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JL Audio MX280/4

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

11 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Overview

Our take on the JL Audio MX280/4

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.

Weatherproof

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:

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

Very, very nice amps. Highly recommend.

Todd, Anaheim, CA

Reviews

JL Audio MX280/4 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(11 Reviews)

JL Audio MX280/4

Todd from Anaheim, CA on 2/24/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very, very nice amps. Highly recommend.

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Two thumbs up

Crutchfield customer from Douglasville, GA on 2/4/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

JL haa great products

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JL Audio MX280/4

Crutchfield customer from Bronx, NY on 9/21/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great sound...

Pros: clarity, power, great sound

Cons: none

JL Audio MX280/4

Crutchfield customer from Prairieville, LA on 6/23/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Really great sound. Hooked up to 4 JL Audio Speakers. Just wow

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JL Audio MX280/4

Ed from Jacksonville, FL on 5/13/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great compact amp for standard 4 speaker boat unit and simple to install for a DIY person!

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JL Audio MX280/4

Crutchfield customer from New Port Richey, FL on 11/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Outstanding amp! Sound quality is perfect,power is good and size is perfectly small.

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Powerful Amp.

Jose Javier from Miami, Fla on 10/31/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excelente Amp. It's more powerful than advertise. I would highly Recomend it.

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NOT TYPICAL JL AUDIO QUALITY.

Crutchfield customer from Sterling, IL on 10/16/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this amp to use in my Polaris slingshot for speaker upgrade with use of stock radio head And love JL products and have several amps in boats etc.The sound quality was very poor and lots of noise generated hiss etc . Bass and mids almost non existent. Sounded as if polarity was reversed on speakers if you are familiar with how that sounds. The speakers were 6.5 JL and then tried the polks out of my boat and Finally tried Hertz. Same Issue. After talking to a friend that is a dealer out of state he said his shop feels that this amp was sourced in to compete in the small D class amp market and It Is NOT TYPICAL OF JL QUALITY. Upon his recommendation purchased a Rockford Fosgate TM400X4ad that he now uses in all powersport or Harleys. Wow much cleaner sound and base and built in fans. Yes more money but hated sound with that JL amp. Don't know what is different but hated the sound quality of that amp in my application. I'm returning this. I would definitely buy from Crutchfield again and also JL audio but not this model.

Pros: compact size ease of installation

Cons: poor sound quality and noise in my Polaris slingshot

Great sounding amp but one big problem

Andre from Buffalo Ny on 9/29/2017

I bought this amp for 2014 Kawasaki vaquero fits great under motorcycle faring and sounds great with the Polk audio 5 1/4 waterproof speakers only one big problem does not work in colder temperatures 50 to 60 degrees the amp does not come on until it warms up maybe 20 or 30 mins by then I have arrived at my destination

Pros: Sounds good great size fits almost anywhere price is good

Cons: Does not work in colder temperatures

JL Audio MX280/4

Guest from Cape Coral, FL on 6/25/2017

Great power in a compact size Using it as a 3 channel to drive JL c2 6x9 and a 6.5 jl microsub in a 2017 f150 Only thing I didn't expect or like is that this amp has signal sensing So the amp powers on as soon as I open the door as ford uses the speaker for door chimes No place does jl audio say it does this but I can tell you it powers on with out the remote wire and there is no way to defeat it on the amp Email to JL confirmed this feature is on the amp and not published I would have gone with another amp had I known this

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JL Audio MX280/4

Crutchfield customer from Waterloo ia on 5/2/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Overall excellent product and great company to purchase from very pleased

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Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

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.

Controls

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.

Connections

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.

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.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great quality and incredibly small, with amazing cooling [ Kevin  May 30, 2018 ]
My boyfriends birthday is coming up and he wants these for his Harley :) [ LORENA  Jul 13, 2017 ]
great quality audio gear [ Levi  May 16, 2017 ]
READ GOOD REVIEWS ON ALL THE PRODUCTS THAT I PURCHASED. [ BRANDON  Jan 09, 2017 ]

1 question already asked

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: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul  Aug 04, 2018 ]  Staff
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