How Do Car Amplifiers Work?

The audio system is one of the determining aspects that a user considers when purchasing a car. There are many things that make your car’s audio powerful and worth listening to. The ideal car audio system mainly involves an amplifier.

You have probably heard about amplifiers, but you don’t know what it does. Do you think your vehicle’s audio isn’t loud enough and sounds bland? If so, your car is missing a good amplifier.

Keep in mind that an amplifier offers the sound system a strong boost and makes the sound a little bit richer. Would you like to know more about how a car amplifier work? Read further to learn more.

What is a Car Amplifier?

A car amplifier might seem a complex thing for you at first, particularly if you hated physics in school. Car amplifiers are made using different components, including switching power supply, audio input stages, and amplification section.

A low-level signal or low sound enters the system passing through the amplification section to become larger. When the low-level signal converts into an electrical waveform, it becomes stronger and offers a rich sound. You can boost the drive volume and improve the sound quality.

How Does a Car Amplifier Work?

The amplifier isn’t as complex as you might assume. It’s an internal booster that improves sound quality. On top of that, it’s a 3-stage process that substantially amps up the overall sound power and makes it more impactful.

The amplifier takes the power supply from the internal circuitry to add to the audio signals. The signals come from the built-in stereo of the sound system. The amplifier improves the sound quality and sends it to the audio terminal—other use these amplifiers to get rid of the dull sound system.

It’s worth mentioning as well that the amplifier is composed of a direct power supply, speaker-level input stages, speaker crossover circuitry, bridging circuitry, and noise prevention. Many amplifiers may not include a speaker-level input stage because of various reasons.

Nonetheless, they are the main reason why audio sounds crisper and powerful. The amplifier is encased in a metal body that is in charge of cooling off the amplifier.

The audio uses more power, but some of it is wasted through heat. Thus, you can feel the audio system heating up often. Also, high-power transistors are connected to the metal body to cool the amplifier. Too much heat can damage the amplifier when the cooling-off mechanism is not right.

What is the Function of an Amplifier in Your Car?

Amplifiers are utilized in all music-listening devices, whether it’s hi-fi stereo or your smartphone. Despite what you might think, the original signal is not always powerful enough to power the speakers at maximum volume.

That’s where car amplifiers come into play. It increases the electrical current of the audio signal coming from your CD player, iPod, or phone and sends it on its way to power up the speakers.

For instance, your car factory speakers don’t have sufficient power to generate the desired sound. An amplifier could bridge that gap and power those speakers to a whole new level, offering you the ultimate sonic experience you’re seeking.

The car amplifier also takes the lower-power signal from the music player and amplifies it, making it louder. It also changes the waveform of the signal so the speaker can deal with more power without distorting the sound itself.

A standard car amplifier will have three major functions: output, filter, and input. The input is where you attach the audio source such as DVD player, iPod, or phone. Meanwhile, the filter section eliminates any unnecessary distortion or noise from the signal.

The output then delivers the amplified signal to the speakers. Regular amps and aftermarket car amplifiers come in all sizes and shapes. However, the idea behind them is relatively the same. Many experts prefer to go with a multi-channel amplifier to power the speakers in their sound system at once.

How Can You Turn On and Turn Off a Car Amplifier?

There will be instances when you don’t like an overpowering sound for which it’s vital to turn off the amplifier. Bear in mind that the amplifier is a complicated combination of output and input mechanisms linked to the system with a small wire.

The amplifier is linked to the stereo with a tiny wire or connected to the ignitions often. When the ignition is on, the amplifier is on as well. However, the amplifier doesn’t get power when it is off.

You can utilize a remote to give direct power to your amplifier. When the wire has 0V current, the stereo utilizes energy from the battery to play audio files. If the wire is neutral at0V, the amplifier doesn’t draw any power from the battery.

You will now have more control over the type of sound you like. On top of that, it’s simpler to use an amplifier. If you haven’t utilized a sound amplifier before, then you may find its sound a little bit overpowering. Thus, you can experiment first with the amp settings to find the ideal sound settings.

We are confident there’s no looking back after you get an amplifier.

How to Choose a Car Amplifier?

If you’re a beginner, you may not be familiar with car amplifiers and which one to pick. If you’re wondering how to pick a car amplifier, here are the important things you need to keep in mind:


You can consider the channel as the battery powering every speaker in the audio system. You must pick an amplifier based on the number of speakers your vehicle has. If your vehicle has two speakers, you can expect two amps to power two coaxial speakers and a woofer.

Nonetheless, if you’re planning on adding subwoofers in the car, then a single amp could do the trick.


Power plays an integral role in improving audio quality. Often, people make the mistake of purchasing the car amplifier first and then choosing the stereo. You must assess first the current power of the stereo before you make the ultimate decision.

The RMS value of the speaker system identifies the RMS value of the amplifier. Normally, 755 to 150 RMS can power up the speaker.

System compatibility

Do you have an audio system in your car already? Then it would be simpler to judge the amplifier compatibility with it. Get an amplifier with preamp outputs and install an unamplified signal.

The amplifier will then generate a clear sound that will make you choose whether it’s appropriate for your existing system. If you have factory audio speakers or a system, it doesn’t have a preamp output to link to an external amplifier.

If the speaker doesn’t have a preamp output, then investing in one could help you accomplish high-quality sound.

Final Thoughts

Car amplifiers surely make a big difference in improving sound. It’s like fuel to your sound system and makes the entire sound look crisper. Are you fond of listening to music at high volume? Then getting a car amplifier is a good decision.

A lot of people don’t know how a car amplifier works. Nonetheless, it’s a simple 3-stage process to turn the low-level output into a high-level output. We hope you learned the nook and crannies of a car amplifier and its function in detail in this post.

Andrew Gibbons

According to Andrew Gibbons, playing the guitar is fun but it will take a few months before you can come up with a creative expression. Gibbons is a guitar instructor and has been teaching University music programs for over a decade, when it comes to playing the guitar a lot of factors come into play that determines the type of sounds produced. The guitarist must consider the guitar's neck and body shape, weight, and string type, the amp is also a primary determinant of the sounds produced and that is why Gibbons has created extensive excerpts detailing on the delicate topic. Guitarists must also pick a pose, be it the pro, wizard, hipster, or the old master.