Automotive

The 10 Best Mono Amplifiers

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Sead Fadilpasic Avatar
Sead Fadilpasic
19 May, 2020 • Updated 3 days ago
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Best Mono Amplifiers to boost your listening experience

Car speakers suck. They’re tinny, have no bass, and never seem to be loud enough.

At least, that’s the way it used to be. Some newer cars are starting to feature better quality, higher-powered speakers, but that doesn’t help you much if you’re driving a 2005 Toyota Camry.

You can always buy speakers for your car, but if you like to groove to deep bass, that will only take you so far. What you need is something that will draw out those deep, low notes that make the car rattle.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Audiopipe 1500W

You need a mono amplifier.

Boom.

Things to Consider

Before you open your wallet, there are some things you should look for in a mono amplifier. How much emphasis you place on these points might vary depending on what you’re looking for, but these are some pretty good things to keep in mind.

A word of advice. Some of the items mentioned below are technical terms, and we are glossing over some of the finer points. If you are curious or confused and what more information, we encourage you to do some personal research, especially if you are completely clueless about car amplifiers.

You should never buy a mono amplifier before checking some important details (more on those below), and it may be a good idea to meet with a car audio professional before you settle on the purchase.

1. Power

When it comes to an amplifier, power is key, and in more than one way. In fact, you absolutely can’t afford to ignore this. The wattage of your amplifier determines how much power is going to be sent to the speakers.

If your speakers don’t have enough power, your sound is going to be weak, which is a total waste of a mono amp.

On the other hand, if you draw too much power you can blow the speaker system, which is even worse. Make sure your amp wattage is compatible with whatever speaker system you buy.

2. Sound Quality

The quality of the sound may or may not be important to you. If you are simply going for raw volume, then you may not be as concerned with this one. But if you’re an audiophile intent on preserving sonic equilibrium inside your speakers, then sounds quality is going to be crucial.

Sound quality will almost always improve with more expensive speakers, so if audio quality is critical for you, be prepared to drop some extra cash.

3. Frequency

We won’t go too much into detail with this one but basically, this refers to your ability to customize the mix of your amplifier, adding or subtracting decibels from your bass boost by controlling the frequency.

This also changes the tonal qualities of your bass notes and reverberation. Your stereo should already have the ability to modify the channel, but an amplifier should be more precise.

4. Impedance

Another technical term, impedance basically describes how much resistance the electrical current faces while traveling through the amplifier.

The impedance of your amplifier has a direct bearing on how much current is required to produce a certain degree of power.

5. Price

Quality audio technology is seldom cheap. Although it is certainly possible to get a good amplifier at a reasonably affordable price, you will find that the audio quality may substantially improve by spending more for a better product.

6. Size

There isn’t much to explain here but it’s important to know that if the amplifier can fit in your car at all, so make sure you check the product dimensions before you purchase anything.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Mono Amplifiers


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.3
100+
100+
  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 8Hz – 180Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 8Hz – 180Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.8
65+
65+
  • Power: 1600 Watts
  • Frequency: 10Hz – 240Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
  • Power: 1600 Watts
  • Frequency: 10Hz – 240Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.5
600+
600+
  • Power: 1200 Watts
  • Frequency: 20Hz – 250Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Power: 1200 Watts
  • Frequency: 20Hz – 250Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4
615+
615+
  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 9Hz – 50kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 9Hz – 50kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.3
3,865+
3865+
  • Power: 1100 Watts
  • Frequency: 9Hz – 50kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • Power: 1100 Watts
  • Frequency: 9Hz – 50kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
Audiopipe 1500W
Compact and powerful

A small but powerful amp with lots of valuable features that should satisfy anyone looking to upgrade their driving experience.

4.3
100+
100+
  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 8Hz – 180Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200

Best Mono Amplifiers Under $100

Planet Audio PL1500.1M

Planet Audio PL1500.1M

Features

  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 9Hz – 50kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100

A great entry-level amp, the Planet Audio Pulse PL1500.1M offers a great bang for its buck. It has 1500 Watts and it’s a class A/B amp which means it’s a mix of good sound quality and efficiency.

It’s equipped with low and high-level inputs, and with a variable low-pass crossover, which you can use to set the sound by your preference.

Also, a switchable bass boost that allows you to adjust the low bass is available, as well as the variable gain control that adjusts the amount of signal that is coming from your receiver and going to your amplifier.

The amp isn’t too big so it should fit in most cars. The product comes with the remote bass control and there is a 6-year platinum online dealer warranty by Planet Audio if the purchase is made through Amazon. All in all, this is a good amp that doesn’t cost much.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Good sound
  • Adequate size
Cons
  • Gets heated

BOSS Audio Systems R1100MK

BOSS Audio Systems R1100MK

Features

  • Power: 1100 Watts
  • Frequency: 9Hz – 50kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100

BOSS generally has a bad reputation among some audiophiles but this product is a great budget amp, and you get a wiring installation kit too. It’s a class A/B amp that has 1100 Watts max power at 2 Ohms or 550 Watts at 4 Ohms.

