Cramming a lot of power into an amp is really not that hard. The concept has been known for decades, and a lot of great models have managed to give us an abundance of power on demand. However, offering high levels of power and managing that power in an efficient way are two different things.
With that in mind, how does a 3200 Watt amp that costs less than decent radio perform? That’s a good question, especially since we are going to talk about the Hifonics ZRX series 3212.1D Zeus.
Hifonics is no stranger to the car amplifier business. After all, they’ve been around for a long time. Their amps are usually pretty decent, but even the most loyal fan of this brand take two steps back when they see the power rating and the price of the Zeus. Things just don’t add up.
Today we are going to try and figure out whether this behemoth is practical for heavy builds, or is it something that is better left alone. In other words, did Hifonics really manage to produce a powerhouse at a cost that is almost too cheap to believe?
Hifonics ZRX3216.1D Zeus Review
When it comes to automotive audio systems, there are those who like to build balanced rigs that are hitting that sweet spot between power and definition. On the other hand, there are those who simply glee at the fact that it’s time to pull out some heavy gauge cables because the new kilowatt amp has finally arrived.
Both of these subgroups like to have some affordable gear available. The amp we are looking at today definitely caters more to the latter type of audiophile, and boy is it impressive.
Features of the Hifonics ZRX3216 Class D Amp :
Even with monoblock amps, there are only so many ways you can deliver any amount of power that goes above 1kW, let alone 3.2kW. You either spend a whole bunch of money developing and producing next level power supplies and the rest of necessary components, or you stick to what works and just scale it up to a point where it meets your requirements. Let’s just say that Hifonics went with the option number two for the Zeus.
Once you pull it out of its chunky box, you will find a pretty robust and large amp that tells you right away it means business. “Compact” is not a word that was used anywhere while this amp was being designed and produced If you are looking for small, check out the JL 1000D Monoblock .
Naturally, the most of its size comes from the massive heat syncs. Hifonics went with their old school design for this one, and it works pretty well all things considered.
Gutting the Zeus reveals a pretty solid choice of components and materials. You are looking at high-quality PCB, SPC coils, and a PWM MOSFET power supply. Naturally, when you’re dealing with amps of this power, a decent overload and overheating protection is a must. Hifonics included a formidable protection suite that covers both of these problems on top of DC and short circuit protection.
How Does the Hifonics Zeus Perform? :
Installing the Zeus will require some work. However, that’s the case with every large amp. You will need some heavy gauge cabling for this build, especially if you want to be on the safe side. Making sure that you connect the leads in the right order is crucial. Despite all of the protection Hifonics included with this model, you can very easily fry it if you are not careful.
Raw specs for this model are pretty much along the lines of what is expected. That figure of 3200 Watts is at 1 Ohm. At 2 Ohms you are looking at 1600 watts, and 800 Watts at 4 Ohms. The frequency response of this unit ranges from 10Hz to 300Hz. Needless to say, Zeus digs pretty deep. There is a digital crossfade and a variable low pass filter that operates within the 40Hz-300Hz range.
There is also a variable subsonic filter that goes from 10Hz to 40Hz. One of the better features on the Hifonics ZRX3216.1D Zeus is the EQ that allows you to shape up your bass with quite a bit of maneuvering space.
In terms of practical performance, you will definitely have to go pretty far if you want to really push the Zeus to its limits. In terms of heat issues, things are just as you would expect them to be. Efficiency is not on a level where you can completely forget about thermal performance, but keeping the Zeus cool doesn’t require a lot of effort.
As long as you are reasonable with your output levels, those massive heat syncs will take care of any excess heat.
If aesthetics are a big factor for you, Zeus is probably more attractive than a good portion of the amps within its segment of the market. Hifonics even went as far as to include an illuminated brand logo. So those of you into styling will have something to illuminate your trunk.
Our Verdict on the Hifonics Class D Monoblock :
Opting to get an amp that is rated at 3.2 kW requires a whole bunch of additional research and work. It’s not a plug-and-play type amp in the conventional sense of the word. However, those who are looking for this kind of power already know everything about that.
The question is whether Hifonics ZRX3216.1D Zeus is something that is worth investing. Our answer? Definitely, but with a clause. As long as you are careful with your choice of hardware and how you actually use the amp, you should be fine.
This is one of those models that won’t hesitate to punish you if you start making mistakes. That is just the way it is. Overall, the performance is there and the form factor isn’t too bad considering that heat mitigation is achieved using old school solutions. Some may find the illuminated logo a bit tacky, but it is what it is. At this price and power rating, you can’t really complain too much.