In this article we are diving headfirst, (no pun intended) for a look at the 10 best marine speakers in 2022. The audio-electronics market is literally awash with competing products, which can sometimes make it much tougher to distinguish the good from the bad.
As silly as it sounds, some marine speakers are more waterproof than others. Moisture resistance is measured in varying degrees, so some marine speakers we'll review today may be fine mounted inside a sheltered boat cabin, but won't fare too well against mother nature mounted on a mast in a monsoon.
So, for a peek at what's under the hood and how they plan to withstand the weathering on board your beloved boat, we have carefully selected the cream of the crop and picked apart each marine-grade speaker for an in-depth look.
As ever, we've included an informative guide, which should answer some of your recent queries.
We review stacks of speaker options in our articles, so we're no strangers to a rocking set of Rockville's. Rockville manufactures some of the greatest models in terms of bass response on the market, so it's unsurprising that their meaty 2-way marine option offers some high power handling lows.
These marine speakers are designed as wake-board tower models. They easily mount to bars and roll cages. They're ideal for a range of vehicles, but the lengthy measures which Rockville have gone to protect these bad boys from the battering salty sea air make them a superb option for a marine mount.
These marine speakers are fully protected against salt and freshwater conditions. All terminals have been sealed with rubber gaskets. They are waterproof to a high degree and completely rust-resistant.
The woofers measure 8 inches and feature a high-grade polypropylene cone that has been mica-injected. It handles unbelievably well and is centered in a Santoprene surround to help dampen unwanted resonance which can cause bass distortion.
It's coupled with a hard-working, 1-inch dedicated mid-range tweeter, formed with a rigid polymide composite dome. It harbors a high-density, neodymium magnet and effortlessly copes with the delegated upper frequencies, thanks to the outstanding onboard crossover circuitry.
These marine speakers have a high peak power handling of 300 watts (200 RMS), sound pressure levels of around 98 decibels, a great frequency response, and low impedance.
+ Waterproofed to handle outdoor marine conditions.
+ High output.
+ Easy to install.
Why We Liked It -These guys have had a few bad reviews, we’re not sure why. In general, Rockville speakers are pretty darn robust, and they handle impeccably under pressure with a high output. This pair is a testament to their top-notch engineering. If you're looking for some great sounding marine speakers, we highly recommend them.
Water Resistance - Though this might seem to be an over-obvious concern for marine speakers, it is worth double and triple checking whether the components of marine speakers are as water resistant as it might appear. It could be the case that the enclosure for the speakers is water resistant but the components, if exposed, are not, which could lead to trouble in the case of damage to the enclosure.
Industry granddaddies Kenwood are a company with plenty of experience under their belts, producing some of the best marine speakers in the business.
Like the Rockville option reviewed above, these have a 2-way classification. While the bass on a Kenwood speaker tends to be more understated than a Rockville, these marine speakers produce very rich and well-balanced audio.
In direct comparison, these two-way speakers are a more compact and somewhat less powerful pair but actually ring up at around half the price, offering great value for money. These, too, are sold in pairs, and their 2-way array consists of a woofer and tweeter combination to efficiently sort the workload of the highs and lows to the appropriate driver for optimal sound performance.
The woofer is 6.5" and formed from a waterproof polypropylene composite. The balanced dome tweeter is just under an inch and is again constructed from materials that can withstand the weathering that marine life subjects a poor speaker to.
The drivers enable a fairly wide frequency response and share their duties harmoniously, thanks to Advanced crossover circuitry enhancements Kenwood has implemented. So if you're looking for a high-quality pair of speakers for your boat, we suggest you give these ones a try!
Why We Liked It - These are genuinely some of the best marine speakers for full-range natural-sounding audio quality. The crossover is seamless and we love that they are priced accessibly. Definitely a better choice for your boat than a boombox, which can be super risky.
Let's look at what marine-grade speakers Kicker has on offer. If you have read any of our other speaker reviews, you'll know we have a soft spot for Kicker's coaxial contenders.
Now first things first, these babies sell as a set of 4, and if you're truly serious about pimping out your deck, a bulk buy is worth its weight in gold.
They benefit from the same blood, sweat, and tears put into researching optimal driver performance and setup as Kicker's other best selling model.
