Electronic audio instruments, like car radios, music players and guitars, work by transmitting a weak electronic signal to the speakers. You can use an amplifier to boost this signal, so that the speakers produce a more powerful sound. Buying an amp is a better, and sometimes cheaper, option than buying a pair of powerful speakers. If the signal strength is weak, the power of the speakers won’t matter.
There are different types of amplifiers you can buy for cars, musical instruments and some music players. Famous audio brands like Sony and Yamaha makes great amplifiers, but these tend to be unbelievably expensive. You don’t have to rely on a well-known brand to get a good amplifier. There are cheaper products that can work just as well based on your needs. For example, the best cheap amplifier I found and currently use, the Lepy LP-2020A, which I got for a budget price. But it has the same functionality as a high-end branded one that costs close to $100. If you are on the lookout for budget amplifiers, read ahead for a list of such products for both cars and guitars.
10 Best Cheap Amplifier Products – 2017
This mini amplifier is the best cheap amplifier that I have found to date. It’s suitable for most non-professional personal and household needs. The Lepy uses a Class-D LP2020 IC to reproduce noise without high distortion levels. I have two of these; one I use at home with a decent pair of speakers, and the other one is in my car. This amp allows me to switch between the tone and direction, so I can customize how bass and treble sounds come out of the speakers. In addition to this neat feature, this amp has a built-in loudspeaker protection circuit. It protects the speakers from sudden bursts of high volume which can damage internal circuitry. Plus, the amp comes with surface mounts and gear to reduce signal interference. I have been using this amp for over a year now without an issue. It shows great promise of long operational life as well.
Boss is a trusted brand so I expected this amp to cost me over a $100. But it cost me very less. And the amp is simply superb. Specs include 1500W maximum power, one 1125 channel, 1 RMS of 2 ohm and another RMS with 4 ohm. The power supply is MOSFET. These specs are great and producing both high and low end inputs. It has remote subwoofer control as well. It’s perfect for my household needs. In some instances, you may need to use converters, but otherwise this amp works smoothly with many devices.
This is my choice amp for my car, a 2005 Toyota Prius. It is a multipurpose Hi-Fi audio amp that can also be used at home, but I have my Lepy so I don’t. This Pyle amp comes with mounts and all the necessary gear to keep it mounted without a hassle. Performance wise, I have been impressed with the reproduction of acoustic audio, which is largely free of distortions and similar issues. Also, this amp is known to have a very long shelf life. It easily connects with my iPod too (with a 3.5mm input jack). And it’s really easy to have a karaoke session right in the car with this one, as it comes with a mic and aux compatibility. It also has built-in safety features to protect against short cuts and input overload. If you are looking for a highly functional car amp, I highly recommend this one.
This is my second favorite mini amp that I sometimes use in my car and the house. I have a friend who uses this with a boat. The amp is compatible with motorcycles as well. If you want perfect sound to accompany your journey, this is the ultimate product. The total harmonic distortion produced by this amp is less than 0.4%, which is to say next to nothing. Audio quality is almost perfect despite the size. This amp can reproduce signals from almost any audio format, including mp3, mp4, DVD and radio. This amp is integrated, meaning all functions are combined. So you can easily hook it up without extra help.
This superb car amp comes with Class A/B full range reproduction at a scale of 2 to 8 very stable Ohm. The amp also has a highly useful remote subwoofer level control. Thanks to 75 Watts 2 RMSs, it amp makes audio loud and crystal clear. Sound can be customized to boost bass, or to make crossover low or high. The remote subwoofer provides additional flexibility when it comes to customization. It can be paired with speakers or additional subwoofers. I recommend this amp for use mainly in a car. I tried using it at home, but the amp is best used with car-specified speakers.
This tiny amp cost me a budget price, but it’s definitely one of the best cheap amplifiers you can buy for your car or a music player. This is my preferred amp to use with my mp3 player when I want to fill up a room with clear and vibrant sound. This amp runs up to 12 volts of power. RMS power is 4W for 2. The volume knob is lid with LED display, so it’s easy to see in the night as well. This amp is too small to provide loud, booming bass, but otherwise can reproduce sound without major issues.
Guitar amps are notoriously expensive. If you are a struggling artist, you will be happy to know that this amp costs very reasonable. For the price, it is quite powerful and convenient to use. Thanks to the small size, the amp is highly portable, so you can carry it to a music bar or the subway station when you want to play. No electrical outlet is required to use the amp either. It’s highly recommended to use with electric guitars. The amp has a headphone jack when you want to play in private. You can also feed audio into a recording device using the outlet. There are controls for gain, tone and volume. For casual and semi-pro guitar players, this is the perfect budget amp.
This tiny amplifier combines low price with high performance. It’s small, portable and delivers excellent fidelity. If you are an audiophile looking for a solid, affordable amp to use with a speaker set or an mp3 player, this will be an excellent choice. It’s best for personal use. I have found that there are other budget amps that are larger to reproduce sound to a bigger crowd. This amp is perfectly compatible with high-performance headphones. You can use 3.5 mm input or output audio jacks. The product includes 2 6J9 vacuum tubes.
This classic looking amp is wonderful for home use when you want to listen to music by yourself or with a small group of friends. Power output is only 10 watts, but the amp can produce great sound. The audio reproduced is crisp and clean. I was quite pleased with the treble and bass this produced. This amp manages to achieve a wonderful balance between the two despite not being a massive product. Keep in mind that the amp is not big enough to play party music.
This is definitely one of the most affordable car amps you can get. It costs very less and I got what I paid for. The main specs of this amp is 400-watt full range, class A/B 2-8 Ohm stable. It supports both high and low end inputs. The defining feature of this amp is the 4 gauge power and ground terminals, which essentially maximized the amp’s ability to power up even when output is limited. Power is well managed to prevent overheating, which can be an issue with older cars.
Tips for Buying an Affordable Amplifier
When on the hunt for the best budget amplifier, keep the following in mind to make the best purchase choice:
If you are buying an amp for a car or another vehicle, always make sure that the amp is compatible with the model of your vehicle. If compatibility is not specified in product descriptions, or if the seller is not sure, call or email the manufacturer to know for sure. You will save yourself a lot of money later.
Be careful of the wattage output of amps. In cars, buying an amp that requires high amounts of power can lead to overheating easily. Find an amp that only uses available amounts of power and does not draw in power from the car. The Boss Audio R1004 Riot 4 Channel amp listed above is a good example.
Some amps have multipurpose functionality, but not all. So, before you make a purchase, make sure the amp is suitable for the intended use. For example, if you are looking for am amp for a guitar, don’t buy an amp for a mp3 player. Many amps are not cross compatible in that manner.
Most budget amps are small. The smaller the amp is, the smaller the sound it makes. While some mini amps are quite powerful, they many not necessarily be powerful to fill up your house with sound. So keep in mind that size matters. Big amps don’t necessarily produce better sound than smaller amps, but they can produce louder sounds.