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Can You Use Any Battery for Car Audio? (Car Audio Batteries Tips)

Factory-installed car batteries are designed to power the serial car stereo and other standard electrical components of the car. If you plan to install a powerful stereo in your car or upgrade the existing sound system, you may consider adding another battery.

A powerful car sound system will drain your existing battery faster and affect the performance of other electrical components like headlights. Because of that, many are wondering if they can use any battery for car audio. Well, let’s find out.

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The main types of 12V batteries that should be used in car audio are lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries are typically less expensive and have a longer life cycle than lithium-ion batteries, but they are also heavier and require more maintenance. Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, are lighter and have a longer life cycle but are more expensive than lead-acid or gel type batteries.

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Tip – The good news is that you can either install an extra battery in your car or replace an existing one with a more powerful battery when improving your car audio.

My favorite batteries that you can use as a secondary for car audio are the AGM batteries because of their higher performance over standard acid ones.

I am particularly happy with the XS Power D3400 that I use daily and did not have a single problem with it.

In this article, I will cover the basics of what type of battery you can use and its impact on the performance of your sound system, and how to select a battery for your car audio.

Which Car Audio Battery Should I Use In My Vehicle?

There are many types of batteries that you can use for car audio. The selection of right battery depends only on your car model and the total energy consumption of the car stereo and installed amplifiers.

There are six types most suitable battery types to use:

  • calcium batteries
  • deep cycle batteries
  • wet cell batteries
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • AGM batteries
  • EFB batteries

Knowing the difference between them will help you determine which one best fits your car audio.

#1. Calcium Battery

A calcium car battery is a lead-acid battery that uses calcium instead of antimony in the lead plates.

The main advantage is that it has a longer life and is more resistant to sulfation, a condition that can shorten the life of a traditional lead-acid battery.

Here are a few key points about how a calcium car battery works:

#1. A lead-acid battery stores energy through chemical reactions between lead plates and sulfuric acid.

In a traditional lead-acid battery, the lead plates are made of lead and antimony.

In a calcium car battery, the lead plates are made of a mixture of lead and calcium.

#2. Calcium is less reactive than antimony, so the plates in a calcium car battery corrode less over time.

This means a calcium car battery can last longer and is less likely to develop sulfation. In this condition, lead sulfate crystals build up on the plates, reducing the battery’s ability to hold a charge.

#3. Calcium car batteries also perform better in cold temperatures than traditional lead-acid batteries.

#4. Calcium car batteries are also more resistant to vibration, which can help prolong the battery life. However, calcium car batteries are typically more expensive than traditional lead-acid batteries.

#5. Calcium car batteries are widely used in European cars. They are not as common in the United States but are becoming more popular. Some popular car battery brands that manufacture calcium car batteries are Exide, Bosch, Varta, and Amaron.

You can use them in powerful systems, and due to the presence of an acid, these batteries are less affected by extreme weather conditions. As a result, they have a longer life span than other types, although they are not the most effective.

#2. Deep Cycle Battery

Deep cycle battery can provide constant current over a long time. It can be charged and discharged repeatedly without causing any damage to the battery. 

A deep cycle battery is a type of lead battery designed to provide sustained power over a long time and run reliably until it is 80% discharged.

It is different from a regular car battery, which provides only short bursts of energy before needing to be recharged.

Deep cycle batteries are commonly used in marine applications, recreational vehicles, materials handling equipment, golf carts, and off-grid renewable energy systems.

There are two main types of deep cycle models: flooded and sealed or “maintenance-free”.

Flooded deep-cycle batteries require regular monitoring and may need to be refilled with electrolytes to maintain performance. Sealed or “maintenance-free” on the other hand, do not require watering, but regular inspection is still recommended.

A deep cycle battery will store more power than a regular car battery and can help keep your audio system running for extended periods of time.

However, it is important to note that deep cycle batteries are not designed to provide the short bursts of energy needed to start a car.

If you are planning on using a deep cycle battery for your car audio, it is recommended to install it as a second battery used specifically for car audio and not for starting your vehicle.

#3. Wet Cell Battery

Wet cell batteries are commonly used in vehicles due to their high power outputs and low manufacturing cost.

However, they can be difficult and dangerous to handle because of their size, weight, and tendency to leak corrosive chemicals. AGM and gel batteries are variations of wet cell batteries less prone to leakage.

While dry cell battery can be more convenient and offer higher performance, it is often more expensive and difficult to manufacture.

#4. AGMy

Absorbed Glass Mat or AGM batteries are referred to as dry cell batteries. Instead of liquid as an electrolyte, these batteries use paste or gel with a consistency that allows free flow of electrolytes.

