How Many AMPS Does A Car Stereo Draw? – Complete Guide 2023

Do you know how many amps does a car stereo draw? If not, you should find out before you head to the store and buy a new one. Many people don’t realize that there are regulations in place regarding the amount of power that car stereos can draw. 

Car amps (amplifiers) take the little electronic signals from your radio and make them stronger, so you can hear them in your speakers. The more power your car stereo has, the louder it will be. 

Car amps come in all different sizes for different purposes. Different cars need different sized amps to get the maximum performance out of their sound system, but most autos have a standard “amp kit” which doesn’t require special installation knowledge or tools to install. In this blog post, we will discuss the amps a car stereo draws, as well as some other factors that play into it.

How Many AMPS Does A Car Stereo Draw?

First and foremost, let’s get into what is needed for a car stereo to play. Three components need to be met for your head unit to function: power antenna wire (+12V), ground wire (-), and accessory wire (switched 12V). 

Power antenna wire powers the stereo when it needs to turn on, while the ground wire provides a bond between the chassis of the vehicle, and your car stereo. Finally, since you can’t have constant 12V running through your head unit without damaging it, there has to be a switched connection so that only when the vehicle key is turned on will power run to your radio. 

This way, if someone were to try and listen to smooth jams at work, the car would have to be turned on, and they couldn’t just rely on a dead battery. If you think about it, the switched 12V wire is essentially your remote turn-on lead.

Since these three wires are fed from two different fuses from the vehicle’s fuse box (one for power antenna wire/ground wire, and one for accessory wire), it can be difficult to know which fuse feeds which connection. The diagram below will help visualize this concept better:

By taking note of what each line represents regarding their respective connections, you should be able to determine which lines represent which wiring color (power antenna, ground, or accessory). 

To give you an example of how this works in real life if someone were interested in knowing how many amps a car stereo draws, but didn’t have the tools to measure it, we would have them look for a blue wire with a white stripe that is controlled by the ignition. 

From there, we’d instruct them to look at where the wire goes into their vehicle’s fuse box and find a line coming from a fuse that says ‘BATT’. What you’ll want to do next is follow this wire until you either arrive at your head unit or it splits off into other connections. 

If you arrive at your head unit, simply trace back to see which color cable attaches were as described above. On the other hand, if this line splits off into several different colors going in multiple directions (such as going towards speakers), we would take each connection and check to see if it is controlled by the ignition. 

If so, use the same color wire as before (blue wire with white stripe) and follow it back until you arrive at your head unit. This way, you can find which power wire feeds your car stereo (power antenna, ground, or accessory).

Measuring The Current Draw

How Many AMPS Does A Car Stereo Draw?

Now that we know how a car stereo gets its power supply, let’s move on to measuring the current draw. First and foremost, what exactly do we mean when we say measure current draw? 

Simply put, this means using a multimeter to figure out how many amps our head unit is pulling from our vehicle’s electrical system. To do this, we’ll need to attach one probe of our multimeter to a ground point in our vehicle, while placing the other probe on the wire that feeds into the head unit. 

The ground point could be anything grounded to your car’s body- such as a bolt or screw used to hold the interior together, an exposed metal part of your engine compartment (such as a bolt or nut), or even something like an antenna mount. 

Once you have found a good ground point, set up your multimeter to read either DC voltage if it is capable of doing so (most are not) at 20V max. After this, start up your vehicle and turn on any music source you may have connected to your radio: CD player, auxiliary input, etc. 

If all goes well and everything is hooked up properly and no fuses are blown, you should see a voltage reading on your multimeter. This is simply the amount of current that your head unit draws. Once you have this number, multiply it by 1.25 to get an estimate of how many amps your head unit pulls from your vehicle’s electrical system.

Things To Consider While Choosing A Car Amp

Are you looking for a new car amplifier? If so, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first thing to consider is your budget. Car amplifiers can range in price from around $50 to well over $1,000. 

It’s important to find one that fits your budget without compromising on quality. Another thing to consider is the type of music you listen to. Some amps are better suited for certain types of music than others. If you’re into heavy metal or hip-hop, for example, you’ll want an amp that can handle those genres effectively. 

Finally, you’ll need to decide on the features you want. Do you need an amp with Bluetooth capabilities? What about one with a subwoofer output? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best car amplifiers available. 

We’ve also included several brands you might not have heard of but that produce good amps at affordable prices. Read on to learn more!

