If you want to improve the sound quality in your car with a clean power source, an aftermarket amp can do the trick. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best 4 channel amplifiers and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
When you want to upgrade a stereo system, it can be normal to upgrade the speaker or add a subwoofer, but you want to make sure to upgrade the component that powers all the improvements – the amplifier.
Best 4 Channel Amplifiers 2017
|Rockford R300X4 Prime|
|7.5 Lbs||16.5" x 10.3" x 4.3"||50W x 4 @ 4-Ohm |
75W x 4 @ 2-Ohm
150W x 2 @ 4-Ohm
|Rockford Fosgate R400-4D|
|5.7 Lbs||12" x 9.3" x 4"||75W x 4 @ 4-Ohm |
100W x 4 @ 2-Ohm
200W x 2 @ 4-Ohm
|Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW1200F||4.6 Lbs||13" x 9.1" x 4.3"||50W x 4 @ 4-Ohm|
75W x 4 @ 2-Ohm
|Kenwood Compact M1824BT||3.1 Lbs||14.8" x 6.8" x 3.3"||45W x 4 @ 4-Ohm|
45W x 4 @ 2-Ohm
|Kenwood KAC-M3004||2.2 Lbs||6.7" x 5.9" x 3.1"||50W x 4 @ 4-Ohm|
75W x 4 @ 2-Ohm
1. Rockford R300X4 Prime – Best Value Amp
If you are looking for performance in a small package, the Rockford Prime Series R300X4 4-channel amp is capable of giving each of your speakers 50 watts RMS which means you will really be able to feel the beat while your rock out. You can also use the 2-channel mode to give each speaker 75 watts RMS while running a couple of subs.
If you decide in the future to get a larger amp, you can still use the 4-channel to drive your speakers making it a great financial choice.
If you use the high- and low-pass filters, you will get the famous Punch boost Rockford Fosgate in known for from the speakers in your vehicle. Speaker-level inputs also let you hook up the amp up to pretty much any system, including factory stereos.
Equipped with a heavy cast-aluminum chassis, the Rockford R300X4 can draw away damaging heat efficiently from the internal components to guarantee long-term and reliable play. Built-in sensors keep track of the amp’s output current and the temperature of the power supply to keep the speaker impedances from plunging or to protect it from short circuits.
The Rockford R300X4 accepts both RCA Level and High-Level inputs, and it includes a cast aluminum heatsink with Top Mount Controls, 12dB/octave crossover, and Class A/B Circuit Topology. There is also a Butterworth crossover, On Board Punch EQ Control, 2/4 channel input switch and a 4-pin High-Level Input.
If you are looking for a versatile 4 channel amplifier, the R300X4 is a good value. It has built-in sensors to protect it from overheating, so it is a durable and long-lasting choice. The Rockford R300XR is a great choice when you want to make sure every dollar counts.
2. Rockford Fosgate R400-4D – Most Powerful Amplifier
Their reliable Prime Class D amps play loud and clear while staying cool.
Each of your components or speakers gets 75 watts RMS from the R400-4D 4-channel amp giving you plenty of energy to rock out.
You can also bridge the front and rear speakers with the front and rear channels to run a sub with up to 200 watts RMS.
Plus, you can drive a pair of subs by bridging the amp to 2-channel mode.
With the Rockford Prime amps, you get to Power Output Without Excessive Regulation (POWER) that respond quickly to any of the peak demands you give your system.
You can tune your speakers for the best performance with the Rockford Fosgate’s famous Punch bass boost and the high – and low-pass filters.
This ultra-efficient 4-channel amplifier gives you 100 Watts at 2-Ohms into four channels. Also included in the Prime R400-4D is a 2/4 channel input switch, cast aluminum heatsink, and a 4 Gauge power/ground connectors.
This feature filled amplifier will give you all the bells and whistles you want. The R400 has a special system to respond to peak demands, and it efficiently directs the power to the entire system. Depending on your needs, this is a good system when you have or want a high-end audio system.
3. Alpine MRV-F300– Most Versatile Amplifier
The versatile Alpine MRV-F300 uses a cutting edge technology called Enhanced Shutdown Performance> that allows the system hold back on the output a little when the amp gets to the point of overheating. It does not shut down completely, but continues to play music as it cools down enough so that it can return to full power.
You are in command of your frequencies with the high- and low-pass filters, plus the bass boost gives you some punch on the low-end. Both preamp- and speaker-level inputs are included with the Alpine MRV-F300 making it easy to install in pretty much any vehicle, even if it has a factory radio.
There is no need to run a turn-on wire back to the fusebox as the amp can sense an incoming signal and turns itself on automatically. The Alpine MRV-F300 Amplifier are also easy to install with the snap-on terminal covers.
When it is in 4-channel mode, it can give both the front and rear speakers 50 watts RMS. It can also run in 3-channel mode which can power the subwoofer with 150 watts RMS, plus drive two full-range speakers with 50 watts each. The 2-channel mode can also give up to 74 watts RMS to a set of subwoofers.
The small size of the Alpine MRV-F300 makes it very versatile with its ability to fit in almost any available space. It also has its own shutdown system when it realizes it is starting to overheat allowing it to cool itself down and then return to full power automatically. As far as safety, this is an awesome choice.
