Head Music Editor
As an audiophile, I know how important it is to get the best possible quality audio on your stereo systems. The car stereo especially is one area where quality is of the utmost importance. Factory default auto stereos are decent enough, but they don't exactly deliver the best possible quality in terms of the little nuances in audio. To help you make the most out of your car stereo, I have compiled a list of the best mono amps available on the market today.
1. Rockford Fosgate Prime
The Rockford Fosgate Prime is a compact yet powerful amp designed for assisting optimum audio system performance. It is actually surprising just how powerful such a tiny amplifier can be which makes the Rockford Fosgate a great choice for your car. This amp is affordable which helped it edge out the competition. It comes with an onboard equalizer making it extremely convenient to adjust audio quality while on the go. It also utilizes the tri-stage production which prevents any short circuit and thermal problems from developing. A sleek design and amazing performance help elevate the Rockford Fosgate from the rest.
- Designed to prevent short circuit and overheating issues,
- It features power supply thermal sensing.
- Lightweight (5 lbs.) and only requires a 12-volt battery to operate.
- Easy to install.
- Some customers report of excessive vibration when the amp’s volume is at max. A solution would be to get some sound deadening to dampen vibrations.
2. Alpine MRV-M500
A compact and solid choice if you are looking for a mono amp for your car. With a measurement of 8 x 8 x 2 inches, the Alpine mono amp is guaranteed to fit anywhere in your car. It can deliver up to 500 watts RMS to your subwoofer which ensures a satisfying deep bass. The snap-on casing, low pass filter, and enhanced shutdown technology, the Alpine amplifier is extremely easy to install as well as maintain.
- The enhanced shutdown feature prevents the amplifier from overheating without cutting off audio.
- Impressive bass boost.
- Snap-on casing makes it easy to install and clean/maintain.
- Compact size is ideal for smaller cars.
- Going past the overheating point regularly is not advised as it can significantly shorten your amp’s lifespan.
- Regular maintenance is recommended.
3. BOSS Audio R1100M
The Boss Audio R1100M Riot Amplifier earns its moniker with its powerful deep sounds. It features a bass boost that you can switch on and off while also utilizing low and high-level inputs making adjusting simple, quick, and easy. It also comes with a remote control allowing you to control audio quality from a distance.
- An incredibly affordable mono amp without sacrificing overall quality and performance.
- Well-rounded performance.
- Remote control feature.
- Don’t expect it to match audio quality by higher-end models.
4. Pioneer GM-D8601
Definitely one of the top-rated car amplifiers in the market thanks to its 1600 watts at 2 ohms capability. It comes in a compact size for easy installation. The wired bass boost allows you to control audio preference depending on the musical genre you are listening to. The internals of this amp use technology that can regulate heat and prevent overheating. If your car has more than one subwoofer, I highly recommend you check out the Pioneer GM-D8601 mono amp.
- Quick and easy to install.
- Wired remote control for bass boost is a convenient addition.
- Durable on both the inside and outside.
- Can regulate internal temperature to avoid overheating problems.
- Warranty repair takes some time to process.
5. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D
The Rockford Fosgate 1200 watt is a user-friendly amplifier that is easy to install and set up. It features a unique infrasonic filter that prevents the lowest bass notes to cause damage to the subwoofer over time. With that feature, it is clear that this mono amp is designed for the long haul. It is made of the high-grade aluminum casing which is chosen for its heat-resistant qualities. The interior uses tri-stage protection to significantly lower the risk of overheating and short-circuiting.
- Top quality wiring helps prevent short circuit problems.
- The infrasonic filter helps prolong the subwoofers lifespan.
- Tri-stage protection for internal wiring.
- Some customers report of a defective protection light.
2022 Buying Guide
This will be a crash course of the basics in mono amps. Read this buying guide to help you narrow down your list of choices and if you want further help, check my list of the best mono amplifiers.
What is a Mono Amplifier?
The mon amplifier is often used for its ability to produce low-frequency sound. This makes it an essential amplifier if you have a subwoofer as subwoofers produce deep bass. Mono amps are designed to supply power to a single speaker but are mostly used to be the dedicated power source for a subwoofer. It is not recommended to be used with stereo music.
