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JL Audio MX280/4

Compact marine/powersports 4-channel amplifier — 50 watts RMS x 4

Item # 13698405

Few things are more pleasurable than playing music while you're out tearing it up off road or on the water.

Few things are more pleasurable than playing music while you're out tearing it up off road or on the water.

California customers:
Please click here for your Proposition 65 warning.

Item # 13698405

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Expected: 6/3/2022


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About the JL Audio MX280/4

Power your music on water or land

Few things are more pleasurable than playing music while you're out tearing it up off road or on the water. JL Audio's MX280/4 compact 4-channel amplifier can send 50 watts RMS to each of your speakers so you'll enjoy your music's clarity and power over all the noise of you having fun. Or, for some real power sports, you could use this amp in bridged 2-channel mode to drive a couple of high-performance speakers with 140 watts RMS each.
JL Audio Built In USA

Power your music on water or land

Few things are more pleasurable than playing music while you're out tearing it up off road or on the water. JL Audio's MX280/4 compact 4-channel amplifier can send 50 watts RMS to each of your speakers so you'll enjoy your music's clarity and power over all the noise of you having fun. Or, for some real power sports, you could use this amp in bridged 2-channel mode to drive a couple of high-performance speakers with 140 watts RMS each.


The MX280/4 comes equipped to overcome the dangers of weather, dirt, and corrosion, thanks to a tough aluminum chassis and gasketed control and connection covers. And you won't have to worry about getting caught in the rain — this amp carries a full IPX6 rating against water intrusion, so it'll play on through a storm. (You can spray it, but you can't dunk it.)

Compact technology

JL Audio's NexD™ Class D amp technology delivers full-range power efficiently and with low distortion. You'll get remarkable sound quality from an amp that fits into the kind of tight spots often found in marine applications. It's also ideal for your motorcycle, ATV, golf cart, tractor, or any other vehicle using a 12-volt charging system.

JL Audio MX280/4

Controls for the MX280/4 are on the underside protected by a sealed cover.


Product highlights:

  • 4-channel amplifier
  • 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms (70 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohms)
  • 140 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms (4-ohm stable bridged)
  • variable low- and high-pass filters (35-300 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Class D amplifier design with NextD™ switching amp technology
  • IPX6 water-resistance rating
  • corrosion-resistant cast aluminum chassis
Other Features:
  • preamp and speaker-level inputs (speaker wire to RCA adapter required for speaker-level input)
  • fuse rating: 35A x 1
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 8-11/16"W x 1-13/16"H x 3-1/8"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 98405

What's in the box:

  • 4-Channel marine amplifier with 12" power/signal pigtails (with in-line fuse holder and 35A ATO fuse installed)
  • Spare 35A ATO fuse
  • 4 Self-tapping screws (1" length)
  • Owner's Manual

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Product Research



4-Channel Amplifier: The JL Audio MX280/4 compact full range, 4-channel Class D marine amplifier is designed for the harsh marine environment. Its IPX6 water-resistance rating also makes it ideal for motorcycles, ATVs, or other utility vehicles. It can be used to drive four full-range speakers, or a couple of subwoofers.

NexD Switching Technology: The MX280/4 employs an advanced, high-speed Class D switching design called NexD that allows the amp to produce serious power without overtaxing the battery and charging system.

Amplifier Ratings:

  • Rated Continuous (RMS) Power @ 14.4 V (<1% THD+N):
    • 50 watts RMS x 4 @ 4 Ω
    • 64 watts RMS x 4 @ 3 Ω
    • 70 watts RMS x 4 @ 2 Ω
    • 140 watts RMS x 2 @ 4 Ω bridged
  • Rated Continuous (RMS) Power @ 12.5V (<1% THD+N):
    • 36 watts RMS x 4 @ 4 Ω
    • 47 watts RMS x 4 @ 3 Ω
    • 52 watts RMS x 2 @ 2 Ω
    • 100 watts RMS x 2 @ 4 Ω bridged

Input Section: The MX280/4's input section accepts a wide range of input voltage levels. It can accept a line-level signal from 250 mV to 4 Volts, or speaker-level signals from 750 mV to 15 Volts. The amp is equipped with Input Voltage switches for the front (1&2) and rear (3&4) channels that allows you to choose Low or High level input signals.

Protection Circuitry: The MX280/4's protection circuitry automatically shuts the amplifier down if thermal limits are exceeded, a short-circuit is detected in the speaker wiring, or if current levels are too high. The green Power LED and red Protect LED will indicate conditions by its on/off or flashing status.


