Reviews

LAST UPDATED:  November 27, 2019

Best 4 Channel Car Amplifier: Get Clear and Solid Sound

It’s almost impossible to have good quality sound without a good quality amplifier

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PUBLISHED ON November 27, 2019

The amplifier is the heart and soul of any sound system and the difference between distorted sounds and loud, clear bass. The wrong amplifier can cause other components to fail and higher expenses in the long run. This guide includes some of the best four-channel car amplifiers on the market today.

Best Overall
Alpine 4 Channel Car Amplifier
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Summary
Summary

This amplifier is lightweight and small enough to fit anywhere. It also features a built-in equalizer.

Pros
Pros
  • Delivers great quality sound at an affordable price with very little distortion
  • Has internal thermal heat sinks to keep it cool
Cons
Cons
  • Difficult to fit thicker wiring because of the connectors
  • There have also been complaints that it has a short lifespan
Best Overall
Alpine 4 Channel Car Amplifier
Best Value
Planet Audio 4 Channel Car Amplifier
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Summary
Summary

This amplifier is flexible and can work with any factory or aftermarket head unit and speakers.

Pros
Pros
  • Durable and offers brilliant thermal protection
  • Has a built-in crossover 
  • Comes with a long six-year warranty
Cons
Cons
  • Cable connections can easily break if overtightened
  • Too big to fit in certain locations
Best Value
Planet Audio 4 Channel Car Amplifier
Honorable Mention
Rockford Fosgate 600 Watt 4 Channel Amplifier
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Summary
Summary

This amplifier has a fantastic build quality and lots of power with 600 watts between the four channels. It is also easy to install.

Pros
Pros
  • Output is higher than many of its rivals, and its astounding sound quality is hard to beat
  • Also has added EQ and bass boost functions
Cons
Cons
  • Price is quite high in comparison to many of its competitors
  • Heavy and a bit bulky to fit in certain spaces
Honorable Mention
Rockford Fosgate 600 Watt 4 Channel Amplifier

The amplifier is the heart and soul of any sound system and the difference between distorted sounds and loud, clear bass. The wrong amplifier can cause other components to fail and higher expenses in the long run. This guide includes some of the best four-channel car amplifiers on the market today.

Best Overall

The Alpine 4-Channel Car Amplifier is perhaps the smallest and most compact model we've come across. With a maximum wattage of around 400—a total of 100 or so from each channel—the amp is quite capable. It features a built-in equalizer for more efficient and clearer sound output, too.


Even with its lower wattage, the amp boosts the car's OEM speaker system's overall sound clarity. While you may get a bit of distortion at higher volumes, it isn't too much to overpower voices or frequencies. One of its best features is its included internal thermal heat sinks that help cool it down if it reaches higher temperatures.


The connections may be the most difficult feature on the compact amp: Thicker writing may be harder to fit in the plugs. Another issue is there have been reports that the device has a shorter lifespan.

Best Value 

The Planet Audio 4-Channel Car Amplifier looks great, sounds great, and comes with 1,200 watts of maximum power. It meets all the necessary things you want from a car amplifier. It is also rather durable, compact, and includes thermal protection that helps prevent it from overheating.


If you're looking to power four smaller speakers and tweeters, this is one of the best amplifiers you can find, and at a great price. The amplifier is compact enough to be mounted in a trunk as it only measures 2.4 inches tall and 10 inches wide.


However, it is rather heavy and weighs 7.2 pounds, making it one of the heaviest amps. You may also find that the cable connections may break if overtightened. Some customers have had difficulty mounting it under a seat or somewhere compact.

Best Premium

This amp can put out 400 watts split between the four channels, providing excellent and crisp sound. It’s a great selection for powering multiple speakers in your stock set or new system.


As a premium car amplifier, it is set at a higher price, but it is hard to beat when stacked against other models. The amp is simple to install and can be done yourself if you have a bit of audio knowledge. Best of all, its bass output allows up to 18dB of boost adjustment.


As mentioned before, the price is quite high in comparison to many of its competitors. The amplifier is also quite heavy and bulky to fit in certain spaces, even though it may look compact. You may also want to get other higher-grade components to go along with it for even better sound quality.

Best for Speakers

The lightweight box boasts around 1,000 watts of maximum power that puts out crystal clear sound and loud music. It's a great way to enhance your OEM stereo, so you get better sound quality and hear much more than before.


The amp weighs only 4.9 pounds and is also quite thin, making it much easier to place inside your vehicle. It's ideal for smaller subs that measure below 12 inches. It can be installed underneath a seat or in the trunk somewhere out of sight. It's even set at a comfortable price that isn't outrageously overpriced or set too low.


However, this amplifier is lacking when it comes to providing a good low-toned bass noise in general. You will get some boom, but it just doesn't feel as good as a more powerful amp.

Most Powerful

As one of the highest-rated amps available, the device includes a whopping 3,200 watts of maximum power—talk about loud. And, you get all that power and kick for not a lot of cash—you won’t be spending an arm and a leg to boost your car’s stereo system. 


It also comes with everything you need to install it correctly and quickly. It works by splitting the wattage down the middle, so you get 1,600 watts on either side. Plus, you get a mute and delay feature and 90dB.


However, with all of that power, it can run quite hot. There have been complaints that it can heat up in as little as 20 minutes. You will want to consider mounting it somewhere with ample airflow so it can cool down if it heats up. It may also not be that effective at powering larger subs.

Honorable Mention

The Rockville 4-Channel Car Amplifier Stereo Amp comes packed with 1,200 watts and 4 Ohms. It is a great budgeted car amp for those who want improved sound without breaking the bank. It also has a built-in LED indicator and both under- and over-voltage protections to keep it working throughout the entire drive.


The 4-channel amp also features a mute and delay soft start system, so you don’t have to worry about starting the car with music instantly blaring into your eardrums. It provides a significant amount of bass, produces clear sound all around, and is relatively easy to install.


While it may not be a mega downside, the amp can get quite warm: It should be mounted somewhere with good airflow. It also isn’t the most impressive box to look at.

Honorable Mention

Set at a lower price, you get a powerful 1,600-watt range with this amplifier. It also features bass-boosting technology, so you get more defined low notes. Plus, it also includes a remote subwoofer control. Not to mention, it looks good with its red highlights.


With that power, you do get a bit heavier device. While it may be bulkier, it remains thin, making it simple to find and easy to install. It is also great at ensuring you get a crisp sound through 12-inch speakers, making it even better at enhancing the sound provided by smaller tweeters too.


However, it won’t win you any competitions when it comes to sound put out by higher-ended amplifiers. It’s a great amp for those who are just starting out with designing their car audio. The amp may also run hot if pushed to its limit.

Honorable Mention

This amp features 1,000 maximum watts in a small, lightweight, and compact compartment. It is truly a surprising amplifier considering it can pump out sound to four 8-inch speakers with that amount of power. 


It offers improved sound quality without any distortion. From low notes to high frequencies, the amplifier is solid. Best of all, the amp is easy to install and can be done so in a matter of minutes.


With all that being said, the amplifier can heat up quickly. Due to its smaller size and large amount of power, you will want to mount it somewhere with adequate ventilation. It is not designed to work with larger, more demanding speakers, however.

Why Trust Us


All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Overall
Alpine 4-Channel Car Amplifier

The Alpine 4-Channel Car Amplifier is perhaps the smallest and most compact model we've come across. With a maximum wattage of around 400—a total of 100 or so from each channel—the amp is quite capable. It features a built-in equalizer for more efficient and clearer sound output, too.


Even with its lower wattage, the amp boosts the car's OEM speaker system's overall sound clarity. While you may get a bit of distortion at higher volumes, it isn't too much to overpower voices or frequencies. One of its best features is its included internal thermal heat sinks that help cool it down if it reaches higher temperatures.


The connections may be the most difficult feature on the compact amp: Thicker writing may be harder to fit in the plugs. Another issue is there have been reports that the device has a shorter lifespan.

Best Value 
Planet Audio 4-channel Car Amplifier

The Planet Audio 4-Channel Car Amplifier looks great, sounds great, and comes with 1,200 watts of maximum power. It meets all the necessary things you want from a car amplifier. It is also rather durable, compact, and includes thermal protection that helps prevent it from overheating.


If you're looking to power four smaller speakers and tweeters, this is one of the best amplifiers you can find, and at a great price. The amplifier is compact enough to be mounted in a trunk as it only measures 2.4 inches tall and 10 inches wide.


However, it is rather heavy and weighs 7.2 pounds, making it one of the heaviest amps. You may also find that the cable connections may break if overtightened. Some customers have had difficulty mounting it under a seat or somewhere compact.

Best Premium
Rockford Fosgate 400 Watt 4-channel Amplifier

This amp can put out 400 watts split between the four channels, providing excellent and crisp sound. It’s a great selection for powering multiple speakers in your stock set or new system.


As a premium car amplifier, it is set at a higher price, but it is hard to beat when stacked against other models. The amp is simple to install and can be done yourself if you have a bit of audio knowledge. Best of all, its bass output allows up to 18dB of boost adjustment.


As mentioned before, the price is quite high in comparison to many of its competitors. The amplifier is also quite heavy and bulky to fit in certain spaces, even though it may look compact. You may also want to get other higher-grade components to go along with it for even better sound quality.

