There’s no need for me to stress on the abundant availability of different brands on the consumer market. You already know that, right? But there’s enough reason for me to highlight the fact that not all car amplifiers are powerful enough. So in this article, I’ve focused my attention on presenting the best 1000-watt amp for your vehicle.
Building a customized sound system is not only fun but also quite a rewarding experience. The activity encourages you to search for and install more powerful gear. And when using this kind of equipment, the power source has to be high-performing too.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best power amps currently trending in the industry.
Photo credit: lifewire.com
- Best 1000-Watt Amp: 10 Best Picks
- 1. Crown XLS1000 Power Amplifier – The Most Advanced Class-D 1000-Watt Amp
- 2. Behringer iNuke NU1000 – The Best Lightweight 1000-Watt Amp
- 3. QSC GX7 1000W Power Amplifier – The Best High-Performance 1000-Watt Amp
- 4. Rockford Fosgate Prime – The Best 1-Channel 1000-Watt Amp
- 5. MRX-M110 Alpine Monoblock – The Best 1000-Watt Amp for Entry-Level Systems
- 6. JL Audio JX1000/1D – The Best High-Quality 1000-Watt Amp
- 7. Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier – The Best Affordable 1000-Watt Amp
- 8. New Kenwood KAC-8406 – The Best 4-Channel 1000-Watt Amp
- 9. Alpine PDX-V9 5-Channel Extreme Power – The Best 5-Channel 1000 Watt Amp
- 10. Pyle PLAM1000 1,000-Watt 2-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier – The Best 1000-Watt Amp for Bass
- The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Right Car Amplifier
- The End
Best 1000-Watt Amp: 10 Best Picks
The items I’ve reviewed below are chosen based on performance, build quality and usability. Each model scores the highest points in all three aspects. With that in the clear, it’s time to get into the details!
Number Of Channels
#1 (Editor choice)
Our Top 1000-Watt Amp Recommendation:
1. Crown XLS1000 Power Amplifier – The Most Advanced Class-D 1000-Watt Amp
The thing about Crown is that they manufacture the best mid-range amplifiers. They deliver excellent performance without drilling a hole in your wallet. This is the primary reason for the popularity of the brand’s different range of products. And the Crown XLS1000 Power Amplifier is the proof of that.
The unit packs tons of features, which make it the most advanced version on the list. My personal favorite is the invaluable integrated crossovers. Given how exceptionally well they work I’m sure you’d love it too.
The Crown XLS1000 offers the exact Watt-Ohms combination. To be more specific, you get 215 watts for every channel at the 4 Ohms value. And this is routed through the excellent Class-D amplifier.
What’s more is that this amp is light in weight too. So convenience is also a big part of the picture. But it’s the sound quality that demands the most attention. In fact, the audio factor is something that won’t let you down, no matter what. And believe me, there’s nothing more compelling than that!
Another piece of good news is this. The Crown XLS1000 comes with multiple inputs and configurations. As a result of which flexibility also contributes to the success story.
The two features responsible for superior sound are switch-mode and integrated crossovers. On top of that, the unique Peakx limiters provide maximum protection to the speakers. So you know that the Crown XLS1000 Power Amplifier is a competitive product.
I found it hard to believe that the equipment has an audible hiss. But it’s true. Even when the volume is at zero without any input signal, you can hear some broadband noise. And this is nothing but a problem with the brand’s quality control.
- The amp provides additional Ohms flexibility and power.
- It is light in weight and shallow.
- Digital filtering is a huge plus point.
- The unit tends to overheat.
- It has a few noise issues.
Crown Audio Amplifier Testing
2. Behringer iNuke NU1000 – The Best Lightweight 1000-Watt Amp
Behringer is not only one of the best car amplifier brands but also the oldest. The company has developed a pretty neat reputation for manufacturing high-quality power amps. And there’s no reason to believe why the Behringer iNuke NU1000 is any different.
The unit is an excellent option for budget builders and beginners. Now, let’s talk features. This best 1000-watt amp offers two 500-watt channels at the 2 Ohms value. You can also work with 300 watts at the 4 Ohms value.
But the characteristic that defines the amp is the combo of simplicity and build quality. Many amps tend to overheat during operation. But that’s not the deal with this model. In fact, the thing is equipped with enough features that provide protection. These contribute to eliminating all kinds of potential problems.
