Monoblock amps are an excellent place to start building out your system. But, buy the wrong amp, and you risk blowing out your system and losing hundreds of dollars. My team tested the best monoblock amplifiers to help you avoid buying a faulty product.
THE 10 BEST MONOBLOCK AMPS FOR CAR AUDIO IN 2020
1) Rockville dB15 6000 Watt/2000w RMS Mono D
The dB15 is one of the best classic mono amps. This amp is a Class D monoblock with 6000 watts at peak output. It’s capable of handling powerful subwoofers to help significantly expand your system. During testing, we found this to be an easy amp to tune even for beginners, which can save a lot of time. More importantly, we’re big fans of Rockville products here at On Track, they are consistent in their manufacturing and only use top quality parts.
- Fully adjustable 12dB/Octave crossover
- Easy to install wired remote control
- RCA cable inputs accept balanced and unbalanced inputs
- Affordable price for the power and quality
- Included screws may be too long
2) DS18 Gen-X Class D Monoblock 6000 Watts
Despite not having the name recognition of companies like Rockford Fosgate, DS18 has a great monoblock in terms of quality. The GEN-X6000.1D is a premium D unit. The power output is 700 watts RMS at 4 ohms, 1,200 watts RMS at 2 ohms, and 2,000 watts RMS at 1 ohm. It has a remote control to adjust more easily levels and with an easy installation kit for both the amp and the remote. It’s a great mono amp to add to your sound system without breaking the bank.
- MOSFET transistors with low pass crossover
- 0dB to + 12dB Bass Boost
- 30Hz to 80Hz Frequency Response
- Includes a subsonic filter
- Larger design
3) BOSS Audio Systems AR1500M Car Amplifier 1500 Watts
BOSS is another major name in the car audio industry along with JL Audio. They have a reputation for producing high-quality equipment to fit a variety of budgets. This is one of their more affordable products and the second most affordable option on our list. The maximum power output is 1500 at 2 ohms and 750 watts at 4 ohms. It has a powerful switchable bass boost letting you boost the low bass to +18dB. The overall build is compact, so this can be a good option for smaller cars with less space.
- 6-year online warranty
- High and low-level inputs
- Compact design for easier installation
- More affordable than similar amplifiers
- No infrasonic filter
4) Rockville RXD-M4 6000 Watt/3000w RMS Mono D
The RXD-M4 is equal in quality to the DB14 with just a little more power to send to your audio system subwoofer. It comes with all of the features you need, including high-speed MOSFET power supply and a CEA compliant power rating, which is rated at less than 1% distortion. It has 6,000 watts peak outputs and 3,000 watts RMS outputs. This product comes with free shipping and a full 90-day money-back guarantee, including reimbursed return shipping. You get a full 1-year warranty, which is more than many of the best monoblock amplifiers we reviewed.
- Frequency response between 10Hz and 500Hz
- 1-year warranty and free shipping
- Adjustable 12dB bass equalizer
- Features a high-speed MOSFET power supply
- Bulkier design
5) Rockford Fosgate R250X1D Prime 1-Channel D
The name Rockford Fosgate has long been associated with quality. The R250X1D continues in this tradition bringing up to 250 watts root mean square (RMS power). The unit is smaller than some mono amps making it easier to install in tighter spaces. It has a cast-aluminum heat sink keeping it cool even in summer months and an easy to access control panel. You can use this Rockford Fosgate mono channel amp with a custom system or wire your factory head unit in. It comes with a wired remote and install kit for added convenience.
- Wired bass remote and install kit included
- Low-pass filter with punch boost
- Stable power output and performance
- Compact design for easier installation
- Remote light too bright
6) Pioneer GM-D9701 2400W Max 1-Channel GM Digital Champion Series Class-D
This is an excellent amp for smaller cars tight on space. It’s efficiently designed to make it easier to install with easy access controls built on the side. The GM-D9701 has a variable low-pass filter for a smoother signal and a MOSFET power supply. The RMS rating is 500 watts x 1 channel at 4 ohms, 800 x 1 channel at 2 ohms, 1200 x 1 channel at 1 ohm. It has a heavy-duty aluminum alloy heat-sink to keep the unit from overheating.
- Wired bass boost remote
- Variable low-pass filter
- Nickel-plated RCA inputs and screw terminals
- Streamlined compact design
- More expensive than other options
7) Skar Audio RP-1200.1D Monoblock Class D MOSFET Amplifier
Skar Audio is a premier car audio manufacturer with over a decade of producing car amplifiers and other equipment. This is one of their mid-range amps with enough power for a single 1,200-watt subwoofer or two 600 watt subs. It’s got 1,600 watts max power at 1 ohm and RMS power of 1,200 watts at 1 ohm, 800 at 2 ohms, and 500 at 4 ohms. Other features include variable adjustment tunings for gain level, low-pass filter, and a subsonic filter. The unit comes with wired bass level control for added convenience with an easy install setup.
