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Wet Sounds vs. JL Audio Marine Speakers


Introduction

Wet Sounds and JL Audio are two of the largest and most respected brands in marine audio. Both Wet Sounds and JL are known for building quality products that not only withstand the marine environment but also sound amazing. The article will compare Wet Sounds and JL Audio marine speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, and tower speakers.

Best 5.25" Speakers
Wet Sounds RECON 5
Best 6.5" Mid-Tier
JL Audio M3
Best 6.5" Premium for Sound Quality
JL Audio M6
Best 6.5" Premium for Pure Volume
Wet Sounds REVO 6
Best 8" Mid Tier
JL Audio M3 7.7"
Best 8" Premium for Sound Quality
JL Audio M6
Best 8" Premium for Pure Volume
Wet Sounds REVO 8
Most Efficient Speakers
Wet Sounds REVO 8
Best Looking Speakers
JL Audio M6
Best Value
JL Audio M3



Speaker Sizes
Both Wet Sounds and JL Audio offer two different levels of marine speakers. Wet Sounds has the RECON and REVO series speakers and JL Audio has M3 and M6. There are some pretty big differences in the speakers with regards to the tweeter material, the grilles, the way the RGB's illuminate the cone, and the sizes of the speakers offered.
Wet Sounds RECON
• 5.25"
• 6.5"
8"
JL Audio M3
• 6.5"
• 7.7"
Wet Sounds REVO
• 6.5"
• 8"
• 10"
JL Audio M6
• 6.5"
• 7.7"
• 8.8"








Grille Options
Wet Sounds RECON speakers come with black XS (open), silver XS (open), and white XW (closed) grilles. The silver XS and white XW style grilles are offered both with and without RGB LEDs while the black XS speakers are not available with the LEDs. The JL Audio M3 speakers come in white classic (closed), white sport (open), and gunmetal sport (open) grilles. Both the white sport and gunmetal sport grilles are available with JL's Transflective RGB LEDs. The Wet Sounds REVO speakers offer the most grille options of any marine speakers. The REVO speakers are available with silver XS (open), white XW (closed), white SW (closed), black XW (closed), black SW (closed), white XS with stainless steel overlays (open), black XS with stainless steel overlays (open), and gunmetal XS with stainless overlays (open). All Wet Sounds REVO speakers come standard with RGB LEDs. The JL Audio M6 speakers come with the same style options as the M3, with the white classic (closed), white sport (open), and gunmetal sport (open) grilles. The sport grilles for the M6 look a little different than M3 and show off more of the cone and tweeter. All three of the M6 grille options are available with or without JL's Transflective RGB LEDs.
Wet Sounds RECON
• White XW (Closed)
• Black XS (Open)
• Silver XS (Open)
JL Audio M3
• White Classic (Closed)
• White Sport (Open)
• Gunmetal Sport (Open)
Wet Sounds REVO
• White XW (Closed)
• Black XW (Closed)
• White SW (Closed)
• Black SW (Closed)
• Silver XS (Open)
• Black XS w/ Stainless
• White XS w/ Stainless
Gunmetal XS w/ Stainless
JL Audio M6
• White Classic (Closed)
• White Sport (Open)
• Gunmetal Sport (Open)








