So, why do I need the best car audio capacitor? Let’s use this example for explaining. Upgrading your vehicle’s audio system can be an amazing thing. You can replace the deck to get a flashy console. You can add new speakers to boost your mid and high sounds. Also, you can add a bass sub to help cover your low ends.
This is cool and all, but the fact of the matter is that this can cause problems to your vehicle’s lighting system. Here is the problem. When too much energy is used to playing the music on your awesome audio system, your headlights and/or dash lights can start to dim. There is not enough energy to send out to all the components of your car.
A car audio capacitor is perfect for these occasions. They can help add jolts of energy to your car. But, the challenge is knowing which one to buy. Check out these 10 audio capacitors to get your car up to speed.
- What Is A Car Audio Capacitor?
- How Does A Capacitor Work?
- Top 10 Best Car Audio Capacitors Reviews:
- 1. Planet Audio PC10F 10-Farad Car Capacitor For Energy Storage
- 2. Stinger SPC505 Pro Hybrid 5-Farad Capacitor
- 3. Rockford RFC10HB 10-Farad Hybrid Digital Capacitor
- 4. BOSS Audio CPBK2 – 2-Farad Car Capacitor For Energy Storage
- 5. Soundquest SQCAP2M 2-Farad Power Capacitor with Digital Display
- 6. DS18 CAP50 Power Capacitor – 50-Farad Digital Power Capacitors
- 7. PYLE PLCAPE50 5.0-Farad Digital Power Capacitor
- 8. Power Acoustik PC1.5F 1.5-Farad Digital Power Capacitor
- 9. Sound Storm C22 2-Farad Car Capacitor
- 10. Rockville RXC4D 4-Farad Digital Car Capacitor
- Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Car Audio Capacitor
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Car Audio Capacitor
10 Best Car Audio Capacitor: At A Glance
What Is A Car Audio Capacitor?
Most people who own a car may have no idea what a car audio capacitor actually is. Let’s start out with the basics. A capacitor is an electronic device that stores energy. Think of it as a battery. The first batteries ever created were basically like a capacitor, on a very small level. But, let’s not get it twisted; there is much more than meets the eye.
Capacitors today are much different than a battery. They store and discharge energy extremely fast. This helps run amplifiers in vehicles, without causing any dimming of lights. Amazingly, the energy density of a capacitor is a lot less than a traditional alkaline battery. It’s like 1,000 times less, but a capacitor is also much bigger than a battery, too.
Essentially, a car audio capacitor can be used on-demand when you need it most. It works with AC and DC signals to enhance any car sound system, and not affect light output in the process.
Ultimately, the need for a capacitor comes when you install a powerful amplifier that drains a battery while straining the alternator in the process. With a great capacitor, it will release the necessary power, and save the battery and alternator for other important needs, like starting the vehicle.
How Does A Capacitor Work?
If we were to use a physics definition, a capacitor works by storing up energy through an electrostatic process embedded in an electric field. For all you non-physics majors out there, let’s break down the process even more.
By using 2 plates, made of metal, a capacitor has a dielectric material pressed between the plates. When a capacitor is in use, an electric field is made, with a positive charge collected on one of the plates and the negative charges developing on the other plate.
Because of this process, capacitors are a part of a process called “filtering.” During filtering, a capacitor can collect energy and store it or it can be released as well. Its job is to supply power when a voltage drop occurs with a vehicle’s audio system or lighting.
Additionally, the filter process can take away poor frequencies that limit how your music sounds. In this case, this is what the car industry calls a low-pass filter. Also, filtering can help you see the lights on a road coming from your vehicle better than ever before.
When a capacitor works to the best of its abilities, you will no longer have issues with your lighting and/or audio trouble again. This way, you can enjoy your vehicle instead of always thinking it is the bane of your existence.
Top 10 Best Car Audio Capacitors Reviews:
1. Planet Audio PC10F 10-Farad Car Capacitor For Energy Storage
A car audio capacitor for sale that you may be interested in is this one by Planet Audio. It uses a 3 digital LED display. If you somehow find yourself in reverse polarity, an overload of energy, or low battery, there is a warning tone that will audibly tell you the problem.
