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JL Audio 12TW3-D4

Shallow-mount 12" subwoofer with dual 4-ohm voice coils

14 Reviews | 4 questions - 13 answers

Overview

Our take on the JL Audio 12TW3-D4

If you've got a pickup truck, sports car, or you just need to haul a lot of stuff, then you know that adding some bass can be a challenge. That's why JL Audio built the TW3 Series 12TW3-D4 shallow-mount subwoofer. This super-thin 12" sub puts out big bass, yet only requires minimum air space, so you can use a much smaller enclosure. Now, you can have your bass and your space too.

JL Audio Built In USA Bass for challenging spaces

If you've got a pickup truck, sports car, or you just need to haul a lot of stuff, then you know that adding some bass can be a challenge. That's why JL Audio built the TW3 Series 12TW3-D4 shallow-mount subwoofer. This super-thin 12" sub puts out big bass, yet only requires minimum air space, so you can use a much smaller enclosure. Now, you can have your bass and your space too.

JL Audio 12TW3-D4

Don't let this sub's low profile fool you, it's made for big bass.

JL Audio's amazing engineering

JL Audio used all their tricks to build a sub this slender without giving up performance. Its tough polypropylene cone won't flex under high power, and the large, durable rubber surround helps the cone move large amounts of air. The heavy-duty cast-alloy frame only stands 3-1/2" tall, but provides a stable home for this high-performance bass driver. For best results, you'll want to send this sub up to 400 watts RMS, and its dual 4-ohm voice coils make it a perfect match for a mono amplifier. 

To drive this single subwoofer, we recommend a mono amplifier rated between 300 and 600 watts RMS at 2 ohms. For more information, please refer to our article on How to Match Subwoofers and Amplifiers.

Product Highlights:

  • 12" subwoofer with dual 4-ohm voice coils
  • shallow-mount design with small airspace requirements
  • mica-filled polypropylene cone with rubber surround
  • cast alloy basket
  • top-mount depth: 3-1/2"
  • power range: 100-400 watts RMS
  • peak power handling: 800 watts
  • frequency response: 22-200 Hz
  • sensitivity: 82.1 dB
  • sealed box volume: 0.75 cubic feet
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Amazing quality sound!! Had two JL 12s in last truck this sounds just as good as both with one!!!

Rjs, Fl

What's in the Box:

  • One 12" Thin-Line subwoofer
  • Owner's manual
  • Voice coil connection warning
Reviews

JL Audio 12TW3-D4 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(14 Reviews)

Wow!!

Rjs from Fl on 6/12/2017

2016 Toyota Tundra
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing quality sound!! Had two JL 12s in last truck this sounds just as good as both with one!!!

Pros: Small size and airspace requirements.

Cons: None!!!!

Hits hard

Joseph from Reston, VA on 2/28/2017

2007 Dodge Ram 2500
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This subwoofer is a great deal for the price. I installed it into a shallow down firing box with a Kenwood X501-1 amp, and wired at 2 ohms resistance. It has an impressive amount of bass for the price and size of the unit. Even with the head unit bass level set way back it still hits hard enough to rattle you. I wish i could also fit it in the underseat box of my Ram 2500, but it is too wide unfortunately. I would highly recommend this sub and would also purchase again if doing another similar build. Be aware that the required cutout for this sub is slightly bigger than many others and may not directly fit it all, especially older, boxes.

Pros: price size sound quality ability to run 2 ohms

Cons:

JL Audio 12TW3-D4

Cory from shenandoah IA on 11/10/2016

1988 Toyota Supra
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

don't officially have it hooked up yet, making a custom for it in the back of my supra. Did hook it up without the other speakers and seemed to be good. It will be replacing a 15" kicker and sounded like I won't lose any performance and may gain performance, and it takes up half the room. I have tried a few different subs to replace the kicker and always sent them back. I will be keeping this one.

Pros: powerful, takes little room, hits hard

Cons: didn't come with a grill

this sub pounds

Jonathan from Wailuku, HI on 4/27/2016

2012 Lexus IS250
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Needed a shallow mount sub for the small trunk in my IS250. I was not too impressed with the SQ of an Alpine Type R thin sub that I had in a sealed box, and I've had great results with JL subs in a vented enclosure so I decided to try this sub. After making the vented enclosure dimensions I got off the JL website a half inch shorter I was able to squeeze the enclosure into my car and still have full access to my spare tire. Funny thing is the instructions that come with the sub recommend sealed enclosures only, but JL has vented enclosure dimensions on their website. Now for the sound. I have an old JL 500/1 powering this thing. It plays deep and relatively musical like a sealed sub yet has strong output. I definitely recommend this sub for those pressed for space, and the vented enclosure is absolutely worth the hassle of building.

