Marine tower speakers – Buying guide, Reviews, and Comparison
If you’re looking for the best marine tower speakers to satisfy most needs but aren’t all too keen on reading another couple thousand words on the subject then the following short paragraph should offer you all the information you want. After going through dozens and dozens of marine speaker reviews, product comparison and customer reports we found the Rockville RWB65B to outshine the competition by offering a surprising level of sound performance at an affordable price. It’s built to withstand the corrosive marine air as well as shock with a hard plastic casing and steel reinforced nylon mounting brackets. You’ll also get plenty of volume to drown out the environmental noise with 250 Watts of maximum power per speaker for a total of 500 W. If the Rockville product isn’t available then we would suggest the BOSS Audio MRWT40 as a viable alternative.
Our top choices
If good specifications and sound quality is what you’re after but don’t want to fork out the money for a fancy model then this Rockville model should provide. It comes as a set of two coaxial, speakers to be mounted on the tower bar of a boat or all-terrain vehicle.
With steel reinforced adjustable nylon brackets and only around 11 pounds in weight per piece, it should stick to its place through sudden stops and bumps. The exposed parts are either made of nylon, hard plastic or neodymium (for the 1-inch twitter), all of them corrosion resistant to withstand the salty air and also providing adequate UV protection.
Likewise, splashes of water shouldn’t prove a problem since the casing is tight fit enough to offer good protection to the electronics inside.
The diameter of the speaker is only around 6.5 inches so it won’t get in the way and coupled with the low cost, it will allow you to place two or more pairs on the bar for a truly ear-shattering experience.
Two of them can handle 500 Watts of power with the volume turned to the max, which will prove very useful to cover the noise of the wind, waves or engine.
The most commonly noted downside is that they are somewhat hard to adapt to some types of towers, but this is nothing that can’t be solved with a little handiwork.Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.95)
BOSS Audio MRWT40
Easy to install, light and affordable these speakers offer good sound quality and a fair amount of volume for both land and water use. Its adjustable clamps are made of cast aluminum, ensuring good protection against the elements and good tensile resistance. As expected given the environment they’ll be working in, a UV coating was applied to block out the sun’s rays.
Furthermore, at just under 6 lb. in weight they won’t put much stress on the brackets under constant vibrations and sudden movements, so they’ll keep tight to the bar long after the electronic parts will reach the end of their life.
One piece offers 200W of maximum power for a total of 400W for the pair, but the sound sensitivity (denoting how many decibels are being put out per Watt) is fairly good, especially for the price, at 94 db.
However, you’ll probably have a hard time finding an amplifier to go with them, since the fairly low impedance of just 4 Ohms will allow it to connect to small output amps only. So better work on your hand signals if you’re doing a lot of wakeboarding, but otherwise, they should do just fine for small boats.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)
Polk Audio DB692B
The most common praise regarding this product has to do with how easy they are to install. The mounting clamps fit well to nearly all roll bars and to prevent any issues high impact plastic inserts are provided to keep them in place. The wiring is fully internalized, and the twitter doesn’t protrude so they shouldn’t require more than a couple of minutes to install properly.
A well-known company such as Polk delivered the quality one would expect, with aircraft grade 6061 aluminum being used for the clamps to give them good strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. They also hold an IP65 rating certificate for water and dirt resistance, which means they should handle well in high humidity, high corrosion marine environments.
The specs are nothing to scoff at either, with a total of 450 W at peak power and 150 W continuous to cover the outside noise when you’re trying to listen to music or talk to other ships.
Dynamic Balance technology was used so that the tweeter balances well between mid and high ranges. This means the sound of percussion instruments won’t feel like nails against your eardrums and you won’t get the impression you’re listening to a WW2 era broadcast either.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Boss Audio MRWT8B
If power is what you’re after, then look no further than this Boss Audio 700 Watts pair. The 350 W per unit with an 8” diameter speaker also comes with quite a deal of weight, around 12.5 lb, which means extra strong cast aluminum clamps are required to keep it on the wakeboard tower.
The sensitivity is also pretty good, with 96 db given for each Watt of electrical output. All this volume won’t diminish the sound quality, however, since the speakers have a built-in two-way crossover system to offer adequate fidelity at multiple ranges.
Big should preferably be tough, and the MRWT8B delivers with a polyurethane cone that ensures for much better resilience than any of the traditional materials and a Santoprene surround that is as durable as rubber while maintaining the vibration sensitivity of plastic.
It’s also covered with a UV resistant layer and special provisions have been made to give it good resistance to the marine environment, such as insulating the lead wire in a water repellant material.
The impedance is rather low, at just 4 Ohms, which means you might have to buy an amplifier especially for it, but the high overall output more than makes up for this.Buy from Amazon.com for ($219.99)
Rockford Fosgate RM0652B
Small but tough, this Rockford product addresses the needs of people for whom the maximum volume isn’t such a big concern. At 100 W per unit in a pair, it won’t drown out your own thoughts, and its sound might be hard to distinguish when running the boat at full speed, but if you just want to listen to some music when relaxing on the lake, this might prove to be just the thing.
