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Best Competition Amplifiers

The only way to achieve bone-shaking, and tooth-rattling bass is with a competition subwoofer, but deciding to add a beefy sub to your car audio system is only the first step in a longer journey. All that power needed to feed your power-hungry sub(s) has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is an amplifier.

So, whether you are a serious SPL contestant, a seasoned warrior in the weekend SPL wars, or a serious audiophile who likes to turn it up and enjoy that loud, chest-pounding bass, competition amplifiers are definitely part of the picture. A powerful amplifier will breathe life into your music, bringing out all of its excitement and detail.

Although car amps are built to perform essentially the same function and operate under the same basic principles, they aren’t all created equal.

Competition car amplifiers are built to perform. They’re incorporated with high-grade and beefy components. This allows these amps to deliver outstanding performance and a produce outrageous amount of power on continuous basis without strain.

A great car audio system’s not a great system without a powerful car amplifier. And you’re not short of choice – so we’ve rounded up the best competition amplifiers money can buy. These amps represent different price points, designs, and capabilities.

With any luck, you’ll find a competition amplifier that will transform your car into a mobile disco pumping out mirror shaking bass.

Best Competition Car Amps — Reviews

1. Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X1bd

Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X1bd

  • Class-BD amplifier design
  • Variable low-pass filter filter (50-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Selectable subsonic filter (28Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Variable PEQ2 bass boost (0-18 dB at 45 Hz)
  • MOSFET power and output stages
  • Preamp inputs and outputs
  • Speaker-level inputs

Last update on 2020-12-23 / 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
    • 300 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 600 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 1000 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class BD

When it comes to car amplifiers, Rockford Fosgate is probably one of the most legendary. They’ve been in business for a long time and have mastered the art of manufacturing quality car amplifiers at reasonable price.

Rockford fosgate offers a wide range of car amps of different types and configurations. Rockford Fosgate car amplifiers come in three main series 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.

Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X1BD is one the best monoblock car amplifiers in the Rockford Fosgate Punch series. This amp was designed to assure maximum BOOM for your buck. It use class-BD circuit topology which is quite efficient.

This mono-channel amplifier can produce up to 1000 watts RMS at 1 ohm, giving you plenty of clean power for your rhythm track. It’s featured with low-pass filter that’s meant to keep the high notes away from your subwoofer, while its subsonic filter helps you rein in runaway boom. Futhermore, its variable PEQ2 bass boost lets you add some of that boom back into the mix whenever you feel like it.

As is the case with most Rockford Fosgate amps, the P1000X1BD uses Rockford Fosgate C.L.E.A.N. technology (Calibrated Level Eliminates Audible Noise) — which is meant to ensures that your music will sound as clean and powerful as possible. This technology will save you from the hassle of manually matching the amp to your receiver’s output. It works like this : play the setup tone on the included test tone CD, adjust the receiver volume until a red clip turns on the amp goes out, then turn the amp gain up until a blue light comes on, and voila !

For long lasting performance and reliability, you’ll find Rockford Fosgate’s Dynamic Thermal Management system at work here. This system relies on high-mass heatsink and uses forced air to dissipate and efficiently draw heat away from the amp’s internal components. Additionally, Rockford Fosgate’s proprietary MEHSA MOSFET cooling system maximizes the heat transfer from the MOSFET devices to the high-mass heatsink, allowing the heat to escape more readily, so the transistors stay cooler and work efficiently.

2. Alpine PDX-M12

Alpine PDX-M12

  • Variable low-pass filter (50-400 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Selectable subsonic filter (off, 15 Hz, 30 Hz)
  • Class-D amplifier design
  • Stackable installation design with front-panel controls
  • Quick-connect speaker connectors
  • Preamp-level inputs and outputs
  • MOSFET power and output stages

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  10-1/8″W x 2″H x 8-5/8″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 5-400 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 1,200 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 1,200 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

If you’re looking for something that can bump out extra power, the Alpine PDX-M12 might be the amplifier to look at. It’s one of the best competition car amp in its category.

PDX car amps are designed to run so cool and produce much less heat. They feature an exclusive stacking system which allows them to be stacked together into a single unit so that their heatsinks couple together to share cooling duties and cool the entire stack. Combine that with their MOSFET power supplies, MOSFET final outputs, and a thermal management processor, and you get a car amplifier that will deliver outrageous amount of power without strain.

This car amp packs massive power in a compact size and stands as the most efficient Class “D” amplifier in this category. It can crank out a ton of power from its amazingly compact body.

The PDX-M12 is stable at low impedances and is capable of delivering up to 1200-watts x 1-channel from 2 to 4 ohms. This allows for excellent flexibility with multiple speaker and subwoofer loads.

