Comprehensive Guide on Buying the Best 4 Channel Amplifiers
4 channel amps are popular among many car owners. These amplifiers are a good place to start when building a powerful audio system.
There are several advantages of coupling speakers with an appropriate amplifier. First, adding an amplifier to an audio system is the best way to make sure that all your sound drivers are sufficiently powered. Secondly, the installation of an amp helps to avoid speaker under-powering. Thus, potential damage to the speaker and other components of the sound system is avoided. Ultimately, your speakers will give out better quality sound, and their durability is enhanced.
Maybe you bought a new car recently and are currently using factory speakers. The fact that you haven’t upgraded the audio system with aftermarket speakers doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy better-quality music. Adding a 4 channel amp that matches the operational requirements of your speakers will help the factory speakers’ deliver their best.
Similarly, a fitting 4 channel amplifier in a system with aftermarket speakers will enable the speakers to give you the ultimate listening experience.
We’ve researched widely about various 4 channel amplifier models that have been proven reliable in improving the sound performance of an audio system. The comparison table below gives a quick overview of what we found. Following the table are detailed reviews of each of the ranked 4 channel amps. Toward the end, you’ll find a brief guide on choosing the best 4 channel amplifier.
4 channel amplifier
300W RMS600W Peak
180W RMS400W Peak
200W RMS400W Peak
300W RMS600W Peak
500W RMS1000W Peak
500W RMS1000W Peak
400W RMS800W Peak
1600W RMS1800W Peak
1. Alpine MRV-F300: Overall best 4 channel amplifier
Top on our list is the MRV-F300, a class D, high-efficiency, CEA-2006 compliant 4 channel amplifier. This little powerhouse packs enough power (up to 150 watts per channel) to drive your subs crazy. It uses ultra-fast switching technology that takes sound amplification efficiency to as high as 90%.
Features behind Alpine MRV-300’s top-notch performance
The MRV-F300 is an excellent all-rounded performer that will give your audio system the push it needs for high-quality sound delivery. We highly recommend it if you desire to see your system performing at its best potential.
2. Kenwood 1177524 (KAC-M1824BT): Best 4 channel amplifier for durability
Closely following our today’s top scorer is Kenwood 1177524 (KAC-M1824BT), a compact class D automotive/marine amplifier. This amp will add new impact to your sound system with its unique capabilities, including Bluetooth connectivity. Like many other Kenwood audio pieces, KAC-M1824BT offers excellent value for your money. The features below are enough evidence for this claim.
Unique features of Kenwood 1177524 (KAC-M1824BT)
The KAC-M1824BT provides decent power in its miniature box. Although the initial cost of this amp might seem higher than competing models, its superior features and unique flexibility are unmatched.
3. BOSS Audio Systems R1004 – Best budget pick
Are you eager to find a super-affordable, entry-level 4 channel amp for your system?
This amp from Boss Audio Systems is one of the best-selling amps available today. It delivers up to 400 watts to your sound drivers, which is incredible power to fortify the system’s sound reproduction capabilities.
BOSS Audio R1004 highlights
The R1004 by Boss Audio Systems is no doubt quite a steal considering its competitive features and affordable price. We are confident that it is the best 4 channel amplifier under $100.
4. Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4
As part of Rockford Fosgate’s Punch series of amps, the PBR300X4 will indeed add a significant punch to your car audio. Its 300W power handling capacity assures you of sufficient power for your front and rear car speakers. This amp is a sure bet to a wonderful music experience.
Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 highlights
This compact powerhouse from big player Rockford Fosgate drives clean power to your speakers and subs. The amp’s sound quality can only compare to what larger and more expensive amps give. Also, it is easy to install.
5. Crunch PX1000.4
Regardless of the type of audio system you are currently using, adding this Crunch PX1000.4 amplifier will result in better sound quality. When testing it, we were particularly impressed by its efficiency in using a low-voltage signal to produce non-distorted audio. The amp’s compatibility with RCA and non-RCA systems is also a major reason for its extensive popularity among car audio lovers.
Features of Crunch PX1000.4 4 channel amplifier
Crunch PX1000.4 falls in the category of fairly-priced and efficient bridgeable 4 channel amplifiers. Despite its few shortcomings, this amp offers competitive value for the money.
6. Pioneer GM-A6704
Pioneer has introduced a new line of power amps that brilliantly integrate a compact build design with high-power performance. The GM-A6704 is one of these new models, and it comes in a very space-efficient size to allow for installation flexibility. It is a distinguished bridgeable design that promises you unparalleled audio performance.