4. Kenwood Compact Automotive/Marine M1824BT – Best Remote Control and Watercraft
For those of you that get your music through your phone, you need a system that will work with today’s smartphones, so that you can listen to podcasts, internet radio, and all your downloaded music. The Kenwood Compact M1824BT features Bluetooth that is the most popular and easiest way to connect to your iPhone.
The 45 Watt Kenwood M1824BT is a Bluetooth gateway that includes an in-dash receiver that doubles the power you would normally get from a regular CD receiver.
The controller is water resistant and allows you to change tracks and adjust the volume making this a great amp to have on a boat.
In case you are working with a limited space on your watercraft, Kenwood’s compact performance amplifiers fir in small spaces with limited installation areas. The conformal coated main printed circuit board gives you extra protection to keep out the damp air and moisture giving your amp a long life span.
When you want to rock out while cruising around the lake, the Kenwood M1824BT has water-protection to keep it from getting wet. Plus, it comes with a remote control for convenient track changes and volume adjustment. Also has an extra certification that promises it will continue to work in case it take on some water. This is a super convenient and durable choice for watercraft.
5. Kenwood KAC-M3004 – Best Outdoor
Kenwood’s compact performance amplifiers are perfect for these situations as they are small in size and fit in some of the smallest installation spaces, and they use a conformal coated main printed circuit boards that give you extra protection against damp air and moisture.
With 50 watts RMS per channel, Kenwood’s M3004 can power up music in your vehicle that will be loud enough to hear above the noise of the trail, road, and waterway.
It fits pretty much anywhere including storage compartments on ATVs, motorcycles, and boats.
The KAC-M3004 accepts a signal for pretty much anywhere including speaker wires from a factor radio or RCA cables. The amplifier senses the signal when you use the speaker-level inputs, so you don’t need to use a remote turn-on lead for your car stereo. [/su_note]
If you are placing your new amplifier on a water vehicle, the Kenwood M3004 is perfect for fitting into small spaces and has weather-resistant protection so it won’t short out. It’s also pretty versatile and works on ATV’s and motorcycles as well as boats. This is a great choice for a watercraft considering the extra water-resistant protection it features.
Best 4 Channel Amplifiers – Buyer’s Guide
There are a lot of choices in the market when it comes to buying a best 4 channel amplifier. There are also tons of configurations to choose from including five-channel amps that power a complex stereo system to a mono-channel amp that powers a single-speaker. You can purchase an amp from an online store, electronics store, or audio supply store.
When shopping for a technical and highly specific piece of electronics, it can be daunting to search through terminology and specifications. Buying and installing an external amp is a pretty big deal since you can damage your car or overload its existing power system if you use inadequate or improper wiring.
Car Amplifier Features
The purpose of an amplifier is to take electric signals and boos them to increase the overall power of the stereo. So, an amplifier will take output signals that are low-power from a radio and increase its strength to the point that it can power a subwoofer and a speaker. Amps that are built-in to a car stereo are a lot less powerful than an external amp.
Reasons to Add an External Amplifier
A built-in amp can usually sufficiently power speakers that came with the car. However, if you want to upgrade your system or add more speakers, you will need more power. Aftermarket speakers tend to be louder and need more power, so that means you will need a larger amp.
Improved Sound Quality
If you are not interested in adding an amp for more power, you may want to add an external amplifier to improve your sound quality. Although there has been an improvement in built-in amps, an external 4 channel amplifier can give you better sensitivity and response, plus it will give you clean power without noise or interference from the other electrical parts reducing unwanted noise and distortion when finding your favorite radio station.
Measured in watts, the amp power output tells you the most amount of power that your amp will be able to give you. This is usually given per channel, but many amps will list the total power instead. You want your output power to match the power that is needed by the speakers. If you don’t have enough power, you will have distorted and weak sound while too much power can blow out a speaker.
You can have less than 250 to up to thousands of watts in an amp.
If you have two bridged channels, it will be able to power a subwoofer or a large speaker. Make sure to check for your amp’s RMS power rating that tells you what your amp can continuously provide. You may also see the peak power listed which tells you what your amp can do in short bursts.
The sound quality of an amplifier depends on a number of things, but the overall quality is also influenced by the other parts of the sound system like the speakers and radio. If you have a low-quality amp, it can actually jam the sound systems and keep the entire system from sounding good.
Also, check their listed THD and remember that the lower the THD the better the amp. The sound of the amp also depends on the quality level of the electrical parts like the wiring and how they are connected and soldered. A lot of these factors are hard to determine from the outside so it helps to purchase an amp that is made well and comes from a well-known and quality manufacturer.
The most common place to put your amplifier is under the front passenger seat or in the rear of the vehicle next to the subwoofer enclosure. What you need to find is a place where the wire run can be secured and minimized.
Final Thoughts and Overall
When you are ready to buy a best 4 channel amplifier, you may feel a little overwhelmed, but if you do some homework, it will feel a lot less daunting. When you are new to the industry, it can be a challenge to navigate, so make sure to do your research and check out some reviews to help navigate the terminology and types of amplifiers that are on the market.
Remember, the research is one of the more important parts to help create a stereo that you will be able to rock out to for years to come.