Last Updated on: October 6, 2022
You might be familiar with four and five channel car amps, and you might be wondering if you need a 6-channel amp. Admittedly, they are not very common in the market as the other amps.
But, they are an excellent option for car owners adding aftermarket speakers to their factory radio. So, if you are looking to get the most out of your car audio system, I recommend getting any of the best 6 channel amps reviewed below.
My top choice is the Alpine R-A90S, a powerful 6-channel amp that delivers impressive sound quality.
Best 6 Channel Car Amplifier Reviews
1. Alpine R-A90S 6-Channel Car Amplifier – Best Overall
I’ll begin this review with the impressive Alpine R-A90S, one of the few 6 channel amps in the market capable of producing hi-res audio.
Building upon the success of their 5-channel model, the Alpine six-channel amplifier delivers more power on the 5th and 6th channels for the rear speakers.
However, what makes the Alpine R-A90S the best 6-channel car amp on my list, is its exceptional audio quality.
This Class D amplifier features high-efficiency transformers and capacitors that deliver high quality sound from your standard-resolution music files. It is also Hi-Res Audio certified and has a frequency response of between 10HZ – 45kHz.
The 6 channel amp works as a 3-way active system that does not disappoint in power handling. The first four channels feature high and bandpass filters and deliver 75 watts RMS x 4 + 150 watts RMS x 2 at 4 Ohms or 100 watts RMS x 4 + 250 watts RMS x 2 at 2 Ohms.
Channels five and six feature a low-pass filter for the subwoofers and can produce up to 250 watts RMS x 2 or 500 watts RMS in bridge mode. Additionally, you get the option of installing the Alpine RUX-KNOB.2 remote bass knob to control the subwoofers from your dashboard.
- Delivers hi-res dynamic sound for audiophiles
- Staggered channel layout for different speaker setups
- More power for high-performance speak
- No Bluetooth functionality
The Alpine R-A90S features a staggered power channel layout where the six channels host different power levels, a feature not common in standard multi-channel car amps. Moreover, this feature enables the amp to create a dynamic sound range with hi-res audio.
2. Sony XM-GS6DSP 6 Channel Car Amplifier – 1st Runners Up
The Sony XM-GS6DSP is beautifully built with a heavy-duty aluminum chassis and is compact for easy portability and storage.
Moreover, it has an impressive power handling capability that boosts the sound quality of your OEM audio setup with clear and undistorted sound.
The XM-GS6DSP amp MOSFET power supply delivers 1500 watts of total power, translating to 750W total RMS.
Another attractive feature is the time alignment that recalibrates the sound signals depending on where you are seated to get a more natural audio experience.
The 6 channel amp also comes with a DSP chip that allows you to adjust the EQ and speaker settings, volume, and fader controls with the Sony Music Center app on your smartphone.
- Exception audio quality for its price point
- Variable frequency adjustment for accurate sound
- DSP chip with 4.1 channel signal delay
- Bluetooth streaming and customized app control
- Flexible three-way digital crossovers
- The app is not user friendly
The Sony XM-GS6DSP packs a punch for its size, making it the first runner-up on my list. The Bluetooth function is ideal for older cars, boats, and RVs that don’t provide a source unit, and you can stream music from a smartphone.
3. Lanzar HTG668BT 6-Channel Car Amplifier – Budget Option
The most outstanding feature of this budget amp is its Bluetooth functionality. Not many 6-channel amps at this price range enable you to stream content wirelessly from your mobile source or internet radio.
Other notable design features include a MOSFET power supply and a bass boost circuit to generate hard-hitting bass sound. Plus, it comes with high pass filters to accentuate your tweeters and midrange frequencies.
The Lanzar HTG668BT Heritage Series is a powerful amp with 4000 watts total power output. However, this multi-channel amp is another example of how manufacturers exaggerate the amplifier wattage on the packaging, but the specs tell a different story.
On the other hand, when you match it with the appropriate speakers, it hits hard and delivers clear audio.
This car amp RMS power rating features 250 watts x 6 at 4 ohms, 350 watts x 6 at 2 ohms, and 1000 watts x 3 at 4 ohms when bridged. The HTG668BT amp provides impressive power handling capability and frequency response range compared to other more costly models reviewed here.
