“Enhance your audio listening experience in the car with one of these highly-efficient Class D Amplifiers”
Are you getting confused about the Class in the car amplifiers, and which type suits your car’s audio system? Classes are the topology of the amplifier and they are classified into various types (A, B, AB, C, D, E, or G) based on their construction & operating characteristics in the amplifier.
Among them, the Class D amplifier is the popular and most recommended car audio amplifier for its high efficiency, lightweight, less heat generation, compactness, and longer battery life than its traditional counterparts.
Class D amplifiers or switching amplifiers use a digital switching technique with pulse width modulation (PWM) to convert & amplify the input audio signal from analog to digital form and to boost the signal in the audio system. Thus, they provide more power with less power consumption from their battery to deliver high-quality audio performance with low distortion and minimal heat dissipation.
Power Output, Signal-to-Noise Ratio, Compatibility, and additional features (bass boost, built-in crossover, Bluetooth connectivity, or remote control) are the essential key factors to consider while selecting the best Class D amp for your car audio system.
For more information on these Class D Amplifiers, we recommend you read our detailed “Buying Guide” and go through the list of some Best Class D Car Amplifiers to ease your selection process and pick the correct option as per your listening requirement to enjoy your ride.
Best Class D Car Amplifiers Table
10 Best Class D Amplifiers for Car Audio Systems
We list out some top-quality Class D car amplifiers from numerous options in the market after thorough research on several products. Here are the individual product reviews of some of the best and top-rated class D amps available in the market. Go through them and select the perfect option as per your audio requirement.
The Rockville dB15 Mono 2-ohm amplifier is an ideal choice for car enthusiasts in their car audio system with its amazing features that deliver exceptional sound quality.
Its Class D design ensures high efficiency and low distortion that results in clear sound reproduction. It has a high power output of 6000W peak and 1500W RMS output making the amp deliver high-quality, powerful sound that takes the car audio experience to the next level.
With its 2-ohm impedance load, the amplifier is compatible with a wide range of subwoofers and speakers. Additionally, it comes with various advanced features like a subsonic filter (15 – 55 Hz), wide frequency response (15 – 250 Hz), adjustable Octave crossover with differential circuitry, and a phase control switch that let you fine-tune the amp to match the particular music type and enjoy the best possible sound quality.
Also, the Rockville dB15 features a highly efficient, high-speed MOSFET power output stage, and a full-range RCA line output along with a mute & delay soft start technology, adjustable bass equalizer, and dashboard subwoofer control to ease its operation.
- Most users appreciated this Rockville dB15 2-ohm Mono Car Audio Amplifier for its compactness, easy installation, durability, and superior sound quality. Yet some people complained that it drains the car battery and automatically goes into protection mode.
The Fosi Audio TB10A 2-Channel Car Stereo Audio Amplifier is the perfect solution for those seeking to upgrade their car audio system, thanks to its numerous amazing features that deliver excellent Hi-Fi sound quality.
The power output of 100W per channel and wide frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz will make the amplifier deliver clear, crisp, and powerful sound. Its compact size, and sleek design make it quite easy to install in a variety of car models and complement any car interior. It features advanced circuitry and high-quality components for low distortion and a high SNR rating (>98 dB), which results in delivering a clear sound quality, thanks to its treble, bass, & volume control knob.
It is a two-channel amp that let you connect two speakers at once for excellent stereo audio. Also, it is bridgeable allowing you to combine the power of both channels to drive a single subwoofer for more bass. This Class D amp is highly efficient, less heat generated, widely compatible, and has low power consumption. The built-in protection circuit prevents the amp damage from under/over voltage, and over/short circuits.
- There are numerous positive reviews from users on this Fosi Audio TB10A 2-Channel Stereo Audio Amplifier due to its Hi-Fi sound (bass & treble control), volume control, and value-for-money option. Yet some users reported poor Bluetooth connectivity and no perfect front panel alignment.
The Planet Audio PL3000.1D pulse series amplifier is a high-quality Class D car amplifier made especially for car audio systems. It’s high efficiency and compact size of the amp will deliver a power output of 3000W peak power and 2250W RMS power @ 1 ohm, making it ideal for powering low-frequency speakers and subwoofers in the car.
