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How to Hook Up Amp Without RCA Jacks? (Working methods)

If you’re looking to upgrade your car audio system but your amplifier doesn’t have RCA jacks, don’t worry, it’s not a deal breaker. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to hook up an Amp without RCA jacks, and the solution is simpler than you might think. You can easily overcome compatibility issues and lack of a proper signal input by using a line output converter (LOC). With our step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to connect your head unit and amplifier in no time and enjoy high-quality sound in your car.

Determining the compatibility of car AMP without RCA Jacks

If you have a car audio system without RCA jacks and you’re looking to boost your sound quality by adding an amplifier, it’s crucial to ensure compatibility between the amp and your system.

First, verify that your factory radio accepts speaker-level inputs or line-level connections. This is necessary to connect the Amp to the head unit without RCA cables.

Next, consider the amplifier’s RMS power and ensure it matches or is close to the RMS power of the factory speakers. An Amp with a higher RMS power than the factory speakers can damage the speakers.

Additionally, it’s important to check the speaker level input sensitivity of the amplifier to ensure that it’s able to receive a strong enough signal from the factory radio. You should also match the impedance of the amplifier with the impedance of the factory speakers, most commonly 4 ohms. This will ensure that the amplifier and speakers are working in harmony to produce optimal sound.

If you’re looking to achieve the ultimate sound quality in your car, be sure to read our article on the best equalizer settings for cars.

Where to place AMP in the car?

Before considering the different options for adding an Amp to your car audio system without RCA jacks, it’s important to determine where the Amp will be physically located within the car. There are several possible locations for the amplifier, such as under the seat or behind the subwoofer box, but one important factor to consider is airflow. Amplifiers can generate heat during use, so it’s essential to place them in an area where cool air can circulate to prevent overheating.

Car Amp Placement

Additionally, it’s crucial to keep the amplifier away from any loose items that could potentially damage it during driving and to always disconnect the negative terminal of the battery before installing the Amp to avoid electrical shock. With proper placement and installation, you can ensure that your car stereo with an amplifier operates safely and effectively.

For a complete home theater experience, take a look at our article on the best soundbars with HDMI ARC.

How to Connect an Amp Without RCA Jacks?

There are several ways to hook up amp to your car but these are the recommended and tested methods to install an amp without using RCA jacks.

1. Method using RCA Adapter: 

If your Amp accepts high-level input from RCA cables, you can use this method to connect it to your factory radio. This involves connecting the RCA output to the rear speaker wires.

RCA Adapter

First, identify the RCA plugs in your audio system. Then, connect the rear speaker wires to the RCA adapter, and the other end of the cable to the RCA output.

2. Method using High-Level Input:

This method, also known as speaker-level input, uses higher voltage compared to RCA input.

Start by running the red power wire from your factory amp to the battery through the firewall, and securing it with a fuse holder. Then, strip a small part of the left speaker wire, and splice in the wire leading to your amplifier. Secure the connection with soldering, crimping, or electrical tape. Repeat the process for the right speaker wire.

high level input

To avoid tripping hazards, route the red positive wire under the carpet, door panels, or seats.

3. Method using Line Output Converter (LOC):

If you want to add another amplifier or speaker without changing your stock radio factory system, you can use a Line Output Converter (LOC). This method is ideal for two-way or monoblock amplifiers.

Begin by finding the leads connecting your Amp and factory speakers. Remove one inch of the wires’ insulation, and connect the right channel of the LOC to the right speakers, and the left channel to the left speakers.

line output converter

Secure the connection between the converter’s wires and the speaker’s wires with crimping, soldering, electrical tape, or the heat and shrink method. Then, connect the RCA wires from your amp to the LOC.

Finally, test the connection by listening to music and adjusting the amplifier’s gains to your preferences. Turn up the volume on the factory radio to make sure there’s no distortion.


Hooking up an Amp lack RCA jacks may seem like a challenge, but it’s a simple solution that can be easily achieved. You can use a line output converter (LOC), RCA adapter, or high-level inputs to connect your head unit and amplifier. It’s important to determine compatibility between the amp and your car stereo, consider proper placement for the amp to avoid overheating and damage, and properly secure the connections with soldering, crimping, or electrical tape. Following these steps and using the appropriate method for your setup, you’ll be able to enjoy high-quality sound in your car in no time.

For more informative articles like this, check out our guide on how to connect external speakers to your TV. Enhance your viewing experience now.


What is RCA Adapter?

RCA Adapter is a device that converts speaker-level signals to RCA-level signals, enabling you to hook up your amplifier without RCA jacks. This adapter solves the problem of connecting an amplifier without RCA inputs to a factory stereo system that only has speaker wires. With this device, you can easily integrate your Amp with your factory sound system and enjoy the better sound quality.

What is a High-Level Input?

High-level inputs refer to the use of speaker wire leads from the back of the radio as the input signal for an amplifier, rather than using RCA connections. By using the speaker wires, you can easily connect your amplifier without the need for RCA jacks. This method of input is a simple and efficient way to get your audio system up and running.

What is Line Output Converter (LOC)?

A Line Output Converter (LOC) is a device used to connect an amplifier to a head unit without RCA jacks. It converts the head unit’s high-level speaker signal into a low-level RCA signal that the amplifier can use. The LOC taps into the speaker wires and reduces the signal level, resulting in a cleaner signal with less noise. It can also adjust the signal level to match the amplifier’s input requirements and include noise filtering. The LOC is an effective solution for compatibility issues and a lack of proper signal input when hooking up an amplifier without RCA jacks.

Is high-level input better than RCA?

With the RCA adapter method, you connect the RCA output to the rear speaker wires. With the high-level input method, you splice the left and right speaker wires to the amplifier using soldering, crimping, or electrical tape. Both methods have their pros and cons, but high-level input can result in less noise and better sound quality due to the 10-volt signal coming from the internal electronics of the radio.

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