Want your car sound system to produce deep earth-shaking bass? If you’re a bass lover but your car is lacking enough bass despite investing in the best car subwoofer, then what you’re probably lacking is a 1-ohm stable amp.
A 1-ohm stable amp meets all the requirements of a car subwoofer for optimum performance. The circuit of the amp generates enough power to produce low frequencies. Also, the amp handles the extreme power needs of a subwoofer without overheating. However, this is only possible by investing in the best 1 ohm stable amp.
Unfortunately, buying a reliable 1-ohm stable amp isn’t a walk in the park, especially for first-time buyers. Considering the dozens of different models available on today’s market, it becomes quite challenging to pick out the best option. It’s often challenging for many buyers to differentiate between premium quality amps and hyped products.
Luckily for you, we’ve made your shopping experience smoother and easier by reviewing the most reliable 1-ohm stable amps on the market today. When choosing an amplifier for your car subwoofer, you should go for efficiency, reliability, and power. At the same time, you don’t have to break the bank. Read on for the best performing 1-ohm stable amps and stand better chances of choosing the best product.
Top Eight 1 Ohm Stable Amp
In this guide, we’ve reviewed eight different 1-ohm stable amps. We carefully picked the best options available today based on a thorough assessment of each model including the build quality, product specifications, and the performance of each amp.
1. Best Overall: Kicker 46CXA8001 Car Audio Class D Amp
The Kicker 46CXA8001 Car Audio Class D Amp is our best overall pick, thanks to its incredible performance and reliability that makes it outmatch most amplifiers of its kind. It’s an upgrade of the Kicker 46CXA4001 Amp. When compared to Kicker 46CXA4001 that has an RMS power rating of 400 watts, the Kicker 46CXA8001 Amp is packed with an RMS power rating of 800 watts at 1 ohm and a Max power rating of 1600 watts.
The Kicker 46CXA8001 is closely comparable to the Kicker 46CXA18001 Amp in terms of performance and reliability, but the Kicker 46CXA8001 is more affordable and more compact than Kicker 46CXA18001.
Another reason why the Kicker 46CXA8001 amp is our top pick is that it delivers clean and powerful signal output, thanks to the incredible technology behind its construction. It’s suitable for installation in about any car without replacing the head unit. Also, you don’t have to add a line-out converter to use this amp.
- Low-powered- One of its top features is that it’s a low-powered amplifier. Despite being packed with so much power, it only requires just 9 volts DC to power it up. Thus, it won’t draw a lot of power from your car battery, leaving other car electronics with sufficient power even when the engine is not running.
- Supports high-powered signal input- Another top feature of this amp is that it efficiently works with very high voltage signal input. You can safely feed it with a speaker level input of as high as 40 volts, which is an equivalent of 400 watts without affecting its performance.
- KICKER’s FIT technology- The amp is specially integrated with KICKER’s FIT technology. It’s a special circuit that allows for noise-free amp performance. The technology also eliminates the need to use a line output converter (LOC). Consequently, the amp works with higher input voltage effortlessly and without dissipating a lot of heat.
- Patented KickEQ- The amp features a 6dB variable bass boost functionality with patented KickEQ. The special KICKER equalizer allows you to boost the bass output with extra boom. That way, you can enjoy listening to extra low frequencies.
- Built-in crossover and subsonic filter- We also noted that the amp features a very powerful 12dB built-in crossover. It also features a high-performance built-in 24dB subsonic filter. The crossover and subsonic filter allow you to tune your sound system to the kind of sound output you want.
- The subsonic filter keeps an audio system protected from any damaging frequencies
- Its 3-second turn ON/OFF delay functionality eliminates any unwanted signal interference
- Its design allows it to work with almost any car radio, head unit, or receiver
- You can easily install it in tight spaces, thanks to its compact design
- Its support for a high-powered speaker level input signal makes it flexible and eliminates the need to use a line-out converter while at the same time optimizes the sound quality
- You need to buy a separate bass control remote to use the bass boost functionality
Are you shopping for a 1 Ohm stable amp that combines reliability, flexibility, and power? If so, this Kicker 46CXA8001 Car Audio Class D Amp is your best pick.
