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Alpine vs Rockford Fosgate

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Alpine and Rockford Fosgate are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, subwoofers and amplifiers. Rockford Fosgate specialize mostly in car audio products.

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Alpine Quick History

Alpine Electronics, Inc. was established in 1967 as Alpine Motorola. This was a joint venture between the Alps Electric Company and Motorola. In 1978, the company name changed to Alpine Electronics, Inc. when the Alps bought all the Motorola shares. It is headquartered in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The company makes amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers, and car tweeters.

Rockford Fosgate Quick History

Jim Fosgate founded Rockford Fosgate in 1973 in his garage in Arizona, USA. The PR-7000 amplifier was introduced the same year. Rockford Fosgate sold its electronics under the Punch and Punch POWER brand name.

Camelback Capital Corporation purchased the company in 1980 and renamed it Rockford Corporation. Robert Pothier of Camelback Capital became president of the company in 1982. Rockford Fosgate is currently well known for pioneering car audio devices – car amplifiers and car speakers.

Sound Quality

Alpine Sound Quality

Alpine produces a good professional range of speakers. Though the cheaper end may occasionally lack clarity and suffer from minor distortion, most speakers from Alpine have a very low level of distortion. 

The bass is however not as much and those who need thumping bass may need to add a subwoofer. 

Rockford Fosgate Sound Quality

Rockford Fosgate car audio devices are high quality and are normally of average price. The RF is louder, clearer, and has good bass. They are widely renowned as one of the best car audio brands on the market, providing drivers that produce high-quality sound.

Rockford Fosgate is a popular choice for persons who want to upgrade their sound systems. If you get a Rockford Fosgate amplifier, be aware that you will need to dish out more money for quality subwoofers and plan accordingly.

Features

Alpine Features

The speakers bear varied features. These are:

Here are the main features of Alpine amplifiers

  • T.A.R circuitry
  • Thermal management control
  • Compact design
  • Adjustable gain control
  • Variable subsonic filter
  • Speaker level input

Rockford Fosgate Features

Here are the features of the various products:

Car speakers

  • Polypropylene woofer cone with rubber surround
  • Power range from 2 to 45 watts RMS
  • Certified energy-auditor compliant
  • Frequency response of 48 to 22 kHz

Amplifiers

  • Punch EQ that adds a Bass Boost up to +18 dB at 45 Hz
  • Compact
  • Heat efficient

Tweeters

  • Built-in phase plug
  • Frequency response between 4 – 22 kHz

Build Quality

Alpine Build Quality

Alpine speakers have a premium and rugged build.

Alpine electronics

They use high-density polymers for speaker casing, and the cones are made from premium fiber instead of regular paper. 

Alpine stereos

Their car stereos are also used in some of the most popular and well-respected car brands across the world including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Skoda and VW.

Rockford Fosgate Build Quality

The bass speakers and woofers are built of die-cast, vented aluminum, or stamped steel frames. The cones are reinforced with Kevlar fibers to reduce cone distortion and piston flex.

The coax models or Prime Series car speakers are built in 5.25, 6.5, and 9-inch sizes using stamped steel frames and polypropylene cones.

The Punch Series is made of a rubber butyl surround that increases cone area and adds to the speaker’s efficiency.

The Punch Loaded enclosures are constructed of medium-density fiberboards and covered in industrial-grade carpet and offer the flexibility of vertical and horizontal mounting options.

Ease of Use

Alpine Ease Of Use

Alpine speakers are generally small in size and easy to install. The SPR-60C, for instance, focuses a lot on improving performance in a compact size. As a result, they are built with neodymium magnets that are much smaller than regular magnets and deliver better sound quality. 

Rockford Fosgate Ease Of Use

Rockford Fosgate makes car audio equipment that are relatively easy to use. Besides, they come with user manuals for ease of setup. The amps also come with remote control systems to help you navigate easily and enjoy music even from the backseat.

Cost

Alpine Cost

Alpine speakers fall into the mid-range and the expensive category, with very few Alpine products falling within the bottom prices. While you can easily get a cheap speaker with offers well under $50, even under $20 from JVC and Sony, Alpine speakers generally cost around $40 or higher.

Rockford Fosgate Cost

Rockford Fosgate products are generally average priced:

Tweeters: $20 – $50

Speakers: $50 – $100

Amplifiers: $200 – $1000

Space Requirements

Alpine Space Requirements

As we mentioned already, Alpine speakers are compact and easily fit in small spaces. You can therefore enjoy music from Alpine even in small rooms without worrying about speaker placement.

Rockford Fosgate Space Requirements

Tweeters and speakers are built in small sizes that easily fit in car spaces, with speaker sizes ranging between 10 to 15 inches.

The Fosgate tweeters are 0.75 inches, making them easily mountable on dashboards, pillars, or kick panels. The amplifiers, on the other hand, are equally built on smaller chassis and can be easily installed underneath car seats.

Remote Controls

Alpine Remote Controls

Remote controls make listening to music a fantastic experience. Alpine remote controls such as Alpine’s compact RUE-4360 remote control give you wireless command of your Alpine stereo system from any position and distance.

Some of the actions you can perform with the remote control include: 

  • Audio processor adjustments 
  • Track repeat and random playback of audio files from USB
  • Subwoofer level up/down 
  • Defeat on/off to be able to apply tone controls using a separate EQ
  • Phone functions; include hanging up, picking up, or rejecting calls from paired smartphones 

Rockford Fosgate Remote Controls

Rockford Fosgate car amplifiers come with easy-to-use remote controls to help you easily navigate between features. This makes the amps much easier to use.

Connectivity Options

Alpine Connectivity Options

The speakers are built with various connectivity options that support different use scenarios. For instance, some speakers accept RCA wiring with older brands, while others, such as the Bluetooth Alpine speakers, can easily connect through Bluetooth pairing. The other connectivity options available include USB.  

Rockford Fosgate Connectivity Options

The products support various connectivity options including:

  • RCA
  • Speaker level inputs
  • Bluetooth

Power Range

Alpine Power Range

The speakers have a significant power handling ability for the price. The power output on the high-end Alpine speakers is 300 watts or 100 watts RMS. The low and mid range speakers deliver up to 150 watts RMS.

Rockford Fosgate Power Range

Rockford Fosgate manufactured a wide range of speakers with a wide power range. You will get speakers with as low as 20 watts RMS and as high as 350 watts RMS.

Frequency Response

Alpine Frequency Response

The type-S speakers operate within the frequencies of 80 Hz to 22 kHz while the R-Series respond well between 65 Hz to 29 kHz. 

Rockford Fosgate Frequency Response

Rockford Fosgate tweeters have a frequency response range of 4 to 22 kHz. The speakers respond well within a frequency range of 48 hertz to 22 kilohertz.

Component bass speakers deliver between 20 to 100 hertz, while mid-bass models deliver between 100 to 250 hertz.

Conclusion

Alpine makes great stereos and a force to beat when it comes to mind-blowing head units. Its speakers offer quality and reliability even in the cheaper range. Also, the subwoofers have a good frequency response, good power handling, and are easy to install. 

Rockford Fosgate is generally high-quality and average-priced. Besides, the amps are very powerful. You may need to pay more to get a matching subwoofer! They are therefore a good pick for upgrading your audio system.

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