Matching Tower Speakers
The Wet Sounds RECON speakers have 6.5", matching tower speakers available for the silver XS and white XW grilles. The silver XS can enclosure is black and the white XW can enclosure is white. The RECON tower speakers come clamps included that will fit tube diameters up to 2". The JL Audio M3 tower speakers are available in both 6.5" and 7.7" The 6.5" tower speakers are mostly built for powersports applications and have a smaller enclosure with less depth than most tower speakers for the power sports market. The 6.5" tower speakers are called VeX pods and they can fit tube diameters up to 3.25". The mounting hardware is not included and the VeX pods are only available for the sport grilles. In addition to the 6.5" VeX pods, the M3 speakers come in 7.7" full-size, tower speaker enclosures. The M3 ETXv3 enclosures are available for all three grille styles and like the speakers, both sport grilles are available with or without LEDs. The mounting hardware is NOT included for the 7.7" M3 tower speakers. The matching tower speakers for the Wet Sounds REVO speakers are the REV 10 and the REV 8. These tower enclosures come with high-compression, insanely loud horn tweeters. The large cone size, combined with the horn tweeter provides serious distance, volume, and sound quality when riding behind your boat. These speakers perform both on and off-axis and give the person or people behind the boat a musical experience at great distances, over the engine, wind, and water noise. The REV 10 and REV 8 speakers come in both black and white and have the stainless steel overlay in the grille to match the black XS stainless and the white XS stainless grilles on the REVO speakers. The REV 10 and REV 8 tower speakers do not have RGB LEDs that light up the cone, but you have the option to add LED rings between the speaker grille and the enclosure. The JL Audio M6 tower speakers are offered in 6.5" VeX pods and both 7.7" and 8.8" ETXv3 full-size enclosures. The JL Audio tower speakers are designed to broadcast both fidelity and volume to provide a truly unique musical experience while being towed behind the boat. The M6 VeX pods come with only the sport grille options while the ETXv3 enclosures are available in all 3 grille options and each style/color is offered both with or without LEDs.
RECON Tower Speakers
• 6.5" Diameter
Fit up to 2" Diameter Tube
• Surface Mount Adapters Included
• RGB LEDs Standard
• Black Enclosures w/ Silver XS Grilles
• White Enclosures w/ White XW Grilles
M3 Tower Speakers
• 6.5" Diameter VeX Pods
• 7.7" ETXv3 Pods
• Mounting Hardware NOT INcluded
• Fits up to a 3.25" Tube
• RGB LEDs Available for White Sport or Gunmetal Sport Grilles
• Satin Black Enclosures w/ Titanium Grilles
• Gloss White Enclosures w/ White Sport or White Classic Grilles
REV Tower Speakers
•REV 8 (8")
• REV 10(10")
• REV 410 (Dual 10" Woofers w/ Horn Tweeter)
• Fixed, Swivel, X Mount and Boat Specific Adapters Available
• Gloss Black Enclosures w/ Black XS w/ Stainless Grilles
• Gloss White Enclosures w/ White XS w/ Stainless Grilles
• RGB LEDs Not Standard
• RGB LED Rings Sold Separately
M6 Tower Speakers
•6.5" Diameter VeX Pods
• 7.7" & 8.8" ETXv3 Pods
• Mounting Hardware NOT Included
• Fixed Clamp, Swivel Clamp, Surface Mount, and OE Tower Mounting Hardware Sold Separately
• RGB LEDs Available for All Grille Styles
• Satin Black Enclosures w/ Titanium Grilles
• Gloss White Enclosures w/ White Sport or White Classic Grilles







