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Did you know you can listen to music while riding a motorcycle? Although many people enjoy the sound of their engine and the road, adding music to the adventure is always exciting.
Motorcycle sound systems are similar to those used in cars. It includes an amplifier meant to improve the sound, allowing you to enjoy loud and clear music even at high speeds.
Although the market offers plenty of options, choosing one can be a bit tricky. Read below to discover the top motorcycle amplifiers and a guide on how to pick one that suits your needs and preferences.
7 Highest Rated Motorcycle Amp Reviews
Features: Low-profile design, loud and clear sound
Item Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.75 x 3.03 inches
Features: 3-way protection circuit, IP66 waterproof
Item Dimensions: 7.99 x 3.8 x 1.96 inches
Features: Resistant to weather and water, compact design
Item Dimensions: 14.75 x 6.75 x 3.25 inches
Features: Easy to install and use
Item Dimensions: 10.6 x 6 x 2.5 inches
Features: Wireless Bluetooth, LED indicators
Item Dimensions: 7.8 x 4 x 2 inches
Features: Integrated bridgeable technology, IPX65 waterproof
Item Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.25 x 9.50 inches
Features: Loud and clear sound, no distortion
Item Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.25 x 6.75 inches
Stinger – 4 Channel
Stinger is a 4-channel amplifier with 8-16 volts designed to work on motorcycles, ATVs, and other similar vehicles. It has a small footprint, so it’s ideal for most bikes, cars, and ATVs.
This one has a low profile, meaning you probably won’t mind how it looks on your bike. It’s also important to note that it’s weather-resistant. This means it can handle some rain and cold weather.
It comes with a full-range class D unregulated power supply aux so that you can link it to other amplifiers if you want to. On top of that, it has die-cast endcaps with removable mounting feet.
It’s easy to use and control, featuring simple volume control and mute function. It’s loud enough to overpower the road and engine noise, allowing you to enjoy high-speed rides.
Herdio – Waterproof
Herdio is a waterproof 500-watt 4-channel marine amplifier. It has a 4-ohm impedance and a frequency range between 20 to 25 kHz.
This one comes with an aux input, RCA Pre-amp outputs, and low-level inputs. It features a waterproof and weather-resistant body rated at IP-66. It’s ideal for different riding conditions, withstanding rain, water splashes, wind, and snow.
Herdio comes with built-in Bluetooth and a multifunctional controller. It has an easy-to-use volume control, USB jack for charging your mobile phone (see top phone mounts here.)
Keep in mind that it measures 7.99×3.8×1.96 inches while its controller measures 3.74×1.8×0.86 inches. It’s among the best options for motorcycles, trucks, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, golf carts, and other similar vehicles.
The package includes an amplifier, controller, a CableX, handlebar mount, a set of screws, and an instruction manual.
Kenwood – Compact
Kenwood is a well-known name in the industry, so it’s no surprise it found its way on this list. This compact 4-channel amplifier is among the best to use on various bikes and ATVs.
It comes with built-in Bluetooth that makes it easy to listen to music from your phone. Plus, this takes away the need for cables and cords spread across your bike.
This one has 45 watts x 4 at 4 ohms. It has a peak power of 400 watts, so make sure that it works well for your needs and preferences.
It has a compact design and is easy to install anywhere on the bike. It also comes with a water-resistant remote control that has an IPX5 certification. You can expose it to 12.5 liters of water per minute from all dimensions.
Cerwin-Vega – Class D
Cerwin-Vega is a Class D amp with a compact high-density aluminum alloy chassis. It’s a compact and durable amplifier designed to withstand rough weather and riding conditions while providing a loud and clear sound.
It has two channels and a power of 1000 watts. However, one of the most important things to mention is that it weighs only a bit over a kilo. It won’t affect your bike’s weight or stability.
It features thermal protection to allow use in extreme conditions. On top of that, it will enable you to connect your USB, CD, and Bluetooth devices.
Cerwin-Vega is a powerful amp packed in a small package. It’s easy to install and won’t affect the overall aesthetic and look of your bike. Plus, it’s one of the most budget-friendly options if you’re looking for an affordable price.
Velex – Suitable for ATVs
Velex is among the best options for motorcycles and ATVs. It has a Bluetooth function, allowing you to connect your phone or any other Bluetooth compatible device.
It’s a 4-channel amp with a maximum power output of 50 watts at 4 ohms. In other words, you can use it with subwoofers, 2om, and 4-ohm speakers.
