How to pick the Perfect Amplifier for your Subwoofers
June 3, 2019 by Coleman Thedinger
The following guide will help you to understand what you should be looking for when choosing an amplifier to power your subwoofers. If you already own your Subwoofer(s), your amplifier choices will be more limited, especially if you have a single voice coil subwoofer.
If you don’t have an amp or subs yet, you have more options available to you since you can start with the sub and find an amp that fits, or vice versa by choosing the amp you want and then choosing the sub that’ll work with it. In any case, here are some of the common specs you’ll encounter, and how to ensure that everything matches up correctly.
The variables that you’ll need to account for are the number of channels the amplifier has and the type of amplifier, the RMS wattage of your gear, and the final impedance (measured in Ohms).
Amp Style & Impedance
Channels are a feature in amplifiers, and they determine how many outputs the amp has. A monoblock amplifier has one outpoint for one single channel, a 2-channel amp has 2 separate outputs, and so on. One channel is enough for a subwoofer, but when you have left and right speakers like tweeters or mids, the distinction between left and right is important, so you need at least two channels.
You can also wire two subwoofers together with a single monoblock amplifier, you just need to keep in mind that you’ll need a bigger amplifier to power multiple subs properly. Monoblocks are a popular choice because they can output a lot of power at a low frequency. A 4-channel amp, on the other hand, isn’t ideal for a subwoofer. 2channel amps can also work, they’ll just have to be wired a bit differently.
Monoblock amplifiers work best at an impedance below 4 Ohms. For a 4-ohm load or higher, a dual channel amplifier is a good option.
You’ll need to choose an amplifier that matches the impedance of the load that your subwoofer is designed for. A DVC sub(dual-voice coil) will give you more wiring options in this department.
This is something that’s very important to get right, because having the wrong equipment or not wiring it together properly can be devastating.
Please refer to our subwoofer wiring diagrams to help you wire your equipment to get the most out of your subwoofers and amplifiers
The wattage that you’re delivering to each voice coil of each subwoofer will depend on which amp you choose and how you wire it up, so this is where things can get a little more confusing. Once again, our subwoofer wiring diagrams (linked above) are very helpful.
Beyond that, you just need to ensure that the RMS wattage of your amplifier matches up with the requirements of each subwoofer in your car audio installation that will be running off that amplifier. There is a bit of leeway here, you can go a little over and you can underpower them a bit but overpowering your subwoofers by a large amount on a regular basis puts them at risk of damage.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
- If you’re creating a setup with multiple subwoofers running off the same amplifier, make sure the subs are the same as one another. They need to have the same impedance, and they need to have the same voice coil styles (SVC, DVC). You can use multiple amplifiers if your subs don’t match, just choose amps that suit the individual subs they’ll be powering.
- You’ll need to pick up a wiring kit since your amplifier and subwoofers likely won’t include wiring. It’s crucial to use wire that’s thick enough for the equipment that you’re installing.
- When you’re adding up the power of your subwoofers and matching it to your amplifier, make sure you’re only using the RMS wattage and not the peak or max measurements.
TOP SELLING CT SERIES AMPLIFIERS
CT-80.4D // 440 Watts RMS 4-Channel Car Audio Amplifier
CT-700.1D // 700 Watts RMS Monoblock Car Audio Amplifier
CT-1000.1D // 1000 Watts RMS Monoblock Car Audio Amplifier
CT-1500.1D // 1500 Watts RMS Monoblock Car Audio Amplifier
CT-2000.1D // 2000 Watts RMS Monoblock Car Audio Amplifier
TOP SELLING 12 INCH SUBWOOFER COLLECTION
TROPO-12 // 650 Watts RMS 12 Inch Car Subwoofer
OZONE-12 // 800 Watts RMS 12 Inch SPL Car Subwoofer
STRATO-12 // 1250 Watts RMS 12 Inch Car Subwoofer
MESO-12 // 1500 Watts RMS 12 Inch Car Subwoofer
EXO-12 // 3000 Watts RMS 12 Inch Car Subwoofer