So you are looking to get some new marine speaker? Whether you are upgrading your factory installed speakers or are on your second upgrade hopefully you will be able to find something on this list to suit your budget. High-quality marine speakers can add so much more to an already pleasurable experience. If you find the right marine speakers (loud with high fidelity) you will be surprised at how good these speakers can perform in unfriendly acoustic environments. We’ve listed some of the best marine speakers on the market with full reviews.
It’s no secret that marine speakers have tough jobs. They must perform in harsh environments, both in terms of acoustics and weather. This leads to two important features you should be looking for in your speakers: durability and volume. You’ll be happy to note that while they have a lot of requirements, marine speakers are not always expensive. We hope you will be able to find a set of speakers that fits your budget so you can get rid of the factory tin cans.
We’ll quickly cover some of the basics you should be considering when selecting your marine speakers. This will give you an idea of how we rate the speakers and help you choose the features you need the most. We’ll keep this beginner friendly, so don’t worry if you don’t have a strong technical background. Let’s get started!
Considerations For Selecting the Best Marine Speakers
There are two main features you need to consider when selecting your marine speakers: volume and durability. These two features are followed closely behind by sound quality. It can be difficult to judge the speaker’s volume without actually having your hands on the speakers. Fortunately, there are a few specs we can look at to get a good sense of how well the speaker will perform. Let’s dive in:
- VolumeThe volume of a speaker is determined by a number of factors. Most importantly: size, power, and sensitivity. Luckily for us, manufacturers commonly provide us with these specs so we can get a good idea of how well a speak performs. Speakers are measured by their woofer diameter and usually stick around the 6.5” mark. The power of a speaker is measured in watts. Manufacturers usually provide two values: peak and average (or RMS – root mean squared). To keep things simple, the higher the power, the louder the speaker. However, the volume of the speaker is also dependent on sensitivity. A more sensitive speaker will be able to produce higher volumes with less power. Therefore a speaker with a high sensitive and high power will have a strong volume.
- DurabilityAn easy way to determine if the speaker is durable is to see if it passes ASMT standards. These standards are tested rigorously with over 600 hours of exposure to UV, salt, and fog. Look for speakers with titanium tweeter and corrosive resistant cones. The speaker’s delicate electronics should also be sealed off to the elements. Specifically the crossover network, as this has electronic components that are susceptible to corrosion.
- Sound QualityAs always, this can be subjective and difficult to ascertain without actually hearing the speaker. You can always look at the combination of power, sensitivity and frequency range to see if the speaker is powerful enough to drive the entire range. The driver components and speaker design are also crucial in determining the sound quality. Space and power can be a limiting factor on most boats so it is not always practical to use a subwoofer. You should, therefore, look for a speaker with a good-low end response.
You’ll also need to be careful matching your speakers to your amp. A good grasp of your amps power capabilities will help prevent you from installing speakers that will be underpowered.
- High watts + high sensitivity = high volume
- Must pass ASTM standards
- Look for a decent frequency range ( 30 Hz to 30kHz)
My Top Picks For Marine Speakers
BOSS AUDIO MR60W
- Budget friendly
- 3-year warranty
- Slightly larger that 6.5” speakers
- Weatherproof 6.5” two-way speaker
- 80 Hz to 20 kHz Frequency Response
- 90dB Sensitivity
- 100 Watts RMS
- 3 Year Platinum Dealer Warranty
A great budget option from Boss. The Audio MR60W is a great budget option for those looking to use speakers for dockside or for fishing. If you are looking to get a high-quality sound that cuts through the engine noise, you are going to want to move down the list. While the sound quality isn’t bad, it is reflected in the price.
They are weather proof and there have not been any complaints of these breaking down from UV exposure or water splashing. There have been many complaints regarding the factory specified size. If you are planning on replacing existing 6.5” speakers, you will need to enlarge the hole.
Take note their frequency range is a little smaller than the other speakers on our list. This will reduce the amount of bass response you get from these speakers. So if you are planning on using your speakers for any partying check out the other speakers on our list.
- A decent budget speaker option. Note you will need to oversize your hole if replacing your old 6.5” speakers.
Bottom Line: A great budget speaker to use dockside or while fishing. Not the best for loud partying or cutting over engine noise.
- Budget friendly
- Easy to install
- Large frequency range
- Lower wattage
- Not loud
- Water-resistant white IMPP composite woofer
- 30 Hz to 30 kHz frequency response
- 160 watts maximum, 30 watts nominal
- 91 dB sensitivity
- Resists water, corrosion, and heat
Although this speaker does check off a lot of what you need in a marine speaker, the simple fact is – it’s not loud enough. The low average wattage of the speaker prevents it from reaching the volume required to work well in an acoustically open environment. Although, they are most likely going to be an upgrade to your factory installed speakers.
