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JL Audio 12W3v3-2

W3v3 Series 12" 2-ohm subwoofer

40 Reviews | 4 questions - 9 answers


Our take on the JL Audio 12W3v3-2

JL Audio Built In USA Remarkably realistic bass

JL Audio designed their W3v3 subwoofers to deliver powerful, accurate bass with a medium-power amplifier. Their extensive motor assembly research resulted in a design that ensures smooth, precise cone movement at any power level. Exclusive cooling features shunt heat away from the sub's internal motor structure for long term durability and reduced distortion. The W3v3 sub works well in a sealed or ported enclosure.

JL Audio W3v3 exploded view

Well-rounded performance

JL Audio W3v3 interior

The 12W3v3-2 subwoofer boasts a 12" mineral-filled polypropylene cone with a distinctive metallic JL Audio medallion. A patented design eases the stress felt by the rubber surround during cone movement, for increased reliability and consistent bass output. The removable, customizable trim ring accepts optional JL Audio grilles, and can be painted to enhance your installation.

To drive this single subwoofer, we recommend a mono amplifier rated between 375 and 750 watts RMS at 2 ohms. For more information, please refer to our article on How to Match Subwoofers and Amplifiers.

Priced per speaker

Best speaker this amount of money can buy hands down.

Robert, Ft Lauderdale, FL

What's in the Box:

  • One 12" Subwoofer
  • Black plastic trim ring
  • Owner's Manual

Product Highlights:

  • 12" 2-ohm subwoofer
  • mineral-filled polypropylene cone with nitrile-butylene rubber surround
  • power range: 100-500 watts RMS
  • peak power handling: 1,000 watts
  • frequency response: 22-200 Hz
  • sensitivity: 87.15 dB
  • top-mount depth: 6-5/8"
  • sealed box volume: 1.25 cubic feet
  • ported box volume: 1.75 cubic feet
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

JL Audio 12W3v3-2 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(40 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Enclosure Compatibility


Dynamic Motor Analysis (DMA): DMA is JL Audio's proprietary method aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, W3v3 motors remain linear in motor force over a very long range of excursion, and also maintain a highly stable fixed magnetic field in the gap over a wide power range. The result is vastly 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.

Vented Reinforcement Collar (VRC): The Vented Reinforcement Collar is a composite structure that addresses two issues related to reliability. By reinforcing the critical junction between the cone, voice coil and spider, the VRC greatly reduces failures due to glue breakdown or material weaknesses. It does this by greatly increasing adhesive contact area and providing stress relief to the spider material at excursion extremes. the VRC also feature slots that facilitate air flow directly onto the voice coil windings to reduce thermal compression effects and enhances reliability.

Spider/Lead Wire Assembly: The W3v3 features a unique spider, coil and terminal subassembly which is assembled prior to installation in the speaker frame for optimum alignment and glue-joint integrity. The spider is insert-molded into a composite carrier tray which also incorporates the terminal assembly and lead wire strain relief features for enhanced reliability and optimal alignment of parts. The flying lead wires are carefully controlled and strain-relieved without resorting to woven-in lead wires, which can degrade spider performance.

Elevated Frame Cooling: The elevated frame design of the W3v3 delivers high-velocity air flow through slots directly above the top plate to the voice coil of the speaker. This not only enhances power handling, but also sound quality by minimizing dynamic parameter shifts and power compression.

Surround Stress Relief: By creating a radiused feature on the edge of the cone, stress is relieved from the surround material at maximum forward excursion, resulting in longer life and more consistent surround behavior.

Customizable Trim Ring: The woofer comes with a removable ring made of black ABS plastic which can be painted to match the installation theme and create a personalized look. You can purchase optional grille mesh inserts which are specifically designed to fit into the inner diameter of the trim ring.

Enclosure Compatibility

Recommended Sealed Box Volume: The sealed box size recommended by JL Audio is 1.25 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 23" W x 14" H x 10" D, assuming 3/4" thick material. (If you are using 5/8" thick materials, you should subtract 1/4" from each dimension.)

Recommended Ported Box Volume: The ported box size recommended by JL Audio is 1.75 cu/ft. A diagram is provided in the owner's manual for a sealed box with external dimensions of 29" W x 14" H x 12.625" D, assuming 3/4" thick 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=1.375"
  • Slot Height=12.5"
  • Slot Length=26.125" (a right angled port with a 13.5" 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

JL makes a high quality sub, this will be my third and I am confident it will also be a high quality product. Plus it had an excellent user rating. [ Charles  Jan 07, 2017 ]
I have heard awesome things about JL Audio subs. I just fried my RF P2D4 12" so I figured I would go with the 12W3v3 this time and see if it sounds even better than the Rockford Fosgate did. [ Robert  Jul 30, 2016 ]
Replacing sub in stealthbox [ G  May 27, 2016 ]
The best of the best. [ DAVID  Apr 12, 2016 ]
It's a very good woofer and I have other two. Good SQ for the price. Excellent choice. [ Hector  Mar 26, 2016 ]
I've always loved JL AUDIO subwoofers [ Anthony  Feb 16, 2016 ]
If you are building a system and you don't have a whole lot of money to put into it but you still want amazing boomy bass and clear defined bass notes, these are the subs for you. [ Robert  Feb 10, 2016 ]
Already had it in my car. Sounds really great!!! [ daniel  Jan 31, 2016 ]
fits in the custom box [ Robert  Dec 11, 2015 ]

4 questions already asked

I had purchased a pair of these last year through Crutchfield and I have the same output alt as yours. I am sending 350 RMS to each sub, I'm not very nice to them either, and no issues at all. Try installing a fuse from your alt to the battery, if you don't already have one, then replace the alt. Remember high output alts have a shorter life span. [ Robert  Dec 13, 2016 ]
Nothing to do with your alternator. Absolute worst case 500W ÷ 12V = 41A. You're probably not drawing half that. [ John  Dec 12, 2016 ]
All I can say is I've never had any battery issues or alternators go bad in 3 years I've had this amp at 500 rms. However, I have upgraded my battery too since I also have a remote starter. Bad news - I've gone through 6 subs in 3 years including this one once. [ Timothy  Dec 12, 2016 ]
There is a break in period for all subwoofers, if you break in your sub it has a whole lot better chance of survival. It helps the spider loosen up so it's not fighting itself to move. You will hear and feel the difference after a break in. [ Robert  Dec 13, 2016 ]
I believe there was no break in period. Sounded great out of the box, def recommend [ Asato  Dec 01, 2015 ]
I think it's like 10hrs. So I just gave it 2 weeks not playing it at full volume. Maybe half way. After break-in it's ridiculously awesome ... Enjoy ! [ Jason  Dec 01, 2015 ]
I have never used a break in time period for any JL sub and I have bought several. They have all been great and I've never had a break down. [ KENNITH D  Dec 01, 2015 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models 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 and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy  Sep 25, 2015 ]  Staff
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. 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. You can also post your question in our forums: Or try our online support center: [ Jeff  Jan 16, 2014 ]  Staff