The voltage measurements are amazingly accurate to +/- 0.1 VDC, making this an outstanding option for your vehicle. With voltage coming in hot at 16 VDC, there is also a surge voltage reading of 24 VDC.
This model only weighs 5 pounds, and it has a 1-year warranty if anything breaks or malfunctions. Perfection can be reached when building your sound system with this car capacitor because it will help stabilize your audio system to the best of its abilities.
When working this capacitor, there is an instruction manual to help you on your way. The charging for this capacitor will only take you anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds of time. A voltmeter can also help to measure if your capacitor is completely full or not. But, be careful after charging because the capacitor can get really hot to touch.
With this device, the Planet Audio capacitor uses 1-farad to every 1,000 watts of power. When your vehicle is running, the capacitor will charge up, and when the car is off, it will power down for ultimate safety and professional use.
- Cool design
- Easy installation
- Uses a great remote wire
- Works amazingly when at full volume
- The plastic cover adds extra protection
2. Stinger SPC505 Pro Hybrid 5-Farad Capacitor
Another digital power capacitor you may be in the market for is the Stinger SPC505. It has a surge range from 16 to 18 volts. If you have an audio system that bumps up to 5-farads and 1000 watts of power, this capacitor could be what you have been looking for.
Does your audio system have more wattage than 1,000 watts? Then, you should look for a different capacitor at this point. Never max out a capacitor in your vehicle. You will hurt the capacitor, your vehicle, and even yourself.
This capacitor stabilizes the voltage of a battery. Additionally, it will take headlight dimming away altogether. You might think of it as a capacitor/ battery tandem. There is a red LED screen to help you navigate through this capacitor’s options.
The Stinger capacitor uses inputs of 4ga or 1/0ga for it to run. This allows for a stylish looking capacitor that gives you bass a cleaner response time and an overall louder sound.
When installing this capacitor, you can easily mount it the same way you would an amplifier. This way, it will not move around your car, as you drive around. Furthermore, it will work day after day to your expectations.
- Works with a 12-volt car battery
- Uses a remote input turn-on lead
- Releases and holds its charge well
- Connect well with brands like JL and Bose
- Tiny enough to slide under a car set
- Sensational construction and design
3. Rockford RFC10HB 10-Farad Hybrid Digital Capacitor
If you look at any audio capacitors review, you will probably see the brand Rockford rocking the pages. The Rockford RFC10HB uses an Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) when working its capacitor. Here is how it works.
Rockford uses Low ESR that is paired with carbon & electrolytic platinum plated capacitor, which reaps fantastic results. This 10-farad model uses digital technology giving it sensational marks.
Many users of this capacitor have paired this capacitor with a car’s battery allowing for the audio system to work up over 2,000 watts. When working to charge the Rockford capacitor, you can either have it professionally installed or you can do it yourself. If professionally installed, the mechanics will get it charging for you beforehand.
On the other hand, if you do the work yourself, you can use the charging resistor for a 20 to 30-second charge. After it is done, make sure to let it cool. Also, you can ground the device, if you want, for extra vehicle protection. There is a test light on the resistor to help make sure your capacitor is grounded or not.
Each installation of the Rockford capacitor uses 0-gauge wiring. This way, the current will work seamlessly with your car’s battery and capacitor. Then, you can rock out to the tunes of your choice.
- Noticeable light dimming difference before and after
- Bass notes will not cripple your audio excellence
- No clipping issues
- Quick installation process
- A perfect mix of quality and price
4. BOSS Audio CPBK2 – 2-Farad Car Capacitor For Energy Storage
If you want your vehicle to run like a boss, then the Boss Audio CPBK2 should be on your radar. As one of the best capacitors money can buy, this device is turning heads left and right. Even though this is the 2-Farad variety, Boss has many options ranging from a 2-Farad to 18-Farad model.
