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JL Audio's top-of-the-line subwoofer

JL Audio's 30-plus years of research into car audio design has produced the legendary W7 subwoofer, and you'll hear that engineering in every note. JL Audio applies its advanced technologies separately to each W7 subwoofer, so each size sub is a unique design with its own motor and suspension system. You'll hear smooth, audiophile-quality bass output, even at extreme levels.

Exploded view

Advanced technology for superior sound

W7 subs feature six different patented technologies which give them their edge:

  • W-Cone™: a dish-shaped outer cone is supported by a second W-shaped inner cone attached to the the sub's voice coil structure. The light mineral-filled polypropylene cones respond rapidly for accurate, distortion-free bass without unwanted coloration.

  • OverRoll surround
  • OverRoll™: the oversized polyether foam surround extends over the edge of the mounting flange for more bass output without sacrificing linearity.

  • Floating Cone Attach Method
  • Floating Cone Attach Method (FCAM™): cone-bonding technology keeps the voice coil centered during long excursion.

  • Spider attachment
  • Plateau-reinforced spider attachment: a collar on the voice coil eases stress on the spider for extended excursion and improved reliability.

  • Elevated frame cooling and pole piece
  • Elevated frame cooling and cross-drilled pole-piece: cone movement pumps air through vents in the frame and machined holes in the pole piece, keeping the voice coil cool.

Reliable performance and accurate response

JL Audio designed the 3-ohm 12" W7 subwoofer to maintain linear motion during extreme cone travel, so you get a high-performance sub that's incredibly reliable. You'll find a strong cast-alloy basket and ultra-long voice coil among many impressive features which help this sub deliver profound, natural, and lifelike bass. This 3-ohm sub should behave similarly to a 4-ohm subwoofer in most power applications; call 1-888-955-6000 if you have further questions on powering your W7 system.

Product Highlights:

  • 12" 3-ohm subwoofer
  • polypropylene W-Cone with polyester foam surround
  • solid cast-alloy basket
  • power range: 400-1,000 watts RMS
  • peak power handling: 2,000 watts
  • frequency response: 18-200 Hz
  • sensitivity: 86.2 dB
  • top-mount depth: 9-1/2"
  • sealed box volume: 1.375 cubic feet
  • ported box volume: 1.75 cubic feet
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's a component sub and why would I want one?

A component sub is simply a speaker that's designed to reproduce bass once it's installed in a compatible enclosure. Think about the impact of a movie soundtrack in a big theater or even in your own home HDTV setup. A component sub can add the same kind of power to the music in your car. And a car sub is not all about the boom that you hear on a street corner (although that's cool too) - you can pair a component sub with your choice of enclosure to get bass just the way you like it, from tight and punchy to fat and loose. And once you experience music in your car with a well-tuned subwoofer, you'll never go back.

JL Audio 12W7-3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

7 Reviews

Pure JL Perfection

Written by: ZolenB from Birmingham, AL on January 1, 2012

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Sound Quality
  • Value

I bought a 12W7 for my 2001 Mustang GT to replace the FOUR 10w4s that were filling the entire trunk (downsized from Explorer). The W7 had just been released (2001/02), and it was the hottest thing around. JL was the only thing I would buy from previous experience. I was blown away. The SINGLE 12w7 (powered by a 1997 Rockford Power 800a2) was just as loud as the four 10w4s, but infinitely smoother, tighter, and didn't make the car sound like it was going to blow apart. It was just pure, clean, tight bass. With the amp's gain turned up via the bass control knob, it would blur your vision. But with it set at normal, it was the cleanest system I've heard short of JL Audio's car.

Later, I sold the 2001 GT, and bought a 2003 Mustang Cobra. The entire system made the move. Again, it continued to impress, and blow passengers away with its clarity, response, and brutality. After a few more years, I decided to buy a 2011 Mustang GT. I ordered one, and during the excitement of the trade, I sold the Cobra with the system. That was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

The bottom line, I miss the sub the most. After nearly 10 years of abuse, it was perfect. The foam was still perfect, besides a few scuffs from getting hit by trunk debris. How can you beat 10 YEARS of amazing service? I have no doubt it would have lasted me another 10 years. What a beautiful piece of perfection.

