8 Best 3000-Watt Amps (2023)

If you are trying to find the perfect amp for your new car stereo system, you’ve come to the right place. Our article on 8 best 3000-Watt amps will help you understand everything about car amps.

Buying a car amp can be confusing, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. There are many things to consider (power ratings, impedances, crossover filters, high and low-level inputs, wiring kits) and it’s only normal to get confused.

In this article, you’ll find all the necessary information on car amps. We will discuss the importance of a car amp in a car audio system, tell you a few things about different types of car amps, and discuss the most important characteristics of car amps.

The largest part of the introduction is dedicated to power ratings because it’s important to understand the difference between advertised and real power ratings. The most interesting part of this article is our list of 8 best 3000-Watt amps where you can find some interesting suggestions. 

The Importance of a Car Amp

Every speaker in your car needs an amp to work. Most of today’s cars have some kind of preinstalled amp and these amps are usually quite weak.

They might be a good match for your preinstalled speakers but if you want to upgrade them and install louder and better speakers, you will need a new car amp.

Without the amp, your new speakers will sound dull. They will sound just like the previous ones. 

Must Read: Most Recommended 2000-Watt Amps

So, there’s no point in upgrading your speaker system if you don’t upgrade your car amp, too. Even if you don’t upgrade your speakers, connecting them to a new and more powerful car amp could also improve their performance. 

To conclude, a car amp is an essential part of a car audio system. Any kind of upgrade (replacing old speakers, adding a subwoofer or two) calls for a new amp.

Different Types of Car Amps

Based on the number of channels (speaker outputs) we can make a difference between mono, stereo, and multichannel (3-channel, 4-channel, 5-channel) amps. 

1-channel amps are usually called mono amps or monoblocks and they are used for powering subwoofers. Mono amps are usually highly efficient and very powerful.

Depending on the output configuration, one mono amp can power one, two, or even three subwoofers. 

Must Read: Most Recommended 1500-Watt Amps

2-channel amps or stereo amps have two speaker outputs and can be used for powering two speakers or, if the amp is bridgeable (and it usually is), for powering one subwoofer in bridged mode. 

Multichannel amps are used for powering multiple speakers at the same time. They are usually not as powerful as mono or stereo amps but they are a more convenient solution for powering multiple speakers than having two amps.

Car amplifiers can also be divided based on the amplification type. The two most common types of amps are Class-AB and Class-D amps.

Class-D typology is only used for mono amps for three reasons – efficiency, lower operating temperatures, and good bass reproduction.

Class-AB amps are used for smaller speakers only because they deliver much better midrange and treble reproduction.

Class-AB amps are inferior to Class-D amps when it comes to operating temperatures (they get hotter) and efficiency but the quality of sound is much more important and that’s why Class-AB amps are used for mids and treble, and class-D amps are used for bass.

Class-AB amps can be used for powering subwoofers but, if you want more reliable and more stable performance, you should go for Class-D amps. 

Some manufacturers also make hybrid multichannel amps. For example, there are 5-channel hybrid amps with 4 speaker outputs with analog amplification and 1 output with digital amplification (amps like Rockford Fosgate T1000X5ad). 

Your choice depends entirely on your plans. If you only want to add a subwoofer to your existing car stereo system, a mono amp is the most convenient and simplest solution.

If you, on the other hand, want to replace some other speakers in the future, it’s probably smarter to buy a multichannel amp. In case you only want to replace your two front speakers and you don’t plan any further upgrades, a  two-channel amp is the best option. 

Must ReadMost Recommended 1200-Watt Amps

Choosing the appropriate number of channels is just the beginning of your search and it’s the easiest part. After that, you have to start searching for the matching power ratings and impedances. 

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Finding the Right Power Output

In theory, finding the matching amp for your speakers is simple. You are supposed to check your speaker’s (or speakers’) specs and find out their impedance and RMS power rating.

Then, you have to look for an amp with a matching (or preferably higher) RMS power output for the given impedance.

Choosing an amp with a lower impedance would cause too much heating and could never provide you with the desired results.

It could also cause clipping (you could kill your speaker). Choosing an amp with a higher output is highly desirable – it will give you more headroom and it will not damage your speakers.

This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a 3000W RMS mono amp if you want to power one 1000W RMS subwoofer. 1200W RMS or 1500W RMS mono amp will do the job just fine.

Must ReadMost Recommended 5000-Watt Amps

In practice, things are not so simple. The biggest problem is the false advertisement. Some manufacturers, especially those making cheap amps, are not honest when it comes to power ratings.

Some of them use arbitrary numbers that have nothing to do with the real outputs. Also, some manufacturers will only give you the max values and those are not as important as RMS values. You should always look for the RMS values. S

o, checking the specs is not enough. You have to dig deeper. 

If you know the type of amplification and the fuse ratings (you can usually find this rating in the user manual), you can calculate the approximate peak power output.

We have previously said that the max output is not as important as the RMS output, and that’s completely true but, in this case, it can give you an idea of what to expect from a certain amp.

If the actual max power output is significantly lower than advertised, then you can be assured that the amp couldn’t possibly deliver the advertised power output. 

Must ReadMost Recommended 1000-Watt Amps

The equation below is a practical form of Ohm’s Law and you can use it to calculate the approximate value of the max power output for any amp.

Another useful thing is the CEA certification. CEA-2006 is a car amplifier standard that defines the measuring procedures for RMS power outputs. If an amplifier has CEA-certified RMS ratings, you can be assured that it can deliver those RMS power outputs. 

In the end, you should look for amp dyno tests on YouTube. These tests are the most accurate way of finding out the actual RMS outputs (certified tests) but, unfortunately, there are no amp dyno tests for each amp on the market.

These tests could also give you a good idea of what to expect from a certain brand. So, if there are tests for one or two amps made by the same manufacturer and if these tests show that the advertised output values are accurate, you can trust that manufacturer.

Now that you know the most important facts, we can move on to our list of 8 best 3000-Watt amps.

On this list, you will find amps that are advertised as 3000-Watt amps but they don’t all deliver those advertised outputs. In some cases, the real power outputs are significantly lower than advertised. 

The list is divided into 3 groups – best 3000-Watt amps under $100, best 3000-Watt amps under $200, and best 3000-Watt amps over $200.

You just have to set your budget limit and find the right amp for you. We have one important piece of advice – if you really want your amp to push 3000W (either peak or RMS), you will have to spend more than $100, preferably more than $200.

Best 3000-Watt Amps Under $100

You will find only one amp in this category and even this one is not good. It’s better than other budget amps that are advertised as 3000-Watt amps but that doesn’t make it good.

If you need a good, or at least decent 3000-Watt amp, you have to pay more. 

1. Planet Audio TR3000.1D


Editor’s Rating: [usr 3.9]

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The truth is – none of the cheap amps under $100 can push 3000W, not even in bursts. Their power outputs are much lower. Planet Audio TR3000.1D is not an exception. It only offers slightly better performance than the others. TR3000.1D is a Class-D mono amp.


The package contains your TR3000.1D amp, wired bass level remote, mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty. The wiring kit is not included.

The amplifier looks compact, stylish, and maybe just a little bit cheap (because of the plastic parts). It’s 13in long, 10.7in wide, and 2.4in tall. 

The amp features only RCA inputs. It has no speaker-level inputs and you’re going to need an adapter if you want to connect it to your factory receiver. The amp also has RCA line outputs for strapping. 

TR3000.1D features variable low-pass and subsonic filters. The Low-pass crossover range spans from 50Hz-250Hz while the subsonic crossover range spans from 15Hz-40Hz. 

The amp has a bass boost knob which allows you to augment the bass response by up to 18dB. You can also install the bass remote if you want to (it’s not absolutely necessary). There’s also the phase switch (0-180°).

The output is rated at 3000W max, but this amp can’t push 3000W. According to our calculations, this amp can push up to 700W. There’s one amp dyno test for this amp on YouTube and it shows even lower power outputs.

According to the specs, the amp can push 2250W continuously at 1Ω (it’s1Ω stable), 1125W at 2Ω, and 563W at 4Ω.

Unfortunately, all these outputs are extremely overrated. This amp could power your 300W RMS subwoofer and that’s probably its limit.


