While factory car audio systems are better than they’ve ever been before, car stereo installers and enthusiasts aren’t going anywhere. Because factory is never enough: You need more. More bass, more treble, more volume, just more of whatever it is that makes you happy when you’re out for a cruise. Modern cars have massive demands on their electrical systems, though, meaning that if you’re just using the factory battery, you might not be getting the most out of your system.
You might end up with a dead battery if you try to listen to your stereo in the parking lot for more than a few minutes, or you could have a cell that leaves you stranded because it’s not up to the draw of stereo, radar cruise sensors, and heated seats all going at once. You need a battery designed for car audio. These are the best batteries for car audio use, letting you thump harder, longer.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Optima Yellowtop
- 2. XS Power D-Series
- 3. Kinetik Power HC-Blu
- 4. Mighty Max Battery Viper VP-600
- 5. Shuriken SK
- 6. Stinger SPP1500
- 7. Odyssey 65-PC1750T
- 8. Deka Intimidator
- 9. ACDelco Professional AGM
- 10. Delphi MaxStart
- Why is the Right Battery Important?
- How Do I Install My Car Battery
1. Editor's Pick: Optima Yellowtop
Optima Batteries’ Redtops are designed to start and run your car, while Bluetops are designed for long draws without charging like a golf cart. Yellowtop combines the best features of both, allowing for both deep cycle operations like pumping your car stereo for hours at a show and for cranking the engine over when you’re done.
- Virtually spillproof
- Vibration resistant
- Up to 900 CCA
2. XS Power D-Series
XS Power designs sealed batteries for car audio enthusiasts like you. They’re sealed to prevent leaks and to let you install an extra one almost anywhere in your car you’d like. The company’s batteries are tested to make sure they’ll withstand all the vibration your subwoofers can dish out.
While normal batteries are tested and rated for how well they’ll start your engine, XS Power also measures Max Amps. That’s how much power it can deliver in a burst, like when that kick drum hits on your favorite track. This D3400 battery offers a 135-minute reserve and can deliver up to 3,300 amps.
- 3-year warranty
- 3,300 amp max output
- Comes with top-post battery terminals
3. Kinetik Power HC-Blu
Kinetik’s HC-Blu series of 12V batteries are designed for pro and semi-pro level car audio systems. HC-Blu series batteries are meant for those looking for more value, trading a shorter warranty for a lower price.
Made with AGM leak-proof and vibration resistant technology, Kinetik says this series of battery has been used in competition to power systems beyond 180dB. The HC3800 is designed for systems supplying up to 3,800 watts of audio power.
- Up to 135 Ah
- Value price
- Also offers smaller, lighter sizes
4. Mighty Max Battery Viper VP-600
Sometimes you want a battery designed to support your audio system, but you’re after sound quality, not frame-shaking volume. Or you just don’t want a 70-pound chunk of lead under your hood for the massive storage capacity. The VP-600 is designed for cars with an audio system around 600W RMS. That’s enough for a good-quality system, but without the massive price tag. It’s lighter, too, ideal for your sports car or as a second trunk-mounted battery.
- Light weight
- Designed to withstand vibration
5. Shuriken SK
Shuriken designs its car batteries specifically for high-end car audio systems. That means they use designs like AGM to let you put it in different positions as well as high vibration and heat resistance to absorb punishment from your stereo and from life under your hood. With a 35 aH rating and 950 cranking amps, Shuriken suggests this battery for use with systems up to 800-watts RMS. The modular terminals let you connect it to your car’s existing setup, or to bus bars for a multi-battery pro setup.
- Convenient terminals
- Designed for car audio
- AGM technology
6. Stinger SPP1500
This battery from Stinger offers a steel case instead of the plastic found in most batteries. It’s leak-proof anyways, thanks to the absorbed glass mat design, but it’s nice to know that if things get bounced around in your trunk that your battery can handle a bit of abuse. Putting out 1,500 cranking amps, this battery packs plenty of punch, and it’s rated for 400 complete charge cycles. That’s enough for years of use in even extreme conditions.