It also comes with a USB output if you prefer connecting your phone like this. You can also use a USB to charge your phone or other similar devices.
Velex is a class A/B amplifier with a conformal coating, moisture protection, and damp air protection. It features a compact design and is lightweight enough not to affect your bike’s stability.
Plus, it’s easy to install anywhere on your motorcycle since it can withstand occasional water splashes and rain.
Gravity – Micro
This Gravity amp might be your best option if you’re looking for a small device. It’s a 4-channel full range digital amplifier with bridgeable technology.
This one is IPX65 waterproof, meaning that you can use it in variable weather. It can withstand occasional rains and water splashes, which is ideal for off-road riding.
Its integrated bridgeable technology allows you to use two channels for better sound. You can choose between 2ohms and 4ohms, both of which give excellent sound.
Another thing worth noting is that this one features high, low, and full-pass filters. This makes it easy to adjust the audio system without any hassle.
Gravity is among the most compact models on the market. It’s easy to install and won’t take up too much space on your bike.
Rockford Fosgate – Versatile Design
This Rockford Fosgate is a four-channel, 4-ohm amplifier. It measures 1.53×4.25×6.75 inches and is among the most versatile when it comes to its design.
It provides loud and clear sound with high pass and low pass filters. It also has separate gain dials for rear and front speakers for easier use.
One of the best things is that there’s no distortion. It’s designed to deliver crisp sound regardless of the road and weather conditions, allowing you to listen to loud music even at high speeds.
One thing you should keep in mind is overheating. It’s unlikely to happen if you install it in a well-ventilated area of your bike. Still, there’s no danger of any sort since this one will shut itself off when it gets too hot.
What to Look for in Choosing a Motorcycle Amp
The size of your amplifier is one of the first things you want to pay attention to. The last thing you probably want is a large amp taking up a lot of valuable space on your vehicle.
For this reason, check the dimensions and whether the size works for your needs and preferences. Amps come in various sizes, meaning that there’s at least one that fits you out there.
As you probably noticed, most models are relatively compact, but some are still smaller than others. These are typically easier to fit within the vehicle without taking up too much space.
Power rating is another critical factor to consider, making sure that the amp has the same output power as the speakers.
Failing to match the amp and speakers often leads to overpowered or underpowered speakers. As a result, you’ll get less than impressive performance.
Less power often means distortion and unclear sound. On the other hand, an overpowered amp can blow the speakers out.
Check the RMS rating of the amp and compare it with the speakers’ power requirements to get the best match. This will help you to get a clear sound and overall best performance.
Number of Channels
Motorcycle amplifiers have a different number of channels. The number of channels means the number of speakers the amp can adequately power.
In other words, a two-channel amplifier can only power two speakers, while a three-channel amp can power three speakers. A mono-channel amp can only power one speaker.
This is quite basic, and there are very few ways to change the way these amps operate. However, some models allow you to bridge channels into one, which often results in better sound output.
Again, many different kinds are available, meaning that there’s one for everyone.
Ease of Use and Installation
Motorcycle amplifiers are relatively easy to install and use. However, this often depends on the exact type and model you go for.
The ease of installation usually depends on your skills and whether the product came with any instructions. If not, you might want to look for some online or have a professional install it for you.
Another thing that helps with ease of installation is the hardware included. Check if your amp of choice comes with everything you need to install it.
Most models are relatively easy to use once installed, featuring basic volume controls and Bluetooth.
Weatherproofing and Durability
Both durability and weatherproofing are critical when choosing a motorcycle amplifier. Chances are you’ll use the amp in variable weather and rough riding conditions.
If so, you want one that can endure an occasional water splash, rain, snow, dust, and possibly even a drop on the ground. Think about the conditions you usually ride in and ensure that your amp of choice can handle that.
Most models are weatherproof and water-resistant, featuring a sealed design that can handle extreme weather. They’re made from durable materials that can endure harsh riding conditions without damage.
Filters are something you won’t hear about often, although they’re quite critical in your choice. As you may have noticed, amps have low and high pass filters.
Low pass filters are meant to help cancel high frequencies. On the other hand, high pass filters do the exact opposite.
As a result, the two types deliver clear and smooth sound regardless of the riding conditions. This is especially important when riding at high speeds when the road noise is at its highest.
It’s a critical factor to think about if you’re looking for a quality amplifier to deliver the best sound.