2. Our Premium Pick: Skar Audio SKv2-1500.1D Monoblock
At 1 Ohm, this amp from Skar Audio outputs 1500 watts RS and a peak power rating of 2200 watts. Although it’s the least powerful amplifier in the Skar Audio Skv2 amplifiers, it’s the most compact amplifier in the series.
Its construction is very impressive. The out casing is made of a heavy-duty material for enhanced durability. The casing is also designed in a way that allows free air circulation across it for enhanced heat dissipation.
- Remote bass control- The amp comes with a remote bass control. Rather than struggling to use the onboard bass boost control knob, you can install the remote bass control to a more accessible location for easier bass control. The remote bass control comes with a clipping indicator light that comes on to alert you that you’ve set higher gain than the appropriate level.
- Adjustable LPF- It features an adjustable low pass filter (LPF) with a variable frequency of between 35Hz to 250Hz. The adjustable LPF will allow you to control the low frequencies that pass through the filter. As a result, you can control the bass output depending on how low you want the bass output.
- Efficient heat sink- The amp comes with an efficient heat sink that features a heavy-duty construction. The heat sink is designed to dissipate heat efficiently and reliably to keep the amp running cool, especially when using it for prolonged playtimes.
- Subsonic filter- It also comes with a subsonic filter for further fine-tuning of the bass output. The subsonic filter is adjustable within a frequency response of 10Hz to 50Hz. The subsonic filter allows you to control the intensity of the notes that are featured at lower frequencies. The subsonic filter makes it possible to feel lower thumping bass notes without damaging the subwoofer. This is especially useful when using vented subwoofer enclosures.
- MOSFET power supply- Another top feature of this Skar Audio amp that makes it one of the best 1 Ohm stable amps is its MOSFET power supply. We like this power supply technology as it allows the amp to handle high power output for prolonged periods without affecting its efficiency.
- It has a wide working voltage of between 8.5 volts DC to 16 volts DC
- Its compact construction makes it easier to install in tighter locations
- Comes within a four-way circuit protection that keeps the amp safe for enhanced reliability
- Variable gain control with a power range of between 6V to 0.2V
- Switchable output master and input slave
- Its higher price range may put off budget buyers
- Not powerful enough to drive power-hungry subwoofers
If you’re looking for a monoblock amp for applications that require competition-level power and maximum reliability, then consider this premium quality Skar Audio SKv2-1500.1D Monoblock amplifier.
3. Highest Power Output: Planet Audio TR5000.1D
The Planet Audio TR5000.1D is the most powerful amplifier in the Planet Audio TR series. It has a power output rating of 5000 watts at 1 Ohm. In our review, its maximum power output at 1 Ohm is only comparable to our last pick, the Power Acoustik OD1-5000D, which also features a power output rating of 5000 watts at 1 Ohm.
It’s carefully designed with a black finish and a blue LED illuminated logo on the top of the enclosure. The illuminated logo makes it look very attractive.
It’s also compact such that it can easily fit in very tight installation locations. Thus, you can easily conceal it for a neater setup.
- Class D amplifier- The amplifier is categorized under the Class D amplifiers. Amplifiers under this class are more efficient. For instance, this amp outputs more power despite its compact design. Its high efficiency allows for enhanced sound output.
- Advanced power supply- It features a MOSFET power supply that enhances the efficiency of the amplifier, especially when working at low voltage. It’s able to operate at low power without drawing current for enhanced efficiency. As a result, it consumes very little power.
- Allows strapping- The amplifier is unique in that it allows strapping. We like the fact that you can strap two of these amps together to double the power. At 1 ohm, it offers a power output of up to 5000 watts without overheating.
