Three of JL audio’s biggest subwoofer collections are the W0 series, the W1 series, and the W3 series. The W0 is the low tier, followed by the W1 as the middle tier, leaving the W3 to take the crown. The W0 will only have 4 Ohms impedance subwoofers while the W1 and the W3 will have both 2 Ohm and 4 Ohm impedances.
The W3 is the most diverse collection of the three. It features a 6.5” and an 8” for smaller subwoofers, both with 4 Ohm impedance. On top of that, there are two 10” subwoofers, two 12” subwoofers, and two 13.5” subwoofers. One of each of those will have a 2 Ohm impedance and the other will have a 4 Ohm impedance. The W3’s hardware is going to make it the most luxurious of the three collections and will also contribute to the higher prices.
The W1 isn’t going to be as diverse of a collection as the W3 series, but it will have a bigger selection than the W0. The W1 has one 8” subwoofer with 4 Ohm impedance along with two 10” subwoofers and two 12” subwoofers. Similarly to the W3, the 10” and 12” subwoofers will have one with 2 Ohm impedance and one with 4 Ohm impedance. These won’t be as pricy as the W3 series, but they won’t be as nice either.
The W0 is much cheaper than the other two, but they won’t be as nice and there won’t be as wide of a selection. This series has one 10” subwoofer, one 12” subwoofer, and one 15” subwoofer that are all 4 Ohm impedance. So, now let’s discuss what makes these three collections different and what makes the W3 superior to the other two.
The W1 series and the W0 series have similar continuous power handling, but both are going to get beat out by the W3. The 10W0v3-4 and the 10W1v3-4 both have 300 watts of continuous power handling. Both of those subwoofers are 10” subwoofers and both feature a 4 Ohm impedance. The equivalent of these two in the W3 series is the 10W3v3-4, which will have 500 watts of RMS power handling. So, the W3 has improved power handling in comparison to the W0 and W1, but what else sets them apart? To answer that question, let’s first discuss what specifications these three collections share.
All three series will feature DMA Optimized Motors and Elevated Frame Cooling. DMA stands for Dynamic Motor Analysis and it essentially controls the speaker motor linearity. This will lead to reduced distortion and some quality bass time and time again. The Elevated Frame Cooling gives cool air to the voice coil through holes above the top-plate. This will further increase the power handling and help to keep the speaker from overheating. These are a staple of these three series of subwoofers and won’t really give an advantage to any series.
The W0 loses out on the rest of the specifications that are featured in the W1 and W3. These specifications include FCAM (Floating Cone Attach Method), Vented Reinforcement Collar, and Insert Molded Sub-Assembly. FCAM and Insert Molded Sub-Assembly work closely together, so let’s talk about those two first. FCAM is an assembly technique that JL Audio developed to get better surround geometry in their speakers and subwoofers. This helps with overall durability and the alignment of the voice coil, which will boost the quality of the bass the subwoofer puts out. The Insert Molded Sub-Assembly is a sub-assembly process in which the spiders, voice coils, terminals, and lead wires are all preassembled into a molded carrier. What this will do is create better alignment for more precise sound and durability.
On top of those two pieces of technology, the W1 and W3 take advantage of a Vented Reinforcement Collar. The Vented Reinforcement Collar helps with the overall structure of the subwoofer and improves cooling performance by pushing the airflow over the windings of the voice coil. This will help to keep the internal components much cooler, which will extend the lifetime of the subwoofer. This component along with the FCAM and the Insert Molded Sub-Assembly is the reason why the W1 and the W3 are going to perform better and cost more than the W0.
The W3 has a few things that set it apart from the W0 and W1. One of these is the customizable trim ring. The ring is easy to quickly remove so that you can paint it to work perfectly with the theme of your installation. This is perfect for adding a simple personal touch and adds a bit of style to the subwoofer. Along with the customizable trim ring, the W3 is the only series of these three to be built in JL Audio’s United States factory. This factory is located in Miramar, Florida, and allows for JL Audio to look over the full assembly process, ensuring that the very specific assembly process is done to their exact specifications.
The W0, W1, and W3 are all good collections of subwoofers. What one works best for you depends on your budget and your exact needs. For more bass and more power, you will want to go with a W3 subwoofer, but only if you’re willing to spend the extra one hundred dollars on it. The W1 has a good selection for a middle-tier series and won’t break the bank either. The W0 is perfect if you’re looking for something on the cheaper side that still has good power handling and sound. All three will do their job and do it well, so it really comes down to your budget and your needs.