In addition to its beefy internal components and clever engineering, This Alpine PDX amplifier comes with selectable subsonic filter, preamp-level inputs and outputs as well as adjustable low-pass filter to tailor the amp’s output to your specific system.

3. Kicker 46CXA1800.1T

Kicker 46CXA1800.1T

  • Class D amp technology
  • Frequency response: 25-200 Hz
  • Variable low-pass filter (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Fixed subsonic filter (25 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
  • Variable bass boost (0-6 dB at 40 Hz)
  • Preamp inputs and outputs
  • Speaker-level inputs

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  15-1/4″W x 2-3/8″H x 6-3/4″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 25-200 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 900 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 1800 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 1800 watts RMS +/-10% x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

Kicker has been building high-end mobile-audio products for years, and it shows. The company now offers a wide range of excellent value-for-money car audio components — like, for example, the Kicker CXA1800.1T, which is one of the most competition monoblock amplifier out there.

This kicker competition amp is designed from the ground up with quality in mind. This power beast is featured with Kicker’s Fail-Safe Integration Technology (FIT™) which has made itself a staple in stress free amplifier installations as it allows for superior clarity and a wiring flexibility. In short, this technology is meant to let you to take Any Audio Source and send it directly to the amplifier. In other words, no more Line-Out Converts, Step Down Modules, or Processors are needed.

The quality of the bass tone matters as much as the volume. That’s the reason why this amp is featured with variable low-pass filter to get maximum performance from your sub/enclosure combo, as well as a fixed 24dB subsonic filter to get rid of the extreme low resonances that cause distortion. Speaking of distortion, this amplifier has three-second turn-on/off delay to eliminate unwanted interference.

Furthermore, the Kicker CXA1800.1T sports a variable bass boost so you can add some extra low-end punch on the fly using an optional wired remote to let you conveniently adjust the bass level from your front seat.

Expandability wise, this Kicker amplifier comes with preamp inputs and outputs as well as speaker-level inputs. You can also add an optional remote bass level controller to instantly crank the bass up or down from your seat.

This amp can be mounted vertically using the included mounting hardware, so you can put it in a location that takes up very little floor space and looks cool too.

If you’re a seasoned basshead who’s looking for massive bass, Kicker’s CXA1800.1 monoblock amplifier can send a staggering 1,800 watts RMS (at 2 ohms) to your subwoofer, so your bass will shake the neighborhood. If that’s not enough, I don’t know what is.

P.S: Bear in mind that this amp’s power consumption is beyond the capacity of most vehicle electrical systems. Therefore, powering this amp may require an electrical upgrade that could include a high-output alternator, a Big 3 wiring upgrade, and a second battery.

 

4. Rockford Fosgate T1500-1bdCP

Dimensions  14-15/16″W x 2-1/4″H x 8-15/16″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 25-200 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 1,000 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 1,500 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 1,500 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class BD

If you’re looking to scale up from the P1000X1BD (Linked to above) but don’t need anything massive, Rockford Fosgate has plenty of other choices available. One of the more popular options available is the T1500-1bdCP.

The biggest thing with the Rockford Fosgate T1500-1bdCP is its power output, and that’s due to the fact that it belongs to the “Power” series. The amps in this series are incorporated with cutting-edge technologies and heavy-duty, state-of-the-art components.

Rockford Fosgate “Power” amps are big in every way and in everything they do. With proven durability, reliability, and proprietary technologies that deliver stronger, more reliable performance than most other amps on the planet today, “Power” series amps became the benchmark for all mobile audio amplifiers. They’re meant for true hardcore audiophiles and bassheads.

Rockford Fosgate T1500-1bdCP is the-go-to amplifier if you have deep pockets and you’re looking for a reliable amp that will last you for many years to come.

The T1500-1bdCP is a 1,500 Watt mono amplifier featuring Rockford Fosgate’s Constant Power technology, which delivers up to 25% more power across all impedance loads especially in the crucial range below 50 Hz where a sub amp really has to shine.

Because a sub’s impedance naturally fluctuates as it performs, this patented technology is designed to automatically eliminate the inflexible speaker impedance-matching requirements of existing amplifier technology. In other words, it maintains your amp’s output by increasing its internal voltage and current when the speaker’s impedance rises.

With great power comes great responsibility. That’s why this beast is featured with Dynamic Thermal Management cooling system which is quite efficient at distributing heat evenly for higher efficiency and lower distortion. Further, the unique heat sink allows the heat to escape more readily so the internal components stay cooler and last longer.

Rockford Fosgate T1500-1bdCP comes with variable low-pass filter, selectable subsonic filter, and variable bass boost. Expandability wise, this amp has preamp-level inputs and outputs. An optional wired remote bass boost can also be added to this amp to adjust the bass level from the front seat.

