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What are the features that make for the best marine speakers? For starters, these powerful audio products should offer a high level of waterproofing or water resistance. Since they’ll be exposed to moisture and the elements constantly, they need to be both water and weather-resistant. These speakers should also produce high-quality audio at loud volumes, making them the best speakers to use on a boat trip.
If you’re looking for replacement speakers for your boat’s audio systems or to install more durable speakers by water, then the best marine speakers are an excellent choice for you. No matter where you want to install them, you’ll be able to find an option that works for you.
Keep reading below to learn more about the best marine speakers, what features they offer, and how you can choose the right option for your needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model is entirely multifunctional and can perform in various environments beyond just your boat. It is a highly durable design that will stand the test of time. It also has a low-profile design.
This set of speakers is entirely waterproof. That means you can use them confidently in your boat, knowing that the water won’t damage them. They should be able to withstand almost any weather conditions, as well, making them a highly durable option. Unfortunately, this set of speakers does struggle with high volume. If you’re looking to blast your music for the whole boat season, this might not be the best option for the job.
You’ll enjoy the inclusion of a 20-ounce circuit magnet in the design. This magnet helps provide a full-range sound. It has 200 watts of power-packed in, with a 100 watts RMS. The frequency response is also fantastic, with the range coming in at 85-20 kHz. The low impedance is also enough to impress any listener. It only has 4 Ohms of impedance. This model boasts a poly carbon cone with a butyl rubber surround.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a speaker that will produce fully balanced sound, this option is fantastic for providing the audio you crave. It offers a premium microfiber composite in the mid-woofer cone and a marine-grade silk dome tweeter.
You’ll love the incredible audio power that this pair packs in. They offer 320 watts of peak power with 160 watts of RMS power. This makes it an excellent option for those who want deep, clear sound. They’re marine-grade, so you don’t have to worry about weather conditions while boating. Even while these speakers are an excellent option that produces sound anybody would be happy with, they have drawbacks. They’ll only last a couple of years, according to consumers.
The butyl surround is highly durable and made to withstand. It also has a premium microfiber composite mineral-filled mid-woofer cone. This allows for better sound transmission so that you can enjoy the audio you’re listening to with better clarity. You’ll enjoy the inclusion of a 1” marine-grade silk dome tweeter. This will help the high notes shine without getting too high-pitched. The balanced sound of this speaker set makes it a great option.
Award: BEST FOR DURABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Those looking for an easy installation process will fall in love with this set of speakers. They offer a full-range stereo sound that is fully balanced. You’ll also enjoy how highly durable they are.
If you’re looking for a pair of compact, powerful speakers, this will be an excellent option. They’re also a highly durable pair that will stand the test of time. This is crucial for those looking to upgrade their boat speakers since they’ll be exposed to water and weather. However, some consumers report that their tweeter came loose after only a short time. This could be a dealbreaker for some consumers, especially where durability is concerned.
These multifunctional models are also great across the board, even beyond boating. You can use them for UTVs, trucks, golf carts, motorcycles, RVs, cars, and more. This means that almost anybody will be able to use them outside of boating season to keep the great audio going for longer. The package includes mounting brackets for your speaker set. This makes them easier to install than competing models that force you to buy the mounting supplies separately.
Award: BEST FOR PRECISE AUDIO
WHY WE LIKE IT: This pair provides a little bit of mobility to the user so that sound can be aimed wherever you need it to be. They also include a complete mounting system, including a nylon mounting bracket. They’re rust and water-resistant.
The moveable nature of these speakers makes them an excellent choice for those who want to get precise sound placement. This is great for larger boats where you want to pinpoint the sound they produce to where people are gathering. They’re able to swivel to your preference. Unfortunately, those searching for deep, powerful bass should probably steer clear of these speakers. They’re not the best at producing the kind of bass you’re looking for.
The adjustable nylon mounting bracket is included. This mounting bracket is reinforced with embedded steel, making them far more durable than many competing models. You won’t have to worry about the speakers falling or coming loose due to damage to the mounting bracket. The terminals are also sealed with rubber gaskets and specially tuned for PA voice-over. This allows for easy, clear announcements whenever you need to make them.
Award: BEST FOR LIGHTING UP
WHY WE LIKE IT: Almost all of the materials used in producing these speakers are given a UV treatment to help them last longer. They’re also splash-and-spray resistant and made of rustproof stainless steel.
If you want to give your guests a show, these speakers are perfect for helping set the mood. They have built-in LED lighting that makes them “pop” out of the interior of your boat. The light is blue, adding a beautiful touch to the aesthetic of your surroundings. However, you will need to have a second power supply for the LED lights to work. This is something that caught consumers by surprise and ended up being a dealbreaker for them.
These speakers are super easy to install and should be ready to go right out of the box. They’re built specifically to maintain high performance in marine environments. This means that you won’t have an issue with them working for a while to come, even installed on a high-traffic boat. They’re fully splash-and-spray-resistant models. You’ll be capable of achieving crystal clear highs and midrange sounds.
Award: BEST FOR LONG PLAYTIMES
WHY WE LIKE IT: The high-quality voice coils are a fantastic feature of these speakers that allows for longer playtimes. They are resistant to high temperatures. This set also offers a dome-shaped tweeter and a rubber surround.
