Best Monoblock Amplifiers 2020 : Reviews and Comprehensive Buying Guide
Monoblock amplifiers are among the most highly regarded amplifier types. They are also called one-channel amps because each chassis has one channel. Monoblocks provide superior power amplification. Since they only have one channel, all power is dedicated to that channel. In addition to providing dedicated power to the channel, monoblocks are known for producing higher quality sound. There is no sharing of power between channels, thus less muddying of sound.
You are here because you are keen to give your subwoofers an amp that will bring out the best in them. Reputable car audio equipment manufacturers such as Rockford Fosgate, Boss Audio, Rockville, Planet Audio, Skar Audio, Kenwood, and Audiopipe have their monoblock versions contending for leadership on the market. As expected, these companies provide the best monoblock amplifiers on the market.
To choose the right amp for your audio system, you need to evaluate different amps. This way, you will be able to choose one that has the specifications matching the needs of your speakers and other components of your car audio system.
Rockford Fosgate R500X1D [Overall best]
500W RMS x 1 channel @ 2 Ohms
BOSS Audio AR1500M
1500W max x 1 channel @ 2 Ohms
600W RMS x 1 channel @ 2 Ohms
25Hz - 200Hz
1100W max @ 2 Ohms
9 Hz to 50,000Hz
Rockville dB14 4000W
1000W RMS x 1 Channel @ 2 Ohms
15Hz - 250Hz
Planet Audio AC1500.1M
1500W max x 1 Channel @ 2 Ohms
15Hz - 20,000 Hz
1600w RMS x 1 channel @ 2 Ohms
10Hz - 250 Hz
1,000W RMS x 1 channel @ 2 ohms
20Hz -200 Hz
Skar Audio RP-2000.1D
2,000w RMS at 1-ohm
20Hz - 250Hz
1300w RMS x 1 channel @ 2 ohms
8Hz - 180 Hz
How we selected the best monoblock amps
We’ve done most of the research work for you. It is our mandate to provide you with useful facts for purchasing the best amplifier. We searched deep and wide among different options aiming at producing a list of 10 top-performing monoblock amplifiers in 2020.
We first determined the crucial factors that determine the quality and performance of a mono amp. Next, our desk researchers searched for amps that meet these criteria. We tested different amps to get first-hand experience with each amp while in action. We also did an analysis of customer reviews on reputable online car audio equipment vendors.
In our research, the aim was to leave no stone unturned with regard to ascertaining the performance of each amplifier with a place in the final selection. What we present in this review is unbiased reviews of each of the selected monoblocks. It is the work of a diverse team of car audio equipment technicians, researchers, reviewers, and real customers. After reading this detailed review and buying guide, you will be at a better position to choose the right amp for your car audio system.
1. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier Best in 2020
The R500X1D Prime brings to the table the best of industry leader Rockford Fosgate. This 1-channel Class D amp drives 500W RMS into one channel at 2 Ohms. It has a frequency range of 20Hz-250Hz. Besides, this premium amp offers a variety of features that finesse audio output. See below some of its distinguishing attributes:
Features of Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime
Our Verdict: Rockford Fosgate R500X1D finds it easy to get a rank among the best amplifiers. It is lightweight, space-efficient, and carries the trust of a reputable manufacturer.
With all its great attributes, this amp is undoubtedly a great bargain at its current price.
2. BOSS Audio Systems AR1500M
You are looking for that extra thump that stretches your high-quality subs to maximum potential. That’s what Boss Audio AR1500M class AB monoblock amp is here to provide. 1500W max power output at 2 Ohms into one channel should already give you an idea of this amp’s performance. Behold, below are more awe-striking features and benefits of the AR1500M.
Why you should consider Boss Audio AR1500M
What to like
What you may not like
Our Verdict: This monoblock amp can push your car audio a notch higher if paired with the right speakers. Provided you don’t subject the amp to high-power use for long periods, you can be sure to enjoy your drives listening to clear and distortion-free music.
3. Kicker 43CXA6001 Mono Amplifier
Just about any high-quality monoblock amplifier can deliver strong bass. However, Kicker 43CXA6001 provides more than just strong bass. Kicker engineers paid close attention to noise and interference reduction when building this amp. Thus, this Class D monoblock leaves little to be desired in terms of sound output quality. Although it’s not among the most powerful among top-performing monoblocks, this Kicker masterpiece will impress you with other key features.
