Car audio systems are getting more and more complex with various new technologies being implemented with each passing day. Even so, a good quality amp is still the cornerstone of the whole setup. The only issue with amplifiers, and car audio systems, in general, is that it’s an expensive hobby. At least that’s what we have been led to believe.
Not so long ago, if you wanted a stable audio system in your car that had all the power and definition necessary, you had to put a decent dent in your bank account. These days things are changing, and new technologies are allowing manufacturers to cut down on production cost while still delivering decent power output and performance.
JL Audio is no stranger to the car audio community. Their amps, manuals and various other products are considered to be one of the few go-to choices. With that said, even when you are dealing with a brand that enjoys that kind of reputation, you are naturally cautious with their entry level stuff.
JL Audio JX500/1D definitely raised some eyebrows when it first appeared. The specs were there, but the price seemed too good to be true. Today we’re going to figure out whether or not that’s the case, or is this really the king of the affordable range.
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JL Audio JX500/1D Review
JL Audio recognized a long time ago that subwoofer amps are the first part of the advanced setup that new users go for. Everyone starts their journey in this awesome hobby by giving their bass a bit more juice. JL Audio’s decision to roll out a decent subwoofer amp that packs enough power to run a good portion of larger transducers, while costing the user a reasonable amount of money, can only be recognized as a solid business decision.
Needless to say, it didn’t take long before the budget users figured out just how good this thing is, making it one of the most popular subwoofer amps on the market at the moment. As we start talking about features and specs, you will understand why this is the case.
JL Audio’s design of the JX500/1D is a sound combination of components and technologies, which bring a stable high power output to the budget market. We are talking about a single channel monoblock amp that is capable of pushing 500 Watts RMS at 2 Ohms. And that is stable 500 Watts of pure juice to your subwoofer of choice.
Being a Class D amp, the efficiency is up there in the 80 percentile, so not a lot goes out as heat. This translates to a compact enclosure and overall dimensions with a very stealthy heat sync. If you care about the aesthetics of your boot, this amps is low key enough to blend in quite nicely.
The power supply tasked with keeping this amp juiced up at all times is a pretty robust MOSFET design which allows the JL Audio JX500/1D to power up a range of subwoofers with no fluctuations in output or level of performance. As we have mentioned before, you can squeeze out 500 Watts RMS at 2 Ohms. At 4 Ohms, power output is limited to 300 Watts RMS, while 3 Ohms gets you 40 Watts. Those numbers are for 14.4V.
Frequency response range is set from 10 Hz to 150 Hz, which gives you a pretty deep spectrum of bass to work with. The amp comes with a 60A fuse, so you don’t have to worry about damaging it by accident. In terms of inputs, you are looking your standard RCA configuration in addition to the high-level cluster.
This type of setup allows you to use the JL Audio JX500/1D with most factory audio systems. Another feature worth mentioning is the built-in low-pass filter that has a cutoff frequency from 50Hz to 200Hz, and a variable bass boost at 45Hz.
Considering the price, you would expect something that was average at best. That is definitely not the case with JL Audio JX500/1D. This thing can push a 500 Watt subwoofer with ease.
When we say that, we mean that you can experience the full potential of the transducer without the amp getting hot, or losing any of the performance. Once you crank up the output, the volume will surprise you. This thing packs a mean punch that can go head to head with more expensive amps of this type any day.
With that said, this amp can’t go anywhere near 1 Ohm but at the end of the day that’s not what it was designed to do. When you pair it with a decent subwoofer, the performance you get will lead you to believe that you could hook up one more subwoofer and run it just as well.
Final Thoughts on This JL Amp
Power doesn’t have to come with an expensive price tag. JL Audio JX500/1D is the proof of that. When it comes to subwoofer monoblock amps, this little guy is one of the best you can get in the affordable segment of the market. In all honesty, JL Audio could probably have squeezed a bit more power out of this amp considering it rarely gets warm when you push it hard, but we definitely can’t complain.
If you need something more powerful than this, you need to be ready to pay a bit more money. JL Audio JX500/1D is pushing the scope of entry-level amps in terms of performance, but it’s still a fairly tamed unit that has no business being installed in more serious setups. If that is something you are fine with, JL Audio JX500/1D offers top bang for the buck, one of the best subwoofer amps you can get at the moment for the price.