Additionally and most importantly, many of the components have been refined and redesigned where necessary to cope with life at sea. They have been expertly crafted using only waterproof, rust-resistant, and UV-treated parts. These marine speakers feature sealed motors, stainless steel mounts, and locking terminal covers. Most marine speakers are made with durability in mind, but these actually exceed some of the industry standards for a water-resistant boat speaker.
The weatherproof woofer is 6.5 inches and injection molded out of Santoprene, like the Rockville's. They powerfully handle the lower frequencies while the tiny 13mm dome tweeter is porcelain/enamel treated (PEI rated) and defines the crisp and crystal highs. They have a good frequency response for a 2-way class set, ensuring superior sound quality no matter what you're listening to.
Why We Liked It - These marine speakers serve up the same notorious killer full-range Kicker sound. Get depth and definition in a waterproof package, and experience high-end measures which surpass other speakers specifically designed by maritime manufacturers.
Add to this the fact that you get four marine speakers for a reasonable price, and you have yourself a difficult deal to beat.
Mounting Placement - If there is an indoor area on your boat to install your speakers, they will be better off in the long run, with fewer opportunities for damage stemming from unexpected contact with water, inclement weather, or exposure to the elements outdoors otherwise. Even indoors, the speakers must be fully water resistant.
This stylish Sony set of four marine speakers makes for an awesome upgrade for your boat. They feature dual cones and measure 6.5 inches. The dual drivers have surprising performance and cope with a fair amount of input. They have 65 watts of RMS power, 130 per 4-pack, and a peak power rating of 140 watts (280 watts per 4-pack).
They are lightweight but very durably built with premium components housed in an IPX5-certified enclosure rendering them waterproof enough for marine use (UV-ray and salt-waterproof).
These marine speakers produce great-sounding audio. The crossover capably deals with the frequency response and workload balance. They have rustproof, low-impedance circuitry that has been refined by their years of expertise in their field. They are simple to mount (they can be front or rear-mounted) - they only require a cutout of 4-15/16 inches and a few standard spade wires. They come in classic black or white aesthetics and have removable grilles.
Why We Liked It - These marine speakers make for another great sounding bulk buy option. They come from a trusted brand, so you know the sound quality is going to be excellent. We're a little dismayed with the plastic waterproof grille, but the low price tag has to come with some sacrifices. Luckily, as we mentioned, the sound quality isn't something Sony wanted to comprise.
Kicker's aquatic combating audio solution comes in the form of a mini-box speaker option. They are a rugged pair for rigging, suited to mounting in the sea breeze and stowing away below deck.
These boat speakers are another affordably priced 2-way classified system with dual drivers and great crossover circuits to deliver an accurate frequency response. They perform really well, effortlessly delegating the workload between the dedicated woofer and tweeter combination. They have great power at a high output, with a peak power of 150 watts (75 watts RMS each).
These marine speakers are easy to mount and come with all the necessary parts. Every part has been designed with longevity in mind. Kicker has coated circuitry to prevent rusting, and it is UV treated. All of the carefully sourced components have been enclosed in a waterproof cabinet, making it adequately equipped for any outdoor application.
Why We Liked It - These are a well-designed pair of boat speakers. The enclosure has been IPX 5 certified, so they are ideal for mounting wherever you choose. And with the good sound quality Kicker always provides, you can't go wrong.
JBL provides a nice low-profile option for your boat's interior with this reasonably priced pair of marine-grade speakers. They feature JBL's patented Plus One woofers, which are the key ingredient to some of their other best-selling speakers. The ingenious Plus One technology helps maximize the surface area of the woofer cones, a design concept that enhances the high-quality sound response and performance.
The woofer is coupled with a dome tweeter to cover a broad range of frequencies. The tweeter deals with high energy exceptionally well, with cooling in place. Together, they provide audio with real depth and clarity.
These marine speakers have individually voiced drivers and are designed to battle the elements. They feature waterproof motor structures and a one-piece cast polymer basket, sealed magnets, and rubber surrounds as a dampening measure.
+ Plus one tech.
+ High-quality components, including a rubber surround.
+ Great value for money.
Why We Liked It - These marine speakers are a surprisingly powerful pair with unparalleled dispersion. The Plus One tech is a great addition to the woofers on any JBL speaker system, providing high-quality audio with the best bass response.
If you like the mini-box design style of the Kicker KB6000s, then these stylish marine speakers from Polk's Outdoor Atrium series are well worth a look.
