JBL vs JL Audio – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin
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JBL and JL Audio are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, subwoofers and amplifiers. 

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.

JBL is known for its high-quality speakers and headphones, while JL Audio is a highly respected brand in the car audio industry known for its high-performance speakers and amplifiers.

JBL vs JL Audio Comparison Table

CriteriaJBLJL Audio
Brand ReputationJBL is well-known for its wide range of audio products, including speakers, headphones, and professional audio solutions.JL Audio is recognized for its high-performance car audio products, particularly subwoofers and marine audio systems.
Sound QualityJBL products are known for delivering powerful and dynamic sound, suitable for both consumer and professional applications.JL Audio emphasizes high-quality, accurate sound reproduction, especially in the car audio and marine audio segments.
Build Quality/DesignJBL products often feature durable build quality and practical designs, with a focus on portability in their consumer audio lineup.JL Audio products showcase robust build quality, precision engineering, and designs optimized for specific applications, such as car audio installations.
Product RangeJBL offers a diverse range of audio products, including speakers, headphones, soundbars, and professional audio solutions.JL Audio specializes in car audio products, marine audio systems, and subwoofers designed for high-performance audio installations.
PricingJBL products cover various price points, providing options for both entry-level and high-end audio consumers.JL Audio products are often positioned in the premium price range, reflecting the focus on high-performance audio solutions.
FeaturesJBL products include features such as Bluetooth connectivity, waterproof designs, and advanced audio technologies.JL Audio products may feature technologies like patented subwoofer designs, marine-grade construction, and advanced amplification for car audio systems.

Before we continue, you can check out similar comparisons in the series:

Pros and Cons of JBL:

  • Pros: Known for producing a wide range of audio products, including speakers, headphones, and home theater systems. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Some users have reported issues with their devices’ audio cutting out, being muffled, or experiencing other issues.

Pros and Cons of JL Audio:

  • Pros: Known for producing high-quality car audio products, including speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Some JL audio amps may experience signal issues and wiring problems.

Quick History

JBL Quick History

JBL was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing just after World War II. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA. The company manufactures amplifiers, loudspeakers, and headphones with the JBL Professional LSR10S being one of its best-selling subs with a class D amp, among other features. It is currently owned by Harman International after its Vice president Bill Thomas sold it in 1969.

jbl logo

In the 1970s, JBL entered the studio industry and launched its new technologies academy of motion pictures’ first full-line portable system in the 1980s. Also, the company was the first to introduce titanium in high-frequency diaphragms.

JL Audio Quick History

James Birch and Lucio Proni started out making home speakers and components, the company they founded in 1975 was named JL Audio —from their initials. They produce home, marine, and mobile audio products (they are one of the earliest mobile audio pioneers), but are best recognized for their subwoofers.

JL audio logo

The company headquarters is located in Miramar, Florida, and they have several award-winning designs and innovative technologies to their name.

Sound Quality

JBL Sound Quality

JBL speakers tend to depict a neutral, balanced sound profile. Their bass-heavy audio profile makes them ideal for party and personal use, especially for those looking for deep bass to listen to modern pop and hip hop music. The speakers are also loud with rich sound.

Multiple JBL Speakers

The speakers perform well in both high and low volumes. Built for DJs and other professionals, the speakers are tough and reliable. The Bluetooth speakers have long battery life lasting 24 hours or more.

On the other hand, JBL headphones are packed with features that help them deliver a well-balanced sound that closely follows the Harman curve.

However, the design and fit of these headphones are not very comfortable. A top-of-the-range JBL could sound unique with the depth, power, and accuracy every listener appreciates!

JL Audio Sound Quality

JL Audio’s commitment to excellent quality is evident in all aspects of their products, especially the sound quality.

SVS vs JL Audio

They produce products that have cool midtones, crisp highs, and heavy-hitting bass for bass lovers. The expertly engineered drivers and on-board DSP ensure a balanced and natural sound production.

Features

JBL Features

JBL manufactures futuristic speakers to ensure users can easily fit them into their modern home systems. Bluetooth speakers and subwoofers from JBL, for instance, come with the following features:

  • Polypropylene or cellulose-fiber cones
  • Rubber surround
  • Frequency response depends on specific speakers
  • Sensitivity of about 2.83V at 1 meter
  • Power handling up to 250W RMS

JL Audio Features

Here are some unique and enriching features that make using JL Audio devices a pleasant experience:

  • Digital Automatic Room Optimization (D.A.R.O.) flawlessly optimizes the sound to match the room’s acoustics
  • Advanced Digital Signal Processing for balanced audio reproduction
  • App support for iOS and Android
  • Up to 8-channel on the amplifiers

Build Quality

JBL Build Quality

JBL speakers are well built with Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt which is a strong high-power permanent alloy.

Also, the wireless speakers are high quality and built with solid features. The performance is reliable and they are waterproof which makes them all weather.

How To Pair Your JBL Speaker To Your Device

The headphones however have a plasticky build that makes them look average despite the well-balanced sound.

