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Do You Need An Amp For Door Speakers? Here’s Our Standpoint!

Last Updated on: May 17, 2022

Got a new car?

Or are you really just wondering what’s wrong with your door speakers?

Figuring things on your own can be pretty tough, of course, you don’t want to do something you’ll regret later on. 

And that’s why we’re here to help.

So…

The real question is do you need an amp for door speakers? 

Let’s find out!

What Door Speakers And Amplifiers Are

Before going into all of those “do door speakers need an amp” questions, let’s talk about the basics.

Should you amplify both front and back speakers? Or just the front? 

It’s normal to find yourself dumbfounded over questions like these; it’s important to know things from their core before formulating a solution.

Thinking woman

Let’s start with your car door speaker. These are pretty much self-explanatory; they’re placed in your car in order to produce a sound stage or an imaginary three-dimensional space from high-fidelities. 

When we talk about a sound stage, we usually mean both front and back. To produce a more accurate visualization, you can think of the frontstage speakers to be the audio quality people at the concert pit hear, and the backstage speakers to be the ones that people in the back of the stadiums do.

Wherever you are, front or back, that’s what you mainly hear, while the speakers opposite to you are pretty much just a filler for you.

There are two types of speaker builds; namely, the aftermarket speaker and the factory speaker

A factory speaker is commonly made of surrounds from low-end materials like foam and paper; these tend to deteriorate over time along with the sound quality. 

An aftermarket speaker, on the other hand, is constructed to last, so you can expect their durability over certain situations.

There are also two types of speakers depending on their function: coaxial speakers and component speakers

Component vs Coaxial Speakers

Coaxial speakers are more on the average type since they are better than the standard ones but are difficult to install. Component speakers, however, have superior qualities and are more preferred over coaxial speakers. They are also easier to install and offer better audio quality and clearer sound reproduction.

Amplifiers make weak audio signals stronger. They typically run their signals through an RCA cable, thereby improving sound quality. They have variable channels that are adjustable to suit the listeners’ personal preferences. 

Car radio systems normally have amplifiers, but adding another one to complement your door speakers is pretty much a normal thing for most car owners to do nowadays.

Do Door Speakers Need An Amp?

Here we are! You’ll finally have your “do I need an amp for my car speakers?” question answered.

Here’s a straightforward response: Yes, you should! Here’s why: 

Amplifiers have multiple abilities that will not only strengthen your audio signals but improve their overall performance and your enjoyment. 

Although purchasing an amp would require you to spend an extra, we guarantee that you wouldn’t mind after experiencing the improvement.

There’s so much more to this! If you’ve got any more questions or if you’re still thinking twice about adding an amp then keep on reading. You can also learn how to tune a monoblock car amp (if you have both time and money to spare, that is!)

Why Amplifiers Are Worth It

As stated earlier, any door speaker is in fact 10x better with an amplifier, but it all depends on what area you’re trying to improve or the kind of goal you’re trying to achieve.

Car door speaker and amplifier set
Power Combo: Car Door Speaker & Amplifier

There are ways you can get by without having a car amplifier, like getting contented with the standard audio quality of your speakers or ignoring audio distortions while adjusting your head unit’s in-dash receiver. Most car amplifiers come equipped with standard components that deliver clear signals to the speakers while some offer so much more, but they require an arm and a leg to have one installed.

As we said, there are many ways, but all of them come with a compromise. 

As your overall audio experience comes from the speakers, amplifier, and head unit, it’s pretty much obvious that having all three is essential for a fantastic and superlative high-quality sound immersion.

So, do you already feel and see the reason to amp your car door speakers?

What Makes Door Amplifiers A Necessary Add-On

1. Better Sound Quality

Your door speakers automatically have an amplifier of some sort built into them. 

If you’ve ever tried cranking up the volume on your head unit and you notice some distortion, this is probably because the speakers’ amplifiers are built into the receivers (which is commonly the case) and are currently underpowered.

The solution to this is obviously adding another car amplifier; this allows for a cleaner power source for your speakers that helps them avoid strain, distortion, and undefined audio.

With an amplifier, you can rest assured that your audio will always flow smoothly through the speaker wire and that nothing mixes along with it.

2. Maximize Overall Audio Quality

If your car door speaker isn’t high-end, it will probably require much more power than it is going to receive. 

This stands in the way of you enjoying the best possible sound quality that your speakers and audio can provide. 

