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JL Audio XD500/3

3-channel car amplifier — 75 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms + 300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

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  • JL Audio XD500/3

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  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

  • JL Audio XD500/3

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Our take on the JL Audio XD500/3

by Ken Nail
JL Audio

My system has plenty of power. Who needs an amp?

You might think you don't need an amp because you have a 400-watt system in your car, or because your new stereo puts out 50 watts a channel. But those are peak wattage ratings, which may boil down to 15 or 20 watts per channel, using the more realistic RMS rating. An amp sends your speakers the power they need to deliver your music with clarity and impact, whether you're using factory speakers or high-performance components. And low-frequency reproduction requires lots of power, so an amp is an absolute must if you're adding a sub to your system.

Small size, big performance

Each JL Audio XD amp packs a wallop far beyond what you'd expect from something so small. These super-compact amps sport JLAudio's NexD™ state-of-the-art switching amplifier design, for music with true fidelity and impressive impact, all without straining your car's electrical system.

High-grade internal components for high-power output.

Sharp stereo imaging, powerful bass

The XD500/3 3-channel amp is ideal for powering a pair of high-quality component speakers and a subwoofer, delivering 75 watts RMS to your full-range speakers, while powering a sub with up to 300 watts. Take off the removable control cover and you'll find high- and low-pass filters that give you fine-tuned control over the character of your sound.

Remove the cover for fine-tuning controls.

Noise rejection yields cleaner sound

"Differential-balanced" inputs keep the signals clear of outside noise, and allow you to connect this amp to just about any in-dash stereo, even a factory radio with no preamp outputs. Take control from your driver's seat with an optional wired remote control — you can use the remote to adjust the level of all three channels or just the sub channel alone.

Highlights:

  • 3-channel car amplifer
  • 75 watts RMS x 2 + 180 watts RMS x 1 (at 4 ohms)
  • 100 watts RMS x 2 + 300 watts RMS x 1 (at 2 ohms)
  • variable low- and high-pass filters (50-500 Hz high-pass, 12 dB/octave, front channels; 50-500 Hz low-pass, 12 or 24 dB/octave, sub channel)
  • optional wired remote for level control (switchable for sub channel or all channels)
  • Class D amplifier design with NextD™ switching amp technology
  • differential-balanced inputs eliminate noise coming from your vehicle's electrical system
  • Advanced Rollback Protection System prevents thermal shut-down
  • speaker- and preamp-level inputs (speaker-level input requires an optional adapter)
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads and a 50-amp fuse recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • no onboard fuses — when installing multiple amps in a system, an additional 50-amp in-line fuse between the distribution block and the amplifier is recommended
  • 8-9/16"W x 2"H x 7-1/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Performance
RMS Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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75 x 2
180 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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---
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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100 x 2
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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150 x 1
Minimum Impedance Bridged
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4
Minimum Impedance Unbridged
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2
Best Frequency Response
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12-22k Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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1%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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104 dB
Input Voltage
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14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class
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D
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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50-500 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 or 24 dB/oct
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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50-500 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB/oct
Bass Boost
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No
Bass Boost Frequency
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N/A
Fan Cooled
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No
Fuse Rating
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50
Speaker Level Inputs
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RCA (adapter req)
Preamp Outputs
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1 pair
Width (inches)
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8-9/16
Height (inches)
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2
Depth (inches)
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7-1/8
Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 3-Channel amplifier
  • Self-adhesive JL Audio badge
  • 2.5mm Hex key
  • Owner's Manual (English/German)

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

Monoblock Class-D Subwoofer Amplifier: The JL Audio XD500/3 is a 3-channel amplifier utilizing JL Audio's NexD high-speed switching technology to deliver outstanding fidelity and efficiency. The XD500/3 can be operated with a wide variety of source units and system configurations. The amp has two main channels and a subwoofer channel.

Amplifier Rating: The JL Audio XD500/3 Class D amplifier's power output specifications (RMS) are as follows:

  14.4 V Input Power 12.5 V Input Power
Main Channels 75 watts x 2 @ 4 ohms 60 watts x 2 @ 4 ohms
100 watts x 2 @ 2 ohms 90 watts x 2 @ 2 ohms
150 watts x 1 @ 8 ohms bridged 120 watts x 1 @ 8 ohms bridged
200 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms bridged 180 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms bridged
Subwoofer Channel 180 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms 180 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms
300 watts x 1 @ 2 ohms 300 watts x 1 @ 2 ohms

NexD Class D Technology: NexD is a state-of-the-art switching amplifier design that combines exceptional audio quality with excellent efficiency and less complexity. This results in affordable compact amplification with superb sound quality.

