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Best Class D Amplifiers for The Money

Whether you like listening to bass-heavy or treble-heavy, soft or loud music, car amplifiers are definitely part of the picture. A powerful amplifier will instantly supercharge your car sound system and breath life into your music, bringing out all of its excitement and detail, thereby making time spent in your car seem more like a concert than a commute.

All car amplifiers are built to perform essentially the same function and operate under the same basic principles, however that doesn’t mean that all car amplifiers are created equal.

In today’s post, we’re going to review some of the best class D amplifiers out there which are the most extremely efficient car amplifiers that you can buy.

Amplifier Classes — Pros & Cons

Car amps are divided into different classes. They’re classified according to their internal circuit design and the way their output stages are powered. Each class has its own performance characteristics, and each is optimized for a specific task and application.

Some car amplifiers are better suited to specific uses than others, and the easiest way to tell which type you need is to look at the amp’s class. Each of which is referred to by a letter or two. There are class A, class B, class A/B, and class D amplifiers.

To clear up the confusion and to help you avoid buying the wrong thing, here’s a a comparison chart of pros and cons of each car amp class :

Amplifier Classes Comparison Chart

Amp Class Pros Cons
Class A
  • Clean output
  • High fidelity
  • Low distortion
  • Large size
  • Generate too much heat
Class B
  • Efficient
  • Smaller size
  • Create less heat
  • Lower audio fidelity
  • Potential signal distortion
Class A/B
  • More efficient than class A
  • Less distortion than class B
  • Less efficient than class B
  • More distortion than class A
Class D
  • Extremely efficient
  • Distortion at high frequencies

Top 10 Best Class D Car Amplifiers — Reviews

1. Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D 

Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D

  • Mono channel amp
  • Variable low-pass filter (50-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable subsonic filter (15-40 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable Punch bass boost (0-18 dB at 45 Hz)
  • Class-D amplifier design
  • Preamp-level inputs and outputs
  • Wired remote Punch Level Control included

Last update on 2021-01-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  13-3/8″W x 2-7/16″H x 8-13/16″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 20-250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 400 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 800 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 1,200 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

Rockford Fosgate is one of the top rated brands in the car audio industry. They’ve been in business for quite a long time and they offer everything from speakers and amplifiers to signal processors and amplifiers.

Rockford Fosgate offers a wide range of reasonably priced car amplifiers of differently types. Rockford Fosgate car amps fall into three main categories labeled “Prime”, “Punch”, and “Power”. Amplifiers in the “Prime” series are the entry-level amps while those in the “Power” series are company’s high-end amps. More of a middle-of-the-road line of amplifiers, the “Punch” series which offer a great value for the buck.

The R1200-1D is one of the best class D amplifiers that Rockford Fosgate has to offer. This entry-level class D monoblock amp is featured with Rockford Fosgate’s P.O.W.E.R technology (Power Output Without Excessive Regulation) which allows the amp to respond quickly to the peak demands that you may throw at your sound system.

The R1200-1D car amp is optimized for subwoofers with the implementation of Rockford Fosgate’s famous Punch bass boost, and infrasonic filter to keep those ultra-low bass notes from damaging your subwoofer system.

This amp has preamp-level inputs and outputs and comes a wired remote bass level control which allows you to remotely control the output level of the amplifier from the dash or center console of your vehicle.

Additionally, this amp is equipped with a top-mounted LED indicator which turns green when the unit is turned on. This LED will turn red when protection circuit is engaged.

Speaking of protection, this monoblock amp has a heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation. It’s incorporated with 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection).

This monoblock amplifier can put out up to 400 watts RMS at 4 ohm (800 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms), but will crank out up to 1,200 watts when it’s running a 1-ohm subwoofer setup.

2. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D

Sale
Rockford Fosgate R500X1D

  • Class-D amplifier design
  • Preamp and speaker-level inputs
  • Preamp outputs
  • Variable low-pass filter (50-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable bass boost (0-12 dB at 45 Hz)
  • Phase switch
  • Wired remote Punch Level Control included

Last update on 2021-01-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  8-1/2″W x 2″H x 7-3/8″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 20-250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 300 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 500 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a cheap class D amplifier that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is a great option to consider. Despite being an entry-level, compact amp, the R500X1D has some serious power.

This is one of the best class D amplifier in its category. As with its bigger brother, the R1200-1D linked to above, this Prime Series R500X1D mono amp comes with low-pass filter and Rockford Fosgate’s famous Punch boost to get the best possible bass from your subwooofer.

Additionally, this amplifier comes with a wired remote control which you can use adjust the amp’s volume level from your driving seat. Further, the 2-position phase switch allows you to easily reverse the output phase of the amplifier, while its speaker-level inputs let you hook this amp up to almost any system, even a factory stereo.

