by Dominic DeVito
Learn the basics of power amplifier applications and connections, plus criteria for choosing the right amplifier for your PA sound system.
Our experts help you pick the ideal gear for your needs.Meet our advisors
Free tech support for the life of your gear.Read about our one-on-one expert help
You may return items that are complete and like new for any reason within 60 days.See the details of our return policy
Earn one point for every dollar you spend and use those points to save on future purchases.Get full details on Crutchfield Rewards
We offer vehicle-specific installation instructions, dash kits, wiring harnesses, and speaker accessories at deeply discounted prices with car stereo and speaker purchases. Available for most vehicles.Learn more
Our customers have trusted us with their business, and they’ve helped us win awards for our service.Check out our most recent awards
The manufacturer’s warranty always applies.See more details
Learn the basics of power amplifier applications and connections, plus criteria for choosing the right amplifier for your PA sound system.
A home stereo system built around an integrated amplifier is perfect for a serious music lover. Learn what to look for as you shop.
This step-by-step guide will help you make sure that your amps and subs are evenly matched and work well together. We explain how to select one to go with the other.
New marine speakers in your boat will give you an immediate upgrade in sound quality, but you'll also need a marine amplifier to get the best sound over open water.
How much power and how many channels are right for you? This guide will help you choose the right amplifier for your car's sound system.
Here are some major points to consider and features to look for when choosing a new amplifier, like how many channels, or how much power it needs.
We describe the basics of deciding how much power an amplifier should have when you're trying to match it to your speakers or subwoofers.
Learn how to incorporate Sonos wireless multi-room audio into a hard-wired system that features in-wall, ceiling, and outdoor speakers.
Why pay different prices for the same wattage? Because better-built amps perform better and last longer.
This video describes some of the common features you should look for when you're shopping for an amp, like a high-pass filter or a bass boost.
How many channels you'll need for your amp depends on how you intend to use it, and with how many speakers or subs.
Bring out all of your music's emotional excitement, impact, and fine detail by adding an amplifier. This article explains which amplifier is the best for the job.
A line output converter lets you connect an amplifier to a factory stereo. In this article, we answer the most common questions about line output converters.
Confused about wiring your subs and picking the right amplifier? Crutchfield will get you on the fast track to big bass with this simple guide.
The proper way to wire subwoofers depends on both the subs and the amplifier in your system. Here, we explain why the way you wire your sub affects the output.
Discover what you need to help your headphones sound their best.
Three Crutchfield advisors listened to ten tracks from various musical genres to hear the difference a subwoofer makes when listening to music in a car.
Marine stereos are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations. Our handy guide will help you find the receiver that's right for your boat.
Five key things you need to consider when shopping for a new car stereo. Crutchfield can help you find the new stereo that fits your needs.
Whether you only need a single mic and a speaker or a full kit for your band, it pays to know how a PA system works. This article explains each piece of the system.
These car audio tips can help improve sound quality in your vehicle, whether you're listening on a factory system or a multi-channel amplified setup.
Learn how to get great sound from your computer, tie it into your home audio system, and improve your user experience.
This article contains some basic recipes to help you get the audio right gear to fit your style of boating.
How to put together a home stereo system (and why you need one).
Golf carts aren't just for the "back nine" anymore -- they're almost as likely to be seen driving around the neighborhood. Your cool cart deserves a stereo to match.
From playing music to delivering surround sound thrills, today's home theater receivers offer more than ever. Learn how to find the one that's best for you.
These bolt-in audio component kits from Rockford Fosgate will make your Polaris RZR rock. They let you upgrade your sound without cutting or modifying your RZR.
There are a number of different ways to power a house full of speakers. Here's an overview of things you need to know.
From sunlight to rain to extreme temperatures, your boat's marine audio system has to endure a lot of abuse. This article will help you choose the right marine stereo.
Learn more about upgrading your boat's audio system.
When you add an amp to your system, the sound becomes higher, wider, and more realistic like the band's in the car and you're in the front row.
All the information and links you'll need to plan, install, tune, and enjoy a subwoofer system in your car or truck.
Factory stereo systems leave a lot to be desired. The four upgrade systems we discuss in this article improve the factory sound of different vehicles in different ways.
Whether you're fishing, waterskiing, or just cruising around, boating is even more enjoyable when you have a quality marine audio system to provide the music.
This article will help you figure out how to start building the car stereo system that's right for you, by deciding where the weakness is in your current system.
FUSION is a company dedicated to bringing high-performance audio to the marine market. That's why their marine audio products are "designed from the water up."
Audiofrog's a la carte approach to car audio lets you choose the right tweeter, midrange, and crossover combination for your vehicle's dream system.
Many new vehicles make it difficult to install a new stereo. This article covers some of your options for improving the sound without changing the stereo.
In this short video, Crutchfield experts show how a fellow employee created a high-performance car audio system without replacing his vehicle's factory stereo.
Building a great car stereo doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" proposition. With a plan and a budget, you can build a great audio system one step at a time.
