A monoblock amp is just one single channel. On the other hand, the two-channel has 2 channels, each with its inputs/outputs. Each can be amplified independently to allow certain features like surround sound or bi-amping.
Monobock amplifiers are one-channel amplifiers or mono amplifiers. You can use them to power subwoofers only. On the other hand, 2 channel amplifiers are stereo amplifiers that can be used to power 2 speakers, so you can use them for the doors and/ or rear speakers, use a 2 channel amp.
Read on to learn more.
Specifications of Monoblock Amp
Monoblock amps are usually very light and compact due to their lack of internal components such as potentiometers, transformers, and power cords.
This makes them great for transportation and installation in tight spaces like behind or under a car seat.
Monoblocks can also be either built-in or mounted outside your vehicle, an example would be powering your boat speakers with one monoblock amplifier instead of 2.
2. Pricing and Budget
The price range for this type of amplifier is generally very high. This is because more experienced car audio enthusiasts usually buy them, sound installers or mechanics who do car installs as their full-time job.
They will most likely give you an affordable price if you negotiate with them. Prices fluctuate depending on the brand name, power output (class), built-in features (tone controls, etc.), and overall quality of materials used.
3. Sound Quality
This type of amplifier is typically very loud. They produce clean, clear sound mainly if you use a suitable speaker cable with copper wire inside or oxygen free-cable.
This type of amplifier is not designed for SQ or sound quality. They are mainly intended to increase the volume output of your car’s audio system.
Most monoblock amps have RCA inputs and outputs, so you can connect them with other external amplifiers. This is if desired to power multiple speakers/subwoofers at once or just use one input to “daisy chain” between both amps.
That way, you only need one set of speaker wires running from your head unit to each amp.
However, if you feel this would be too much wiring in your car’s dash, you can always buy an amp with Bluetooth connectivity like the JL Audio Slash Series, which is 100% wireless.
If you have more than one subwoofer, you can wire them to a mono amp using various methods. For example, check out this guide on how you can wire 2 subs to a monoblock amplifier. This is especially easy to do if you want to wire two subs to a monoblock with two terminals.
5. Space Considerations
This type of amp does not have any internal components, so you won’t need to find extra space for anything other than the amplifier itself.
The only thing you will want to keep in mind is whether or not your car can fit a monoblock with enough room to plug it into another subwoofer if necessary.
If that’s something you’re interested in, purchase one of those amps without an enclosure and instead plop it right down on the floor of your trunk for instant subwoofer power.
If you want to properly tune your subwoofer, you need to tune your monoblock amplifier. To do this, turn the volume knob continuously until you get to max volume without hearing any distortion. This volume will be your maximum tuning volume.
Specifications of 2 Channel Amps
Public opinion is that a 2 Channel Amp needs to be well-designed, easy to place in any room, and compact enough to fit on the floor or small shelves. Size should not limit when selecting an amplifier since many models do not take up much space.
2. Pricing and Budget
A 2-channel amp can cost between $100 to $150 depending on where you buy it and what features you want in your amp. Some amps have a design aesthetic paid attention to, while others provide hi-fi sound quality at a low price point.
3. Sound Quality
Sound Quality is always going to be important when considering buying an amplifier because it affects the user’s listening experience. Most consumers are looking for 2 channel amps that have high-fidelity sound reproduction.
Amp connectivity is determined by how many speakers it can power, how many Aux inputs/outputs, and what other devices you can hook up to.
This is an excellent example of an amp with great connectivity the Rockville RVAMP2CH. You can check out our guide on Rockville amps to learn more. It has 12V trigger outputs for switching on/off auxiliary equipment automatically when turned on or off.
It also features RCA input for connecting several sources like iPod video players, SAT satellite receivers, etc.
5. Space Considerations
Some amps can be mounted on the wall, but they cannot fit behind seat cushions in cars, whereas some models are made specifically for car installation.
To properly tune a 2-channel amplifier, you need to set the following properly:
Volume: Adjust the volume to the maximum you can without distortion. At this point, turn your amplifier’s gain and bass boost to zero and turn the crossover filters to off or full.
Gain: Slowly turn the gain up until you reach the maximum you can go without heading distortion.
Bass Boost: You can leave this setting untouched if you care about the longevity of your system. However, loudness is the only important factor to you, you can enable bass boost.
Pros of Monoblock Amp
- They can provide twice as much voltage swing into low impedance loads since each transistor offers half of the current swing and voltage for each output.
- Monoblock amps use fewer parts than a comparable stereo amplifier: one power transformer, one or two output transistors, and one large capacitor at the amp’s supply input (two caps in case of bridge mono). By definition, monoblocks use just one chassis.
- They can provide more power to low-impedance speakers. This is because they effectively have twice as much voltage gain as two separate amplifiers driving them.
- The overall isolation between channels is better than that of a stereo amp. Hence, there will be less interaction between the left and proper channels, resulting in superior imaging and soundstage presentation.
- If the minimum impedance doesn’t drop too low, they can drive any speaker.
- Monoblocks can be stereo-mono expanded, which will give you four channels of amplification driving power.
Cons of Monoblock Amp
- The power supply of the monoblock is limited to the power supply of one amplifier.
- A failure in one channel will put the whole amp out of commission.
Pros of 2 Channel Amps
1. For both Hi-Fi and home theater systems: 2 channel amp can be applied to either hi-fi sound systems or home theater/surround sound systems.
2. Excellent Power performance: Built with linear technology by Class AB & Class D circuit, 2 channel amps can produce a high power output with low distortion at the same time.
3. Flexibility: There are many types of 2 channel amp to choose from – from multi-channel ones to mono blocks, depending on what you need them for.
4. Good noise performance: As there are only two outputs rather than multiple ones, cross-over distortion during the output process will be much lower when compared with the multi-channel amp.
5. Low power consumption: To maximize power saving, most of the modern designs for this type of amp use Class D or Class G drive technology that will allow it to produce more output with less power.
6. Lower cost: Compared with multi-channel amps, 2 channel amps are cheaper to produce, which often translates into a lower price for end users like you and me.
Cons of 2 Channel Amps
- Limited Flexibility
- Limited Multi-zone Control
Monoblock Amp vs. 2 Channel: How Do They Differ?
Monoblock amps are used to power a single subwoofer after the preamp output from the amplifier powers the front speakers. In a 2-channel setup, you can use one amp for each speaker.
A mono amp is generally used when you want more power than what can be given from a traditional 2-channel amp. This is because most 2-channel amplifiers put out about 75W per channel (4 ohms).
This means that if they were bridged together, the resultant wattage would give 150W – which falls short of the optimal amount most people would like for their car audio systems. Mono amps typically provide 200W or more per channel (4 ohms).
The main difference between the two amps is power output, where monoblocks tend to put out more power than 2 channel amplifiers.