The Class D topology and MOSFET power supply offer low distortion and hi-fi sound quality. It also features remote subwoofer control, variable low-pass crossover, variable subsonic filter, and an adjustable bass boost that lets you fine-tune the sound as per your listening preference. It has an SNR rating of 105 dB that ensures precise and clear reproduction of the music.
This Class-D amp includes protection features like thermal overload protection, short circuit protection, and over-voltage protection for a safe and secure staying of the amp. The compact size and sleek (red & black) design will make this Planet Audio PL3000.1D car amplifier look great in the car by offering powerful and high-quality sound.
- Most people praised the Planet Audio PL3000.1D pulse series car audio amplifier for its powerful bass, compact size, easy installation, and excellent sound quality. Yet some people complained about overheating and poor build quality.
The S.M.S.L AD18 Hi-Fi Audio Stereo Amplifier with Bluetooth 4.2 Car Audio is a high-quality amplifier perfect for car audio enthusiasts seeking to use in their car audio systems. It is specially designed to deliver exceptional sound quality and offer Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity to stream music wirelessly from other devices like tablets, laptops, or smartphones.
The power output of 80W per channel @ 4 ohms will make the amp deliver a clear, powerful sound. Also, it features a decent signal-to-noise ratio of 90 dB, ensuring no distortion or unwanted background noise-free sound. It is quite versatile with a variety of inputs & outputs, making it compatible with a wide range of audio devices.
Besides the car audio system, the amplifier has a USB input to connect them to a computer/tablet, whereas coaxial and optical inputs connect the TV or other digital devices. The RCA inputs allow for connecting traditional analog sources like a turntable or a CD player.
- The users of the S.M.S.L AD18 Full Digital Class D Bluetooth Amplifier for its aluminum housing, treble & bass adjustments, built-in SDB sound patented, attractive & compact design, and hi-fi sound quality. Yet some users complained about the poor headphone jack, remote controller, and small ports.
The BOSS Audio Systems AR3000D is a powerful and versatile Class D car amplifier that is designed to deliver exceptional sound quality in the car or other vehicles. It comes with a maximum power output of 3000W peak power and 2250W RMS power delivering loud, clear sound.
Its Class D design makes it highly efficient, generates less heat, consumes less power, and has a high SNR rating of 105 dB to ensure distortion or unwanted noise-free sound. Also, the AR3000D Class D amp is highly customizable with a low-pass filter, adjustable input sensitivity, and bass boost control that lets you fine-tune the sound as per your preference.
The variable subsonic filter will remove unwanted low-frequency noise, while its switchable phase control will adjust the subwoofer’s phase. Also, it is equipped with a wide range of protection features, including thermal protection, short circuit, and over-current, allowing for safe & reliable operation.
The black anodized aluminum heat sink with a brushed aluminum finish makes its design sleek and durable ensuring its longevity. Coming to its connectivity, the amp offers both low-level & high-level inputs along with RCA outputs for wide compatibility with a variety of car audio systems. Also, the remote subwoofer control will aid in quick and smooth adjustments.
- Most users have appreciated this Boss Audio Systems AR3000D Class D Car Amplifier for its high power output, strapping ability, MOSFET power supply, easy installation, and excellent bass quality. Yet some people are slightly disappointed for not being powerful (wattage) as mentioned in the pack.
The Dual Electronics DBTMA100 Wireless Bluetooth 2 Channel Stereo Class-D amp is the perfect choice for car audio enthusiasts for high-quality sound and convenience. With its 100W of power output, the amp lets you enjoy clear and crisp sound in the car.
Bluetooth connectivity (up to 33 meters/100 feet) allows you to stream audio wirelessly from a smartphone or other compatible devices to make it easy to listen to your favorite music on the go. Its compact, portable, and lightweight space-saving design allows you to install them easily in the car and is also widely compatible with various models. It is made for a dual LU speaker line to enjoy both indoor & outdoor spaces.
