Looking for that amazing sound from your car stereo? It’s the job of an amplifier to magnify your music for sound that is powerful, clean, even, and uninterrupted. The monoblock amplifier, also known as the one-channel amp, is typically the setup for powering subwoofer(s). They are designed to carry out the low-frequency sounds like deep bass and typically offer features (like bass boost) that are specific to subwoofers. The biggest challenge is finding the best monoblock amplifiers in the market to power your subwoofer – and CarAudioNow has assembled a list of the top rated sub amps to simplify your search.
Single channel amplifiers are tricky to purchase because of the variety of configurations, marketing angles, and technical details. In fact, it’s easy to get distracted by the hype and confused by the terminology so we’ve put together an easy-to-understand review of what you should be looking for when you’re searching for the best mono amps today followed by our top picks.
Here's a list of the top rated subwoofer amplifiers of 2018. Click an amp to go to the full review, or just scroll down to view all of the reviews:
Best Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifiers | Top 6
|Our Rank||Mono Subwoofer Amplifier||Amplifier Type||Power Handling||Price|
|1.||Rockford Fosgate R750-1D||Class D||RMS: 250w @4 ohms | 750w @ 1 ohm||$$|
|2.||Pioneer GM-D9601||Class D||RMS: 500w @ 4 ohms | 1200w @1 ohm||$$|
|3.||Soundstream TA1.4000DL||Class D||RMS: 700w @ 4 ohms | 2000w @ 1 ohm||$$$|
|4.||JBL MS-A5001||Class D||RMS: 500w @ 4 and 2 ohms||$$|
|5.||Hifonics Brutus BRX2416-1D||Class D||RMS: 850w @ 4 ohms | 2400w @ 1 ohm||$$|
|6.||JL Audio HD1200/1||Class D||RMS: 1200w @ 4 and 1.5 ohms||$$$$|
When shopping for an amplifier, there are a few basic technical specifications that you should be familiar with. These include:
Power –Amplifier power is measured in RMS (Root Mean Square, or Recommended Power) or Peak watts, and there are specified watts minimum and maximum watts per channel. RMS is the continuous power that an amplifier is rated. This is the measure that you should be matching up with the RMS power for the subwoofer of your choice. Peak output is the absolute peak that an amplifier can power. Typically this is for microseconds. The amp output power should be able to deliver the power required by the subwoofer’s RMS power, or you can get poor distorted audio. Also, if you use an amp with more power than the subwoofer can handle, you can get distorted audio. Both cases, overpowering and under powering your subwoofer can lead to damage and even blown subwoofers. Generally speaking, you should be looking an amplifier that will power at least 75% RMS watts minimum and 150% RMS watts maximum of the RMS rating of the subwoofer.
Sound Quality – To achieve high fidelity sound, select a subwoofer amp with a wide frequency response plus low deviation. Pay attention to distortion or what manufacturers call THD or Total Harmonic Distortion. The lower the THD, the more superior the audio quality will be. Obviously, you also have to make sure all other audio components are of high quality as well like you speaker, player, and music tracks.
Impedance – This measure the resistance to the current from an electric circuit. Amplifiers need speakers with a minimum of 4 ohms. When you're shopping for an amplifier to power your subwoofer, opt for low impedance or low resistance.
Amplifier Class – Amplifiers are classified into 3 classes based on their internal design: Class A, A/B, and D. Class A is rare and not popular because they have poor power consumption efficiency albeit a slightly better sound quality and A/B. The A/B is very common and easy to find, but we recommend targeting the D class, which is high-powered amplifier with an efficiency range of 80% of higher. Class D amplifiers consume less power and are less likely to overheat.
Signal-To-Noise Ratio – Decibels is the unit used to measure Signal-to-Noise ratio. This measurement describes the distance between the audio noise floor and the wanted signal. You should target a higher ratio because it indicates less distortion and noise.
CEA 2006 – This is the latest standard used to compare amps. It replaced the old EIA 517B, although some companies still use the old standard. The CEA 2006 logo is a stamp of approval that the product has adhered to the industry standards, and the product specification has been proven to be valid and true. The two basic features checked using the CEA 2006 standards are output power and Signal-to-Noise ratio.