Amplifiers and sub-woofers have the potential to combine and produce magical sound experience – but only if you pair the right ones.
If you are reading this article, you probably already have a sub-woofer and are looking for the right amplifier. Even if you possess neither and are looking to buy the right pair, we still have a few tips that would come in handy.
Our researched guide and filtered product list, together with first hand reviews, make it easier for you to decode the technical jargon and choose the best amp for subs.
How to Select an Amp for a Subwoofer
Whether you have a single subwoofer or multiple ones, the trick is to match the impedance of the system with the amp.
Subs have their manufacturer provided “watts RMS” rating. All you need to do is multiply the number of subs with their rating. Now when you select the amp, it should be capable of supplying 75% to 150% of this value.
Long story short, if you have two subwoofers rated 350 Watt RMS each, you ideally need an amp of 700W RMS but buying one in the 525W – 1050W range would work just fine.
Top 10 Amps for Subs Table
What Do the Amp Specifications Mean, Anyway?
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get your hands dirty and navigate your way through the technical jargon that gets thrown around subwoofers and amplifiers.
- RMS Power Rating. Expressed in Watt, this is a measurement of how much power the amp can spit out. As a general rule, the higher this number, louder the music. However, be mindful to stay within 200% of the subwoofer’s wattage, as it might break the system.
- Peak Power Rating. This number is much higher than the RMS value, as it is the highest power the amp can deliver, even if it is for just a second. This parameter is often used as a marketing tool, but in practical world, you would lose out on nothing if you just ignored it.
- Amplifier Impedance/Resistance. Power generated by an amplifier depends on the load it drives. Hence, it is important to check the mentioned load for a corresponding power rating. In general, 4 to 8 ohm is the range in which you would find most of the speakers. Going below 4 ohm is not recommended as it might extract a lot more power, resulting in overheating and possible irreparable damage.
Top 3 Best Amp for Subs Reviews
Pioneer is an established player in the sound engineering game for decades and the class D amplifiers have taken the game to higher level, offering compact design an unmatched performance. Don’t get deceived by its miniature looks, as it can push out some serious power and is right up there with the big boys. Let’s see what makes it the one of the best amp for subs for setting up in your car.
For starters, Pioneer has its output power rating absolutely spot on, which gives you the confidence to build the entire system around it without worrying about damaging your subwoofers. It doesn’t punish you for not having a Pioneer sub-woofer, as it delivers crisp sound with all brands. It comes with enough cable to reach doors and trunk from under the dash. It is not a multichannel amp, which kind of works in its favor in a car set up, as it doesn’t heat up as the competition does.
Overall, it’s a great amp for your car and the affordable price makes it the ideal value for money amp from a trusted player.
If you are in the entertainment business and are looking for affordable, professional quality amplifiers, QSC GX3 is the way to go. Available in 300W, 500W and 1000W power delivery configurations, your power hungry subs would definitely find a reliable companion in this.
One of its standout features is GuardRail – QSC’s proprietary heat and volume gain limiting system that delivers peak power while protecting from unpleasant fluctuations and shutdowns. The power delivery is consistent, and is in sync with the rated values, at both 4 ohm and 8 ohm configurations. It works seamlessly with all audio sources, making it a professional’s dream.
If you are a professional who is forced to keep changing his amps every few months due to time induced wear and tear on the inside, this one will get you out of that habit.
If you are looking for an amp to drive the subwoofers you have in your living room, this is a great all round performer. A home setting requires precise, bass-enabled sound that can be tuned up without breaking down the audio quality. It does all of that and more!
Its ability to work with a wide range of input systems makes it a real winner. Initial installation might pose a bit of carpentry challenge, but the performance is worth the effort. As a side-note, we do recommend getting a professional to install it for you.
It has low and high input levels that make it work with all subs. It fits nicely into automated systems setups as well, thanks to its manual, auto and triggered on/off modes.