Another great feature of this Dual Electronics DBTMA100 2-Channel stereo class-D amplifier has a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) rating of >85dB, a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, impedance rating of 4 – 8 ohms, and a total harmonic distortion of less than 0.1%. It has an illuminated heat sink and front panel with bass, volume, and treble rotary knobs to enjoy high-quality sound without disappointing its users.
- Most people have praised the Dual Electronics DBTMA100 2-Channel Stereo Class D Bluetooth Amplifier for its decent power handling, wireless connection, 3.5mm AUX input, better sound quality, and durability. Yet some users complained about the model keep turning off, poor Bluetooth connectivity, and annoying voice announcements due to low power output.
The Kenwood KAC-9106D Class D car audio power amplifier is a high-performance, rugged, and reliable option. It is designed for those looking to upgrade their car audio system for exceptional sound quality.
This Class D mono subwoofer amp has a maximum power output of 2000W peak power and 1000W @ 2ohms (500W @ 4ohm) delivers clear and crisp sound (bass, mids, & treble) that takes your music listening to the next level. Since it has a Class D circuit, the amp has high efficiency and low distortion for a crisp and accurate sound in the music/audio.
This KAC-9106D has a bass boost, variable low-pass filter, and speaker-level inputs with signal-sensing turn-on features that allow you to customize the sound according to your preference. With its signal-to-noise ratio of 100 dB, frequency response of 20 Hz to 200 Hz, & impedance of 4 ohms, the amp has a clear signal with reduced background noise. It is designed to be installed easily in a wide variety of car models, thanks to its screw-type speaker terminals and compact size.
- Most users have praised this Kenwood KAC-9106D Monoblock class D car audio power amplifier for its easy installation, high power output, CEA-2006 compliance, excellent features, and best bass sound. Yet some users complained about being expensive and having poor build quality.
The Skar Audio RP-350.1D Monoblock Class D MOSFET amplifier is another best choice for car audio enthusiasts seeking superior sound quality and high performance.
The maximum power output of 350W RMS @ 1 ohm makes the amp drive the most demanding subwoofer with ease. While its compact and lightweight design makes the amp easy to install even in tight spaces. Also, advanced features like bass boost and the variable low-pass filter will let you fine-tune the audio system to enjoy the optimal sound quality.
The high-quality material construction and durable build quality along with a MOSFET power supply and Class D circuitry will provide reliable and efficient performance. Additionally, it has a sleek and stylish design with a brushed aluminum finish and an illuminated Skar Audio logo. All these features will make this MOSFET amplifier a top-of-the-line product delivering excellent sound quality.
- The Skar Audio RP-350.1D class D amplifier has received positive responses from numerous users due to its onboard bass EQ switch, durably built, 4-way protection circuitry & performance grade internals, heatsink design, and excellent sound quality. Yet some people are disappointed with its slightly larger size and frequently enter protection mode.
The Hifonics ZRX1816.1D Zeus mono class-D subwoofer amplifier is another powerful, high-performance option with an aesthetical design that delivers exceptional sound quality.
It is a class-D amp that uses PWM technology for low distortion and high efficiency, which makes it the perfect option for car audio enthusiasts/audiophiles seeking the best sound. The sleek & mono-channel design and brushed aluminum heat sink will make the ZRX1816.1D look great in the car audio system, and optimized to power the subwoofers.
It has a max power output of 1800W peak & 900W RMS, a frequency response of 10 Hz to 250 Hz and an SNR rating of >95dB along with an adjustable electronic crossover and bass boost feature will allow fine-tuning the sound as required. Another great feature is low-level RCA input and output, and high-level speaker inputs that integrate easily with your car audio system and let you enjoy your favorite music. Whereas, its remote bass control lets you adjust the bass level from the driver seat.
- Most people appreciated this Hifonics ZRX1816.1D Zeus Class-D Subwoofer Amplifier for its excellent sound quality, easy installation, small & compact size, and affordability which makes it the best value for money. Yet some people are disappointed in the amp getting a quick heat up and go into protection mode quite often.
The Kicker 46CXA8001 CXA8001-800-watt subwoofer amp is a flexible, powerful, and reliable option for audio enthusiasts seeking to upgrade their car audio system. This is a mono class D amp that offers up to 800W peak power @ 2 ohms, delivering up to deep, powerful bass for exceptional sound quality.