5. Rockford Fosgate T2500-1bdCP

Dimensions  14-15/16″W x 2-1/4″H x 8-15/16″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 20-250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohms
    • 1,500 watts RMS x 1
  •  @ 2 ohms
    • 2,500 watts RMS x 1
  • @ 1 ohm
    • 2,500 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class BD

If you’re looking to scale up from the Punch P1000X1BD but you need something massive, Rockford Fosgate has plenty of other choices available. One of the more popular options available is the “Power” T2500-1bdCP.

This is what you can get if you’re willing to shell out some serious dough. This Rockford Fosgate amp is going to be the most expensive pick of the lot by far. If you believe in “you get what you pay for”, the Rockford Fosgate T2500-1bdCP amp proves that axiom right.

Rockford Fosgate “Power” Series amps sport proven reliability, and proprietary technologies that deliver stronger, more reliable performance than most other amplifiers on the market.

These amplifiers are incorporated with heavy-duty, state-of-the-art components. They’re also featured with Rockford Fosgate’s Dynamic Thermal Management system which is designed to manages the temperature of the internal components by distributing heat evenly for higher efficiency and lower distortion.

Additionally, these amp use unique heat sink to dissipate heat away of the internal component so the high-power output transistors stay cooler and last longer.

What sets Rockford Fosgate “Power” series amps from the competition is their ability to monitor their speakers’ performance using Rockford Fosgate’s Constant Power technology. The latter acts as you vehicle’s cruise control which increases the engine’s RPM to maintain your car’s speed uphill. What Rockford Fosgate’s Constant Power technology does is that it maintains the amp’s output by increasing its internal voltage and current when the speaker’s impedance rises. This allows for up to 25% more power (Watts) across all impedance loads.

This amplifier can pump out up to 2,500 watts RMS, easily driving any array of woofers wired to a 1-ohm load.

6. JL Audio HD1200/1

JL Audio HD1200/1

  • Variable high- and low-pass filter (50-500 Hz 12 or 24dB/octave)
  • Switchable subsonic filter (30 Hz) and output polarity control
  • Single Cycle Control Class D amplifier design
  • Differential-balanced inputs
  • Preamp outputs
  • Speaker- and preamp-level inputs

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  10-13/16″W x 2″H x 8-13/16″D
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 6-8k Hz
Power Handling 
  • @1.5 to 4 ohms
    • 1,200 watts RMS x 1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

Designed to fit snugly in smaller spaces, the jl audio HD1200/1 is one of the most compact competition amplifiers that you can buy. It offers steady performance from an ultra-compact chassis.

The HD1200/1 mono amplifier features a brushed aluminum finish with black powder-coated cast alloy heat sinks and bottom panel. It can pump out up to 1,200 of clean power to your sub, from a 2″ tall chassis. It can deliver this rated power to a wide range of impedances (from 1.5 to 4 ohms) across 1.5-4 ohms and 11-14.5 volts, giving you the highest degree of flexibility in designing your subwoofer system.

This little beast uses Single Cycle Control™ technology which is meant to eliminate the excessive signal distortion that Class D amplifiers used to be known for back in the day. The differential-balanced inputs on the other hand eliminate noise before it hits the preamp stage, and allow you to pair the amp to just about any car receiver. This results in crystal-clear and well-balanced sound output.

Additionally, this amp uses Regulated, Intelligent Power Supply System (RIPS) which ensures consistent power output over a wide range of battery voltages and load impedances.

JL Audio HD1200/1 amp comes with variable high- and low-pass filter, switchable subsonic filter, and output polarity control.

Expandability wise, this amp sports preamp inputs and outputs, as well as speaker-level inputs. An optional wired remote control can also be paired up to this amp to let you adjust its volume from the front seat.

The only downside to this amp that we can reasonably think of is the price. I mean if you want to go balls to the wall and purchase the JL Audio HD1200/1 amplifier, you’ll have to shell out upwards of one grand. Its fairly steep price tag is a difficult pill to swallow.

7. Sundown Audio SCV-7500D

Sundown Audio SCV-7500D

  • 24dB/oct Variable crossover slope
  • Multi-way protection circuitry (Thermal / Over current / Speaker short / Speaker DC protection)
  • RCA input and RCA master output to RCA slave input
  • Input sensitivity: 6V~0.2V
  • Subsonic crossover filter: 10Hz-50Hz
  • Variable bass boost: 0-9dB
  • Variable low pass filter: 35Hz-250Hz

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  9.13″ W x 2.67″ x 31.5″ L
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 35-300 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohm
    • 1,750 watts
  • @2 ohm
    • 3,500 watts
  • @1 ohm
    • 7500 watts x1
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

This is what you can get if you’re willing to shell out some serious dough. This is going to be most powerful competition amp on this list.

That said, if power output is high on your list of requirements, and have deep pockets, Sundown Audio SCV-7500D is a great option to consider.