Pros: Incredible SQ, Incredible SPL, Rugged, Long-lasting

Cons: That I sold it

Pure greatness

Written by: James from Maryland on January 12, 2011

Best sub I have ever owned, I wish I never sold it. Had it paired with a jl 500/1 and it was great. It gets really loud and sounds amazing. Yes it is expensive but if you want the best you are going to pay for it. I have heard a lot of these setups and mine was plenty loud for me. I have a friend that has 2 12w7's and 2 500/1's in a cougar hatchback and its crazy loud. Go for it if you have the money!



crazy bass

Written by: Grant from kansas city, Mo on September 7, 2009

this sub gives a crazy amount of bass. Mine tickled my nose hair, and i didnt
even have it amped up all the way. sound quality was really good. it hits real
deep too. If you are willing to pay for it, you have the room, and are willing to
pay the money to amp it up right then you should go with this one. However if
you dont care a lot about pounding the crap out of you brains and you mainly
want sound quality, you should prob look at a w6



Breathtaking... Literally

Written by: Andy from Waynesboro, MS on October 12, 2008

I have this sub with the H.O. box powered by the 1000/1. My car is the only thing that suffers. Three layers of Dynamat in the trunk and still not enough.

Low frequency extension is amazing. This sub blends well with your mids with the right crossover setting. To my surprise this sub handles higher bass notes with grace and precision. Notes are tight, well defined, and forceful. Whether you want sound quality or ridiculous bass, this sub handles both. VERY power hungry. I am putting the full 1000 to it and it handles it easily. Dont get the wrong idea though. This sub will get extremely loud but it is also for sql. BREAK THEM IN PROPERLY. You dont want to waste all that money by rushing to hear it loud and blow it. I think JL recommends 40 hrs break in at low wattage. Go out and get one, you wont be disappointed.




Written by: Jonathon from Royal Oak, MI on June 2, 2008

I've owned this sub for 6 years now, with three different amps driving it -- absolutely bulletproof. The amp will quit long before the voice coils on these. Tremendous low-end response and very clean from 20-80Hz. I'm giving it 1.4 ft3 (sealed) and the low frequency extension is fantastic. The 12W7 is extremely durable, too...the surround is built so well, it can handle the occasional stray object in the trunk.

However, they are quite power hungry, so spend a little extra on quality amplification and give them at least 750 RMS watts for peak performance. You will not be disappointed. I've even used this sub in my home theater during the winter (4 years before JL came out with the fathom and gotham). Best home theater sub I've ever used, too.




Written by: Ralph from Weston CT on June 2, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

guys i had a jlw710 but i wanted more bass in my chrysler after talking to crutchfield adviors they explained why the jlw712 would sound much better and they couldn't be more right...i mean people hear me coming from a half a mile away.....if you guys have the money and want a great sub im telling you go with the jlw712 you won't be dissapointed!



One word, SWEET!

Written by: Anthony from Park View, Iowa on November 14, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

JL Audio is the best, I had 2 10" W7's and loved them but I wanted more, so I bought 2 12" W7's. They sound great, you can't go wrong with JL!



Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 12" Single voice coil subwoofer with a silver metal clamp ring and a stainless steel O-ring attached to a MDF baffle board with 12 phillips-head screws
  • Owner's Manual
  • JL Audio Marine Products catalog
  • JL Audio Home Products catalog

Product Research

Enclosure Compatibility


W-Cone: The JL Audio W7 subwoofer utilizes a W-Cone design, a unit-body cone assembly, that delivers astonishing cone stiffness with minimal mass. The shape also provides incredible torsional rigidity, which is critical to maintaining voice coil alignment at the suspension limits. In order to gain maximum stiffness, two lightweight mineral-filled polypropylene skins are bonded together at the perimeter and the center of the assembly. The lower skin's cross-section is shaped like a "W", and provides incredible rigidity when bonded to the dished upper skin.

