Best 4 Channel Amplifiers
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Best 4 Channel Amplifiers


Quick Overview

Four channel amplifiers are used to power your car's speakers. The most common setup is to power 4 speakers, one off of each channel. However, depending on your speakers and the amplifier, you can power up to 8 speakers, or you can power a pair of component speakers with one channel dedicated to the woofer and the other channel dedicated to the tweeter. These are very popular. The advantage of the four-channel amplifier vs. your radio is that the amplifier provides significantly more power. The amplifier's power is cleaner than the output from your radio, and the amp has better crossover and filter controls. If you want great sound from your car's speakers, adding a 4 channel amplifier is one of your best options.

All of the amplifiers listed below are products that I would put in my own vehicle. There are no wrong choices here. Some are better than others. Some are excellent values but for the most part, you get what you pay for.


Kicker CXA360.4t

Highlights

  • 65W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 90W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 180W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • Accepts both High and Low Level Inputs

The Kicker 46CXA3604t amplifier delivers efficient, class-D power to your speakers at an affordable price point. Rated at 65 watts per channel RMS at 4 ohms, this amp puts out more RMS power than similarly priced amplifiers. If you are looking to improve the volume, clarity, and sound quality of your car's speakers, this amp will do the trick without breaking the bank. It is one of our best sellers because it is powerful, reliable, and efficient. The 46CXA3065t has 12dB/octave crossovers, selectable input switch, and accepts both high and low level inputs. With Kicker, you know you are getting a high quality product and this amp is no exception.

Recommended For

  • Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50 - 100W RMS
  • Kicker CS or KS Speakers (Ignore the RMS Ratings)

Not Recommended For

  • Higher End Speakers Rated 100W RMS and Up
  • Audiophiles that want the cleanest power possible with tight crossover controls

Rockford Fosgate R2-500x4

Highlights

  • 75W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 125W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 250W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • LED Clipping Indicators
  • Accepts both High and Low Level Inputs

The Rockford Fosgate R2-500x4 is one of the best values for a 4 channel amplifier. This amplifier uses class-D circuity and puts out great power for the money. Even with an attractive price point and great power output, the R2-500x4 has many of the same on-board features as many of the more expensive amps. The RMS power rating of the R2-500x4 is 75 watts per channel at 4 ohms, and the actual output will be higher than that, thanks to Rockford's unregulated power supply. This amp uses Rockford's CLEAN circuit technology, which uses LEDs to properly set your gains. The LED clipping indicators provide you a process to ensure that you don't have an input or output clip to give you maximum output from your amplifier without distortion. This amplifier accepts both high and low-level inputs, so you have the option between using speaker wires or the RCA pre-outs, and the input switch lets you run the amplifier with only two channels of input.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50 - 75W RMS
  • A Single, Entry Level Subwoofer that Handles 200-400W RMS at 2 Ohms
  • Rockford Fosgate fanatics looking for an affordable 5 channel amp
  • Consumers that want Maximum output without Distortion at an Affordable Price Point

Not Recommended For

  • Higher End Speakers Rated between 75 - 100W RMS
  • Single Subwoofers that handle 500W RMS or More
  • Multi Subwoofer Systems with 500W RMS or More Combined
  • Audiophiles that want the cleanest power possible with tight crossover controls

JL Audio RD400/4

Highlights

  • 75W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 100W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 200W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • LED Clipping Indicators
  • Accepts both High and Low Level Inputs

The JL Audio RD400/4 is our go-to among JL's amplifier line. The RD series not JL's lowest-priced amplifier line, but it is a step-up over the JD line with better sound quality and components. The RD400/4 uses JL's NexD switching technology to deliver 75 watts per channel to the speakers at 4 ohms. The RD amplifiers have many of the same features and technologies that included in the higher end XD amplifiers, but the RD series amplifiers are slightly larger. The RD amplifiers have built-in LED clipping indicators which the XD amplifiers do not have, and the RD amplifiers have a sleek, satin black appearance. The RD400/4 is a fantastic overall amplifier, and the power output is ideal for virtually all speakers. You can't go wrong with JL power, and the RD delivers.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50-100W RMS
  • JL Audio fans looking for an affordable, "Step-up" 4 channel amp
  • Consumers that want Maximum output without Distortion at an Affordable Price Point

