best marine speakers for bass and audio quality

6 Best Marine Speakers 2018

Marine speakers for your boat are a must have accessories for those who loves music. They provide high quality sound whilst being water resistant and withstanding lashes of water without breaking or distorting the sound.

The best marine speakers for your boat are the Kenwood KFC-1653MRW 6.5″ 2-way with great value for money and impressive speaker quality with a max wattage of 150.

Another aspect that is often overlooked is that the speakers not only need to be resistant to water but also salt corrosion. Including marine coxial speakers around the boat and a subwoofer is one way to rock your boat out to sea.

Best Marine Boat Speakers

Best Boat SpeakersMax PowerOur Rating
Kenwood 6.5″150W4.9
Rockford Fosgate R165X390W4.9
Kicker KB6000 6.5150W4.8
BOSS Audio MR60W200W4.7
MCM Custom Audio260W4.7

The majority of boat owners will own marine coaxial speakers that are installed around the boat for the high quality sound. However, for those that wakeboard, there are tower marine speakers that provide you with that little bit extra.

Investing in top rated marine speakers will not only add value to your boat but also guarantee optimum sound out to sea. Always ensure that the marine speaker you buy is certified and can withstand water that gets splashed around out to sea.

Choosing boat speakers can become fairly confusing because they can become mixed with automotive speakers. However, we have done the research for you and below is a list of the best marine speakers that will provide high quality sound on your boat.

Kenwood KFC1653MRW

Kenwood are leading audio specialists for both automotive vehicles and boating. With an impressive max wattage of 150 watts, these KFC1653MRW 6.5″ White Marine 2 Way Speakers provide big power for a reasonable price.

The water resistant design features a rugged polypropylene structure where the tweeter is built into the solid white grille. The 6.5 inch speaker is injection molded, which gives it the water resistant properties.

The grille that provide additional security and protection has also been developed to be UV Resistant. This is an important feature as boat speakers have very little protection from direct sunlight.

Not only do these speakers produce high quality, but they are the best boat speakers for bass. With a max wattage of 150 watts, you will be hearing bass from long distances.

I agree that you may be paying a premium for this kenwood boat speaker, however it is 100% worth spending the extra. It is by far the best boat speaker for the money and the durable design means it will have a long life span.

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Rockford Fosgate R165X3

The Rockford Fosgate R165X3 is a highly popular powerful speaker that produces high quality audio in the marine environment. Thanks to a 3-Way Full Range 6.5 inch speaker, it produced 45 watts RMS and 90 Watts max power.

A perfect upgrade or replacement to your current speakers. The mounting space required is only 2.15 inch, therefore if you are creating a new audio setup for your boat, these can be installed fairly easily.

Many marine speakers look quite ugly (my personal opinion) but the Rockford Fosgate boat speakers really do look great. For the looks, power and price of these boat speakers, you cannot go wrong and these are the best cheap boat speakers for sound quality.

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Kicker KB6000 6.5

A complete different style of boat speakers comes from the Kicker KB600. Highly popular in the US due to its excellent high quality audio from a full range speaker producing 75 watts RMS and 150 watts max power.

If you are after excellent sound quality over bass, these will do the job with a 12 decibel octave low-pass crossover with impedance compensation. The boxy design means that they are easy to fit anywhere for your marine application.

Overall, a great boat speaker for high quality audio but if you are after primarily bass, I would suggest the other speakers in this article.

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SOUND STORM LOPRO8 Marine Subwoofer

Boat speakers are known for not having enough bass but this can all change with a subwoofer. Sound Storm LOPRO8 is the best boat subwoofer and it will compliment any marine audio system.

The choice of 8 inch or 10 inch gives you different outputs with the 8 inch producing a max of 800 watts and the 10 inch with 1200 watts. Depending on your budget will determine the boat subwoofer size you buy.

There are many marine subwoofer available but many are low wattage or do not have amplifiers built in. The Sound Storm Subwoofer is the complete opposite, where it produces high power and has a built in amplifier. Surprisingly, it is fairly compact with a height of just 3 inches, meaning it can be installed easily anywhere within the boat.

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BOSS Audio MR60W

Boss Audio are gaining more spotlight over the last few years due to their impressive range of speakers at low prices. The BOSS Audio MR60W are weatherproof marine speakers that are sold in pairs and capable of producing a max output of 200 watts and 100 watts RMS.

These boat speakers are cheap, but don’t think they will be poor quality. The fact that BOSS audio provide a 3 year dealer warranty should give you peace of mind that these speakers are high quality.

The speakers give quite a lot of bass but the trade off is a slight loss of quality. However, this is very minor and for the price, these are the best cheap boat speakers for the money.

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MCM Custom Audio Wakeboarding Speakers

If you have already bought the best boat speakers for your car and looking for more ways to improve it, look no further. The MCM Custom Audio setup is perfect for setting it up to a wakeboard bar.

The pair of speakers are 8 inch poly cone woofer with a titanium dome tweeter. The power rating is 130 RMS watts with a maximum power output of 260 watts.

Considering that these two speakers can be bought for less than $100 dollars, they are definitely the best cheap wakeboarding speakers available. If you were looking to improve the sound quality further, you could connect these speakers to an amplifier.

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Recommendations for Choosing Marine Speakers

  • First determine the size of the place where the speakers are to be placed, since the size and power of the speakers must be proportional to the space you want to cover with the sound.
  • The location of the speakers is another important aspect, it will not be necessary amplifiers if they are going to be placed in the interior of the cabin. If they are to be placed on the deck, the amplifiers will almost be forced to mitigate the impact of the wind and the resonances of the waves. The amplifier must be placed inside the cab to avoid exposure to air and moisture.
  • If the speakers do not have a built-in subwoofer, it is always advisable to supplement them with a marine subwoofer
  • Choose a speaker with magnetic shield if it is to be installed near a compass.
  • Choose the most appropriate model and design depending on the boat where it is to be placed.

Types of Marine Speakers

Marine loudspeakers come in two types of models: conventional boxes and recessed speakers. The choice of one or the other model implies a series of advantages and disadvantages and must be able to adapt depending on the type of boat where they are to be installed.

  • Speakers with a box : They are very easy to install, there is no need to open holes but they take up a lot of space, which can add a bit of chaos in a small cabin.
  • Recessed speakers : They are more decorative and especially suitable for confined spaces. The disadvantage is that its correct assembly can be somewhat complicated.

An important recommendation when choosing your acoustics is that if you are interested in acquiring marine loudspeakers, inform yourself through the various means that are available to all users today. Comparing the different models and their different performances, can be very useful for ensuring that the purchase is the most effective.

Boat Speaker Installation and Placement

A speaker is directional, producing the best sound along its central axis. It radiates sound in a pattern of approximately 45 ° off this axis the quality of the appreciated sound decreases rapidly. So we must mount them bearing in mind this behavior of the same. In the ideal case, they should be placed at the level of the ear of the person listening and there should be nothing to interrupt the propagation of sound waves

Make sure that the speakers are connected “in phase” with their positive terminals paired with the positive side of the stereo output. Connected “out of phase” speakers with inverted cables will not cause damage to the stereo or speakers, but will cause some tones to cancel each other with a decrease in audible sound quality. If you are not sure which speaker terminal is positive, connect an AA or AAA (very low voltage and power) battery through the terminals. When the positive terminal of the battery touches the positive terminal of the speaker, the speaker cone will move forward.

The solutions are many, from using the typical Car Radio / CD to specifically designed and water-resistant equipment that several manufacturers offer for boats. In large yachts it is more appropriate to install hi-fi equipment like the ones we have in the living room of our house. The bigger the boat, the safer it is that it has 220 volt installation and large spaces, in which case the installation of a hi-fi equipment like the one at home is fully justified. In this case the offer is immense and varied, both in quality and price.

But it is convenient to talk about the speakers, after all is one of the most important elements of any music installation. In a boat is not appropriate the installation of large acoustic screens and therefore we should focus our attention on speakers of small size but high quality, Boss Cube type. In addition the bass box can be hidden anywhere because it does not matter that the low frequencies generated by the sub-woofer reach the ear indirectly. They are perfect for the boat.

But a lot of eye with the installation of the loudspeakers. These have in their interior magnets that can be of neodymium and very powerful. The magnetic field they generate In its vicinity can alter the movement of the compass or some magnetic flux sensor used in sophisticated navigation systems. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to be attentive and check the navigation systems after the installation of the speakers.

I will never forget what happened to us 30 years ago when we set up a stereo on a small sailboat sailing from the peninsula to the Balearic Islands. The course that followed the compass seemed “strange” to us that we used to take on other occasions to do the same route. After a while we suspected the loudspeaker that was in dangerous proximity to the compass of bulkhead. When we removed the loudspeaker we saw how the compass turned 40º and prevented us from making an unexpected and long journey!

And speaking loudspeakers are not all good for the boat, especially when we are going to use them in the tub or on a fly bridge. The sea is a humidity-laden environment with a salty and corrosive atmosphere, which gets very bad with some membranes, especially those made of a cellulose (paper) matrix. Boat loudspeakers have polypropylene waterproof membranes and other materials that are unalterable by water. The installation of the speakers in the exterior presents diverse considerations that very few people take into account, simply by ignorance.

Installing Marine Speakers

The speakers whose installation requires trimming the fiber to be embedded, offer a respectable surface covered by a simple grid filled with holes. Well, keep in mind that the membrane is something extremely light and delicate and if it disappears, what will immediately have a hole just the diameter of the speaker! If the boat overturned, it would have a waterway capable of sinking the ship in a very short time. And as the stereos are stereo it would sink in half the time!

There are solutions, such as installing the speaker in a box that does not communicate to the interior and will also act as a baffle or sound box. And if you do not have this possibility consider the need to make a small internal “box” that insulates the loudspeaker from the inside of the boat and seal the perforation made to install the speaker. For example, the bow of the fly is a perfect place because its interior does not connect with any critical volume. To avoid noise and distortion, try not to wire the speaker cables too close to the cables of other electronic equipment on the boat, such as the radar or VHF antenna cable. And if you can use copper cables free of oxygen and generous diameter better than better.

The equipment that is usually considered correct candidates for a boat are all that are fed at 12 volts, both for the needs of the script (the battery park of ships is 12 volts), and for safety (nobody wants to have 220 volts Near the salt water!).

Music equipment, both marinated and designed for cars, has a standard size standardized to a DIN standard size of about 15×5 centimeters on its front. And we say “some” as there are quite a few manufacturers who do not quite understand the meaning of the word “standard” and make the DIN standard their own interpretations.

In an outdoor installation for radio / CD, we will have the possibility of cutting the fiber with the consequent sealing problem, or use an external box that we will fix looking for an appropriate place. Some of these boxes are designed to withstand heavy splashing so they represent an extra protection method for spraying facilities.

Many of the proposed equipment have amplifiers capable of “moving” generously powered speakers. This is important and dangerous. Important because listening to music while sailing on a motor requires sound power. And dangerous because being anchored or in port, we will win the prize for tackiest sound system if we start to bother others with music that is increased to too many decibels.

Most equipment offers 4 speaker outputs and you should remember that if you only mount 2 speakers we will be using half of the sound power. On the other hand, it is also possible to connect several loudspeakers to each speaker output, which does not entail drawing more volume and may endanger the amplifier if it makes connections bad. When comparing power performance you should keep in mind that nothing has to do with peak power and RMS power, which is what really matters. The peak power is only that which, momentarily, an amplifier can deliver and yet the RMS is the continuous power you can get from the amplifier. About 20 watts RMS per channel is suitable for most installations. For more power it is necessary to add a power stage, which we will connect, if possible, to the pre-amplifier RCA output of the equipment to achieve the best sound quality.

Boat Equipment

The difference that makes a team specifically designed for ships is their water resistance. At least the materials used must be resistant to the marine environment. The electronic circuits are covered by a protective layer against corrosion and their plastic shells are made with components resistant to solar ultraviolet radiation.

If the assembly is to be done inside the boat, you can almost certainly use any equipment designed for the car. They are quite cheaper and of very good sound quality. But if the radio / CD is mounted on the outside, things change. In this case you should think of a fully marinizado music system. Regardless of their ability to withstand the sea water, you will find them with auxiliary inputs in which to connect your portable MP3 player, DVDs, satellite radios or able to be understood with an Apple iPOD through a socket in which ” We click “our player to listen to its contents while recharging its battery.

Some radio / CD players are prepared to read discs recorded in MP3 format. This is an advantage because with your PC you can burn discs with a lot of compressed music on a single CD. Some have the ability to tune into satellite radio, but for this we must subscribe to a payment service and acquire a special satellite receiver and a specific antenna.

Equipment of about $200 : with this speaker it is possible to install several models, like the Sony CFD-980 able to withstand the splashes and the blows of the wind. When a strong blow occurs the reproduction takes 10 seconds of anticipation on the reading of the disc so it will continue to sound without interruption. In the US market we have come to see it for $ 149 without speakers. For smaller amounts it is also possible to find equipment on large surfaces intended for cars and therefore must be installed inside the cabin or the living room, and never outside. They go perfectly and for its low price is, in the end, the most used solution in the boats. Although they can last less time due to corrosion, the difference is very advantageous.

Systems up to $600 : You can mount a more quality player for half of this budget and dedicate the rest to some good outdoor speakers, such as the Poly-Planar Platinum (eye not the premium ones that are more mediocre).

Teams around $ 1,000 : If it is demanding with the high fidelity we can add to the previous installation a equipment with amplifier of power and extra speakers. The amplifier could be any of those used in cars and good quality (around $300 ), to which we will add a new pair of speakers suitable for the new power stage. We must be attentive with the consumption since the power consumed by these devices is about 50 amps, which can force facilities with parks of batteries of great capacity and alternators more powerful.

The manufacturer Poly-Planar offers a system from which to control the music in different rooms of the boat and each of them with different music. Fusion Marine presents a stereo ( MS-IP500 ), which offers an impressive quality. Thanks to its class D amplifiers it is able to offer more power with less power consumption. As with Fusion, this model from Alpine ( iDA-X100M ) is capable of receiving an iPOD with all its MP3 music. A solution with more and more followers. Another interesting model, Jensen MDV6115, with DVD playback that is also able to choose PAL playback area, with AM / FM radio and 200 watts of power. You can also play CDs with MP3 compressed music. Its price is around $ 500. For “wake” water skiing boats we can install these watertight Infinity 6000M loudspeakers that are supported in the upper bars. Fun butt, but watch with respect for neighbors! Boss DVD 3800T , is an interesting equipment that offers, in addition to all the features of music, video playback DVDs and TV tuner.

For marine speakers, the selling price, performance and quality are somewhat proportional. The criterion will change depending on the playback frequency characteristics, maximum output, waterproof performance. If the bass range around 100 Hz can not be reproduced tightly, the midrange and treble sounds become conspicuous. Those middle range speakers will be used for short range listening, so care must be taken in the low frequency range. For those who are particular about music, it’s a good idea to select speakers that contain 50-20000 Hz playback range.

Some marine company’s replacement waterproof 2WAY speaker pair sets also can be used for car stereos in high power cars of 50 W + 50 W class sold at car supply stores. Actually, it is a commodity with many requests from the architectural design office for the indoor bathroom as well as for the boat.

Marine Columns Placement

Travel and recreation related to water is a welcome topic for many. The yacht, the motor boat, and the sale boat have always been the subject of close attention of fans to ride on the water surface with a breeze. And if to it to add excellent quality musical accompaniment pleasure from such trip can turn out with what incomparable. Therefore, a high level of marine acoustics plays a significant role in the equipping of water transportation.

Marine columns should have a number of special characteristics that ensure their high-quality stable operation when they get water or direct ultraviolet radiation. As a rule, special materials that are resistant to salt water and sun are used in their manufacturing of all types of marine speakers. In addition, the columns for boats, yachts or other water transportation, has to pass serious tests for resistance to vibrations and temperature changes.

Just like in the case of cars, a regular marine acoustic unit may not satisfy its sound characteristics. In this case, the owner of the water transportation vehicle is engaged in installing marine columns that meet his requirements. Dynamics for boats and yachts are selected by taking into account the applied acoustic system – coaxial or companion. To place the marine speakers in the prescribed places, you need to pay attention to their size. Another option to create a sound system can be remote speakers. This is easy installing when placed in a cushion-resistant case. They can be placed anywhere in the ship.

Now You’re Ready To Shop

Competent recommendations for choosing waterproof speakers for water transport, as well as for the pool, sauna, bath, you can get from consultants in store and online. They will inform you in detail about the sound characteristics of marine speakers, about their price, and about the options for installation.

Quality sound equipment during a sea cruise is as important as it is when traveling in a car. Not only good music, but also an excellent audio system sets the mood. It is important that the sound reproduced on board be powerful, clean and perfectly audible in every part of the ship, which is why the acoustics for boats and yachts are an integral part of the equipment that you must take care of during the purchase.

Today, not only boats and yachts are equipped with boat quality acoustics from marine speakers, but also catamarans, scooters, and even water motorcycles. Because it’s much more pleasant and it’s more fun to dissect the water surface when energetic music comes from the columns, boat speakers are becoming more and more popular. With the right information and a wide range of marine speakers and other marine audio products, any boat connoisseur can choose the right option.

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3 thoughts on “6 Best Marine Speakers 2018

  1. I tried some of the speakers from your list but my personal choice is Kenwood 6.5″ Marine Boat Speakers. I have these on my boat for some time and they do the job very well.

    1. Hey George,

      Indeed – my personal favorite is the Kenwood 6.5 inch and they are the best rated marine boat speakers in this article. However, some of the others do have their own benefits but this is all down to your budget and what you need from the speakers themselves

  2. I have the Wet Sounds SW-650 and they are great. I know these are a bit expensive but if you want quality music you must have these on your boat.

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