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 RankMono Subwoofer AmplifierAmplifier TypePower HandlingPrice
1.Rockford Fosgate R750-1DClass DRMS: 250w @4 ohms | 750w @ 1 ohm$$
2.Pioneer GM-D9601Class DRMS: 500w @ 4 ohms | 1200w @1 ohm$$
3.Soundstream TA1.4000DLClass DRMS: 700w @ 4 ohms | 2000w @ 1 ohm$$$
4.JBL MS-A5001Class DRMS: 500w @ 4 and 2 ohms$$
5.Hifonics Brutus BRX2416-1DClass DRMS: 850w @ 4 ohms | 2400w @ 1 ohm$$
6.JL Audio HD1200/1Class DRMS: 1200w @ 4 and 1.5 ohms$$$$

Best Subwoofer Amplifiers: What To Look For

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.

Best Subwoofer Amplifier List

Editor's Rating:

- Class D Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
- RMS: 250W @ 4ohms, 750W @ 1 ohms
- Frequency Response: 20 - 250hz

Lowest Prices

Rockford Fosgate R750-1D
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Rockford Fosgate Prime R750-1D

Rockford Fosgate Prime R750-1D Quick Review:

Rockford Fosgate has 3 car amp models: the Prime, the Punch, and the Power. The Prime is their top entry level series that is definitely going to hit your sweet spot. When 92% of customers who bought the Rockford Fosgate Prime 750 Watt Class D 1 Channel Amp are more than satisfied with it, then you know you’ve found a great product. This amp has an infrasonic filter and tri-stage protection cover against over-current, short circuits, and thermal threats.

Rockford Fosgate, with over 35 years experience in car audio, has clearly excelled with the Prime 750 which is certified at 750 RMS watts (1ohm) but can easily go as high as 920 watts with the proper wire gauge and grounding. Some of its top features are:

  • On-board Punch Equalization (PEQ) which delivers 18 decibels at 45 Hz
  • Frequency Response of 20 to 250 Hz
  • Variable low pass filter
  • Preamp levels inputs/outputs
  • Optional remote PEQ
  • RCA inputs
  • Adjustable Phase and Gain
  • Variable crossover of 12 decibels per octave slope.

What really impressed us aside from the high output level, was the lack of heat even after hours of use and the size for the power it can deliver.  Also, the aftermarket Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is highly compatible with this amp which is a potential issue you won’t have to worry about. This because this best mono subwoofer amp is almost guaranteed to last for years, and highly capable of powering a medium-sized subwoofer and the only reason you would replace it is if you were to upgrade your subwoofer and entire audio system. This is one is definitely a winner!

Editor's Rating:

- Class D Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
- RMS: 500W @ 4ohms, 1200W @ 1 ohms
- Frequency Response: 10 - 240hz

Lowest Prices

Pioneer GM-D9601
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Pioneer GM-D9601

Pioneer GM D9601 Quick Review:

Pioneer is still a highly respected name in the car audio business, and the GM D9601 is an exemplary reason why they are among the best in the industry.  They've been described by many audio fans as a “beast” because it can easily load up to 1 ohm without a bit of a struggle. In short, this amp can literally cause your vehicle to shake and rock with the beat! Want as much as 1200 RMS watts? This is the one to get!

Some of its top features include:

  • Class D technology making high energy efficiency with low deviation
  • Adjustable low-pass filter
  • Wired bass boost remote control
  • Frequency Response of 10 to 240 Hz
  • Preamp RCA outputs, daisy chain multiple amps with Speaker-level inputs for auto turn-on
  • Protection heat control system to prevent overheating and circuit shutdowns

When tested, we were pleased to discover a soft start turn-on, handy LED Power and protect indicators, and a similar 3-way protection found with the Rockford Fosgate Prime against thermal overheating, speaker short, and overloading. Upon closer inspection of the packaging, we saw the CEA-2006 compliant sticker which added to our conviction that this is one of the best subwoofer amplifiers you can find.

