Important Factors in Choosing the Optimal Amplifier

At Laketown Speed and Sound, we’re your one-stop shop when it comes to every area of car audio upgrades. We’ll assess your current stock sound system and provide recommendations and numerous options for improvements in multiple areas, leaving you with modern, high-quality sound that amazes both you and your passengers.

There are several key components that go into a great car audio system, and at or near the top of any list is a great amplifier, or amp. You’ll have several amp options available to you when making your choice on upgrades – how do you know which is the right option? Here are several of the top factors our team will go over with you during this selection process.

factors choosing optimal amplifier

Amp Channels

For starters, it’s important to note that modern amplifiers are available in several different configurations, with different sound channel formats offered. There are units with two, four and even six channels available. The general theme here is simple: For each speaker you’re looking to amplify, you need one channel.

So in essence, if you’re only looking to add a subwoofer to your current system, you may not need more than one channel on your amp. If you’re looking at two woofers or two coaxial speakers, you might need two. A four-channel amp is often used to combine speaker amplification with additional power, allowing you to either dedicate a channel to each speaker or bridge them in some way.

Proper Power Levels

Speakers need the proper levels of power to perform optimally – this is why it’s common for those making upgrades to their audio system to choose their speakers first, then look to the amp that will provide the right kind of power. If you’re just looking to power stock speakers, we’ll help you determine the RMS (root mean square) value and choose an amp that puts out between 100 and 150 percent of that.

In cases where you’re looking to power both speakers and a subwoofer, on the other hand, power is a more significant concern. In some cases you may be able to bridge two channels of a multi-channel amp, but there are others where you might want to consider getting a separate mono amplifier.

Head Units and Compatibility

Finally, especially for those who are building an entirely new audio system, head units are extremely important. If possible, it’s best to buy a head unit with preamp outlets, then an amp that has line-level inputs to give an unamplified signal to the amp. These are qualities not normally found in stock head units, so if you’re unable to change the head unit, you’ll need an amp with speaker-level inputs.

For more on choosing the right amplifier for your upgraded car audio system, or for information on our window tinting, backup cameras or additional services, speak to the pros at Laketown Speed and Sound today.