Few things spark a debate faster among bassheads than the topic of which car subwoofer brand is best. The debate rages on and on as manufacturers continue to develop and release new car subwoofers with greater performance and improved efficiency. Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio are two of the major players in this game. They’re popular among seasoned audiophiles who are passionate about having the best in sound quality.
Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio were both founded in the early seventies. They’ve been cranking out a wide variety of car audio components for decades; however, they’re best known for their quality car subwoofers.
While one basshead will swear by his Rockford Fosgate, another will insist his JL Audio is the better option. Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio names are both synonymous with high-quality sound, great performance, and built-to-last quality. But, which of the two is better?
Well, that’s a matter of opinion—but that doesn’t mean the individual car subwoofer brands don’t have characteristics that may make them more suited to one type of people or one type of basshead over the other.
When comparing Rockford Fosgate Vs. JL Audio side-by-side, there are a lot of similarities, like solid performance and efficiency, but there’s a lot of differences too—some subtle, others, not so much.
In this post, we pit Rockford Fosgate Vs. JL Audio, comparing a few car subwoofers from each, to see how the two car audio brands stack up.
Rockford Fosgate Vs. JL Audio
The Witness: Rockford Fosgate
Rockford Fosgate was founded in 1973 by Jim Fosgate. It’s considered one of the Pioneer brands in the audio industry. They’ve been in business for a long time. They design and manufacture high-performance audio equipment for automobiles and home use.
Rockford Fosgate offers a wide range of car audio components including signal processors, speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers. Most of Rockford Fosgate’s car audio components fall into three major categories labeled “Prime”, “Punch”, and “POWER”.
Prime Series Subwoofers
Rockford Fosgate is known by all serious bassheads for its relentless hard-hitting bass. Rockford has one of the largest lineups of subwoofers with three different lines. Within those lines there are three performance levels : “Prime”, “Punch” and “Power” are all performance subwoofers that push the envelope with their output.
For those getting started in car audio or for those looking for a little fuller sound without having to spend a ton of cash, Rockford Fosgate has the “Prime” series. These entry-level woofers are available in the R1 and R2 series and come in both 10 inch and 12 inch models.
R1s are the least expensive way to get some low-end notes in your ride. The R2s are a step up from the R1s with their better power-handling and dual voice coil design which allow for great installation flexibility. They are available in shallow and regular mount.
Punch Series Subwoofers
Those looking for some serious bass, Rockford Fosgate has the Punch series. Punch series subwoofers are available in P1 P2 and P3 performance lines.
- Punch P1: The P1 is the introduction to the Punch line up. They are available in 8, 10, 12 and 15 inch size. The P1 introduces a linear spider with embedded 16 gauge tinsel leads, and are only available in single voice coil. They use Kevlar fiber paper cones which is extremely rigid and delivers the bass you expect from a Punch series woofer.
- Punch P2: The P2 takes all of the P1 features and pushes the envelope even further. They use dual voice coil design which allows for greater flexibility. The P2 also has considerably larger motor structure. They use 2-1/2″ inch voice coil compared to the P1’s 1/2 inch voice coil and are featured with a large magnet size that’s been increased by nearly 40%. The integrated spider and voice coil venting is a standard feature on all punch series woofers.
- Punch P3: the P3 improves on the P2 and pushes subwoofer technology to the limit. The P3 subs are available in 10, 12 and 15 inch models. Rockford Fosgate has pushed the xmax limit on these subwoofers to nearly 16 millimeters. To achieve that, Rockford Fosgate has yet again increased the magnet size by nearly 35 percent over the P2. The V.A.S.T (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) incorporated into these woofers allows for increased excursion and adds up to 25% more cone area.The P3 adds an anodized aluminum cone and dust cap for even more rigidity.The P3 lineup adds shallow mount subwoofers in 8 10 and 12 inch models. The shallow mount P3 subs incorporate all of the P3 technology and a depth limited package. The emeral surround allows for nearly 9 millimeters of xmax, while the dual linear spiders keep everything in alignment.
All Rockford Fosgate punch series woofers include trim rings and are compatible with optional Rockford grills. The trim ring provides a distinct look for a nice finished product.
If you want to avoid the hassle of building an enclosure for your subwoofer, Rockford Fosgate has got you covered.
They have the entire “Punch” and “Prime” Series subwoofers in pre-loaded enclosures. The “Punch” pre-loaded enclosures are available in P1 P2 and P3 performance levels and utilize the same drivers in 10 and 12 inch. They’re available in single and dual driver configurations.
Power Series Subwoofers
Rockford Fosgate “Power” series subwoofers are the answer to serious bassheads looking for unparalleled bass output. Rockford Fosgate “Power” series subs are big in every way and in everything they do. They’re designed to make a night and day difference in terms of bass you experience in your vehicle. They come in 10, 12 and 15 inch sizes.
