JBL and Kicker are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry and produce high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones and subwoofers.
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 Kicker is a well-regarded brand in the car audio industry known for its high-quality speakers and amplifiers.
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 Kicker:
- 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: Kicker is cheaper than the more premium brands and so offers lower quality specs.
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.
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.
Kicker Quick History
Kicker, an American audio company, headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was founded in 1973. Many companies have tried to copy their square solo-baric L5 & L7 subwoofer over time but in vain. The Kicker is well known for making some of the most reliable and powerful amplifiers in the car audio industry.
The company boasts an excellent quality line of the full range and component speakers. Besides, they recently developed other home audio products such as Zune Dock and headphones.
Kicker traces its origin back to 1973. The company started as a two-person operation focusing on hand-building professional sound and musical instrument speaker systems. The company majorly manufactured products for churches, entertainment and auditoriums.
In 1980, Kicker Performance Audio built the high-performance stereo enclosure market. This was when Steve Irby – the founder and president of the company, developed the Original KICKER – the Original KICKER being the first full-range speaker box constructed mainly for automotive use.
Kicker introduced its first Kicker Solo-Baric subwoofer in 1992 and the first Kicker Solo-Baric L7 square subwoofer in 2000 It continues to release more audio products with increased innovation and training and skills development.
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.
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!
Kicker Sound Quality
Kicker produces excellent sound quality, though at a little higher cost. If you compare some of the best subwoofers from other brands with Kicker products in the same category, Kicker outsmarts many. The company continues to produce concert-like audio quality across a wide range with accurate sound and renowned bass.
Take Kicker 12” 800 Wall Comp VR, for instance. This is a cheaper product, easy to install, and delivers plenty of punch. With an RMS power of 400 Watts and peak power of 800 Watts, this subwoofer from Kicker can handle any music.
It has a higher sensitivity, good power handling capacity, and superior audio quality. It is, however, not quite as nuanced as a high-end subwoofer.
Therefore, although you might notice some sound distortion on some kicker speakers, it is generally a result of some external interference. Kicker speakers produce typically good quality sound, and the bass is ultra-clean.
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
Kicker speakers feature suitable power handling devices that make them more likable. The car speakers especially come with average superior audio quality with superior low-end accuracy.
Whether you choose to listen to Kicker at its high volume frequencies or mid-level settings, the sound quality delivery and performance are always on top of its performance.
Let’s look at the Kicker CSC65 CS Series 6.5-inch performance features.
- 200 Watts RMS Power per 2 pairs
- 300 Watts Max per speaker
- 5-inch 4-ohm 2-way car coaxial audio speakers
- Polypropylene cone to protect against heat and sunlight
- EVC technology for improved woofer performance
- 5 inch PEI dome tweeters
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.
The headphones however have a plasticky build that makes them look average despite the well-balanced sound.
Kicker Build Quality
Kicker speakers boast very good design and build quality.
For instance, the Kicker CompQ subwoofer has a more solid build with a sleek appearance that reflects its outstanding build quality.
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.
Kicker Ease of Use
Kicker engineers put more effort into researching and developing skills to ensure their audio products are manufactured with the highest precision.
They understand that the speakers, for instance, are an excellent way to deliver sound quality for various uses by multiple users.
Therefore, the kicker speakers are built in a manner that makes them easy to use both at home and in the office. They produce excellent sound quality and will fit any form of use. Here are the benefits of using kicker speakers:
- Usable on a wide range of applications
- Excellent sound quality
- Easy to use
- Excellent customer service just in case you face any issue with any kicker products
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
Speakers: $10 – $1000
Amplifiers: $40 – $1000
Subwoofers: $40 – $1000
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.
Kicker Space Requirements
Kicker has perfectly developed three new ultra-thin, down-firing enclosures known as TRTP-Series. You can purchase the enclosures both in-store and online.
They also come with a single 2-ohm terminal available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch models. The famous KICKER CompRT thin subwoofer alongside the reflex passive radiator permits bass upgrade without increasing the depth.
These kicker enclosures are barely five inches high and can fit anywhere from behind the pickup seat to behind the back cargo area of a hatchback. Also, the down-firing design makes it possible to include them in tight spaces and still be able to deliver peak performance.
Therefore, these and other kicker products are designed to fit in small spaces while still ensuring their performance is optimized for a better sound experience.
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.
Kicker Remote Control
Wireless remote control is a crucial feature of many audio products today. Kicker makes its products user-friendly by including remote control systems for hands-free management of your entertainment equipment.
Kicker KMLC remote control for Kicker LED marine speakers and subs is a special hands-free control system compatible with kicker TVs and allows quick toggling between programs without changing your sitting positions.
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.
Kicker Connectivity Options
Kicker products are built with the changing technology in mind. They, therefore, accept a wide range of connectivity options.
Most Kicker speakers, for instance, will be able to connect to other Bluetooth speakers within their Bluetooth range. Below are some of the main connectivity options you can use with Kicker:
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
Kicker Power Range
Speakers: Up to 480 watts peak power
Subwoofer: Up to 1800 watts peak power
Amplifiers: Up to 5000 watts peak power
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.
Kicker Frequency Response
The frequency response of Kicker products is essentially wider. For instance, the Kicker 11 KB600W speaker works perfectly well within a frequency range of between 55 Hz to 21 kHz. However, some of the products have much narrower frequency ranges.
For instance, the Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway is built to operate within a frequency range of 25 – 150 Hz with a bass boost of 6+db at 40 Hz.
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. Sennheiser produces high-quality headphones and microphones. The devices support numerous features and are energy efficient. Kicker excels in many ways from build quality to sound quality. For instance, the speakers deliver very clear highs. It is, therefore, a very good option if you are considering upgrading your sound system.