Matching Subwoofers
All of the speakers in this comparison have matching subwoofers. The Wet Sounds RECON subwoofers only come in 10" diameter, are only available for free-air applications, and the grille is included. The RECON subwoofers are not available with RGB LEDs to light up the cone. Like the tower speakers, you may add RGB LED rings between the grille and the subwoofer itself. JL Audio has a complete line of M3 subwoofers to match the M3 speakers. The JL Audio M3 subs come with the same grille options as the speakers and the white sport and gunmetal sport grilles are available with their Transflective, RGB LEDs. The M3 subwoofers only come in a 10" diameter with a single, 4-ohm voice coil and they are all designed for free-air applications, without the use of an enclosure. The Wet Sounds REVO subwoofers come in 8", 10", and 12" sizes and are offered in both black and white. The Wet Sounds REVO subwoofers do not come with grilles, but they sell all of the grille options available for the speakers are available for the subwoofers, they are just sold separately. The Wet Sounds REVO subwoofers are offered for both free-air and enclosed applications and each model also comes in a single 2-ohm or a single 4-ohm voice coil. The REVO subwoofers do not come with RGB LEDs, but you can add the RGB LED rings between the grille and the sub. The JL Audio M6 subwoofers come in 8" and 10" diameters. Both sizes come in all three color/grille options, and they are offered both with and without LEDs. The 8" JL Audio M6 subwoofers are only offered for free-air applications while the 10" have both free-air and made-for-enclosure models available. While not technically part of the M6 line, JL Audio does have 12", M7 subwoofers that match the M6 speakers and give you unreal bass output from a 12" free-air application.
RECON Subwoofers
• 10" Subwoofers
• Grille Included
• 4 Ohm SVC
• Free-Air Applications
• RGB LED Rings Sold Separately
M3 Subwoofers
• 10" Subwoofers
• Grille Included
• 4 Ohm SVC
• Free-Air Applications
• White Sport & Gunmetal Sport Available with RGB LEDs
REVO Subwoofers
• 8", 10" and 12" Subwoofers
• Grilles Sold Separately
• Available in both White & Black
• Free-Air Applications & Enclosed Models
• Single 2 Ohm & 4 Ohm Voice Coil Options
• 12" Loaded Enclosure Available
M6 Subwoofers
• 8" & 10" Subwoofers
• Grille Included
• 4 Ohm SVC
• Free-Air Applications & Enclosed Models
• White Sport & Gunmetal Sport Available with RGB LEDs
• 12" M7 Woofers Match M6 Speakers








Power Handling
When it comes to power handling, the Wet Sounds RECON and JL Audio M3 are virtually the same. The 6.5" speakers handle 60 watts RMS, the 7.7 or 8" speakers can handle 70 watts RMS. When comparing the Wet Sounds REVO and the JL Audio M6, we see a much bigger difference in favor of Wet Sounds. The REVO 6 can handle 100 watts of RMS power while the 6.5" M6 can only handle 75 watts. In the 7.7"/8" models, the REVO can handle 150 watts while the M6 handles 100 watts. After the 8" models, the size difference comes into play and the larger basket and surface area of the REVO CX-10 handle significantly more power, handling 350 watts RMS vs. 125 watts on the 8.8" M6. The question is, "Does this power handling matter? What does it mean?" The answer is, "It only matters if you have an amplifier that puts out that much power." Also at what volume is the music loud enough?
RECON Power Handling
• 6.5" Speakers - 60W RMS
• 8" Speakers - 70W RMS
M3 Power Handling
• 6.5" Speakers - 60W RMS
• 7.7" Speakers - 70W RMS
REVO Power Handling
• 6.5" Speakers - 100W RMS
• 8" Speakers - 150W RMS
• 10" Speakers - 350W RMS
M6 Power Handling
• 6.5" Speakers - 75W RMS
• 7.7" Speakers - 100W RMS
• 8.8" Speakers - 125W RMS




Efficiency Ratings
Speakers have efficiency ratings that tell you how loud that speaker plays at a certain distance given X amount of power. It is usually done as 1 watt per 1 meter. This number tells us how loud those speakers are going to play when power is held constant. If I give each speaker 50 watts of power, one speaker has an SPL rating of 89 dB, the other has an SPL rating of 92 dB, the speaker with the SPL rating of 92 dB is going to play louder. However, speakers are subjective and louder is not always better, but you can always turn the volume down. This number just tells us how efficient those speakers are. The 6.5" RECON speakers have an SPL rating of 89 dB while the REVO 6 have a rating of 90 dB. This tells us that they are both pretty close in terms of their efficiency. In the 8", the RECON have a rating of 80dB and the REVO 8 are rated at 92 dB. The massive, 10" REVO have an SPL rating of 90dB.
RECON Speaker Efficiency
• 6.5" Efficiency rating of 89 dB
• 8" Efficiency rating of 80 dB
M3 Speaker Efficiency
• 6.5" Efficiency rating of 89.5 dB
• 7.7" Efficiency rating of 90.5 dB
REVO Speaker Efficiency
• 6.5" Efficiency rating of 90 dB
• 8" Efficiency rating of 92 dB
• 10" Efficiency rating of 90 dB
M6 Speaker Efficiency
• 6.5" Efficiency rating of 89.5 dB
• 7.7" Efficiency rating of 91 dB
• 8.8" Efficiency rating of 90.5 dB