As for the sound quality, distortion is not a part of the scene at all. Even at a higher wattage! The clean tone is a huge advantage given the affordable price tag of the Behringer iNuke NU1000.
Reliability comes in the form of the revolutionary high-density technology known as Class-D. And expect no thermal buildup either. In my opinion, that’s not just reliability. It’s what I like to call ultimate reliability!
Even though the performance level of the Behringer iNuke NU1000 is up to the mark, the flaw still remains. And that is poor durability.
- The amp delivers seamless transient response.
- Power consumption capacity is low.
- There are no output and input features included.
- The housing of the system is not heavy-duty.
iNUKE NU1000 Ultra-Lightweight High-Density 1000-Watt Power Amplifier
3. QSC GX7 1000W Power Amplifier – The Best High-Performance 1000-Watt Amp
The QSC GX7 Amplifier is one of those models that have the ability to transform your sound system. The product is worth every penny you spend on it. So it’s time to get to know the amp better.
As far as audio quality goes, the QSC GX7 offers professional-level performance. The amplifier is suitable for all kinds of PA systems. It consists of 2 channels; each has the capacity of working with double 8-Ohms speakers. So it’s safe for me to state that there’s no other unit more capable than the one at hand.
Furthermore, the I/O options you get with the simple layout are nothing but praiseworthy. They include the necessary input features along with the useful connectors. On top of that, this amp uses the remarkable Class-H technology output section. Now I know why the gear gets the opportunity to be lightweight! (Amplifier classes)
And lastly, let’s not forget to discuss the GuardRail component. This protection has the ability to produce complete peak power. And it does so while also eliminating detrimental overloads. What more could you have asked for, right!
The beauty of the QSC amplifier is that it’s packed with enough power to handle the majority of PA speakers. The equipment is built to power even today’s more popular subwoofers. It can also work with two standard 8-Ohms speakers for every channel. So if this doesn’t sound like the best 1000-watt amp, then what does!
There is one major drawback though. The fan of the QSC GX7 1000W Power Amplifier is a tad too loud. At certain levels, it feels as if the blades of the fan are trying to impact something within.
- The amp produces clean sound with no distortion.
- GuardRail protection preserves music integrity against all odds.
- It is suitable for heavy-duty systems and purposes.
- The unit has a noisy fan.
GX Series Amplifiers (QSC)
4. Rockford Fosgate Prime – The Best 1-Channel 1000-Watt Amp
If what you want is moderately high power for your subwoofer, look no further. The Rockford Fosgate Prime 750 Watt Class D 1 Channel Amplifier is perfect for the job. The budget-friendly pick is suitable for deep-hitting truck and car subwoofers.
The little beast runs four output channels. And let me tell you all about its power ranges. You get 250 watts at the 4 Ohms value, 600 watts at 2 Ohms, and 750 watts at 1 Ohm. But during my testing, this 1000-watt amp gave me 900 RMS at 1 Ohm. Isn’t that impressive!
Moving on, there are various adjustments that you can make. These include altering features like gain, Freq Hz, Punch EQ, and so on. The gear also features useful crossovers for a better experience.
To sum it up, I rank this as the best amplifier for car subwoofer. Nothing on the current market beats this particular pick within that category. I’ve tried and tested many units, so you can trust me when I make such a claim.
Fosgate is a company known for quality, am I right? In that context, the Rockford Fosgate Prime 750 Watt Class D 1 Channel Amplifier doesn’t disappoint. Plus, the output that the amp delivers is simply amazing. So don’t be surprised if it surpasses all your expectations.
But only when compared to other amplifiers, this model lacks durability.
- The amp has a compact, lightweight design.
- Overheating is not a problem in this case.
- Hooking it up is an easy task.
- Durability is questionable.
Rockford Fosgate Technology: Constant Power
5. MRX-M110 Alpine Monoblock – The Best 1000-Watt Amp for Entry-Level Systems
The choice of amp depends on only one factor. How much power your music system demands, right? In that case, let me introduce you to the MRX-M110 Alpine Monoblock 1100W RMS X-Power Amplifier. By far, this is the only model that delivers the greatest power to the subs. In that case, you have superior sound quality to look forward to.
