Amplifiers Slapped With Even Higher Tariff

share on:
car amplifiers see more tariffs

The tariff fun is not over yet.

Car audio amplifiers, in-dash radios, some audio wires, streaming media players, cables and other accessories are due to see an increased tariff as of October 1, confirmed the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

These goods are part of $200 billion in Chinese products that were tariffed at 25 percent September 2018 and are scheduled to see another 5 percent increase October 1 (see chart below).

These additional tariffs, plus new fees placed on speakers and head units are causing more suppliers to consider raising prices.

MTX parent Mitek said until now it, it was able to absorb the tariffs through its other divisions such as AtlasIED, which sells commercial audio, electronics and other products.  Jason Fickas, Mitek Director of Sales and Marketing said, the company has ” not raised any prices to our MTX dealers since this all began. Unfortunately, given this last round of tariff increases we can no longer sustain them alone; the math just doesn’t work. Of course, we are exploring options, exceptions, and pressuring factories for assistance before taking potential changes to our dealers, but it’s no longer ‘if but when.’ We’ll have more info to our dealers in the coming weeks.”

AudioControl CEO Alex Camara said the tariffs are becoming more of a burden over time. “The current tariff situation is one where we had hoped by now, a solution would be found to address unfair trading practices through negotiations between the US administration and the Chinese Government. We support the desire by the US Administration to create a fairer balance of trade. However the direct imposition of tariffs of 25 percent are a direct impact on our US business (and end-consumers) and the increase to 30 percent just serves to make the impact on consumers and pricing more of a challenge the longer this tariffs remain in place.”

As many component parts are moving to a 30 percent tariff, car audio processors that AudioControl manufactures in the US are also impacted.

Rockford and Harman have already announced price increases.

By contrast, Sony, said it has no plans to raise prices at this time, according to a spokesman.

Here is a chart identifying the different “lists” of Chinese electronics tariffed at various times last year.  It originally appeared at, and was supplied to us by the CTA. We’ve added car audio information to the chart.


Tariff List Date Imposed Tech Product
  1. $34B @ 25%
July 6, 2018 Connected thermostat, some wires
  1. $16B @ 25%
Aug 23, 2018 Semiconductors, some wires
  1. $200B @ 10%
Sept 24, 2018

(moved to 25% June 15, increase to 30% Oct. 1)

Amplifiers, in-dash radios, certain audio wires, streaming media players, printed circuit assemblies price could increase by 23%, totaling $1.8 billion; routers, modems, servers, desktop PCs without monitor, PC components, chargers, power adapters, cables, cords, surge protectors, smart home security cameras, car backup cameras, video conference cameras.
  1. “List 4A” @ 15%
Sept 1, 2019 Speakers, car radios with LCDs, in-car monitors. $52B worth of consumer tech including Smart speakers, Bluetooth speakers and wireless headsets/earbuds, smartwatches, fitness trackers, AR/VR, TVs, desktops, digital cameras (including drones) and lithium batteries.
  1. “List 4B” @ 15%
Dec. 15, 2019 $115B worth of consumer tech including smartphones, laptops/tablets, toy drones and video game consoles.

Photo via CarToys

Want to receive industry news? Sign up here
share on:


  1. Maybe manufacturers will start using Korean factories.. Or God forbid they actually bring back quality manufacturing to the US again. I’d rather pay more for a quality American amp than a roll of the dice Chinese fire hazard.. I miss the good old days of MTX, PPI, Phoenix Gold, Soundstream, Orion, Fosgate and all those being made in AZ or in the states.. Solid components.. Better than allowing China to straight rip off the IP and clone em all, poorly.

    1. You may be willing to pay more. But people like you are literally under 1% of the group. As you said, manufacturers will just move production to another country. It won’t be the US, for car electronics, for dang sure.

  2. I thought I would post this again as a reminder or for anyone who hasn’t read it. Times are changing and with that the global economy does as well. China needs to get their act together and stop stealing, lying and cheating. In the mean time we just need to be smart and gut it out, Americans are smart and are able to overcome anything that is put before them. Our nation has been blessed with all the tools needed to Git-R-Done. Not everything we buy is made in China. For example, the Alpine iLX-F259 and the iLX-W650 are made in Korea and iLX-107 and iLX-207 are made in Thailand where the iLX-F309 is made in China. If the customer needs the iLX-F309 the price increase is only $63.00 sheet and $100.00 M.A.P. on a deck that a customer will not have a problem with the price. That means only 1 out of 5 of our top selling Alpine head units was hit with tariffs. So, without getting into speakers and amps etc. My point is, buy smart and learn where the product your buying is built and make the necessary inventory adjustments. Exercise your purchasing power no matter how big or small you buy, you matter! The consumers are looking to you for what to purchase. If you believe in what your selling and always tell the truth the consumer will know it and be as excited as you. Remember how much fun our industry can be. Cars, Music and excitement. China needs to realize that we are in a global economy and needs to get in step and repair their poor reputation. Four simple words to China. DO THE RIGHT THING.

    1. Sheesh. Boderline racist rant. Like all of China is just liars, cheaters, and thieves. Crazy how so many American companies do business there, and have been doing business there for over 30 years, with all those cheaters and thieves. Guess who know who you’re voting for…

Comments are closed.