You just bought a new car and are excited to enjoy your cruising experience. Your pre-installed car stereo’s sound quality is a bit disappointing and you wonder what you can do to make it better. You know of amplifiers but are not sure how to go about the highly technical terms at the electrical dealer’s shop. Have no fear. On this article, we will discover together which 4-channel amp speakers are the best for your car and provide the desired sound quality.
With a 4-channel amplified car speaker, you would have more options to work with. You could use one channel per speaker and connect all four speakers or you could bridge (combine) two channels to power up a subwoofer and bridge the other two to power up the 4 speakers. The sound quality will be noticeably impressive with nice low bass tones and high tones with no interruption.
Settling on the ideal amp speakers could be tasking as the information sometimes is misleading and the market is filled with options! Thankfully, we have put together a short summary of the best to help you narrow down on available options.
Alpine Electronics is a well-known and trusted manufacturer of electronic components and their specialty is in car audio and navigation systems. This automatically makes the Alpine MRV-F300 a best-buy based on its brand. Aside from the name, this speaker is a great fit for those who love to crank up the volume but have limited car space.
This 4-channel speaker features caps that snap on and off making its placement easy. It is so compact it can fit under a car seat! With its D-class circuitry, power consumption is minimized and you will not likely have any heating issues.
On channel 3 and 4 of this device, full crossovers and bass boosts are possible and technology has been improved on this model to minimize the background noise. Overall, this is the number one best 4-channel amp speaker. You can bet your money on it.
- Class D technology
- Full range crossover
- Bass Equalizer boost
- Great brand reputation
- Highest crossover range on this list (50-400 Hz)
- Compact size
Best known for their subwoofers, the JL Audio company is one of the pioneers of the car audio industry. This speaker powers up to 75 watts on each component speaker and produces a great quality of sound from high to mid-range frequencies.
JX400 has sleek tamper-free removable cover and a blue LED light which is a lovely addition to your car’s interior design. This device is super easy to use as it is compatible with any car stereo system and it also comes with the D-class technology which is perfect for high quality sound.
The only drawbacks are that the background noise is a bit more obvious and the price is a bit too much for budget shoppers.
- D-class technology
- Removable cover
- Bridgeable crossover
- Consistent power output
- Sleek build quality
- Compatible with multiple systems
Rockford Fosgate is an American force to reckon with in matters of great audio experiences brought to you in some cool lifestyle products. With 50 watts, the P400 packs a punch and keeps in company trend with its sturdy structure. Though it sits in the more vintage A/B class of speakers, Rockford have added their own Trans-ANA circuitry to remove noise and enhance the audio experience.
Powered with 400 watts, this speaker is clearly high on market value and you would need to part with much more money to get your hands on it. Based on the company’s track record, this 4-channel speaker will not let you down.
- aluminum heat sinks with top mount controls
- class A/B circuit technology
- power supply thermal sensing and real-time output
- Varied settings
- Less Noise
- High powered amp
Manufactured by yet another American based company, the MTX Audio Thunder comes roaring in with a whooping 75 watts for each of the 4 speakers connected and 100 watts when 2 channels are bridged to a subwoofer and the other 2 to the car speakers.
Similar to the Rockford, this amp features in the A/B category of 4-channel speakers. This presents a problem with heating which greatly limits the options for its placement. Another similarity they share is in the high monetary value placed on it.
- Class A/B Topology
- Surface Mount PCB
- Small Foot Print Design
- Adjustable high and low crossover
- Great bass and surround
- Brand recognition
Showing up for a second time, the Alpine brand definitely deserves your coin. Don’t let the size of this mini-amplifier fool you. Powered with 45 watts, this speaker has the ability to triple this effect on your general music experience. Its compact size could comfortably fit behind the car stereo in the dashboard and comes with zip lines and cables that would greatly simplify the installation.
This small but powerful speaker is listed in the D-class category of amp speakers and promises a crisp and clear sound quality with no distortion.
The affordable pricing, the convenient compact size, the mid-range audio quality and its versatility makes this speaker a must have!
- Level connectors with auto sensing-speaker
- Button enabled high and low-pass crossovers
- 82 dB SNR
- Trusted brand name
- Easy installation
This is a niche product from Kenwood that works in cars and for motorcycles as well. This is a compact sized amplifier with adjustable crossover. Its SNR at 76dB is quite low and is quite noisy. Frequency ranges that can be achieved with this amp is between 20Hz to 20Khz which is not too bad for this budget amp speaker.
- Bridged RMS power
- Simple set up of multiple speakers with its dual speaker terminus
- Class D car/ marine amplifier
- Very affordable
- Small compact size
- Easy to set up
This A/B class amp speaker is a bit on the bulky side which makes its placement difficult. The Kicker CXA300 makes up for this with its 95 dB SNR guaranteeing a smooth listening experience. Highly sensitive to legacy head units, it is compatible with most vehicle brands.