There are two solutions to this, either you purchase a high-end speaker or add an amplifier. 

You should go for an amp and make use of it to boost up your speakers’ performance; while purchasing high-end models may work the same, an amp wouldn’t hurt your budget.

3. Power Your Factory System

Let’s talk about your head unit this time.

Most head units have no more than 10-20 watts on their output power channel. Whether you’re a newbie or a sound expert, it is obvious that a 10-20 wattage capacity is too anemic to provide the much-needed power for your speakers to reach their maximum peak output.

When they’re underpowered, their frequencies won’t be stable enough to negate or stop the rattle and vibration caused by the vehicle or cancel out the noises from your surroundings.

Most car door amplifiers provide enough power to boost your speakers’ performance. They automatically provide clarity to the produced sound while conforming with your vehicle’s audio peak output.

How Many Amplifier Channels Should You Have?

Typical 2-Channel Amplifier - Rear View
Amplifier Rear View with 2 Channels for Inputs and Outputs

Now that we’re done with your “do I need an amp for my car speakers?” question, let’s talk about the amplifier channels for the door speakers you’ll be getting. These channels prioritize the way your speakers handle, manage, and send out audio signals for your listening pleasure.

While this may sound unnecessary at the moment, trust us when we say this is where your high-quality sound will rely on.

So what are these channels? Amplifiers come with multiple channels that act as sources of power for the signals of your speaker through the RCA cable. These range from 1 to 8, but the common amplifiers are 2 channels and 4 channels.

The number of channels suitable for you will solely depend on your plans and needs.

1. Front Speakers

If you prefer your music with a strong front stage sound, or you just aren’t very fond of your rear speaker, 1 or 2 channel amplifiers would work best for you.

Keep in mind that channels like these may work amazingly for a pair of speakers, but terribly for a couple more. Their capacities are not very flexible, so think about it before purchasing.

2. Front And Rear Speaker Set

Now, if you want a full and complete sound output, power both of your front and rear speakers with a 4 channel amp (placing a channel for each speaker). 

These many channels allow for a clean transmission without any delay or distortion, most especially if you’re also considering midbass vs midrange speaker preferences.

3. The Car Audio System (Speakers & Subwoofer)

If you’re powering all of your speakers plus your subwoofer, the channel count may vary.

A 3-channel amp is capable of taking care of a pair of speakers and a subwoofer as well, but since that isn’t the case, you may go for a 5 or 6 channel amp.

These will have enough potential to power an entire system conveniently. Plus the fact that they are compact and smoothly functioning. 

You may still opt for a higher channel count but at the end of the day, it all depends on you. If you’re still lost, then you can test run your amp channels and check which of them works best.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install door speakers without an amplifier?

Yes, of course! However, amplifiers are more of an accessory to a passive speaker than a necessity.

If you ever find yourself purchasing a new car with terrible door speakers, you can always have them removed and replaced; the amplifying part pretty much depends on your preference. 

So, although amplifiers are highly recommended and beneficial, your door speakers would still work just fine without them.

Do you need an amplifier for regular speakers?

Yes and no, ironically.

Even though regular speakers do not have built-in amplifiers like powered ones, they are known for their remarkable abilities in converting electrical car audio signals into the sound waves we listen to, they have built-in elements that allow them to function on their own.

Again, the choice is yours to make. It’s really a personal preference because audio is relative and an immersive sound experience is unique to every listener. If you’re still thinking “do I need an amp for my car speakers?”, the answer simply lies in your requirements as an audiophile. Getting and having one installed, however, is definitely preferable.

How do I choose an amplifier for my speakers?

While there are multiple areas to cover when choosing the best amplifier for your speakers, there is one important factor you must take into consideration.

This is the power rating of your speaker and you can find this value on the information sticker located at its back covering or underneath it. You can also search for the product brand and model to learn more about it. Once you do, you should find an amp that provides 1.5-2 times that rating.

This of course does not or may not work best for everyone since our standards in sound fidelity vary despite it being the “acceptable” industry standard for amplified speakers. You may opt to choose an amplifier with a lower or higher rating using this value as your reference.


Conclusion

We hope we helped you figure out whether you need an amp for car door speakers or not. 

Again, our answer remains to be yes, but you’re the master of your own car audio system, so make sure to also consider what works best for you.

Always remember that your car audio quality completely depends on three things; your speaker, amplifier, and head unit. So if adding an amp doesn’t work, try troubleshooting the remaining two.

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