J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Review

J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Review

J-L Audios patented thin-line woofer technology compresses the architecture of the 13TW5v2 using a “concentric tube” structure that supports the 7-inch diameter voice coil and the suspension attachments. In addition, this permits the placement of the large motor structure much further forward in the speaker than with conventional designs, while allowing excellent linear excursion capability and mechanical stability. So, we introduce the J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Review.

To unleash even more performance from this technology, the v2 improves upon the original 13TW5 with 13% greater linear excursion capability. For example, the cast alloy chassis has also been modified for greater strength and the redesigned motor now features an annular vent. Moreover, the v2 is also available in single 2-ohm and single 4-ohm voice coil versions to fit a wide range of applications.

In keeping with its “tight-spaces” mission, the 13TW5v2’s optimized for enclosures that are far smaller than most 12-inch woofers require and only a bit larger than the air space needs of a typical, small-box 10-inch woofer. And, the mounting system’s designed to fit in about the same footprint as a typical 12-inch woofer.

The 13TW5v2 is best used with amplifier power in the 250W – 600W range and is optimized to operate in a 0.80 cu. ft. (22.7 l) sealed enclosure. Moreover, detailed enclosure recommendations can be found in the “Specifications” tab.

Our Take: J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer – Review

There is a reason many people believe this is the finest shallow mount subwoofer on the planet. And, we can’t agree more however, it is the most costly shallow subwoofer on the market as well so if budget is an issue, there are other options.


  • High-quality performance technology
  • Stylish and durable construction
  • Space saver with deep sound
  • Substantial power handling
  • Available in 2 different size options
  • Hefty magnet
  • Huge voice coil
  • Made in the USA.


  • Very high price point
  • 80 hour break in period

J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Specifications

General Specifications

Continuous Power Handling (RMS)600 W
Recommended Amplifier Power (RMS)250 – 600 W
Nominal Impedance (Znom)2 Ω

Physical Specifications

Nominal Diameter13.5 in / 345 mm
Overall Diameter (A)A1: 14.2 in / 361mm
A2: 13.0 in / 330 mm
Mounting Hole Diameter (B)12.5 in / 318 mm
Bolt Hole Circle Diameter (C)13.5 in / 343 mm
Motor Outer Diameter (D)6.75 in / 171 mm
Mounting Depth (E)2.625 in / 67 mm
Driver Displacement0.052 cu ft / 1.47 L
Net Weight20.5 lb / 9.3 kg


Free Air Resonance (Fs)25.95 Hz
Electrical “Q” (Qes)0.51
Mechanical “Q” (Qms)10.648
Total Speaker “Q” (Qts)0.479
Equivalent Compliance (Vas)2.26 cu ft / 64.00 L
One-Way Linear Excursion (Xmax)*0.433 in / 11 mm
Reference Efficiency (no)0.23%
Efficiency (1 W / 1 m)**85.51 dB SPL
Effective Piston Area (Sd)98.26 sq in / 0.0634 sq m
DC Resistance (Re)2.100 Ω
* Xmax specifications are derived via one-way voice coil overhang method with no correction factors applied.
** Efficiency (1 W / 1 m) is not an accurate indicator of a subwoofer’s output capability and should not be used as a comparison to other subwoofers to determine which one is “louder”.

J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Review – Sealed Enclosure Specifications

Wall Thickness0.75 in / 19 mm
Front Baffle Thickness0.75 in / 19 mm
Volume (net int.)0.80 cu ft / 22.66 L
External Width (W)19 in / 483 mm
External Height (H)15 in / 381 mm
External Depth (D)7.75 in / 197 mm
F341.18 Hz
Fc50.75 Hz

J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Enclosure Notes

  • The enclosure recommendations listed above are external dimensions which assume the use of 0.75 in (19 mm) thick material. In addition, if you are using 0.625 in (16 mm) thick material, subtract 0.25 in (6) from each dimension. So, do not use any material with a thickness of less than 0.625 in (16 mm) as this may compromise the rigidity of the enclosure.
  • Above are net internal enclosure volumes. Add driver, port, and brace displacement to get the gross internal volume. Furthermore, all enclosure dimensions above have already taken this into account.
  • When using multiple subwoofers in a common enclosure you will need to recalculate the enclosure and port dimensions. If needed, please contact your authorized JL Audio dealer or JL Audio Technical Support.
  • They recommend the use of this speaker in a bi-amplified system using high-quality satellite speakers and a high-quality amplifier. It’s not recommended to use this subwoofer with a passive crossover (coil), as this type of device will adversely affect performance. 
  • All specifications are subject to change without notice. 

Safety Notice

Prolonged exposure to sound pressure levels in excess of 100dB can cause permanent hearing loss. In addition, this high-performance speaker can exceed this level. So, please exercise restraint in its operation in order to preserve your ability to enjoy its fidelity.

When installing a subwoofer in your vehicle, it is extremely important to secure the enclosure firmly. For example, we recommend bolting the enclosure through the metal of the floorplan or the frame of the vehicle with large diameter washers for reinforcement. If an enclosure is not firmly attached, it can become a projectile in a collision. And, this is particularly important in a hatchback, station wagon, sports utility vehicle, or van.

J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Review – Technology

Dynamic Motor Analysis – DMA Optimized Motor

JL Audio’s proprietary Dynamic Motor Analysis system is a powerful suite of FEA-based modeling systems, first developed by JL Audio in 1997 and refined over the years to scientifically address the issue of speaker motor linearity. As a result, this leads to vastly reduced distortion and faithfully reproduced transients… or put simply: tight, clean, articulate bass.

