Mono amplifiers, unlike multi-channel amps, are single-channel amp units. A mono amp has a single input and a single output, and it is designed to deliver power to a single channel subwoofer or a speaker. Mono amplifiers are often used in a car audio system, or sometimes they can be used in various home audio applications such as in a public address system. However, for such applications, you might need to use two mono amps with one handling the right and the other on the left channel.
Since these amps produce a single power signal, they meet the specific requirements for low frequencies without compromise. The best monoblock amplifier should also play the low frequencies without distortion while providing clean power to fill your car with heart-throbbing bass. Also, it should be able to handle the required amount of power without overheating.
In this article, we dig dip into some of the available options on the market to help you find the best performing monoblock amp of the year. This collection can be a perfect starting point in your search for a mono amp for your car audio system. You can also check out our buying guide if you want to dive deeper into the specifics to look for when looking for a mono amp.
Let’s jump right into it;
Comparison Table of Best Monoblock Amplifier
1. Rockford Fosgate R500X1D
The R500X1D Prime is a class D mono amplifier designed with variable punch bass and variable crossovers to make your subs hit hard. Its power rating complies with CEA-2006 industry standards, which means that the stated output ratings are not inflated market figures. What’s more, it is compact yet powerful, and installation is pretty easy even for someone who has not dealt with car amps before.
- MOSFET power supplyThe R500X1D is a class D amplifier that uses MOSFET technology to help ensure superior digital signal processing with less power consumption. The unit is rated at 500 watts RMS, and it is capable of running a moderate audio system, but it may not an ideal choice if you into shaking neighborhoods. As long as you have a decent sub, you will be blown away how by how good this amp is good at the price range.
- Cast aluminum heatsinkHeat can be an issue when dealing with an amplifier, especially when pushed harder. However, with the R500X1D you can rest easy knowing that your amp won’t overheat thanks to its superior thermal sensing technology. The included cast aluminum heatsink mechanism does a good job of dissipating heat away while preventing many issues that might crop up.
- Punch level controlThe compact package includes a wired remote that enables the operator to the EQ settings from the driver’s seat. All the controls are grouped together as well as all the ground connectors. Installation is straightforward, and once everything is in place, you’ll definitely like the natural and blissful sound from this bad boy.
- Rugged performance and reliabilityThe performance is the R500XD is phenomenal, and when combined with its stylish look, this is the kind of amplifier that you won’t shy to show off. It offers reliable amplification, and you’ll not experience very minimal distortion, if any. The unit is set within a manageable wattage band, so you don’t need to push your amp to the extreme to achieve the desired results.
- High-efficiency design.
- Small amp with outstanding performance; compact yet powerful.
- The amp is CEA 2006 compliant.
- Emits very little heat.
- It delivers clear sound-the sound quality will amaze you.
- The 500 watts could be improved; not powerful enough to power multiple subs.
- The inbuilt loc is not well designed
You can’t go wrong with Rockford Fosgate. The amp itself looks well made, comes with a bass knob, and unless you require more RMS, this is the bass amp to get.
2. BOSS Audio Systems R1100M
The Boss Audio R1100M comes in minimalist design but with a nice touch to take your car audio system to the next level. It includes a remote subwoofer control, bass boost, and variable low bass control to customize your sound. It is an ideal option for inexperienced car audio buyers, and it performs just as well as high-end amplifiers.
Key highlights of the BOSS Audio Systems R1100M
- Stable power outputWith a maximum power of 1100 watts at 2-Ohms, this mono amp is stable enough to rock your favorite tunes all day long. Often, the best monoblock amplifier is rated at 2 Ohms as it is more stable, resulting in more power and, consequently, more volume. It also means that it can comfortably deliver enough power to run your subwoofer(s) without pushing your unit to the extreme.
- Variable bass boost This feature allows you to tune the low frequency within the boost to your liking using the remote subwoofer control. There is also a variable input control that allows you to match the amplifier input to the head unit output for optimum performance. Further, it has high and low-level inputs, allowing for more flexibility when working with either factory or aftermarket head units.
- High-efficiency amplifier designThis model adopts a high-efficiency design that features the MOSFET power supply technology. MOSFETs are superior to other transistors since they result in less current consumption from your audio charging system. The unit also falls in the A/B class of amplifies, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced distortion.
- Heat and short protectionWhen things get too hot, the automatic shut-off feature will protect your amp from overheating by allowing it to cool down fast before turning it back on. Additionally, the amp will also automatically cut-off the power output if there is an electrical short and remain in the same state until the problem is resolved. These features keep your mind at ease, knowing that the amp is well protected from unseen incidents.
