- 1 Top 7 Best Boat Speakers Compared
- 1.1 #1 BOSS Audio Systems Marine Speakers – Top Pick
- 1.2 #2 BOSS Audio Systems Marine Gauge Receiver and Speaker – Honorable Mention
- 1.3 #3 Pyle 6.5” Dual Marine Speakers – Best Waterproof
- 1.4 #4 Kenwood 6.5″ 2-Way Marine Speakers – Best Sounding
- 1.5 #5 Sony 6.5” Dual Cone Marine Speakers – Best UV Protection
- 1.6 #6 Rockville 2 Way Marine Wakeboard Tower Speakers – Best for PA
- 1.7 #7 Herdio Waterproof Marine Speakers – Best Value
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 Boat Speakers Buying Guide
To help you find the best speakers for your boat, we have tried out a variety of different models, testing for weatherproof insulation, plenty of wattage and advanced cone and coaxial design, so as to maximize the volume and sound quality. Additionally, we wanted to make sure each product came with a heavy duty warranty, as accidents can happen on the open sea.
The best boat speakers we tried were easily the BOSS Audio Systems Marine Speakers, which are sold in pairs, at a relatively low cost, and feature a host of high end functionalities, including an aluminum cone, high grade weatherproof insulating fabric and tweeters that project throughout the boat. They also come with a three year warranty and are available in a variety of size and wattage options. Keep reading to learn more about the BOSS Audio Systems Marine Speakers and the other products on this list.
Top 7 Best Boat Speakers Compared
#1 BOSS Audio Systems Marine Speakers – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: Comes in a wide variety of size and wattage options, to suit just about any setup, made from high grade weatherproof materials and a dome-shaped tweeter that projects audio perfectly. These are great speakers and easily our top pick.
The BOSS Audio Systems Marine Speakers come in a large variety of size and wattage options, from 5.25” to 6.5” and 150 watts to 350 watts. The end result is the perfect set of speakers for your boat setup, all of them being made from high grade weatherproof materials and featuring a dome-shaped tweeter that excels at projecting sound throughout the vehicle. They also throw in a three year warranty, which is fantastic.
Though you can purchase a combo pack that comes with a stereo receiver, this option is on the pricey end, though it does include Bluetooth functionality. Additionally, the products do not come with speaker wire, so you’ll have to purchase some yourself. Our Speakers reviews have the answers you need.
#2 BOSS Audio Systems Marine Gauge Receiver and Speaker – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: Package includes a pair of 6.5” speakers and a highly functional stereo receiver, which includes Bluetooth and USB inputs, not to mention a nice three year warranty. It also comes with all of the cabling you need to get started, making this a great all-in-one product.
The BOSS Audio Systems Marine Gauge Receiver and Speaker is a combo unit, coming with both a pair of 6.5” IPX6 water-resistant white speakers and an innovative stereo receiver, which has Bluetooth and USB ports built in. The whole thing is extremely easy to set up, as it comes with all of the cabling and wires you need to get going, including a marine-focused antenna. The company also throws in a three year warranty, like our top pick.
Though the 180 watt speakers produce fantastic sound, and are weatherproof, you are locked in to the size and wattage with this package, so they may not be the ideal fit your setup. Additionally, the packed-in antenna is pretty flexible and not the highest quality product we’ve encountered. Also, read about the best smart speaker.
#3 Pyle 6.5” Dual Marine Speakers – Best WaterproofWHY WE LIKE IT: This pair of speakers is completely waterproof, making them perfect to install anywhere on the inside or outside of your boat, and they come with all of the necessary wiring and mounting hardware needed to get started. This is a great product for those fearful of water damage.
These Pyle 6.5” Dual Marine Speakers are completely waterproof and weather resistant, making them perfect for installation anywhere on your boat, with no fear of water damage. They also come with a built-in grille that helps protect the speakers from damage via bumps and accidents, and all of the necessary installation hardware, including wires and mounts.
Though these speakers sound pretty great out of the box, they do not include a tweeter, so you may want to hook them up to an amp or another pair of speakers in order to boost the stereo image. Additionally, the one year warranty is on the lower end, compared to our top picks. The best outdoor Bluetooth speakers are another great choice.
#4 Kenwood 6.5″ 2-Way Marine Speakers – Best SoundingWHY WE LIKE IT: These sound great, with or without an amp, creating a natural bass response and crispy mids and highs, thanks to a 1” balanced dome tweeter and a water-resistant woofer. These are fantastic speakers if you just want good sound right out of the box.
These Kenwood 6.5″ 2-Way Marine Speakers sound fantastic, even without an amp, thanks to a balanced 1” dome tweeter and a woofer that excels at producing clear, thumping bass. The speakers are also water-resistant, though not fully waterproof, and easy to install, taking us only around ten minutes for a complete setup. They produced quite a good amount of volume, considering they are 150 watts, and the sound quality only increases when paired with an amp.
Though these boat speakers were easy to install, they did not come with all of the wiring necessary, despite coming with screws. Additionally, the price is on the higher end, considering these are just speakers and do not come with a stereo receiver of any kind. The best wireless speakers also work well on boats.
#5 Sony 6.5” Dual Cone Marine Speakers – Best UV ProtectionWHY WE LIKE IT: Manufactured with materials that are both UV and salt water-resistant, so you can be sure the white speakers won’t turn tan in a season or two, with a removable and paintable grille, for aesthetic purposes, and 140 watts of power. This is a great product for those who live in areas with lots of UV radiation.