Editor's Rating:

- Class D Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
- RMS: 700W @ 4ohms, 2000W @ 1 ohms
- Frequency Response: N/A

Lowest Prices

Soundstream T1.4000DL
Soundstream T1.4000DL
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Soundstream TA1.4000DL Quick Review:

Soundstream has been around since 1975, and the Tarantula is their most popular series of their car audio portfolio. They are more known for performance over aesthetics which shouldn’t be a huge issue since audio quality is more important than appearance (in our opinion).

Some of the top features of this amp include:

  • Capable of 1ohm RMS power rating or 2000 RMS watts x 1 channel, minimum of 4 ohm or 700 RMS watts
  • Military grade Surface Mount Technology (SMT) on its Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
  • Variable Bass Boost
  • Wired remote for bass level control
  • Variable low-pass filter
  • Signal-to-Noise ratio of 104 decibels
  • Can be strapped on easily


We did get credible information that for the Tarantula to work well and not run hot, you will need to use ground wiring and the 0/1 gauge when installing.  Although it does come with direct wire 8 gauge power and speaker terminals, and a 0ga Reducer Terminal.

Compared to the other picks we have on this list, the Tarantula is one of the more expensive amps retailing for around $300, but if you’re lucky, you might stumble upon a vendor selling it for $200, brand new.

Editor's Rating:

4.9 Stars


- Class D Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
- RMS: 500 @ 4ohms, 500 @ 2 ohms
- Frequency Response: 20 - 270hz

Lowest Prices

JBL MS-A5001
JBL MS-A5001

JBL MS-A5001 Quick Review:

We tested the JBL MS-A5001 to determine its true power ratings, and the results were impressive, to say the least. As one of the top picks for best mono amps, the JBL MS-A5001 has an impedance of 2 to 4 ohm and can handle low-pass, band-pass, or high-pass filters. Its 97 crossover function mean a massive choice from 20 to 20k HZ and slope rates starting at 6 decibels and increasing to as high as 24 decibels.

The JBL MS-A5001 adopted the digital signal processing technology or (DSP) for all its controls and compared to analog, has minimal audible noise.

Some of its top features include:

  • RMS watts of 550 at 4 and 2 ohm
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • Equipped with Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET
  • Soft Start Turn-On, rotary control
  • Preamp RCA outputs and daily chain multiple amps
  • Triple protection circuitry
  • Wireless Remote for bass level input
  • Hi2 Setting
  • Frequency Response is 20 to 270 Hz
  • Built-in display showing Gain and Tone settings
  • Dual speaker outputs
  • Automatic signal sensing and turn-on
  • Signal-to-Noise ratio is 80 decibels

Like many of our best mono subwoofer amplifiers, you must take care to use the proper wiring when installing. You can even connect to your analog devices with the use of an adapter.

What’s not to like? The only problem you will ever have with the JBL MS-A5001 is in the installation so get a professional to do it for you then sit back and enjoy some pretty amazing music.

Editor's Rating:

- Class D Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
- RMS: 850 @ 4ohms, 2400 @ 1 ohms
- Frequency Response: 10 - 250hz

Lowest Prices

Hifonics BRX2416.1D
Hifonics BRX2416.1D
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Hifonics Brutuz BRX2416.1D Quick Review:

Hifonics has a great marketing angle, and has earned the right to be included in our list because of the immense power it delivers. The BRX2416.1D is the reinvented design so aside, so you get the bonus of modern design with a blue under glow.

One particular aspect we appreciated with the BRX2400 was the easy installation which was a harbinger of good things to come. In eager anticipation, we tested its power and were blown away! Although it didn’t quite get to 2416 watts, it was able to deliver over 2400 watts at 1 ohm.

