Crystal clear audio is every audiophile’s dream. However, you will not be getting any of that with your car’s default speakers. When searching for the best amplifiers, monoblock amps rank pretty well. The reason for this is not far-fetched; monoblock amplifiers provide some of the best high-quality bass sounds. Moreover, you can power your subwoofer with some of the best mono block amps available on the market. The question is, do you know which one to choose?
Monoblock amplifiers are also called one-channel amplifiers, and this is because their chassis contains just one channel. Since they only have a channel, all the power goes into that channel thus, providing quality output. You will need a subwoofer to get some wired bass boost that adds more quality to your car audio. However, the subwoofer cannot just power itself; that is why you need an amplifier.
To make the process easy, we have done all the hard work for you. We went ahead and made a list of the best and highest-rated amps available on the market. Just sit back, relax, and read through.
How We Chose the Best Mono Block Amplifiers
Firstly, we searched online to obtain a list of available monoblock amplifiers. Then using certain factors like frequency range, sound, and build quality, we reduced and narrowed down our options. Thus, giving us a smaller list of the best available monoblock amplifiers. Furthermore, we checked for genuine customer ratings and reviews from well-known websites. We considered this and many more before coming up with this list. Check below for the main things to look for in a mono amplifier.
The sound of a subwoofer amp depends on some factors. Ideally, an amplifier should amplify the sound with no issues, but poor amps can worsen the quality. If you have a lousy amplifier, it can prevent other parts of your speaker from functioning correctly. Additionally, ensure you look for an amp with a wide frequency response with low deviation.
The amplifier power output is the highest power in watts that the amp can offer. It is almost equivalent to how loud the music will play. The power output needed by the mono amplifier should match that of the speaker. When there is not enough power, it can lead to a poor and distorted sound. Also, too much power can cause it to blow off, thereby damaging the speaker.
This refers to “Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise.” It is the most popular means of measuring harmonic distortion. The THD+N measures how much the amplifier has on the sound effect. The more the distortion, the more the sound coloration. Reducing this means the amplifier output sounds closer to the original recording. Therefore, choosing a mono amp that matches your listening preference is crucial.
Knowing the price is essential when purchasing an amplifier. An expensive amplifier does not always mean that it is the best. Furthermore, if the product is too cheap, it may be of sub-standard quality. You must buy an amp that offers you great value for money. Moreover, there are great monoblock amps available today that are not too costly, yet you get maximum value from them. Thus, ensure you get the right balance of costs when purchasing an amplifier for your car audio speaker system.
The Top 7 Best Mono Block Amps on the Market
1. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime 1-Channel Class D Amplifier – Best Overall
We hailed the R500X1D as the best monoblock amplifier. It belongs to a collection of the Rockford Fosgate Prime series and is one of the best series that continues to get better year after year.
The Rockford Fosgate RX500X1D also features RCA outputs and a remote PLC. Furthermore, it features a 0° and 180° switchable phase control. Also, it got a cast-aluminum heat sink that protects the amplifier from overheating. Thus, you do not have to worry about the amp short-circuiting and getting damaged. With a frequency range of 20 Hz to 250 Hz, this amplifier produces 500 watts RMS into one channel at two ohms. Moreover, it sports a compact design and delivers impressive sound output.
We understand why the RX500X1D has tons of positive reviews. It offers value for money with its excellent sound output at a bargain price. The bass boost makes a big difference in the sound quality, whether listening to music or a podcast. Thanks to its small size, installing it is relatively fast and easy. Moreover, the amplifier does not produce too much heat thanks to its secure heating system.
Sound Quality: 9
Amp Power: 6
|Dimensions:||8.5 x 6.7 x 1.9 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Class D|
|Frequency Response:||20 Hz – 250 Hz|
- Less heat production
- Compact and easy to install
- Delivers an excellent sound
- Comprises of low and high-level input
- Does not produce sufficient power for 10-inch or 12-inch subs
- Some customers complain about the too-bright LED light
Why We Like It: The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D has excellent build quality, competitive power output, and decent heat reduction. The R500X1D is very affordable for the value it provides.
This BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Riot Series is one of the most budget-friendly car amplifiers. It offers excellent features at a low cost. For those just starting their audio experience or looking for a cheap but effective way to add some wired bass to their output, the R1100M is a great starting point.
You get 1,100 watts RMS max power output at two ohms. Also, the R1100M comes with a MOSFET power supply, a frequency response of 9 Hz to 50 kHz coupled with low and high speaker level inputs. In addition, it contains a variable low-pass filter; thus, giving you control over the frequencies passing through the subwoofer.
This device is impressive; it is compact but packs a punch. Moreover, it is made of high-quality and durable materials to ensure that you will not be facing any technical issues anytime soon. It costs less than $100, definitely worth every penny. The bass sounds coming from these amps do not disappoint. Overall, if you need a cheap monoblock amp with remarkable durability and efficiency, the Boss Audio R1100M is ideal for you.
Sound Quality: 8
Amp Power: 6
|Dimensions:||9.13 x 10.44 x 2.25 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Class A/B, MOSFET Power Supply|
|Frequency Response:||9 Hz – 50 kHz|
|Max Power Output:||1,100W RMS at 2 ohms|
- Not costly
- Ideal for car amp first-timers
- Excellent sound customization
- Comes with a remote boost controller
- Overheating problems
- Might require a mount for stability
Why We Like It: The BOSS Audio Systems R1100M Riot Series improves the performance of your subwoofer, and the price is a great bargain for its efficiency. Also, the R1100M has a compact and sleek design that ensures easy installation.
The Planet Audio AC1500.1M is very affordable and packs a lot of good features. You get high and low-level inputs, remote control, and a variable low pass crossover. Aside from this, it features a clean and deep bass output and can power 12-inch and 15-inch subwoofers. This monoblock amp provides 1500 watts RMS of max power output at two ohms. Similar to other mono amps, it comes with a MOSFET power supply. Furthermore, there is short circuit protection as the device automatically powers off when it gets too hot.
With the variable low-pass filter, you can control the frequencies going through to the subwoofer. In contrast, the variable high-pass filter allows you to control the frequencies going through to the car speakers.
The Planet Audio AC1500.1M amp increases sound quality with total efficiency and great results. The bass boost delivery is incredible and without distortion. Moreover, it is easy to install, so you will be able to set up your sound system in no time. As for the price, you can get this amplifier for less than a hundred bucks.
- Sound Quality: 7
- Amp Power: 9
- THD+N: 6
- Cost: 8
|Dimensions:||10 x 10 x 2.4 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Class A/B, MOSFET Power Supply|
|High and low-level inputs:||Yes|
|Remote Subwoofer Control:||Yes|
- Easy to install
- Protection against heat
- Deep and enhanced bass
- Lower RMS power than indicated
- Sometimes have problems with the bass knob
Why We Like It: The Planet Audio AC1500.1M amp adds enough bump to your bass, and it is incredibly cheaper than many monoblock amps in its category. We also like the ease of installation and the thermal protection feature it offers.
The Kenwood brand has been a formidable force in the car audio industry, and the KAC-9106D is not left out of its streak of excellence. It has a solid build quality and an aluminum heat sink. Furthermore, it comprises a signal-to-noise ratio of 100 dB, an input impedance of 10 kilo-ohms, and a voltage of 14.4 volts. The KAC-9106D also features a maximum of 2,000 watts RMS power output and two ohms load capability. In addition, the +18 dB onboard bass boost adds more heavy vibration to the sound, thereby leading to a more intense jamming session. The device also features an infrasonic filter, variable low pass filter, and speaker level inputs.
The Kenwood KAC-9106D amp gives off decent bass for its price. Aside from its performance and high durability, the power handling of the amp is enough for two JL Audio 10s. Moreover, the amp does not overheat even when used for extended periods.
