The Basics of Car Amplifiers

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AN AMPLIFIER IS KEY!

A car amplifier is the power of your vehicle’s sound system. This is what gives your music insane quality and volume. In vehicle audio systems, the amp is a device that will take a weak audio signal and, you guessed it, amplify it! Basically, it is taking that low voltage signal and amplifying it to power your speakers or subwoofers.

Without an amp, you unfortunately will not be able to experience high-quality music reproduction while you are cruising the streets.

Why exactly should you get an amplifier?

MORE SOUND POWER WITHOUT THE DISTORTION!

A common factor with factory stereo systems is that when you increase the volume, you also increase the distortion. This becomes a major issue when you reach a certain volume threshold. The sound quality becomes fuzzy and distorted.

PUT THOSE NEW SPEAKERS TO USE!

Mostly all aftermarket speakers require more power than what will come from your factory in-dash unit. There will not be a big difference to the overall sound if there is not enough power pushing it.

GETTING A SUBWOOFER?

With a subwoofer, you need to add an amplifier. Bass frequencies use up a lot of air space and need immense power to circulate. Your factory stereo will not be able to power the sub.

Frequently Asked Questions

Doesn’t my factory stereo already have an amplifier?

Yes, most factory stereo’s come equipped with a built-in amplifier but they are not powerful enough to produce high volume without distortion. Bass frequencies especially take a heavy hit because they are so low. If you want quality sound, you need an amplifier.

How should I shop for an amp?

When shopping for an amplifier it is extremely important to match the power output of the amplifier with the power handling of your speakers. Figure out your speakers’ top RMS rating (root mean square power handling). If they are pairs, they should be the same. If different, go with the lower rating. You can find a great list of NVX amplifiers by clicking here.

How much power do I need to get peak performance from my car’s sound system?

There is no magic formula because every car stereo is different. It is vital to stay within the recommended power range of your speakers. Ask yourself a few questions. How efficient are your speakers? Plan on getting a subwoofer? How is the wiring?

I’ve upgraded my speakers. Do I need to get an amplifier?

If you want those fresh speakers to let out high-quality and crisp sound, then YES! Your factory amplifier will not provide enough power to the speakers to actually hear a major difference and there will still be issues with certain frequencies distorting.

Amplifiers are fundamental elements that play a pivotal role in the music you jam in your vehicle.

You can learn more about car amplifiers in our blog by clicking here and here. You can also check out our amplifier video in the Car Audio 101 series on Youtube.

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