- Low pass filter- We also like this amplifier due to its low pass filter (LPF). The LPF is variable within a frequency range of 50Hz to 250Hz. The variable LPF means that you can control the low frequencies being supplied to the subwoofer for customized bass output.
- Subwoofer level control- You can take advantage of the provided remote control to adjust the subwoofer level as needed. The remote control is wired such that you can install it to the desired location for easier accessibility. It also features a bass boot control to adjust the bass as needed for a custom bass output.
- Its subsonic filter allows you to restrict lows within the frequency range of 15Hz to 40Hz for enhanced subwoofer performance and protection
- The adjustable input control makes it possible for the amp input to match the car receiver output for enhanced performance
- The switchable input sensitivity allows you to balance the audio quality and amp output as you can control the input signal
- Its phase control functionality makes it possible to switch the speaker phase in case you’ve connected the subwoofer out of phase
- It comes with a short protection mechanism that shuts it off automatically in case there’s a short circuit or overheating
- Not the best protection for prolonged playtimes
- The power inputs are relatively small for connecting low gauge speaker wire
Searching for a powerful 1 Ohm stable amplifier that can boost the bass of your car sound system for loud, chest-pounding bass? If so, this Planet Audio TR5000.1D won’t disappoint.
4. Superior Design: Audiopipe Class D Monoblock Amplifier
In terms of power output, this Audiopipe amp is comparable to the Skar Audio SKv2-1500.1D Monoblock. Both deliver a power output of up to 1500 watts at 1 ohm. However, this amp from Audiopipe is more superior in terms of design.
- Gold plated terminals- One of its top features is the gold plated terminals. Both input and bridge terminals are gold plated. Also, the speaker and power terminals are gold plated. Gold plating ensures that the terminals are not prone to rust and corrosion. Also, the gold plating allows for seamless signal transfer without the sound cutting in out and out.
- Superior design-It features a unique enclosure design that’s specially made to enhance heat dissipation. The enclosure has several holes with a mesh covering the holes. The perforated mesh allows flawless air circulation within the amp while still preventing foreign objects from getting into the amp.
- MOSFET circuit- The entire circuit is fully designed based on MOSFET design. The MOSFET circuit design allows the amp to output a lot of power without distorting the sound output, even at high volume.
- 4-way protection- It comes with a 4-way protection system. The protection includes overload protection that protects it from excessive power input, low voltage protection that protects it from under-voltage, thermal protection to protect it from overheating, and short circuit protection.
- Adjustable bass boost- You can adjust the bass boost directly from the amplifier within a range of 0dB to 12dB. Also, you can adjust the bass boost frequency within a range of 30Hz to 80Hz. Besides, you also adjust the bass level remotely using a wired remote for easier control. These adjustable bass options allow you to control the bass output according to your preferences.
- It has gain control that can be set from MIN to MAX, thereby allowing the amp input to accept the voltage level of the receiver
- You can adjust the low pass filter from a range of 40Hz to 180Hz for enhanced bass output
- It features a subsonic filter that’s adjustable from OFF to 50Hz
- 1 channel class D amplifier for enhanced amp efficiency
- Decent build quality for enhanced durability
- The remote bass control knob feels a little loose
- The cooler fan is mounted at the bottom, making it less efficient when the amp is installed in a tight location
Overall, this Audiopipe Class D Monoblock Amplifier stands out in its design, making it a great choice for audiophiles who love stylish car audio equipment.
5. Our Budget Pick: Hifonics Zeus 1X1800WATTS@1OHM Mono
When compared to other amps in our review, this amp from Hifonics Zeus stands out for its wider frequency response. Its frequency response of between 10Hz to 300Hz is the widest frequency range in our review. Thus, it amplifies a wider range of low frequencies to allow you to enjoy a wider bass coverage in your favorite tracks.
Although it feels heavier than its close competitor model, the Hifonics ZEUS ZRX1216.1D, it’s more powerful considering that it’s packed with a maximum power output of 1800 watts while the Hifonics ZEUS ZRX1216.1D that didn’t make it to our review only outputs 1200 watts.