Sound Quality: 7
Amp Power: 7
|Dimensions:||15.3 x 4.8 x 10.2 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Class D, MOSFET Power Supply|
|Frequency Response:||5 Hz – 200 Hz|
|Operating Voltage:||14.4 V (11 V – 16 V allowable)|
- Great build design
- Effective bass boost
- Clear sound delivery
- Works with many car audio systems
- Transmits a lot of power to the subwoofer
- Not-so-great bass
Why We Like It: The Kenwood KAC-9106D monoblock amp is versatile, powerful, and ideal for experienced car audiophiles. In addition, the sleek design adds more attractiveness to the build.
For audiophiles looking for enough power for their subwoofer without sacrificing the sound output, the Taramps 900890 Class D amp is for you. It is robust and versatile as it delivers quality output on all frequencies. There is no need to worry about overheating, as the amplifier comes with a thermostatic fan that regulates the temperature. Also, the amplifier has an audio boost that improves your car’s audio output during a drive. Moreover, the amplifier works in both a high and low supply voltage using the proper measure.
The first thing you will notice about the Taramps 900890 amp is the quality. It looks sleek, and the design is well thought of. It is compatible with most speakers, so that is another worry off your shoulders. Enjoy your car ride more with high-quality audio and fantastic bass with the aid of these amps.
Sound Quality: 7
Amp Power: 8
|Dimensions:||9.06 x 8.46 x 2.76 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Class D, MOSFET Power Supply|
|Input Sensitivity:||220 mVS|
|Signal to Noise Ratio:||>89 dBF|
- Very powerful
- Great sound output
- Presence of a thermostatic fan to cool the system
- Requires more than factory power sometimes
Why We Like It: We like the Taramps 900890 monoblock amplifier because it supplies sufficient power to the subwoofer without affecting the sound output. Also, it is a versatile monoblock amp and performs adequately on different frequencies on a high or low supply voltage.
The Kicker 43CXA6001 amp is made for big bass. Music lovers would enjoy having this amp in their car. The amplifier lets you boost the bass to varying levels with its KickEQ system, giving you up to 12 dB of more profound sound. Moreover, you will notice significant noise reduction when listening to music. It also weighs much less than many amps.
You can level up your bass anytime by switching it from a remote control. Furthermore, the full-range outputs make for extra expansion of your car’s audio system. Since most of the noise that spoils an amplifier function emanates from the input, Kicker got innovative and implemented a Fail-Safe Integration Technology (FIT) to prevent noise and interference from the input. Besides, the Kicker 43CXA6001 features a subsonic filter that eliminates very low resonances. In addition, the mono amp consists of a mounting device that you can use to station it anywhere.
The Kicker 43CXA6001 is small but powerful. The amplifier is easy to fit and is compatible with most car speakers. You can easily install it by following the guide. It is very helpful, especially if you are new to car amp installation. Moreover, their customer service is impressive.
Sound Quality: 6
Amp Power: 7
|Dimensions:||8.27 x 7.09 x 2.36 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Class D amp|
|Low-Level Input Sensitivity:||125 mV – 5V|
- Smooth sound output
- Small and compact amp
- Does not overheat even for extended periods
- Does not come with a fuse
Why We Like It: We like the Kicker 43CXA6001 because it is small, hence, fitting into many compartments. Despite the compact size, it is powerful and delivers heavy bass. Also, we like the Fail-Safe Integration Technology (FIT) that reduces noise and distortion.
Their reliability over the years makes the Brutus series of the Hifonics mono amp brand popular among car audio enthusiasts. The Hifonics BRX2416.1D falls among the powerful class D amps that deliver an excellent bass boost. As a result of its high-quality build, you get a high-class sound amplification as you drive on. Furthermore, this amp is the heaviest among the mono amplifiers we have reviewed.
