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JL Audio MX vs. M3

What is the difference between JL MX and M3 Speakers?
This article will break down and explain the slight differences between the JL Audio MX speakers and the new JL Audio M3 speakers.

These Remained the Same:
  • RMS Power Handling
  • Peak Power Handling
  • Tweeter Size and Material
  • Frequency Response
  • Mounting Depth
These Were the Changes:
  • Location of the JL Logo on Sport Grilles
  • JL Audio Colored Plates in Sport Grilles
  • 6 Screws Instead of 4 on White Classic Grilles
  • RGB LED Lighting Instead of Only Blue
  • .5 dB More Efficient at 1W/1M
  • No Chrome Sport or Titanium Classic Grille Options

JL Audio MX vs. M3 Speakers Changes in Depth
What's the Same?
From a speaker performance perspective, nothing changed between MX and M3. The speakers are both rated at 60 watts RMS. They both can handle 225 watts of peak power. The woofer cone is made from the exact same material and they both have the same rubber surround. The tweeter is still a 3/4", specially treated silk dome. The frequency response has remained constant at 55-25 kHz and the the mounting depth is the same at 2.74" (69.59mm)

What's different?
Sport Grille Logo Location
On the sport grilles, the logo location changed from saying "JL Audio" between the dual spokes on right side of the grille to saying "JL Audio" at the very bottom between two "whole" spokes. If you look at the image to the right, you can see the different between the MX on the left and the M3 on the right.

Sport Grille Colored Plates
On the sport grilles of the MX speakers, you could add some color with red, blue, or black "JL Audio" text logo plates. With the M3 speakers, that option is no longer available. Instead of that logo being a separate piece that you installed, the logo is pre-molded in the grilles themselves.

Classic Grille Screws
The classic white grilles that came with the MX speakers used 4 screws for mounting while the M3 classic, white grilles use 6 screws. In a vibration heavy environment such as a boat, having 6 screws is better than having four, but the location of the screws is different. The 4 screws on the MX classic grilles were at roughly 10, 2, 4, and 8 o'clock while the 6 screws are at 11, 1, 3, 9, 5 & 7 o'clock. If you had MX speakers, you will have to drill more holes to install the M3's into the same location. The speaker will seal up the existing 4 holes, but drilling more holes is never ideal, if you don't have to.

LED Lighting
Both the MX and M3 speakers are available with LED lights integrated into the back side of the speaker grille for both the white sport and gunmetal sport grilles. With the MX speakers, those LEDs were only available in Blue. You could not change the color, there were no other color options. If you wanted LEDs, you got blue LEDs. The M3 speakers come with RGB LEDs integrated into the white sport and gunmetal sport grilles. You can now select between 12 different color options by selecting which wires to connect, or you can add an RGB LED controller and you have a nearly infinite number of color options and you can select from a wide variety of different modes which flash and cycle between various colors.

The MX650 speakers had a sensitivity rating of 89 dB @ 1W/1m and the M3 6.5" coaxials are .5 dB more efficient at 1W/1m. If you have 1 pair of MX in your boat and 1 pair of M3 in your boat, you will not likely notice a difference in volume due to efficiency. We are pointing it out because the M3's are more efficient than the MX, but it is not going to be noticeable when you are in an outdoor environment.

No Chrome Sport & No Titanium Classic Grilles
The MX speakers were offered in both a chrome sport style grille and in a titanium classic style grille. With M3, these options are no longer available. There just wasn't enough demand to keep those two color options around so JL Audio chose to stick with their better selling models.

In Conclusion
Purely Cosmetic
The JL Audio MX speakers and the M3 speakers are virtually the same. The changes that were made from MX to M3 are purely cosmetic and align more with the release of M6. The JL Audio M6 speakers were completey re-designed from the ground up. From a marketing standpoint, JL made slight changes to the MX speakers and changed the name from MX to M3 to better align these speakers with the branding and marketing of M6.