Marine speakers – Buying guide, Reviews, and Comparison

 

If you want to find the best marine speakers, but you hardly have enough time to go through reviews, check for sales figures and find out a lot of information regarding the reliability of popular brands, we believe that this paragraph can help you. Based on the research process we have completed, it appears that the model you should bear in mind is the Rockford Fosgate R165X3. Available in a variety of sizes, this alternative can ensure that the sound quality you will experience on your boat will always be up to par. The unit is equipped with a vacuum polypropylene cone, an integrated tweeter crossover, and a rubber surround. All of these and much more contribute to the audio quality you will inevitably enjoy if you choose this product. Plus, it doesn’t even cost a fortune. Should you be unable to try out the Rockford Fosgate R165X3, we recommend considering the Clarion CMG1622S.

 

 

Comparison table

 

 

 

Our top choices

 

If you are finding it hard to choose from the many options available for sale these days, perhaps you might want to take the time to look at the following suggestions. We’ve grouped these critically acclaimed choices by categories pertaining to their design.

 

 

Top coaxial marine speakers

 

This type of design is what most would refer to as 2 or 3-way marine speakers. As they rely on several drivers, such models are entirely capable of handling different frequencies. What’s more, they can also be balanced with ease given that the audio comes from a single place.

Besides, coaxial speakers are far more budget-friendly compared to their counterparts, and they are even easier to install. Typically, if you’re interested in acquiring such a choice, you can either buy the speakers separately and create your own system or get a set consisting of a woofer and a tweeter (2-way) or woofer and two tweeters (3-way).

 

 

Rockford Fosgate R165X3

 

As this made out of high-quality materials, it’s safe to say that it will both withstand the test of time and provide the sound quality you may have been looking for until now. You can utilize these speakers either on your boat or in your car, but keep in mind that they are being sold as marine grade ones, so you don’t have to worry about anything in this sense.

The power of this option is estimated at 45 watts RMS, so you need to check whether your amplifier is a good fit for it. The set that we have analyzed includes two speakers with grilles, all the mounting hardware that you will need in order to set the speakers up, as well as integrated high-pass crossovers.

While some of the people who have purchased this model have complained about the bass level they were able to experience, others say that it is quite decent. So, it’s easy to see that such expectations might be a matter of personal preferences rather than in relation to the product per se.

Having garnered over one thousand favorable user reviews, it’s safe to say that the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 has made quite an impression on those who have purchased it.

Pros

Everything you need is ensured by this 3-way full-range speaker. Even the mounting hardware that you will require in order to tend to the installation process is included in the package.

Based on the info that we have gathered, it appears that this Rockford model boasts superior components that can enable you to get more sound detail.

The polypropylene woofer cone that the unit has been outfitted with can make it possible for you to experience a crystal clear reproduction of midrange frequencies.

Most of the people who have opted for this choice say that it has been particularly easy to install and that they have considered it either for an upgrade or to replace burned-out factory speakers.

Cons

It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t consider this unit if you’re looking for marine bass speakers because they do little to nothing when it comes to offering you that bass thrill.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.75)

 

 

 

 

Top component marine speakers

 

Component speakers are different from those we have tackled earlier on, and that’s because such systems are usually composed of more than one speaker. Since the tweeters and the woofers are separated, these kinds of alternatives also come with a subwoofer. Because every speaker is responsible for a particular job, the sound production is better, overall, and boosted.

Every speaker must reproduce a certain set of frequencies. In a sense, component marine speakers are those that can define an entire audio experience both individually and fully. However, if one of the components is broken, you will lose some of the sound quality and will have to replace it separately.

 

 

Clarion CMG1622S

 

While it might not be the most affordable choice ever to have been invented in this line, this Clarion set is surely worth considering if you are in the market for something that’s well-made and that can withstand a lot of abuse from salt water and heavy wind.

The construction quality of this alternative cannot be denied as we have noticed that only sturdy materials have been involved in the build of the product. What this means for the end-user is that he or she will be able to rely on the services provided by the component marine speakers for as much time as possible and without having to worry about getting them replaced anytime soon.

As the CMG1622S is a replacement of an older model, you may have to take the time to look at the exact sizes of the speakers. Some of the buyers have noted that it might prove to be a rather frustrating experience to realize that you have to do a lot of cutting to make the whole considerably bigger so that the speakers fit it.

However, the somewhat bigger design of the CMG1622S is due to the fact that the brand has made numerous improvements that have required a larger basket design. That’s how you can experience a superior bass response and reproduction with this model.