Advantages of a Mono Amp
Mono amps are designed to deliver 2 ohms at a stable rate, which means that mono amplifiers can withstand the level of electrical current. Basically, mono amps can power subwoofers without any problems, even if the subwoofer is rated at 4 ohms. Mono amp is compatible with any speaker as long as the ohm rating is in multiples of 2.
Mono amplifiers are simple and as such, are cost-effective. You can save money by simply getting a mono amp to power your subwoofer as it can deliver solid performance and connecting your multi-channel amp to your speakers. This will deliver crisp and clean sound without having you spend too much on a high-tech audio system.
Installing the mono amp is easy and quick as well. It is often installed under the car seat while connecting power wiring to the car battery. Having one installed by a professional is usually cheap so if you’re not confident enough to install one you can always bring it to your local car mechanic.
Why Do You Need an Amplifier?
You will get higher quality audio – Installing an amplifier with your current audio system gives it a dedicated power source which means your speakers can produce the best possible sound without straining. External amps are also not hindered by the available space as it can be placed elsewhere.
Maximizes the performance of high-quality speakers – Factory built receivers will most likely not be able to handle the performance of a high-grade speaker. If you are planning on getting a brand new high-quality speaker, getting an external amp will guarantee you will be able to enjoy your new speaker at its peak performance.
A must-have for powering subwoofers - Subwoofers require more power than your speakers so using one will need a separate amp to avoid straining your entire audio system.
Knowing Your Channel Configuration
The most common type is the 2-channel amp. This type of amp is a safe choice for beginners as it is a decent multipurpose amplifier. It utilizes output power to two separate channels/stereo and is a solid choice for powering up your standard car stereo. You can also combine both channels to produce more power to one channel or to a subwoofer. The 2-channel amp can play the full spectrum of sound which is around 20 to 20,000 Hz.
Think of 3-channel amplifiers as a more compact version of the 5-channel amp. This means it is a 2-channel amplifier with a Monoblock installed as well. It is best suited for smaller vehicles that incorporate 2 speakers and a subwoofer. 3-channel amps are basically known as a great budget audio system.
The second most popular type of amplifier is the 4-channel amp. As the name suggests, it can output power onto 4 separate speakers. 4-channel amps are bridgeable making it an ideal choice if you want a slew of configurations at your fingertips. As for using it in cars, it is best used in powering not only your 2 main speakers at the back but also the speakers located in the car doors.
5-channel amps are, simply put, a combination of 4-channel amps and a Monoblock amp. However, it is all built inside a single chassis which completely eliminates complicated wiring installation. If you have 4 speakers and a subwoofer, the 5-channel amp is the best and most convenient option for you. Keep in mind though that 5-channel amplifiers are usually capable of running at 600 to 1000W RMS. It might have trouble keeping up if you have a high-powered audio setup. With that in mind, 5-channel should be paired with mid-tier audio systems.
For audiophiles, the 6-channel amp is the current best option to deliver optimum audio quality. This type of amp system is commonly found in SUVs, vans, boats, or anywhere that uses more than 4 speakers. Most of the people who get 6-channel amps already know which configuration they will use it in.
6-Channel amplifiers are usually reserved for audio enthusiasts or those with specific audio applications in mind. These amplifiers are most commonly used in vans, SUVs, and boats where you may require more than the traditional 4-speaker setup. They can be used in a lot of installations, but usually, they’re bought with a certain application in mind.
Monoblock amplifiers are specifically used for use with subwoofers. As subwoofers require considerably higher power than standard speakers, having a dedicated power source is recommended. Monoblock amps are not capable of full-range capabilities which are not an issue as subwoofers cannot produce high-frequency sound. Monoblock amps focus primarily on power output and maximum efficiency.
As an audiophile, you would know just how important it is to get an amplifier to improve the sound of your audio system. If you know your circuit boards you might want to make some modifications to it by designing your own circuit boards to add to it using software similar to Upverter to design it. Car audio system is a little bit tricky when it comes to set up and installation. Fortunately, mono amplifiers offer a great solution to most of these problems. This list of the 5 best mono amplifiers in the market today should help you land on an informed decision when it comes to purchasing an amplifier for your car audio system.