Pioneer does make it easy for anyone to install with a very comprehensive guide. You are also getting a speaker that will last through the elements. The woofer is made of IMPP composite, making it very resistant to any weather.
The TS-MR1640 is actually the top of its class when it comes to the frequency range. Although this can be deceiving. Just because a speaker is technically capable of reaching specified frequency ranges doesn’t mean it will sound good getting there. The TS-MR1640 seems to break down around the 90 Hz mark and loses any definition in the bass. Don’t be fooled by the specs.
- A good upgrade from your factory installed speakers.
Bottom Line: A good upgrade from your factory speakers. If you are looking for the best in class, skip this one.
Fusion Electronics MS-FR6021
- High volume
- Great sound quality
- Weather resistant
- Titanium tweeter
- Small frequency range
- 6″ 2-Way
- 200 watts maximum
- 4 ohm impedance
- 90dB sensitivity
- Titanium Dome Tweeter
The Fusion Electronics MS-FR6021 makes up for its low sensitivity through using a high power rating. While it does have a below average sensitivity, the average power rating of 100 watts makes it one of the louder speakers on our list. Perfect for blasting music over engine noise.
The overall audio quality is actually really good. The bass response is strong enough to be able to play any genre of music with well-balanced mids and highs.
You’ll be happy to note that Fusion uses its own standardized durability criteria which is more rigorous than the ASTM standards. It is also IP65 certified for dust and water resistance. The titanium dome tweeter and polypropylene woofer are naturally resistant to corrosion. The crossover, magnet and tweeter housing are also completely sealed from the elements. Making this one of the more durable speakers on our list.
- Loud. Durable. Great sound quality. A great option.
Bottom Line: Overall, a great option. Does well with durability and sound quality. It is also one of the loudest speakers on our list.
Polk Audio AA2652-A
- Best audio quality
- Very durable
- Difficult to install
- Two-way speaker with 15” woofer
- Frequency 40 Hz → 22 kHz
- 92 dB sensitivity
- 100 watt continuous
- 600 Hours of Salt Fog and UV Testing
The best overall speaker on our list. It is one of the most sensitive speakers on our list with 92 dB sensitivity and an average power rating of 100 watts. This combination results in huge volume! If you want the loudest speakers with the best audio quality, you’ll want these speakers.
Their overall sound quality is really nicely balanced. The lows are well rounded without bleeding into the mids. The treble is able to cut through and be heard quite easily. If you are looking to do any entraining on your boat and you want high fidelity sound, get these.
All the sound quality would be for nothing if the durability wasn’t there. Luckily, these pass the ASTM standards for UV, salt, and fog protection. The are subjected to 600 hours of continuous salt, fog and UV exposure. All of the important areas are sealed off from the environment (the crossover network) and the main components use corrosive resistant material.
- Best overall marine speaker. Has the loudest sound with the best quality. Very durable.
Bottom Line: The best overall speaker. High fidelity audio with loud volumes. If you can afford them, get them.
- Titanium tweeter
- LED background
- Good sound quality
- Low wattage
- 6.5-inch two-way speakers
- Peak Power: 195 Watts, RMS Power: 65 Watts
- Impedance: 4 Ohm
- Frequency range: 35Hz-21kHz
- Sensitivity 90 dB
- Titanium tweeter
A good overal speaker: the Kicker KM654LCW. The main attraction here is the LED light. If you are looking to entertain and would like to have some additions to the atmosphere, the LED light can be a great choice. The speaker itself is respectable. However, it’s not loudest on our list with only an average power use of 65 watts. The sensitivity is also only average.
The sound quality is very respectable. There have been a ton of positive reviews regarding the sound quality and volume. The lows are punchy with clear mids and highs. These speakers are able to pump of a very accurate sound.
The durability is also there. The meet all the standards for ASTM regarding fog, UV and salt protection. All of the important components are corrosion resistant and are sealed from the elements. You are also able to get a separate remote to control the LED lights on the speaker.
Keep in mind that the LED lights are adding to the overall cost of the speakers. Potentially taking away from the sound quality you would be able to get for the same price.
- Decent quality speaker with LED lights. If you don’t care about the lights, get the Polk.
Bottom Line: Decent overall speaker with LED lights. Only get if you really want the LED lights.