Pros: shallow mounting depth, absolutely pounds in a vented enclosure

Cons: wish the two voice coil terminals on the sub were close together like on the W6.

JL Audio 12TW3-D4

Paul from Jacksonville on 4/1/2016

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product! This is exactly what I needed to add some extra bass when I didn't have a lot of room to spare. This shallow mount sub fit perfectly under the back seat of my Silverado crew cab. It's built strong and hits hard. I am very pleased.

Pros:

Cons:

Great sub for the money

krod from Tuscaloosa Al on 11/23/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sub just make sure you know up front that this sub was a little bigger around than a normal 12 inch sub woofer had to cut the hole in the box a little bigger to fit. Also if you install this in a down firing box make sure the foam isn't going to touch thefloor on excursion, this sub also takes very little airspace had to block off half my box in the inside to make it sound decent enough to listen too

Pros: Great sub for small air space situations

Cons: Foam sticks out a little on excursion rubbed the floor a little

12" TW3 My best experience

Scott from Texas on 5/24/2015

Recently replaced two Alpine type Rs, with this single sub. I have no experience in CarAudio. My son is way more knowlegable, but I can say this: The TW3 sounds cleaner than did the Alpine setup. Same Amp. Same Headunit. I am hardly an authority on SPL, but the sub hits hard to me, and it is as loud as I want it to be. It rocks.

Pros: Retains my stock look in the 2010 Toyota Tundra. Rounds out my sound with excellent sound quality and hits hard. Perfect bottom end.

Cons: I guess it is a bit pricey, but that is all relative.

Tundra 1 JL 12TW3

jc from lv, nv on 3/30/2015

This sub right is here is the best for small enclosures. I am using a single 12 behind the seat of a crewmax and didn't lose much room. The sub sounds great and hits hard.

Pros: Small space .80cu and 800watts. what more can you ask for

Cons:

Great

Nmalo from Chicopee mass on 3/14/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This sub replaced my 10w6v2. It fits in basically the same size box but much better output.

Pros: Good output, very small box

Cons: None

A+

JV106 from Crandall, tx on 12/20/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent compact sub. Running a 400 watt mono amp to it where it's hidden in the spare tire well of my convertible mustang and it bangs.

Pros:

Cons:

impressed

efrain from howey in the hills, fl on 8/13/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sub sounds great for size.

Pros: Everything

Cons: Nothing

Crutchfield THE Best !!

Fernando from San Gabriel CA on 5/11/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

JL The best on subwoofer , I have tried quite a few different brands and shallow subs on the market and this is the best I have ever own and it hasn't been break in YET so that goes to tell you how good this sub is although it's a bit pricey , but you get what u pay for and that's QUALITY and on top of that you can add the tech support from Crutchfield for life and in my experience with them since 2006 THERES NO other place with the quality items and treatment to clients like them and trust me when I'm saying that I have order and still do from websites that are based here in CA , FL and NY that I rather not mention names cause I still order from them small items specially here in CA as I get them over night as I live here too and used them to work on cars the next day but even though they are here , they don't update their availability and won't get ship or won't call u , email u to just let you know that the item is out of stock so you called them and they are so rude to you or they have already charge you for the item and they just tell you that they don't know when it will be in stock and of course it takes a week for them to reimbursed your money back to your credit card , unlike Crutchfield they have always been so so professionals too bad they are not in CA .

Pros:

Cons:

Well spent money!

Marco from Sunny isles, florida on 1/23/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you have the money to expend and are a sound enthusiast, definitely you must get this Sub. Excellent sound quality, state of the art design and materials. Perfect design for small enclosures. Fits even in the smallest boots.

Pros: Shallow design. Excellent "Bose" bass sound quality. Excellent materials. Fits perfectly even in smaller cars or trucks. Easy to read instructions. (Enclosure and connections) Cool look.

Cons: its a bit overpriced but you may survive to this after a few tracks.

JL 12" TW3

Anonymous from Harrisonburg, VA on 10/17/2013

Amazing sound it a small package. Dont waste your time trying other shallow mount subs. There is only one real shallow mount that gives you the sound quality of a full size sub and JL sells it.

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Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features
Enclosure Compatibility

Features

Thin-Line Design: JL Audio's patented thin-line woofer technology compresses the architecture of the 12TW3-D4 subwoofer and allows it to deliver great bass performance in tight space applications (less than 3-1/2" deep). Central to the technology is the Concentric Tube structure that supports the oversized voice coil and the suspension attachments. This permits placing the motor structure much further forward in the speaker than conventional designs, while maintaining excellent linear excursion capability. Equally important, the 12TW3-D4 is designed for extremely small enclosure applications; 0.8 ft³ is optimum.