  • Compact and stylish
  • RCA inputs and RCA line outputs 
  • Strapping capabilities
  • Variable low-pass (50Hz-250Hz) and subsonic (15Hz-40Hz) filters
  • Bass boost (0-18dB) and bass level remote
  • Stable at 1Ω


  • The advertised power outputs are not even close to the actual power outputs

Best 3000-Watt Amps Under $200

There’s only one (or maybe two) amps in this category that can actually push the advertised 3000W. If you are looking for the best affordable 3000-Watt amp, our top pick is Taramp’s HD 3000.

It’s the only amp that can deliver 3000W continuously. All the other amps offer decent performance for the price but their real power outputs are not even close to 3000W. 

2. BOSS Audio PT3000

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.0]

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BOSS is another amp manufacturer that’s known for its bloated power ratings. Their amps offer decent performance for the price but they could never deliver the advertised power outputs. PT3000 is a nice-looking 2-channel Class-AB amp.


PT3000 comes along with mounting screws, a wired bass knob, a user manual, and 1-year warranty. 

The amp looks stylish, especially because of the red lighting and backlit Boss logo. PT3000 is quite large – it’s 22in long, 10.3in wide, and 2.3in tall.

PT3000 has both input types – high-level and low-level (RCA). You’re not going to need any kind of adapter if you have a factory receiver without RCA outputs.

The amp features variable high-pass and low-pass filters. Both crossover ranges span from 50Hz to 250Hz.

Depending on the speakers you have connected to your amp, you can select the crossover mode (low/full/high), and, depending on the mode, you can use either a low-pass filter or a high-pass filter. In full mode, adjusting crossover filters will have no effect.

You can also play with the bass response thanks to the bass boost knob. You can augment the bass by up to 18 dB. 

PT3000 is fused at 80A (it uses two 40A fuses) and it’s analog (Class-AB). According to our calculations, the amp can push 691W max. This is not even close to the advertised 3000W. 

The advertised RMS power output is 1125W x2 (at 2Ω), but this amp could hardly push more than 500W continuously (250W x2) at 2Ω in stereo mode or 500W at 4Ω in bridged mode.


  • Stylish design – red illumination 
  • High and low-level inputs
  • Variable low and high-pass crossover filters (50Hz-250Hz)
  • Stable at 2Ω-8Ω in stereo mode
  • Stable at 1Ω-4Ω in bridged mode
  • Bass boost (0-18dB)
  • Bass level remote
  • Stable performance with two 200W/2Ω speakers or one 500W/4Ω subwoofer


  • Not stable at 1Ω
  • The actual power output is significantly lower than advertised

3.Stetsom Vulcan 3000 

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.7]

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Introducing Stetsom’s cutting-edge line of car amplifiers, poised as one of the most advanced offerings on the market. Meticulously crafted with state-of-the-art technology, these latest models are optimized to deliver an unrivaled experience of commanding bass and impeccable sound quality. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Vulcan, this new line of amplifiers sets you on a path of auditory indulgence, elevating your favorite tunes to new heights of style and enjoyment.

Unveiling the Vulcan 3, an amplifier that transcends the boundaries of music genres, catering not only to bass aficionados but also to those seeking wide-range musical prowess. Truly a full-range marvel, this amp boasts the latest in technological innovations and a performance-optimized design, making it the ultimate choice for car amplification enthusiasts. The power output stands tall, while the equally impressive RMS power rating ensures an unwavering audio performance.

Key Technical Specifications:

  • Class: D
  • Maximum Output: 3000 watts
  • Channels: 2


  • A versatile range of power ratings, adapting to diverse audio preferences.
  • Preamp outputs for seamless integration with other audio equipment.
  • RCA Line Outputs for enhanced connectivity options.
  • Variable low pass crossover, allowing precise tuning of bass frequencies.


  • Subpar quality control, requiring attention during the selection process.

In summary, if your pursuit involves bass that resonates through your core and leaves an impact, the Stetsom Vulcan 3 car amplifier is the definitive choice. Empowering you to turn your car into a thumping concert stage, this model prudently omits unnecessary features and solely delivers the pinnacle of bass and sound quality. It comes as no surprise that the Vulcan 3 enjoys unwavering popularity, elevating your automotive audio experience to unparalleled heights and evoking envy from your neighbors.

