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JBL vs Rockford Fosgate – Detailed Comparison

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JBL and Rockford Fosgate are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry. While JBL produces high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers, Onkyo produces, amplifiers, receivers, subwoofers and speakers.

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.

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.

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.

Rockford Fosgate Quick History

Jim Fosgate founded Rockford Fosgate in 1973 in his garage in Arizona, USA. The PR-7000 amplifier was introduced the same year. Rockford Fosgate sold its electronics under the Punch and Punch POWER brand name.

Camelback Capital Corporation purchased the company in 1980 and renamed it Rockford Corporation. Robert Pothier of Camelback Capital became president of the company in 1982. Rockford Fosgate is currently well known for pioneering car audio devices – car amplifiers and car speakers.

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.

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!

Rockford Fosgate Sound Quality

Rockford Fosgate car audio devices are high quality and are normally of average price. The RF is louder, clearer, and has good bass. They are widely renowned as one of the best car audio brands on the market, providing drivers that produce high-quality sound.

Rockford Fosgate is a popular choice for persons who want to upgrade their sound systems. If you get a Rockford Fosgate amplifier, be aware that you will need to dish out more money for quality subwoofers and plan accordingly.

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

Rockford Fosgate Features

Car speakers

  • Polypropylene woofer cone with rubber surround
  • Power range from 2 to 45 watts RMS
  • Certified energy-auditor compliant
  • Frequency response of 48 to 22 kHz

Amplifiers

  • Punch EQ that adds a Bass Boost up to +18 dB at 45 Hz
  • Compact
  • Heat efficient

Tweeters

  • Built-in phase plug
  • Frequency response between 4 – 22 kHz

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.

Rockford Fosgate Build Quality

The bass speakers and woofers are built of die-cast, vented aluminum, or stamped steel frames. The cones are reinforced with Kevlar fibers to reduce cone distortion and piston flex.

The coax models or Prime Series car speakers are built in 5.25, 6.5, and 9-inch sizes using stamped steel frames and polypropylene cones.

The Punch Series is made of a rubber butyl surround that increases cone area and adds to the speaker’s efficiency.

The Punch Loaded enclosures are constructed of medium-density fiberboards and covered in industrial-grade carpet and offer the flexibility of vertical and horizontal mounting options.

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.

Rockford Fosgate Ease Of Use

Rockford Fosgate makes car audio equipment that are relatively easy to use. Besides, they come with user manuals for ease of setup. The amps also come with remote control systems to help you navigate easily and enjoy music even from the backseat.

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

Rockford Fosgate Cost

Rockford Fosgate products are generally average priced:

Tweeters: $20 – $50

Speakers: $50 – $100

Amplifiers: $200 – $1000

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.

Rockford Fosgate Space Requirements

Tweeters and speakers are built in small sizes that easily fit in car spaces, with speaker sizes ranging between 10 to 15 inches.

The Fosgate tweeters are 0.75 inches, making them easily mountable on dashboards, pillars, or kick panels. The amplifiers, on the other hand, are equally built on smaller chassis and can be easily installed underneath car seats.

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.

Rockford Fosgate Remote Controls

Rockford Fosgate car amplifiers come with easy-to-use remote controls to help you easily navigate between features. This makes the amps much easier to use.

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.

Rockford Fosgate Connectivity Options

The products support various connectivity options including:

  • RCA
  • Speaker level inputs
  • Bluetooth

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

Rockford Fosgate Power Range

Rockford Fosgate manufactured a wide range of speakers with a wide power range. You will get speakers with as low as 20 watts RMS and as high as 350 watts RMS.

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.

Rockford Fosgate Frequency Response

Rockford Fosgate tweeters have a frequency response range of 4 to 22 kHz. The speakers respond well within a frequency range of 48 hertz to 22 kilohertz.

Component bass speakers deliver between 20 to 100 hertz, while mid-bass models deliver between 100 to 250 hertz.

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.

Rockford Fosgate is generally high-quality and average-priced. Besides, the amps are very powerful. You may need to pay more to get a matching subwoofer! They are therefore a good pick for upgrading your audio system.

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