Pros

When it comes to durability and resilience against the elements, this Clarion set can prove to be a friend in need. It’s made out of materials that enable it to give you its services for as long as possible.

Also, the model comes with grilles that are weather-resistant and that contribute to the overall eye-catching design boasted by the alternative.

From what we have gathered by checking on the feedback garnered by this option, it appears that it provides a good replacement in case your old speakers have burned out.

Furthermore, it should not take you too much time to install this model as it comes with straightforward instructions.

Cons

Some owners have run into all sorts of problems with the size of the speakers, so be sure to check for the dimensions before deciding to order the product. The last thing you’d want to do is spend two days installing four speakers.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($120.32)

 

 

 

 

Top marine tower speakers

 

The neat thing about this type is that it is considerably more resilient compared to others we’ve analyzed. Even when you’re out at sea, and you could have a hard time listening to music or just hearing whatever recording you’re trying to make out, the fact is that wakeboard tower marine speakers can get rid of all this hassle and ensure that you benefit from extreme audio quality all of the time.

When you’re riding 70 feet out, you need something that puts up with the wind and abuse of the elements, so if you’re into that kind of hardcore angling, it’s this design that you should bear in mind.

 

 

Pyle PLMRWB652LEB

 

If you’re both focused on getting superior audio quality from your speakers, but it wouldn’t hurt if they also boasted an eye-catching design, the Pyle PLMRWB652LEB might have just as well been intended for you. These tower speakers are water-resistant and can put up with all of the strong wind and waves in the way of which you might put them.

Something that also needs to be added with respect to this set is that it has been equipped with quick connect plug terminals that can allow you to install it conveniently and efficiently. The system is a beauty in itself, but it comes with everything you might require, from titanium dome tweeters to a built-in crossover network.

The sensitivity of this model is estimated at 90dB while the impedance is 4 Ohm. The maximum power output is 400 watts, meaning 200 watts per every speaker. As for the frequency response, the range is from 60Hz to 20kHz. Be sure to correlate these values with your amplifier.

As per usual, you should take the time to check the size of these speakers to ensure that you are getting them in the right dimension. Some Pyle marine speakers reviews might be of help if you’re trying to decide whether the model is worth investing in.

Pros

The rugged build of this choice is like no other. Simply install them correctly, and they are ready to go and allow you to listen to exquisite sound even when the going gets rough.

The model has been outfitted with built-in programmable LED lights, so if you are into some nighttime fishing, you can enjoy a bit of a show in this sense. Controlling the lights is made easy by the remote provided in the package.

The maximum power output of this choice is 400 watts, so it is impressive, to say the least.

The quick connect speaker plug terminals can enable you to mount them on any stereo system, therefore allowing you to get rid of the hassle related to any installation process.

Cons

Judging by the way they perform in real life, some owners have noted that the wattage might not be the one advertised.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($101.14)

 

 

 

 

Top waterproof marine speakers

 

Even though it is one of the first things you should look for in a set of speakers for your boat, the fact of the matter is that some brands forget all about water resistance and accidentally make their products for something other than boat fishing. It goes without saying that your speakers have to be waterproof, and that’s because the occasional splash is likely to occur at some point or the other.

Usually, such details are specified in the product description that’s available either on the manufacturer’s official website or the websites of various retailers. Look for it to make sure you avoid getting the wrong product for what you have in mind.

 

 

Polk Audio DB652+MAC65B

 

Whether you are building a new system or you’re planning to get a replacement for your antiquated one, the fact is that this Polk Audio option should be at the top of the list of the models you ought to consider. Since the speakers are stellar performers, you will be able to enjoy anything from a smooth response to a fantastic sonic detail.

The 2-way speakers have been equipped with a 6.5-inch polypropylene woofer cone that boasts a rubber surround which makes it possible for the playback to be solid at all times. Also, the rubber surround ensures that the unit is more than capable of putting up with the abuse of moisture, for instance.

The mounting hardware that you will need for the installation is provided in the box. This largely allows you to save some pennies you would otherwise have had to spend on the components required for the setup.

It is worth adding that, in order to make the most of these speakers, you will have to pair them with a more than decent amplifier. Should you fail to do so, you wouldn’t be able to experience the entirety of the sound quality.

Pros

This system is marine certified and comes with an IP65 rating, which means that it is virtually impervious to both water and dirt. Humidity, UV, as well as fog, can’t stand a chance as these speakers will not become a victim of them.

Both the inner and outer surrounds of this choice are waterproof.

The simple installation allows owners to set the system up in their car, boat, or any other vehicle without worrying about whether the speakers will fit or not.