- Total output power of 600 watts
- Cooling heat sinks
- Frequency response of 10-20,000 KHz
- The least expensive amp on this list
- Fair SNR ratio of 95dB
- Efficient heat sinks for cooling
Now that you are equipped with a variety of product knowledge, it is important to take these 5 things into consideration before cashing out on that desired amp speaker.
A crucial perspective to consider is the compatibility of your amp to the expected application and to your head unit (car stereo system). Are you going for a 2-channel or a 4-channel application? What make and model is the car and its sound related features? Be sure to know the answers to these questions. Confirm that your audio quality is up to par before you pay for the amp.
Most important component of a powerful amp is the fuse. You must check and actually confirm the amperage provided for in the device. This is because the fuse greatly determines the accuracy of the promised watts production. A little math is involved but it’s nothing too huge for your calculator to handle.
This calculation is done by multiplying the watts of the amp speaker by 2 and dividing the result by your car’s battery voltage. The final figure represents amperage and the voltage should not fall below this margin.
Size of the Amplifier
Well before you head out to the dealer shop, take some rough measurements to be more accurate in picking a perfect fit. Most authorized dealerships are well versed with car installations and they might only need your car make and model to list out your options. Either way, it is always best to have hard facts and to be well informed yourself.
Powering the Amp
Electronic configuration is not an easy chapter and most of us might not know how to go about it. This is why previous extensive research and shopping around should be carried out to make sure that the amp features are to your satisfaction and that they deliver quality.
Design and material of the amplifier
Consider how durable the material is that was used in its manufacture. Keep in mind that some of these amplifiers are class A/B which presents a heating issue. The material will guide you in knowing where to place it and how to maintain the speaker for longevity.
As we are all here to gather more understanding on the 4-channle speakers, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little section for the Frequently Asked Questions. They might broaden your options.
Which is better between a 2-channel amp and 4-channel amp?
They all work the same way but their application is different. 2-channel amplifiers are great for powering subwoofers because they push the bass. A 4-channel application gives greater versatility in how connections can be made. Either wired as a two-channel or four-channel. You could also bridge it to make use of two or three channels for greater performance.
What installation options are available?
Considering you are well versed with car operations, amp installations for most modern sets is fairly easy and can be done with a bit of wiring.
For other more complex and bigger sized amps, you might need to contract an installer who would do all the welding that might be required. Unfortunately, this is also quite expensive but at least it saves you the time and the headache of doing it yourself.
Why should I buy a class D amp?
These are new generation amplifiers made with new technology to reduce noise in the background and to manage any heating issues. They also tend to be more compact than the A/B amplifiers so they would be ideal for tight fits.
What’s Watts per channel?
Also known as RMS (root mean square) refers to the power in wats that can be pushed through each channel at a constant rate. Another term mostly used by marketers is Peak wattage which simply means the maximum wattage that can be pushed through a channel at once.
What about impedance (ohms)?
This aspect of an amp dictates how much watts per channel (RMS) can be pushed through at any given time. In effect, a lower impedance (ohms) produces higher RMS wattage per channel It is crucial to match the speaker impedance with the amp impedance otherwise the amp will not work.
If you would rather not think about impedance, there are a select few amps that can push through the same RMS regardless of impedance.
What affects my sound quality?
There are a few aspects that can make your listening experience better or worse.
Most amps are fitted with two filters: the high pass and low pass. High pass filters pick up on high frequency signals and sends them out to the speakers equipped to play them. The same occurs with the low pass filters sending out the low frequency signals to their player which is the subwoofer.
- THD- Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion occurs during decoding when the signal reaches the amp before it is pushed through the speakers. To limit this aim for an amp with the lowest THD which is anything below 3 percent. Anything higher distorts the actual sounds producing a distinct difference in the overall quality.
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
SNR value is measured in decibels and determines how much interference a signal takes through the amp. Go for an amp with a high SNR value for a seamless experience.
- Frequency Range
An amp that has high frequency ranges has a broad soundscape and this will be felt in the high and low frequency signals.
Given that this is a business like any other, it is highly profit driven and most marketers will tend to confuse you with high watt features of various cheaper amplifiers.
We highly recommend you get the Alpine MRV-F300 or the JL Audio JX400/4D as they are both D-class 4-channel car amps, they are both compact and they produce superior sound quality.
After all, it is important to apply yourself, carry out a good research on your preferred amp and take your time! Remember poor configuration of these systems could fry your car’s entire electronic circuit. It is always best to save up for quality than to rush for sweet-looking deals.