Despite being a newcomer to the car audio industry, Sundown Audio has been able to carve out a place for itself as a viable competitor, and that’s thanks to products like the SCV-7500D amplifier.

If you believe that “bigger is better”, the Sundown Audio SCV-7500D proves that axiom right. At 9.13″(W) x 2.67″(H) x 31.5″(L), this amp is actually the biggest on this on this list dimension wise and power output wise.

Speaking of power output, this monster is said deliver up to deliver up to 7500-watts RMS at 1 ohm, 3500-watts RMS at 2 ohm, and up to 1750-watts RMS at 4 ohm.

Quality wise, this amp is built like a tank. It’s big (big for a reason), heavy, and solid. It comes with low pass filter, subsonic filter, and variable bass boost.

You ‘ll be surprised to know that this amp is fully optimized for 12v electrical systems (maximum operating voltage of 15.5 volts). This allows the amp to offer more power per dollar as well as a smaller footprint per wattage level compared to the competition. This makes it great for daily use.

Bear in mind that this amp requires a ton of power, so upgrading your electrical system (adding an extra battery, high output alternator, AGM…etc) is a must.

8. Orion HCCA5000.1DSPLX

Orion HCCA5000.1DSPLX

  • Low-Level and High-Level Balanced Input
  • Infrasonic Filter
  • Concealed Controls Under Locking Top Panel Orion Patented ESP®
  • Input Sensitivity Lock-Out Mode
  • Turn-On Delay
  • Frequency Response 15Hz~250KHz(-2.5dB)
  • Signal Noise Ratio: 90dB
  • Hi Pass Freq. 15Hz-250Hz
  • Low Pass Freq. 15Hz-250Hz
  • 12/24dB / Octave Low-Pass Filter

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dimensions  12″W x 3″H x 21-1/2″L
Number of channels 1
Frequency range 15-250 Hz
Power Handling 
  • @4 ohm
    • 2,300 watts
  • @2 ohm
    • 3,500 watts
  • @1 ohm
    • 5,000 watts
Bridgeable N/A
Amplifier Class D

The phrase “bigger is better” can be very hit or miss depending on what you’re talking about. When it comes to car amplifiers, it can become even more inconsistent. That said, the phrase rings true when it comes to the Orion HCCA5000.1DSPLX.

The HCCA5000.1DSPLX is one of the most powerful competition car amplifier that Orion has to offer. This powerhouse was designed to perform. It can pump out up to 5000 watts at 4 ohm, 3600 watts at 2 ohm, and up to 5400 watts at 1 Ohm.

This Orion competition amp sports level adjustments to allow for easy integration with any source unit. It also comes with adjustable bass boost which maximizes the performance of a subwoofer and allows for continuous adjustment of low frequency boost on the rear channels.

Furthermore, this Orion powerhouse is featured with subsonic filter which cuts off extremely low frequencies (below the range of human hearing) that many speakers cannot effectively reproduce.

This thing is s beast, all things considered. So, if you’re looking for an efficient amplifier with great performance and beautiful design, this Orion is a great option to consider. However, with great power output comes greater responsibility, and in this case you’ll need a major source of power – you’ll need to upgrade your alternator to a bigger one, and add one or two extra batteries for optimal performance.

Best Competition Car Amplifier Brand

There’s a car amplifier for just about every person, from those who want only the best sound, to audiophiles and serious bass heads. However, when it comes to competition car amps, and when you’re shelling out a serious amount of cash on a car amp, you want to make sure you’re getting the right one.

Finding a trustworthy brand that’s known for making quality and reliable competition amplifiers is the key. The are also many other factors that you shouldn’t under-estimate either when choosing a competition amp including amp’s power output, number of channels, and correctly matching the amp to your subwoofer. Taking into account these three main factors will help account for differences between a good-sounding and a great-sounding car audio system.

Without any further ado, here are some of the best competition amplifier brands out there. These brands are the most trusted names within the auto audio space.

  • Rockford Fosgate
  • Kicker
  • Jl Audio
  • Orion
  • Alpine

Competition Amplifiers Vs. Standard Amplifiers

Car amplifiers come in various designs, sizes and configurations. Trying to pick up the right car amplifier for your vehicle can be a daunting task, but what’s the difference between standard car amp and competition amplifier?

Well, they are more or less the same. Competition grade is not a “real” classification. It generally refers to the amp’s high grade components and high power output.

Unlike regular amps, competition amps are built from the ground up to be able to deliver a ton of power on continuous basis without clipping, overheating, or giving out in any other manner, which makes them best suited for feeding power-hungry SPL subwoofers.

Additionally, these amps are quite pricey. While you can get a decent car amplifier for around $200, sometimes even less, competition grade amplifiers are priced at over $500, easily.

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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