Car Amplifiers: Articles & Videos

Headlights dim when the music plays

Headlights dim when the music plays

by Buck Pomerantz

When the stereo pulls too much power out of your car's electrical system, every part of the system suffers, even the amplifier itself. Here we discuss the most popular fixes for an underpowered electrical system: the big 3 upgrade, a capacitor, a larger alternator, and a second battery.

 
Wiring Subwoofers — What's all this about Ohms?

Wiring Subwoofers — What's all this about Ohms?

by Buck Pomerantz

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.

 
Jo's Awesome Kicker Car Audio Upgrade

Jo's Awesome Kicker Car Audio Upgrade

by Jo Greene

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

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.

 
How to match subwoofers and amplifiers

How to match subwoofers and amplifiers

by Buck Pomerantz

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.

 
Video: Alpine PDX-V9 5-channel Amplifier

Video: Alpine PDX-V9 5-channel Amplifier

by Zak Billmeier

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.

 
Adding Amps and Subs to a Ford F-150

Adding Amps and Subs to a Ford F-150

by Zak Billmeier

In Part 2 of our series on improving the sound in a Ford F-150, Jeff installs powerful new amplifiers and a subwoofer.

 
Video: Improve Your Sound by Adding an Amp and Sub

Video: Improve Your Sound by Adding an Amp and Sub

by Zak Billmeier

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....

 
Video: 2012 Kenwood Excelon Amplifiers

Video: 2012 Kenwood Excelon Amplifiers

by Zak Billmeier

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.

 
Crutchfield's car audio proving ground series

Crutchfield's car audio proving ground series

by Zak Billmeier

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

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.

 
Video: Mathilda Gets Amped

Video: Mathilda Gets Amped

by Video Team

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!

 
Why Some Watts are More Expensive than Others

Why Some Watts are More Expensive than Others

by Buck Pomerantz

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.

 
Video: Sony GS Car Amplifiers

Video: Sony GS Car Amplifiers

by Video Team

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.

 
A budget-friendly car audio buildup

A budget-friendly car audio buildup

by Jon Paulette

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.

 
Welcome to our mobile audio listening lab

Welcome to our mobile audio listening lab

by John Pollard

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.

 
Video: Tour of the Mobile Audio Listening Lab

Video: Tour of the Mobile Audio Listening Lab

by Robert Ferency-Viars

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

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.

 
How To Diagnose and Suppress Noise

How To Diagnose and Suppress Noise

by Buck Pomerantz

An interactive flowchart to help you diagnose and cure the most common noise problems found in car stereo systems.

 
Crutchfield's Honda Civic

Crutchfield's Honda Civic

by Crutchfield Writing Team

Crutchfield's Honda Civic delivers quality tunes in a low-profile fashion.