Rockford Fosgate vs JL Audio Car Subwoofers

Discussing car audio brands is a sure fire starter. Doing so will lead to a never-ending debate. This is especially because brand loyalty is a real thing, especially among car enthusiasts. Once you’ve got someone hooked to your brand, you’ve got them for life. But then again, it wouldn’t hurt to release a good product every time, which is exactly what Rockford Fosgate vs JL Audio have done over the years.

Easily one of the most popular brands in the car audio industry, Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio are essentially synonymous with high-quality car audio components. Also, coincidentally enough, they both got their start way back in the early 70s, and since then, they’ve released one quality car audio component after another.

These companies’ subwoofers, in particular, are best known for their car subwoofers, which are some of the best in the business.

With so many similarities between both manufacturers, it only makes it difficult to choose one.

Objectively, there should be no single “better” car subwoofer manufacturer. This is because each manufacturer has its own forte.

Technically, their products are quite similar. At the same time, they’re distinct enough from competition. But even so, we’re not letting objectivity stop us from trying to see how these two car audio manufacturers stack up against each other.

Be sure to read on below to find out our thoughts on which of  Rockford Fosgate vs JL Audio is better. 

What Makes Rockford Fosgate Better?

Jim Fosgate first founded Rockford Fosgate back in 1973. Since then, the company has established itself as one of the best brands in the car audio industry. Their audio equipment is extremely popular among car enthusiasts and their home use audio products aren’t half-bad either.

Rockford Fosgate’s line of products is primarily separated into three categories: Prime, Punch, and Power

Rockford Fosgate P3D2-12

What’s the Difference Prime, Punch, and Power?

Basically, the main thing separating Rockford Fosgate’s Prime, Punch, and Power line of car audio products is their price point.

The Prime line of products is Rockford Fosgate’s entry-level products. They’re best for those who are new in the car audio industry and don’t want to shell out a ton of cash without compromising performance.

The R1 and R2 series of products from the Prime line come in 10-inch and 12-inch models, with shallow and regular mounting options. However, if you want better power-handling and flexibility in terms of installation, the R2’s dual voice coil design might be better suited for you.

For those who are looking for a bit more power, control, and features, the Punch series is Rockford Fosgate’s performance line. They’re a bit more expensive, with trim rings enclosures, and compatibility with Rockford grills.

Lastly, the Power series line of subwoofer products is perfect for those who don’t want to settle for any less.

The difference between the Power line of subwoofers from the Punch and Prime is night and day. They are typically available in 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch sizes, with multiple cutting-edge features that make them worthy of the high asking price. They are also made out of high-quality materials for optimal performance. 

What Makes JL Audio Better?

Founders James Birch and Lucio Proni started JL Audio back in 1975, which explains the name “JL Audio”, as it is taken from the founder’s initials.

Unlike Rockford Fosgate, JL Audio has their hands in multiple industries. In addition to the automotive audio market, JL Audio also manufacturers products for home use, marine, and power sports. This gives the company a ton of experience when it comes to manufacturing high-quality audio products, which includes their car subwoofers.

Similar to Rockford Fosgate, JL Audio has a separate line of products dedicated to targeting each price point.

JL Audio 10TW3-D4

What Are JL Audio’s Car Subwoofers?

Kicking off JL Audio’s line of car subwoofers are the W0 and W1 line of products. These are entry-level subwoofers, so you shouldn’t expect much in terms of features. However, they’re also partly the reason why JL Audio is so famous as they are. It’s because, despite their low asking price, the W0 and W1 series of products are built to perform like subwoofers that are many times its price.

This is thanks to a combination of excellent quality control, and the use of an Elevated-Frame Cooling design, which is patented by JL Audio, as well as a Proprietary DMA-optimized motor system.

For users looking for something more powerful, the W3v3 subwoofers are better performers than the W0 and W1 subwoofers. They share a lot of features and technology with the W7, which are the flagship line of products of JL Audio.

One distinct feature of the W3v3 subwoofers is their metallic JL Audio logo medallion that goes in nicely with the polypropylene upper cone body that’s filled with mineral for a sleek look.

Compared to the W3v3 subwoofers, the W6v3 shares even more similarities with the W7. However, for the biggest step-up in terms of audio quality and one that audiophiles would love the most are JL Audio’s W7 subwoofers.

The W7 are the creme of the crop, or so to speak. They come with everything. This includes a long list of patented technologies, including but not limited to W-Cone technology and OverRoll Surround.

Basically, the W7 is an embodiment of the commitment of JL Audio to manufacturing high-quality speakers. 

Rockford Fosgate vs JL Audio – Which One is Better?

Rockford Fosgate vs JL Audio are what you’d refer to as niche manufacturers. This is no slight, by any means. Rather, what we’re trying to say is that, compared to the more mainstream brands, they’re so much better.

It’s not like Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio aren’t well-known. It’s more like, compared to the more popular brand names, like Pioneer, the average person isn’t likely to know about these brands.

As for which of the two is better though, we don’t really think that it’s possible to answer the question objectively. This is because both brands manufacture some of the best subwoofers for mobile applications out there. This means that, instead of looking at the brand, you’re better off looking at the features.

You see, even though both brands manufacture good products, the products they offer are different from each other.

You’ll want to do your research and check out the subwoofers offered by these two manufacturers individually. Don’t just choose based on the brand. Instead, consider price, features, and loudness.

This way, you get the best car subwoofer for your own use. 


There’s relatively little difference between the products that Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio have to offer. This is especially true for their entry-level car subwoofers. You’d have to go up all the way to their Power (Rockford Fosgate) and W6v3 or W7 (JL Audio) to see noticeable differences from their offerings.

Regardless of price point, you can rest easy knowing that you’re buying quality car subwoofers from one of the best brands in the business when you’re buying from JL Audio and Rockford Fosgate.