They are an exceptional pair that raised the industry standard when they first appeared on the market in 2002. Their recipe for broader open-space coverage and tough environmental endurance meant they exceeded the performance abilities of military specification models.
Their power handling and frequency response is optimized for high-tolerance and durability against the elements. The tweeter domes are made from anodized aluminum and feature rubber surround for deadening unwanted vibrations. The baffles are designed to disperse the sound more effectively in a large area without compromising definition and clarity.
Installing speakers doesn't have to cause a headache. These marine speakers mount effortlessly. The speed-lock system provides easy and safe installation under extreme weather conditions, which only requires the use of one hand.
Why We Liked It - These are a heavy-duty set of marine-grade speakers that genuinely mean business. The design protocols in place protect against extreme weather, making them suitable for marine environments.
This Kenwood pair is another superb marine speaker selection. In direct comparison to the first Kenwood pair we reviewed, this set offers a slightly larger woofer (at 8 inches) and a lower price tag. For a bargain 2-way class speaker, the sound quality is actually astounding.
The volume levels can be raised without distortion or break up, filling even the largest of cabins. So feel free to listen at a loud volume without worrying about the audio quality of these marine-grade speakers.
They also have a meatier max wattage than the KFC-1653MRW model, totaling about 300 watts, so these little guys are deceptively powerful.
They are also well-balanced. The dual drivers work hand in hand with one another. The lows are pleasantly surprising, providing deep bass, and the highs are crisp and high-def, thanks to the 1” dome tweeter - it performs exceptionally well.
They are arduously engineered, taking Kenwood's specialist audio skills to waterproof depths. All components are treated to be moisture-resistant. The motors are faultlessly sealed for ultimate protection against any marine environment.
+ Superbly made.
+ High output and excellent sound quality.
Why We Liked It - These marine speakers are a thoroughly thought-out, well-designed pair. They have practically flawless circuitry and are very user-friendly for a quick and easy install. Not to mention, the sound quality is fantastic.
We've reviewed a few Kicker speakers on this list, and it's no surprise why. Providing high-quality sound time and time again, Kicker's audio systems are second to none. These 2-way marine-grade coaxial speakers are no exception. This set of four has a peak RMS power handling of 65 watts per speaker, totaling 360 watts.
They have a heavy-duty, waterproof design constructed from quality materials. Each component has been treated to withstand exposure to moisture. They feature a waterproofed 3/4" titanium dome tweeter. The surrounds are marine-grade rubber composites, and the motor is completely encased.
These marine speakers are fairly simple to install and provide an impressively loud, well-balanced cabin-filling sound, which has wide dynamics, nuances, and crisp details.
+ High power output.
+ Dynamic, balanced sound with great sound clarity.
+ Excellent value for money.
Why We Liked It - If you have a decent amplifier and aren't too concerned with power consumption, these coaxial speakers make for an impressive upgrade to your stock speakers. They have a very high sound quality, given their low price. If you're looking for new speakers on a budget, these ones offer the most bang for your buck.
Amid an armada of pretty poorly performing cheap options, this marvelous Magnadyne marine set certainly makes some waves. They are very well-designed and extremely low-priced, outperforming most marine speakers in the lower-price regions. At around 25 bucks for a pair, their surprising performance is pretty unbeatable.
They are marketed as OEM hot-tub speakers, but they work tremendously well for outdoor and marine applications.
These speakers feature a dual cone design, effectively making the most of compact space and achieving the widest frequency response possible at the same time.
They have a low wattage, so they won't demand too much of your vessel's power. The max power handling for each speaker is 25 watts, but they still manage to pack a pretty impressive punch.
They are moisture, heat, cold, and shockproof. All electrical components are encased, and they come with permanently attached integrated grills. They are simple to mount and work as exact replacements for all OE tubs.
+ Dual cones setup.
+ Low output option.
+ Very resistant.
+ Cheapest product of today's reviews.
Why We Liked It - These marine speakers are a very cheap option that still performs well. They're ideal for those on a budget without a lot of options. They aren't the loudest speakers going but for the price, they're pretty unbelievable value for money.
Size - When it comes to marine speakers, bigger hardware doesn't necessarily translate to greater efficacy or efficiency in sound transmission. It is more worthwhile thinking about amplifiers and subwoofers to boost the quality and volume of your sound than shopping around for units that boast size as a proxy for volume and quality.