You won’t have to worry about the elements getting in the way because this model is outfitted with the latest waterproofing technology. This makes it a highly durable option for those looking to deck out their boat with better audio tech. Unfortunately, there have been reports by consumers that these speakers are a little bit of a hassle to install. Different folks ran into different issues, so a few things could go wrong.
The cone is made out of polyurethane, which is highly resilient and produces a fantastic sound that you’ll love. The best feature is the heat-resistant voice coils. They’re made to withstand high temperatures, so you’ll be able to keep the boat party going for hours. Fatigue on the voice coils is not a concern for this set of speakers. The voice coils will maintain their strength. The rubber surround is also highly durable and is resistant to even heavy wear and tear.
Marine speakers are audio products that are mainly for use in and around marine applications like boats, docks, and seaside accommodations. This type of speaker is excellent at producing loud audio and can last for long amounts of time, even when exposed to water and other elements like humidity, salt air, and wind. Marine speakers are perfect for anything from playing music while water skiing to creating comprehensive audio systems on larger boats.
When it comes to the core functionality between marine speakers and ordinary speakers, there isn’t much difference. The two types of speakers function in essentially the same way and feature the same internal components, including the cone, coil, and magnet.
The main difference in marine speakers comes into play when you consider the way the device is constructed. Since boat speakers have to be waterproof, they need to be built in a way that prevents water from reaching their electrical components, making them much more durable than traditional alternatives. For example, instead of a cloth surround, marine speakers might use a butyl rubber surround, which stands up better against water exposure.
This added durability also comes into play when you consider each type’s wiring. With traditional audio equipment, the speaker wire simply features shielding around the conductive materials so you don’t shock yourself. Marine speakers feature completely enclosed wires to prevent moisture damage.
You’ll also need to consider the differences in audio quality between marine and traditional speakers. To compete with the sound of the water, motor, and wind, marine speakers are much louder than their standard counterparts, and they even produce better quality sound. This is because the marine speakers are built for open spaces, whereas traditional alternatives are typically built for smaller spaces.
Marine speakers work in exactly the same way as other types of speakers, which are designed around the core concept that objects produce sound when they vibrate. Once connected to a power source and an audio source, the speakers can translate an electrical signal and produce sound waves that your ears and brain register.
Speakers do this using a component called a driver, which is a transducer or a device that can create one type of energy from another type of energy. The driver receives electrical energy from a playback device’s audio signal and then creates sound waves from the vibrations in the driver’s components.
If you want a high-quality audio experience while you’re boating without having to worry about water ruining your speakers, you can’t afford to miss out on the best marine speakers. These audio systems are waterproof and long-lasting, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite music, even if you are in marine conditions.
The exact lifespan of a specific marine-grade speaker depends on a wide variety of different elements, including build quality, frequency of use, and general user care and maintenance. According to Sound & Communications, an AV company that provides commercial AV services, speakers can offer a lifespan as long as 25 years.
You may think that marine speakers offer a shorter lifespan due to being constantly exposed to moisture and outside elements. However, the opposite is true. High-quality marine and boat speakers often last much longer than traditional car and home speakers. This is because they are built with more durable components. As long as you install them correctly and maintain them regularly, your marine speakers will last you for decades.
As you research different marine speakers to purchase, you’ll see they fall into a wide price range, so you’ll want to consider a few key factors to narrow down your selection. These can help inform your overall purchasing decision to ensure you get the right marine sound equipment for your specific needs. Consider where you are going to install your speakers and purchase the right kind of speakers for that location. You’ll also need to consider the speakers’ maximum power level so you can get plenty of volumes and decent sound quality. Finally, consider additional features and functionality that allow you to use the speakers as you wish while still coming in at an affordable price.
When it comes to water resistance, not all marine speakers are made equally. While some are completely waterproof, others only offer a water-resistant design. Depending on where you plan on using your speakers, this becomes a very important distinction. If you’re planning on using your marine-grade speakers on your boat, where exposure to moisture is constant, you’ll need completely waterproof speakers. If you’re near water, but not in the water, you can likely get away with speakers that are simply water-resistant.
In general, water resistance is measured using the Ingress Protection standards, or IP. This standard also measures protection from dust ingress, but this guide focuses solely on water ingress. The best marine speakers will offer an IPX7 waterproof rating. This means the speakers can be fully submerged in water at a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes.
For speakers that are used around water, but not necessarily in it, we recommend purchasing speakers with IPX4, IPX5, or IPX6 ratings. These are protected from sprays and splashes of water, but not against full submersion. This category of speakers also works well inside enclosed boat cabins.
Next, determine where you want or need to install your new marine-grade speakers. There are a few different types of speakers to consider based on where you plan on installing them, including:
The best marine audio systems are louder than other types of sound equipment, with enough audio quality to create an enjoyable experience, even in loud environments. However, you’ll need to consider factors like power ratings and the number of speaker drivers your product offers.
All speakers feature a magnetic component, which can be problematic for boats when you consider the other electronic components and compass. If you’re planning on installing speakers next to your boat’s dashboard, you’ll absolutely need to purchase a speaker that features magnetic shielding. This way, the speaker’s internal components won’t interfere with crucial instruments on your boat.
Many marine speakers offer additional features and functionality on top of simply producing audio. Depending on your budget and preferences, consider things like: