By Elliot Huston. Car Audio. Published at Thursday, June 28th, 2018 - 10:51:39 AM.
Why add an amplifier? If you want your music to be loud, amplifiers are definitely part of the picture. But whether you run your system wide open or softly enough for conversation, a power amplifier will breathe life into your music, bringing out all of its excitement and detail. Here are a few of the main benefits of adding an amp:
A more economical way to upgrade your sound system without changing the factory receiver or speakers is to get a compact 4-channel amp to boost the power for your front and rear speakers. The Alpine KTP-445U Power Pack and the Clarion XC1410 4-channel amp are two examples of amplifiers that are small enough that they can be installed behind many dashboards and powerful enough to dramatically increase the quality and clarity of your sound. Both of these amps, as well as many others available at Crutchfield, feature inputs that can handle the high-level signal from the vehicle's factory speaker wiring. Look for an amplifier with "speaker-level inputs" as one of its features if you want to add it to a factory system.
Car stereo manufacturers have begun to adjust, moving away from the traditional stereo and speaker offerings toward developing products that enhance factory systems. Solutions range from adding a simple powered subwoofer, to using a sophisticated sound processor to expand your system, and from adapters that connect your iPhone® or iPod® to your factory stereo, to kits that integrate your smartphone into your factory system. Let's talk about some of your options.
I want my aftermarket speakers to really sing. All aftermarket speakers, especially component sets, benefit from being fed more power than what a factory or even an aftermarket receiver can put out. Among a speaker's published specifications you will find its RMS (or "continuous") power rating, usually as a range — "5-60 watts RMS power range" for example. The higher number represents the approximate driving power at which the speaker will play at its fullest and best according to the manufacturer. Actually, most speakers get rated very conservatively and can take a lot more power than their rating (as much as 150% of the rating is usually safe). But they really won't sound good unless they're able to get at least 3-quarters (75%) of that power rating.
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