Articles & Videos: Car Amplifiers

Confusion about how to wire subwoofers has been around for as long as people have been putting them in cars. Here, we'll explain why the way you wire your subwoofer effects the output.

Crutchfield writer Jo knew her factory audio system wasn't cutting it...she needed a car audio intervention. So she decided to replace her factory speakers with Kicker, and power them with a Kicker amp. Check out Jo's new gear, and ride along with her as she talks about the huge difference Kicker made in her sound.

Jo's 2008 Honda Fit Sport
by Buck Pomerantz

When Jo, a Crutchfield copywriter, decided it was time for a new sound system, she got a little help from Kicker for a complete overhaul. After she had a few days to enjoy her new system, we asked her about the experience.

This step-by-step guide will help you make sure that your amps and subs are evenly matched and work well together, whether you have the subwoofers and want to find the amplifier to run them, or you've already got the amp and want the right subs for it.

The Alpine PDX-V9 is the "do it all" version of Alpine's popular digital PDX amps. It's small, stackable with other PDX amps, and gives you 100 watts RMS x 4 for your speakers, plus 500 watts RMS x 1 to drive a sub. Serious power, with a tiny footprint.

In Part 2 of our Car Stereo Proving Ground series, we added a bass system (subwoofer and amp) and an amplifier to the speakers. Anyone who's ever done this won't be surprised to hear that the music opened up and sounded better. What really impressed us? Read on....

While at CES 2012, we got the inside scoop on the new Kenwood Excelon line of amplifiers - three models featuring a small footprint, clean design, and covered by a reassuring 2-year warranty.

We wanted to answer the most basic question about car audio: is it really worth it to upgrade? Using a 2004 Ford F-150 as our test vehicle, we installed some great gear, then documented the system performance and improvements along the way:

Amps make music fun
by Buck Pomerantz

When you add an amplifier to a system, the sound becomes higher, wider, and more realistic — like the band's playing on top of your dashboard and you're right there among the musicians.

One of our employees shares the excitement of having an amplifier in her car for the first time. We installed the Rockford Fosgate Punch P400-4 amplifier in her car, and she's more excited than ever to listen to her favorite tunes on the way home!

Different amps with the same wattage ratings can have wildly different prices. Why pay more for the same amount of power? Because not all watts are created equal. The reason? Build quality.

Sony's efficient GS car amplifiers give you clean, effective power to make your car audio system sing. There are two GS models: a 4-channel, and a mono subwoofer amp. Both feature RCA and speaker-level inputs and are backed by a 3-year Sony warranty.

Some budding audiophiles look at building a car stereo as an "all or nothing" proposition. They make a wish list, look at the total cost, get nervous, and do nothing. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Installing a system in stages improves your sound without breaking the bank.

The mobile audio/video section of the Crutchfield Labs lets our writers, researchers, and advisors get hands-on experience with the latest car audio products.

We're passionate about car audio. Crutchfield's Mobile Audio Listening Lab lets us get hands-on experience with all kinds of car audio gear, from speakers and subs to amplifiers and receivers.

Michael H's 2009 Kia Spectra
by Robert Ferency-Viars

Michael decided that the factory stereo in his Kia Spectra wasn't nearly up to the task. He shopped around and found affordable gear that could give deliver the sound he wanted.

A convenient way to send the powered signal from an amplifier to car speakers is to run the new speakers wires from the amp to the stereo harness that's behind the receiver, where all the car's speaker connections are accessible in one place.

Find what fits your car

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