Understanding an External Amp in Your Car 

If you enjoy your music then you will probably already know what an amp is and how it can improve your listening experiences.  But for those that are unsure or simply have never thought about it before, there is an amp of some description in just about every sound system out there, the thing is that most stock and lower cost sound systems use an amp that will provide a result but at the lowest price point they can find.  This has the knock on effect of the output audio being simply “ok” most of the time, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

What does an amp do?

Amp is short for amplifier; therefore an audio amp is a piece of circuitry that takes the audio signal generated by the stereo and makes it powerful enough for the speakers to output.  A weaker amp means that the sound coming from the speakers is not as well defined as the waveforms the stereo is generating are not being made strong enough to be interpreted properly.  This is one of the reasons we get distortion in audio systems, the soundwaves are not sufficiently strong enough to power the speakers adequately so the remaining sound output is noise.

Sound System How does an amp help?

An external amp will sit in the circuit between the stereo and the speakers, this means that it can take the signal the stereo is outputting and increase its power so that by the time it gets the to the speakers it is significantly more powerful and much better defined.  This allows the speakers to have more to work with and means that they can output a better and clearer sound.  It also result in far less distortion if you turn it up very loud.

Is it just volume?

The volume is not the only gain when using an amp, you will also get an increased clarity of music.  It’s like stepping up from standard definition 480p television to 1080p high definition television, the picture underneath is the same, but you can just seem, or in this case hear, it more clearly than before.  This should provide a much better auditory experience.

What’s the catch?

There really isn’t one, the only slight drawback is that this extra processing power comes at the cost of extra heat output.  This is standard with electronic devices in so much as the more power they use, the more residual heat there is which is why PC cooling is such a big issue with today’s powerful computers.  This is the reason the amp will most likely be mounted in the boot of your car to keep the heat dissipation manageable and not provide an obstruction.

What if I want to hear it first?

If you want to check out the power of audio amps in action then visiting your local car audio specialists, such as Xtreme Car Audio, should be something to consider.  They will have demonstrations set up and experts on hand to answer all of your questions.  But, simply put, if you want an increased quality of sound in your car, then an amp is the way to go.