Tweeter Size
The Wet Sounds REVO speakers come with larger tweeters than the RECON series and the REVO use a titanium dome tweeter while the RECON use an aluminum dome. Since both are hard, metal dome tweeters, they are both going to play right, crisp, loud highs. The titanium dome tweeter in the REVO is going to be less harsh than the aluminum dome tweeter in the RECON. Both are going to get plenty loud and cut through any ambient noise when powered by an amplifier, the REVO just have larger tweeters to sound better. In a 6.5" speaker, the REVO 6 has a 1.00" tweeter and the RECON 6 has a .75" tweeter. In the 8", both the RECON and REVO have 1.00" tweeters. The 10" REVO speakers have a 1.25" tweeter and there is no 10" RECON speaker.
RECON
• 6.5" - .75" tweeter
• 8" - 1.00" tweeter
M3
• 6.5" - .75" tweeter
• 7.7" - .75" tweeter
REVO
• 6.5" - 1.00" tweeter
• 8" - 1" tweeter
• 10" - 1.25" tweeter
M6
• 6.5" - .8" tweeter
• 7.7" - 1" tweeter
• 8.8" - 1.25" tweeter




Power Source
We recommend using an amplifier for all marine speakers because a boat is a loud, noisy, open-air environment. The more power you give your speakers, the louder, clearer, and with less or even no distortion. However, if you are powering speakers directly off of your head unit, you will want to use the RECON speakers. The RECON will sound completely different and significantly better with an amp, but they will work off of deck power. If you are using deck power, we do not recommend the REVO speakers. Your head unit does not put out enough power to give the REVO the juice they want. It is not worth spending the extra money for the REVO when the RECON will sound much better with deck power.
RECON
• Can be powered directly off of your head unit
• Amplifier Suggested
M3
• Can be powered directly off of your head unit
• Amplifier Suggested
REVO
• Amplifier Required
M6
• Amplifier Required




LED Lighting
All of the speakers except the Wet Sounds RECON 5 are available with RGB LED lighting. RGB LEDs come standard on the Wet Sounds REVO 6, REVO 8, and REVO CX-10 speakers. The Wet Sounds RECON 6 speakers are available with RGB LEDs in the silver and white grille options. All of the RECON 8 speakers come with RGB LEDs. The JL Audio M3 speakers are available with RGB LEDs in the white sport and gunmetal sport grilles and all three grille styles of the M6 speakers are available with RGB LEDs. Now, not all RGB LEDs are the same. All of the Wet Sounds speakers and the JL Audio M3 speakers have the RGB LEDs located behind the tweeter, integrated into the speaker grille. The LEDs shine backward and illuminate the speaker cone. The JL Audio M6 speakers take RGB LEDs to a whole other level with their transflective LED technology. Instead of mounting the LEDs behind the tweeter, the LEDs are mounted on the speaker frame itself, behind the speaker cone. The cone is made of special translucent material and it is lit from behind for the brightest and smoothest illumination of any marine speaker. The LEDs on the M6 speakers and subwoofers are in a class of their own. There are no hot spots and you don't get a halo effect. Instead, you just get cleaner, brighter, and smoother illumination than any other lit speakers on the planet.
RECON
• Optional on Select RECON 6 Speakers
• Standard on RECON 8 Speakers
M3
• Optional with Sport While or Sport Gunmetal Grilles
REVO
• All Speakers come Standard with RGB LEDs
M6
• Optional for All Grille Styles
• The Best Looking RGB LED Speakers in the World







