Amplifiers for our music on a motorcycle? Is there a Best Motorcycle Amplifier? We have them in cars, so why not? Well, we can think of a few reasons. But we are going to take the view that they are no more distracting on the bike than in the car.
A lot of people take motorcycle journeys that last many hours. If you are riding for a long time, boredom can creep into the experience after a while. Some music is going to solve that. Many will be aware of what is required, the source of the music, the speakers, but what about the amplifier. Often overlooked, it forms a critical part of the chain supplying the sound.
They are not a new idea. The first amplifiers for sound on motorcycles came in 1909. It was a slow developer and came through the valve period to drag itself into the digital age.
Channels and RMS…
For those that might be new to the idea, it is important to know that for every speaker on your bike; you will need a channel on the amplifier. If you have four speakers, you will need four channels. It is also important that when deciding the volume, you will need on your bike to pay attention to the RMS power, not the peak power.
The RMS rating is the power the amplifier can produce consistently. The peak power is used to describe the occasional peaks or louder passages in the music. Some people include the peak power to give the impression it is louder than it actually is. The RMS power should be similar to the rating of your speakers.
So, let’s take a look at the Best Motorcycle Amplifiers on the market and find the perfect one for you.
Ready?… “Get yer motor runnin…”
- Top 10 Best Motorcycle Amplifiers In 2020 Reviews
- 1 Rockford Fosgate Pbr300x4 Punch 300 Watt 4 Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier
- 2 Kenwood 2156568 Kac-M1804 Compact 4-Channel Amplifier
- 3 Kenwood 1177524 Compact Automotive/Marine Amplifier
- 4 Ds18 Candy-Micro2
- 5 KICKER PX 2 Channel Powersport Amp
- 6 Boss Audio Systems Mcbk470b Motorcycle Bluetooth Speaker System
- 7 Cerwin-Vega B52 Stealth Bomber Class D Amp
- 8 Soundstream ST4.1200D
- 9 Water Resistant Bluetooth Marine 4 Channel Class A/B Amplifier
- 10 Gravity Gbr300.4dm Digital 4-Channel Full Range Amplifier
- Best Motorcycle Amplifier Buyer’s Guide
- So, What’s The Best Motorcycle Amplifier?
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Amplifiers In 2020 Reviews
1 Rockford Fosgate Pbr300x4 Punch 300 Watt 4 Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier
Rockford Fosgate were founded in 1973 and since then have become a force in the audio entertainment world. They provide products not only for cars but also for boats and motorcycles. They are well-known for their rugged build quality.
Are you looking for an amplifier with a decent power rating that has four channels?
Then the Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 Punch 300 Watt 4 Channel Boosted Rail Amplifier is worth a look. It is designed for operating with front and rear speakers in stereo. And is also designed in such a way so as not to drain too much from your electrical system.
It has an impedance of 4 ohms, and each channel will generate an RMS rating of 75 watts and is CEA-2006 power rating compliant.
Small yet mighty…
With a compact build, it measures 9 x 6 x 3.4 inches and weighs two and a half pounds. It should, therefore, fit neatly in any space on your bike. It comes with the harness for connecting to speakers and has four RCA inputs. However, it does not include any wiring which must be bought separately.
Rockford Fosgate has a reputation for the build quality of their equipment. It is easy to install and gives out a decent sound.
Avoid the rain…
As far as we can see, it is a decent amplifier with enough power to be audible. There does appear to be one problem, though, in that it is not waterproof. This will mean ensuring it is installed in such a way as to avoid the rain. Given that it is designed with one of its uses being on a motorbike, we would have thought that being waterproof might be an essential quality.
Good sound, easy to install with a decent amount of power. It ticks most of the boxes. The Price-point is not the cheapest but acceptable. But buy an umbrella at the same time.
- Compact and well–built.
- Decent amount of power and easy to install.
- Not water-resistant.
2 Kenwood 2156568 Kac-M1804 Compact 4-Channel Amplifier
Kenwood is recognized as one of the major players in the consumer audio market. Their car audio systems are especially highly thought of. Founded in 1946, at one time, they owned another highly thought of audio systems manufacturer, Trio. In 2008 they merged with JVC to form JVC Kenwood.
This is a compact amplifier measuring just 5.5 x 3.5 x 1.3 inches and weighing just over one pound. It is a Class D amplifier that gives a far greater level of performance and efficiency. And is a four-channel amp with an RMS rating of 45 watts per channel and a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz.
Surprisingly good sounds…
It is well-made with an aluminum box and comes with all the plugs, connectors, and cabling you will need for installation.
It’s a very basic amp and has no high or low pass filters. It simply pumps out what you put in. Kenwood, though, is known for the quality of the sound of their car audio products, and this is no exception. It is one of the easiest units to install, and the sound it produces is quite surprising both in volume and quality.