The sleek design of this amp is another praiseworthy characteristic. But once you recognize the crisp, clean sound feeding capacity, you wouldn’t want to look at anything else.
The max power that you can achieve with the Alpine amplifier is 2000 watts. 2 Ohms receives 1100 watts and 4 Ohms receives 600 watts.
How about extra features? The gear includes an integrated crossover, subsonic filter, and controls for Bass EQ. Also, note that this best monoblock amp is compatible with useful devices. Such as the bass controller! So you don’t even have to worry about producing accurate, clean bass.
High power and top quality are the two standout points. So there’s no doubting the durability and performance of Alpine products. Feel free to throw whatever you like at the unit and expect it to exceed expectations.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t provide terminal covers for installation. So this might be a problem for first-time users.
- The amp lights up and runs cool.
- The mounting depth is shallow.
- No terminal covers included in the package.
Alpine X-Power Amplifier
6. JL Audio JX1000/1D – The Best High-Quality 1000-Watt Amp
The best car audio amplifier ever made is the one designed by none other than JL Audio. The company always offers an excellent combination of cost and price. And it has done so yet again with this particular unit.
The JL Audio JX1000/1D Monoblock Class D Car Amplifier has the capacity to power big subwoofers. And that too without trying too hard!
It’s time to get to the numbers. The gear powers 1000 watts at the 2 Ohms value. Followed by 750 watts at 3 Ohms and 500 watts at 4 Ohms! And the performance was nothing but consistent during trial and testing.
On top of that, this amp features variable control for bass boost. The turn-on feature is also designed in the most efficient manner. It prevents popping and clicking. Such an element is always a part of automotive amplifiers. So there’s the upper hand!
In all, the JL Audio Amplifier is compact and light in weight. It’s a powerful unit that fits in tight spots without getting overheated.
Let me highlight the fact that the product is nothing short of a monster. I used it on 2 shallow-mounted subwoofers. And the result was pretty impressive. The unit has the ability to pound like no other.
When working with the best 1000-watt amp, you don’t expect the thing to shut off every now and then. Am I right? In that case, you might be a little disappointed here.
- The JL Audio amp is compact yet powerful.
- It produces hard, solid bass.
- Sound reproduction capacity is excellent.
- The unit randomly shuts off sometimes.
JL Audio Factory Tour with Jeff Mckee
7. Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier – The Best Affordable 1000-Watt Amp
If what you’re searching for is the best 1000-watt amp with a budget-friendly price tag, you’re in the right place. The Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier is the only cheap (price-wise) option on the list. And there’s no reason to believe that the performance level is any different due to the low price.
To my surprise, the 2-channel amp is the most user-friendly pick. And that’s the greatest convincing aspect. Well, that and the RCA output compatibility.
The Class-D technology amp includes a bass boost feature. This is very useful for adjusting the bass level to your liking. On top of that, you have the variable LPF (low pass filter) to bring more flexibility into the music scene.
If that wasn’t enough, Pioneer has also equipped the gear with Protection Control. Such a system takes the internal temperature into account. And based on that, it moderates the input level. Isn’t that a first in the reviews section!
I’m going to use this textbox to highlight a unique component. The kind that convinces you to go ahead and make the purchase!
The Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier contains durable, stable circuitry. This reduces the chances of the unit consuming large input power so as to produce 1 Ohm connection.
You should also know that such a design promotes flexibility. And that, in turn, allows you to connect many subs to one system.
The main problem lies with the useful control knob. When you turn it down completely, the thing fails to cut off power. But to be fair, this doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker.
- The Pioneer amp offers versatile performance.
- Installing it is an easy process.
- Can’t use control knob to shut off power.
- There’s no fan to keep the unit cool.
8. New Kenwood KAC-8406 – The Best 4-Channel 1000-Watt Amp
Isn’t it always a better idea to select a product from a well-reputable brand? Kenwood is a company that has been a part of the music equipment manufacturing industry for decades now. So the chances of coming across Kenwood audio systems are likely.
In that sense, it’s only logical to assume that the brand has a remarkable offering for the best 1000-watt amp as well.
The Kenwood KAC-8406 Car Amplifier powers more than only standard component speakers. It has the capacity to work with small-medium subwoofers too.