Since it is highly efficient with a rating of 85% (full power), the class-D amp allows for extended playtime with less strain on the electrical system of the vehicle. Also, it is equipped with an adjustable bass boost, variable 12dB crossover, and variable low-pass subsonic filter that lets you fine-tune (adjust or control) the sound as required. The compact chassis of this Kicker 46CXA8001 makes it quite easy to install (horizontal & vertical mounting hardware included) and widely compatible with a variety of car models.
Similar to other models, this amp has remote bass control that lets you adjust the bass level from the driver seat. Another great feature of this amp is that it has a frequency response of 25 Hz to 200 Hz, an SNR rating greater than 95 dB, and a THD rating of less than 1% that delivers excellent sound in any music genre.
- Users of this Kicker 46CXA8001 CXA8001-800-W subwoofer amplifier appreciate this amp for its easy & flexible installation, exceptional sound quality, ease to control, and good remote control. Yet some people got disappointed for being a bit overpriced and not powerful.
Here are some quick recommendations based on different categories that help you to choose your required product instantly. Take a look at them…
- The Best Overall Product will be Rockville Class D Amplifier. This amplifier has the maximum power output of 6000W peak & 1500W RMS and various excellent features that deliver powerful, high-quality sound.
- Amazon’s Choice and Best Hi-Fi Sound will be Fosi Audio Class D Amplifier. This stereo mini Hi-Fi Class D amplifier delivers clear, crisp, and exceptional sound, while its 2 channels allow for easy connecting of two speakers for stereo audio, and its bridgeable feature allows its channels to drive a single subwoofer for more bass.
- The Best Budget-Friendly product will be the Dual Electronics Class D Amplifier. This amp has wireless Bluetooth connectivity, easy installation, wide frequency response, and a low SNR rating, and all these features come at an affordable price, making it a good value-for-money option.
Buying Guide for the Best Class D Amplifier for Cars
Choosing the best Class D amplifier that suits your requirement from numerous models in the market is quite a difficult task. So, we are here with the key factors to consider while shopping for Class D amplifiers. Check it out to ease your selection process, and purchase the best amp that fits well and powers your car’s audio system with excellent sound/music.
Let’s dive into its details…
1. Power Output
The overall power output of the amp should match the power handling capacity (both peak power and RMS power) of the speaker. It determines the loudness of the sound system. So, check the amps that deliver enough power to the speaker for its proper functioning without underwhelming or overpowering.
In general, Class D amplifiers are efficient options, yet some models are much more efficient than other Class D amplifiers. We suggest you look for an amplifier with a high-efficiency rating to reduce power consumption and heat.
The impedance rating of the speaker will ensure compatibility with the amp. Most of these Class D amps are designed to be compatible with speakers rated at 2 – 4 ohms.
The sensitivity determines the loudness of a speaker (in decibels) for 1 watt of power. Prefer choosing the Class D amp with a sensitivity rating above 88dB. The higher the sensitivity rating, the lesser the power required for the speaker to reach loud volumes.
5. Space, Size & Weight
The amplifier size will determine whether it fits in the available space of your car/vehicle. Generally, these Class D amplifiers are compact, small, and easy to install in tight or hard-to-reach spaces. Consider the weight and the physical size of the amplifier, particularly while having limited space in the car or audio setup.
6. Number of Channels
It is essential to know the number of channels required for the sound system. It is based on the range of audio devices you are planning to plug into the amp and its versatile I/O panel. For instance, a mono amplifier is enough for a single subwoofer, whereas a multi-channel amplifier is required to run multiple speakers.
7. Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
The higher the SNR rating, the minimum will be its background noise in the amp’s output. This results in improving the overall sound quality. So, look for the Class D amp with a higher SNR for better sound quality (clean, crisp, and clear sound).
8. Frequency Response
The amplifier with a wide frequency response range will handle a wide range of audio frequencies and produce a clear, accurate sound. Some amps are designed to work with subwoofers that handle a bass frequency range of 20 – 250 Hz. Look for the Class D amp that boosts even the low-end or high-end signals to clearly hear every music detail.
9. Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
This THD measures the distortion of an amplifier on the original sound signal. Always prefer the amplifier with a low THD rating to enjoy an accurate, precise, and high-quality sound.
10. Brand & Quality
Like other features, it is essential to consider the amp’s build quality and brand reputation before purchasing. We suggest you check the amp from a well-known, reputable brand that produces high-quality audio products. Also, ensure to check the reviews and ratings of the brand and the particular product while purchasing it online.
11. Crossover Features
The built-in crossovers in numerous Class D amplifiers let you adjust the frequency range of the audio signal. Thus, it is quite useful in fine-tuning the sound system.
12. Installation & Compatibility
It is essential to check and purchase the Class D amplifier that offers quick and easy installation and is compatible with your car/vehicle audio system. For this, you need to check the amplifier’s wiring, placement, impedance matching, mounting, and grounding before purchasing.
It is essential to consider the budget and required features before looking for an amplifier offering good value for money without compromising on the features & quality. The general price of these class D car amps will range from $50 – $3000 (or above) based on the features. So, choose the best one that balances your budget and features to make your purchase worthwhile.
To conclude, it is essential to consider the factors to select and purchase the best Class D amplifier that meets your requirement to enjoy high-quality sound from your car audio system.
Which Amp is Better – Class AB Vs Class D?
Class A (generates a lot of heat yet offers clear hi-fi sound), or Class B (a lot of distortion making it unable to produce quality sound) are mostly not used in car audio applications. So, the Class AB or Class D amplifiers are the most preferred options to fix in the audio system of the car or other vehicles.
Here the Class AB amplifiers are efficient, stay cooler, and offer better fidelity compared to Class A and Class B amplifiers. Whereas, the Class D amplifiers can quickly turn on/off (100% efficiency) the transistor using microprocessors called pulse width modulation (PWM) and generate stronger digital signals. However, the delivered sound quality will be the same for these Class AB Vs Class D amplifiers, making it detectable only by trained people or audiophiles.
|Parameters||Class AB||Class D|
|Efficiency||A bit low||High|
|Technology Used||A bit older||Advanced|
|Heat Generation||Runs warmer||Runs cooler|
Class D Car Amplifiers FAQs
Ans: There are some pros and cons of Class D amps over other types of amps that you should know before purchasing this type of car amplifier.
Pros/Advantages/Benefits of Class D Amp – It is smaller, lighter, cost-effective, space-saving, highly efficient, and consumes less power. All these will make them easy to install or fit in numerous car models. Also, it is great for subwoofers that require high wattage to operate, thanks to its constant switching on/off transistors and a lot of power generation.
Cons/Disadvantages/Drawbacks of Class D Amp – Sound distortion (on higher frequencies), crossover distortion, and interference with AM/FM radio frequencies.
Ans: The design of the Class D amplifiers won’t make it quickly hot. In case, if your amp gets hot, then it can be due to various reasons, including amp positioning (amp not placed under carpet or upside down) or not having a heat sink. In these two main cases, the amp can heat up quickly.
Ans: In general, no this Class D amp is not high fidelity compared to Class AB or Class A amps due to some distortions. The Class D amps are lower fidelity, and the reason for this is they use PWM technology to convert the signal and thereby lose some musical signal accuracy and also have a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) compared to their counterparts. Yet most of today’s amps are good at producing decent sound quality (same Class D amp to average Class AB amp).
Ans: The analog-input Class D amplifier needs a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which helps to convert the digital signal to analog yet won’t amplify the signal. While the Class D amp will amplify the signal and make it work properly.
Ans: Might be. Unless and until you are planning to use the amp throughout the day. If not, then simply turn off the class D amp to prevent it from generating heat that might damage the sensitive wires and deteriorate the lifetime. However, the best way is to unplug the amp after playing the music.
We hope the buying guide and the list of products will help you to choose the best Class D amplifier for your car audio system to power your speakers or subwoofers for exceptional sound to make your ride much more enjoyable.
Also, feel free to share your queries or thoughts regarding these class D amplifiers with us in the comment section below. We are happy to hear from you and resolve your queries promptly.