JL Audio M650 Review

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  • nominal power: 75 watts
  • peak power: 225 watts
  • impedance: 4 ohms
  • sensitivity: 89.5 dB/W/m
  • frequency response range: 55 – 25,000 Hz
  • unit weight: not specified
  • unit dimensions: 6.5 x 2.95 inches (diameter x depth)
  • warranty: 2 years (applies to purchase from Amazon.com)
  • user manual: click here
  • wireless: no
  • battery life: n/a
  • signal range: n/a

JL Audio has always had a commitment to state of the art technology and tight quality control, and this commitment is clearly reflected in the JL Audio M650. This is a high tech coaxial speaker system featuring a 6.5” mid-bass cone driver and a 1” silk dome tweeter. The mid-bass is a long excursion driver with injection-molded mica-filled PP cone. The tweeter dome is specially treated to withstand marine environment, it is equipped with neodymium magnet and ferofluid. This ensures distortion free reproduction of sound.

An excellent feature of this marine speaker system, one rarely seen in this type of product, is the crossover. The M650 has a 1st order low pass filter for the mid-bass and a 2nd order hi-pass filter for the tweeter. This kind of arrangement is often seen with more expensive component type systems and very rarely with coaxial systems. Additionally, this marine speaker offers separate, external connections to each driver (tweeter and mid-bass) so that you can use your own crossover or bi-amp the entire system. With bi-amping you can use an active electronic crossover and a separate amplifiers for each driver for more dynamic range.

Power: 8.5/10 – The M650 can handle quite a lot of power with it’s 75 watt nominal rating and it’s 89.5db/W/m sensitivity rating – this speaker system definitely packs a punch. It’s peak power rating of 225 watts ensures that it will handle music with a big dynamic range very well. We always like to see speaker systems with a peak rating at least three times the nominal rating. You can expect to reach levels above 100dB with these speakers so if you have a big boat you won’t have any problems filling your space with quality sound that’s plenty loud.

Aesthetics & Style: 4.5/5 – The six point mounting, slightly concave white grille, and gray/white finish give these speakers a very slick elegant design indeed. The JL Audio logo also serves a purpose by indicating the correct position for the speakers in the cabinet.

Portability & Convenience: 2.5/5 – We will say that because of the higher end features, installing this speaker is not so straight forward. You have to connect the drivers to the crossover, then you have 6 screws for mounting, and then you have to deal with the unit’s larger than average depth of nearly 3 inches. For the audio enthusiast this will not be a big deal, but for the more common layperson who wants a plug and play solution, setting up these speakers might require a bit of work. That said, the kit offers everything you need to install it yourself, even a mounting template.

Durability: 4.5/5 – The materials used in these speakers are fully waterproof and UV resistant. JL Audio is also known as being one of the most rigorous in quality control, and is invested in top tier testing equipment. They have UV testing chambers and Salt Fog chambers that simulates exposure to marine environment. This shows their commitment to high quality.

Warranty: 4/5 – JL Audio offers a 2 year warranty on all of their marine speakers, which is a little short considering other companies that offer a 5 year or lifetime warranty on their outdoor speaker products. But, two years is still pretty solid to at least protect yourself from defective units.

Price: 8/10 – These speakers are definitely on the more expensive side, but are still a good deal for the specs and high end features that you get.

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Bottom Line: 8.1/10

JL Audio M650’s will give you great, loud sound. Its higher end features allows the user to configure their sound system in many more ways than is typically possible with marine speakers. That and the higher price tag indicates that this product is geared towards more experienced audio enthusiasts. One thing to note about this marine system is that the tweeter is mounted on the grille so you will need to use the grille all the time.

Alternative Recommendations

If you’re on a tighter budget and don’t quite need the power these speakers bring, consider Pioneer’s TS-MR1640 which are much cheaper, but bring equally good specs for what you pay for. Or, perhaps consider Infinity’s 612m system, which also brings great power to the table, is less expensive, and should be easier to set up for beginners.