The unit is packed with 4 channels that you can use to hook up your speakers. Single channel takes 450 watts RMS at the 4 Ohms value. Then comes 200 watts from double channels at the 4 Ohms value. And lastly, 70 watts from all the four channels again at the 4 Ohms value.
The sound quality is excellent with abundant power. The audio is not only crisp and clear but pretty loud too. So if that doesn’t sway you in the right direction, I don’t know what will!
Running component speakers as well as small to medium range subwoofers is the primary function here. I can think of no other better car amplifier fit for the job than the one I’m reviewing.
Plus, the cost and quality are also quite appealing factors if you’re a budget-friendly consumer.
So what’s the problem with the Kenwood KAC-8406 Car Audio Power Amplifier? It gets heated up, which causes it to shut off.
- The Kenwood amp increases volume without clipping.
- Watt ratings are nothing but true.
- Distortion does exist.
- It tends to overheat.
Sound Quality Final
9. Alpine PDX-V9 5-Channel Extreme Power – The Best 5-Channel 1000 Watt Amp
Yet another product by Alpine makes its way to my list of the best 1000-watt amp! This time it’s the Alpine PDX-V9 5-Channel Extreme Power Density Digital Amplifier. The unit is perfect for a heavy-duty system. This includes the complete component speaker audio system along with 1-2 subwoofers.
Alpine does an excellent job at manufacturing compact amplifiers. And that too with phenomenal internal technology! The audio quality that you get to experience is unbeatable. Especially when compared to other models!
The max power is 1600 watts, which is quite impressive. RMS of 100 watts for four channels and 500 watts for a single channel. That’s the deal with the numbers!
And what about connecting speaker wires to the power supply? Thanks to the quick, easy connect terminals; you don’t even have to worry about that aspect. (Car amplifier installation guide)
To my surprise, both build and sound quality are top-notch. And that’s the best part, isn’t it? When dealing with amplifiers, durability and the way the music comes out are factors that play a significant role. So there’s no disappointment in those departments.
But the part that might let you down is the bass response. It’s quite a letdown when the bass starts to sound ridiculous.
- The small footprint enables easy installation.
- The design is sleek and sharp.
- Working mechanism is smooth and noiseless.
- The quality of bass is poor.
- Overheating is not eliminated.
ALPINE PDX-series layered system
10. Pyle PLAM1000 1,000-Watt 2-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier – The Best 1000-Watt Amp for Bass
The last pick is what I like to call the best car amplifier for bass. I’m talking about the Pyle PLAM1000 1,000-Watt 2-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier. And there’s nothing but the remarkable bass boost feature to hold responsible for that. This particular component allows you to adjust the settings associated with Bass EQ. So you can achieve just the kind of kick you demand.
The whole unit does an excellent job of delivering high-quality, high-power sound to the speakers. The amp is sturdy and well-equipped with heatsinks. It accepts both low and high-level inputs. As a result of which you can enjoy tunes irrespective of the head unit.
As an audiophile, you might also appreciate the variable gain settings, integrated crossover, and 3-way configuration. All these components further enhance usability. Thus making the Pyle PLAM1000 a user-friendly pick!
But the part that steals the limelight is the unique MOSFET power supply. What the feature does is allow distortion-free, clean signals to travel to the speakers. And as for safety, there’s the short circuit, overload, and thermal protection. So every aspect is pretty much covered, don’t you think?
You might think making EQ adjustments for bass is a complicated task. And that’s because this is the case with a few units. But that doesn’t apply to the Pyle PLAM1000 1,000-Watt 2-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier. Tweaking the EQ is comparatively easier here. And to me, that sounds like a huge relief!
Unfortunately, the equipment doesn’t rank so high, quality-wise. So durability takes a major blow.
- Overheating is not eliminated.
- Setting up the Pyle amp is quite straightforward.
- The sound is clean and loud.
- Quality is the weakest factor.
The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Right Car Amplifier
Photo credit: intl.jlaudio.com
If you want to install a new amp or upgrade the existing one, you have to keep in mind essential factors. The three most important characteristics include:
3. System compatibility.
So let’s discuss each of them below. But before I do that, you should know the benefits of using an amplifier in the first place.
