If you just got a new car or are looking to upgrade your current vehicle’s audio system, you might be looking for a couple of things: a new pre-amp receiver, amplifier, subwoofers, and/or speakers. Of course, you aren’t limited to upgrading these options, but they are the most commonly switched out parts in an audio system. Your receiver is where the source of the music comes from. For example, you may have the standard player in your car that takes in an auxiliary cord or a cable that runs to your phone. Perhaps you’d like to upgrade the receiver to have bluetooth capabilities.
The amplifier’s job is to take the signal from your receiver, a relatively small signal, and amplify its current to your subs and speaker set. Subwoofers and speakers are the main components that actually deliver the sound and they require a fair amount of current. Having a good amplifier that can deliver that current is going to be what makes or breaks your system. Do a little more research on how amps work and how many watts your car amp needs in comparison with your speaker set. The two components correspond with each other. Essentially, if you under- or over-power your speaker set, you can potentially damage them or at the very least simply not use them to their advantages.
In this post, I will be recommending what I believe is the best 1500 watt amp, the BOSS AR1500m Armor. Boss Audio is one of those companies that I trust when it comes to car audio systems. Their products are always well-made and their customer service is phenomenal. In fact, when I first started, I had a chat with one of their reps who helped talk me into what kind of wattage my amp needed to be since my speakers were high-power. They also recommended I switch out my battery, which in hindsight was a lifesaver because my new sound system in my car takes up a lot of current.
Boss AR1500m: the best 1500 watt amp
Having a 1500 watt amp certainly brings its own benefits. While there are higher-wattage amps out there, you must understand that 1500 watts is still a lot of current, whereas the typical amplifier transmits at a maximum of 500 watts. Still, many speakers and subs require this power, and so something like the AR1500M Armor is going to help facilitate that sound for you tremendously.
The AR1500M is a relatively slim amplifier with an simple-install design. It measures approximately at 10.3″ x 6.5″ x 2.6″ (Length x Width x Height). Along with a sufficient battery (you’ll need at least a 12V), this amp’s compatibility depends on your car’s year, make, and model. Fortunately, you can simply enter those and this page will tell you if it is a good fit.
Other requirements include having a set of subwoofers, most importantly a set that has equal or more ohm capacity than your amplifier. This is to prevent frying the amp and/or your subwoofers. For my setup, I have one Boss Audio AR10D, which has a 2200-watt capacity and uses a dual 4 ohm aluminum voice coil. It works perfectly with this 1500 watt amp with 2 ohm capacity. Also note that this amp is only meant to run with one subwoofer since it is a mono-block.
One of my favorite features on the Boss Audio AR1500M is the wired remote control that lets you control your subwoofer’s level. That is more for when you want to change something on-the-go, however. The amp also allows you to change input sensitivity from your headboard, or the initial input for the sound. This gives you control over the balance between power usage and quality of sound, though even on modes to give me power efficiency, I couldn’t find much fault in the sound quality. To round out the input controls, the amp automatically allows its input to match that of the output signal from the head unit, using Variable Input Control.
AR1500M Armor Performance
As for performance, the AR1500M drives sound very well for an amp that only retails for around $50. Most 1500 watt amps could run you over $100 and up to $150, especially if you purchase from a local audio shop. I found that the Armor helps my speakers deliver clear sound, especially at the middle to higher frequencies. Of course, you need a decent sub and speaker set to truly enjoy an amplifier like this one. At lower frequencies, I found it was slightly less clean. For frequencies lower than 40 hz, for example, the sound comes off as slightly restrained. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the bass gets distorted, since that is a false accusation and the AR1500M certainly aids the delivery of booming and good-sounding bass, but I’d like to see those lower frequencies tuned a little better to truly make advantage of expensive subwoofers.
Overall, the sound experience is phenomenal. For a rather budget-friendly car audio system, with my AR10D and speakers, along with this AR1500M amplifier, I can hear and feel a completely different experience. Music sounds much clearer and turning the volume up with the bass adjusted helps banger music sound completely amazing. Even with lesser subwoofers (My Boss Audio AR10D is already on the lower end), the amp is extremely adjustable. Simple turn the power down to about 1/3 of its rating, depending on how much more powerful the amp is compared to your subs, and it still works beautifully while amplifying your sound setup.
AR1500M Armor Durability
I will say that, despite this only being a budget 1500 watt amp, Boss Audio definitely manufactured something special here in terms of material quality and sheer durability. I will admit that I’ve dropped the amp numerous times since first purchasing it years ago and it is still holding on strong. Its outer shell casing wasn’t cracked or anything, and the internal hardware is definitely intact considering I find no errors while playing back music.
The duration I’ve owned this amp is also worth mentioning for durability. Most amps at physical audio shops will run considerably more in price than this one, purchasable on Amazon. The cheaper end 1500 watt amps at those stores will still be more expensive and are doubtlessly of lesser quality. I did some comparisons and research while doing this amplifier review. I checked the models of some of the amps at this watt range they sell in stores, and a lot of them are not even supported by their manufacturers anymore. Others were years old with hardly any reviews, which seemed sketchy. I would highly not recommend purchasing from a brick and mortar store, especially since an amp like the Boss Audio AR1500M holds considerable quality in sound and durability, especially at its price point.
1500 watt amps: any alternatives?
The only alternative I’d even consider for an amplifier with a max capacity of 1500 watts would be the D-class ones. The Boss Audio AR1500M is a A/B class amplifier and is at the top of the game when it comes to other A/B class amps. If you’re just starting out or are on a budget, I suggest staying with an A/B class amp. They are cost effective and their quality (if you get a top-notch one) is comparable to “digital-class” and more expensive amps.
D-class amplifiers will cost much more, since they are extremely efficient in power and may be able to produce clearer sound while using less output, and so those are the only other amps at 1500 watts I could recommend. There are only two that are worth mulling a purchase for:
- Hifonics BRX1516.1D Brutus Mono Amplifier, 1500-Watt
- Skar Audio RP-1500 1D Monoblock Class D MOSFET Amplifier, 1500W
Other subwoofers I recommend pairing up with a monoblock amp include the Polk Audio 12, a 10″ Fulton, or a 12″ Hilfonics sub. Obviously do research on those companies and their subwoofers before purchasing, but Polk Audio, Fulton, and Hilfonics are definitely reputable brands in my book, and I have been working on honing my car’s audio system for a few years now.