Because AGM batteries are sealed, they require low maintenance and last longer than conventional batteries.

They are also more environmentally friendly because there is no acid present.

#5. EFB Battery

EFB stands for Enhanced Flooded Batteries, which are also known as advanced flooded batteries.

EFB batteries have low internal resistance and have charging cycles twice longer.

These batteries are suitable for automatic start-stop systems, and if you want to replace this, then a more powerful AGM battery is the best option.

#6. Lithium-Ion Batteries

These batteries are lightweight and more expensive than other types. They deliver a more steady voltage than other audio batteries, and they discharge much slower.

Lithium-Ion batteries are not as robust as other types, and they require protection from both overcharging and discharging.

They can survive up to 500-1000 charging cycles, but as technology advances, this number also increases.

Lithium-Ion batteries require a special charger, or you will significantly reduce their lifetime.

Now you know the types of batteries available in the market, you can either replace your battery with the same model or upgrade to a higher level. 

Can Batteries Affect the Sound System?

The purpose of the car battery is to start the engine and give power to the main car accessories, like headlights, AC, radio, etc. when the engine is off.

Like any other electrical component, your car sound system needs to receive sufficient voltage for its operation. If the voltage requirements are not met, the radio or amplifiers may not work correctly, resulting in lower quality sounds.

A car battery can only affect the sound system if the total power requirement is bigger than the battery can supply. In other words, if the amperage output of the battery is less than the power requirement of a car stereo, then your battery will drain, and it will affect the sound system.

Let me show you an example.

Suppose you have an 80-amp car alternator. Since the standard charging voltage of the battery is 14.4 V, the total power output is 1,152W

Battery voltage * alternator rated current (14.4 volts * 80 amps = 1152 W)

This is the total wattage available that the battery can send to your car stereo and other electrical equipment. 

Now, if your car stereo uses 40% of this total energy, then the available wattage for the car audio is 1,152W x 40% = 460.8W

Since amplifiers provide power to speakers, the total energy available to an amplifier is 460.8 watts.

Further, the efficiency of D class amps is 70%, so the total energy available at the output for the amp is = 70% * 460.8 = 322.5 Watts.

If your speakers and subwoofers requirements are met, then your audio system will perform well.

However, if you use powerful speakers and subwoofers that exceed this wattage at high volume, then it’s time to upgrade your battery with greater amperage or install an additional battery for your car sound system.

Can I Use Regular Car Batteries for Car Audio?

The battery selection for your audio can be confusing because all the batteries I highlighted above have the same function to start, stop, and power a car’s electrical system.

In general, you should not use a regular car battery specifically for car audio because car batteries are not universal. They differ in multiple ways and work with different car models.

In addition, they have different specifications, and they work with different types of alternators designed for a specific car and engine model. 

If a car battery is compatible with the car alternator and is charging correctly, it can be used for audio system.

For example, you can replace an EFB battery with an AGM battery, but if you are driving a hybrid electric car, they have a lithium-ion battery, and to charge this battery, you need a special charger.

Although all the car batteries are 12 Volts, it does not mean that you can use the battery from Corolla in the Ford Raptor, or vice versa, because these cars have completely different energy requirements.

Here are the factors that you should keep in mind while selecting a battery for your sound system:

  • Battery Size -make sure that the battery you choose fits at the place where you are planning to install it. 
  • Reserve Capacity – choose a battery that can provide 2-3 hours of reserve capacity to listen to the car sound system without turning on the engine.  
  • Maintenance – all sealed and gell batteries are maintenance-free, so you don’t have to regularly check the water level in their cells. 
  • Durability – Generally, all car batteries have a life span of 3-5 years, and they eventually will drain after these years. So consider batteries having a longer life span and warranty. If you have a lithium-ion battery, use a special charger. Otherwise, you will reduce the life of your battery significantly. 

Can I Use a Motorcycle Battery for Car Stereo?

You cannot use a motorcycle battery for audio because it will not handle the charging current from the alternator. Also, the car audio equipment demands more power which a motorcycle battery cannot meet.

Although the batteries used in cars and motorcycles are 12 Volts, they differ in current ratings because a vehicle’s power requirement is higher when compared to a bike.

What Are The Best Car Audio Batteries?

If your aftermarket car stereo is draining your car battery, it makes sense to install a separate car audio battery.

For me, the best for car stereos are AGM batteries, and one that I use in my car is the XS Power D3400. You can use this battery as a replacement or as a dedicated battery for your sound system. Unlike lead-acid models, they do not require any maintenance.