It has a MOSFET power supply (an electrical switch that allows the flow of electrical current and also removes all secondary feedback circuitry), and the amp itself is compact enough to fit pretty much anywhere.

It’s equipped with high and low-level inputs, variable low pass crossover, switchable bass boost, variable input gain control, thermal overload speaker, and power and protection LEDs.

You also get a remote subwoofer control for added convenience. A great product for its price that should satisfy most users who don’t need anything more powerful.

Pros
  • Affordable and you get a wiring kit
  • Nice features
  • MOSFET Power Supply
Cons
  • More demanding users won’t be satisfied with the power

Best Mono Amplifiers Under $200

Rockford Fosgate R500X1D

Rockford Fosgate R500X1D

Features

  • Power: 500 Watts
  • Frequency: 20Hz – 250kHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

A best-seller on Amazon and for a good reason, the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D offers tremendous value. This class D amp has a max power of 500 Watts at 2 Ohms and 300 Watts at 4 Ohms, and a frequency response of 20Hz – 250Hz. Like the previous amp in our list, this one also uses a MOSFET power supply.

The amp features a low-pass filter and punch boost so you get the best possible bass from the speaker or a subwoofer in your car. There is also a phase switch and speaker-level inputs that let you hook this amp up to almost any system, including a factory stereo. 

Additional features include cast aluminum heatsink, muted turn-on, short circuit protection, overcurrent protection, high-level inputs, real-time output, power supply thermal sensing, and remote bass control.

It’s a bit bigger than the first two amps but it’s still adequate to fit in most vehicles. A slight complaint in this otherwise great amp is that some users might find the light on the control knob problematic since it’s quite bright.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Good bass
  • A good number of features
Cons
  • Control knob’s LED is very bright

Pioneer GM-D8701

Pioneer GM-D8701

Features

  • Power: 1600 Watts
  • Frequency: 10Hz – 240Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

The Pioneer GM-D8701 is a pretty powerful class D amp that offers a good sound quality. Its continuous power output at 1 Ohm is 800 Watts, 500W at 2 Ohms, and 300W at 4 Ohms.

This amp is equipped with Pioneer’s PMS (Protection Control System) that senses internal temperature and automatically moderates the input level accordingly. There is also a variable low pass filter to help you adjust the frequency to your liking, as well as the ability to adjust the gain level.

The amp is quite sturdy with its high quality textured flat panel and a tough frame, and its size makes it possible to fit almost anywhere. Another bonus is that the bass boost remote is included with the amp.

All things considered, this amp packs quite a punch even if it doesn’t seem like that on the first look, and it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to improve their listening experience.

Pros
  • Deceptively powerful
  • Sturdy
  • Not too expensive
Cons
  • It might get heated in some cases

Planet Audio PL4000.1D

Planet Audio PL4000.1D

Features

  • Power: 4000 Watts
  • Frequency: 15Hz – 250Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

Second Planet Audio amp in our list, the PL4000.1D is infinitely more powerful than the first and has some interesting features as well, while still having a good price range. Its max power is 4000W at 1 Ohm, 2000W at 2 Ohms, and 1000W at 4 Ohms.

It’s a class D amp with a MOSFET power supply and it’s 1 Ohm stable, which means it’s able to dish out power when needed for certain subwoofers without encountering difficulties such as overheating. 

A very interesting feature is the ability to strap two PL4000.1D amplifiers and double the power that is being sent to your subwoofers, effectively reaching the power of 8000 Watts at 2 Ohms.

A variable low-pass filter and a variable subsonic filter are available. These will help with tweaking and filtering the sound and frequencies to your preference.

Pros
  • Good value
  • Strapping capable
  • 1 Ohm stable
Cons
  • While powerful, not as powerful as advertised

Best Mono Amplifiers Under $200

Audiopipe Mini Class D Amplifier 1500W

Audiopipe Mini Class D Amplifier 1500W

Features

  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 8Hz – 180Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200

The Audiopipe Mini Class D Amplifier 1500W is another relatively affordable amp that can give a fairly good boost to your listening experience. Its power is 1414W at 1 Ohm, 964W at 2 Ohms, and 540W at 4 Ohms.

There is a variable Bass boost with selectable frequency so you can tune it to your liking, and the remote bass level control is included with the amp. It’s also equipped with a variable low-pass filter as well as a subsonic filter that helps with filtering specific frequencies.

The amp has a 3-way protection circuitry including thermal, overload, and speaker short protection, and for heat dissipation, there is an aluminum alloy heat-sink. The size is comparable to previous amps except for the height which is very small, but that’s a good thing.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Good protection
  • Solid features, including the subsonic filter
Cons
  • Even with the heatsink, it gets quite hot sometimes

Audiopipe Class D Monoblock Amplifier 1500W

Audiopipe Class D Monoblock Amplifier 1500W

Features

  • Power: 1500 Watts
  • Frequency: 8Hz – 180Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200

The Audiopipe Class D Monoblock Amplifier 1500W is an interesting looking amp packs a solid punch with max power 1500W at 1 Ohm, 950W at 2 Ohms, and 600W at 4 Ohms.