- Cranks out 1,500 amps
- Sturdy steel case
- 400 complete charge cycles
7. Odyssey 65-PC1750T
While it’s not specifically aimed at car audio enthusiasts, Odyssey’s AGM batteries are designed for maximum power, long life, and relatively light weight. This model delivers a 145-minute reserve and up to four years replacement (not pro-rated). It can handle being drained to 80 percent up to 400 times. Odyssey also claims the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead battery, letting it top up again more quickly.
- Long warranty
- Fast recharge
- Deep cycle capability
8. Deka Intimidator
You might not know the Deka name, but the company that owns the name, East Penn, is one of the world’s largest car battery manufacturers. It makes batteries for a host of other companies, but sell some under its own Deka badge. The Intimidator is an AGM spillproof design, and this fitment offers top and side terminals, making it easier for you to attach your original factory battery cables as well as your audio system components. Designed for extreme starting and deep cycle applications, it has 775 cold-cranking amps.
- Fortified posts and straps for vibration resistance
- Dual purpose start and deep cycle
- Dual post design
9. ACDelco Professional AGM
ACDelco is the General Motors in-house parts brand, meaning it builds batteries for millions of brand-new GM cars and trucks every year. It also sells replacement batteries for nearly every make and model, thanks to standardized battery sizes. ACDelco’s Professional AGM batteries are designed to work with start/stop vehicle systems. Where firing up the engine multiple times at one stoplight could be necessary. That means they can handle lots of big bursts of power, just like your great big Class D amplifier in the trunk.
- GM OE quality
- Stop-start ready
10. Delphi MaxStart
Delphi Technologies is a serious electronic component manufacturer, building and designing parts for many automakers around the world. Its MaxStart AGM batteries are designed to meet original equipment specifications and requirements while offering twice the life of a conventional battery. They’re also backed by a 36-month warranty. This Group 47 battery offers 600 CCA and a sealed housing to provide corrosion resistance.
- Extended CCA delivery
- 36-month warranty
- OEM supplier quality
Why is the Right Battery Important?
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While the alternator (or electric motor) turn revolutions into electrons when the vehicle is moving, it’s the battery that sustains all of your vehicle’s electronics. Because the alternator doesn’t always make enough power to run your engine computer, safety sensors, convenience features, and all of the other perks of modern cars, your battery serves to balance the load. Alternators make more current at high rpm, the battery is a reserve for low rpm and when your vehicle is off. If you don’t have a quality battery, your car might not start. Your audio system definitely won’t work as it should
How do I find the Right Battery for My Vehicle?
If you’re replacing your car, truck or SUV’s factory battery, the most important thing you need to know for buying a new one is the size. Fortunately, you don’t need to go out and measure your existing battery and the new one because batteries are sold by group size. The Battery Council International is a trade group made up of car battery manufacturers formed in 1924. While they support battery manufacturers, (they also lobby for increased battery recycling), one of their early tasks was a standardisation of battery sizes, known as battery groups.
Common vehicle battery groups start at 20 and go up to 98, with some group sizes, like 98R, having a letter to go with the number. A larger group size usually means more capacity in the battery, but also tells you the exterior dimensions and where the posts (or terminals) are located. Don’t try and just go to a larger number if you want more battery capacity, though, because one size up or down can mean a massive difference in the shape and size of the case. So it won’t fit. Stick with the factory size for the factory spot, or be ready to spend a lot of time with a ruler and the BCI chart.
How Do I Install My Car Battery
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While a car battery is only 12-volts, there is still enough electricity here to harm you or your vehicle. Connecting things the wrong way can damage all the sensitive computers and sensors in your vehicle, and that’ll ruin your day. So be careful. Make sure to swap your battery in a well-ventilated area, as batteries can release flammable (and corrosive) gases. While the batteries on this list are sealed, your old one may not be. So keep it right side up as much as possible, and if any liquid comes out, neutralize it with water and baking soda immediately. If it spills on your skin, do the same, but seek medical attention.
To take out the old battery, first unbolt the bracket holding it in place. Then unfasten the negative terminal. It should be black and marked with a “-” symbol. Move the negative cable away from the battery and then remove the positive. Remove and replace the battery (and the new one should fit in the same place), and refasten the terminals. Positive first, then negative. Make sure that your tools never touch both terminals at the same time because it could cause a short and damage or fire. For the same reason, removing any jewellery from your hands is a good idea. Re-attach the battery bracket or hold down and now you’re ready to reprogram your clock and radio presets.
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