Having the best marine speakers gives you the opportunity to really customize the look, feel, and sound of your boat. And, anyone with a boat will tell you that it doesn’t take long before you feel the itch to replace the factory installed speakers. The problem is that choosing marine speakers that are best for your specific needs can get confusing. This is why we are helping you with our new guide of the best marine speakers of 2017.
We compared the most important features such as water and weather resistance, rust proofing, heat tolerances, mounting options, speakers specifications, and price. Then we narrowed our research to find the 10 best marine speakers to make your buying decision easy.
Things to Consider
When purchasing the best marine speakers, it is important to consider performance. You want marine speakers that deliver crystal clear sound at all volume levels. You also want marine speakers that have a high sensitivity rating because they take less power to generate greater volume. Space can sometimes be limited, so it can be a good idea to choose quality marine speakers that have an excellent bass range. This way you may be able to skip buying a subwoofer and save on space. You should look for the best marine speakers that can handle ranges above 20,000 hertz as higher frequencies help smooth and round out the sound.
Durability is a key issue when it comes to selecting the best marine speakers for your needs. Choose speakers that are designed to handle tough outdoor weather and water for many years to come. All of the best marine speakers should at least be water and weather resistant. The outside basket of the speaker should be manufactured from durable plastics and polymers. Look for marine speakers that have driver cones manufactured from polypropylene or composites so that the materials are lightweight but stiff enough to reproduce both high and low frequencies. If you need to install marine speakers close to any navigation instrumentation then your speakers must have magnetic shielding as the magnet in your speaker can affect the accuracy of the boat’s navigation equipment.
You should also look for marine speakers that fit with the design and style of your boat. You want the speakers to enhance your boat’s look and not detract from it. The best marine speakers are made from a variety of materials, so look for ones that either match the style of your boat, or contrast and enhance its appearance in some way.
Benefits to Keep in Mind
The top rated marine speakers on the market today have several benefits over traditional auto or home speakers. The most important benefit is that they are designed specifically for use in and around water.
- Water and Weather Resistance. The best marine speakers can withstand being subjected to rainy or hot sunny weather without sustaining damage.
- Marine Speakers are Rust Proof. Rust proofing protects the speakers from rust and salt corrosion.
- Heat Resistant. High quality marine speakers are built to withstand high temperatures and have UV protection to ensure the rays of the sun do not interfere or influence the speakers.
Possible Drawbacks of Marine Speakers
There are some cons associated with certain marine speakers. The most common complaints about marine speakers include:
- Smaller tweeters that lose some of the brightness of the sound.
- Some speaker grilles require six mounting holes instead of the more standard four mounting holes.
- Plastic grilles and mounting holes can break easily if over tightened.
- Some marine speakers lack positive and negative markings to denote polarity.
Best Marine Speakers Top 10 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Marine Speakers
If you want the best quality in a marine speaker then the Pioneer TS-MR2040 delivers. These top rated and reliable marine speakers are specially built for marine use. The heavy duty construction of these marine speakers make them highly resistant to water, corrosion, and heat. The 8” size of these marine speakers provide a deeper, heavier bass more suited to the unenclosed open air environment of a boat.
The cone is made of a water resistant injection molded polypylene composite material. It produces one of the best mid bass responses of any marine speaker available on the market. This material is also excellent at resisting salt water corrosion, humidity, and high heat. High frequencies are stunningly beautiful because of Pioneer’s innovative ¾ inch Poly-Imide Reflex Horn tweeter. This tweeter does more than simply produce beautiful high notes, it also protects the tweeter against moisture.
Other features that make this Pioneer marine speaker model superior include elastomer surround on each speaker to protect against color fading or running to extend the life of the speakers and an acrylonitrile Elastomer Styrene Glass Fiber reinforced basket and magnet cover that protects the magnetic circuit that can affect speaker performance. Finally, Pioneer uses gold tinsel wire and gold plated speaker wire terminals for improved current transfer. There are many features to like about these Pioneer marine speakers but the best is the overall sound quality and volume. They are an excellent speaker choice for outdoor applications and boats.
These marine grade speakers cost more than most but they really deliver great performance in harsh weather and harsh environments. The 8-inch speakers have 200 watts for maximal power handling and provide excellent volume and sound quality for outdoor, unenclosed spaces.
The removable 18 gauge stainless steel grille covers are corrosion resistant and the gold plated polarized input terminals are also corrosion resistant. Like the Pioneer it also features a thermo plastic Elastomer surround that is UV, salt, and fog resistant. If you are looking for the best marine speakers that deliver a real punch in all frequencies and offers high durability then these are well worth considering.
The Infinity 612m marine speakers produce good sound although they do not provide the same degree of loudness as other marine speakers. These marine speakers perform particularly well in the mid range and provide a crisp and clear overall sound. The speakers have a 6.5 inch woofer and a 1 inch half dome tweeter which together cover the frequency range quite well. Although, if you like a really strong bass you might want to consider adding a 10-inch subwoofer.
Both the woofer and tweeter are made of polypropylene for water resistance although the speakers are not as durable as many others. The cones are sealed with rubber surrounds and the magnet assembly is also sealed to protect it from water damage. Nonetheless, the manufacturer does not warrant these as being fully waterproof speakers so you need to consider carefully whether or not the speakers are suited to the environment where you boat. Another quirk of these marine speakers is the 5 screw mount as opposed to the more standard 4 screw mount. Overall, these are a good set of marine speakers at a reasonable price point.
These Kenwood marine speakers were definitely designed for the great outdoors. They sound terrific, are very durable, and able to stand up to harsh conditions on the water. Kenwood uses a balanced dome tweeter that is built into the speaker grille and not into the middle of the woofer cone. This results in a water resistant polypropylene woofer that delivers an extra strong bass. The white speaker grilles are resistant to sun damage and discoloration.
The speakers deliver a strong, clear, crisp sound that is easily heard over the background noises of wind and water. For performance and durability these marine speakers are a great choice at a middle of the road price point.
The JBL MS6520 marine speakers provide good overall sound quality throughout the frequency range for human hearing. Their strength lies in the mid range although the low end of the frequency response at 50 hertz is within the range of a subwoofer. If you prefer a really strong, thumping bass then you might want to add in a true subwoofer. Although the sensitivity rating is higher on these marine speakers, JBL uses a different sensitivity measure so the rating is actually somewhat deceptive. A higher sensitivity rating should require less power to get a louder sound but these marine speakers require more power to get a louder sound because of the method of measuring sensitivity.
The speakers come with corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware and the cones are made from polypropylene which is also water resistant. These marine speakers do not have the same level of durability testing as some of the other products so it is difficult to determine just how well these speakers will handle the rough outdoor elements over the long haul.
If you are looking for a good performance marine speaker and you are not overly concerned with the volume level then these speakers will fit the requirements.
All of the best marine speakers on this list all provide good to excellent performance throughout the frequency range with some providing greater volume than others. It does pay to research the durability of these marine speakers in greater depth if you plan to hold on to them for many years to come.
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