Features of Kicker 43CXA6001
Our Verdict: Kicker 43CXA6001 mono amplifier delivers big bass in a sleek, easy to install build. It has a 2-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
If you have a keen ear for clean audio, you’ll probably consider this amplifier as your best choice.
4. RIOT 1100 Watts, Mosfet Monoblock Power Amplifier R1100M
If you are shopping for an efficient monoblock amplifier under $100, RIOT R1100M fits the bill.
This RIOT power amplifier is one of the most highly rated 1-channel amps under $100. With its high power capability and quality features, there’s no doubt this monoblock offers awesome value.
What makes RIOT R1100M unique?
What you will like
What you may not like
Our Verdict: There’s absolutely no reason to limit the performance of your subs while RIOT R1100M is available at such an affordable price.
5. Rockville dB14 4000 Watt/1000w
A quick look over the features of the dB14 mono amp tells you that the amp is down to some serious action. Packing up to 4000W peak power/2000W RMS, only a few amps can compare to this Class D monoblock. Besides, it uses superior circuitry for high efficiency in current usage and sound production.
Features of Rockville dB14
Our Verdict: The main selling points of the dB14 are efficient power delivery and clean sound production. This 2-Ohm stable amp will give new life your audio system and significantly improve your in-car entertainment experience.
6. Planet Audio AC1500.1M
Are you searching for the best monoblock amplifier for your high-power 12” or 15” subs? Audio AC1500.1M is among the most powerful mono amps on the market. Besides, these amps can work with all factory or aftermarket radios whether or not the radios have RCA inputs.
Unique features of Planet Audio AC1500.1M
Our Verdict: Planet Audio AC1500.1M is built to break the rules. It adds crazy bump into your bass. It’s incredibly lower price compared to other monoblocks means you can enjoy life like a sound anarchist.
7. Hifonics BRX2416.1D Brutus
The Brutus series of Hifonics amplifiers are popular among experienced car audio enthusiasts for their dedicated and efficient power use. Hifonics BRX2416.1D is a super powerful Class D amp that enables higher bass response. This amp provides top-of-the-line sound amplification thanks to its superior build.
Features of Hifonics BRX2416.1D
Our Verdict: Most Hifonics BRX2416.1D users like the amps great power capabilities and its attention to detail. All of the amp’s features are optimized for the ultimate sound quality and performance. Even its price is relatively higher, you get great value for your money.
8. Kenwood KAC-9106D 2000W Monoblock
You’ll not go wrong by choosing the KAC-9106D if you want to add great tonal impact and detail in your music’s bass. This rugged and tough monoblock hits 2-Ohm and 4-Ohm impedance with 1000W RMS and 500W RMS power output respectively.
Why you should purchase Kenwood KAC-9106D mono amp
Our Verdict: A versatile, powerful, dedicated amplifier is what Kenwood KAC-9106D is. Choosing this amp offers a number of unique advantages for experienced fans of loud car audio.
9. Skar Audio RP-2000.1D
By far, reliability is the key reason why this amplifier is one of the best monoblock amplifiers for audio systems that use big subs. It is ideal for powering two 1000W RMS rated subs or one bigger sub rated at 2000W RMS power handling. The amp peaks at 2800W and has a frequency response of 20Hz – 250Hz.
Unique benefits of Skar Audio RP-2000.1D
Our Verdict: The engineering of the RP-2000.1D is meant to domineer over class D monoblocks. With excellent efficiency, quality, and protection on the table, what more could you ask from an amplifier?
This amp gives you great value for your money.
10. Audiopipe APMI-2000
Audiopipe is a loud player. As long as you pair it with a good subwoofer, there’s no doubt about achieving some serious air displacement even at the bottom of the frequency range. All the bass you need is well within your reach using the conveniently placed bass knob. Besides, the amp has trustworthy thermal protection features that help it to run cool.
Features of the Audiopipe AMPI-2000
Our Verdict: Audiopipe APMI-2000 upholds the high reputation of Audiopipe. The amplifier is among the most powerful monoblocks on the market. Its mini design is a considerable distinguishing factor especially for individuals intending to install the amp in a way that it doesn’t obstruct the use of the boot.
Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Monoblock Amplifier
Do you think you did a good job choosing your subwoofer(s)?
If yes, there is one more thing you need to do to ensure that you get the best sound out of your car audio system. You need an amp that can power your great subs. While this is not an easy endeavor bearing in mind the big number of amps on the market, knowing what key features to look for in a monoblock can save you a lot of time and struggle when choosing the best amp for your subs.
1. The risk of getting an amp that’s not appropriate for your speakers
Have you ever wondered: why is it important to pair car speakers with the right amplifier?
It’s all about the implications of power exchanges between the amplifier and speakers. If the speaker load is too low, the amplifier will deliver too much power that could result in frustrating sound distortions. Pairing your speakers with the wrong amp also means frequent instances of overheating and consequent system shutdown.
On the other hand, failing to provide your speakers with enough power (underpowering) can damage components of your audio system.
2. Understanding classes of monoblock amplifiers
Amplifier classes – such as A/B and D describe the operation of electric circuits inside the amps. Your sound preferences determine the class you choose.
Class D mono amps are considerably less power intensive and have lesser internal components than class A/B amps. Also, they are relatively cheaper.
In contrast, class A/B mono amps are more power hungry. Many users claim that this class of monoblocks produces sound with less noise and distortion.
3. Power handling and impedance ratings
It is vital that the amplifier and speakers match in terms of power handling and impedance ratings. Manufacturers indicate the electrical aspects of their product, such as RMS power output and the electrical impedance (measured in Ohms) of the speaker’s voice coil. Since specific monoblocks can drive particular Ohm loads, make sure that the amp you choose has an impedance rating that matches that of your speakers.
What do multiple impedance ratings mean?
You have probably come across speakers with multiple impedance ratings. Similarly, some amps have ports with different impedances, say 2-Ohm and 4-Ohm. Note carefully that this apparent adaptability doesn’t automatically mean that the amplifier will work equally well with any system. Investigate your choices carefully. Amps with different speaker impedances have specific power ratings for each port.
What about multiple power ratings?
Equally important to understand is your speaker’s power ratings. RMS rating is more useful than peak power when comparing amps. An amp rated at 2000W peak power output may come across as a very powerful amp. However, it’s critical to know that such power rating implies the highest power value that the amp can drive a sound wave up and down.
Obviously, the amplifier cannot sustain this level of power output for lengthy periods without getting too hot.
The RMS power rating is a more reliable evaluation measure for power handling. It describes the average power that the amp can sustainably output over time.
4. Compatibility with your car’s audio components
To get the best out of your amp, and avoid operational issues, an investigation of your car’s model is vital before you start wiring things up. However much you love your car model, whether it’s a vintage or SUV model, the truth is that it might not be compatible with some audio components.
Particularly, investigate battery-related problems that other people who drive your car model encounter. This knowledge will help you to determine if you need to add an extra battery or make some modifications to secure your new amplifier.
5. Useful functional extras
There are additional features on some amps that make your amp ownership and use more enjoyable. For instance, many people prefer amps with remote sub controls to those with a built-in equalizer only for obvious reasons. With a remote subwoofer controller, you can turn up the bass level from the front of the vehicle to gain more customized sound output.
Other useful extra features include an analog RCA, safety shutoffs, and subsonic filters. These features enhance the audio functionality as well as self-protection ability of the amplifier.
Our overall best monoblock amplifier is Rockford Fosgate R500X1D
This class D CEA-2006 compliant power amplifier delivers awesome power to your subs. The R500X1D’s CEA-complaint 500W power rating means that the amp has been accurately rated and will deliver exactly that power. It uses a power efficient Class D circuitry. Therefore, you will have less battery or charging problems to worry about.
In addition, the amp gives you a great deal of control over sound output. Particularly, an on-board punch bass boost enables you to turn up the bass for more enjoyable, heavily kicking lows. The other winning aspect of this monoblock amp is its heat, overvoltage, and short protection features. Feel free to turn the bass all the way up knowing that the amp can handle the task without any thermal or electrical issue.
Your subs will never again produce mediocre sound after you power them with the best monoblock amplifier. Let the award-winning Rockford Fosgate R500X1D class D monoblock amplifier take your audio system to the next level.