When it's time to upgrade your boat's audio system, it's important to look for marine-rated stereo equipment that can stand up to life on the water.
If you want to upgrade the audio in your boat, look for a purpose-built marine stereo system that stands up to sunlight, spray, and salt.
Different amps with the same wattage ratings can have wildly different prices because not all watts are created equal - some are better due to the amp's build quality.
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.
Find out how to get better sound from the music on your computer using headphones in this short video.
Bill Becker, founder and CEO of BDI, talks about special features of the BDI Mirage 8222 audio/video cabinet, designed to hold and hide your audio components.
Bill Becker, founder and CEO of BDI, talks about the special features of the BDI Valera audio/video furniture line. The open design keeps your components visible, and
Bill Becker, the founder and CEO of BDI, talks about their Avion audio/video furniture line and the improvements they made with Series II. Avion is perfect for anyone
Get tips on planning your outdoor speaker system, including where to place your speakers and the other items you'll need to complete your setup.
JBL Club car amplifiers give you great bang for your buck as you upgrade your audio system. They give you plenty of continuous power, and work in nearly every vehicle.
Cambridge Audio's CXA amplifiers let you hear your music the way it was meant to be heard, with ample power, high-quality Wolfson DACs, and discrete amplification.
For the best amplified sound in their cars, audiophiles turn to Focal. This brief video introduces the Focal FPS series of amplifiers.
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.
Kenwood Excelon line of amplifiers - three models featuring a small footprint, clean design, and covered by a reassuring 2-year warranty.
Alpine's V-Power car amplifiers are smaller than ever, and they employ smart digital technology that makes them incredibly versatile.
Pioneer's versatile 2013 car amplifiers help you get needed power to your speakers. They're compact, powerful, and even 1-ohm stable so it's easy to match subs.
Our Amplifier FAQ answers many common questions like: How can I add an amp to my system? Where should I mount it? What wiring do I need? What size fuse and power wire?
Car amplifier audio terms - like watts, volts, and efficiency - are explained.
Check out this overview of a typical installation to see the steps involved when you install an amplifier in your vehicle.
How to connect an amplifier to your car's factory speaker wiring. Our expert tips and 9-wire speaker cable can make the installation easier.
In this video, we'll help you overcome one of the hardest parts of amplifier installation: how to get your amp's power wire through the vehicle's firewall.
Need to know know which size of wire you should use when installing an amplifier? Use our handy cable gauge chart to find out.
Here's a step-by-step guide to installing a car amplifier, including troubleshooting tips when things don't work perfectly.
The NAD Masters Series M32 stereo integrated amplifier features NAD's DirectDigital circuitry, which shortens the signal path between amp and speaker for clean sound.
The McIntosh MC301 monoblock amplifier delivers its massive power to any speaker. With a dedicated amp for each speaker, you get maximum separation and soundstaging.
The MC152 stereo power amplifier gives you the warm sound you'd expect from McIntosh, and the amp's output transformer delivers its full rated power to any speaker.
AudioQuest DragonFly USB DACs give your sound quality a huge boost with a 32-bit DAC and a built-in headphone amplifier.
We travel to the Charlottesville/Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC)to teach students how to properly wire and install an amplifier.
Rockford Fosgate's C.L.E.A.N. gain-setting system on their Punch amps makes setup as easy as playing an audio track and adjusting a couple volume knobs.
NAD's M12 stereo preamp and M22 amplifier give you lifelike, engaging sound and you can play your hi-res digital files from this top-of-the-line combo.
With built-in Wi-Fi, a host of digital source options, and robust amplification, the NAD D 7050 amplifier can bring all your music together to make your speakers sing.
Top-quality power wire is key to getting the best performance out of your amplifier. Kicker power wire transfers power efficiently to your amp for best performance.
The Reference Fit line of amps from Kenwood Excelon packs a ton of power into a small and thin chassis. There's a mono, 4-channel, and a 5-channel version available.
Installing new JL Audio speakers, 5-channel amplifier, and a subwoofer.
Make your music sound lively and vital with a Sound Ordnance amplifier. Watch this Crutchfield video to see what these rugged, value-packed amplifiers have to offer.
See how easy it is to install the Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack amplifier module, which will more than double your stereo's power.
Cambridge Audio says the 851A integrated amplifier is "The best we've made - ever." Have a look at the features - and what's under the hood - and you'll see why.
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,
Take a look at a typical amp wiring scheme.
Adding a 4-channel amp to your system not only raises the sound level, but also greatly increases the sound quality of your music. This is how to tune it up.
Here's a method for setting amp gain fast and accurately using test tones.
With a built-in digital-to-analog converter, Bluetooth, and its array of digital inputs, the NAD D 3020 is built for delivering high-fidelity sound.
The Alpine PDX-V9 is the 5-channel version of their popular PDX amps. It's small, stackable with other PDX amps, and gives you serious power, with a tiny footprint.
Clarion's XC1410 4-channel amp delivers 50 watts RMS per channel from a chassis that's about as long and wide as a dollar bill.
I've been a music nut since I was still in short pants. If I had a nickel for every hour I've spent in my den, listening to records and CDs through my hi-fi system ... I'd have a have a huge pile of nickels.
Further progress on our task of transforming a GMC Yukon into a pristine listening space. In this chapter, we run wire and add LOTS of Dynamat.
Using a 7-channel receiver to power five speakers? That extra power need not go to waste. See how to put the two unused amplifier channels to work for better sound.
When installing an amplifier on a boat, finding a grounding point might seem tricky. But the answer is deceptively simple.
What does the gain control do anyway? This article describes how to adjust your amplifier so that your subwoofer sounds just the way you want it to.
Kicker's CompR and CompRT subwoofers, plus their KX amplifiers, give you the sound and performance you expect from Kicker when you're building a car audio system.
Dan performed a major sound upgrade in his 1991 Mazda Miata by installing an Alpine KTP-445A compact car amplifier, a new Alpine receiver, and Polk Audio db speakers.
Ben H. added two pairs of Sony speakers, a Kicker amplifier, and an enclosed subwoofer from Boston Acoustics to his 2003 Toyota Camry LE, plus new interior lighting.
In Part 2 of our Car Stereo Proving Ground series, we added a bass system (subwoofer and amp) and an amplifier to the speakers in our Ford F-150.
Check out our quick and easy method for properly setting the gain on your car amplifier, which prevents distortion and reduces noise.
We turned an ordinary cooler into a portable digital media sound system with speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, and even a wireless router.
David Solomon, a co-founder of Peachtree Audio, shows us the novaPre preamp and Peachtree 220 power amplifier at CES.
Pioneer asked Crutchfield to help show off their dedication to superior car sound, so they sent us a pile of their newest gear...and a 2017 Toyota Highlander.
Big, powerful, and surprisingly well-mannered for a truck in this category, the 4Runner has a lot to offer. Installing a new stereo will make it even more enjoyable.
Whether you need a bare-bones work truck or an luxury people hauler, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a lot to offer. And we'll tell you how to install new audio gear.
Volkswagen really knows how to make a hatchback hot, and both the Golf and GTI can be a lot of fun. You'll have a lot more fun when you install a hotter stereo, though.
A seasoned installer finally gets to write about his own installation and also share some expert tips about installing new speakers and an amp in his Subaru Outback.
The Highlander is a versatile vehicle that'll give you years of quality service. You'll enjoy those years a lot more if you upgrade to a higher-quality audio system.
If you're the kind of person who pops into the camping superstore on the way to your mountainside cabin, this is your kind of vehicle. Make it rock with a new stereo.
If you're looking to upgrade the audio on your Harley-Davidson Road Glide® or Street Glide®, Rockford Fosgate has you covered with great gear that's easy to install.
The "996" 911 Carrera is everything a 21st century Porsche ought to be. If you don't think your audio system is all that it could be, we'll help you tune it up.
The Expedition is a big, brawny machine that works hard and still keeps its occupants comfortable on the road. A new stereo and speakers will make this SUV even nicer.
The 2 is a great little car, especially if you add some aftermarket mods. As long as you're beefing up the suspension, you might as well add some thump to the stereo.
The Forte proves that "value-priced" doesn't have to mean "cheap." Your Forte should provide years of enjoyment, and a new stereo will make a very nice car even better.
If you're still enjoying your Explorer, Sport Trac, or Mountaineer, a new stereo and speaker will bring better sound and improved functionality to every trip you take.
The 9-5 is a smooth and silent car that's a great home for an audio system. Replacing the stock receiver isn't recommended, but new speakers will make a big difference.
With a Crosstrek, you can do all sorts of SUV sorts of things without the hassle of trying to parallel-park an SUV. There's even room for an upgraded audio system.
JL Audio presents their flagship C7 component car speakers for use in an active system — perfect for audiophiles building the car audio system of their dreams.
Big enough to haul kids and dogs in comfort, but small enough to slice through the suburban jungle, this versatile SUV will be even better with a new stereo system.
If you're looking for a cheap, thrifty little car, a Metro might fit the bill. You'll want to drown out the buzzy little engine, though, so a new stereo is a smart buy.
Adding a sub to your factory stereo is a great way to improve your sound without giving up your familiar factory controls. Follow along with our expert in this video.
The Impreza is a practical, economical family car that offers the added bonus of all-wheel drive. A new stereo will make a very nice car an even nicer place to be.
As factory systems go, Ram trucks aren't bad. But you can do better. In this article, we'll examine the radio, speaker, and sub options for each cab style.
When it comes to large SUVs, they don't come much larger than this. You have lots of room for audio upgrades in this truck, and lots of great options to choose from.
The Scion tC is a sporty little car that will give you plenty of driving enjoyment. It's also practical, tuneable, and a great candidate for an audio upgrade.
These big, versatile trucks are up for pretty much anything you want to do, but it's probably time for a complete audio upgrade. This article shows you how it's done.