This device uses a 3-digit LED display with an audible tone for any warnings you should be aware of. A one-year warranty will give you peace of mind when using this product. If it breakdown through the fault of the manufacturer or yourself, you can get a replacement for free in the first year.
When installing this device, make sure that the remote output is connected to the capacitor itself. If it is not fully connected, then your capacitor will not work or minimally affect the dimming issues with your vehicle.
With this device being less than 4 pounds, you will not have to worry about difficulty installing this device. You can mount it like an amplifier or you slide it under a car seat.
After purchasing the BOSS capacitor, you will receive a 1 Watt/51 ohm resistor and the mounting hardware to boot. There is a possibility you may need to purchase some wiring kits. Consult the instruction manual for the capacitor and/or the owner’s manual of your vehicle.
- Bass will hit harder than you ever thought possible
- Installation is a breeze
- Quick shipping
- Easy pre-charging feature
- Minimal dimming issues
5. Soundquest SQCAP2M 2-Farad Power Capacitor with Digital Display
You may not know much about the brand Soundquest, but it is time to get yourself acquainted. Let’s start with the cool design. The body is a brushed aluminum build that stays structurally safe and sound. This capacitor is so stylish; you may want to display it for all to see. However, know it has way more uses than just its looks.
It has a reverse polarity warning, which will keep you up-to-date if any problems arise at all. A 20-volt surge capacity will work hard to make your sound great and your lights stay on. Before a big bass hit, the capacitor charges up for whenever it is needed next.
One of the great things about this Soundquest capacitor is that you can keep the radio or mp3 music rolling without your vehicle being out, running down the battery. With this in mind, you will be able to prolong the life of your car’s battery and not wear down the alternator either.
The dimensions of this best car audio capacitor measure out at 13 x 9 x 4. This means that you could install this capacitor in a car, but a motorcycle as well because of its size. To mount the capacitor, you will receive a set of plastic brackets that having mounting screws included.
- Highly recommend by major businesses across the country
- Amazing bass hitting capabilities
- Relays a constant current of energy
- Installable in minutes
- Lights stay bright
6. DS18 CAP50 Power Capacitor – 50-Farad Digital Power Capacitors
If you are looking for extreme digital power, the DS18 may be the model for you. There always seems to be a debate between what is better to fuel sound. It is like there is a head-to-head battle with a car audio capacitor vs. a battery. However, there is no contest. A capacitor wins every time.
With the DS18, it is the best capacitor for car audio systems because of a few things. Let us start with the display. An alarm goes off if your voltage goes below 10 volts or above 17.5 volts. Additionally, if reverse polarity starts to mess with your system, you will be warned of this as well to protect your polarity circuits.
Measuring out with 50-Farads of power, you will have tons and tons of digital power to sue. Your voltage will stay stable enough that your music will rock and your car lights will not dim whatsoever.
Are you looking for better performance from your vehicle? The DS18 can fix that. It can reduce any audio distortion, as well as cutting out any voltage drops. Because of innovations like this, DS18 continues to set itself apart from other brands through its creativity and technological advances.
- Power ranges from 1,000 to 1,600 watts
- Has great mobility wherever you need it
- Professional design and construction
- Great for Jeep models
- Runs cooler than other hybrid models
- Uses specialized 0-gauge wiring
7. PYLE PLCAPE50 5.0-Farad Digital Power Capacitor
Still looking for the best capacitors for audio help? Then, look at the next choice from PYLE. This 5-0-Farad power capacitor has a surge range of 20-24 volts. Additionally, it uses a blue LED display with flashing capabilities.
If you are nervous about installing a capacitor, do not be with this model. With strong construction, installation is made easy because PYLE has done most of the work for you up front. When you purchase this model, you will get the capacitor and clear brackets to help with the mounting process. During installation, make sure to disconnect the battery when adding the capacitor. This way, you will not blow any fuses in your vehicle.