The amp has a rich sounding bass and a clear sound quality with MOSFET circuit design that provides immense power without distortion at any volume. It also features a high-quality aluminum sink with cooling fins to make sure that the amp doesn’t overheat. 

Some of the features in this amp include a parametric bass-boost equalizer, variable low-pass, variable bass boost, subsonic filter, dual speaker terminals, and a three-way protection circuitry.

A remote bass level control is also included with the amp. Size-wise the amp isn’t really bigger than the rest and has an unusually small height, even if on the image it might look like that, so it should fit in most cars.

Pros
  • Good sound quality
  • Parametric bass-boost equalizer, subsonic filter, and other features
  • Small height makes the installation easier
Cons
  • In some cases, the amp still gets too hot even with the heatsink

Best Mono Amplifiers Under $300

Kicker CX1200.1

Kicker CX1200.1

Features

  • Power: 1200 Watts
  • Frequency: 25Hz – 200Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

Kicker makes some amazing amps and this one is no exception. The CX1200.1 produces powerful and clean sound and has a power of 1200W at 2 Ohms and 600W at 4 Ohms. It’s a D class amp that uses Kicker’s FIT (Failsafe Integration Technology) technology which improves the durability enormously.

The amp is equipped with a variable low-pass crossover and a variable bass boost with KickEQ. A 24dB subsonic filter is also available.

The amp is quality-made and uses a heavy-duty heat sink, special transformers, and oversized transistors, so you can always have a great performance even when the amp is pushed hard.

All of that along with the general build makes this amp incredibly efficient at dissipating heat. A remote bass level controller is available as well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t come with the amp and you’ll have to purchase it separately.

Pros
  • Great power and sound
  • Battles heat very well
  • Quality-made amp
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a remote bass level controller

Best Mono Amplifiers Under $400

Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D Prime

Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D Prime

Features

  • Power: 1200 Watts
  • Frequency: 20Hz – 250Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

The Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D Prime is a class D amp delivers a great and rich bass sound and can produce awesome power without pushing the car’s system too hard. It has a top-mounted control and a power of 1200W at 1 Ohm, 800W at 2 Ohms, and 400W at 4 Ohms.

It uses the MOSFET power supply and a cast aluminum heatsink to prevent overheating. Also, it features an on-board Punch EQ with a +18dB boost so you can fine-tune the sound and you’ll get the remote bass level control as well.

The amp has a good number of features like 12dB/octave Butterworth crossover, 4 gauge power/ground connectors, real-time output, and power supply thermal sensing. It’s also equipped with an infrasonic filter that keeps the ultra-low bass notes from damaging your subwoofer system.

It’s slightly bigger than some of the previous amps but it shouldn’t be a problem for most vehicles.

Pros
  • Rich bass sound
  • Very well made
  • Great features
Cons
  • The remote knob isn’t the best

Best Mono Amplifiers Under $500

Skar Audio RP-2000.1D

Skar Audio RP-2000.1D

Features

  • Power: 2000 Watts
  • Frequency: 20Hz – 250Hz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $500

The Skar Audio RP-2000.1D is a class D amp, Skar Audio’s RP-2000.1D is a very powerful amp capable of producing 2000W RMS Power at 1 Ohm and is capable of reaching 2800W at max power output. It features a 4-Way protection circuitry and 1/0 AWG power and ground input terminals for maximum current flow.

It’s also equipped with a highly efficient heat sink to prevent overheating and to ensure absolute reliability and performance. A MOSFET power supply is there as well.

To tune your listening experience in the best way possible you have the bass EQ switch, a  low-pass filter, a variable adjustment tuning for gain level, and a subsonic filter.

This model comes with a remote bass level control for extra convenience. Size might be an issue to some since it’s quite long, its length is around 20 inches.

Pros
  • Very powerful
  • Great sound
  • Good protection
Cons
  • Quite long

Conclusion

Buying a car amplifier can be a tricky business as there are hundreds of amps there and some are very similar. Hopefully, we helped with this article and made your purchase easier or at the very least you’re more knowledgeable now.

At any rate, if you’re still not sure we recommend checking out our Editor or Top picks, or if you are on a budget you can check the Budget picks. You can also check our Best Kicker Amplifiers for Cars review.

Remember to always do your research before you buy something, especially when it’s something like car amps. Also, if you liked this article feel free to share it and happy shopping.

Sead Fadilpasic Avatar
Written by
Sead Fadilpasic
Sead is a seasoned tech journalist, based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his 15+ years of experience, he's done hundreds of product reviews, broke and fixed more gadgets than people usually use in a lifetime. When he's not writing for MuchNeeded, he spends his time raising his daughter, playing guitar and occasionally hitting the gym.