Review of JL Audio VXi Line of Amplifiers with integrated DSP by Sounds Good To Me in Tempe, AZ

Review of JL Audio VXi Line of Amplifiers with integrated DSP

By Mugs:

A Sound Review: JL Audio VXi line of car amplifiers with integrated DSP reviewed by the car audio experts at Sounds Good to Me in Tempe, AZ.

JL Audio has just released their newest line of amplifiers with a built-in DSP. Like everything else in this world of technology and iOT where everything is run thru a computer, so be it with JL Audio’s new “VXi” flagship line of amplifiers with built-in DSP.  There are a total of 8 different amplifiers that covers pretty much any installation scenario one might encounter who wishes to bring the best in car audio to their vehicle.

One might ask “why is DSP even needed in a vehicle’s audio system?”  Well, there are a number of reasons for it and the most important reason has to do with the fact that in today’s vehicles the radio isn’t just a radio, it has become an integral component of the vehicles on board infotainment center and because it controls so many more functions it is virtually impossible to change out.

Another reason would be along with not being able to change the head unit the factory installs some real janky permanent equalization that can’t be tamed without a DSP to either boost or cut frequencies to allow a flat output response from the OEM head unit.  Once there is a “usable” response curve, one can than install an aftermarket amplifier and aftermarket speakers and have the in-vehicle audio experience only aftermarket can deliver.

If you don’t tame the janky peaks and dips the aftermarket amplifier will amplify those and it just sounds wrong.  Not terrible, but not right either and if your spending for an expensive amp and top of the line new speakers you naturally want to get the best sound for your money. With DSP processing we can actually determine the speakers frequency output and see just what frequencies need to be adjusted and adjust them thru the magic of digital manipulation.

JL Audio was one of the very first to see this coming down the road and they developed the “CleanSweep” CL441 DSP in 2006, so they are not a johnny come lately.  Today JL offers 3 standalone DSP / System Tuning Processors being the FiX82 & FiX86 along with the TwK88 & TwK-D8 for true digital to digital experience.

These are truly cutting edge technology and now JL has combined their XD amplifiers with their DSP units into one allowing unlimited tuning opportunities to enjoy a breathtaking audio experience when tuned correctly.  If you are into car audio like we are you will be hearing and seeing a bunch of new DSP products coming to market and you will be hearing claims about the features and many benefits of having DSP but it will come down to both installation and tuning experience and knowledge about the software and required tools to correctly tune a system.  

Watch this video to learn more about JL Audio’s VXi Line of Amplifiers with Integrated DSP

Read more about JL Audio’s complete line of car amplifiers with integrated DSP at: and at


  • Higher performance Differential-Balanced Analog Inputs accept speaker level signals up to 16V RMS, including those from factory systems. Outstanding noise rejection to prevent alternator whine and other noises.
  • Optical Digital (Toslink) Inputs permit direct connection of S/PDIF digital sources, bypassing A/D converter. Accepts up to 24 bit/192 kHz input
  • Automatic turn-on option via Signal-Sensing or DC-Offset sensing
  • RCA Analog, or Digital Pre-Outs at 24 bit/96 kHz
  • Flexible Input Router and Mixer
  • 10-bands of Fully Parametric EQ per output channel
  • High-Pass & Low-Pass Filters for each channel:
  • 12, 24, 48dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley
  • 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 dB/octave Butterworth
  • Signal Delay in 0.01 ms steps (1/8-inch, 3 mm)
  • All-Pass Filter (Phase EQ), with variable “Q” and corner frequency
  • Polarity reversal
  • Output Level Trim in 0.1 dB steps
  • JLid connection ports for accessories

We would be happy to answer any of your questions either by email or just stop on by Sounds Good To Me in Tempe, Arizona just south of Arizona State University’s main campus, talk us and let us show you the future here and now.

For the best in car audio electronics at rock bottom prices visit Sounds Good To Me car audio & video electronics and security alarm system installation specialists are located in Tempe, AZ, servicing the entire metro Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale and Gilbert, Arizona.Call us at (480) 968-8543, visit us at or contact us by email at Remember to check out our blog for frequent product reviews as new audio auto and vehicle electronic gets released.

12 thoughts on “Review of JL Audio VXi Line of Amplifiers with integrated DSP

  1. The VXI amplifiers are based on the XD line of amps combined with a dsp, not the HD amps, as stated in the article.

  2. Man what an amazing amplifier, JL Audio is doing it right by putting the DSP into the amplifier. I’ve had it happen way to many times when you are doing a system with a DSP along with 2-3 other amplifiers you tend to be more cautious of the real estate you are using inside the car. There’s only so many places in a car that you can shove an amplifier or DSP.

  3. Spot on. And it’s only getting more and more of a challenge finding suitable locations for the various components.

  4. From what we have been seeing is the utility of the “VXi” line amplifiers make it an easy choice for those with a “newer” model vehicle that makes swapping out the head unit not feasible or practical a really nice choice because with the DSP we can tame the OEM peaks and dips to attain a relatively flat signal to amplify. Now, with folks who have an aftermarket head unit and not really needing the DSP function the “HD” line is the way to go. Like most situations we encounter, JL Audio has a solution.

  5. I have a VX800/8i and VX1000/1i. Has anyone else seen a problem with the optical S/PDIF input resulting in a VERY substantial, attenuated output as directly compared to the analog RCA inputs?

    I understand that the toslink inputs don’t have an input sensitivity control of any sort in the TuN software, but frankly the default setting of “7” on the RCA inputs, results in an output to the speakers that is every bit of 30dB difference. Unless I happened to receive two different VXi amps that are defective in precisely the same way, this is a ridiculous design oversight. I get that the very nature of toslink is not as “hot” of an input. Please spare me troubleshooting questions, this is a problem with these amps. It’s not an incorrect setting, it’s not 1 sub 180 out of phase, it’s not the source. 3 different toslink cables, and I replaced my PAC AmpPro 4, and toslink adapter. This situation was also duplicated using a damn home AV receiver with optical vs rca. The same results from using a tv with optical and rca. (yes, I drug an av receiver and freaking 50″ television out to my Jeep to test this craziness.

    I have a 2019 Jeep Wrangler with the “premium” 12ch system. I opt’d to remove the factory Alpine sub, and replace it with two 4 ohm JL stealth boxes. While I setup the VX1000/1i on the 2 10’s, I temporarily left the factory mid amp (about the size of a paperback book) running the two pair of 3.5″s and two pair of 4″ speakers. To give this some perspective, with ALL settings in TuN maximizing any output to the subs, the output is nowhere near what one would expect. 2 10’s, on a 1000w JL amp, using optical input, can’t provide even a proportional output along side a tiny factory amp driving mids and tweets.

    I set up 2 identical presets in TuN, with one difference…preset 1 is S/PDIF input only, preset 2 is analog only. I’ve got tone generating software , but it figures….atm I don’t have a spare 9v battery for the one dead in my multimeter to actually meter the output voltage. I did try to record a video on my phone. At a steady 40hz, I set the volume on my head unit to 7 out of 35. The optical only preset could barely be heard in the recording. Switching to the analog only preset, the output was so loud, that my phone mic cut it out. It’s a massive difference. Preset 1 – barely heard, preset 2 – getting pulled over for noise disturbance. I seriously can’t understate the difference.

    I did hook up the VX800/8i just to see what it does, and got the same result. I am actually hoping these amps are defective, because if they’re not, then this is an unacceptable failure in design that’s being ignored.

    Anyone seen this?

  6. Hello John-Patrick,
    I experienced the very same situation in one of our VX1000/5i installs as well. You too discovered that the optical output was nowhere near the output from the analog’s output. I wish I had some sort of work around for this scenario but we had to lose the FiX-82 with the S/PDIF output because of that very thing. JL Audio is aware of the issue but was not told anything more than that unfortunately, so one must assume that they are working on it. Thank you for your very detailed post.

  7. I just stumbled across these comments and have the exact same issue with my VX1000/5i in regards to the optical connection mentioned in the 2 posts above. If you guys find a solution please post!

  8. Good luck getting an admission from JL about this being an actual problem. Closest I got was an explanation that the “difference” observed is a result of a greater level of clipping that is permitted through the DSP when using analog vs optical. It was effectively alleged that if one were to use equipment to detect clipping, and then back the analog input sensitivity down, the resulting level would be equal to the output observed when using optical. Hmmm, my SMD DD1+ must be busted…..What a load of shit. I suppose this must also mean that EVERY other JL Audio amp (using RCA’s) is pushing pure distortion?

  9. I get it that the optical is the cleanest of the two outputs but is the optical the “cleanest” with least distortion due to the low levels of output? I wonder if JL thought that there wouldn’t be too many utilizing the optical option? But it is something that is demonstrable and concerning and as more installations opt for the optical path I am curious to see just how this plays out. Thanks John-Patrick for the post.


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