At just under 5 pounds, this capacitor will not weigh you down. Rather, it will lighten your lighting and audio load. The PYLE capacitor packs a powerful punch. It can hold up to 400 watts of power. One customer said it powered his 4 tweeters, two mids, and his 15” sub.
When your capacitor goes “beast mode,” you will be blown away. Additionally, it will not cost you an arm and a leg either. This means you can use the extra money to update your sound system and lighting for an even better ride. Think of all the possibilities with the extra money in your pocket.
- Great shipping options
- Perfect for trucks and SUVs
- Prolongs battery life
- Car alternator will work less
- Easy-to-read display LED screen
8. Power Acoustik PC1.5F 1.5-Farad Digital Power Capacitor
The first you will notice about the Power Acoustik capacitor is its sweet design. I mean there is a skull on it. What is cooler than that? But, let us get to the nuts and bolts of this product.
If you are looking for a bass that hits super hard, the Power Acoustik does that with simplicity. It uses a 12-16 DC operation unit and includes mounting brackets for the easiest of installations.
A digital display allows you to see firsthand what this capacitor can do for you. With a weight of 3 pounds, you can move this device around, if you want its uses in multiple vehicles. Also, you can either mount it or hide it under a seat for great security.
When looking to install this best capacitor for car audio enhancement, you will need to purchase wiring to connect the capacitor to the battery itself. Luckily, you just have to use wiring for your amplifier. This should make it loads easier to figure out what wiring you actually need.
Also, with your purchase, you will receiver a resister. This will help you charge your power cap. When your capacitor is ready to roll, then you will be able to see the difference in sound and lighting for your vehicle.
- Does not drain your battery
- Enhances any sound system
- Inexpensive price
- Fast install
- Won’t clip out at peak levels of sound
- Perfect for a few thousand watts of power
9. Sound Storm C22 2-Farad Car Capacitor
Get familiar with the Sound Storm Capacitor. It has a tolerance percentage of +/- 10%, allowing you great flexibility with your car’s sound and lighting. This is one of the reasons the Sound Storm Capacitor is one of the best capacitors for audio power supply.
With a voltage range of 16 VDC, you will be able to see the digital display that is red in nature. The surge level is also 20 volts for maximum protection against energy overload.
In terms of its creation, the Sound Storm Capacitor is made with chrome-plated posts that have hardware and mounting brackets added to your purchase. Also, this version has a 1-year warranty. Not all brands focus on their quality work like Sound Storm. Rest easy that your warranty will cover a defect or a broken capacitor for any reason at all.
When charging the Sound Storm Capacitor, remember a few things. First, make sure your vehicle is off and your cables are disconnected from the battery. Next, when you attach the capacitor to the battery, you may notice the charging process will take anywhere between 5 and 60 seconds.
After charging, don’t touch the battery or capacitor right away. They will be very hot. No need to worry. Your charge will stay pat, and your devices will cool off in a few minutes. It is part of the process.
- Less than 4 pounds
- Will work with a 24-volt input
- All you will need to purchase is wires
- Remote uses switched power
- Fantastic device for the cost
10. Rockville RXC4D 4-Farad Digital Car CapacitorNo products found.
The last best audio capacitor that money can buy involves the Rockville 4-Farad Power Cap. It uses 12-volt stiffening technology that allows for a surge of 24-volts. An encapsulated screen protects your capacitor from any danger at all.
On the display itself, you will notice red and blue LED lights. The red LEDs are for the voltage display, while the blue LEDs are for the metering system. The two colors really contrast well, so you can focus on the info it shares with you.
Another cool thing that comes standard in a Rockville is a negative polarity feature. This is an IC control circuit that protects against any negative polarity, by telling you immediately when this is happening.
When purchasing this capacitor, know that you will receive instructions for the resistor, brackets for mounting, and hardware for any needs you may have with this project.
Statistics show that a car’s factory audio system only puts out 70% of what it could actually do. Think what this Rockville Capacitor could do for you in enhancing your sound and lightning need within your vehicle. With a continuous flow of power from your capacitor, you will be able to achieve this and much, much more.