Advanced Rollback Protection: The XD-Series amplifiers employ advanced thermal and low-impedance protection to virtually eliminate annoying amplifier shut-down events. Should any XD-Series amplifier ever overheat, its intelligent, unregulated power supply reacts by limiting available peak voltage until the amplifier returns to a safe temperature range. Likewise, if an impedance lower than optimal for the amplifier is present at the outputs, the XD amplifier will roll back peak voltage to protect itself without shutting down.

Differential-Balanced Inputs: The JL Audio amplifier features differential-balanced input architecture to effectively control noise and ensure compatibility with a wide variety of source units, including many OEM systems. Without resorting to line output converters, you can directly connect most OEM source units to the JL Audio amplifier without creating any noise or compatibility issues. Unlike conventional single-ended inputs, the differential-balanced design does not connect one side of the audio signal to chassis ground. This eliminates any voltage sensitivity between one input terminal and ground and greatly reduces the incidence of alternator whine in a typical car audio installation.

Note: You will need a speaker wire to RCA adaptor (136XDCLR2S, sold separately) to connect this amplifier to your headunit via speaker-level.

Protection Circuitry With Status Indicator Lights: There is a single multi-color LED on the top panel of the amplifier to indicate the amplifier's operating status.

  • Flashing Green: When the LED is flashing green, the amplifier is powering up and audio output is muted.
  • Constant Green: This LED lights green to indicate that the amplifier is turned on and operating normally.
  • Constant Red: This Red LED lights to indicate that the amplifier has exceeded its safe operating temperature, putting the amplifier into a self-protection mode, which reduces the power output of the amplifier. The red light will shut off and the amplifier will return to normal, full-power operating mode if the heat sink temperature drops back to a safe level.
  • Constant Amber (Yellow): The Amber (Yellow) LED light indicates that an over-current condition has occurred and is accompanied by a muting of the amplifier's output. Over-current condition can be caused by a speaker impedance lower than the optimum load impedance range for the amplifier or a short-circuit in the speaker wiring.
  • LED Off: The only condition that will shut down an undamaged XD500/3 completely is if battery voltage or remote turn-on voltage drops below 10-volts. The amplifier will turn back on when voltage climbs back above 11-volts.

Cooling System: The outer shell of the JL Audio amplifier is designed to remove heat from the amplifier circuitry. For optimum cooling performance, this outer shell should be exposed to as large a volume of air as possible. Enclosing the amplifier in a small, poorly ventilated chamber can lead to excessive heat build-up and degraded performance.

Controls

Control Panel Cover: The XD500/3 features a Control Panel Security Cover which protects and hides the amplifier's controls. When installed, the cover ensures that the amplifier's settings are not accidentally changed while creating a clean aesthetic look for the amplifier and your installation. The control panel security cover is pre-installed at the factory and must be temporarily removed to access the amplifier's controls. The security cover is secured by two 2.5mm Allen-head screws.

Simplified Gain Setting: The XD Series amplifier makes setting the gain level of the amp via the input sensitivity control very simple. All you need is Digital AC Voltmeter (142TK12V, sold separately) and a Test CD Disc (503CD104, sold separately) with a sine-wave test-tone recorded at 0 dB reference level in the frequency range to be amplified for that set of channels (50 Hz for subwoofer channels, 1 kHz for a midrange application).

Flexible Input Section And Active Crossover Network: The JL Audio XD amplifier provides a flexible input section and a comprehensive crossover network to fine tune your system effectively and accurately. The variable filter design employed in the JL Audio XD amplifier crossover sections allow you to seamlessly switch slopes, easily change filter frequencies and address what frequencies the preamp inputs will pass. For a more precise frequency selection, the manual includes a chart which provides the actual frequency for each of the 39 detents of the rotary dial. The XD500/3 offers the following independent crossover adjustments behind the removal cover plate:

  • Channels 1 & 2: High Pass Filter
    • HP Filter Mode:
      • Off: defeats the filter for full range output, or for use with outboard active crossovers
      • HP: for filtered output at a rate of 12 dB per octave for connecting component speakers or coaxials
    • Frequency: 50-500 Hz
  • Subwoofer Channel: Low Pass Filter
    • Switchable Slope: Off (filter defeated), 12dB/octave, or 24dB/octave
    • Variable Frequency: 50-500 Hz

Connections

Power/Ground/Turn-On Terminals: This JL Audio XD amplifier features screw clamp terminals for the power, ground, and remote turn-on connections. A 2.5mm hex-wrench is supplied for tightening or loosening the set screws.

  • Power and Ground: The amplifier's screw clamp Power and Ground connections are designed to accept 8 to 4 AWG power wire.
  • Remote Turn-On: The amplifier's screw clamp turn-on lead will accept 18 to 8 AWG wire.

Note: The Amplifier is not equipped with a fuse. An external 50-amp AGU or MAXI fuse must be installed on the power wire. If a wiring kit is used which includes a fuse with a value other than 50-amps, the original should be replaced with a 50-amp fuse.