However, several users have noted that the amp overheats when using high-powered speakers.
- Good quality amplifier at an affordable price
- Bluetooth for wireless music streaming
- Produces hard-hitting and clear sound
- Advanced power protection prevents overloading
- Not as powerful as advertised
The Lanzar HTG668BT is the best 6 channel amp for car owners on a budget, and it provides impressive sound quality for this price point. The Bluetooth function is also a plus for people who want to stream directly from their smartphones or the internet.
4. Audio Control D-6.1200 6-Channel Car Amplifier – Premium Choice
If you want exceptional performance and control that improves your audio experience, the AudioControl D-6 6-Channel Car Amplifier is a great choice.
While it is premium compared to other options in my best 6 channel car amp list, I think you will find the versatility and audio quality you get worth the price.
The amp delivers a maximum output of 1200 watts in any of these configurations; 125 watts x 6 at 4 ohms, 200 watts x 6 at 2 ohms, and 400 watts x 3 at 4 ohms when in bridged mode.
The D-6.1200 car amp is ideal for factory-installed audio setups and integrates well with aftermarket components.
It also features RCA and USB inputs you can use with other source components like smartphones and is Bluetooth enabled for wireless streaming.
Moreover, this car amp has a digital processing signal app that allows complete control over the functionality of the amp to enhance sound quality.
It also enables user setting adjustments via your smartphone or PC to manage multiple equalizer settings to your preference.
- Works with factory-installed and aftermarket audio setups
- DSP app control low and high pass filters for accurate sound
- Delivers great sound quality with multiple EQ options
- User-friendly and simple to install
- It is expensive compared to other brands
- Narrow frequency response band
The AudioControl D-6.1200 is a premium quality car amp that offers convenient control and multiple input options for your music source.
It also comes with an ACR-3 remote control that enables you to choose the source, customize EQ settings, and recall presets from your front seat.
5. Garmin Fusion Signature 6-Channel Marine Amplifier – Best Marine Amp
The Garmin Fusion Signature 1500W 6-channel marine amplifier is one of the latest additions to the Signature range of this brand. You might be wondering why I have included a marine amp in my 6 channel amp review.
Generally, one can run a marine amplifier in the car, but with some adjustments in the mounting and vehicle’s electrical system to fit.
Marine amps feature a weather-resistant casing that protects them from water and salt corrosion, making them more durable than standard car amps.
They also typically run higher voltage and amperage to power speakers. So, if you need more power than average car amps can deliver, this 6-channel marine amp may be a good option.
The Fusion Signature is a high-performance marine amp boasting a peak power output of 1500 watts and a 10Hz – 45kHZ frequency response range to accommodate various speaker configurations.
The RMS power ratings include 100 watts x 6 at 4 ohms + 280 watts x 3 at 4 ohms when bridged and 140 watts x 6 at 2 ohms. The amp also includes RCA line-level inputs, a user-adjustable bass boost feature, and a 15-channel GPS receiver for navigation.
Plus, it is a Class D amplifier that allows high sound output. The aluminum alloy heat sink reduces the core temperature to increase efficiency.
- Delivers powerful and accurate sound
- Class-D technology enables high output for longer
- Chassis with marine grade rating for durability
- High wattage enables multiple speaker configurations
- Requires mounting and wiring adjustments for car mounting
The Fusion Signature 6-channel is a premium quality amp suitable for multiple applications. Plus, it comes in an attractive stainless steel finish with conformal coated PCBs for durability in the marine environment.
6. AudioControl LC-6.1200 Car Amplifier – Most Versatile Option
The AudioControl LC-6.1200 is the best 6 channel amp for OEM integration as it features eight active speaker-level inputs that can connect with most stock stereos.
This car amp has signal summing to accommodate various bass and midrange signals found in some OEM systems.
The LC-6.1200 features a flexible 3-way crossover network and a stereo/mono switch on each pair of channels to integrate different speaker configurations. The amp also provides an ACR-1 port for the remote control option so you can make adjustments from the front seat.
AudioControl’s proprietary AccuBASS circuit is another notable feature. It compensates for the factory bass roll-off with a low-frequency bass boost to improve the bass performance.
Other features include the Great Turn-On circuit (GTO) signal sense, variable high pass frequency response range, and the MILC that monitors the input and output power of the channels to prevent clipping.