The universal mounting clamps have been made out of aluminum and will inevitably give you a hand with setting up the product.

Cons

Even though there have been little to no complaints in relation to the performance of this alternative, we couldn’t help noticing that it is somewhat less budget-friendly compared to others.

As usual, you will have to pay attention to make sure you are getting the right size.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Buying guide

 

Getting the best marine speakers set these days is quite a daunting task. Luckily for you, we have put together an extensive guide that can take you through all the factors you need to take into account. We’ve looked at several reliability surveys and have examined quite a lot of expert review sites to make sure that we’re able to give you good advice.

So, if you have the availability and time to find out more about such speakers and if you’re willing to spare several minutes to ensure that you’re able to make the right decision, check out the following paragraphs.

 

 

Size

Believe it or not, the dimension of your speakers has a lot to say when it comes to the audio quality you will be experiencing. Traditionally, bigger speakers have a superior frequency response, so you need to make sure that you are able to mount the units and have enough space for them.

Don’t just look at the height and width. Consider the depth, as well. There has to be enough room behind the speaker so as to accommodate both the magnet and the cone. If you’re having trouble telling whether or not the model you are thinking of buying might work well with your setup, you should take the time to read some of the best marine speakers reviews.

To maximize the resonance, you will need an enclosed airspace behind the speaker. If the magnets of the speaker hang out in the open, you will fail to be satisfied with the quality of sound. If you believe that all of this is too complicated to handle and you can’t be bothered with an overly tedious setup process, perhaps you should consider getting the best marine box speakers.

 

Audio quality

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that some models simply sound better than others. Some say that marine speakers from Clarion, for instance, may offer you a better listening experience than those manufactured overseas or in some shady location or by some dubious manufacturer you’ve never heard of in your life.

Not just the manufacturing brand has a say when it comes to defining the overall sound experience. Things like the design, the execution, as well as the material that the model has been made out of, contribute to the end result.

The cones in marine grade speakers can be constructed out of a variety of materials ranging from aluminum to ceramic and even polypropylene. While standard ones feature cones made out of paper, you wouldn’t see too many of these destined for going out at sea, and that’s for the obvious reason that paper might not be too resilient to the elements and other mishaps.

As for the execution, one needs to look at the resonance frequency and sound imaging. While the frequency is somewhat easier to grasp, the second concept might be less so. In fact, the speakers have to be so well-aligned with each other that you shouldn’t be able to discern a difference in sound between them. However, this situation is rarely possible in the case of products destined for boat use.

 

Durability and water resistance

Things are bound to get wet at some point or the other when you’re trying to reel in that big tuna you’ve been dreaming of catching. In such situations, it’s pretty clear that your speakers have to put up with the abuse of fresh or salt water so that neither the moisture or the salt affects their performance and reliability over time.

It would be easy to believe that all marine speakers are made to be waterproof. Unfortunately, they are not. Some do offer a degree of protection against such inconveniences, but if they don’t have a good enough design, they might nonetheless permit some of the moisture to penetrate their enclosures.

Because this is a primary concern of most manufacturing companies, however, we’ve noticed that even affordable units now boast water resistance. Even so, it wouldn’t hurt if you took the time to check out some marine box speakers reviews, for example, if you’re interested in acquiring this design.

Power handling

Yet another detail you should take into account is how your boat speakers can handle power. The golden rule to go about things when trying to tell which model you need and which one you can do without is to focus on the power of the stereo amplifier and choose a set of speakers that features a higher power handling ability than the latter.

Typically, power is measured either in peak wattage or RMS wattage. If this is confusing, you might want to know that it actually gets worse. While RMS wattage can be defined as the average power handled by the speaker over time, peak wattage refers to the maximum power that can be handled by the speaker at some point or the other.

So, when comparing the peak or RMS wattage of the speakers to that of the stereo amplifier, you need to make sure that you’re looking at the right figure and that you’re considering the same value. In a nutshell, the power handling ability of the speakers has to surpass the one of your amplifier.

 

Extras

Some anglers are under the impression that they can have the best of both worlds, meaning that they can benefit both from excellent portability and from outstanding sound quality. The fact of the matter is that this is an impossible feat. Sure, you can choose a set of portable USB speakers that you ought to take with you everywhere on the boat mostly because such an alternative isn’t large enough to transmit sound on a greater area.

If, however, you’d much rather go for the best marine tower speakers, for example, but you’re resolute on controlling them from everywhere on your boat, what you need is a nice pair of Bluetooth speakers. Many models come with this specific feature nowadays. However, you need to keep in mind that such options might have a limited sound range compared to those that don’t come with Bluetooth.

