How Many Watts Is Good For A Car Stereo? The Last Answer!

Car stereos are a standard element in today’s vehicles. Choosing the stereo systems with the proper wattage is essential for driving a car or a small truck. You will only have a fun journey until you turn up the volume on your music and dance to your beloved tunes while driving. How are you going to achieve that? How many watts is the best suitable for a car stereo? Your stereo should offer over 20 Watts RMS/channel for an excellent audio experience.

If you want to get an in-depth explanation, let’s scroll down this post!

What Exactly Is A Wattage Rating?

A vehicle amplifier or stereo watt rating is the amount of power in Root Mean Square (RMS) wattage.

In its simplest terms, the watt rating indicates what you may expect from your car audio under standard operating settings.

Car stereos are available in a variety of watt ratings. The type and size of cars in which these devices are mounted determine the amount of this output variance.

If your vehicle features a factory-installed sound system, you’ll find that it offers a low watt rating. In most cases, the RMS power is under 10 watts.

The lowest watt rating for vehicle amps is around 5 wattages RMS, mainly observed in the standard audio systems.

If you want to replace your car’s standard speaker system with an aftermarket enhancement, look for a device with high power ratings, such as 30 to 40 watts RMS/channel.

It ensures that the quality of sound of your vehicle audio is as good as possible.

How Many Watts Is Good For A Car Stereo- Wattage rating

Car Stereo Watt Overview

A watt is a measurement unit for electric power in technical terms. It is the maximum energy your vehicle speakers can produce while delivering sound.

You have to delve into more detail to understand how watts influence your sound quality. Below are fundamental concepts you should know.

RMS Watt, Peak Watts, and Decibels

The watt rating of an audio system has nothing to do with the volume it can produce. It’s nothing more than a power grading system.

However, it’s where RMS and peak watts come into play. Combining these elements with decibels (dB) and sensitivity determines how loud the stereo amplifier can produce sound.

The sensitivity of standard automobile audio is between 85 and 110 decibels. It implies that it produces good music without distortion, even at a modest watt.

TDH (Total Harmonic Distortion)

TDH (Total Harmonic Distortion) is the degree of the distortion your speaker is likely to experience when transmitting sound signals.

A decent rating is less than 0.1 percent.

Speaker Impedance

This value shows you how much resistance wattage your amplifier will require without getting too scientific sound.

Ohms is the unit of measurement. Try to seek a car stereo with a speaker impedance of roughly 8 Ohms.


Amplifiers or amps are the stalwart companions of your superhero vehicle stereo. They amplify any faint input signal to a higher volume and clarity.

When it comes to determining how many watts your stereo needs, it is critical to recognize the type of amplifier your vehicle has.

If you don’t know how to choose an amplifier, you can watch this video:

Basic concepts

Are More Watts Equal To Improve Sound Quality?

The capacity of your automobile speaker to transmit power increases as the wattage rises.

In other words, it’ll have a lot more dynamic range and less sound distortion.

When playing music, a high female voice or prominent guitar solos may sound much better but shriller for a short time.

Certain sections can use up to 300 wattages of peak capacity. However, using more wattage also means your car needs more battery.

Having low watts in reserve, however, can cause certain specific passages of the music to sound distorted.

RMS watt and audio sensitivity rating are the most critical factors for overall efficiency.

To achieve the best sound quality, you’ll need to balance dynamic headroom and power usage.

Higher wattage delivers better sounds

What Is The Maximum Power Capacity Of A Factory Car Stereo?

According to the specification documents, the typical power for standard stereos in vehicles is between 8 and 10 watts RMS.

This data, on the other hand, can be deceiving. The reason is that RMS wattage and peak wattage are two completely distinct measurements of audio quality.

If four channels power your amplifier chip and one with a 50 watts peak, you may get up to 200 wattages of power from the vehicle audio.

However, considering the outside traffic noise from transportation, the actual RMS value can reach 15 to 18 wattage RMS at maximum.

A proper power for a car stereo

To Double The Sound, How Many Watts Are Required?

Consider the case of two amps. One generates 10 watts, while the other generates 20 watts.

You understand that increasing the watt results in a 3dB improvement in the audio output.

But you’ll have to boost the sound pressure level (SPL) to at least 10 decibels (dB) if you want to double the audio volume.

It means a ten times increase in wattage leads to a doubling of loudness.

In other words, you need to add ten times extra watts to enhance the speaker’s sensitivity to 10 decibels (dB).

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Higher Wattage?

Everything has two sides, and a higher watt is not an exception. Before using high wattage, it’s better to consider the following pros and cons:


  • It enables you to drive your amplifiers to their maximum, resulting in a louder, clearer sound.
  • It can make your car’s standard speaker system work better in general.
  • It may also aid in the protection of your speakers.


  • It can have an impact on the general efficiency of your current system.
  • It will be much more expensive than its lower watt counterparts.
  • It may not be compatible with several vehicle varieties due to additional components like amps.

Benefits and drawbacks

How Many Watts Is Good For A Car Stereo

If you need to upgrade your standard stereo and hear a difference, seek aftermarket choices with at least 30 watts RMS/channel.

It’ll provide you with the sound quality to drown out the road noise.

Typical factory automobile stereos feature roughly 10 watts/channel RMS power rating.

This watt rating is insufficient for a genuinely immersive on-the-road stereo performance.

Besides, the amount of watts your vehicle stereo needs depends on several things.

Vehicle Types

Outside traffic noises may completely drown out music from your audio.

A lower wattage will suffice if you’re using a sedan with crimped windows. You don’t need to turn up the sound as much.

Using a hatchback or big truck may expose you more. So, listening to the bass in your favorite song via your vehicle stereo will require more power or wattage.

Speaker System

Compared to a vehicle speaker system with a high noise level, a poor sensitivity stereo amplifier will require more power to perform a song.

Therefore, it’s better to consider the RMS wattage if you have an integrated amplifier with your stereo.

Your vehicle stereo’s acoustic sweet zone should range between 0.75–1.5 between sound output and RMS watt.

It’s best to carry some additional dynamic headroom on hand than becoming without it if you want it!

Many factors affect the wattage


1. Is A 200-Watt Radio Sufficient?

Although the 200-watt stereo is adequate, it may not be sufficient to drown out loud noises generated by roads and automobiles.

2. What Is A Good Subwoofer Wattage?

A power between 15 and 30 watts RMS may suffice for most demands in a suitable subwoofer for usage at home.

A subwoofer with a power of 15 to 20 watts RMS will be enough for most car drivers.

3. What Wattage Is Appropriate For Surround Sound?

The sound production for a compact room might be around 50 watts RMS/channel. The roughly 150 watts RMS/channel output will be good enough for a large room.

4. How Do You Know If A Speaker Is Good Or Not?

Speaker’s sensitive rating determines its quality. Your speaker will be louder if its sensitivity rating is higher.

Wrapping Up

This article has explained: How many watts is the best suitable for a car stereo? A good vehicle stereo should produce at least 30 RMS/channel sound output watts.

Hopefully, this post will be helpful for you. If you have further questions, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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