Not Recommended For

  • Higher End Speakers Rated between 100W+ RMS
  • Audiophiles that want the cleanest power possible with tight crossover controls
  • Applications where space is limited

Rockford Fosgate T400X4AD

Highlights

  • 100W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 100W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 200W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • LED Clipping Indicators
  • Accepts both High and Low Level Inputs
  • Super Compact Footprint

The Rockford Fosgate T400X4ad is small and ridiculous, in a good way. The T400x4ad is rated at 100 watts per channel at both 4 ohms and 2 ohms. However, the actual output of this amplifier will be significantly higher. This amp has a very compact footprint measuring 8.3" x 4.3" x 1.6", but don't let the size fool you. The Rockford T400x4ad comes with LED clipping indicators so that you can set your gains at the optimal level to ensure you don't have a clipped signal on either the input or the output. Like most Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, this amp accepts both high and low-level inputs. However, the real difference between this amplifier and others is the constant power circuit. This amp puts out the rated power across all impedances. The constant-power circuit provides you a power difference that you can hear. When the speaker cone moves, the impedance changes. It may go down to 2 ohms and go as high as 12 ohms when the cone moves. But, while other amplifiers decrease power as the impedance increases, this amplifier ensures you continue to get 100 watts per channel. So in real-life applications, the T400x4ad plays louder and sounds better than other amplifiers at the same price point.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50-150W RMS
  • Customers looking to maxmize value with cost per watt
  • Applications that require an amplifier that will fit in a small space

Not Recommended For

  • Lower End Speakers that handle less than 60W RMS

JL Audio XD400/4

Highlights

  • 75W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 100W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 200W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • Accepts Low Level Inputs Only
  • Superior Thermal Management

The JL Audio XD400/4v2 delivers ultra-clean power in a compact, full-size chassis. This amplifier isn't as small as the Rockford Fosgate T400x4ad, but it is pretty compact for a full-size amplifier. This amplifier is perfect if you are all about clean power for a superior musical experience. JL's XD line of amplifiers is their top of the line, "Standard" amplifiers before you get into the HD and Slash products, which have constant power circuits and cost significantly more money. The XD amplifiers have advanced thermal rollback protection technology where the amplifier monitors its current draw to ensure that the amp runs as cool as possible. Less heat means less distortion, and that means better sound quality. If you are looking for an amplifier with beautiful output, the JL Audio XD amplifiers deliver. These amps sound better than the RD amplifiers and use better components, so they are more expensive, even though the power output may be the same or less.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50-100W RMS
  • Those that want super clean power with sound quality more important than volume

Not Recommended For

  • Budget Minded Consumers Looking to Optimze the $/watt Cost

Audison SR 4.500

Highlights

  • 130W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 220W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 250W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • Accepts High & Low Level Inputs

The Audison SR 4.500 amplifier is, in our opinion, one of the best 4 channel amplifiers you can buy. This amp puts out 130 watts per channel RMS at 4 ohms. Very few 4 channel amps have that type of output. This amplifier uses efficient, Class-D circuitry to deliver the power and has a satin black finish for a sleek appearance. The Audison SR series amplifiers use regulated power supplies to ensure that they provide the rated power, even as voltage might vary. Audison designed the SR series amps to compete with the JL Audio XD series amplifiers while delivering more power at a lower or similar price point. With the Audison SR 4.500, not only do you get the raw rated power, but that power is clean and clear. This amp is probably my favorite 4 channel amplifier. At 130 watts per channel, there is plenty of power for high-end speakers. If your speakers handle less power, you can keep the gains turn down and get unbelievable sound quality without putting any strain on your amp.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50-100W RMS
  • Audiophiles that want tons of clean power
  • Customers looking for great value from a higher end amplifier without the cost of the JL Audio XD

Not Recommended For

  • Lower end speakers that handle under 75W RMS
  • Budget minded customers looking for a low priced option

Kenwood Excelon X302-4

Highlights

  • 50W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 75W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 150W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • Accepts High & Low Level Inputs

The Kenwood X302-4 is a low-cost, affordable, 4 channel amplifier that delivers decent, clear power for the money. This is one of the lower cost 4 channel amplifiers you would want to buy or install. There are other amplifiers out there that cost less, but they are probably junk. Is there anything extraordinary about this amplifier? No. It is pretty compact. It delivers 50 watts per channel RMS to the speakers, which will blow away the internal amplifier in your radio. This amp accepts both high and low-level inputs for easy installation in both new and classic cars. The Kenwood Excelon line simply performs, and this amp is no different. Add this to your car's stereo system, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much difference this amplifier makes.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50 - 75W RMS
  • Consumers looking for a full-size amp that is very low-profile.
  • Budget minded consumers that want a "better-than-entry-level" product at an entry-level price

Not Recommended For

  • Higher end speakers that handle 100+ watts RMS
  • Customers that don't have a budget that want the best

Kicker KEY 200.4

Highlights

  • 50W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • Built-In, Self-Tuning DSP
  • Microphone Included for Perfect Acoustic Correction
  • Accepts High and Low Level Inputs

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50 - 100W RMS
  • A Single, Entry Level Subwoofer that Handles 200-600W RMS at 2 Ohms
  • JBL fans that want an amplifier that delivers performance without the price tag

Not Recommended For

  • Higher end speakers that handle 100+ Watts RMS
  • Multi Subwoofer systems that have combined RMS rating over 700W
  • Applications where space is super limited

Rockford Fosgate PBR400x4d

Highlights

  • 50W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 100W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 200W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • Accepts High and Low Level Inputs
  • LED Clipping Indicator
  • Super Small Footprint

The Rockford Fosgate PBR400X4d offers unrivaled output per square inch. This 4 channel amplifier is super compact and has many of the features of the Prime and Punch amplifiers but without taking up as much space. The PBR400X4D is rated at 50 watts per channel but the actual output will be much higher than that. The PBR400X4D has Rockford's CLEAN circuitry that uses LEDs to perfectly set your gains to eliminate both input and output distortion. Rockford was one of the first companies to come out with these compact chassis amplifiers and they have been able to maximize both the output and functionality to deliver great sounding power in a small space.

Recommended For

  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50-100W RMS
  • Applications where a full-size amplifier will not fit

Not Recommended For

  • High end speakers that handle 100+ watts RMS
  • Applications where space is not an issue. Full size amps will sound better.

JL Audio VX400/4i

Highlights

  • DSP Processor Built-In
  • 75W x 4 @ 4 Ohms
  • 100W x 4 @ 2 Ohms
  • 200W x 2 @ 4 Ohms Bridged
  • Accepts High & Low Level Inputs
  • Superior Thermal Management

The JL Audio VX400/4i is one of the best 4 channel amplifiers in the world. This amp not only powers your speakers, but it has a built-in DSP processor that gives you total control over each speaker individually. You can control the crossover point, EQ curve, and time alignment for each speaker in your car to deliver the ultimate sound stage. When tuned properly, it will sound as if the musicians are playing the music while standing on your dashboard. It is truly a remarkable experience.

The JL Audio VX400/4i amplifier uses the same NeXD switching technology used on the XD series amplifiers, but the DSP is what makes this amplifier to another level. You can tune and control the DSP by plugging in a laptop via USB, or you can download an app on your phone and tune your system via Bluetooth.

In terms of power output, this amplifier will deliver plenty of power for virtually any speakers. When you use the DSP, you can increase the levels of specific frequencies to optimize each speaker's EQ curve and volume level across the different frequencies. The DSP allows you to focus that power within the speaker's sweet spot for optimal output and sound quality.

One of the other big advantages of the VX400/4i amplifier is that you can use the DSP to control the pre-outs. You can add an XD RD, or HD amplifier along with this amp. You will get the functionality of the DSP without needing to buy another VXi amplifier. You don't need multiple DSPs.

Recommended For

  • Audiophiles looking for the ultimate combination of power and acoustics
  • "Tinkerers" that want to tune their system for the ultimate sound stage
  • 4 Speakers with RMS Ratings between 50-100W RMS
  • Those that want the best of the best
  • Those that want super clean power with the ultimate combination of sound quality and volume

Not Recommended For

  • Budget minded consumers
  • People intimidated or scared of a DSP
  • Those that do not consider themselves good with technology
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