OverRoll Surround: OverRoll Surround technology allows JL Audio to make full use of the entire footprint of the speaker, placing the surround further to the outside than in a conventional woofer. This means that W7 subwoofer can use a large roll for all its benefits without sacrificing cone area. By maximizing the effective piston/total footprint ratio, the W7 subwoofer can deliver more output for a given excursion and outside frame diameter. This means that the prodigious excursion advantage of the W7 can be put to full use enhancing output, rather than making up for lost piston area. This technology also provides a geometry advantage on the outside edge of the surround roll, allowing for more linear operation. A further benefit is that the mounting holes are inherently sealed by the surround, resulting in an improved box seal.

Ultra-Long Voice Coil: The W7 subwoofer features an ultra-long voice coil to allow extreme linear excursion, phenomenal power handling and control. The massive surface area of these coils is excellent for heat dissipation, while the huge winding height provides the necessary motivational force to achieve the huge excursion of the W7 designs. Considering their size, the W7 voice coils are extremely light in weight. The W7 uses aluminum-alloy wire (instead of conventional copper) and a specific winding method to achieve JL Audio's desired electrical properties. The light weight of the coils helps keep the overall moving mass down at manageable levels, which is extremely important for efficiency and sound quality reasons.

Floating Cone Attachment Method (FCAM): JL Audio's patented FCAM technology is an innovative method of bonding the surround/cone assembly to the voice coil/spider assembly. This assembly technique ensures proper surround geometry in the assembled speaker for better excursion control and dynamic voice coil alignment.

Dynamic Motor Analysis (DMA): DMA is JL Audio's proprietary method aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, W7 motors remain linear in motor force over a very long range of excursion, and also maintain a highly stable fixed magnetic field in the gap over a wide power range. The result is vastly reduced distortion, faithfully reproduced transients, and tight, clean, articulate bass.

Massive Forced Air Cooled: The elevated frame design of the W7 delivers cool air through slots directly above the top-plate to the voice coil of the speaker. This not only enhances power handling, but also sound quality by minimizing dynamic parameter shifts and power compression.

Radial Cross-Drilled Pole Piece: This innovative venting system greatly enhances thermal dissipation and power handling by directing air flow onto the voice coil former and works in conjunction with the Elevated Frame cooling technology to effectively remove heat from the voice coil. This improves power handling and reduces power compression effects, leading to more linear performance.

Progressive-Roll Spider: The large, progressive-roll spider provides precise control and motor/voice coil alignment without limiting excursion prematurely.

Plateau-Reinforced Spider Attachment: The lower reinforcement collar, attached to the voice coil former of the W7, incorporates a plateau design dedicated to relieving material stress and providing a solid attachment surface for the inner edge of the spider.  The plateau of the reinforcement collar provides excellent contact area for adhesive therefore creating an incredibly strong bond at a critical point within the driver.

Co-Extruded Double Lead Wires: The extruded casing and carefully engineered attachments ensure controlled lead-wire behavior under the most extreme excursion demands. Two conductors are used per connection for ample current carrying capability.

Enclosure Compatibility

Recommended Sealed Box Volume: The sealed box size recommended by JL Audio is 1.375 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 15.5" W x 15.5" H x 15" D, assuming 3/4" thick material for the top, bottom and sides of the box and 1" thick material for the front baffle board. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension.)

Recommended Ported Box Volume: The ported box size recommended by JL Audio is 1.75 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 22.5" W x 15.5" H x 15.5" D, assuming 3/4" thick material for the top, bottom and sides of the box and 1" thick material for the front baffle board. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension.) A slot port is recommended with the following dimensions:

  • Slot Width = 1.75"
  • Slot Height = 14.0"
  • Slot Length = 24." (a right angled port with a 7.625" extension)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.