How Many Watts is Good for a Car Stereo?

You will find a car stereo in every car almost. But these factory-built stereos may not give you the best sound and features. That’s why many people buy an extra speaker, amplifier or other accessories to enhance the sound. Some people buy a new car stereo all together. The aftermarket car stereos are better than the factory-built ones as they have more powerful amplifiers and other interesting features that produce great quality sound. When it comes to the power range of the car stereo, many people wonder how many watts is good for a car stereo. Well, there isn’t any specific formula to determine it, but there are certain things you should keep in mind.

How Many Watts is Good for a Car Stereo

Why Are Amplifiers Necessary?

Amplifiers can take a weak audio signal and amplify it. The power of the amplifier and other factors determine how load the sound will be. The built-in car audio system has an amplifier. You can also install an extra amplifier to your existing car stereo system. An extra amplifier has the following benefits.

  • It produces a louder sound with minimum or no distortion.
  • It powers a subwoofer.
  • It produces high-quality sound.

How Many Watts Is Good for a Car Stereo?

You will find double din stereo units in most cars today. If you don’t have one, you can read double din stereo reviews and by the best one for your car. These stereo units have lots of functionalities, and these are easy to operate as well.

How Many Watts Is Good for a Car Stereo

More power will give better depth to your music. But it is better for you to stay within the recommended power range of the speakers. The speaker itself affects the power of the car stereo system. The amount of power you need depends on some factors. These are discussed below.


If you have an 8 inch subwoofer or larger, you will need higher watts to reproduce even the lowest. So, you need to have an outboard amplifier. You need to use more power for the bass. For example, if receiver puts 80 watts, then you should send minimum 80 watts to the sub. You should generally match the power of an amplifier or receiver with that of the speaker.

If You Have an 8 Inch Subwoofer or Larger


If your wiring is weak, you will need more power. So, make sure you have high-quality speaker wire and power cable so that you can get loud and good quality sound.

If Your Wiring Is Weak, You Will Need More Power

Type of Car

If you are driving a sedan with your windows closed, then you will need less power. But if you are driving a pickup, then you will need more power.

Type of Speaker

The number of watts you need depends on the type of speakers too. If a speaker has low sensitivity, it will require more power than a speaker that has high sensitivity. If you have an amplifier, the RMS value of an amplifier must match with the power of a speaker. The best ratio is RMS that is between 75% and 150% of the speaker’s power. You should remember that it is better to overpower a speaker than underpower it.

Other factors like location of the speaker, car noise, etc. also determines how much power you need for your car stereo.


You should remember that the power output and the speaker volume don’t have a linear relationship. This means that if you double the power of the amplifier, then the loudness won’t double; it will be only a little louder. If you have more amplifier power, the stereo system will have less strain and the overall sound produced will be better. Amplifiers or receivers with high power ratings can reduce distortion and provide high-quality sound.

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