Not only for motorbikes…
One big asset this unit has other than its easy to fit size is its suitability for all-weathers. This amplifier has a coated circuit board that protects it from rain, damp and corrosion. It also has a water-resistant cover that is placed over connections. This will make it suitable for use in boats as well as motorcycles.
It has to be said it isn’t the loudest amplifier out there. Nevertheless, the build is good, and it has its water and damp resistant features and is easy to fit. Those considerations alone place it in the category of the Best Bike Amplifier. The price point is excellent as well, making this a great little unit.
- Well-built and easy to install.
- It is not the loudest you will find.
3 Kenwood 1177524 Compact Automotive/Marine Amplifier
Another product from Kenwood, this one a little different from the compact KAC-M1804 model. The size is one thing. This Kenwood model measures 14.8 inches by 6.8 by 3.2 inches and weighs 2.2 pounds.
A much larger unit, but its real difference is that the Kenwood- 1177524 is Bluetooth enabled. In today’s world, many people choose to make up their own musical playlists. That means they listen to the radio less than they used to, but it also means they connect up their devices. This gives this unit a head start over some others that do not offer that facility.
The advantages of Bluetooth…
There are some real benefits to using playlists on a motorbike for your entertainment. For a start, you only get to hear what you choose and don’t have to worry about changing channels. So for a motorcycle amplifier to have that facility built-in is a big asset. If you are looking for the Best Amplifier for Motorbike, this could be it.
It is a 4-channel amp delivering 45 watts RMS per channel with a peak power rating of 400 watts. It also has coated circuit boards to protect them from rain and damp. With this unit, you also get a water-resistant remote controller which changes tracks and adjust the volume if you need to.
It has a strong metal frame and is very easy to fit. One thing you should be aware of is that there are no call answering features. Not really a bad idea, considering it’s on a motorbike.
This is a good amplifier for motorcycles or any situation where audio is required but needs to be prepared to withstand some of the elements. Once again, with a Kenwood unit, it is not the loudest you will find, but the sound is nicely balanced.
What sets this aside, of course, is the Bluetooth connection. If you can achieve a good stable pairing to your device, then you will enjoy your playlists for the journey. The price point is set at a very affordable level, which makes this a unit worth considering.
- Well-built with a strong frame and easy to fit.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Very affordable price with a good sound.
- A bit underpowered for some people.
4 Ds18 Candy-Micro2
This motorcycle amplifier from Candy is certainly a different prospect to many of its competitors.
Firstly is its size. Many manufacturers call their amplifiers compact, and most of them are. This lives up to its name of being “micro’ in its size. Measuring just 3.3 inches by 5 by 1.5 inches, we don’t think there will be too many problems finding a space to locate it. At just over one pound in weight, it is not going to weigh you down either.
Cheap and cheerful…
Another thing that won’t weigh you down is the price point. We doubt you will find an amplifier that is a lot cheaper than this. It is only a two channel amp, though, which will be a negative for some. It has a decent frequency range of 19Hz – 39KHz, and that is also worth some consideration.
Just because the unit is micro in size doesn’t mean that there is anything micro about the sound. The bottom frequencies are definitely there without being overpowering. Whilst the top frequencies are the most audible, and they are not shrill or uncomfortable to listen to.
Don’t rev too loudly…
There are, of course, some issues that will deter some. It is not weather-resistant; neither has it a great deal of volume. There are no sound adjustments that can be made on the amp other than gain.
We would say that these won’t be too important to some people. The price is affordable, the size is very small, and the sound reproduction is adequate. For a budget range motorcycle amplifier, it is a decent buy.
- A micro-sized amplifier that is easy to fit.
- Affordable price.
- Not weather-resistant.
5 KICKER PX 2 Channel Powersport Amp
Kicker is a UK company based in Dorset that manufactures a range of audio equipment for cars, motorcycles, and boats. They work at most levels of equipment, and the PX2 is one from their budget range. In many ways an entry-level type amplifier,
It has a very strong build that will take a few knocks. However, it is not what you might call a small unit measuring 12.1 inches by 10.4 by 4.6 inches and weighs in at just under four and a half pounds. It will take a little work to fit and will need an appropriate space.
There are some nice built-in features with a crossover and low and high pass filters. It has a bass boost and gain control, as well as a low or high input level. It is a 2-channel amplifier and has a power rating of 125 watts. In RMS terms, that is probably around 60 watts for two speakers.
Understandably, an output of 30 watts per speaker, doesn’t make it earth-shattering in terms of volume. However, it certainly seems to be able to put out every single watt and is quite audible when in use. It is easy to fit and comes with all the wiring and a set of instructions.