Marine Speakers Buying Guide
What to Look for in Marine Speakers
It might seem completely redundant to mention, but water resistance is paramount. There are models masquerading as marine speakers, so you need to know what to expect as standard in a marine-suitable set. All electronics need to be housed in an airtight/water-tight sealed unit. Any metallic components need to be made of metals that do not rust, or they need to be treated to prevent/eliminate rust (rust-proofing).
The surround of a cone is important in keeping your audio noise-free. They need to dampen vibrations that aren't audio wave responses. Typically companies use rubbers and other flexible composites, but the sun can damage these materials quickly - so surrounds should be duly protected either by clever grille designs or UV protective treatments.
In general, if your marine speakers are for your interior mounting, they don't need to be quite as hardy as their exterior counterparts. But seeing as the humidity level, rising damp, and mold can all be indoor cabin issues, the more water they can handle, the better the outcome is in terms of life expectancy.
If you want reasonable audio quality, then a 2-way class system is sufficient to handle a wide enough frequency response. For outside mounting, you will probably want something with a widened dispersion so that the audio doesn't get lost in the open air.
Of course, and importantly, you have to consider your power consumption. Usually, it's better to have something with lower output unless you have the increased power capabilities for meatier audio systems.
Although waterproofing and durability are most likely top of your mind, make sure you pick a marine speaker with great sound. Many marine speakers will have a range of features (such as silk dome tweeters or horn tweeters) to ensure crystal-clear sound quality. Remember, the best boat speakers won't just weather the elements - they'll make for an easy, distortion-free listening experience.
Some audio systems even come with a range of other features, such as LED lighting, and more.
Why Do I Need Marine Speakers?
If you don't have a vessel, you probably don't require a marine set of speakers. That being said, their waterproof nature makes them ideal for many other vehicles where using ordinary speakers just isn't possible, such as caravans, camper-vans, and off-road vehicles, including quads which kick up a lot of dust. This is because waterproofing methods are also weatherproof. They're also typically dust-tight as well as water-tight.
They are also ideal for pool surround speakers or installation in spas and saunas, and other locations where there is a possibility that they may get wet.
Are Marine Speakers Waterproof?
Yes, they are. The majority we have looked at today are rated fairly highly. However, some of them are water-resistant as well. If you have enough cash to part with, there are many models on the market that are waterproofed so well they can withstand full submersion in liquid and live to tell the tale. To be considered the best marine speakers, they have to tick many important factors off the list. They must be deemed suitable to survive in all weathers.
All circuitry mounting and other metals on your marine speakers should be made from rust-resistant material. Typically this will be stainless steel, as it is relatively cheap and strong.
When we talk about waterproofing, we usually IP rate the enclosure of the item, designating it a number that relates to how 'dust-tight' and waterproof the housing of the product is. If it is suitably dust and airtight, then we deem it protected from water and other particles getting inside to damage internal parts.
The numbers go from 1-7, with 1 being the lowest possible protection. Speakers then go from condensation-proof to water-droplet-proof. Then, you'll be able to find models protected against water spray or low-pressure jets and onto strong waves and temporary immersion. Finally, 7 is the highest rating and indicates the item is protected sufficiently against the damaging effects of prolonged immersion.
Finding a quality set of marine speakers is a far easier task than it once was. You are no longer required to find a specialist store; the world wide web has made it far easier to discover a fab upgrade.
When pimping out your pontoon, you'll ideally want to find replacements that are the same size as the existing speakers for the smoothest installation. As mentioned in our guide, you'll need to consider your power consumption and the capabilities of your amplifier unless you're going for a complete system overhaul with more freedom.
Waterproofing is a technological advancement in which we are far more knowledgeable nowadays, so thankfully, the products available are much better than they once were. With the sheer amount of talent on display from top manufacturers, finding an excellent set of speakers for your boat should be a breeze. That is, as long as you know what to look for. Hopefully, our reviews and buyer's guide will have served their purpose in helping you make an informed purchase.
If you are a novice renovating an old vessel, it might be worth looking at some complete systems. If you are completely new to the world of wiring up a sound system, many of the speakers we've reviewed today are designed with a flagship amplifier in mind.
Did You Know?
If you don't have a boat (or even a jet-ski( but are just nosing because you're interested in waterproof audio, you might want to read through some of our other articles. We have reviewed many in-wall models that are waterproofed for outdoor mounting and many waterproof mini cheap Bluetooth speaker options.
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