Power Series Subwoofers are made with high quality materials and use cutting-edge technologies for unparalleled power-handling, and deep bass. They’re built to handle an outrageous amount of power.
The Witness : JL Audio
Jl Audio is another well-renowned brands in the car audio industry. It was founded in 1975 by James Birch and Lucio Proni. They used the first letter of each of their names, to form a company name, hence “JL.”
JL Audio is an independent, privately-held U.S. company active in the Home, Mobile, Powersports and Marine Audio markets. JL Audio has made a name for itself as one of the most renowned brands in the audio industry. They offer everything from audio processors and amplifiers to subwoofers and speakers. However, JL Audio is best known for its quality subwoofers.
JL Audio W0 & W1
For those on a strict-budget or for those looking for a decent car subwoofer under $200, JL Audio offers the “W0v3” & “W1v3” series. These entry-level woofers are built to perform like no other woofers in their price class, making them the “go to” choice for those seeking decent performance from an affordable subwoofer system. They come in 10, 12, and 15 inch sizes.
These subs use beefy 2.0-2.5-inch voice coils and JL Audio’s patented Elevated-Frame Cooling design which allows for enhanced power handling and performance. Additionally, these subs use Proprietary DMA-optimized motor systems which allows for unparalleled excursion capability, with increased output, better sound quality and low distortion within their intended power envelope.
JL Audio W3v3
Jl Audio W3v3 subwoofers are a step up from their entry-level siblings (the W0 & W1 ). They’re offered in five sizes, ranging from 6.5-inch to 13.5-inch nominal diameters.
JL Audio W3v3 subs are designed to perform. They benefit from a whole suite of advanced technologies originally developed for JL Audio’s flagship W7’s.
These subs are featured with mineral-filled polypropylene upper cone body with a metallic JL Audio logo medallion which provides a simple, classy look.
JL Audio W6v3
JL Audio W6v3 subwoofers share an assembly line and several cutting-edge technologies with JL Audio’s flagship W7’s. They come in 10 and 12 inch sizes. All W6v3’s subs offer dual 4-ohm voice coils that can be wired in series for an 8-ohm load, or in parallel for a 2-ohm load. These subs can handle an outrageous amount of power. And as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.
The W6v3 subs are featured with injection-molded, mineral-filled polypropylene cones supported with durable rubber surround. Additionally, they incorporate a patented cooling structure that efficiently refresh the air around the voice coil, thereby dissipating the heat generated during extended play for improve power handling and fidelity.
JL Audio W7
The subs in this series are JL Audio’s top-of-the-line subs. They embody JL Audio’s commitment to pushing the envelope of speaker technology.The subs in this series are built to deliver extreme output, accurate dynamics and sublime sound quality…all at the same time, which makes them the go-to subs for serious bassheads.
JL Audio W7 subwoofers are featured with multiple patented technologies such as OverRoll Surround, W-Cone technology and a Floating-Cone attach method. Thanks to their optimized W7 motors and suspension systems, these subs are able to faithfully reproduce every bass detail with unparalleled linearity and accuracy.
Rockford Fosgate Vs. JL Audio Subs : Which Is Best?
Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio are a step above Pioneer and other popular brands in terms of popular subwoofers. It’s never easy to choose between two subs of broadly similar performance.
We are not going to try to convince you that one is better than the other, as both brands make excellent car subwoofers, and that is simply too broad a statement to make. Rather, you should consider what kind of subwoofer you are looking for, what your budget is, and what’s most important to you, bass, sound quality, or loudness?
In terms of performance and build quality, both brands are equally good and both offer entry level and high-end car subwoofers. Which one is best is a matter of endless debate.
Both companies offer a wide range of subwoofers, and this is where a comparison is difficult to make. What are the criteria you use for the comparison? Top of the range? Cheapest option? Popular opinion? For bass ? For loudness?
While one user may swear by their Rockford Fosgate car subwoofer and another may swear by their JL Audio. So, it’s impossible to state that one brand is better than the other.
Having said that, when choosing between car subwoofer brands, we highly recommend that you compare each car subwoofer individually — where JL Audio may have a better entry-level car subwoofer, Rockford Fosgate may have an advanced, more powerful car subwoofer.
Rockford Fosgate Vs. JL Audio : What’s The Final Answer?
In general terms, there is not a lot between Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio car subwoofers. As with many car subwoofer brands, the range of models offered by each company covers just about anything you would want of a subwoofer. It’s only when you get above $500 that you will see any significant difference between them.
All in all, I can tell you that both brands provides great car subwoofers in the market when compared to other brands.