It goes without saying that factory sound systems don’t provide satisfactory sound. This forces many car owners to purchase amplifiers for their vehicles. However, not all people can afford to sink hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars toward purchasing new car amplifiers.
In this scenario, you might need to look for budget amps in the range of $50 – $150.
Buying a budget car amp will involve some compromise. So, you might need to settle for amps offering basic feature sets and specifications – but don’t be discouraged we have done our homework and found some of the best units you can get in previously mentioned price range.
Table of Contents
Budget Amps – Under $100 – $150
Max Power Output: 400W
RMS: 45 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohms or 4 ohms
90 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms (4-ohm stable in bridged mode)
Amp Class: FD
When you require big, commanding sound inside your car without having to bust your budget, you will not go wrong with the Pioneer GM-D1004.
This amp features a total max power output of 400 watts. You can get 45 Watts at 4 Ohms or 2 Ohms from each channel and when bridged, it coughs up 90 Watts × 2 channels at a 4 Ohms impedance.
If you’re a car audio enthusiast who requires nice rich sound without having to spend more than $100, the JBL GTX500 750-watt amplifier is our best-buy in 4-channel department. Despite its compact size, it can offer a good power output that will drive your speakers as you require.
Its ease-of-use and installation, configuration and calibration make it a quality product. For these reasons, it is the budget amp you should definitely check out.
Its size of 88-1/8″ W x 1-9/16″ H x 2-9/16″ D might make it look small. But, this only means that you’ll be able to fit this amp inside even the smallest of spaces in your vehicle. However, the output of this amp will leave you feeling ecstatic.
Interestingly, optimizing this system will not present any challenges or difficulties either. The amp also features a frequency response of 10-40k Hz. Thus, you can enjoy your drive even as it reproduces all deep bass tones with superb levels of clarity.
Rockford Fosgate R150X2 Prime
RMS: 50 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms (75 watts RMS x 2 at 2 ohms)
150 watts RMS x 1 bridged output at 4 ohms (4-ohm stable in bridged mode)
Amp Class: AB
If you’re on a budget and looking for cost-effective 2-channel amplifiers, the R150X2 should be taken into account.
This relatively cheap amp comes with an RMS power rating from 2 to 4 ohms for 50 and 75 watts respectively.
When you take all these traits and features into account, you will find that this budget amp packs a lot of benefits in its compact size. Given these details, it’s hardly surprising that this amp remains one of our top considerations cheap amps.
But, equipped with high- and low-pass filters, heavy cast-aluminum chassis, and other features, this amp offers plenty of bang for your buck.
The Rockford Fosgate R150X2 also remains immensely easy to install. The high-level inputs provided negate the need for RCA cables and line output converters.
Soundstream PN5.640D Picasso Nano
RMS: 4 ohms: 60 watts x 4 chan. + 200 watts
2 ohms: 80 watts x 4 chan. + 350 watts
4 ohms Bridged: 160 watts x 2 chan. + 350 watts
Amp Class: D
In the past, you might have installed amplifiers and subwoofer systems in your vehicle. With the Soundstream PN5.640D Picasso, you’ll be able to power an entire speaker and subwoofer system with minimal fuss.
This five-channel amplifier (see more 5-channel amps) might not look all that great in terms of dimensions. After all, it remains quite small at 4.75×10.3×2 inches (WxLxH). However, it offers a maximum power output of 640 watts that can power the entire audio system of your car.
More importantly, it will be able to fit in some really tight locations by virtue of its compact size. The amp also has an RMS power rating of two to four ohms for 440 and 670 watts respectively.
This amplifier has a soft turn-on circuit. And, it comes with thermal and speaker short protection circuitry as well. The package will contain a dash mount remote bass level control also.
When you come across an amp that packs all these features and costs under $150, you will consider it to be a superb bargain.
Car audio enthusiasts will feel delighted on purchasing the Soundstream PN5.640D. This device has an output of four channels of 60 watts RMS to full-range speakers. In addition, it can put up to 350 watts to the subwoofer system as well. Because of this, car audio system experts rank this amp pretty highly as it offers an impressive balance of power between speaker and subwoofer levels.
Besides this, the Soundstream budget amp comes with various other attractive features. For instance, high-pass filters on the front and rear channels will keep the low bass out of the full-range speakers to enable them to play more cleanly and loudly. The subwoofer channel comes with a variable low pass filter and bass boost too. These enhance the performance levels of the amp significantly.
American Bass Ph1600md
Max Power Output: 1600W
RMS: 800W x 1 chan.
Amp Class: D
This American Bass budget car amplifier comes with a maximum power output of 1,600 watts for one channel. It has an RMS power of 800W at 1 ohm (see more 1 Ohm stable amps).
It also comes with a 1-channel operation and can cover frequencies from 10 to 220 Hz. With dimensions of 5.51×7.24×2.12 inches (WxLxH), this amplifier might seem small. However, the performance it offers remains anything but.
Thus, for people who relish buying monster-sized amplifiers, this one will certainly do the job. At the same time, it will not burn a hole in your wallet either.
This cheap American Bass amplifier also includes a switchable bass boost. In addition, it has a variable low pass filter of 24 dB per octave at 40 to 220 Hz. Similarly, this amp features a variable subsonic filter of 24 dB at 10 to 50 Hz.
Installing this amp will require four-gauge power and ground wiring. Among other things, it comes with a bass remote control and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Like other cheap amps in this category, the American Bass Ph1600md also offers four-way protection i.e. thermal, voltage, speaker short-circuiting and DC.
