JL Audio W1 vs. W3 Subwoofer
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JL Audio W1 vs. W3 Subwoofer

JL Audio W1 vs. W3 Subwoofer


JL Audio W1

The JL Audio W1 series subwoofers offer value in the mid-power subwoofer market. These subwoofers use many of the same patented technologies as the other JL Audio premium subwoofers and are super reliable while limiting distortion.

JL Audio W3

The JL Audio W3 series subwoofer has been around forever and performs remarkably in the mid-power subwoofer class. The JL Audio W3 series offers great output and minimal distortion thanks to the same technologies handed down from JL Audio's flagship, the W7 series woofer. The JL Audio W3 series is well balanced in terms of its output, its power handling, and the enclosure box requirements.

Sizes

The W1 series has subwoofer models in the 8", 10", and 12" sizes. The JL Audio W3 series comes in several different sizes that include 6.5", 8", 10", 12". and 13.5" models, allowing for more versatility in sizing over the W1 models.

Voice Coils

All models of the JL Audio W1 series feature single coil construction, but feature a 4-ohm 8" model, with both 2-ohm and 4-ohm options in the 10" and 12" models. The JL Audio W3 series also features a single coil construction model across all the sizes in the series. With both subs being single coil, you'll want to make sure you're paying attention to the best ohm and size calculations for your installation.

Power Handling

All 10" and 12" models of the W0 and W1 series feature RMS power handling at 300 watts, while the 8" W1 model has RMS power handling at 150 watts, and the 15" W0 model has RMS power handling at 500W. The JL Audio W3 series has RMS power handling ranging from 150-600 Watts across the entire lineup (depending on the model). Based on the subwoofer sizing selected, you're seeing a little bit more RMS power handling with the W3 series, which will be better for your setup.

Mounting Depth

When comparing comparable sizes of subwoofers between the W1 and W3 lineups, the shallower mounting depth requirements of all the W1 series subwoofers will provide you with better flexibility for your installation.

Recommended Enclosure Size

The recommended enclosure sizes between comparable sizing in the two series are a bit smaller for the 10" and 12" models in the W3 series compared to the W1 series. However, if you move down and compare the 8" subwoofers across both lines, you'll notice that the requirements for the sealed or ported enclosure are just slightly smaller for the W1 series giving it a slight edge at that size.

Recommended Amplifiers

The recommended amplifier for your subwoofers will vary greatly depending on the size and quantity of subwoofers you select for your installation. The following lists are comparisons between amplifiers for subwoofers in the same dimensions between the different models. The list begins with a factory recommendation for amps that provide enough power handling for the subwoofer(s), and then move on to our professional recommendations that may vary slightly from the factory recommendations. These Classic Car Stereo recommendations may be an amp with a higher price point that will service the subs better, or an amp that provides RMS power handling over the recommended amount which will allow you to not have to maximize the output on your amp to provide full power to your subs.

Sub: (Qty 1) W1 8"

  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): JD250/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: JD250/1

    Sub: (Qty 1) W3 8"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD300/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD500/1

    Sub: (Qty 2) W1 8"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): JD250/1, JD500/1, or RD500/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: JD500/1 (while turning the overall gain down)

    Sub: (Qty 2) W3 8"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD600/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD500/1

    Sub: (Qty 1) W1 10"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 2-ohm JD250/1, JD500/1, or RD500/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: JD or RD 500/1 (Our recommendation here would depend on your overall budget)

    Sub: (Qty 1) W3 10"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 2-ohm JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD600/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD500/1 or XD600/1

    Sub: (Qty 2) W1 10"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD600/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: JD or RD 500/1 (Our recommendation here would depend on your overall budget)

    Sub: (Qty 2) W3 10"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm JD1000/1, RD1000/1, or XD1000/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD1000/1 or XD1000/1 (Either are great options here, pick your poison)

    Sub: (Qty 1) W1 12"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 2-ohm JD250/1, JD500/1, or RD500/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: JD or RD 500/1 (Our recommendation here would depend on your overall budget)

    Sub: (Qty 1) W3 12"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 2-ohm JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD600/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD500/1 or XD600/1

    Sub: (Qty 2) W1 12"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD600/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: JD or RD 500/1 (Our recommendation here would depend on your overall budget)

    Sub: (Qty 2) W3 12"
  • Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm JD1000/1, RD1000/1, or XD1000/1
  • Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD1000/1 or XD1000/1 (Either are great options here, pick your poison)

    Price Points

    While many of the aspects of the W1 and W3 lineups are fairly comparable. The upgrades in materials and power handling of the W3 series do make the higher cost of the W3 subwoofers a worthwhile investment for your setup.

    In Conclusion

    The JL Audio W3 series of subwoofers has amazing versatility in its different dimensions for installation. Paring that versatility with similar technologies included in JL Audio's premier subwoofer lineup (the W7 series) makes for an amazing subwoofer in the mid-power class. While there is a fair increase in the price point for these upgrades, the W3 remains a great upgrade for installations with larger budgets. Between the two, we'd highly recommend the W3 lineup over the W1 series for your purchase.

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