To prevent thermal breakdown, this amplifier is fitted with thermal, overload and short protection circuits. Its heavy cast aluminum chassis on the other hand efficiently dissipate heat away from its internal components, ensuring long-lasting performance.

This compact car amplifier can drive a sub with up to 300 watts RMS at 4 ohm, so you can really feel your bass rockin’, but it’ll crank out up to 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms.

3. Pioneer GM-D9705

Pioneer GM-D9705

  • Class D amplifier design
  • Speaker-level (high-level) inputs
  • 5 Channels
  • Wired remote bass boost level control included
  • Nickle-plated RCA, Speaker and Power/Ground Terminals
  • 3-way protection circuitry (thermal, overload, and speaker short protection)
  • Heavy duty aluminum alloy heat-sink for extreme heat dissipation
  • Selectable crossover filter
  • Variable crossover filter
  • Variable low-pass filter
  • Variable Bass Boost

Last update on 2021-01-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  12.4″ x 2″ x 7.87″
Number of channels 5
Frequency range 40-500 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 75 watts x 4; 350 watts x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 100 watts x 4; 600 watts x 1
  • Bridged @ 4ohms
    • 200 watts x 2; 350 watts x 1
Bridgeable Yes
Amplifier Class D

Pioneer is one of the most authoritative brands in the car audio industry. They’ve been around for a long time and have mastered the art of making top notch car audio components.

Pioneer offers a wide selection of car audio components including speakers, subwoofers, headunits and amplifiers. Their components have consistently performed well through independent lab testing and in real world applications.

Pioneer GM-D9705 is one of the best class D amplifier that you can buy. This 5 channel amp offers increased flexibility and gives you more control. It’s a great little amp for building a car audio system on a budget.

This little powerhouse was designed to be an all-in-one solution; It can power your entire car audio system, sending 75 watts RMS to each of your front and rear speakers while delivering up to 350 watts RMS to your subwoofer at 4 ohm load.

The GM-D9705 can also be switched into 3-channel mode, sending 200 watts RMS each to a set of component speakers up front, plus 350 watts to a subwoofer.

This 5 channel amplifier features a wired remote bass boost control for sub channel that you can use to adjust the bass level on the fly. It also has preamp and speaker-level inputs so you can hook it directly into your system. Its built-in high- and low-pass filters let you adjust the sound for your car’s interior and personal listening preferences.

4. Alpine MRV-M500

 

Dimensions  7-7/8″W x 7-7/8″L x 2-3/16″H
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 50-400 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 300 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 500 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

If multiple channel and flexibility aren’t your primary concern and you just want the best compact car amplifier, we think the Alpine MRV-M500 is one of the best compact class D amplifier you can buy.

This amp is the top performing mono amp in Alpine’s V-Power Series. Despite its tiny size, this little powerhouse can put out up to 300 watts at 4 ohm (500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms), which is a ton of wattage to power your subwoofer and turn your ride into a rolling thunderstorm of chest pounding bass.

Alpine MRV-M500 can fit almost anywhere. It’s one of the most compact car amplifiers out there — it’s got less than an 8″ by 8″ footprint and it’s just over 2″ tall.

To enhance thermal protection and to avoid annoying shut-downs, alpine fitted this class D monoblock amp with a new circuit and heat sink design which allows for gradual thermal absorption.

This amp also use a new, higher efficiency design to achieve non-stop music playback. This design prevents the amp from shutting down by rolling back the output a bit when the amp is about to overheat from playing at its limits for too long. So, instead of shutting down completely, the amp keeps playing your favorite tracks, until it cools enough to return to its full power.

This monoblock amplifier is equipped with a variable low-pass filter which puts you in command of the frequencies that reach your subwoofer. Speaking of a subwoofer, this amp has a bass boost which lets you apply plenty of low-end punch.

The amp includes preamp- and speaker-level inputs, so you can pair it up to almost any vehicle, even one with a stock headunit.

This car amplifier is compatible with Alpine RUX-KNOB remote bass knob. This knob is a very convenient gadget that will let you adjust the bass levels from your dash.

5. Rockford Fosgate R400-4D

Rockford Fosgate R400-4D

  • 4-channels
  • Variable high- and low-pass filters (50-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable Punch EQ bass/treble boost (0-18 dB at 45 Hz and 12,000 Hz)
  • Class-D amplifier design
  • Preamp inputs and outputs

Last update on 2021-01-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  9-1/8″W x 2″H x 7-3/8″D
Number of channels 4
Frequency range 20-20,000 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @ 4 ohms
    • 75 watts RMS x 4
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 100 watts RMS x 4
  • Bridged mode @ 4 ohm
    • 200 watts RMS x 2
Bridgeable Yes
Amplifier Class D

If you want a good 4 channel class D car amplifier and want to spend the bare minimum, the Rockford Fosgate R400-4D is a great choice.

