JL Audio 10W3v3 Subwoofer Review
The most common theme among automotive audio enthusiasts is to get the largest, meanest sub cones they can get. While it is quite understandable where this type of reasoning comes from, too many people fail to realize that peak power or RMS power is not going to dictate the sound quality of a given subwoofer.
The phenomenon we described is not that present within groups who aim at the mid or top range stuff, but rather the entry level community which still has a lot to learn. With all that said, some will wonder if getting good audio quality in terms of bass is even possible on a tighter budget. The answer is yes. JL Audio 10W3v3 is a perfect example of a relatively average powered sub that compensates the lack of volume with superior sound quality.
Sure, there are more powerful models out there that cost less, but you have to ask yourself one thing. Is it worth compromising what is generally a pretty decent build with a muddy sub that is going to dilute the sound quality of the entire system? We’re going to use this occasion to get to know the JL Audio 10W3v3, and also figure out whether or not its reputation holds any merit. With that said, let’s dig right in.
For the most part, 10W3v3 looks like your regular subunit, but this is actually a subwoofer driver that belongs to the larger models available on the market. Now, the sub is rated for 600 Watts in terms of peak power, and 300 Watts RMS. Even though you would feel tempted to give it a shot, this is definitely not the type of sub you want to push hard. In terms of design, JL Audio kept things fairly simple in order to level the price at a point where it is most attractive to potential users. We strongly believe they’ve accomplished that quite successfully. This is one of the more competitive sub drivers available at the moment in this price range.
Starting from the cone, we see a mineral-filled polypropylene cone that is snugly mounted within a standard nitrile-butylene rubber surround. Speaking of which, JL Audio designed what they cal FCAM, or Floating Cone Attach Method which simplifies the connection between the cone and the surround to a point where the cone is completely free to move while still preserving good integrity.
Finely machined basket reveals an Elevated Frame Cooling design. This JL Audio patent allows them to build baskets with a higher level of cooling efficiency. EFC baskets manage to expose the voice coil to a larger volume of circulating air, thus reducing heat and increasing performance to a certain degree.
As we go down the list of features, things get better and better. After you’ve done with all the patents and exclusive tech solutions JL Audio implemented in this rather inexpensive sub driver, you realize that this thing is built for performance. Speaking of which.
One of the main things to look out for when using subwoofer driver hybrids is not to push the transducer too hard. remember, these have a lot more work to do than just hit those sub 100Hz frequencies. As for this particular model, JL Audio states that maximum power RMS is set at 300 Watts, and that is definitely the optimal output you should even consider. The point of 10W3v3-4 is not to give you mind-blowing amounts of thump, but rather bring you a great sound quality and definition within the frequency range it is built to cover. That means that you need to take it easy on the volume knob if you want to put this driver into its sweet spot mode.
The installation itself is fairly simple. The box requirements come with the sub so you will know exactly how wide and deep you have to go in order to get the best effect. This is a single voice coil design, meaning that you only have two cables to worry about. 10W3v3-4 is a 10-inch unit, but it’s sort of compact. Finding enough room for it fit nicely is definitely not a big issue. One of the best benefits of this particular model is its price. You can easily get a few of these and build a rather capable audio system without spending too much money.
Subwoofer drivers, especially those that are more tamed in terms of power output, are not as popular as their pure blood sub brethren. With that said, models such as this JL Audio are rather inspiring when you consider the type of performance you are getting, and what kind of money you are asked to pay for it. It’s not something power hungry users seeking to push the edge of their system would be interested in. However, anyone looking for decent performance with great quality of sound will love this unit.