You’ve got the car that you love, it’s a dream to drive, and you’ve never had more fun on the freeway or on the open road. Everything’s there, but you’re missing one thing – an audio system that delivers knockout bass, crystal clear highs, and punchy midrange frequencies. It doesn’t matter what kind of music gets you moving, everybody loves a good sound system.
No matter how advanced modern cars get, the sound systems will always be a compromise. Car manufacturers can use big name speakers and head units, but at the end of the day, the audio experience is never the main focus.
If you want in-car entertainment that literally makes you stop and listen, then you’re going to need to upgrade to an aftermarket amplifier. We’ve already taken a look at some of the best amplifiers of 2016 and 2017, but if you’re looking for a complete overview and buying guide, then this is the place to be.
From knowing how many channels you’ll need to finding the right place to mount a new amplifier, this is everything you need to know about choosing an amplifier for your vehicle.
Understanding How Your Amplifier Works with Your Existing Audio Components
Although amplifiers are relatively complex in design and manufacture, they serve a simple purpose. They take the audio signal from your in-car head unit and amplify it to be distributed to component speakers and subwoofers. In a basic sense, an amplifier allows for more volume, but can also increase the quality of sound by reducing distortion and providing a better signal to noise ratio when compared to a head unit alone.
An amplifier can be used with any vehicle where the head unit has independent outputs (usually RCA connectors) for line level signals. You’ll still use your main unit for playing and controlling your music, but the actual sound delivery will be taken care of by your amplifier, bypassing the built-in speaker outputs on the head unit. Some factory head units come provided with line level outputs, however, most enthusiasts prefer to use an aftermarket head unit to allow for greater control over their overall sound.
Purchasing an amplifier doesn’t mean that you’ll need to change your speakers, but this is always an option. Factory speakers are usually rated and matched to the factory head unit, and may struggle to accept the power delivery of an aftermarket amplifier. Using speakers with a peak power rating below that of an amplifier will lead to problems with distortion, and will cause damage at high volumes.
Most enthusiasts who are upgrading an amplifier for their speakers, as well as subwoofers, will choose to install aftermarket speaker solutions. Component speakers are typically smaller and combine a 6.5” driver with a smaller tweeter. Full range speakers are also used in vehicles, with the most common being the 6×9” configuration. Full range speakers provide well-rounded frequency response but they won’t deliver the chest rumbling bass that a subwoofer can.
When purchasing speakers, always check the power rating so that they can be paired with the amplifier of your choice. Take a look at this Kenwood KFC-P709Ps speaker set as an example. They’re rated for 80W RMS or 280W peak power. Matching them with a multichannel amplifier with a similar power rating will be ideal, and something like the Pyle PLA2200 amplifier will easily power two sets of these speakers.
Remember, every component in your vehicle will have an impact on your system design. To get the basics down, always keep in mind that:
You’ll need a head unit with RCA outputs to connect to an amplifier, such as the Pioneer DEX-X6900BT.
Your amplifier will need to be powered directly from your vehicle’s battery.
Speakers (including subwoofers) will need to be matched to the output power of the channels on your amplifier.
Let’s take a look at what a basic setup might include:
The Pioneer DEH-X6900BT is an affordable option with RCA outputs.
For a set of component speakers, we’ll choose the aforementioned KFC-P709PS sets. You can run up to four of these speakers directly from the Pioneer head unit with good results.
For some low-end presence in your sound, we’ll add a monoblock amplifier and a subwoofer. You’ll be able to connect the amp directly to the subwoofer output on the pioneer head unit. The Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is a reliable amp that will power a P2D4-10 subwoofer.
source : mycarneedsthis