Advantages of the Best Car Amplifier
- Improved Sound Quality
When you add an amp to your car audio system, it drives the speakers without pushing their limits. An external amplifier is nothing like the one integrated into the factory-built stereo. It means that the power amplifier’s design isn’t space-limited. As a result of which the music sounds more defined and cleaner at any volume level.
- More Speaker Power
In-dash and factory systems don’t do justice when it comes to pairing up well with upgraded speakers. Including component or aftermarket, high-quality speakers!
Are these the kind you’re dealing with? If yes, then they need extra power to hit their peak performance level. So at such times, nothing delivers more power than the best 1000 watt amp.
- Powering Subwoofers
Once again, in-dash and factory systems don’t provide enough power to support a subwoofer. Such equipment demands the use of an individual amp for operation.
Choosing the Best Car Amplifier
The thing about amps is that they come in different configurations. How many channels you require depends on the number of speakers your sound system contains. As a general rule, one channel per speaker is an ideal choice. If a subwoofer is also a part of the music system, you don’t need more than only one channel amplifier.
You should know that there are mono amps within the popular “class D” category. These units consume minimal power and produce less heat for subwoofer amplification.
But models with six, four, or two channels are more versatile. Any 2-channel car amplifier has the ability to power 2 coaxial speakers or 2 woofers. You can also use it to manage an individual subwoofer.
But if you wish to add a single sub while also providing additional power to the full-range rear speakers, then you need the 4-channel amplifier. In that regard, each rear speaker receives a single channel to function. While the other 2 do an excellent job at powering the subwoofer!
At the same time, you can also work with that same amp to power all 4 coaxial speakers. And then put in an independent mono amplifier for your subwoofer.
Note that component music systems are more complicated. For this reason, they demand an increased number of external crossovers, amps, and so on.
When you under-power those speakers, the quality of sound gets compromised. No wonder people like you and me buy speakers first before finding the best 1000-watt amp to power them!
Even if you’re dealing with factory-installed speakers, you need an appropriate amplifier. The kind that can put out at least 100 to 120 percent of the given number!
And most importantly, power is a factor that you cannot avoid when a sub is also a part of the scene. Bridging 2 separate channels with the help of an invaluable multi-channel unit provides optimal power for a subwoofer. However, this is not the best idea for all situations.
Sometimes the amplifier isn’t an excellent match for your sub’s specific power needs. In that case, what you require is an individual mono amplifier. One that is capable of performing the job properly.
- System (Amplifier and Head Unit) Compatibility
Are you building your own car music system from scratch? If yes, then the work demands the presence of the following equipment.
- Head unit with preamp outputs
- An amplifier with line level inputs
Clear sound quality is inevitable when you provide unamplified action to your amp.
The majority of factory-installed head units along with the aftermarket ones don’t include preamp outputs. So if you’re dealing with any of these, you’d want the best 1000-watt amp with speaker-level inputs. As a result of which the nature of sound improves. Plus, you won’t even have to worry about using additional adapters or wiring.
- Installing Car Amplifier
Wiring the best 1000-watt amp or any other amplifier is no rocket science. But the installation and wiring process requires some consideration. Especially when it comes to the location aspect!
Most cars don’t offer factory-installed amps. For this reason, it’s your duty to figure out where to fit that hardware. Keeping this in mind, it’s always a better idea to have a few measurements at hand before deciding what to buy.
Let me list down three most popular locations for installation below.
1. Inside the trunk
2. Under the seat (either one)
3. Against passenger seat firewall
Also, note that providing power to the amp means having to run additional wires. So you have to be prepared before making the final decision.
My Choice: Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier
I’ve reviewed some of the highest-rated amps capable of providing a power output of 1000 watts. Each model discussed meets the criteria. And that revolves around a stable operation and good sound. Plus, I’ve made it a point to include something for all kinds of buyers.
But the one unit that takes it all is the Pioneer GM-D8601 Class D Mono Amplifier. Small size and big power is the only way to describe this particular 1000-watt amp. It comes with a bass boost advantage. And not just that; you can even make use of the LPF (low pass filter) feature to adjust audio frequency!
Furthermore, the Protection Control technology senses internal temperature. And uses it to moderate the input level automatically, and accordingly!
So if you wish to connect your subwoofers, you can rely on the flexibility of the Pioneer amplifier. Small size and big power; don’t forget that.