Concentric Tube Suspension: JL Audio's patented Concentric Tube Suspension employs a molded structure which spans beyond the edge of the motor structure, supporting the spider on the outside of the motor's boundaries and the large diameter voice coil on the inside. The large voice coil permits the magnet to sit inside it, rather than surrounding the coil as is typical in most woofers. The concentric tube structure and the elimination of a conventional top-plate helps JL Audio place the motor higher up into the cone body's space to further compress depth, while still permitting excellent mechanical excursion.

Mica-Filled Polypropylene Woofer: The subwoofer features an injection-molded, mica-filled polypropylene cone woofer with a rubber surround for added durability, woofer excursion and bass response.

Dynamic Motor Analysis (DMA): DMA is JL Audio's proprietary method of improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, the 12TW3-D4 motor remains linear over a long excursion range, and also maintains a stable fixed magnetic field in the gap over a wide power range. The result is reduced distortion, faithfully reproduced transients, and tight, clean, articulate bass.

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.

Enclosure Compatibility

Recommended Sealed Box Volume: The sealed box size recommended by JL Audio is 0.8 ft³. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 21-1/4" W x 16" H x 6-1/2" D, assuming 3/4" thick material. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, subtract 1/4" from each dimension.)

Shallow Mount Design: The JL Audio 12TW3-D4 requires a mounting depth of less than 3-1/2".

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.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

because everyone says that they are insanely good [ Parker  Mar 08, 2017 ]
I've done alot of research on low profile subwoofers and this is at the top of just about every list, just wish they made a 12 inch tw5 but since they don't this was the next best thing [ Hunter  Feb 02, 2017 ]
shallow mounting depth. [ jay  Dec 15, 2016 ]
Quality of bass that it produces [ EFRAIN  Dec 04, 2016 ]
Fit and performance [ NICHOLAS  Sep 22, 2016 ]
Performance [ shaun  Sep 16, 2016 ]
JL makes the best subs and I have very limited space to install [ Matt  Mar 11, 2016 ]
good sound [ Barry  Feb 25, 2016 ]

4 questions already asked

They are very similar I would say the 10 is a touch more crisp but the 12 is more pronounced. If you are only wanting one sub I would get the 12tw3 but two 10tw3's is a great package. [ hunter  Jun 05, 2017 ]
It depends on what you're listening too. I listen to Hiphop/Rap and Techno, so I always go with a 12". I have the sub in a ported box built almost completely to spec. Great output and SQ, though it doesn't go as deep as a sealed 12W6. SQ sounds almo like it's in a sealed enclosure. I'd go with the 12" for most music, [ JONATHAN E  Jun 05, 2017 ]
The 12 is going to reproduce the lowest of frequencies better than the 10 which makes for better SQ. its definitely surprising how accurate and responsive the sub is given it's shallow frame. [ Jason  Jun 05, 2017 ]
The 12TW3-D4 gives you a deeper harder hitting bass. The 10TW3 gives you a more defined thump. If you like your bass clean and crisp with a hard punch choose the 10. If you want earth shattering bass with a hard thump choose the 12. I prefer the 12. [ JOHN  Jun 04, 2017 ]
It'll work awesome in either one , ported or sealed i have tried in both its an amazing sub , I totally recommend it to you , you WONT be disappointed , just go for the specs measurements and it'll be amazing . [ fernando  Mar 09, 2015 ]
Do not- instead put it in a sealed box . You will not be disappointed [ Jack  Mar 09, 2015 ]
Don't know. My box is sealed and the manual recommends a sealed box. [ TRACEY Y  Mar 09, 2015 ]
This sub is not designed to be used in a ported box - it should only be used in a sealed enclosure. [ Paul  Mar 09, 2015 ]
Hey. I have mine in a sealed box and it hits super hard - about the only thing I can tell you is it FAAR outperforms the other short form speakers I've tried. I am sure as long as you get the airspace right with the ported enclosure it will get down nice and low for you. [ MICHAEL  Mar 09, 2015 ]
Yes, sounds like too much power. [ JONATHAN E  Jun 05, 2017 ]
You'd def be overpowering them like crazy if that's RMS power... Make sure you keep that gain down otherwise you'll blow them... [ Daniel  Jul 27, 2014 ]
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. [ Greg  Jul 26, 2014 ]  Staff
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  May 02, 2014 ]  Staff
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