- Weighs 4 total pounds
- Remote wire control turns the device on and off
- Convenient voltmeter
- Well-designed for multiple amps use
- Uses 4g and 8g wiring
- Holds up with the hardest of bass hits
No products found.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Car Audio Capacitor
When looking for the best car audio capacitor, there are a few things you should consider to make your experience as beneficial as possible. Knowing the value rating is a great place to start.
1. Value Rate
A capacitor’s value rating tells the user how much a charge the device can keep in. It uses the measurement of Farads to communicate this value. The higher the value is, the more your energy your capacitor can hold.
To figure out how many Farads you need, check your amplifiers first. Car amps that use less than 2,000 watts only need 1 or 2 Farads for success. On the other hand, if you have a more powerful amp, then look to getting more Farads from your capacitor.
2. Rated & Surge Voltage
Next, you should know about rated and surge voltage. Different capacitor brands use a different voltage system, so first, be wary of that. But, most of the time, alternators and batteries use between 12 and 15 volts DC. If this is the case, get a capacitor with a little more wiggle room, like 16 volts DC.
When it comes to surge voltage, capacitors should have an even higher voltage rate, just in case, it spikes out. For the earlier example, 20 volts DC would serve you well. Then, you will not damage your capacitor or your vehicle at all.
Overloading your voltage and understanding voltage protection is imperative for you to know, too. Capacitors are made to have a level of maximum voltage usage. If it exceeds its level, the capacitor could become rendered obsolete. On the other hand, a low voltage can cause damage all the same.
3. High & Low-End Voltage Protection
As you search for a capacitor that is right for you, look for one that has protection on both the high and low ends of voltage. Many of them will shut off automatically without you having to do anything at all. Then, you should expect your capacitor to last for years to come.
You also should have an understanding of installation and charging work with a capacitor. For installation, find a capacitor that you can disconnect and connect effortlessly. Also, you should buy a capacitor with a fully stocked hardware kit for mounting ease.
4. Charging Time
In terms of charging, do not buy a capacitor that takes over a minute to charge. These devices get very hot the longer they are used. You definitely do not want to burn out your capacitor and/or burn your car down in the process.
5. Audible Alerts
Does your capacitor have audible alerts? This is another great feature that every capacitor should come standard with. Whenever you are in your vehicle, and the capacitor is running, you will receive audible alerts from the device if something is going wrong.
For example, the device may tell you if you are using low voltage or your voltage is getting maxed out. Also, it may be able to tell you if the reverse polarity is going on, too. This is amazing to have because then you will not have to check your capacitor all the time to see if anything is going wrong; the machine will just tell you.
6. LED Display
Is there an LED voltage display on your capacitor? There should be because it will make your life a whole lot easier. This display shows the charge level, and it completely eliminates the need for voltmeters. You will save a lot of time in the long run.
‘How durable is your capacitor?’ should be the next question you should ask. Buying a durable capacitor will save you time and money throughout the life of your vehicle. Never buy a capacitor that will not last you multiple years. This will be a waste of your time.
Look at the material and the finishing touches to see if the company really took the time to build you a quality capacitor or not. Capacitors that fight corrosion are best, as well as one that uses the strongest of materials to fight abrasion.
8. Price & Quality
The last thing you should look for in a capacitor is the price vs. quality ratio. Your budget has a lot to say when buying a capacitor, but be realistic on what you can afford, as well as quality brands and devices.
If you buy a cheap capacitor, it will not last as long. However, buying an expensive capacitor is not the solution either. Look to try out a capacitor, if brands offer a money-back guarantee. Then, you will not be strapped down for a capacitor that you do not want in the end anyway.
How to Charge a Car Audio Capacitor?
When charging a car audio capacitor, there are a few steps you should follow.
#1 – Disconnect the fuse on your audio system, which joins to your battery. The power wire is usually intermingled here, so it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
#2 – It is now time to wire your capacitor by following the installation instructions. There are also resources online if you are having trouble with this step. Before you complete this step, be sure that the ground, power and remote turn on (if applicable) are all connected.
