Reviews

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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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON November 27, 2019

An amplifier is the heart and soul of your 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.

Best Overall
Rockford Fosgate Prime 4-Channel Amplifier
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Summary
Summary

A premium level 4-channel car amplifier that is able to produce 300 watts in a small and compact box that is easy to install.

Pros
Pros
  • Highly-functional car amplifier that can fit easily in the trunk or beneath a seat
  • It’s loud and features over current and short-circuit protection
Cons
Cons
  • Weighs around 7.5 pounds, which is a little heavy
  • Slightly expensive
Best Overall
Rockford Fosgate Prime 4-Channel 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
  • 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

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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
Rockford Fosgate Prime 4-Channel Amplifier

The Rockford Fosgate Prime 4-Channel Amplifier is a premium level audio booster for your vehicle. It is capable of producing a total of 300 watts at 4 ohms. It’s also a compact and thin box that can fit easily beneath a seat or be stored in the trunk of a compact car or SUV.


One of the top features of this Rockford Fosgate amplifier is its functionality. It has a gain control on both the front and rear so you can access it more easily. Plus, it comes with over current and short-circuit protection, so it won’t fail when you’re pumping out your favorite toons.


However, just because the box is small doesn’t mean it is lightweight. While 7.5 pounds may not be all that heavy, it can be for an amplifier. Another negative is the price of the amp. It is more expensive than many other available amplifiers on the market.

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 users have had difficulty mounting it under a seat or somewhere compact.

Premium Pick
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 we mentioned, the price is quite high in comparison to many of its competitors. The amplifier is also 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.

Most Slimline
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 most popular 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
Alpine 4-Channel Power Pack Amplifier

The Alpine 4-Channel Power Pack Amplifier is a powerhouse of a machine. For one, it stands out for its compact size and lightweight design. That dual combination makes it perfect for anyone looking to enhance the overall sound their stereo produces. It is rated to pump out around 180 watts, making it quite loud.


While being loud is good, having crystal clear audio is better. It’s all about quality not quantity with car amplifiers. This one produces a crisp audio signal that allows you to hear all of the high and low frequencies much more clearly. Another great benefit of this amplifier is it is simple to install and can be done so quickly.


However, there have been complaints that the wiring is tricky to install on non-Alpine head units. It, too, is set at a higher price. While it isn’t overly expensive, it isn’t necessarily cheap. There have also been reports that there can be slight distortion, but it isn’t present all the time and it can get warm after running for a while.

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.

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 bass boost or crossover features that can be used on two out of the four channels.

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

Rated in decibels, 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

We went with the Rockford Fosgate Prime 4-Channel Amplifier as the best four-channel car amplifier. It’s a high-quality compact amplifier that provides clear, crisp and loud sound. For a great amplifier at a better price, consider the Planet Audio 4-Channel Car Amplifier.