The Hifonics BRX2416.1D monoblock amplifier drives up to 2,400 watts RMS of one channel at one ohm and 1,600 watts RMS at two ohms. It features RCA outputs to improve your sound system, permitting linking the single-channel speaker systems with other amplifiers. Additionally, it consists of ultra-fi MOSFET outputs and super D-class circuitry to power car speakers at a better bass without reducing the sound quality. The power handling and sound output with the Hifonics BRX2416.1D amplifier are impressive. The “protect mode” feature also allows you to use the speakers for extended periods without it getting hot or shutting off.
Sound Quality: 6
Amp Power: 7
|Dimensions:||14.9 x 9.8 x 2.4 inches|
|Amplifier Class:||Super D-class|
|Subsonic Filter:||24 dB at 15 Hz|
- Very durable and efficient
- High-quality sound output
- Different amp protection measures
- Installation may require experienced hands
Why We Like It: Although the installation can be pretty challenging to newbies, the Hifonics BRX2416.1D monoblock amplifier is built to last. The sound, powerful abilities, and excellent attention to detail the manufacturers gave this amplifier make it a great addition to any car.
Buyers Guide: Important Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Monoblock Amplifier
Proper research is essential when determining what type of monoblock amplifier to purchase. It does not matter if you are experienced or new to car amplifiers; figuring your exact need is important before buying. Here are some things to consider before buying a monoblock amp:
● Do Some Calculations
Do not rush the process. Before buying any monoblock amplifier for your car audio system, ensure you properly cross-check the requirements. Sometimes, it can be tempting to buy an amp for a specific price because you feel the price justifies the watts. It is not always the case. Make sure you check the fuse and factor some calculations before buying.
For example, if the average voltage of your vehicle is 13 volts, and the amplifier is a class D amp fused at 40 amps, how much is the power output? To know the amount of power it will produce, you multiply it all together. Note that the efficiency constant of class D amps is 0.8; if you multiply all that, the product is 416 watts. Therefore, you must check the fuse and calculate how much you need to ensure you get what you pay for.
Warranties are essential in every purchase, including the new mono amps that you are eyeing for your car’s audio system. Usually, these warranties cover repair or replacements within months to a year. If you encounter any problems with your newly bought amp, the warranty can save you from additional repair costs.
However, manufacturers will not attend to you if you purchase your amplifier from an unauthorized retailer. Only purchase from trusted supply chains and refrain from buying refurbished or second-hand equipment. A warranty cannot cover the amp if it has been tampered with. Additionally, verify if the manufacturer authorized the store before buying from any seller. If they are not, you may have to look elsewhere.
● Amplifier Size
Ensure what you are buying fits your existing setup. There are many compact and sizable monoblock amplifiers available on the market today. Technology has moved far beyond large amps before you can get enough power for your subwoofer. These days, we have small amps that produce just the needed power for your needs. Many good amps come in small sizes that easily fit under your car seat.
Buy original wiring for your amp device. Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) is an excellent example of quality wiring. You must beware of Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) kits. The kits have an aluminum center conductor and a copper outer ring. Also, you should be careful with the wire size as some manufacturers make wires of thick coatings and less wire. Sometimes a four-gauge kit can have less wire than an eight-gauge kit.
● Consider the Ohm Load
Knowing if the mono amplifier can effectively power your device is important. Check if the amplifier matches the ohm load. Do not overload your amp because it will get damaged. It can affect the amp’s overall performance and can damage your speakers. Buy the exact amplifier channel for the desired usage. For instance, do not buy a single channel amp for a two-channel application.
● Get an Amplifier that Matches the Power You Need
You get an incredible sound when you match the same RMS power of your amplifier to that of your speaker. Overpowering your speaker creates headroom in the amplifier and emits more sound when played at all volumes. However, an underpowered amplifier results in distortion since there is not enough power handling to reproduce the signal output. Therefore, whenever you plan on buying monoblock amplifiers, ensure it matches the exact power you need to prevent damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best monoblock amplifier?
