Skar Audio and JL Audio are the two leading manufacturers of car audio subwoofers. Each company has its unique features and designs to offer consumers, and this causes a lot of debate between the two companies’ customers. This article will help you understand why Car Audio Subwoofers from Skar and JL Audio differ, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Before you continue, you can check out the following related articles in this series:
Founder and CEO of Skar Audio, James E. Brown IV, set out on a mission to pioneer the car audio industry with his company in 1995. Skar began as a distributed distributor for various brands but soon became a well-known brand name of its own by 1997.
In more recent years, Skar has been known to create some of the most competitively priced yet high-quality subwoofers, amplifiers, and speaker systems on the market today.
In 2015, Skar Audio celebrated 20 years in business while continuing its ongoing dedication to creating new products at an affordable price point. Both used and new users alike can enjoy without breaking the bank.
JL Audio History
The JL Audio brand was established in Cape Coral, Florida, back in 1990. Its founder and the current president is Jeff Haydock.
The company’s initial design target was car audio amplifiers but has since expanded to encompass many different product categories, including the marine industry.
JL Audio can be best described as focusing on extremely high-end products with prices to match in-car audio speakers. This strategy has indeed paid off, so much so that the company’s market share numbers are very healthy.
JL Audio’s headquarters are located in Miramar Beach near Pensacola, Florida. It also operates an additional manufacturing plant in Lane City (Texas), outside Houston.
Differences Between Skar Audio vs JL Audio
1. The Materials used for Construction
JL Audio subs feature all-molded, non-pressed paper cones. These cones are lightweight and don’t resonate much, resulting in clearer bass production. However, they tend to wear down over time according to how hard you use your equipment (how loud and how often you play music).
Skar Audio subwoofers are primarily constructed out of pressed paper cones. These cones are more durable than the all-molded paper cones, but they also resonate more, resulting in a bit of loss in sound quality.
JL has always been relatively expensive when it comes to their woofer selection. This is primarily due to the materials they use for Construction and their design/engineering team that put these excellent subs together.
On the other hand, Skar uses much cheaper materials for Construction yet still manages to produce high-quality equipment comparable to JL’s products at a fraction of the cost.
My point is, if you’re looking for excellent quality and don’t mind spending a little extra for something that has been designed and engineered by some of the top minds in-car audio, then JL Audio is who you’re looking for.
If you’re on a budget like most of us and want to get your hands on great equipment at an affordable price with high-end sound quality, Skar Audio is definitely who you should be turning to.
3. Enclosure Types
JL speakers can only be installed in pre-fabricated enclosures known as “Enclosures.” These enclosures help improve the overall output volume of your speaker while protecting it from damage due to water or elements.
These enclosures are usually big, bulky, and are often used by competition car audio users.
Skar Audio subwoofers are built to function in both pre-fabricated enclosures and free air installations without sacrificing sound quality or output volume. This gives you the freedom to choose how you want your subwoofer setup.
4. Power Handling
JL speakers can handle quite a bit of power, making them great for competition car audio setups. These speakers are more durable than most other brands on the market because they were designed with this specific type of user in mind.
Skar Audio subwoofers are built to handle less power but can still produce great sound and output. This makes them the perfect option for people looking to get their hands on a great-sounding subwoofer without having to break the bank and put out massive amounts of power.
Skar Audio Features
First, let’s talk about the quality of their designs. Skar Audio products like the RC-8 (T) 8″ Dual 2 Ohm Subwoofer and LS17 Solo-Baric L7 Subwoofers have been designed with unique styling that sets them far apart from other brands on the market.
They have also kept up with today’s evolving technologies by designing systems that can support various functions such as Bluetooth, USB connections, multi-channel DVD/CD players, DSP controls, and more.
Second, let’s talk about the performance of their products. Skar Audio specializes in all different types of high-performance speakers and subwoofers that can be matched to your personal preferences and vehicle characteristics.
Famous examples include the SA-Series 6″x9″ 3 Way Speakers, Platinum Series 10″ Subwoofers, and VVX-Series 6.5″ 2-Way Component Systems.
These are just a few of the many speaker options available at Skar Audio, so you really shouldn’t have any problems finding what you’re looking for here.
JL Audio Features
JL Audio’s foundation is built upon the principle of advanced technology. The first step towards this “advanced” sound quality begins with the design phase of their products.
They are involved in every part of the process to ensure that only the finest materials are selected for production, and each product reflects their latest engineering innovation.
Once all of their fine-tuned components have been installed into a speaker, JL Audio takes things up one notch by using rigorous testing to eliminate any possibility of error.
Each speaker is subjected to an intense series of automated tests involving frequency sweeps, signal measurements, distortion checks, and a wide variety of other procedures. This is to ensure that each product lives up their its full potential.
Pros of Skar Audio
- Clear and concise design
- Durable and strong
- Ability to produce loud sounds
- High treble sound
- Affordable price tag
- User-friendly and versatile
Cons of Skar Audio
Poor construction quality
Not that durable
Pros of JL Audio
- Excellent Customer Service
- Class-D Technology
- Flexibility with Speakers
- Options for Car Audio Add-ons
- Customization for Different Environments
- High-Performance Subwoofers
Cons of JL Audio
- Some models can be expensive to run or maintain.
- Linking multiple models together isn’t as easy as it is with other brands like Pioneer, Rockford Fosgate or even Sony.
Why is Skar Audio So Cheap?
These woofers come from a retailer/importer who owns their very own manufacturing facilities. Once these parts arrive at the supplier (the importer), they then repackage them into branded packaging and put their brand name on them.
This is how you end up with “Skar audio” as opposed to “seismic audio.” This decreases production costs significantly as it does require any engineering or labor. They also do not need to pay royalties.
Skar Audio can sell its products cheaper than their competitors. They are just rebranding parts that cost them far less than what they sell them for. These products can be found on Amazon or via various shops.
You might notice the prices fluctuate depending on where you buy it from. They are so cheap because Skar audio uses this method of “rebranding,” and by doing this, they can offer competitively priced products.
When looking at both products side by side, it is easy to see that they are very similar amps in terms of cosmetics. At first glance, it can be seen that the Skar has a more modern appearance while the JL Audio looks like something out of an early 90’s Hollywood movie.