Some of the top features include:

  • Minimum 850 RMS watts at 4 ohms
  • Ultra-Hi MOSFETS Circuit
  • Wired remote bass level control
  • 10 AWG speaker output
  • Dual speaker outputs
  • Preamp RCA outputs which can go full range if connected to the input
  • 3-way protection circuitry
  • Variable low pass filter
  • Variable Bass Boost
  • Variable subsonic filter
  • Frequency response of 10 to 250 Hz
  • Signal-to-Noise ratio of 95 decibels

More impressive is the built-in system diagnostics which is not common, as well as a slim 0.10% THD. To create the perfect sound system using the BRX 2416, we suggest buying an auxiliary car battery and a capacitor. However, on its own, and it works beautifully.

Editor's Rating:

- Class D Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifier
- RMS: 1200 @ 4ohms, 1200 @ 1.5 ohms
- Frequency Response: 6 - 8000hz

Lowest Prices

JL Audio HD1200/1
JL Audio HD Series HD1200/1

JL Audio HD1200/1 Quick Review:

We’ve saved the best for last but don’t gasp at the retail price for the JL Audio HD 1200/1 just yet until you have heard what it’s got to offer. Admittedly, a going price in the mid $800s is pretty steep; you truly get what you pay for – in the best possible way!

Looking at the JL HS 1200/1, you would not imagine that this 2-inch high chassis could actually deliver 1200 RMS watts – but it can! On top of all that power, it is also very consistent with a steady and reliable power supply that does not compromise audio quality.

Some of the top features of the HD 1200/1 are:

  • Wide range of impedances from 1.5 to 4 ohms
  • Single Cycle control technology to minimize sound distortion
  • Regulated Intelligent Power Supply System (RIPS)
  • Differential balance inputs to reduce noise
  • Signal-to-Noise ratio is 104 decibels
  • Variable high and low-pass filters
  • Preamp outputs
  • Easily connects to in-dash stereo
  • Compact, energy-efficient
  • Wired remote (optional)
  • Cool to the touch even after hours of use
  • 1% THD
  • Removable speaker and power plugs
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • Two year warranty

If you want loud and clear, we highly recommend the HS 1200/1 which has yet to get a poor review… from anyone! The clincher which really sealed the deal for us is the fact that it‘s bulletproof (metaphor) and extremely dependable.

That’s it – our list of the best monoblock amplifiers in the market today and, as true music lovers, we’d be delighted to have any one of these in our car audio sound system.

Written By:

on February 2nd, 2018

3 Comments to “ Best Monoblock Subwoofer Amplifiers 2018 | Reviews, Specs, Prices”

  1. Deaner76 says :Reply

    Do you need an extra set of outputs in order to hook up multiple subs in parallel? I thought it was still all out of one set of outputs and just run + to+ and – to – all the way down the line. I may be wrong and I’m certainly not trying to rock the boat but I am glad I stopped and thought about this because if I am wrong I might have just saved myself a lot of head/heartache. Thanks guys.

  2. Gregory J Mosher says :Reply

    I have two Pioneer D9601’s, each powering a single Skar VXF-15 D2 in the back of a 2016 VW Tiguan. My initial setup can be seen in the following link towards the bottom of the forum page.
    Currently I’m running the amps at 4 Ohms (~500 watts each until the subs break in, then I’ll run them at ~1200 watts @ 1 Ohm), and after hours of continuous use they are barely warm to the touch despite the lack of a fan and comparatively small heat sink. The units themselves are deceptively small for their output and the clarity so far has been outstanding for class D monoblocks. I’m more of an old-school bass head that is used to the huge big block amps of the 90’s, so these amps are rather amazing to me. The included wired bass remote comes in handy, though the overall adjustibility of the amps are limited (includes only a low pass filter and gain) and best used in system with a DSP or at least a head unit that has an eq for the subwoofer channel. All in all, these amps are well worth the money. Lastly one thing not mentioned in the write up is that the power/ground connections are a beefy 4 gauge (they are set at an odd back-angle, so 4 gauge ferrules should be used during installation) and they have dual speaker outlets to help with running two subs in parallel if desired.

  3. Tim says :Reply

    Why not the kicker kx-1600watt?

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