This multi-channel amplifier might lack the compactness of some of its competitors, but it offers great flexibility and power for the price. Speaking of flexibility, this amp is perfect for powering your entire car audio system. It’s built to put out 75 watts RMS to each of your full-range speakers or component speakers, giving them plenty of juice to rock. And since, this is a 4-channel amp, you can use its front channels to power for your front speakers while you bridge the rear two channels to run a subwoofer with up to 200 watts RMS. Furthermore, you can bridge the amp to 2-channel mode to drive a pair of powerful components or subs.

As with all Rockford Fosgate Prime amplifiers, the R400-4D feature Rockford’s exclusive POWER (Power Output Without Excessive Regulation) supply/output design to insure true rated output power at all levels.

The amp’s high- and low-pass filters, along with Rockford Fosgate’s variable bass boost let you tune your speakers to match your personal listening preferences.

All Rockford Fosgate amps are very well-engineered and this one is no exception. Its heavy duty cast aluminum alloy heatsink will help dissipate heat away from the amp’s internal components and lower distortion levels or possible thermal overload.

All in all, if you’re looking for reliable class D 4 channel car amplifier without breaking the bank, then the R400-4D is the perfect amplifier for you.

6. Alpine KTP-445U

Dimensions  7-7/8″W x 1-1/2″H x 2-9/16″D
Number of channels 4
Frequency range 20-20,000 Hz
Power Handling 
  • 45 watts RMS x 4 at 4 or 2 ohms
  • 90 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms
Bridgeable Yes
Amplifier Class D

If you’re looking for a mini car amplifier to crank up the power of your receiver, the Alpine KTP-445U is your best choice. It’s designed to be small enough to fit into some sort of nook and cranny inside your vehicle’s dash. It’s actually about the size of three modern smartphones stacked on top of each other.

This Four channel amp can increase your receiver’s power output to 45 watts RMS by 4 channels, which is a significant jump from the 8-20 watts per channel typically put out by most OEM and aftermarket headunits out there.

Best of all, this little beast is quite efficient you can often run it off the existing car audio harness that powers your receiver, assuming that the fuse protecting your radio is 15 amps or higher. However, if the fuse is smaller, then you’ll need to run a separate power wire to your car’s battery to install this amp.

For optimal performance, it’s highly recommended that you run a dedicated constant power wire to the battery

Feature wise, this amp comes with selectable high-pass filters, switchable 2- or 4-channel input, and switchable RCA or speaker-level inputs.

All in all, if you have very limited space in your vehicle, and want something that can get job done, no muss no fuss, then this amp is a great option to consider. It’ll breath life into your speakers making them sound as good possible.

7. JL Audio JX1000/1D

JL Audio JX1000/1D

  • Mono channel amp
  • Class D amplifier design
  • Variable low-pass filter (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable bass boost (0-12 dB at 45 Hz)
  • Preamp inputs and outputs
  • Speaker-level inputs

Last update on 2021-01-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  11-5/16″W x 2-1/8″H x 7-11/16″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 20-150 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @ 4 ohms
    • 500 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 2 ohms
    • 1,000 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without JL Audio in it. JL Audio is an American manufacturer of consumer audio products. They’ve been in business for a long time. The offer everything from home to marine and mobile audio products.

JL Audio JX1000/1D is another great compact class D monoblock amplifier. It’s incorporated with high-grade parts that provide high current flow, and deliver stable performance.

Speaking of performance , this monoblock amp can put out up 500 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (1,000 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms). It comes with variable low-pass filter and bass boost to tune the amp to your subwoofer system. An optional remote bass knob can also be added to let you turn the sub up or down from the front seat.

Furthermore, this beast is featured with speaker-level inputs, along with preamp inputs and outputs, so it’s ready to work in virtually any vehicle audio system.

To ensure excellent heat management, this amp sports a sleek, high-mass aluminum heatsink to prevent clipping, and to keep things cool enough to virtually eliminate thermal shut-downs.

On the debit side, this amplifier is relatively pricey compared to most class d car amp we listed here. However, it you want a mini powerful amp that can make your subwoofer really thump, this is the amp to get.