Some amps are wired, while others are wireless. Choosing between the two is often a matter of preference since it’s difficult to tell whether one type works better than the other.
Still, having a wireless amp makes some difference in aesthetic. It eliminates the need for wires, making your bike look neater and cleaner.
If this is what you aim for, look for a model with Bluetooth connectivity. Many of the latest amplifiers have built-in Bluetooth, allowing riders to enjoy music without any wires. (See a selection of bluetooth headsets here.)
It’s a well-known technology you probably know how to use, so these aren’t much more complicated than wired ones.
Warranty is always essential to check when buying motorcycle equipment. Luckily, reputable brands always offer long-lasting warranties that cover damage caused by faulty manufacturing.
However, you should take the time to read the deal before purchasing a product. It helps to understand what exactly it covers in case you ever have to claim it.
Most brands don’t cover for damage caused by misuse, normal wear and tear, and neglect. You’re unlikely to get anything out of it if you’ve used the amp inadequately, so make sure to install and use it as explained and recommended by the manufacturer.
Motorcycle amplifiers come at different prices, making it easy to find one for any budget. However, it would help if you considered your budget before you start the search.
In most cases, having an idea of how much money you’re willing to spend makes it easier to pick one among as many. It helps to narrow your list of options so that you don’t waste any time.
Still, take the time to think about other buying factors we talked about. Things like durability, power, number of channels, and waterproofness are often more important than the price.
Much like any Bluetooth device, a motorcycle amp with Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t require wires for connection. It can be used with any Bluetooth-enabled device such as your phone and mp3 player to listen to music or control the radio.
It looks pretty clean once installed since there aren’t any wires spread across your bike.
As the name suggests, wired amplifiers do require wires for connection. Although this can be somewhat inconvenient at first, most people are quick to get used to it.
A wired connection might not look as clean, but it has other benefits. It’s often more stable than a Bluetooth connection.
Why You Should Own a Mini Motorcycle Amplifier
Although many touring bikes already have a sound system, these are usually not so great. Many riders replace their stock sound system almost immediately after buying a motorcycle.
Upgrading your amp and speakers is relatively simple and doesn’t have to be expensive, depending on the particular model you go for.
Road and engine noise can be quite tiring after a while, even for people who usually don’t mind it. This is where a quality amplifier can come to the rescue, making it easy to listen to your favorite tunes while riding.
It enables you to listen to music and ensures that the sound quality is at a high.
Stronger Audio Signals
A rich sound is only achievable with a quality motorcycle amplifier. It’s something not many amps can deliver, especially if we’re talking about the poor-quality stock ones.
Best amps enhance your audio system, delivering a more powerful sound regardless of the riding conditions.
How and Where to Install Your Amp
The first thing to remember is that you can install an amplifier anywhere on your motorcycle. Find a place that you can easily access, making sure that it doesn’t block its audio inputs.
Most people install it on their handlebars, saddlebag, tank bag, under the seat, or the headlight. The choice typically depends on the amplifier’s overall size and how much space you have to work with.
Also, think about if your amp has installation hardware. If so, consider where that type of mounting would work the best.
The best of all is that you can test several areas since most amps are easy to mount and remove.
More Reading: 10 Top Rated Handlebar Mount Speakers for Motorcycles
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the power requirements of motorcycle amps?
Power requirements differ from model to model. You might want to check the amp’s RMS power rating before purchasing it to ensure it matches your speakers.
Ensure that it delivers enough power to feed the speakers and other components of the sound system.
Are car amps suitable for motorcycles?
Although car amps are similar to those meant for motorcycles, you should avoid using one on your bike. Those meant for cars operate at high loads and will most definitely drain your bike’s battery quickly.
It might run for a while, but you’ll soon notice engine failure and dimmer lights, among other issues.
Does it need to be wired in the battery to work?
This depends on the particular model you go for. Some don’t require any wiring, while others are meant to be wired to the battery or deck power supply.
In most cases, either type is acceptable as long as it fits your needs and preferences.
A quality amplifier makes all the difference in how you enjoy music while riding. It can help deliver clear and loud sound without distortion regardless of your riding style or the weather conditions.
Still, the trick is in finding the best amplifier for your needs and preferences. This is what our buyer’s guide can help you with.
Use the information included to pick one of the amps we reviewed. These are the best that the market has to offer, so it’s just a matter of choosing one that suits your needs.