1. This Class D 2-channel Amplifier 

This supplies up to 2000 Watts. It’s built with a MOSFET power supply and a large EI transformer for superior performance in any situation. The amplifier can be set to either 4 or 2 channel mode, depending on your preference and how much power you need to use. 

It has both low pass and high pass filters as well as bass boost control so the sound is tailored to your exact needs. In addition, it can handle speaker impedance from two to four ohms. This amp measures in at 9″(H) x 17″(W) x 2-3/4″ (D).

2. The Kicker 

It is known for making high-quality car audio equipment, and this amplifier is no exception. It has a peak power of 600 Watts and an RMS of 300 Watts, which makes it perfect for low-impedance 2 or 4-ohm speakers. 

The Kicker amp has both low pass and high pass filters as well as bass boost capability. It plugs into your factory radio to enhance its audio capabilities while remaining completely compatible with it. 

You can also hook up an external amp if you’d like more power! This model comes with everything you need to get started including speaker inputs and outputs, remote turn-on wire, and power and ground leads.

3. This Class D Amp 

It supplies up to 1000 Watts of maximum continuous power. It has a variable low-pass crossover as well as a built-in bass boost. You can set the gain control to match your factory radio’s level or use an optional line driver for higher output levels. 

The Mosconi R1000 uses MOSFET technology for efficient signal processing and heat management. The kit comes with everything you need including speaker inputs, remote turn on lead, fuse holder, power cable, and screws.

4. This Mosconi 6 Channel Amplifier 

It lets you connect four different sets of channels which are all powered independently by Mosconi’s MOSFET 50A power supply. This model provides 500 watts at 4 ohms with a 1200 watt peak per channel in bridged mode or 2400 watts at 2 ohms when bridged, making it powerful enough to handle the demands of most applications. There are also integrated crossovers with selectable slopes. It comes with a remote bass level control so it can be mounted out of sight.

5. This Digital Amplifier From JL Audio 

This is designed to provide high power with low distortion for excellent sound quality. It has a built-in crossover and variable bass boost control for customizable performance. 

The amp also features an advanced architecture that provides dynamic power supply cooling, maximizing the life of your equipment. There’s even a wireless remote that comes with this model! 

This amp gives you up to 450 watts RMS at 4 ohms and 900 watts at 2 ohms, meaning it can handle almost any speaker set-up without struggling.

6. Mosconi M20000 

This small unit supplies 2000 watts peak power and 500 watts RMS – enough to drive virtually any aftermarket speakers you throw at it. There is a built-in crossover and variable bass boost for customizing your sound, plus a 2/4 channel mode for more control over your speakers. 

This model also features MOSFET technology which enhances power management and heat dissipation. It comes with everything necessary for installation including speaker inputs, outputs, remote level controller, and screws.

7. The Class A/B Monoblock Model 

How Many AMPS Does A Car Stereo Draw?

The Class A/B Monoblock Model from Kicker gives you up to 1200 watts of peak power with 800 watts RMS per amplifier. It’s rated at 4 ohms and works well with most factory radios so it plugs in directly without using an external amp or adapter cable. 

The rotary gain controls let you customize the loudness while the low pass filter controls let you fine-tune your sound. This model even includes speaker-level inputs for added compatibility with factory stereos.

8. This Full-range Class Ab 4 Channel Amp 

It gives you 200 watts RMS at 4 ohms per channel or 400 watts RMS at 2 ohms when bridged, making it perfect for use in most cars. It has built-in crossovers so you can adjust the frequencies sent to each set of speakers. The amp comes with a power cable, screws, fuse holder, and more to get you started.

9. The JL Audio HD900/5 

It is a high-powered 5-channel amplifier that provides up to 900 watts RMS while remaining stable into lower impedances for maximum performance. You can hook up three full-range speakers and a subwoofer to this model for your front, rear, and subwoofer channels. The amp includes variable low pass crossover filters, bass boost controls, and clipping indicators.

Wrapping Up

So, how many amps does a car stereo draw? The answer may not be as clear-cut as you think. Depending on the make and model of your car stereo, it could range anywhere from 10 to 30 amps or more! Make sure you know what kind of system you have in your car and take that into account when planning any upgrades or replacements. Always consult with an expert if you’re unsure about something – that’s what we’re here for.

Hopefully, this article on “How Many AMPS Does A Car Stereo Draw?” has helped you understand the basics of car stereo wiring. But by understanding a little more about how they work and the different types available on the market, you can make an informed decision when it comes time to upgrade your audio experience.

We hope that this article helped you with all the information you need. Thanks for reading! 

William R. Keen

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