best capacitor for your car audio should mainly depend on the quality, features, and budget.
Avoid choosing a capacitor for your car audio just because it looks attractive or it’s extremely affordable. Go for a capacitor that has all the features you want and is within your budget.
Although the capacitors mentioned in this guide have their similarities and differences, including different pros and cons, they have their unique features.
Each of these capacitors has an outstanding feature that sets it apart from the other capacitors.
As long as you choose a capacitor that is powerful enough to power your car audio amplifier, you’ll be good to go.
You’ll rest assured that your car’s headlights and dashboard lights will never dim whenever playing bass notes in your car audio system.
Hence, with these tips and guidelines in mind, you will stand better chances of investing in the best car audio capacitor.