Speaker Output Terminals: The JL Audio XD500/3 features four screw clamp speaker terminals for an easy speaker connection for the main channels. The subwoofer channel has four screw clamp speaker terminals which allowing you to connect two subwoofers (minimum impedance 4 ohms). The subwoofer channel terminals are internally wired in parallel.

Preamp Inputs: The amplifier features two sets of differential-balanced RCA jack inputs. The amplifier features a dedicated Input Sensitivity gain control for each input. These controls are designed to match the input sensitivity of the XD500/3 to the specific signal source that is feeding it. The amplifier's input level can be set between 100mV-4V RMS.

Preamp Outputs: The XD500/3 incorporates a pass-through preamp output section, so that additional amplifiers can easily be connected to the same signal feeding the XD500/3. These preamp output signals are buffered to prevent noise and are always preamp level, regardless of the level of signals feeding the XD500/3's inputs. You can configure the preamp output using the three-way switch: 1&2, Sub, or Sum.

Remote Level Control: The amplifier features a standard RJ-11 telephone connector for adding an optional wired remote level control, such as the HD-RLC Remote Level Control (136HDRLC, sold separately), you can control the volume of the XD500/3 from the driver's seat. If desired, multiple XD (and HD) amplifiers can be controlled from a single HD-RLC controller using a simple phone line splitter and multiple phone cables.

Note: All inputs and outputs are located on the front side of the amplifier to make installation of the amplifier simple and neat.

 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Chris Advisor,

Possibly my favorite amplifier of all time

Written by Chris, Advisor, on 11/7/2013 3:25:00 PM

Sometimes products come along that just make good sense. This little powerhouse from JL Audio is a great example of that.

When I built my current system for my Jeep, this JL amp was a clear winner. I had to have it. Here I am a year later and I couldn't be happier. It's running some Polk coaxials in the front, an Alpine Type-R 8" subwoofer at 2 ohms, and my stereo runs the Polks in the sound bar. This amplifier barely even gets warm, while pushes my speakers with ease — even with the Jeep's top back and doors off.

What's the best part? The amp's so small, I was able to hide it away well enough that I don't even worry about it in my soft top ride.

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JL Audio XD500/3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Big sound for little ca$h

Written By Ryan, Roseville on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought this on sale and couldn't be happier. I have this powering a 10w3 and components from Focal. Perfect system for a truck and not overly expensive.
Pros:
Fits perfectly under my passenger seat
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Excellent Amp!

Written By RPL, Minneapolis, MN on Saturday, May 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very nice amp. Paired with the new Alpine CDE-HD149BT and sounds great. Haven't even installed the new component speakers yet. Just factor with JL 12' sub. Well built. Installation was fairly straight forward. Manual is a little confusing when it talks about choosing either 2 and 4 channel mode. The amp is a 3 channel.
Pros:
Small size.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Great product - small & powerful

Written By Mike, Charleston, SC on Friday, March 01, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this amp for my 2008 Jeep Wrangler to power my JL Audio CS110-WXv2 - 10" sub and (2) Kenwood KFC-1664S 6-1/2-Inch 3-Way (35w RMS) speakers in the sound bar. I am really impressed! In fact I'm thinking of upgrading the speakers again in the sound bar to something with higher RMS output. I did alot of research before buying and I'm really glad I went with this product.

I had it professionally installed under the backseat and the guys at the audio store couldn't believe the price I paid for it, the 3-Channel amp they tried to sell me was nearly $140.00 more and not nearly the same quality and output specs as this product! Highly recommended!
Pros:
Price Small Powerful Easy to change settings
Cons:
None
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Great 3 Channel Amp

Written By Clay, Atlanta, GA on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
 
I bought this amp for my small Audi and tucked it under the hatch floor near the spare so it's out sight. It powers a pair of components and a 2-ohm 10" sub. The HU (with 4V pre-amp outputs) powers the rears for fill. I couldn't be happier. At the time I was wondering if I needed a 5 channel amp to also power the rears. I'm very glad I chose the 3-channel instead, and used the savings to get higher-end speakers with a nice wide soundstage. The amp's differential inputs, high signal/noise ratio, and quality crossovers make everything super super clear at all volume levels. And the notches on its crossover dials allow you to get really precise with the frequency cut-offs. If you have an SUV or a larger car like a 300, etc., you might want to consider the 5-channel version. But for a hatchback or compact car (or if you rarely have rear passengers), this amp is PERFECT.
Pros:
small size - can be installed pretty much anywhere you'd want. plenty of power for a smaller car - 75 watts each to a pair of nice components is more than enough. selectable subwoofer low-pass filter slope
Cons:
none.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fantastic little class D

Written By Levi, Poughkeepsie, NY on Monday, June 11, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Impressive little amp- incredible quality and power for the size. Exactly the right amount of power for a two channel truck system plus sub.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JL Audio XD500/3, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_136XD5003/JL-Audio-XD500-3.html ).