Also, it’s the most affordable 1 Ohm stable amp in our review, making it our budget pick. Despite being the most affordable option in our review, it’s still one of the best 1-Ohm stable amps, thanks to its outstanding features and performance.
- Variable electronic crossover- The amp comes with a variable electronic crossover that makes it more efficient to filter unwanted frequencies. The crossover features a low pass filter that only allows frequencies within a range of 40Hz to 300Hz to pass through. As a result, you can control the output of low frequencies for enhanced customization.
- RCA inputs and outputs- We like the fact that this amp comes with RCA inputs and outputs. RCA connections are common and a standard for most car head units and subwoofers. Thus, it’s compatible with most car stereos. Besides, RCA connections don’t require any soldering or screwing. You simply need to plug in an RCA cable.
- Reliable subsonic filter- It comes with a highly reliable subsonic filter. The subsonic filter covers a frequency range of between 10Hz to 40Hz. It prevents the subwoofer from rumbling or experiencing any acoustic feedback, especially when using a subwoofer with a ported enclosure.
- Overcurrent protection- You can rest assured that the amp won’t get damaged in the unfortunate event of an overcurrent. It’s fused with two fuses, each with a power rating of 70 amperes. Thus, if excessive current flows through the circuit, the fuses will break the circuit to protect the amp from damage.
- Powerful bass boost- Want more booming bass from your car subwoofer? If so, you can take advantage of the bass boost functionality of this amp to boost bass. The bass boost works within a range of 0 to 12 decibels.
- Distortion-free bass output, thanks to the subsonic filter
- Its affordable price range makes it an attractive option for budget buyers
- Thermal protection and short circuit protection for enhanced durability
- A wired bass remote control is provided for enhanced bass control
- The amp features an illuminated Hifonics logo when the amp is powered that leaves a statement, especially in the dark
- It feels relatively heavy
- Sometimes, it goes to protection mode when adjusting
Wondering whether you can get a budget car amp? We recommend this Hifonics Zeus 1X1800WATTS@1OHM Mono for anyone who needs a budget but reliable 1 Ohm stable amp
6. Best Bass Customization: BOSS Audio Systems AR3000D
BOSS Audio is a brand name you’re likely to come across when shopping for premium quality sound equipment. The BOSS Audio Systems AR3000D 1 Ohm stable amp features several controls that make it easier to customize the bass output depending on your preferences.
Although this AR3000D amplifier is a predecessor to the newer model AR4000D, it’s more compact and more affordable. Thus, it’s a worthy competitor from BOSS Audio.
- Low-level inputs- The amp comes with low-level inputs that allow you to feed it with sound signals from a pre-amp. The low-level inputs also allow you to connect the amp to other amps or processors as long as they feature RCA connectivity. Besides, the amp features a variable input control that makes it possible for the amp input to match the output signal coming from the receiver. As a result, the amp delivers optimum performance and efficiency as long as you adjust it properly.
- Switchable input sensitivity- You can switch the input sensitivity to control the input signal that comes from the car receiver. As a result, the amp balances its sound output quality and power output for enhanced customization.
- Class D amp with MOSFET power supply- The amplifier features a Class D amplifier circuit for enhanced efficiency. It’s able to deliver massive power, all from a compact circuit. Besides, the amp relies on a MOSFET power supply that further enhances the efficiency of the power output.
- Supports strapping- Another top feature of this amplifier is that it supports strapping. This means that you can hook up two of these BOSS Audio amplifiers together to double the power output. Besides, its 1 Ohm stable design allows for superior performance without overheating during prolonged usage.
- Variable LPF and subsonic filter- Additionally, the amp comes with a variable LPF that gives you more control over the sound frequencies that are transmitted through the amp to the subwoofer. Also, it comes with a subsonic filter that prevents certain frequencies from getting to the subwoofer. That way, it keeps the subwoofer protected from distortion and enhances its performance.