#3 – Start charging the capacitor with either a resistor or a test light. This may be included in your purchase or you will have to buy one separately. After you have tested to see if your capacitor works correctly, it is now time to charge.
#4 – Charging time varies from the capacitor to a capacitor. But, be diligent on how long the process should take. Never overcharge your capacitor because big problems could arise. If you have a test light, the light bult will turn off when the capacitor is fully charged. On the other hand, a resistor will show a reading of 11 or 12 volts. Then, you will know you are fully charged.
#5 – After you have fully charged your car audio capacitor, it is time to replace the fuse. Do not be alarmed if the fuse sparks. This is normal if it only lasts a second or so.
At the end of the day, no matter if you use a test light or a resistor, you can get the job done right charging your audio capacitor.
How to Discharge a Car Audio Capacitor?
Today, we will talk about 4 methods that you could use to discharge your car audio capacitor.
Method #1 – The first option includes taking out the capacitor from the car. Use your test light or resistor to help with this process. Safety goggles should definitely be worn throughout this procedure. Next, test the positive and negative terminals. During this time, the discharge will start to happen. The device may get hot, but when the light goes out on the test light, the capacitor is discharged. When the resistor goes cold, the capacitor is also discharged.
Method #2 – Another way to discharge a capacitor is by taking out the main fuse close to the car battery. This way, the capacitor will now act as the car battery. Turn on some tunes and wait until the amplifiers go out. Then, you will know the capacitor is discharged.
Method #3 – The third way to discharge a capacitor is by removing it from the vehicle, like Method #1. Connect the capacitor to a device that uses 12-volt power. By making a connection between the positive and negative terminals, the capacitor will act as a battery and discharge completely.
Method #4 – This last method involves separating the negative terminal for the battery of your vehicle. Your dome light should come on at this point. When the light goes away, your capacitor will be all discharged. If the light does not go out quickly, you may be receiving power from other batteries.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Car Audio Capacitor
Q-1: I have a third terminal in my capacitor. What is it used for?
- Some capacitors have a meter that is used for voltage display. If this stays on all the time, your battery would be drained completely. This third terminal can have a remote turn on and off switch, so battery draining won’t happen at all. Most remote only need 18-gauge wire to connect the capacitor to an amplifier.
Q-2: How are capacitors measured?
- When measuring the energy inside a capacitor, a test frequency should be done using 1kHz or 120Hz, depending on what you prefer. This is the easiest way to measure frequencies on a capacitor.
Q-3: Do stiffened capacitors need special handling?
- Just like you would handle a car battery with a car, you should handle a stiffened car capacitor in the very same way. Because of the charge and discharge of a capacitor, you need to make sure you keep combustibles far away from this device. A capacitor should not be charged near metal or other harmful chemicals.
Q-4: Why did my capacitor fail?
- Your capacitor should eventually fail for a few reasons. These include voltage, current, time, and heat. If voltage is the issue, it may be because you maxed out your capacitor. For example, if you have a 440-volt rate capacitor, but you max it out at 450 that is going to do some serious damage to your device. By going over 10-volts, you will have reduced the life of the capacitor by 20%.
- Current is the next problem. If a motor becomes overloaded, the capacitor will not start. This reason is probably one of the least likely to happen on its own. Usually, there are other problems going on here.
- If you use your capacitor too long, it will start to decay and breakdown. After a while, even the best-designed capacitors will start to fail you. Unfortunately, they do not last forever.
- The last reason for failure could be heat. If the capacitor overheats or is used in environments with extremely warm temperatures, the device will breakdown. Keeping your capacitor cool will allow it to last longer.
At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for you and your lifestyle. Make sure you pick a capacitor that can handle the amplifiers that you are using in your vehicle. This way, you will not have any overloading problems. Now, go out there and get yourself this great device. It will go a long way to help your audio enhancement and lighting troubles for years to come.