Superb budget option…
If you are looking for a cheaper introduction to having an audio system on your motorbike, this might be worth considering. It is well made and has some nice features to enhance the sound and could well be the best affordable motorcycle amplifier around. However, it is a little under-powered, possibly.
- Well-made with a sturdy chassis.
- Affordable price.
- Might be a little under-powered.
6 Boss Audio Systems Mcbk470b Motorcycle Bluetooth Speaker System
Boss knows a thing or two about sound, so we shouldn’t be too surprised they have come up with this amplifier and speaker system. It is a reasonable size measuring 9 inches by 6 by 12 inches and weighing just over one pound. It features a Class ‘D’ Amplifier generating powerful 300 watts RMS.
Come rain, come shine…
The amplifier is weatherproofed for protection against rain and other moisture. It has an inline controller that includes volume, that can be installed at its most convenient place for you. It comes with four three-inch speakers in black plastic and mountings for the handlebars for two of them.
The brackets for the fitting are adjustable between sizes 0.75 to 1,25 inches. The speakers are also weatherproofed. The amplifier and speakers come with all the hardware and cables needed for mounting.
Bluetooth or wired?
All very impressive so far, but the icing on the cake is that it is Bluetooth enabled. Use the playlists on your phone or MP3 player, and you listen to what you want. There is also a 3mm socket to connect with phones and other devices to give you the option of wired usage.
Quite a package, but then we shouldn’t be surprised as we said. The idea of having speakers mounted on the handlebars is a good idea. And knocking out 75 watts RMS each the sound is not likely to be lost in traffic noise. The ability to place the remote control is also a good idea.
This is a very good system with everything you need included. And the price? That is the cherry on top of the icing. Amazingly low for what you get.
This has to be a contender for the best value motorbike amplifier not because it is Boss but because of the features included. The build quality is high as it is with all Boss products, and just like other Boss equipment, it is functional. An excellent amp and speakers and one to take a look at.
- Well.built with some good features.
- On the handlebar speakers, remote control at an affordable price.
- The amplifier is quite large, so it will need some space.
7 Cerwin-Vega B52 Stealth Bomber Class D Amp
Cerwin-Vega is an interesting company. Founded in 1954, they produced speakers and audio equipment for the home and the car. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt in 2003. They were salvaged by Stanton Industries, who then sold off part of the operation. Stanton was itself bought out by Gibson guitars in one of the companies less than sane moments.
Reads a bit like a poor soap opera. And in the midst of all this, the people at Cerwin-Vega were still trying to produce quality audio. Today they are manufactured in Malaysia and China. This is one of their latest designs, though the links to the Air Force and B52 bombers seems a bit tenuous. Perhaps a marketing idea to attract attention. Shame.
Let’s try and ignore the total loss of sanity around them and have a look at the Product. (Sorry we can’t mention B52 Stealth Bomber-oops we just did.)
Don’t believe the hype…
It is a tough unit with a compact aluminum chassis measuring 10.6 inches by 6 by 2.5 inches and weighing 2.5 pounds. It is a two-channel amp that boasts a peak power rating of 1000 watts. However, in reality, the RMS at 4 ohms is 100 watts per channel. Maybe another marketing ploy.
It is a Class ‘D’ amp that actually sounds quite good with a frequency response of 10 – 33,000 Hz. It has a selectable crossover with settings for HP, LP, and flat and a variable low/high pass filter.
There are some good features…
It is quite loud at 100 watts per channel with a decent sound and is well-built. So it seems a shame that a decent little amp that is easy to install with an affordable price is presented so poorly.
- Compact amp with a sturdy fitting.
- Affordable price.
- Only two channels.
8 Soundstream ST4.1200D
This is a 4 channel amplifier with a rugged build. It isn’t particularly large in size, measuring 7.8 inches by 3 by 1.5 inches and weighing 1.9 pounds. However, it isn’t particularly heavyweight in sound either despite the claims of the manufacturer.
It is a Class 4 amp, but when tested, the output was 58 watts for the four channels. Nowhere near the 100 watts RMS that is claimed. It has a MOSFET power supply and employs an active crossover. And lists impedances as 2 ohms and 4 ohms, but it doesn’t handle the 2 ohms so well.
Quite a few issues…
It is easy to fit, which is one point in its favor, but if we are, to be honest, it doesn’t have very many. The sound is average, and it is lacking in any controls to regulate it. The price point is set in the middle of the range, and so it is not a particularly good budget buy either.
Other than the build quality and that it is a 4 channel amp, there is little to recommend it. We would also refer you to the laws regarding harmful substances for the State of California. It contains a chemical that breaches their code of practice.