Detailed Information:
Since 1997, JL Audio has been at the forefront of Finite Element Analysis-based modeling of loudspeaker motors and suspensions. As a result, this research’s aimed at decoding what we refer to as the “Loudspeaker Genome”… a project aimed at understanding the true behavior of loudspeakers under power and in motion. In addition, a major component of this integrated system is DMA (Dynamic Motor Analysis). So, starting with the 15W3 and the W7 Subwoofers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, DMA has played an important role in the design of all JL Audio woofers sold today, including their component woofers.

DMA is a Finite Element Analysis (FEA)-based system, meaning that it takes a large, complex problem, breaks it down into small solution elements for analysis, and then assembles the data to form an accurate, “big-picture” solution. DMA’s breakthrough is that it actually considers the effects of power through the coil as well as coil/cone position within the framework of a time-domain analysis.

This gives us a highly accurate model of a speaker’s actual behavior under real power, something that the traditional Thiele-Small models or other low-power measurements cannot do. Because DMA does not rely on a steady-state model, it is able to consider shifts in the circuit elements being analyzed. And, these modeling routines are intense, requiring hours to run for a whole speaker.

What is DMA Used For?

DMA is able to analyze the real effects of fluctuating power and excursion upon the magnetic circuit of the motor, specifically the dynamic variations of the “fixed” magnetic field. However, this delivers intensely valuable information compared to traditional modeling, which assumes that the “fixed” field produced in the air gap by the magnet and the motor plates is unchanging.

DMA not only shows that this “fixed” field changes in reaction to the magnetic field created by the current flowing through the voice coil, but it helps our engineers arrive at motor solutions that minimize this instability. Furthermore, analyzing this behavior is critical to understanding the distortion mechanisms of a speaker motor and sheds light on the aspects of motor design that determine truly linear behavior:

  1. Linear motor force over the speaker’s operational excursion range
  2. The consistent motor force with both positive and negative current through the coil
  3. Consistent motor force at varying applied power levels

Their ability to fully analyze these aspects of motor behavior allows our transducer engineers to make critical adjustments to motor designs that result in extremely linear, highly stable dynamic loudspeaker motor systems.

The payoff is reduced distortion, improved transient performance, and stellar sound quality.

Floating Cone Attach Method – FCAM™ (U.S. Patent #6,501,844

J-L Audio 13TW5v2-2 Subwoofer Review – Summary:

This assembly technique, conceived by JL Audio, ensures proper surround geometry in the assembled speaker for better excursion control and dynamic voice coil alignment.

Detailed Information:
JL Audio’s patented FCAM™ technology is an innovative method of bonding the surround/cone assembly to the voice coil former/spider assembly. Furthermore, this feature helps ensure the concentricity of the surround, spider, and voice coil without torquing the suspension to achieve it. In addition, this allows for the inevitable, slight variations in production part dimensions without having them negatively impact the integrity of the suspension and coil-centering at high excursions.

Tab-Ear Frame Design

This frame design feature facilitates mounting the Subwoofer in tight spaces.

Detailed Information:
By employing a tab-ear mounting system, the driver’s overall outside dimensions are reduced, permitting it to be mounted in a space that is very similar to that required by the next smaller round woofer frame.

In this example, the “Tab-Ear” frame design allows a 13TW5 13.5-inch driver to fit in a space only slightly larger than a conventional 12-inch woofer requires (only 0.44 in. / 11.2 mm bigger)

Concentric Tube Suspension

JL’s Concentric Tube Suspension™ technology delivers unprecedented excursion in a low-profile woofer.

Detailed Information:
The biggest challenge in any low-profile woofer design is to create enough mechanical clearance for the speaker to generate enough excursion to meet its output and low-frequency extension goals. And, since these goals were very ambitious in the development of JL Audio’s low-profile woofers, achieving them required the development of a new suspension architecture.

JL Audio’s solution employs a molded structure that spans over the edge of the motor system, supporting the spider on the outside of the motor’s boundaries and the large diameter voice coil on the inside. In addition, the large diameter voice coil permits the magnet to sit inside it, rather than surrounding the coil as is typical in most woofers.

Concentric Tube Sub-Assembly of a 13TW5v2

The concentric tube structure and the elimination of a conventional top-plate help us place the motor system higher up into the cone body’s space to further compress depth, while still permitting excellent mechanical excursion.

Built-in U.S.A. with Global Components

JL Audio’s Miramar, Florida loudspeaker production facility is one of the most advanced in the world.

Detailed Information:

JL Audio’s commitment to domestic loudspeaker production continues to increase. However, to pull this off in a competitive world market, their production engineering team has created one of the world’s most advanced loudspeaker assembly facilities and established a global network of quality component suppliers who build to their specifications.

This, combined with their commitment to state-of-the-art assembly technology, allows their skilled workforce to efficiently build JL Audio products to extremely high-quality standards, right here in the U.S.A.

Since most of our premium loudspeakers incorporate proprietary, patented technologies requiring specific assembly techniques, they find it vital that the people who designed them have close access to the people manufacturing them. The following JL Audio products are built in their Miramar, Florida factory, with global components:

  • Subwoofers: W7, W6v3, TW5v2, TW3, TW1, W3v3 
  • Enclosed Car Subwoofers: Stealthbox®, PowerWedge™, ProWedge™, H.O. Wedge™ & MicroSub™ Enclosed Subwoofers
  • Marine Loudspeakers, Marine Subwoofers and Marine Enclosed Loudspeakers
  • Home Subwoofers: Dominion™, E-Sub, Fathom® and Gotham® 

Brook Walsh

For nearly 30 years, I've had a fascination with restomods. I've learned from real-world experience what restomod gear works and what doesn't. This is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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