Common sense dictates that wireless transmissions and frequencies can interfere with and degrade the audio signal. So, you’ll have to make up your mind and decide whether you’d much rather enjoy superb sound or would have nothing against sacrificing it for convenience.

 

Type

Although we will address this matter in an individual section destined for each and every kind of speaker, we thought it would be useful to mention that you also have to decide between dual cone speakers, coaxial ones, and component ones. Subwoofers are also worth bearing in mind, especially as boats can tend to be quite noisy.

Final tips

Whether you’re looking for marine wakeboard speakers or some other type, the fact is that you need to pay attention to several basic factors. One of them is the brand that has manufactured the product you’re interested in buying. Generally, if you choose a unit from Polk Audio, Pyle, or Pioneer, you can rest assured that nothing will go wrong. In the event that you will fail to be impressed with the performance of the model you’ve selected, you can definitely resort to the services ensured by one of these companies’ customer support.

 

 

Best marine speakers brands

 

This brand makes everything from electronics and accessories designed for entertainment and much more. Some of the popular choices made available by the company include vintage style Bluetooth record players, marine tower speakers, electronic tabletop drum machines, and even phonographs. It’s rather easy to see that the manufacturer specializes in sound and all products sound-related.

Since the company is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, it’s safe to say that you won’t run into any problems if you want to benefit from the warranty policy ensured by Pyle. This would be impossible if the speakers you were to choose would come from another country and from a brand that has no representatives in the US.

 

Yet another well-known brand in the industry is Clarion, which is also headquartered in the United States. Some of the most popular speakers made by this company are greatly appreciated by those who have bought them, and that’s because they manage to combine the requirements of fishermen and regular users, as well.

Because the manufacturer is set on redesigning and upgrading its products once in a while, it is recommended that you check the dimension of the speakers you already own and then compare it to the size of the new model you might be interested in purchasing.

 

Self-described as the ‘speaker specialists’ the people at Polk Audio have been adding to the audio experience of American consumers ever since the beginning of the 1970s. The speakers designed by Polk are financially accessible and can be installed conveniently so that all owners get the most of them.

Plus, the quality of the materials utilized in the construction of such products is next to impressive, given that Polk puts a lot of effort in researching the best components and adding them to their models. The company also makes home theater setups, soundbars, headphones, and a variety of units destined for all-terrain vehicles, outdoor activities, and boats.

 

Unlike some of the other companies we have described earlier on, Rockford Fosgate is a bit more versatile. From what we have seen, this brand makes a good variety of speakers, but also factory systems, accessories, and punch wear. The marine audio category made available by the manufacturer includes wake speakers, conventional speakers, amplifiers, source units, subwoofers, as well as accessories.

For example, you could choose a universal Bluetooth to RCA adaptor and thus be able to have control over your speakers using your smartphone or tablet. Since the Bluetooth isn’t built-in the speakers, you wouldn’t have to sacrifice the audio quality. This is just one of the extras made available by Rockford Fosgate.

 

 

 

Frequently asked questions

 

How to install marine speakers

The configuration of speaker systems differs largely from one model to the next. However, there are some basic rules one needs to consider before embarking on the adventure of performing the installation all by him or herself.

Start by laying out the system and make a sketch of the areas you want to avoid. These are spots that can be damaged easily. Choose your speakers depending on the amount of space you have available. To cut the main hole, you can use a 5-inch hole saw. If you’ve bought oval speakers, you will need a saber saw.

You can then proceed to place the foam gasket at the rear of the speaker. Attach it to the right wires and fittings, and check the correctness of the polarity.

 

Are marine speakers waterproof?

In most cases, they are. Nonetheless, because one can never be too sure, we strongly urge you to read the product description made available by the manufacturer to see whether or not you risk buying the wrong model. Some of the choices we have come across are marketed as marine grade speakers when, in fact, they are not.

This situation can lead to all sorts of mishaps, and the outcome can prove to be even more complicated if you decide to get a cheap system made by an unknown brand with a shady warranty policy. Above all, such speakers have to be water-resistant.

 

How to measure marine speakers

The greatest issue that prospective buyers are confronted with consists of the fact that most manufacturing brands market their products depending on the size of the cone instead of the overall dimensions of the speakers. This practice makes it difficult for boaters to understand what model best works with the holes they have already created in their boats.

The cone size of a speaker is important as it is the core component that’s responsible for creating the sound and adding to the audio quality you will experience. Our personal advice is to take a step back, read some consumer reports, and look for the specific dimensions of the speakers you want to get.

 

 

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