- Its subwoofer level control makes it possible to customize the bass output for superior bass experience
- The variable bass boost makes it possible to adjust the bass as needed within a range of 0 to 18 decibels
- Its short circuit protection shuts down the amp automatically in the event of a short circuit or overheating
- It has a remote subwoofer control port for hooking a wired remote
- Tends to distort when turning the bass boost to the maximum
- Not the best cooling mechanism as it goes to protect mode quite often when pushed to its limit
The numerous customization options available on this BOSS Audio Systems AR3000D amp make it great for bass lovers who like customizing the bass output to meet their listening needs.
7. Worth Mention: Power Acoustik OD1-5000D
The Power Acoustik OD1-5000D features a maximum power output of 5000 watts at 1 Ohm, which is only comparable to the power output of the Planet Audio TR5000. Although these two amps match in terms of power output, the Power Acoustik OD1-5000D is a more affordable option, making it a worthy mention in our review.
Although it features a compact and lightweight design, it’s still packed with massive power output. Thus, its compact design doesn’t compromise on its performance.
- Lengthy wired remote control- It comes with a wired remote control that you can install on the desired location for easier bass control. The remote control features a lengthy cable such that you won’t be limited on where to install the remote in your car. The remote control features a knob control that’s easy to turn as needed.
- Supports bridging- It comes with bridge IN and OUT ports that allow you to connect it to another monoblock amplifier. That way, you can double the power when connected to another Power Acoustik OD1-5000D, which is beneficial when using several powerful car subwoofers.
- Speaker level inputs- It comes with speaker level inputs that allow you to connect it directly to an aftermarket or factory radio that doesn’t have low-level inputs. Thus, you can use the signal that comes from the speaker outputs of the car radio as the input source for the amp. In this case, you won’t have to buy a preamplifier.
- Low-level RCA inputs- Additionally, it comes with low-level RCA inputs. These inputs can be connected to the low-level pre-amp outputs of your car head unit. Also, the inputs can be connected to a LOC or preamplifier.
- 12dB bass boost- It features a bass boost functionality that’s adjustable from 0 to 12dB. The bass boost functionality allows you to increase the bass as needed, making it a competition-level amplifier. By boosting the bass, you’ll enjoy earth-shaking bass output from the subwoofer.
- Its affordable price range makes it a great option for budget shoppers
- It features a military-grade circuit board for enhanced efficiency and durability
- The MOSFET power supply allows the amp to output more power from a compact circuit
- It has a reliable overload and thermal protection mechanism to keep it protected from damage
- Not the best for prolonged playtimes
- Its frequency response is not specified
Overall, we recommend this Power Acoustik OD1-5000D 1 Ohm stable amplifier to any bass lover who owns a car with a small chassis or tight space, thanks to its compact size.
8. Best Sound Output Adjustability: Taramps BASS 3K 1 Ohm 3000 Watts
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Considering its power output of up to 3000 watts at 1 ohm, this amp from Taramps is more powerful than our top pick which only outputs up to 1600 watts Max. However, its more powerful output doesn’t come without compromise. For instance, the Taramps amp is bulkier than the compact Kicker 46CXA8001 amp.
Also, it’s packed with multiple adjustability options. It has dedicated options for adjusting bass boost, level, subsonic filter, LPF, frequency, and more. Thus, you can easily adjust the sound output to your perfect level.
- Wide frequency response- One of the reasons why you should consider this amp is its wide frequency response. It supports a frequency response of between 8Hz to 250Hz. Thus, it amplifies most of the audible low frequency for an enhanced bass experience.
- Thermal protection- If you often worry about overheating issues with car amplifiers, especially when used for a prolonged time, worry no more upon installing this Taramps 1 ohm stable amp. It comes with thermal protection for both low and high voltage. Also, it comes with a thermostatic fan that cools the interior components. Thus, it doesn’t overheat during prolonged usage.