The LC-6.1200 amplifier produces 125 watts RMS x 6 at 4 ohms + 200 watts RMS x 6 at 2 ohms and 400 watts RMS when bridged. The amp is configurable to five, four, three, and two-channel amps to enable various speaker configurations.
- Versatile amp with exceptional audio quality
- Enables seamless subwoofer additions to factory systems
- Summable eight active speaker level inputs for flawless OEM integration
- Solid one-piece Aluminum chassis
There are not many 6 channel amplifiers in the market with features that enable easy OEM integration with the addition of aftermarket component speakers while improving the sound quality, like the AudioControl LC-6.1200.
Design and Appearance
Car amplifier manufacturers provide different design aspects in the construction and features of their amps to make them stand out from the competition.
Most car amps feature aluminum or stainless steel hardware, which is the outer casing of the amp. While they are generally similar, marine amps are made weather-resistant for durability, unlike standard car amps.
Another design feature you should look out for is bridge ability. Not all car amps are bridgeable, but most are. Bridging channels boost power output to run subwoofers.
Moreover, digital signal processing (DSP) chips can deliver a better audio experience than ordinary amps and are ideal for OEM integration.
They are also convenient because the high-power DSP chip makes adjusting the entire system easy via a smartphone. Plus, if your car amp has a broad frequency response and a high signal-to-noise ratio, it can help you get the most out of your speakers to deliver hi-res sound.
Pro Auto Thought: Car amps have fuses that filter out excess electricity to protect your amps from blowing up. However, these could also complement your car amp’s performance by increasing power input to produce louder and fuller sound reproduction. Read more about this here — Car Amp Fuse Size.
The video below explains why your listening experience feels better with high-resolution audio.
Types of Car Amplifiers
The amplifiers typically used for car sound systems are Class A, B, AB, and D. Other available classes, such as Class T and Z, are proprietary amps or trademarked designs.
Class A amps use an internal circuitry system with a current constantly passing through the output channels. While the output is clean, they are also highly inefficient and too large for car stereo applications.
Class B amps are smaller in size and create less heat by comparison. The internal circuitry of these amps switches off the output transistors when there is no audio signal available. While they are suitable for car sound applications, they have decreased audio fidelity.
Class AB amps are a hybrid of the Class A and B designs. While they constantly have a current flowing through the output channels, the internal circuitry reduces the amount when there is no sound signal present.
The Class D amplifiers are more efficient with MOSFET or dual MOSFET power supply technology, making them popular for full-range car sound systems.
The amps switch on and off their output transistors, resulting in distortion at high frequencies. The Class D amplifier features a low pass filter to improve audio quality and counter this distortion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are 6-channel amps used for?
While 6-channel amplifiers are not many in the market, they are common in large trucks, SUVs, mobile homes, and boats. 6-channel amps are upgrades of 5-channel amps where the fifth and sixth channels work together to power subwoofers effectively.
Additionally, more channels mean a better ability to expand your sound system. It is why the 6 channel amp has become popular with car owners in recent times.
Can you run a marine amp in a car?
The main differences between marine amps and car amplifiers are outer shell casing design and power output. Marine amps feature water and a corrosion-resistant exterior to withstand the marine environment and more power output for high-wattage speakers that cut above the engine noise.
Ideally, one can install a marine amp in a car if you need more power for your audio system. But, you might need to modify the 6 channel amp to fit your car. On the other hand, the typical car amp produces much better audio.
Is 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm impedance better in a car amp?
Impedance is the amount of resistance to a current that a speaker has. We measure impedance in ohms, and car speakers are typically 2 Ohms and 4 Ohms. 4 ohms speakers use less power than 2 ohms and vice versa, so it is necessary to know how much wattage your 6 channel amp has to work with your speakers.
Car amplifiers generally help improve the volume and audio quality of your speakers. While the 6 channel amps are not commonly available, they are popular among car owners due to their flexibility.
For audiophiles looking to enhance the audio experience in their car, the Alpine R-A90S is the best 6 channel amp you can get. It is a powerhouse amplifier that helps your speaker system produce high-resolution sound at an attractive price point. However, if you are on a budget, I recommend the Lanzar HTG668BT. It has an impressive power handling capability for OEM and aftermarket audio systems.