4. Planet Audio PL3000


Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.7]

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Unleash the perfect power and performance with the Planet Audio PL30 car amplifier. This sleekly designed, compact powerhouse fits seamlessly into any vehicle, offering an exceptional audio experience. Embrace the opportunity to elevate your car audio game by powering your new set of 20″ subs with the Planet Audio PL30, promising the bass you’ve always craved.

For those yearning to drive their existing or newly acquired speakers with an amplifier that exudes might but struggle with space constraints, look no further than the ingenious solution presented by the Planet Audio PL30 car amp. Its lightweight construction, coupled with a compact form factor, ensures that even the tightest spaces, such as trucks or convertibles, become a stage for sonic brilliance. The convenience of a remote bass knob further enhances the ease of sound customization.

Delivering an impressive 3000 watts max power x 1 at 1-Ohm and 1500 watts max power x 2 at 2-Ohms, this amp guarantees to transform your car into a symphony of high-octane, low-frequency euphoria. With added features like a variable bass boost and a bass level remote, you gain ultimate sub-control, while the subsonic filter enables fine-tuning of the frequency balance, refining your audio to perfection.

Crafted with top-tier components, the Planet Audio PL30 car amplifier orchestrates crisp highs, punchy mids, and resounding, potent bass. Your vehicle evolves into a true powerhouse, enveloping you in audio excellence courtesy of Planet Audio’s engineering prowess.

Key Technical Specifications:

  • Class: D
  • Maximum Output: 3000 watts
  • Channels: 1


  • Among the best mono amps available, delivering uncompromising performance.
  • RCA Outputs for versatile connectivity options.
  • Mono class D amplifier, combining efficiency and power.
  • Exclusive use of RCA Inputs for enhanced audio transmission.


The Planet Audio PL30 car amp caters to discerning car audio enthusiasts and newcomers alike, striving to make a substantial upgrade. The moment you connect this amplifier, you’ll relish heightened playback quality, smoothness, and distortion-free sound. Embrace the freedom to sculpt your audio landscape with its variable subsonic filter and bass boost knob, ensuring unmatched low-frequency response. With the Planet Audio PL30, your car audio journey ascends to new heights of auditory gratification.

5. DS18 GEN-X3000.1D

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.4]

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DS18 is a Korean amp manufacturer. If you have some doubts about Brazilian amps and you still want something budget-friendly, DS18 GEN-X3000.1D is a perfect choice for you.

DS18 GEN-X3000.1D is a Class-D mono amp with an advertised max power output of 3000W. That max output is a bit overrated but the RMS values are quite on the spot.


The package contains your DS18 GEN-X3000.1D amp, bass level remote, user manual, mounting screws, and 1-year warranty. The wiring kit is not included.

The amp is stylish and compact. It’s 15.4in long, 7.5in wide, and 2.4in tall. It’s not exactly the smallest on the market – you will have to think about the installation and placement and measure the available space carefully. 

The amp has only RCA (low-level) inputs. There are no high-level inputs and you will need an adapter if you want to connect your factory receiver to this amp.

There are also RCA bridge-in and bridge-out ports for strapping two of these amps together. 

DS18 GEN-X3000.1D features variable low-pass and subsonic filters. The Low-pass crossover range spans from 40Hz-180Hz while the subsonic range spans from 17Hz-50Hz. 

You can augment the bass response by using the bass boost knob on the amp (up to 12dB) or the bass level remote. You can also select the frequency you want to boost (30Hz-80Hz).

The amp is fused at 120A (it uses 4 30A amps) and it’s digital (the efficiency is approx. 80%). Based on our calculations this amp can’t push 3000W max.

The peak power output is probably closer to 1500W. We didn’t find any amp dyno tests for this amp, but there are amp dyno tests for its bigger brother DS18 GEN-X6000.1D which show that the advertised max power outputs are a little bit overrated but the RMS power outputs given in the user manual are right on spot.

DS18 GEN-X3000.1D can push 1000W continuously at 1Ω, 700W at 2Ω, or 430W at 4Ω. The amp is stable at 1Ω and can be strapped with another amp in case you need more power. 