8. Kenwood KAC-M1824BT

Kenwood KAC-M1824BT

  • 4 channels
  • USB port for charging your portable device
  • Conformal-coated circuit board — suitable for marine applications
  • Preamp and speaker-level inputs
  • Preamp outputs
  • Signal-sensing turn-on on speaker-level inputs
  • Wireless Bluetooth connection via wired remote controller

Last update on 2020-12-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  6-11/16″W x 1-13/16″H x 3-7/8″D
Number of channels 4
Frequency range 20-20k Hz
Power Handling 
  • 45 watts RMS x 4 at 4 or 2 ohms
  • 90 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms
Bridgeable Yes
Amplifier Class D

The Japanese are well known for their electronic goods that are high in performance and are very durable too, and Kenwood is no exception. From home to studio to car audio components, Kenwood is the go-to brand for many music enthusiasts.

Within the audio space, Kenwood is one of the oldest and trusted names. The offer everything from speakers and subwoofers to headunits and amps.

Kac-M1824BT is one of the top-rated class D amp the Kenwood have to offer. This super-compact amp is designed to fit in a lot of places when space is tight. It’ll add breath life into your sound system of almost any kind of vehicle on land or water. Yes, you heard that right. This amp is also certified for marine use, so in addition to being suitable for cars, you can also mount it in your motorcycle or boat.

To withstand harsh outdoor conditions, these Kenwood amp is featured with a conformal coated circuit board that’s meant to fend off moisture, fog, damp air, and salt, so the party won’t stop just because of a little wetness. It also uses plastic plugs to protect its power and speaker connections.

Best of all, this amplifier sports Bluetooth connectivity so you can play your tunes wirelessly without the need for a receiver – a great feature if you don’t have room to install a receiver. Further, this amp is featured with a USB port to let you recharge your device, so you won’t miss a beat of the fun.

The KAC- M1824BT comes with RCA inputs so you can use it with an aftermarket receiver. It also has speaker-level inputs, so you can still get input from a radio without RCA outputs.

If used with an in-dash receiver, this amp will double its power output with it’s built-in 45Watts x 4 of amplification.

9. Kicker 46CXA4001

Dimensions  8-1/2″W x 2-3/8“H x 6-3/4″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 25-200 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @ 4 ohm
    • 150 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 2 ohm
    • 300 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 400 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

Kicker is another recognized name throughout the car audio industry. The company was founded in 1973 and they’ve been making quality audio components ever since.

KICKER’s Livin’ Loud legacy began as a two-man operation, hand-building professional-speaker systems in a car garage. However, throughout the years, Kicker has managed to carve out a place for itself as a viable competitor within the audio space offering a wide spectrum of car audio products including speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers and signal processors.

The CX400.1 is one of Kicker’s top rated monoblock class D amplifier. It’s can put out up to 400 watts RMS to your sub at 1 ohm (300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms), so your sub comes into its own.

Because the bass tone matters as much as the volume, this sub is featured with a variable low-pass filter so you can get the maximum performance from your sub/enclosure combination. Its fixed subsonic filter on the other hand removes the extreme low resonances that cause distortion.

Additionally, Kicker CX400.1 has a variable bass boost so you can to add some extra low-end punch to your system. You can also get yourself optional remote bass level controller to conveniently adjust the bass level from your front seat.

10. Skar Audio RP-2000.1D

Dimensions  17.75″L x 6.25″W x 2.25″H
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 20-250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @ 4 ohm
    • 800 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 2 ohm
    • 1,400 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 2,000 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

While Skar Audio might be one of the younger companies in the audio space, it has been able to carve out a place for itself as a viable competitor. One way Skar Audio has been able to find its place in the market is thanks to a product like the RP-2000.1D. While it may be budget-friendly, it does pack in some serious power.

The RP-2000.1D is one of the best class D monoblock amplifiers that Skar Audio has to offer. This beast is quite powerful. It can put out up to 2,000 Watts RMS to your subwoofer at a 1-ohm load, which is insane. You wouldn’t want to get this amp unless you have a pair of power hungry subwoofers.

The audiophile class d amplifier at hand is fitted with high-grade components that make it extremely powerful and reliable including high-speed MOSFET power supply and advanced PCB board layout.

Additionally, it comes with an oversized 1/0 gauge power and ground terminals for maximum current flow and therefore higher power output. Further, with the built-in control panel, featuring a bass EQ switch, and variable adjustment tunings for gain level, low-pass filter, and subsonic filter, you’ll have full reign over this beast.

Featuring 4-way protection circuitry, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that this amp is protected against damage to the amplifier for various reasons – including electrical shortage, over heating, low voltage, and more.

As with most amp, this amplifier comes with a remote subwoofer level control (bass knob) so you can adjust the bass level from the front seat.

Alex Brown

Hey There, my name is Alex Brown, I'm an LA-based sound engineer with over 10 years experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. I've installed highly competitive car audio systems, and everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms and beyond. I enjoy creating solutions and simplifying everyday needs. I also love helping people get great sounding gear, thereby, saving the world from bad sound one customer at a time.

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