Features of Pioneer GM-A6704
Quality features and a very reasonable price tag constitute the best description of Pioneer GM-A6704. It is really an attractive option for anyone looking for the best 4 channel amplifier for a significant sonic upgrade.
7. Planet Audio AC800.4
Standing shoulder high at number 7 is this Planet Audio masterpiece. We noticed that a big number of users like the amplifier’s power and flexibility. We weren’t disappointed when we put it to test. This bridgeable 4 channel amp is part of the Anarchy series that’s known widely for top-class audio amplification.
Mind-blowing performance features of Planet Audio AC800.4
Planet Audio AC800.4 has outstanding features. It has been reviewed extensively as an efficient and reliable amplifier. The amp’s price is also a very attractive attribute.
8. Rockville dB45
Rockville db45 closes our list of 8 best 4 channel speakers on the market today. Rockville claims that this amp can put out up to 3200 watts. We think it’s an excellent option for higher-powered systems since it’s of class AB, and obviously because of its awe-inspiring power handling. The least you can expect from this amp is high efficiency and more powerful sound.
Rockville db45 Highlights
It’s agreeable that Rockville db45 packs excellent features that facilitate the delivery of unparalleled sound quality. If you run a powerful car audio system and have sufficient installation space, this powerhouse will not disappoint you.
Guide to choosing the best 4 channel amplifier
Are you out shopping for a 4 channel amplifier?
It’s critical to come up with a selection methodology that will help you to choose the amplifier that meets all your requirements. Considering the following factors will help to assess different models available:
i. Power handling
Several audio aspects revolve around the power handling of the components of the sound system. Sound volume, power, and clarity are the most affected by the amplifier’s power capacity.
Ensure that the amp you choose can handle at least the same amount of power as the speakers or subwoofers in the system. Also, consider your battery’s output power. The battery should comfortably push enough power to the amplifier to avoid issues such as sound flow interruptions or dimming lights.
Remember to pay keen attention on RMS power as it represents the true power of the amplifier - that is, the amount of power it can handle for extended periods.
ii. Amplifier topology
Manufacturers state the topology of each amplifier model that they make. Many top-of-the-line amps are either class AB or class D.
Class AB amps are highly efficient and produce good-quality sound. Most audiophiles go for class AB amps because of their high fidelity.
Class D amps are even more efficient but tend to have higher noise levels than class AB competitors. Nevertheless, class D amps have become the preferred choice for many because they are smaller, lighter, and less power-intensive. Class D amps also run cooler than other types of amplifiers.
iii. Automatic versus adjustable equalizer
An EQ is a fundamental feature of almost any top-performing 4 channel amp. In some amps, the EQ is automatic while in others it is adjustable.
The main advantage of an adjustable EQ is that it gives you more control over the system. You can regulate the transmission of different frequencies to their respective drivers. With an EQ, tweaking the acoustics of your system the way you like is a breeze.
iv. Input impedance
The Ohm rating you see on the amplifier specifications represents the impedance (electrical resistance) of the amp. So much is said about impedance. We would like to make it clear that this consideration has nothing to do with matching the amplifier with the speakers’ impedance. The issue about amplifier impedance is that you should make sure that the amplifier can take the output ohm load that it is intended to receive.
v. Heat management
Overheating is not an unusual problem for many amplifiers. Consider carefully the heat management features of the amplifier you are evaluating for purchase.
Also, reading customer reviews is immensely helpful in learning the first-hand experiences of real customers with regard to the overheating issue.
You can search for terms such as “overheat”, “remains cool”, “overheating protection” on review webpages to see how an amplifier actually handles heat.
Other important factors to consider when shopping for a 4 channel amplifier
With careful consideration of the above factors, there are high chances that your ultimate choice of amplifier will give your sound system the boost it really needs.
Our top pick for the best 4 channel amplifier is Alpine MRV-F300
After considering the crucial aspects of a competitive and reliable amplifier, we chose Alpine MRV-F300 as the #1 4 channel amplifier in 2021.
Alpine evidently uses unique technology to enable the inclusion of cutting-edge sound reproduction features in the design of the MRV-F300. This amp is a highly versatile model that can work in 4-Ohm or 2-Ohm mode, with factory as well as aftermarket receivers. Besides, the amplifier has a compact design that’s perfect for installation in small spaces. It also has an impressive power handling capacity. Many averagely-powered speakers and subs can work with it.
Information from reviews of Alpine MRV-F300 from customers shows that it maintains its cool through long hours of playing loud music. In the few reported cases of overheating, it’s apparent that the amp has top-of-the-class thermal protection capability. This praiseworthy capability is enabled by Alpine’s Enhanced Shutdown Performance technology. For sure, Alpine MRV-F300 is an excellent all-round performer.