- It does have a strong build and is easy to fit.
- Too many to list, we are afraid.
9 Water Resistant Bluetooth Marine 4 Channel Class A/B Amplifier
This is one of those systems where the manufacturer has tried to include as many features as possible. They have achieved that and also managed to produce a unit at a very affordable price, very well done!
Proving the point that everything doesn’t have to be big to be good, this amplifier measures just 3.9 inches by 8 inches by 2 inches. It weighs just over two and a half pounds and is very easy to fit. Like its build, power-wise, it is also quite modest and understated. It is a four-channel amp that gives you 4 by 45 watts output RMS.
Raindrops keep falling on my head…
It is made to be weather-resistant, an essential really for installing on a motorbike. But that feature also makes it suitable for fitting in anything that is outdoors or likely to get wet. That can include boats, of course.
It also comes with a waterproof remote control. This is wired and can be fitted wherever it is most convenient for the user. This gives you control over volume and other features linked to your attached device. It is also backlit for ease of use.
We say linked because this amp is remarkably for the price point, Bluetooth compatible. You can pair up your phone or tablet to the amp. Then you use it to play your playlists or even the radio if you have that installed on the device.
Given its build quality, price, and Bluetooth compatibility, this must put it as a contender for the Best Amplifier for Motorcycle. It is also fitted with powered speaker outputs should you wish to add on extra speakers.
We think this is a great little amp with nice features that is compact and quite loud enough. You are supplied with a bezel that is flush-mounted, a bracket for mounting on the handlebars, and a harness. Certainly worth a closer look.
- Well-built and compact in size and easy to fit.
- Bluetooth enabled remote control.
- At this price, nothing.
10 Gravity Gbr300.4dm Digital 4-Channel Full Range Amplifier
The Gravity GBR300 is a well-designed motorcycle amplifier. It is a 4 channel amp that will give you 600 watts of power. And is quite a compact unit measuring 1.5 inches by 4.2 by 9.5 inches and weighing three pounds. It is, therefore, going to be able to fit easily into a confined space. It is fitted with RCA stereo inputs.
This unit is not only good for the motorcycle but also for any environment where it might be exposed to the elements. It has an IPX65 rating. This means it is water-resistant rather than waterproof. It will be secure in water spray and moisture, rain, and other weather conditions. But it certainly couldn’t be submerged as waterproof items can. This makes it suitable for boats but not externally on submarines if you get our drift.
It is not Bluetooth compatible, but you can connect external devices using a 3.5 wire with RCA.
For those who like it loud…
One of the big points with this unit is that it is quite powerful. Once again, a big sound coming from a small package. The build is sturdy and has a metal casing and fixing brackets.
This is a no-frills unit that has one big asset. It gives you a lot of noise. For those seeking a powerful amp for their motorbike, this is going to fit the bill. It isn’t the cheapest you will find, though, and the price point is rather high.
- Well made with a sturdy chassis.
- Powerful amp in a compact frame.
- Quite expensive
Best Motorcycle Amplifier Buyer’s Guide
You want to hear the music. That doesn’t always mean it’s got to be loud. Just well placed. Fitting an amp to a motorbike means you are not going to have a lot of space to do it. This is one time where big is definitely not best. So what are the critical things to look for?
Easy To Fit
Yes, it does need to be compact. In fact, the smaller, the better, really. But it does need to be easy to fit. Cabling, etc. must all be considered. Some amps have a remote control. Where are you going to fix that? Will it be in a place that is convenient to use but also near the amp itself. Some have speakers that fit on the handlebars. Is there enough room?
Handling The Elements
It is going to have to be at least water-resistant. At some point, it is going to rain. If it is not prepared for that, you’ve lost your amp. A water-resistant rating is all that is required. You don’t need waterproof unless you’re taking the bike swimming, which is not the best idea.
It needs to be sturdy. It is going to be a little bit exposed, and so a metal-based chassis is obviously better. More than that, it needs to have its connections covered against water or moisture.
If you want an amp with Bluetooth, they are available. Certainly, it has its advantages to enable you to listen to your playlists without any wires. Having said that, wire to connect a device isn’t that much of a problem. Most have that.
If you use the wired option, you won’t have to worry about a bad connection. But, Bluetooth could be an asset if you are on a long ride and might need weather or traffic updates.
Plenty of options and choices exist, so it is down to you to decide which features are most important. There is a range of prices and so deciding how much you want to spend is necessary. We don’t think you won’t be able to find something that fits your budget.
More Great Amplifier Options
Are you also looking for an amplifier for your car or truck? If so, check out our reviews of the Best 5 Channel car Amplifiers, the Best 4 Channel Car Amplifier, and the Best Car Amplifiers currently available.