- Wide supply voltage- The amplifier is designed to work within a wide voltage. It works effortlessly when fed with a minimum voltage of 9 volts DC and a maximum voltage of 17 volts DC. Thus, you’ll hardly under power or overpower it as most 12 volts car batteries work within that voltage range.
- Short-circuit protection- Another great feature of this Taramps amp is its efficient short-circuit protection mechanisms. These short-circuit protections include output short-circuit to ground and short-circuit to output protection. As a result, it keeps the amp and subwoofer protected from damage.
- High efficiency- The amp has a massive efficiency rate of 80 percent. As such, it amplifies much of the sound signal it receives without any significant loss. As a result, you’ll enjoy premium sound output.
- The amp comes with voltage protection that protects it from damage that may result from under-voltage or overvoltage.
- Its wide frequency response means that you won’t miss out on some bass notes
- Features a crossover with both high and low pass filters for enhanced bass output customization
- Bass boost functionality with a frequency range of 35Hz to 60Hz for extra thumping bass
- Extremely low power consumption at rest
- It’s quite power-hungry and requires 0 gauge speaker wire to avoid starving it
- It’s a little bulky and maybe a little challenging to conceal in cars with tight spaces
We recommend this Taramps BASS 3K 1 Ohm 3000 Watts for anyone looking for a very powerful amplifier to power extremely powerful car subwoofers with more freedom to make accurate adjustments.
How to Choose the Best 1 Ohm Stable Amp
As you can see, there’re several great 1 Ohm stable amps to choose from. Their features, specifications, and performance differ. Thus, you should make your choice wisely depending on your needs. Better still, here’re some important considerations to make when choosing a 1 Ohm stable amp for your car subwoofer:
1. Power output
The power output of the amp will determine the depth and loudness of the bass you’ll get from your car subwoofer. Essentially, choose an amplifier that’s powerful enough to drive your subwoofer without distorting. If you under-power your subwoofer, it won’t deliver the kind of bass you want or it’ll end up distorting. If the amplifier you buy is extremely powerful beyond what your subwoofer can handle, avoid turning the volume on the receiver or bass boost all the way up to prevent damaging your subwoofer.
2. Type of inputs
Some amps come with low-level inputs while others come with speaker-level inputs. Others have both types of inputs. If your car radio only has speaker level outputs, choose an amplifier that has speaker level inputs, else you’ll need to buy a pre-amp. Simply put, choose an amp that has inputs that match the outputs of your car radio.
The size of the amplifier is especially important when dealing with a car that has tight space. For cars with tight spaces, choose a more compact amplifier for easier installation. If your car is spacious enough, then size won’t be a major concern.
4. Adjustment and control options
It’ll help to choose an amp that offers several adjustment and control options. For instance, it should be possible to adjust bass boost for enhanced bass output. Also, an amp that comes with an adjustable low pass filter will make it possible to control the bass output. More control options will be an added advantage for customized bass output.
5. Frequency response
Another important consideration to make is the frequency response of the amplifier. Its frequency response should cover most audible low frequencies to ensure that you won’t miss out on important bass notes in your favorite music tracks.
6. Protection mechanisms
A 1 Ohm stable amplifier does a lot of work in amplifying signals to feed a subwoofer with sufficient power. In the process, it may experience issues such as overheating, overloading, and short circuit. Thus, it’s important to ensure the amplifier you’re choosing has protection mechanisms against such issues. For instance, it should have thermal protection to protect it from overheating. Also, it should have a short circuit, overload, and under-voltage protection. That way, you can use it for prolonged periods without getting damaged.
Although we’ve reviewed several amps in this buyer’s guide, they’re all reliable as we’ve only selected from the best stable amps. All you need to do is to choose the one that meets the needs of your car subwoofer. Thus, your ultimate choice should be based on your needs. By choosing the best 1 Ohm stable amp, your car subwoofer will produce high-quality bass.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.