  • Low-level RCA inputs
  • Bridge-in and bridge-out RCA ports
  • Strapping capabilities
  • Variable low-pass (40Hz-180Hz) and subsonic (17Hz-50Hz) crossover filters
  • Bass boost (0-12dB)
  • Selectable bass boost frequency (30Hz-80Hz)
  •  Stable at 1Ω
  • 1000W RMS power output (at 1Ω)


  • The amp doesn’t have high-level inputs

Best 3000-Watt Amps Over $200

The next three amps on the list are our favorites. Our top pick in this category is Audiopipe APCL 30001D. 

6. Hifonics BXX3000.1D

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.7]

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Hifonics has been on the market for more than 35 years. Their amps were a big deal during the 90s. Their mono amps were very powerful and reliable but also very expensive.

Hifonics amps are still very much competitive but they are most definitely not as great as they used to be. Hifonics BXX3016.1D is a Class-D mono amp with an advertised power output of 3000W. This model is very similar to BRX3016.1D. The only difference is a slightly lower RMS power output.


The amplifier comes with a bass-level remote, some mounting screws, a user manual, and a warranty card. You will have to pay extra for the wiring kit. You can use 1/0-gauge for the power terminals and 10-gauge for the speakers. 

The amp features a recognizable Hifonics design with a shiny aluminum chassis, large heatsinks, and illuminated logo and speaker outputs. The amplifier is 19in long, 10in wide, and 2.5in tall. 

When it comes to inputs, you only have RCA (low-level) inputs. There are no high-level inputs. The amp also has master-out and slave-in RCA ports in case you want to strap two amps together and get higher output. 

BXX3000.1D features variable low-pass and subsonic filters. The low-pass crossover range spans from 35Hz-250Hz while the subsonic range spans from 15Hz-35Hz.

If you like bassy sound, you can boost the bass by up to 10 dB. You can use the bass knob on the amp or, if you want a more convenient solution, you can install the bass remote that comes with the amp. You can also use the phase switch if you want to adjust the bass response. 

The amp is fused at 250A (250A inline fuse) and its efficiency reaches 80% since it’s class-D. If you apply the equation from the introduction, you will get the approx. max power output of 2880W.

The specs given in the user manual are a bit vague – the manufacturer publishes numbers but doesn’t give any info on the output type (RMS or Peak). If we assume that these are all RMS values, we can say that the outputs are a little bit overrated.

The manufacturer claims that BBX3000.1D can push 3000W at 1Ω, 1400W at 2Ω, and 700W at 4Ω. We didn’t find any amp dyno tests for this amp but, based on our experience, this amp can probably push 2500W continuously at 1Ω.

It’s not bad at all, especially when you consider the price but it’s still not on par with the advertised power output. This thing can probably power one or two 1000W/2Ω subwoofers.


  • Low-level RCA inputs 
  • Slave-in and Master-out RCA outputs 
  • Strapping capabilities
  • Variable low-pass (35Hz-250Hz) and subsonic (15Hz-35Hz) filters 
  • Bass boost (0-10dB) and phase switch (0-180°)
  • Stable at 1Ω
  • Reliable performance with one or two 1000W/2Ω subwoofers


  • The amp doesn’t have high-level inputs
  • The actual power output is slightly lower than advertised

7. AudioPipe APCL 30001D

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]

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Audiopipe is our favorite when it comes to balance between performance and price. Audiopipe amps are powerful, their advertised power ratings are very accurate, and their prices are very much affordable.

If you are looking for the most reliable 3000W amp under $400, APCL 30001D is probably the best choice. It’s a Class-D mono amp with an RMS output of 3000W (at 2Ω). The only real downside of this amp is that it’s not stable at 1Ω.


The packaging contains your amp, bass level remote, inline fuse holder with a 200A fuse, user manual, and warranty card. The wiring kit is not included. You can use 1/0-gauge wire for power terminals and 10 or 12-gauge for connecting the speakers. 

The amplifier features that recognizable AudioPipe design with black aluminum housing, a silver grille beneath the housing, and long heatsinks on the left and right sides. The amp is 27.9in long, 7in wide, and 2.2in tall. This is one of the longest 3000W amps on the market and the installation will require some planning. 

APCL 30001D features RCA (low-level) inputs. It doesn’t have high-level inputs or RCA preamp outputs. Also, this amp doesn’t have strapping capabilities. 

