Using an amplifier is one of the effective ways to improve the car audio system. However, choosing the right amplifiers is essential to get the maximum clarity from car audio.
There are seven types of car amplifiers based on class and three types based on channels. Each amplifier has different characteristics based on the class and channels.
In this guide, we will discuss different types of amps for cars as per the classes and channels. So, let’s explore!
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Types of Car Amplifier Based on Class
Car amps are divided into seven categories based on their classes. Let’s know about the amplifier classes.
Class A amplifiers are lauded for their sound quality. They operate by amplifying the entire audio signal without cutting any part of the signal wave, ensuring a high-fidelity output. However, this continuous operation means that the transistors within the amplifier are always on, leading to inefficiencies.
With much of the power consumed being dissipated as heat, Class A amplifiers tend to have low efficiency, around 20-30%. Due to their high power consumption and the heat they generate, they're less commonly used in car audio systems despite their superior sound quality.
Class B is known as a low-fidelity but high-efficiency amplifier. Class B consists of two transistors set up in a "push-pull" arrangement, which work individually to handle positive and negative voltages. In class B, most of the electric power is used at an efficiency level, which makes it a higher-efficiency amplifier. But it distorts the sound quality.
Class AB amplifier comes with higher fidelity and efficiency. The Push-pull pairs of output transistors are mostly on in class AB. As a result, both output transistors get a bias that can reduce around 60% crossover distortion than class B. Besides, AB reduces the power dissipation and becomes more efficient than class A.
Class D is a unique amp with an analogue to digital converter and pulse width modulation. The pulse width modulation works with DSP techniques, modulates the output transistors and provides smoother output signals by low pass filtering. In Class D, transistors are stayed either fully off or fully on. As a result, class D can reduce the power dissipation and increases the efficiency.
Class T amplifier is designed with the combined features of class D and class AB amplifiers. It is a specialized amp that comes with higher efficiency and lower distortion. Tripath Digital Power Processing technology is used in class T amp. The Tripath technology works great for maximizing efficiency and minimizing distortion.
Class G is a specially designed amplifier to reduce the power dissipation remarkably. It uses multiple power supply rails with unique voltage levels. The amplifier switches to the lower voltage rails when it is required to amplify lower signals. By contrast, the amplifier switches into the higher voltage rails when higher signal amplifying is required.
Class H is a compacted amplifier that comes with multiple voltage rails like class G. However, class H adjusts the supply voltage to output transistors based on the input signal amplitude to improve efficiency. In Class H, the voltage transitions don’t abrupt like in Class G. As a result, class H improves efficiency and reduces heat dissipation.
Types of Car Amps Based on Channels
The car amp is divided into three main channels. These are Monoblock, Stereo and Multi-channel amplifiers. The 3-channel, 4-channel, 5-channel and 6-channel amps are included in multi-channel amplifiers. Let’s know their features and conveniences.
One channel (mono car amplifier)
Monoblock is a high-powered amplifier to amplify a single audio channel. It is designed with balanced push and pull features. Mono amplifier is used in high-end audio systems like professional recording. Mono amp plays a very effective role in achieving superior performance from a single audio channel.
Two-channel amplifiers (dual amp)
The tow channel amp is a full-range car audio speaker. It is also known as stereo. This type of amplifier has a right and left output that improves the tuning and staging of car audio. It is compatible with a subwoofer, multiple subwoofers and a pair of speakers.
You can get excellent audio output from the dedicated power from two channels. Moreover, it is possible to bridge between two channels of an amp to get more power output from one dedicated channel.
Any amplifier with more than two channels is considered a multi-channel. A multi-channel amp can control multiple channels with the same power. Let’s know some multi-channel definitions.
A 3-channel amplifier is also known as a hybrid Amplifier. Generally, it is designed with a 2-channel stereo and one Monoblock amplifier. This type of hybrid Amplifier is ideal to power an entire truck audio system. The two channels connect with two front speakers, and another Mono block connects with the subwoofer.
A 4-channel amplifier is best for an entire door speaker. It is bridgeable and can power four individual speakers simultaneously. Note that the 4-channel amp has class A/B and class D circuitry. This multi-channel amp has become popular for door speakers.
It is a hybrid multi-channel amplifier like 3-channel. The front four channels is a combination of 2-two channel stereo. Another channel is the Monoblock amplifier. Both 4-channel and one mono channel combined operate a whole audio system.
So, you can power and control four speakers and one subwoofer from a single amplifier. A 5-channel multi-amp is perfect for those who don’t prefer to use multiple amps for car audio.
A 4-channel amplifier with two more channels has made a six-channel amp. These are popular for vans, SUVs, and boats. Six channels is essential for the specific audio file where the 4-speaker traditional amp is not powerful enough.
We hope you have learnt the details on several car amplifier types based on their classes and channels. We believe from this guide, you will be able to choose an ideal amplifier after knowing the features, advantages and disadvantages of each amplifier. If you have anything more to know about amplifier types, then let us know. We will be happy to guide you.