Head unit amplifiers are built into the basic factory sound systems, powering just a few speakers. In comparison, luxury factory-installed sound systems typically use bigger, more strong “outboard” amplifiers which are independent from the head unit.
As the amplifier is usually buried in the car so you can hardly see it in the original audio setup including head unit and speakers. But amplifiers are integral to how a car sounds. They provide power to the audio system, and contribute to the tone of the music. Without an amplifier, low-quality music reproduction would not be possible.
What a car amplifier does?
Car amps use a specific sort of power supply which provides higher power to their internal electronics. The speaker portion of the circuit modulates the audio signal given by a stereo and sends that to the speaker ports.
All amps have several basic sections that are equally important, regardless of whether powered by a +12V power supply. There are more sections which are important, and some of them are not required.
Most car amplifiers today are designed using the following subsystems:.
- A DC DC supply for high-power switching applications.
- Audio noise prevention (“noise cancellation”) circuitry.
- Speaker stage crossover.
- Networking circuitry.
- Speaker-level isolation circuits.
Note that #5 is an option that’s specific to each product that may or may not be available. However, others are found in most car amplifiers, and improved versions of these are available today. As we go, we will explain more about the speaker-level inputs.
As can be seen in the above illustration, some of the electronic components are connected to the metal body of the amplifier. Because power is produced to speakers, some has to be discarded as heat. To ensure that the transistors will receive adequate cooling, they are connected to the heavy metal body of the amplifier.
Channel and Amplifier Functionality
The primary distinguishing feature between amps is with the number of channels. We offer a variety of configurations, including a mono model which is best for simple speaker setups.
An amp is needed for each speaker, but using multiple amps in the same vehicle can yield surprising results. For example, a power amplifier can be used to amplify four speakers, and a separate power amplifier can be used for subwoofer amplification.
There are different types of speaker setups that will perform great with specific components, so each speaker must be matched to its respective amp. Some amplifiers are equipped with built-in low pass or high pass filters, which are perfect for driving woofers or tweeters. Other amps include numerous desirable and compelling features.
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However, do you need an amplifier for better sound?
Amplifiers are not required at any time. If you don’t need sound quality and are satisfied with your current system, there is no reason to purchase an aftermarket amplifier.
Even so, if you prefer listening to the music in its original form then it’s time to buy a good amp. The clarity, sound quality, and volume of bass tell you that you actually need an amplifier to achieve sonic improvement. Once you personally experience it, you will acknowledge the distinct difference.
Regardless of whether you like to to listen to classical piano compositions or Katy Perry songs, you will have the necessary equipment to do so.