Our Recommendations
There are two, totally different price points when comparing RECON, REVO, M3, and M6. The JL Audio M3 and the Wet Sounds RECON are both in the same tier in terms of quality and power handling and the M6 and REVO are on another level both in terms of output and the price point. The other thing that impacts the decision is the speaker size. The differences are much smaller for 6.5" speakers versus the 8" class and then the 8.8"/10". So, here goes nothing:
  • 6.5": M3 vs. RECON - I would go with the M3. The M3 have specially treated silk dome tweeters which in my opinion just sound better than the aluminum tweeters that come in the RECON speakers. The silk dome is going to sound smoother and not be as harsh as aluminum. I think the M3's just look better too. It's JL marine, you can't go wrong.
  • 7.7/8": M3 vs. RECON - M3 and it's not even close. Not only do the M3 speakers have the silk dome tweeters, but they are also significantly more efficient. They will play louder and sound better when the volume is turned up.
When comparing REVO and M6, it is significantly more difficult. While the price points are similar, these speakers are two different beasts. Think of a Rolls Royce vs. a Lamborghini. Both cars are roughly around the same price point (depending on the model, I know), but they are two, completely different vehicles. The Wet Sounds REVO are the Lamborghini, the JL Audio M6 are the Rolls Royce. Both speakers will play louder than your ears can withstand while inside the boat. If you want to be the guy that others can hear coming from a mile away, you have to go with the Wet Sounds REVO. If you are all about sound quality and fidelity, I'd go with the M6.
  • 6.5": REVO vs. M6 - It would depend on the boat and noise level. If it's usually noisy and we are going fast, REVO. If we are just floating, docked, or cruising at low speed, then M6.
  • 7.7"/8" REVO vs. M6 - Same situation as the 6.5". But also, the 8" REVO can handle significantly more power than the 7.7" M6. Of course that only matters if you have a capable amplifier, but if you have enough power, the 8" Wet Sounds can play significantly louder than the 7.7" M6.
  • 8.8"/10": REVO vs. M6 - These are tough to compare because they are almost two totally different beasts with the only thing in common that they are larger than 8" in diameter. If you have an insane amount of power and space, the REVO CX-10 will play stupid-loud and blow away the 8.8" M6 in terms of volume. At that volume though, the fidelity isn't there for you, at least inside the boat. It's just too damn loud. The 8.8" M6 is a super large, amazing sounding speaker that is built more for its sonic ability and frequency range versus sheer volume.

tl;dr

  • M3 vs. RECON - M3 without a doubt
  • M6 vs. REVO - Lamborghini vs. Rolls Royce. M6 is the Rolls Royce. REVO is the Lambo. Loud and Flashy vs. Luxurious and Refined.


Comparison
Wet Sounds RECON 6
Tweeter Size
.75"
Tweeter Material
Aluminum
Deck Power Compatible
Yes, but an Amplifier is Recommended
Grille Options
White XW, Silver XS, Black XS
 
LED Options
White XW and Silver XS Grilles available with RGB LEDs
RMS Power Handling
60 Watts
Peak Power Handling
120 Watts
Efficiency @ 1W/1m
89 dB
Frequency Response
40 Hz - 20KHz +/- 3 dB
Mounting Depth
2.6"
Mounting Hole Diameter
5.00"
Outer Grille Diameter
6.80"
Wet Sounds REVO 6
Tweeter Size
1.00"
Tweeter Material
Titanium
Deck Power Compatible
No. Amplifier Required
Grille Options
White XW, White SW, Black XW, Black SW, Silver XS, White XS w/ SS, Black XS w/ SS, Gunmetal XS w/ SS
LED Options
All Grille Options Include RGB LEDs
RMS Power Handling
100 Watts
Peak Power Handling
2000 Watts
Efficiency @ 1W/1m
90 dB
Frequency Response
40 Hz - 25KHz +/- 3 dB
Mounting Depth
3.3"
Mounting Hole Diamter
5.00"
Outer Grille Diameter
6.80"