For anyone who doesn’t know what a car audio capacitor is, it’s a secondary electrical power storage device which is sometimes called a “power cap”. So when you need a boost to your electrical power in your car to play your music or to withstand high power you would be advised to install one of these.
In the main they are generally used to alleviate stress from the electrical supply so if you have a powerful bass, your car lights won’t be affected and it won’t drain your car’s battery. Capacitors are cylindrical in shape (although in rare cases they are rectangular) and many come with a digital display. If you’re looking to buy one you’ll find my guide to the best audio capacitors useful and most are available to purchase on Amazon.com.
Soundquest SQCAP2M 2 Farad Car Audio Capacitor
The first one I recommend is the Soundquest SQCAP2M 2 Farad Power Capacitor which comes with a digital display. All audio capacitors can be hooked up using the ground wire and they should charge themselves. This one has a voltmeter on the top which is built into the cylinder.
Once you turn your stereo off, the car audio capacitor automatically switches itself off and if it’s fully charged it also turns itself off automatically once the car’s ignition is off. It’s very easy to mount as well coming with a set of large clear plastic brackets complete with mounting screws. It has plenty of other outstanding features including:
- Reverse polarity warning
- 20 Volt surge capability
- Sleek aluminium body
So this is a good solid product to purchase, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. I would say it is rather large and fairly heavy and when mounting don’t tighten the screws too much because they will crack. Finally, be careful of the terminals because they are hex head screws and can strip very easily if you are too heavy handed.
Planet Audio PC10F 10 Farad Car Audio Capacitor
I also particularly like this car audio capacitor which is an excellent power reserve product, storing energy and releasing it to the amplifiers in your car. It improves the sound of your in-car stereo without draining your vehicle’s battery. Here are the top features:
- LED voltage meter in bright blue
- Warning sound tones for reverse polarity connection
- Warning sound tones for over voltage limit
- Warning sound tones for low battery voltage
This capacitor charges quickly from just 5 to 60 seconds and you know when the product is fully charged as the display voltage stops rising. Be careful during the charging operation as the resistor gets very hot. Once the capacitor is charged, remove the resistor from the incoming positive cable.
The Planet Audio capacitor is lighter in weight than the Soundquest capacitor at just 3 lb (the Soudquest is 4 lb) and very easy to install. Don’t use anything over 1500 watts with this capacitor as a word of caution and you might want to get a small secondary battery because this can be draining on a car battery too and you don’t want it to drain your radio battery. When you play your audio system very loud it tends to vibrate and if you have a subwoofer it might distort the sound, nevertheless it’s a good price for a quality capacitor.
Boss Audio CAP8 8 Farad Capacitor
My final suggestion for a decent in-car audio capacitor is the Boss CAP8 which is an excellent support to your in-car audio system and helps to keep the car battery running as normal, offering superb power reserve by storing energy and releasing it to the amplifiers super-fast.
Not only does this capacitor work well it is very good looking, when you play your music the LED lights pulse! This product comes complete with a set of mounting brackets, two ring terminals, two spade terminals, mounting screws, resistor and an Allen key to wrench everything together. If you purchase this one, there are many beneficial features as follows:
- 8 Farads complete with a visible digital voltage display in blue
- Warning sound tones for reverse polarity
- Warning sound tones for low battery voltage
- Warning sound tones for volt overload
It’s the heaviest of the three, weighing 4.4lb and requires one 12 volt battery. This capacitor has two negative posts and two positive posts and you can connect a zero gauge cable using the ring terminal and with the 8 Farad capacitor you can use 8000 watts before any distortion of sound occurs.
The only negative with this capacitor is that the instructions for installation are quite vague and it’s possible if you use it with a very high volume you might drain your car battery so don’t crank the volume up on your stereo too high!