The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is our overall best monoblock amp among the group. The R500X1D has a compact build, thereby making it easy to install. It is also affordable and delivers an excellent sound output. We also selected the best value and the best budget and the group, and they are the Planet Audio AC1500 and Boss Audio R1100M, respectively. Moreover, each amplifier on the list has its own strengths and can compete with even the more expensive ones.
What is a mono amp good for?
A mono amp is used in cars and homes to transmit power to a subwoofer. The monoblock amp creates one power signal that matches the low-frequency build of the subwoofer. Since the mono amplifier can only transmit a single audio signal, it is not applicable for stereos. Instead, the mono amplifier transmits power to a subwoofer, creating low-frequency sound.
Can you bridge a monoblock amp?
When you bridge your amplifier, it means you can match two amplifier channels into one, so you get more power. Moreover, you cannot bridge a mono amp because there is nothing to bridge. Thus, you cannot combine it since the monoblock amp is just a single channel amp.
Competition grade monoblock amps
Most car amps are designed basically for the same thing and with the same mode of operation. However, powerful or competition-grade mono amps perform exceptionally well. They have superior quality components in contrast to the usual amps. It makes them stand out amongst the standard mono block amps. The most powerful and competition-grade monoblock amplifiers in our list include the Planet Audio AC1500, Rockford Fosgate R500X1D, Taramps 900890, and the Kenwood KAC-9106D.
What is the difference between mono and stereo?
The main difference between mono and stereo is the number of channels used to convert the signal to sound. Mono is a single channel amp, while stereo uses more than one channel when converting an audio signal to sound. Also, stereo offers spatiality while mono does not. An example of where you can find the stereo sound is a television and video games. On the other hand, you can find mono sound in phone networks or hearing aids.
What to consider before choosing the best monoblock amplifier?
You should check if the power handling and impedance rating match that of your speakers and amplifiers. Also, you need to understand the classes of mono amplifiers. Furthermore, ensure the amplifier is compatible with your vehicle’s audio components. You should also consider the Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N) and the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR).
Can a monoblock amplifier power two subwoofers?
Yes, it is possible to use a monoblock amp to power two subwoofers. Interestingly, the majority of the single-channel amps are designed to support two subwoofers. To facilitate this connection, you will need a screwdriver, speaker wire, wire cutter, with some other tools. First, to connect it, cut two wires of the same length and remove the rubber insulation at the end of the wire by an inch. After that, you join one end of one wire to the amplifier’s output terminals. Finally, you join the end of the second wire to the subwoofer and tighten them.
How much space does my amplifier need?
Amplifiers generate heat as they function. It is why some amps come with special features to reduce the heat. Thus, it is essential to leave some space on each side of the amp; it allows it to stay cool and not overheat. In addition, do not turn your mono amp upside-down so the machine’s cooling system can quickly release heat from its body and not damage the amp.
You can pick any of the mono amps listed, and you can have a bass party in your car after installation. A higher price tag does not mean better quality, as we have listed mono amps that offer a fantastic sound boost for under a hundred bucks.
Furthermore, always remember that the performance of your mono amp is not dependent on size. A compact subwoofer amplifier can fully serve you, depending on what you want. If you are still debating which mono amp to pick, we recommend our number one pick – the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D. It is an excellent choice for a monoblock amp. Finally, ensure the device you buy is compatible with other components of your audio system so you will have a great experience with your amplifier.
To prevent electrical shock or damage to the amplifier, keep it away from wet or humid areas. However, quickly unplug all the wires and send the amplifier to your service center if this occurs.
Did You Know?
Did you know that car amplifiers do not come with any wire or cable? You will need to purchase an amp installation kit to get all the right wires for installation.
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John Fleming is the senior editor for Audiophilez.com, covering everything from headphones to smart speakers. He is a graduate of Music Production and Technology. Before Audiophilez, John began his career as a staff writer for two different magazines, where he became a skilled storyteller across different mediums. When he isn’t writing, he can be found biking, reading books, and playing the piano.