Control Panel: The amplifier's control panel is located on the bottom of the amplifier. The removable cover is held in place by 4 Phillips-head screws, and features a rubber gasket that seals out moisture and dust. You will need a small flat screwdriver to set the five switches and four rotary dials. The Control Panel is divided into Front and Rear sections with the same controls in each section, plus a Channel Mode switch. The following controls are located in the Control Panel:

  • Channel Mode: The 3-way Channel Mode switch lets you select 2-channel, 3-channel, or 4-channel operation:
    • 2-channel: In 2-channel mode you can run 2 bridged mono outputs or 4 stereo outputs without fading capability. In this mode, you can use the front inputs only.
    • 3-channel: 3-channel mode lets you 2 stereo front and 2 mono rear outputs, or 2 stereo front and a bridged mono output. Front inputs only are used in this mode.
    • 4-channel: If you select 4-channel mode, you can run 4 stereo outputs with fading capability. Both front and rear inputs are used in this mode. You can also run 2 bridged stereo outputs with the left input signal connected to both front inputs and the right input to both rear inputs.
  • Independent Controls: The amplifier offers separate controls for the front channels and rear channels:
    • Input Voltage: You can select the type of input signal being used: High Level (speaker) or Low Level (line).
    • Input Sensitivity: The Input Sensitivity Control is a rotary dial that lets you match your source unit's output voltage to the input stage of the amplifier for maximum clean output.
    • Filter Mode Switch: The amp is equipped with switchable crossovers for each set of channels. You can set the filter to High-Pass (HP), Low-Pass (LP), or Off.
    • Filter Frequency: When the Filter Mode Switch is turned to HP or LP, you can set the cutoff frequency on the rotary dial. The filter is continuously variable from 35Hz to 300Hz, with detents at 80Hz and 135 Hz. The HP/LP filter has a slope of 12dB/Octave.


Wiring: The MX280/4's wiring is internally connected and exits the amp through a waterproof opening. The following connections can be found, each with 12" pigtails:

  • Power: The power wire coming out of the amp is a single 10-gauge wire with an in-line fuse holder and 35A ATO fuse installed. JL Audio recommends a minimum of 8-gauge wiring for the power wiring. You will need to add another fuse to the power wire within 18" of the battery. A 35A fuse or circuit breaker is recommended.
  • Ground: A 10-gauge ground wire is connected to the amplifier. A minimum of 8-gauge wiring is recommended for the ground wire. You may need a ground distribution block to splice the ground wires together.
  • Remote Turn-On: A 16-gauge remote turn-on wire is connected to the amp. You should connect the turn-on lead to the remote turn-on output of your source unit. If the source unit does not have a dedicated remote turn-on output, the amp's turn-on lead can be connected to +12V via a switch that derives power from an ignition-switched circuit.     Note: The amp does not have an audio signal-sensing turn-on, so the remote turn-on lead must be connected.
  • Signal Inputs: Four female RCA jacks are provided for the input signal--Left/Right Front and Left/Right Rear channels. If the source unit does not offer preamp level outputs, you can splice the speaker output wires to a pair of RCA plugs, or use the JL Audio XD-CLRAIC2-SW RCA-to-Speaker Wire Adapter. The amp's RCA connectors have waterproof caps.
  • Speaker Outputs: Eight 16-gauge speaker wires are provided on the amplifier for connecting to the wiring to your speakers.

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Customer Q&A

5 questions already asked

I have this amp along with a clarion m508 receiver. The Bluetooth will not play when the amp is hooked up. Its connected and displaying all the info. And works fine if I bypass the amp. What am I missing?
[ MattMitch11  Aug 11, 2021 ]
1 answer
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer.
[ Krissy  Aug 13, 2021 ]  Staff
Is this Amp bloothooth compatible?
[ Julie  Feb 25, 2021 ]
2 answers
The amp just provides more power to your stereo and speakers, bluetooth is through the stereo
[ KYLE  Feb 26, 2021 ]
No, you still need a head unit to connect to
[ CHAD  Feb 26, 2021 ]
Can you blootooth music off your phone with this amp?
[ Julie  Feb 25, 2021 ]
3 answers
You can if you use a radio with Bluetooth
[ Babajide  May 23, 2021 ]
with a bluetooth receiver plugged into amplifier
[ JARETT  Mar 22, 2021 ]
Absolutely. This amp is a great option for damp areas that tend to wreak havoc on electronic devices. I installed mine in a little center console boat with two JL Audio 7.7 speakers. It works flawlessly. Highly recommend this item.
[ Barry  Feb 26, 2021 ]
What is the operating voltage range for this amp, I do not see it listed? I have it in a 48v golf cart and when connected to two 8v batteries it is seeing 17v at the amp and it won't power up. Worked fine in 36v cart and 12v. Being that they rate the power at 14.4, and some car audio systems are setup at 16v, I wouldn't expect it to shut down at 17v.
[ P  Jul 24, 2018 ]
1 answer
I've looked through all the information we have on this amp and even searched on JL Audio's site for it. I wasn't able to find any other voltages that will work beyond the 12.5 and 14.4V power systems you already knew it would work on. I recommend calling JL Audio on 954-443-1100 for help on this My Bio:
[ Paul  Aug 04, 2018 ]  Staff

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