- It is a budget-friendly option but delivers superior sound,
- Performs just as well as its high-end models,
- Sleek and durable design,
- Perfect mono amp for small setups.
- Installation is pretty easy for both experienced and inexperienced users.
- Some users reported some distortion when the gain is set to high.
- The power may not be enough for more demanding users.
If you are on a tight budget and looking for something worthwhile to get the job done, the BOSS Audio R1100M may be the ideal choice for you. Installation is a breeze, and its compact design allows you to mount it in various locations.
3. Planet Audio AC1500.1M
The type of amplifier you choose affects the quality sound of your car’s audio system. Planet Audio AC1500.1M allows you to enjoy music on your terms by enabling you to customize your sound. The amp delivers loud and clear sound, and it comes in a nice sturdy design with a quality control knob.
Unique features of Planet Audio AC1500.1M
- Variable low-pass crossoverThis monoblock amplifier is built with exclusive features that make a significant difference to your bass and to enhance your music experience while driving. This includes a low-pass filter that gives the unit total control over the frequencies passed to the subwoofer. Basically, this feature keeps the high notes off the subwoofer, allowing you to control and customize your sound.
- Slim and compact designMeasuring 10x10x2.4 inches, the size of this product is plenty impressive, and it can be mounted in a variety of places. The slim design also makes it easy to install, and you can manipulate and play around with various placement positions. The slender design also makes its space-efficient, and you can adjust it as you desire; plus, it integrates well with most car stereos.
- Power output levelsIf you are looking to add some serious bump to your car, save yourself the hassle and go with this Planet Audio unit. The maximum power of 1500 watts at 2 Ohms load is quite a big deal, and it promises very clean power to your subwoofer to run as it is supposed to. The unit also has both high and low-level inputs to offer you ultimate flexibility.
- Subwoofer level controlThis is another great feature that gives you freedom over the subwoofer controls for customized sound output. On top of that, the amp comes with an automatic shut-off for protection if it gets too hot or protection against short-circuiting. Additionally, it also has a variable bass boost to allow you to set the low bass within your preferred boost range.
- Clean and clear sound with plenty of power.
- Great bung for the price.
- Solid construction.
- The amp features a separate bass knob.
- Offers protection against thermal overload or short-circuiting.
- Quality plus cost-efficiency.
- It drains car batteries pretty fast.
- Entry-level amp; perfect for small setups only.
Having this monoblock amplifier in your car will enhance your driving experience, and it is a good option for buyers looking to add bass to their system at an affordable price. The size of this amp is also great for anyone looking to build a sound system in a smaller car or a limited living space.
4. Kenwood KAC-9106D
The class D subwoofer amplifier is built to be tough, and it brings you reliable performance with superior sound quality. This unit exceeds your expectations while allowing you to hear all detail in your music without distortion. Furthermore, it draws less power from your stereo head unit, and it is very dependable even when running for extended periods.
Design and features
- Reliable performerKenwood is a reliable brand, and this model is no different. The KAC-9106D is built to provide you with superior sound quality, and it is one of those models you can turn to quench your thirst for power. For instance, paring this amp with a single 15-inch sub will throw some serious bang, and it is by far a great investment.
- Sound controls: This amp features an adjustable gain control that ensures that the amp can accommodate different signal levels from both factory and aftermarket radios. There is also a built-in low pass filter to ensure that the crossover is always engaged and an adjustable bass boost from 0-18dB at 40Hz. Besides, the amp inspires confidence in terms of build quality, and car audio fans can enjoy the unique advantage of serious wattage.
- Speaker-level inputsAnother interesting spec is the high-level inputs that allow you to use the speaker signal as an input level source for your amplifier. This feature is important when connecting your amp to either a factory or aftermarket radio that does not accommodate RCA (low-level inputs). The result of this is a versatile and powerful amp that offers a loud and fulfilling music experience.
- Class D mono amp with a signal sensing turn-onYou’ll also like the auto-power feature that cuts off the power supply when the unit is not boosting the audio signal, thus ensuring that it does not draw current. It also features a MOSFET power design, and when everything is properly connected, it moves air at an astonishing rate. Further, the pre-drilled mounts ensure that the amp can be easily bolted down securely.
- High-quality build and decent power for such a small footprint.
- Delivers stable and reliable output.
- The pre-drilled mounts allow you to bolt this unit effortlessly.
- Compact aluminum housing.
- The design can fit in many car audio systems.
- It does not overheat easily
- Good for beginners but may not be an ideal choice for serious audiophiles.
Kenwood KAC-9106D is a representation of a high-quality build with a stable and reliable output. It runs cooler than bigger multi-channel amps, and it does not require significant interior space.