Unsurprisingly, its cost remains relatively low. But, if you want a monoblock amp that offers a good value for your money, you should consider this one.
Max Power Output: 6000W
RMS: 3000W x 2 output at 4 ohms
6000W x 1 bridged output at 2 ohms
It would hardly be a surprise to know that many car audio enthusiasts know little, if at all, about Lanzar and its range of amps. Despite this, the Lanzar VCT2610 will not fail to catch your attention and win you over with its features.
Backed by power speakers and subwoofers, this amp offers a total power output of 6,000 watts. Its RMS power rating ranges from two to four ohms for 6000 and 3000 watts respectively.
With a frequency response range from 15 to 30,000 Hz and a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 95 dB, it becomes easy to see why this amp has caught the imagination of many people looking for quality amplifiers at affordable prices.
Given all the features the Lanzar VCT2610 offers optimal value for money. But, its large size and ordinary design place it below the Soundstream PN5.640D.
The size of the Lanzar VCT2610 remains relatively bigger at 10.63×21.97×1.78 inches (WxLxH). It features two 60 Amp Maxi-type fuses. The bridged power at an impedance of four ohms translates into a massive 8,000 watts.
The device features LED power and protect indicators. It utilizes a pulse width modulated MOSFET power supply. It has a soft start turn-on and its pre-amp RCA outputs to daisy chain multiple amps as well.
The Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of this amplifier remains extremely low at 0.1 percent. And, installing this amp doesn’t present any difficulties either.
JBL Stage A6002
RMS: 60Wx2 @ 4 Ohms
The sound quality offered by a JBL product remains quite distinctive. Their diverse selection of amplifiers comes in a wide range of prices. In addition, these amps can be easy to install in almost all types of vehicles. Because of their reputation, many car audio enthusiasts do not think of looking for JBL amplifiers when they shop for new amps.
However, the JBL Stage A6002 can be right up to the alley for these individuals. This can be the case because this particular amplifier offers JBL’s superb sound quality with an entry-level price tag of under $100.
This relatively cheap two-channel amplifier offers a total power output of 280 watts. It can send 60 watts RMS to each of the two speakers, thereby enhancing the impact and the clarity of the music. Some people use this amp in the bridged one-channel mode as well. This enables them to power their subwoofers with up to 140 watts of RMS.
One interesting fact about this budget JBL amp remains that it can work with most systems and in almost all cars. Its compact size of 9.05×7.25×2 inches (WxLxH) and speaker-level inputs render this possible.
This amp relies on its separate high-pass and low-pass filters to maximize the audio system’s performance. Thus, you’ll be able to use the bass boost to make your subwoofer sound incredible.
Among other things, this amp features dual speaker terminals that simplify the process of hooking up multiple speakers. And, its heavy-duty aluminum alloy heat sink facilitates the dissipation of heat. These features make it a good investment for people on a budget.
Power Acoustik EG4-1000
Max Power Output: 1000W
RMS: 2Ω 4×125W
4Ω Bridged 2×250W
Amp Class: AB
Priced at just over $50, the Power Acoustik EG4-1000 remains an amplifier worth purchasing. Its elegant design complements its superb feature set. This Class A/B full range two-ohm stable four-channel amp offers a total power output of 1,000 watts.
It also provides a four-channel stereo output with possible impedances of two and four ohms. You can also dual bridge this budget amp for two-channel operation with an impedance of four ohms. The middling size of this amplifier, at 9×10.25×2.25 inches (WxLxH), makes it suitable for use in an assortment of vehicles too.
The manufacturers of this amplifier, Power Acoustik, have earned a reputation for unsurpassed levels of craftsmanship. In addition, they have been leading the industry when it comes to technological innovations for more than 30 years.
Not surprisingly, the reputation of this company remains superlative when it comes to manufacturing mobile electronics that offer optimal value for money while suiting contemporary lifestyles to the ‘T’. This amp’s MOSFET power supply houses a robust PCB with PWM. Similarly, the internal circuitry remains safe from thermal hazards, direct shortages, and power surges. Four-gauge power wiring and eight-gauge speaker wire outputs provide a higher and stable flow of current.
In case your car features a factory stereo system, you could enhance its audio levels with the high-level speakers that accept the speaker signal and the low-level RCA inputs that accept the signal from the pre-amp outputs of the source unit.
With variable 12 dB high and low pass crossovers, this amp provides nice audio quality. In conjunction with its affordable price, it can be a must-buy for people looking for budget multi-channel amps.
Budget Amps – Under $50
BOSS Audio Systems Elite R1004
Max Power Output: 400W
RMS: 75 W X 4 RMS @ 2 ohm
38 W X 4 RMS @ 4 ohm
Amp Class: AB
As a brand, BOSS Audio has an enviable reputation when it comes to audio systems. Many people purchase the BOSS range of audio systems and amplifiers for their budget prices.
At the same time, these amps deliver reliable performance at each time of asking. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the Elite R1004 offers nice value for your money. This full range 2/4 ohm four-channel amp has a max power output of 400 watts. And, it can deliver 75 watts RMS per channel to each of your full-range speakers. Unsurprisingly, you will get to hear every little musical detail that other amps fail to deliver with this particular device.
Given that this amplifier costs under $50, it can be a boon for cash-strapped car audio enthusiasts.
The speaker-level inputs with signal sensing turn-ons will make this amplifier work in almost any kind of system. For these reasons, and for its immensely affordable price, the BOSS Audio Systems Elite R1004 remains a solid purchase for car audio beginners.
Last update on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API