JL Audio W3 vs Kicker CompR: Subwoofer Comparison
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JL Audio W3 vs Kicker CompR Subwoofer

JL Audio W3 vs Kicker Comp R Subwoofer


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.

Kicker CompR

The Kicker CompR subwoofers offer hard-hitting bass that is accurate and designed for sound quality. The Kicker CompR subwoofers are an updated version of the legendary CompVR. The CompR features a ribbed polypropylene surround and the cone does not feature the raised spokes that the CompVR has. As a result, there is less distortion from the CompR when it is hitting hard at loud volume and it does not have the "knock" that the CompVR has. If you are looking for hard-hitting, accurate bass, the Kicker CompR subwoofer is a great choice.

Sizes

The JL Audio W3 series comes in several different sizes that include 6.5", 8", 10", 12". and 13.5" models. The Kicker CompR series comes in an 8", 10", 12" and 15" model. The two lineups feature a wide variety of different sizing with many comparable sizes that will allow us to compare models of the same size against each other as we explore the additional categories.

Voice Coils

The JL Audio W3 series features a single coil construction model across all the sizes in the series. The Kicker CompR series comes with a dual voice coil in both 2-ohm or 4-ohm configurations. These dual coils are included across all of the models in the line. There's a wide variety of choices here between ohms and sub sizing. There's plenty of options between both lineups when you're planning your installation.

Power Handling

The JL Audio W3 series has RMS power handling ranging from 150-600 Watts across the entire line. The Kicker CompR series features RMS power handling at 300-800 watts at both 2 and 4-ohms depending on the size of the exact subwoofer in the lineup. For comparably sized subwoofers, we do see the same RMS power handling between the two lineups.

Mounting Depth

When comparing similarly sized subwoofers in both lineups, we do see a shallower top-mounting depth from The Kicker CompR lineup when compared to the JL Audio W3 line. In installations requiring as much space-saving design as possible, the CompR line would be a great place to start when comparing similarly sized models.

Recommended Enclosure Size

Both manufacturers offer recommended enclosure sizing for both sealed and ported enclosures for the JL Audio W3 and CompR lines of subwoofers. Between comparably sized models of subs, both have recommended enclosure sizes in sealed and ported that line up in the same range as each other.

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 and brands. 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) JL Audio W3 8" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): JD500/1, RD500/1, or XD300/1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: RD500/1

Sub: (Qty 1) Kicker CompR 8" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm DVC CXA400.1 or KXA400.1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: CXA400.1

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

Sub: (Qty 2) Kicker CompR 8" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): CXA800.1 or KXA800.1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: CXA800.1

Sub: (Qty 1) JL Audio 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 1) Kicker CompR 10" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 2-ohm DV CXA400.1, KXA400.1, or KEY500.1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: We can't argue with any of the recommended amps here, whatever works best for your budget and install.

Sub: (Qty 2) JL Audio 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 2) Kicker CompR 10" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm DVC CXA800.1 or KXA800.1. OR 2-ohm DVC CXA1200.1 or KX1200.1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: CXA800.1

Sub: (Qty 1) JL Audio 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 1) Kicker CompR 12" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 2-ohm DVC KEY500.1, CXA400.1, or KXA400.1. OR 4-ohm DVC CXA800.1 or KXA800.1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: KEY500.1

Sub: (Qty 2) JL Audio 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)

Sub: (Qty 2) Kicker CompR 12" | Factory Amp Recommendation(s): 4-ohm DVC CXA1200.1 or KXA800.1 | Classic Car Stereo Recommendation: CXA800.1

Price Points

The price point for the JL Audio W3 models come in at a much higher premium over the Kicker CompR subwoofers. The JL Audio models are working with upgraded materials and technologies over the Kicker CompR line. For many comparable specifications in the categories listed above, the Kicker CompR line does provide great value. The scope of the entire installation and the entire planned budget should be the main contributing factors when selecting between the two prices here.

In Conclusion

The JL Audio W3 series contains some great features in terms of technology and construction materials. However, there are many comparable specifications between the W3 lineup and the Kicker CompR series that are very comparable. Both the W3 and CompR series feature a great variety in sizing options. Both series have very similar power handling at comparable sizing. For the value, it's hard to select against the CompR series here, but die-hard JL Audio fans will see some additional value for the upgrades in construction for the higher price point when selecting between the two.

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