Best for Speakers
Pioneer 4-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier

The lightweight box boasts around 1,000 watts of maximum power that puts out crystal clear sound and loud music. It's a great way to enhance your OEM stereo, so you get better sound quality and hear much more than before.


The amp weighs only 4.9 pounds and is also quite thin, making it much easier to place inside your vehicle. It's ideal for smaller subs that measure below 12 inches. It can be installed underneath a seat or in the trunk somewhere out of sight. It's even set at a comfortable price that isn't outrageously overpriced or set too low.


However, this amplifier is lacking when it comes to providing a good low-toned bass noise in general. You will get some boom, but it just doesn't feel as good as a more powerful amp.

Most Powerful
Rockville 3,200 Watt Peak 4-Channel Amplifier

As one of the highest-rated amps available, the device includes a whopping 3,200 watts of maximum power—talk about loud. And, you get all that power and kick for not a lot of cash—you won’t be spending an arm and a leg to boost your car’s stereo system. 


It also comes with everything you need to install it correctly and quickly. It works by splitting the wattage down the middle, so you get 1,600 watts on either side. Plus, you get a mute and delay feature and 90dB.


However, with all of that power, it can run quite hot. There have been complaints that it can heat up in as little as 20 minutes. You will want to consider mounting it somewhere with ample airflow so it can cool down if it heats up. It may also not be that effective at powering larger subs.

Honorable Mention
Rockville 4-Channel Car Amplifier Stereo Amp

The Rockville 4-Channel Car Amplifier Stereo Amp comes packed with 1,200 watts and 4 Ohms. It is a great budgeted car amp for those who want improved sound without breaking the bank. It also has a built-in LED indicator and both under- and over-voltage protections to keep it working throughout the entire drive.


The 4-channel amp also features a mute and delay soft start system, so you don’t have to worry about starting the car with music instantly blaring into your eardrums. It provides a significant amount of bass, produces clear sound all around, and is relatively easy to install.


While it may not be a mega downside, the amp can get quite warm: It should be mounted somewhere with good airflow. It also isn’t the most impressive box to look at.

Honorable Mention
BOSS Audio Systems Elite 4-Channel Car Amplifier

Set at a lower price, you get a powerful 1,600-watt range with this amplifier. It also features bass-boosting technology, so you get more defined low notes. Plus, it also includes a remote subwoofer control. Not to mention, it looks good with its red highlights.


With that power, you do get a bit heavier device. While it may be bulkier, it remains thin, making it simple to find and easy to install. It is also great at ensuring you get a crisp sound through 12-inch speakers, making it even better at enhancing the sound provided by smaller tweeters too.


However, it won’t win you any competitions when it comes to sound put out by higher-ended amplifiers. It’s a great amp for those who are just starting out with designing their car audio. The amp may also run hot if pushed to its limit.

Honorable Mention
Crunch 4-Channel Power Amplifier

This amp features 1,000 maximum watts in a small, lightweight, and compact compartment. It is truly a surprising amplifier considering it can pump out sound to four 8-inch speakers with that amount of power. 


It offers improved sound quality without any distortion. From low notes to high frequencies, the amplifier is solid. Best of all, the amp is easy to install and can be done so in a matter of minutes.


With all that being said, the amplifier can heat up quickly. Due to its smaller size and large amount of power, you will want to mount it somewhere with adequate ventilation. It is not designed to work with larger, more demanding speakers, however.

Tips

  • Get an amplifier with a built-in crossover. A crossover allows more bass with less distortion out of the speakers. It can also increase sound quality and sound clarity.
  • Don’t buy a high-quality amplifier and then use thin, cheap wiring. Use the correct copper-clad aluminum wiring to get the best sound out of your system.
  • Some people think that it is better to mount the amplifier upside down for better sound quality. Don’t do this, as it causes the amplifier to trap heat, which can damage components.

FAQs

Q: How many channels do I need on a car amplifier?

It depends on how many speakers you want to power. A single-channel is ideal for a subwoofer only, while a two-channel amplifier can normally push two speakers and a subwoofer. Four-channel amplifiers are versatile because they can power a full speaker system and subwoofer.

Q: What does bridgeable mean?

This means that two channels can be connected to power a single speaker in order to produce more power. Most amplifiers have this feature, and some also have a bass boost or crossover features that can be used on two out of the four channels.

Q: What is the signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio?

Rated in decibels, the signal-to-noise ratio is a way to compare the amount of audio signal an amplifier has against the amount of internal electrical noise it has. Good amplifiers have an SNR of 90dB and above.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best four-channel car amplifier is the Alpine 4 Channel Car Amplifier. It produces fantastic quality sound and comes at a great price. It is also small and lightweight.

For a more affordable alternative, try the Planet Audio AC1200.4 4.