- Over 1,600 watts at max power output
- Frequency response of 20Hz to 250Hz
- Metal shell with built-in heat sinks
- Bass level adjustment knob
- Bulkier design
8) Ignite Audio R3000/1D Monoblock Car Amp 6000 Watts
If brand name products aren’t as relevant to you, the Ignite Audio R3,000 is an excellent choice. This amp has a max power output of 4,000 watts with RMS power handling of 1,020 watts at 1 ohm, 720 at 2, and 420 at 4. The unit has easy to access and easily adjustable controls with bass boost between 0dB and 18dB. It comes with everything you need for installation and has a relatively compact design that is easier to install than many similar subwoofer amp units.
- Included bass control knob
- Optimized circuit layout for clear quality
- 1-year manufacturers warranty
- Low level inputs sensitivity of 0.2-6v
- No low pass filter
9) Planet Audio TR4000.1D Car Amp 4000 Watts
If price is the most crucial factor when purchasing equipment for your car audio system, this is a good choice. The Planet Audio TR4000 is the most budget-friendly of all the best mono amps we reviewed. It has a max power rating of 1,500 and comes with remote subwoofer control for added convenience. This is an A/B unit, which means it’s built to optimize both efficiency and power output for optimal sound quality. The unit comes with a variable bass boost and has an easy to install remote to make adjustments easier.
- MOSFET power supply
- Chrome-plated connectors and RCA outputs
- Variable low pass crossover
- Most budget-friendly option
- Amp runs a bit hot
10) Alpine PDXM12 1200W Mono RMS Digital Amplifier
Alpine is one of the most well-known brands in the car audio industry, along with brands such as JL Audio. The company sells top-quality products, and their PDXM12 follows in this tradition. This product comes with thermal protection circuitry and a 6-layer glass epoxy PC board. It has a total RMS power of 1,200 and has easy to access RCA outputs and remote bass control. The overall design is compact and easy to install in smaller cars, so if you’re short on space, this may be a good option.
- Thermal protection circuitry
- High efficiency
- Solid punch
- Compact subwoofer amp
- No speaker-level inputs
Monoblock Amplifiers Buyers Guide
There are several different amplifier classes. They are rated by level of efficiency with A being the least efficient with the highest fidelity and D or A/B being the most efficient with the lowest fidelity.
Class A amplifiers have the cleanest output and clear sound. These amplifiers also have high fidelity, generally written as HI-FI, and low distortion. The downside of these amps is that they are often large and bulky and produce a lot of heat.
Class B amps are more efficient than A amplifiers. They are also smaller and produce significantly less heat. The downside is they have lower fidelity and distort more so they don’t reproduce sound quite as well as their A counterpart.
A/B amplifiers give you the best of both a Class A and B amps. They are more efficient than an A amplifier but distort significantly less than a Class B. They are midway in terms of fidelity, so they will do a better job at reproducing the original, studio-quality sound than a B amp would.
Class D amplifiers are the most efficient due to their utilization of switching technology. This changes the signal into an on/off waveform. These waveforms are usually off, which helps preserve energy and uses less power. These amps are also smaller and generally easier to install.
The main drawback of a Class D amplifier is that they can distort at higher frequencies more easily. So, you need to take into consideration the tradeoff before going this route.
In making sure that an amplifier is right for your setup, the first thing to take into consideration is your power needs. You need to look at everything you will be connecting to the amp to ensure the output is sufficient to power your setup. Each of your subwoofers has an RMS and Max wattage rating. Use this to help you when finding the right subwoofer for you (3).
It is okay to buy an amp that has too much power for your system. But, you do not want to get an amp that does not have enough power, or you may end up blowing it. Also, an underpowered mono amplifier is going to cause your system to sound poor and increases the risk of causing damage to your speakers and subs.
It is essential to check the impedance rating of any amp you are looking to purchase. The impedance rating is how easy it is for the amp to send power to your speakers. The lower the number, the easier it is to carry power, and the higher the number, the more your amp has to work.
For a monoblock, you will generally see a rating of either 2 ohms or 4 ohms. Most of the monoblocks on our list have a 2 ohm rating, which is the most stable. Some amps also work on both ratings so you can switch between the two.
Size and Shape
The size of the amp is going to affect where you can install it and your options when it comes to set up. Monoblocks vary significantly in their size and shape, and choosing one that is too big for your vehicle, or that is a strange shape may leave you frustrated during installation.