JL Audio Build Quality

They make use of materials such as fiberglass-composite, aluminium and wooden cabinets to ensure enough rigidity to avoid audio distortion and ensure lasting use.

Gotham g213v2 subwoofer

JL Audio’s trademark handcrafted glossy and texture-coated finish only enhances the quality materials used above.

The premium drivers used in their devices are carefully produced for the excellent performance these devices display.

Ease of Use

JBL Ease Of Use

Setting up JBL speakers may not be easy if you are not ready to handle the process. However, if your speakers are within the Bluetooth range, JBL speakers will easily pair with nearby devices.

The subwoofers may not be very easy to set depending on your car, but they are easy to use.  The wireless headphones are easy to use, whether you want to talk or just listen.

JL Audio Ease Of Use

JL Audio fits their device with several user-friendly features such as large backlit controls, bright LCD display with day/night modes on some devices. The installation is easy and brisk, especially with the use of their mobile app.

Cost

JBL Cost

Bluetooth JBL speakers are available at a range of prices. You can, however, get them between 40 dollars and 400 dollars.

However, the GBL Go is still ranked the most affordable Bluetooth speaker owing to the added value of sound quality and portability. The cost is generally high due to the high cost of engineering, high cost of quality materials, and the cost of advertising.

  • Headphones: $10 – $200
  • Amplifiers: $50 – $5000

JL Audio Cost

JL Audio devices deliver quality performance at affordable prices as listed below:

  • Amplifiers: $100 – $1800
  • Subwoofers: $70 – $2600
  • Speakers: $200 – $1600

Space Requirements

JBL Space Requirements

JBL speakers are built to fit in many room sizes. The Bluetooth speakers are tiny in size and easily portable. Therefore, you can easily place them anywhere in your room or carry them for an outdoor listening experience.

JL Audio Space Requirements

The largest of JL audio devices are their floorstanders and hefty amplifiers. They have devices in both size extremes, and their products occupy just enough space as required for that device category. 

The Gotham g213v2 subwoofer measures 867 x 546 x 610 mm and weighs a massive 168 kg while the relatively smaller Fathom IWSv2 in-wall subwoofer measures 89 x 442 x 455 mm and weighs 15.9 kg.

Remote Controls

JBL Remote Controls

JBL builds remote controls to help with easy and safe control of music together with other call functions on other devices such as smartphones.

JBL Click, for instance, is a mountable Bluetooth controller that makes it easier to control your music and call functions on any smartphone. However, JBL Boombox and JBL Partybox 310 do not have remote controls.

JL Audio Remote Controls

JL Audio has several custom remote controllers for tuning and performing rudimentary control functions. The JL Tun Express and Tun Mobile are JL Audio‘s mobile apps for device control and tuning.

Connectivity Options

JBL Connectivity Options

JBL speakers, especially the Bluetooth-enabled ones, connect easily via Bluetooth. In fact, JBL makes them so that you can easily wirelessly connect up to 100 JBL speakers via Bluetooth.

JL Audio Connectivity Options

There are several connection options when it comes to a JL device. Some of the several options available are XLR, RCA, USB, optical, coaxial and auxiliary input, and Bluetooth and Wifi.

Power Range

JBL Power Range

The speakers have a high power handling capacity. For instance, the 840 Cinema Surround Speaker can handle 350 watts of continuous play, while the JBL Stage 1210 12” woofer can handle up to 250 watts RMS and 1000 watt peak power.

  • Subwoofers: 50W to 1600W rated power
  • Speakers: 50W to 250W rated power
  • Amplifiers: 50W to 800W per channel

JL Audio Power Range

JL Audio devices can produce large amounts of raw power, which makes them the product of choice for outdoor use.

Compare the mind-numbing 4500W peak power of the Gotham g213v2 subwoofer and the equally exciting 2000W of the Fathom IWSv2-SYS-213 in-wall subwoofer. Most JL Audio devices lie within the 60W–4500W power range.

Frequency Response

JBL Frequency Response

JBL speakers work well under various frequency ranges. For instance, the JBL ES Series speaker systems, such as the ES 20, operate between 65 HZ – 40 kHz.

The 840 Very High Power Cinema Surround Speaker for digital surround sound immersion application performs within the 60 Hz to 19 kHz frequency range.

JL Audio Frequency Response

JL Audio devices effortlessly cover a wide frequency range. Most of their devices tend to be bassy which is not a big issue, especially for the bass enthusiasts.

The Gotham g213v2 subwoofer has a frequency response from 19Hz -112 Hz. The more balanced M3-650 VEX speakers cover 100Hz – 25KHz. The frequency response spectrum for JL Audio devices is from 10Hz to 25KHz.

Conclusion

JBL offers a wide range of speakers for all use cases. Although most of them do not have EQs for customized sound, they have a pretty neutral sound profile. Besides, they have an excellent build quality that ensures that the portable JBL sound systems last longer. JL Audio manufactures devices that fit into many use scenarios, and their world-class subwoofers are a great addition to any existing sound system. But most importantly, all these come at reasonable prices.

 

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin