marine audio equipment

Ultimate Guide To Boat Audio

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Having the option to blast music when out to sea is a great option to have. Just like in a car, you can have all the audio components installed upon your boat.

However, unlike the audio from an automotive background, the marine alternative has been designed to withstand the marine environment.

From the wiring to the speaker themselves, all the marine audio that you install must be able to withstand UV light and water at a minimum.

Many people may install audio that is not marine-based, which is fine but it should only be installed in areas that are well covered such as the cockpit. However, even then,

they are still within the risk of becoming damaged with large water splashes and UV light.

When it comes to audio, you really do get what you pay for and investing slightly more will improve the sound quality quite significantly.

Below is a breakdown of the complete boat audio setup that is designed for the marine environment.

Marine Speakers

The options when you come to choosing marine speakers come in the form of a box, tower, and 6.5-inch speaker setup.

Most boat owners will choose a mixture to ensure that their music is loud, clear and has deep bass.

Unlike other marine audio, the speakers are the main components that need to be able to withstand the marine environment.

This is because they are subject to UV damage, dust, water, and the construction can corrode.

The best marine speakers will have a high peak power rating, RMS and be constructed of high-quality materials.

Of course, to get the most of the speaker, we highly recommend that you connect them to an amplifier for extra quality.

Marine Amplifier

The purpose of an amplifier is to increase the amplitude of the electrical signal.

This will result in much higher quality audio coming from the speakers on the boat.

There are various factors to consider when choosing a marine amp, which includes:

  • Amplifier class
  • Inputs
  • Filters
  • Channels
  • Power output
  • Bass rating
  • … and much more

A marine amplifier is one of the best ways to step up your marine audio setup but they do require a fairly large budget to achieve the best sound.

Marine Subwoofer

If you find yourself increasing the bass on your speakers and losing sound quality, you may want to look into a subwoofer.

Introducing deep bass on your boat is a game-changer and some even include a built-in amplifier.

marine subwoofer will provide deep bass and allow your speakers to focus on high-quality sound.

They are available in various sizes and power but of course, this is dependent upon the size of your budget that you have set aside.

Marine Stereo System

At the center of all marine audio is, of course, the marine head unit and it needs to be easy to use and have the correct outputs.

Over the last few years, they have seen huge advancements with the likes of Apple Play, Bluetooth, USB, SD Cards, Multiple Outputs, and AUX compatibility.

The best marine stereo will include all the features mentioned as well as being able to withstand the marine environment.

Unlike a car stereo, the marine alternative is subjected to the elements and a far more bouncy ride.

In terms of installing the head unit, many come as a standardized size and will slot straight into the current location.

Alternatively, you may need to be fairly creative and confident at cutting into your boat if you wish to install a custom-sized unit.

However, the results can be fairly unique and increase the resale value of your boat.


Investing in a quality audio setup is worthwhile and you will regret going cheap.

Distortion in your audio can be fairly frustrating and even worse is when you have spent hours installing it and it then breaks a few days later.

Check out all our marine audio articles and find top-rated audio components for your boat.