Before you even pick the amp you want, you need first to review your vehicle and see where you have free space for the amp. The best places are usually in the trunk of your vehicle, as that’s where your subs will be. If you have a truck, then behind the cab seating can be a good choice. If those areas don’t work, you next want to check under your seats to see if there is enough free space.
Go through your car and measure any free space you have, starting with the areas closest to your subwoofer. Once you have a few different ideas where you can place your amp and the size you have to work with, you can select an amp that is going to fit your car without any issues.
Ease of Installation and Setup
If you plan to get an amp and install it yourself, you want to find something that doesn’t require a complicated setup. Installing and setting up your amp should be simple in theory. But, with screws going in strange places and hard to access tuning knobs, some amps are better for this than others.
There are a few questions that you want to ask yourself before you get an amp. This can include how easy it is to access the control panel after you install the amp in your car. How much space you have to work with. Or, how simple the wiring will be and whether the amp is complicated to tune or not.
There are numerous different features that you can find with mono amps. But, not all of these features are going to make much of a difference in your sound. Some of them even be counterintuitive as they make it more complicated to tune your amp as a beginner (5) correctly. Some of the main features you should look out for include:
Subwoofer Remote Control
This is usually a knob that connects through wiring. The control will allow you to adjust the bass between each song manually. Remember, the bass levels vary depending on the type of music you are listening to and between each song. Being able to adjust the bass boost will allow you to optimize so that your music will sound great, from song to song.
Any amp you get must have an efficient method of dissipating heat. If your amp overheats, it can damage critical components making it useless.
Some amps have a cast aluminum body that helps with dissipation. This is an excellent feature to look for. Other amplifiers have heat-sinks or thermal protection mechanisms (6). Regardless of which one you opt for, the most important thing is that it has some mechanism for dealing with heat. A hot running amp isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. But, you will want to make sure to install it in an area away from direct sunlight.
Because they have a lot of complicated parts that are constantly in use, your amps can be one of the first components of your audio system to burn out. You want to make sure that any amp you purchase has a solid warranty. Most of the products we reviewed have at the very least a one year warranty with the option to extend. A good warranty range is between one and six years, but you may need to buy an extended warranty from Amazon or the manufacturer if they give you the opportunity.
Most frequent questions about monoblock amps
A monoblock amplifier is used for transmitting a single audio signal. This is commonly used to power low-frequency producing speakers such as subwoofers. A mono amp has one channel in contrast to multi-channel amplifiers.
The difference between a mono amp and a regular amp is the mono amp has one input and one output. This is in contrast to multi-channel amps that have two or more channels. Mono amplifiers are best at providing maximum power at lower impedances, usually around 2 ohms.
A monoblock amplifier is better than a 2-channel amplifier at powering low-frequency producing speakers such as subwoofers. Many people use mono amplifiers to power their subwoofers and multi-channel amplifiers to power the front and rear speakers.
You can put two subs on a monoblock amp. To do this, you wire the negative from the amplifier to the first sub and then the first sub to the second. The same goes for the positive. You need to ensure that the power supply from the amp is enough for both subwoofers.
A monoblock amplifier can run door speakers. If you want to run door speakers of your monoblock, it’s best to run the left speaker on one amp and the right speaker on another. You need to make sure your amps are full range with a high pass filter.
Class D monoblock amplifiers are the most efficient amplifier currently available. A Class D amp works by creating a high-frequency pulse of DC. This pulse is then modified by the input signal and runs through the amplifying output transistors forming high-power output. While Class D amps are the most efficient, they offer the lowest fidelity.
The best class amp for fidelity is the Class A amplifier. The downside of a Class A amp is that it can get extremely hot and is incredibly inefficient. The best class amp for efficiency is the Class D amplifier.
Our Verdict On The Best Monoblock Amplifier For Car Audio
After thoroughly testing and researching amps, we concluded that the Rockville Db14 is the best monoblock amplifier on the market right now. It has everything you need to run even powerful subwoofers and still sound great. The size and shape are conducive to fitting in a variety of vehicles in spaces both large and small. You’ll like that it has a 1-year warranty, free shipping, and a 90-day guarantee so you can buy with confidence. The price is reasonable for the amount of power and the level of quality that you are getting.
Our #1 Recommendation
- Affordable price compared to quality
- 1-year warranty
- Compact and simple to install
- Adjustable bass control remote
Sidney U. Harman has over 10 years of experience working in the AVL industry. He originally cut his teeth as a stagehand in the OKC area before moving to Denton for university. After learning to run the boards, he developed a solid passion for sound. His obsession with car audio developed 5 years ago as a natural progression from commercial AVL.