5. Taramps 900187
This little amp has a small footprint, but it is extremely powerful. It delivers a great amount of power at a good price point. It also has a slim design that makes it easy to fit in tight spaces, and it also looks great when installed. You can connect your amp in different ways to accommodate various subwoofer types, and it is surprisingly affordable.
- Extremely powerful little ampOne thing that we really liked about this amp is that it has a lot of power, and it does what it says right from the box. It is a great choice for serious and competitive audio enthusiasts, and it has more power than most people will ever need. However, ensure to get the correct gauge wire so that you do not starve the amp of power.
- Protection against short circuit/thermal protection The unit offers full protection against short circuit at the output, thermal overload as well as high/low voltage. The Control panel tells you how much power is being used during amplification, thus making the system more reliable. Nevertheless, you’ll still need to get a proper electrical set up to avoid tripping the protection circuit.
- Durable and versatile designThe amp is crafted in a durable and versatile design that inspires you to plug in and play hours without interruption. It is also classified as a class D monoblock amplifier, and this has its set of advantages. For instance, it has a higher conversion rate of amplified power, and it minimizes power wastage. Also, it provides you flexibility by allowing you to build your audio system using any factory or aftermarket head unit.
- Bass boostAnother feature that is worth mentioning is the bass boost. This function allows you to get more kick out of your sub(s) and achieve optimum performance when used properly. But for it to be effective, it needs to be set correctly. Also, ensure that you have at least two batteries and enough amperage to avoid clipping/low volt lighting.
- The amp is small and compact, but it packs a solid punch.
- A little powerhouse that is cheap and delivers clean sound.
- It can fit anywhere.
- The amp works as described.
- The finishing is also stylish.
- The HD 3000 model may not be the ideal choice for the mids and highs.
- Loud and powerful; it may not be the ideal option if the sound quality is the main goal
Taramps 900187 is produced by one of the trusted companies in the audio system industry. Overall, we liked its quality design and efficiency, and although it has some few drawbacks, this unit is definitely an amp to consider.
6. Ignite Audio R3000/1D
This Ignite audio R3000/1D turns out to be an amazing value, and it is one of the best monoblock amplifiers that offer a great balance of performance for the price. In terms of features, there is plenty to work with, and the sound quality will definitely amaze you. Moreover, its simplistic design makes it ideal for use just anywhere, plus it is unbelievably affordable.
- Solid powerThe first impression of Ignite Audio R3000/1D is that of a well thought out unit. With 6000 watts max power and 720 watts at 2 Ohms RMS, this amp will literally take your breath away, and it will perform with staggering authority that you have not heard yet. The amp offers plenty of inexpensive power from the word go, and even after a heavy session, this amp remains cool to touch.
- Serious bass powerIgnite never go wrong when it comes to some serious bass performance, and you don’t need to crank the volume to the extreme. It delivers clean deep clean bass and plenty of pleasing visual reflexes on your subs, and it hits harder than much more expensive models. However, this comes down you hook it all up, i.e., subwoofer box, wiring, and ultimately how you build your system.
- Advanced features for a reliable performanceThis unit is packed with a couple of advanced features, and for the price, we doubt if there is any other product to beat this. This includes a variable bass boost that allows you to adjust the low bass just the way you like it and gain control for a trusted and reliable performance. The remote subwoofer control is also super convenient as it allows you to add or tweak the bass as you wish.
- Optimized circuit layoutWhether you are a first time user or an experienced user, this unit comes in a great yet simple design that is easy to integrate into any car audio. The amp also comes with a wide frequency response and an enhanced circuit layout for the clearest sound quality. The compact design also comes in handy if you are trying to build an audio system in a smaller car or running out of space in your car.
- May not be the most powerful option, but it is still a solid value.
- Clean sound and no overheating.
- Great entry-level car amplifier.
- Serious bass power that is hard to beat.
- The design of this amp should fit in most cars
- You’ll need to be careful when setting your gain; little distortion might damage your sub.
- Some parts appear cheaply made
For the price, Ignite audio R3000/1D offers you a performance that exceeds its weight class. The first impression is that of a well-made product, and when it comes to moving air, it is one of the best on the market.
7. Audiopipe Class D Mono Block Amplifier
This exceptional class D amp is versatile and powerful, and it adds the desired tonal impact to your bass. It offers a wide range of features to improve the audio output, and the sound quality is good enough for most audio applications. Equally important, the amp is compact, making it an ideal choice if you are looking for something that won’t take much trunk space but still has enough kick.