The amp features variable low-pass and subsonic filters. The Low-pass crossover range spans from 40Hz to 180Hz, while the subsonic crossover range spans from 5Hz to 50Hz. 

If you like bassy music, you can boost the bass by up to 12 dB. You can use the bass boost knob on the unit or the bass remote that comes with the amp. You can also select the frequency you want to boost (30Hz-80Hz) and change the phase (0-180°). 

According to the specs, this amp can push 3000W continuously at 2Ω or 1800W at 4Ω. Our calculations show lower max power output values (2304W), but you can find an amp dyno test for this amp on YouTube that confirms that APCL 30001D can really push 3000W into a 2Ω load.  

The amp features 4-way protection (overheat, overload, low voltage, and short circuit). 


  • RCA (low-level) inputs
  • 1/0-gauge compatible power terminals
  • Variable low-pass (40Hz-180Hz) and subsonic (5Hz-50Hz) crossover filters 
  • Bass boost (0-12dB) and selectable bass boost frequency (30Hz-80Hz)
  • Adjustable phase
  • Stable and reliable performance with 3000W RMS output (at 2Ω)
  • 4-way protection


  • No high-level inputs 
  • No strapping capabilities
  • Not stable at 1Ω

8. Hifonics H35 3000.1D

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.6]

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Here’s another amp made by Hifonics. This one is part of the special Hercules line that celebrates the 35th anniversary of this famous amp manufacturer. In terms of performance, Hifonics H35 is a bit weaker than the previously reviewed BXX3000.1D. The advertised max power output is 3000W at 1Ω.


Just like the previous Hifonics amp, H35 comes with bass-level remote, mounting screws, a user manual, and a warranty card. The wiring kit is not included. 

All the amps from the Hercules series look better than the amps from the BRX and BXX series, mostly because of the color choice and different heatsinks. H35 3000.1D is 22.4in long, 10in wide, and 3.5in tall. 

The amp features RCA low-level inputs and RCA preamp outputs. It doesn’t have high-level inputs. 

There are variable low-pass and subsonic crossover filters. Low-pass crossover range spans from 35Hz to 250Hz, while the subsonic range spans from 15Hz to 35Hz. 

If you want to augment the bass response (by up to 9dB), you can use the bass boost knob on the unit or the bass boost remote. The bass boost is centered around 45Hz.

According to our calculations, this amp can push 2304W max (at the lowest allowed impedance). The manufacturer claims that it can push up to 3000W.

Hifonics doesn’t publish RMS power ratings but, according to the amp dyno tests, H35 3000.1D can push 1500W+ continuously at 1Ω, 750W+ at 2Ω, or 375W+ at 4Ω. This amp offers pretty good performance for the price. It could probably power one 1000W/2Ω subwoofer.


  • Low-level inputs 
  • RCA preamp outputs
  • Variable low-pass (35Hz-250Hz) and subsonic (15Hz-35Hz) filters
  • Bass boost (0-9dB)
  • Stable and reliable performance with 1500W RMS output (at 1Ω load)


  • No high-level inputs
  • Not strappable

This is the end of our list of 8 best 3000-Watt amps. If there was nothing you liked on the list and if you want to keep searching, here’s a short buyer’s guide with some tips on what to look for when buying a car amp.

Buyer’s Guide – Things to Consider When Buying an Amp


If you need an amp that can push 3000W you have to invest more than $100, preferably more than $200. In our experience, all those budget 3000-Watt amps (amps under $100) are just a scam.

The manufacturers are not being honest about the specs and their power outputs are highly overrated. These amps are not bad for the price, but that doesn’t mean anything if you need your amp to produce 3000W of pure power. 

The cheapest amp that can actually push 3000W continuously is Taramp’s HD 3000. This is a Class-D mono amp. If you can spend more, you should check out Hifonics and Audiopipe amps (Hifonics BXX3000.1D and Audiopipe APCL30001D). 

Channels and Amplification Type

We have discussed the channels previously so there’s no need to repeat everything. Here’s a short recap. 

There are various kinds of amps – mono amps, stereo amps, 3-channel, 4-channel, and 5-channel amps. You should choose the amp that meets your needs and plans.

If you want to add one or two subwoofers, you just need a matching mono amp and there’s no need to buy a multichannel amp. If you want to upgrade the entire car stereo system (4 speakers), buying a 4-channel amp with the matching power outputs for the given impedance is the best option.