XS Power D3400 XS Series 12V 3,300 Amp AGM High Output Battery with M6 Terminal Bolt

XS Power D3400 battery has the following features:

  • XA Power D3400 is a deep cycle battery and can be used either as a replacement or an additional power source and has a reserve capacity of more than 2 hours. 
  • It has an output of 300 amps. 
  • Thanks to the sealed, spill-proof body, it can be mounted in any position.

Another good battery worth considering is the Kinetik HC600, which is a deep cycle battery. You can use this battery with a 600-watt audio system, which weighs just 13 pounds.

What Size Battery Do I Need for My Car?

For systems lower than 3000 watts, the AGM batteries work well. However, for powerful audio systems above 3,000 watts, you should consider lithium-ion batteries.

The rule of thumb while doing electrical upgrades in your car is that you have to add 100 aH (amp hour) of AGM battery for each 2,000 watts RMS power addition in your vehicle.

While selecting the new battery, make sure it fits your vehicle. Always measure the dimensions of the area where you want to put the battery.

The size of the car audio battery depends on the power consumption of your car sound system.

Best Battery for a 2000-Watt Amp

XS Power PS925L 2000A is the best car audio battery for systems up to 2,000 watts. This battery cannot handle large, powerful systems, but it works well with less advanced modifications. 

XS Power PS925L 2000A Amp 12V Power Cell AGM Car Audio Battery 1000W / 2000W

Best Battery for a 3000-Watt Amp

I recommend using AGM batteries for more powerful systems, and XS Power XP3000 is best for 3,000-watt amps. This battery has a capacity of 120 Ah, and it has compact size. 

XS Power XP3000 XP Series 12V 3,000 Amp AGM Supplemental Battery with M6 Terminal Bolt

Best Battery for a 5000-Watt Amp

A 5000-watt amp requires a battery that can resist heat and vibrations while providing constant output. For these types of systems, XS Power D7500 12V AGM Battery is best, and it can provide power up to 7,500 watts with 140 Ah.

XS Power D7500 12V AGM Battery (Max Amps 6,000A, CA: 1700, Ah: 140, 5000W / 7500W)


When you are listening to your radio while commuting to work, waiting for someone in parking, or on a long drive, the last thing you want is for your battery to be drained.

To prevent this unpleasant experience, you can use a separate battery that only powers your car audio.

The car audio dedicated battery works only with your car stereo and all its components. The rest of the car’s electrical system operates from the original battery under the hood. 

Also, remember you cannot use any battery you want for your car audio. It may not work, so if you make an advanced and powerful sound system in your car, make sure to consult an expert before purchasing a battery for your car’s sound system.


Can I Use a Regular Car Battery for My Car Audio System?

You can use a regular car battery for your car audio system.

However, upgrading your vehicle’s battery to a car audio battery can be considered an audio upgrade as it will store more power and have a longer lifespan specifically designed for car audio systems.

What Is the Difference Between a Regular Car Battery and a Car Audio Battery?

Your regular car battery is connected to the car providing power to start your engine.

On the other hand, a car audio battery, although it works the same way as your regular car battery, can be connected to either the whole car’s electric circuit or only to the car’s audio circuit, providing a consistent power supply for your audio system.

They generally have a longer lifespan and can store more power than a regular car battery.

Can I Add a Second Battery to My Car Audio System?

You can add a second battery to your car’s audio system if you want more power.

This is known as a “battery bank” and is a popular solution among car audio enthusiasts. The second battery will work with your primary battery to provide more power to your audio system.

However, if you keep the batteries charged, you may need to replace the alternator with the more powerful one.

What Types of Batteries Are Best for Car Audio Systems?

Deep cycle batteries are the best type of batteries for car audio systems. 

They are designed to be discharged and recharged repeatedly, which is ideal for car audio systems that are in use for long periods of time.

Flooded batteries are also a good option as they provide consistent power and have a longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries.

How Do I Wire a Second Battery for My Car Audio System?

Wiring a second battery for your car’s audio system can be a bit tricky. 

In most cases, you will need to connect the positive terminal of the second battery to the positive terminal of the primary battery and the negative terminal of the second battery to the negative terminal of the primary battery.

This is a parallel connection, but it works only with identical batteries. 

If two batteries are different, you should connect them using a voltage regulator.

How Much Does a Car Audio Battery Cost?

The price of a car audio battery can vary depending on the brand and type of battery you choose.

On average, you can spend between $100 to $200 for a high-quality deep cycle battery. However, it’s always a good idea to search for the best price and compare different options before making a purchase.