These Sony 6.5” Dual Cone Marine Speakers are manufactured using UV and salt water-resistant materials, providing an element of stability, as harsh conditions can cause white speakers to turn tan in a season or two. They are also water-resistant (IPX5) and come with a removable and paintable grille, allowing you to change as the aesthetics as you please. The 140 watt speakers also sound terrific, with a pleasing midrange.
Though the unit comes with a bracket, protection collar, and release keys, it does not come with the necessary wiring for install. Additionally, the grilles are made from hard plastic, and we would have preferred a metal design. Also, check out computer speakers.
#6 Rockville 2 Way Marine Wakeboard Tower Speakers – Best for PAWHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts a specially tuned equalizer that excels at voiceover applications, in addition to creating large amounts of volume via 300 watts per speaker, with a rubber exterior that is completely water and rust-resistant. This is a fantastic product for voiceover applications, such as a boat-wide PA system.
These Rockville 2 Way Marine Wakeboard Tower Speakers are manufactured to excel at voiceover applications, featuring a 1.25” Kapton voice coil and a 1″ dome midrange tweeter, combined with 600 total watts of power for increased volume capabilities. The rubber components are also completely water and rust-resistant, making these speakers great in rough seas. They also come with some large mounting screws, which makes them usable for attachment to land vehicles, such as Jeeps.
These boat speakers are intended to install on to a roll bar, so they may not fit every setup. Additionally, these speakers do get plenty loud, thanks to their wattage, but do not produce as warm of a tone as some of the other speakers on this list. Bluetooth speakers are another great choice.
#7 Herdio Waterproof Marine Speakers – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: Great features to price ratio, with waterproof components and a small 4” size, which makes for easy installation, in addition to producing a surprising amount of volume. This is a great value for a surface mounted speaker of this caliber.
These Herdio Waterproof Marine Speakers boast a great features to price ratio, with a fully waterproof body (IP66) and a small form factor, coming in at 4 inches, making them easy to find a place for in your boat. They are also surface mounted and able to easily screw into a roll bar or other external area, so you won’t have to drill any unsightly holes.
Though these speakers can be surface mounted, which makes them fit into tight spots, they didn’t come with any installation instructions, so if you’ll have to brush up on your basic electrical wiring techniques. Additionally, they only come with a one year warranty, as opposed to our top picks, which come with three. If your boat is big enough, the best in ceiling speakers are awesome. Especially with the best internet radio.
How We Decided
To help narrow down to the above list, we tested speaker pairs for volume and clear sound reproduction, no matter their watt count, and looked for products that boasted real water resistance, often manufactured using waterproof materials. On the safety end, we also tended to favor speakers with other modes of protection from the elements, including being made from dust-resistant and UV-resistant materials.
We chose a nice mix of dual cone and coaxial speakers, the former offering low price points and the latter offering increased sound quality but a higher price. We also wanted to make sure these products were easy to install and use, using standard speaker wiring and related connections, and offering lengthy warranties, as long as three years in our top two picks.
We put one combination product on our list, that includes a stereo receiver in addition to a set of speakers. We were just won over by the speakers themselves, which offer a similar product to our number one pick, and the receiver, which offers Bluetooth functionality out of the box and boasts a variety of USB ports for additional listening options.
Boat Speakers Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Installation Size
There is no one-size-fits-all in the world of boat speakers, though speaker sizers are manufactured to, more or less, fit into standard-sized cabinets. The measurement that a manufacturer publishes as the speaker size is typically the diameter of the cone inside, but that does not guarantee the diameter of the grill or the diameter of the cutout hole. In other words, do your research. If you want to avoid all of the guesswork, get a pair of speakers that can be surface mounted, like some of our picks, which can be screwed in just about anywhere.
- Speaker Quality
There are plenty of speaker types out there, but for our list we stuck to two designs, dual cone and coaxial. A dual cone speaker only has one speaker driver with two cones to reproduce the sound, while a coaxial speaker features one speaker wrapped around the other. Both varieties up the ante with the addition of tweeters, woofers and subwoofers, for added bass response.
- Waterproof and Water-resistant
These speakers are intended for boat use, meaning they are manufactured to survive rough weather and consistent splashing of water. To that end, all of the above speakers are water-resistant in some way or another, with several being manufactured exclusively using waterproof materials. Having a totally waterproof speaker, however, is ideal if it is installed outside of the boat but your average cabin-installed speakers won’t be getting wet too often.
Boat Speakers FAQs
Do I need an amp?
Every stereo receiver you install in a boat will feature amplification of some kind or another, and should be suitable for most real world applications. If you want to get really loud, or are entirely focused on sound quality, you may want to invest in a standalone external amp. On a boat, you’ll also be dealing with a lot of exterior noise, and an amp would help with that as well. As an aside, check out the top RMS rating of your preferred speakers and pick an amp that abides by that criteria.
What is UV (Ultraviolet Radiation?)
UV rays are present in sunlight and are a leading factor in sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. It can also do a number on the exterior of boats and, in particular, boat speakers, causing colors to fade over time and, eventually, impacting usability.
Should I get a dedicated subwoofer?
It depends. Some of the above speakers have woofers built-in that have no problem creating authentic bass responses. If you are really looking for powerful bass, however, you would be wise to look into buying an external subwoofer.
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