You can also make all kinds of combinations. For example, you can buy one mono amp for the subwoofers and one 4-channel amp for the other speakers and make them work together (you will have to buy a mono amp with preamp RCA outputs in order to do that).

Also, in some cases, buying two amps of the same kind (for example buying two mono 1000W amps) and strapping them could be a cheaper option than buying one 2000W amp. 

Amplification type is also important but you don’t really have a lot of options. Most of the multichannel amps are Class-AB (analog) while the majority of mono amps are Class-D (digital) amps.

Digital amplification has some very important advantages over analog amplification (lower operating temperatures, higher efficiency, higher power output) but the thing that keeps Class-AB amps in the game is the final product (sound).

Digital amps are simply not as good as analog amps when it comes to midrange and treble reproduction, and that’s what prevents the manufacturers from making only Class-D amps.

Class-D amps offer pretty good and nicely controlled bass reproduction and that’s why most of the mono amps are Class-D amps. 

Power outputs

This is the most confusing topic when it comes to car amps. Luckily, you can avoid buying the wrong amp by following a few simple pieces of advice.

First, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. All those budget amps with high outputs are not as good as their manufacturers claim. In fact, they are usually pretty bad and their real power ratings are very far from the advertised outputs. 

Second, look for the CEA-certified RMS power ratings. These are usually very accurate and quite useful. Unfortunately, CEA-2006 car amp standard is not mandatory and even some great high-end amps are not CEA-certified. 

Third, you could try to calculate the approximate value of the max output if you know the type of amplification and fuse rating (max current draw). This calculation will not give you the most accurate power output, but it can be a useful tool for determining the actual capabilities of a certain amp. 

In the end, you can look for amp dyno tests on YouTube. These tests are performed by third parties (YouTube reviewers) and, in some cases, by the manufacturers.

They are very accurate and can give you the best idea of what to expect from a certain amp. The number of amp dyno tests increases every day but there are still no tests for every amp on the market. 

Common features

Features you should be paying attention to are inputs (low and high-level), crossover filters (high-pass, low-pass, subsonic), preamp outputs, and strapping capabilities.

There are two common types of inputs – high-level (speaker level) and low-level (RCA) inputs. You should choose the amp with the appropriate input type.

Most of today’s preinstalled car receivers don’t have RCA outputs while most of the aftermarket receivers have RCA outputs.

Some amps have both input types. Others have only RCA inputs. If you buy an amp with RCA inputs and your car receiver doesn’t have RCA outputs, you will have to buy a high-to-low adapter with an appropriate number of channels. 

Multichannel amps usually have high and low-pass crossover filters. These filters can be fixed or variable and they allow you to select the frequencies sent to certain speakers.

So, by using these filters, you can decide which frequencies are sent to the subwoofer and which are sent to your stereo speakers. Mono amps usually have low-pass and subsonic filters. They can also be fixed or variable. 

Some mono amps have additional RCA outputs. In some cases, these outputs can be used for connecting another amp. For example, you can pair one mono amp that powers your subwoofer with one 2-channel or 4-channel amp that powers the other speakers. 

Some mono amps are also strappable. Strapping is the process of pairing two amps in order to get a greater power output. 

Amp Size

Amp size is important because you don’t have unlimited space. In fact, the available space is very limited. So, it’s crucial to take the dimensions of the amp into account.

Also, don’t forget about the additional space that’s necessary for proper ventilation. Amps can get pretty hot and, in order to deliver stable performance, they need good airflow. 


The installation is always the hardest part and it’s probably smarter to pay for professional installation. In case you want to do the installation on your own, you should know that the wiring kits are never included in the package and you have to pay extra for the kit.

Trying to save some money when buying a wiring kit is not a good idea. The price difference between the cheapest and priciest kits goes up to $100, but there’s a reason for that.

CCA (copper-clad aluminum) kits are usually very cheap but they don’t offer the same kind of performance as OFC (oxygen-free copper) kits.

OFC cables are much better conductors and don’t get as hot as CCA cables. So, the OFC wiring kit is a must. You don’t have to buy the most expensive OFC. You can find a decent OFC kit for $60.

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