Special features and benefits
- Universal class D mono amplifierAudiopipe is a universal brand, and it is a popular name in the car audio industry. This class D will take your music experience to a new level, and it is a perfect example of a quality build with a stable and reliable output. Importantly, it boasts of the latest technologies that further increase both power output and sound quality.
- Full MOSFET circuit designThe amp features a full MOSFET circuit design that provides massive power while ensuring the highest efficiency without sound distortion. It also comes in high-quality aluminum sink construction with cooling features to ensure that the amplifier provides clean sound without overheating. Additionally, the MOSFET construction requires less current to run, making it a better choice for your car audio.
- High-end amplifier designThis high-end amp looks unique, delivers rated power so you can enjoy heart-throbbing bass and crystal clear sound. The amp packs RMS power of 600 watts at 4 Ohms, 950 watts at 2 Ohms, and 1500 watts at 1 Ohm. Moreover, running the unit for several hours barely get warm to touch, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your amp is protected from electrical flaws.
- Effortless controlThe amp is easy to control from the driver’s seat, and a remote bass level control is included with the amp for added convenience. The size is average and compact enough, so it should fit in most cars and pretty much anywhere. There are no special tricks for installation, and it is a good bang for your buck.
- The compact design makes installation effortless.
- You getting nothing less of rich-sounding bass..
- It doesn’t overheat even when pushed to the limit.
- Very clean and crystal clear sound.
- It is a high-end model which translate to high-quality sound.
- Sometimes the amp may overheat even with the heatsink.
- Somewhat pricy, but you will get value for what you pay for.
Are you looking to add a dedicated subwoofer amplifier for your car audio system? Look no further. This amp is a combination of incredible power output and sound quality for fulfilling music experience. The amp can be mounted on the back of your subwoofer enclosure, but it can fit virtually anywhere you want.
Buying Guide; Selecting the Best Monoblock Amplifier
When searching for a monoblock amplifier for your audio application, you’ll need to be mindful of the following factors;
i. Classes/Categories of monoblock amplifiers
Monoblock amplifiers are majorly classified into two classes depending on the power circuit of the amplifier. The categories differ from one amp to the other, with efficiency and sound fidelity taking center stage. These are;
a) Class A/B monoblock amplifiers
Class A/B monoblock amps offer higher fidelity and efficiency resulting in less distorted sound. Most people prefer this category of monoblock amplifiers due to its high intensity and the ability to minimize crossover distortion.
b) Class D monoblock amplifiers
Class D amps are just as accurate, but they are less powerful than class A/B. They also have less complex internal aspects, making them offer less fidelity than class A/B. They are also generally smaller and lighter, and they run cooler than similar amplifiers in class A/B with the same amount of power.
ii. Power handling( watts)
Power handling of your amp is also a crucial factor to consider since it will determine the quality of sound you get from your subwoofer or speakers. As a general rule of thumb, the amplifier should produce more power than what your sub/speakers are rated for. When comparing amps, the rating to look out for is the RMS, as it let you know the continuous amount of power your unit can output without overheating.
iii. Impedance rating
An amp’s impedance rating represents the subwoofer load that the amplifier will sense while driving the sub. It is measured in ohms, and it is directly related to power exchanges between your sub and the amp. For instance, installing an overpowered amp will deliver excess power, resulting in overheating or distorted sound. Getting an underpowered amp may fail to deliver the required amount of power, and this could also potentially damage your audio system. Different amps are designed to push different impedance, but most are optimized for 2 Ohms loads.
iv. Additional features and accessories
Since there are many forms of monoblock amplifiers, it is always a good idea to look for one that comes with additional features and functionality for the ultimate user experience. For example, choosing one that is controlled remotely will ensure that you can customize your listening experience while ensuring easy usability. Other features to look out for include various safety features that not only help to ensure improved safety but also help to improve overall sound properties.
v. Ease of installation
Most monoblock amps are small in size and fit easily on most cars, but it is important to look for one that is easy to install and use. Also, since they come in different sizes, you will need to identify an ideal location to place the amp, preferably under the seat. It is also important to highlight that not all amps may be compatible with your car audio system. As such, ensure to get one that is compatible with your car audio system and your car model.
We hope that this review has made your research work much easier and that it will help you find the best monoblock amplifier that meets your requirements. Overall, Rockford Fosgate R500X1D is hard to beat, and it makes a great choice if you are planning to add a booming bass to your car. It is small yet powerful, and it does not run hot. So, we recommend you give the R500X1D the first look when searching for your first monoblock amp. However, all the amplifiers listed here remain also offer the best value, and they remain our favorite options, so it comes down to personal taste and preferences. Remember to pick the right monoblock amp that is compatible with your other audio components and the design of your system.
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.