It will, of course, hold well to water splashes and UVs, but it’s also fully marinized, meaning parts won’t rust when exposed to fog and salty sea air. The mounting clamps are made of 6061 aerospace grade aluminum for added ruggedness, and they should fit well enough to most roll bars thanks to the high impact plastic inserts the pair comes with.
The clean design, with fully internalized wiring and terminals, will make it easier to mount the unit on any bar.
What can be quickly spotted as a problem is the 4 Ohms impedance, pretty common for items of this type, but especially inconvenient when considering the somewhat low maximum power output of this Rockford. Well, or at least this would be a severe drawback in the past because lately, amplifiers have evolved enough to require relatively little resistance from the speaker system.Click to see the price on Amazon!
MCM Custom Audio 60-10021
If cutting cost is your main concern, then these MCMs should work well enough. They’ve gathered quite a deal of positive comments regarding the value they provide on retail sites, so you can rest assured that you probably won’t regret choosing these over a prices model.
They offer almost the same functionality as anything else in the class, (simply meaning sound comes out of them) and with a 1” titanium dome tweeter they should last you long enough to prove their worth.
They don’t really feature anything else that can be called “fancy,” and both the casing and the claps appear to be made out of plastic. While the latter are reported to hold well enough to their weight on a bouncing boat or Jeep people that looked at them, don’t put much faith in their ability to counter mechanical forces acting sideways or in any other direction.
So it’s highly recommended only to mount them as indicated on the box and avoid getting creative by clamping the speakers to vertical bars for a better surround experience or anything like that. Otherwise, they’re easy enough to mount sideways at any angle allowed by the tower or torsion bar, as long as they point down.Buy from Amazon.com for ($67.78)
With all the different various types out there, that can significantly differ in terms of construction, specifications, and cost, finding the best wakeboard tower speakers available might initially appear as a daunting task. But with a little information on the subject, without even requiring to go too deep into the technical aspects of the subject, anyone can make a choice that best suits his needs from the items available for sale. Following are some of the thing the discerning customer should be mindful of.
Main types of speakers
Based on their construction, there are three common varieties to choose from. Single marine speakers are bought as individual units and the best ones are engineered to cover multiple sound frequencies from just one tweeter or woofer. They can provide good quality for the money if you don’t mind the monodirectional sound.
Coaxial marine speakers come in pairs, which are commonly placed side by side, as the name suggests. You can, of course, have them converge at an angle that the wakeboard bars allow for, but this will generally impose more strain on the connecting clamps in rough waters since these are designed to work best when the speakers are placed vertically towards the direction of movement. Needless to say, their main advantage over the above is the multi-directional sound they offer.
Component marine speakers are considered to offer the best sound quality, because they feature a separate tweeter (for mids and treble) and woofer (for bass) assembly, while most other types have just one membrane. This makes them harder to install since provisions must be made for the woofer, and somewhat flimsier, both because of the added complexity and weight, which will strain the clamp.
In order to get just what you need for the money you are willing to spend, it is important to know what exactly influences the cost of marine speakers. Like with all audio devices, one factor is always sound quality. But before going for an expensive pair that has been raved for its crystal clear rendition, consider the environment you’ll be using them in.
With the engine humming, wind blowing and waves smashing, it can get pretty noisy on a boat, and all that crystal clear sound quality will get cluttered by the environment to the point of being indiscernible to what is usually put out by an inexpensive unit.
So unless you are some audiophile who buys $50 cables, or only thread on calm waters, then your money’s better spent on something that gets more praise for its resilience.
Ideally, you’ll want waterproof marine speakers so if the boat happens to capsize, your hundred dollar investment will be safe. But outside that extreme scenario, water resistance against the splashes that are sure to hit the casing will do well.
Also, the best marine speakers shouldn’t be affected by moisture and the salty air either. This is achieved by employing materials resistant to corrosion, such as anodized aluminum, nylon or even mold injected plastic for the parts the exposed parts.
The casing is made out of aluminum for higher-end models but various types of plastic or nylon work just as well for a significantly lower cost and a little less resistance to impact. Because they need to handle the most strain, the connecting clamps are almost always made of aluminum of varying levels of quality or steel surrounded with a corrosion resistant material (rubber or nylon)
Ease of installation
Besides significantly contributing to waterproofing, internalized wiring will make the speakers far easier to install because you won’t have to bother too much with positioning the lead cable. A clean design, with no protruding parts, is considered to contribute to this as well.
The clamps should always be properly articulated to adapt to roll bars of various sizes and some manufacturers also supply plastic or rubber inserts to better fit them on small diameter rods.
Performance and amplification
Lowder is always preferable, especially in bad weather situation, where accurately communicating with other boats might prove vital. How much volume the speaker can put out is generally dictated by its maximum wattage, and to a slightly lesser extent by sound sensitivity.
This is measured in decibels per Watt of power but commonly expressed in decibels alone. Sensitivities of 96-98 db are common with good marine speakers and higher ranges come at a higher cost for little in actual discernible effect.
You might want to increase volume and sound quality by pairing the speakers with an amplifier. Compatibility with such a device is indicated by the impedance specification, which denotes in Ohms the electrical resistance the speaker puts out to the amp. Somewhat counter-intuitive, the higher this figure is, the wider a range of compatibility the speaker will have.