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JL Audio 12W7AE-3

Anniversary Edition W7 Series 12" 3-ohm subwoofer

Item #: 13692115

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4 Reviews | 3 questions - 4 answers

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Celebrating 10 years of unrivaled bass performance

Ten years ago, JL Audio redefined low-frequency reproduction with their masterful, designed-from-scratch W7 subs. Now, the Anniversary Edition W7 Series 12W7AE-3 12" subwoofer features the latest refinements to this groundbreaking design, highlighted by a satin-black frame, silvery anodized trim ring, and special anniversary logo.

Group shot

Profound bass for the music-lover

Each W7 sub is built to meticulous standards at JL Audio's factory in Miramar, Florida. JL Audio put 30+ years of sonic expertise into their legendary W7 subwoofers, so you can expect smooth, powerful bass that enhances your favorite music.

Innovative design for impressive performance

Six patented technologies help this W7 sub deliver unmatched performance:


W-Cone™: a dish-shaped outer cone is supported by a second W-shaped inner cone attached to the sub's voice coil structure. This design creates a super-rigid, lightweight cone that responds rapidly for accurate bass without unwanted coloration.

OverRoll surround

OverRoll™: an innovative mounting method lets the surround wrap around the outside of the mounting flange. This method allows for more useable cone area than conventional surrounds, so this sub moves more air for deeper lows.

Floating Cone Attach Method

Floating Cone Attach Method (FCAM™): precision engineering aligns the voice coil, and woofer cone for incredibly linear woofer movement, which means you'll hear exceptionally accurate bass.

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. Your voice coils stay cooler, even when you're pushing your system.

Product Highlights:

  • 12" 3-ohm subwoofer
  • polypropylene W-Cone with polyester foam surround
  • solid cast-alloy basket
  • no grille included: optional grille rods available
  • 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 12W7AE-3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

4 Reviews

Greatest ever

Written by: Robert from California on July 15, 2015

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

I have had a lot of top brands from kicker to rockford fosgate. The W7 12 ae it is being pushed be the hd750/1 this is a real game changer the bass that comes out of this subwoffer is the hardest and perfect sounding sub I have heard.

Pros: Sound, hard hitting

Cons: Pricey

Ridiculous Bass

Written by: Sean from Richmond, CA on April 9, 2013

  • Not Rated
    "Coolness Factor"
  • Not Rated
    Build Quality
  • Not Rated
    Ease of Use
  • Not Rated
    Sound Quality
  • Not Rated

I have owned many JL products over the years and as usual this sub is well built and puts out consistent deep pounding bass with zero distortion. I had 2 installed in my 2003 Mustang Cobra with 2 JL 1000/1 amps pushing each sub. They are flat amazing, can seariously enhance Country music and handle the demanding bass of Hip Hop with ease. when they're really cranked it felt like they could make your Eardrums rupture and stop your heart. no joke. I have had JL 15's, 12W6's, 10w6 and these are hands down the best.

The only downside is they are big & heavy (not a good thing for a Mustang) and they take alot of power to run, I had a High output Altenator w/ an adjustable Voltage regulator & 6 phase rectifier (similar to an ambulance system) with an Optima battery and a copaciter and it still dipped the volts. This was only when it was cranked up and was not a big issue, but upgrades to the electrical system are a must to keep up with this setup.



It's pretty dang good!

Written by: Mustangman from Richland, WA on March 27, 2013

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

I think "ease of use" and ""Coolness Factor" are ridiculous things to rate a product on. They're strictly an opinion and have no imperical reference.

This thing is a beast! It's HEAVY! It's BIG, but it requires a sealed enclosure that's just slighly bigger than the speaker. If you can fit the box it comes in into your car, you'll be able to fit a sealed box.

Needless to say, this speaker POUNDS! I don't have a lot of car audio experience, so I decided to just go with the best and not deal with anything else. I'm not disappointed. I have one sub powered by a JL 1000/1 and this puppy takes it. I drive a pickup and this produces plenty of good, clean bass to really enhance my musical experience.

I do think it's built quite well, and if it's not abused, should last for a very long time. If you have a local car audio shop, go talk to them, you just might get a better deal. This is absolutely a pricey item and if you live in an area where crime is a problem, you probably won't want to advertise that you have this sub- which is hard to do- when you have it, and you have the power to push it, you want to. That's just how it goes.

Personally, I think the appearance of this sub is quite nice, but it's buried in a box and I'll never see it again. One sub is plenty! if you're using it to listen to music. If you're trying to show off or compete- well, one is still enough. If you can afford it, buy it. You probably won't be disappointed.

Pros: Very good sound. Really pumps the noise. Relatively small box for the size and power handling

Cons: Price, but, good stuff (and a JL label) costs money. Power consumption. Size (It's still a monster)

The Best Subwoofer Money can buy

Written by: Will M. from Easton, Maryland on February 11, 2013

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

JL Audio makes amazing products and this one is top of the line in woofers. If you have enough money to buy this woofer then don't even think twice you need this subwoofer if you are serious about your car's audio

Pros: Everything

Cons: Price and weight

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 12" Single voice coil subwoofer (attached to an MDF baffle board with 12 Phillips-head screws)
  • Owner's manual
  • On-line product registration information

Product Research

Enclosure Compatibility


W-Cone: The JL Audio W7AE subwoofers utilize a patented W-Cone design; the unit-body cone assembly maximizes cone stiffness with minimal mass. The shape also provides torsional rigidity, critical to maintaining voice coil alignment at the suspension limits. 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 the upper skin is the part of the cone visible from the top.

OverRoll Surround: OverRoll Surround technology allows JL Audio to make use of the entire footprint of the speaker, placing the surround further to the outside than in a conventional woofer. This means the oversized surround can support greater x-max without sacrificing cone area. An added benefit is that the mounting holes are sealed by the surround, resulting in an improved box seal.

Ultra-Long Voice Coil: The W7AE subwoofers feature an ultra-long voice coil to enhance linear excursion, power handling and control. The large surface area of the coil offers excellent heat dissipation, while the winding height provides the necessary motivational force to achieve the excursion of the W7AE design.

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 analysis method aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, W7AE motors remain linear in motor force over a long range of excursion, and also maintain a stable fixed magnetic field in the gap over a wide power range. This leads to reduced distortion, faithfully reproduced transients, and tight, clean, articulate bass.

Forced Air Cooled: The elevated frame design of the W7AE delivers cool air through slots directly above the top-plate to the voice coil. This not only enhances power handling, but also sound quality by minimizing dynamic parameter shifts and power compression.

Radial Cross-Drilled Pole Piece: This venting system enhances heat dissipation and power handling by directing air flow onto the voice coil former, working in conjunction with the Forced Air Cooling technology.

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

Plateau-Reinforced Spider Attachment: A derivative of JL Audio's VRC technology, this suspension attachment relieves stress from the spider material at high excursions for enhanced reliability.

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

Sealed Box: The recommended sealed box volume is 1.375 cubic feet; 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 15.0" D, assuming 3/4" thick box material (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension).

Ported Box: The recommended ported box volume is 1.75 cubic feet; a diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a slot ported box with external dimensions of 22.5" W x 15.5" H x 15.5" D, assuming 3/4" thick box material (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: 24.0" (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.

Customer Q&A

3 questions already asked

Thanks for your question. For information on selecting the best amp for your subs I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences between the amp models and help you make the best choice for your system. [ Krissy  Jan 04, 2016 ]  Staff
I had a box built specifically for the sub to fit behind my third row seat in my 2007 tahoe. It pounds hard. [ ADRIAN  Oct 22, 2015 ]
Follow the instructions and build your own SEALED box. Use a good grade of wood, like marine ply, and seal all your seams. Make sure the box connections are also sealed. I also coated the inside of mine with epoxy. [ David  Oct 21, 2015 ]
the sub weighs about 56 lbs [ PATRICK  Jul 06, 2014 ]