One of the best parts about roaring out onto the water in your motorboat is blasting your favourite music. It completes the image, adds the vibe, and makes for a great time for everyone on board.
If you’re looking out for new speakers to add on board for better volume, this article is for you.
Below we look at five of the best marine grade speakers currently on the market.
Read Next: Our picks for the best underwater marine lights.
Top Marine Speakers (Comparison Table)
Best Marine Grade Speakers
Best Value Speaker: Pyle 6.5 Inch Dual Marine Speakers
The Pyle Dual Marine Speakers offer a powerful punch in terms of volume. Even if your throttle is fully open, you’ll be able to blast out the party music that makes an afternoon on the lake iconic.
This pair of speakers are perfect on a pontoon boat, especially when you need to replace old speakers. Their fit and look work well with the pontoon.
At 120 Watts this speaker is marine grade, completely waterproof and perfect for keeping the tunes going on your motorboat. We found that even at full speed we could enjoy our music at full blast, which really adds to the atmosphere when out with friends or even alone.
The low profile, weighty construction looks sleek and clean when installed. The speakers are easy to install and will fit into any standardized speaker cavity.
We didn’t notice any distortion when playing through an aux cable from our phones, and the bass was smooth.
These speakers have a dual cone, but no separate tweeter. In other words, you’re not getting two-way speakers. That being said, they’re on the lower price range and still produce a great sound.
We recommend the Pyle Dual Marine Speakers for their clean look and excellent sound.
At a glance...
- Good value for what you pay
- The volume sounded great and could be heard over the motor at full throttle
- Sleek look and easy installation
- Good frequency range
Best Overall Marine Speaker: Kenwood KFC-1653MRW 6.5
The Kenwood speakers are super easy to install and will handle salt and fresh water.
With a full sound that sings rather than booms, these speakers don’t have the power of some other speakers on the market but the sound quality is good for their price.
The speakers have a six screw hole pattern that makes installation easy. A wire is not included, and you will not be able to rotate the face independently from the speaker. So just make sure that if you want the name to be right side up that you install the speakers in straight and right side up.
These speakers are two-way and have their own tweeters. If you are looking for a good mono amp to drive a set of subs, we recommend these speakers.
We did experience some distortion when the sound was cranked up all the way. If the motor was running too, we couldn’t really notice the distortion.
If you’re running your boat at full throttle, you probably won’t hear these speakers over your engine. For casual cruising and afternoons on the lake, they are a great set of speakers.
At a glance...
- Salt water wasn’t a problem
- Less power than some, but good range
- Quick and easy to install
- Good for cruising and quiet afternoons fishing
Best Budget Speaker: Sony XSMP1611 6.5-Inch Dual Cone Marine Speakers
The Sony Dual Cone Marine Speakers are UV and saltwater resistant and we were happy with the tone and frequency response. They have a great all-round sound with a rigid woofer cone for the bass and a large frequency range that keeps the high notes from sounding tinny.
The grills are replaceable on this model, meaning that you will not completely have to replace the entire speaker when the grills take the inevitable hit from the weather.
They are easy to install and come with all the necessary wires and extras. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes per speaker. No major modifications necessary, which is always great.
The sound quality is clear and we couldn’t pick up any distortion at full volume. At 65 watts you have a lot of power to play with. Even with the boat motor cranked up all the way, we could still sing along to an old favourite.
Because it’s a dual cone only, there is no integrated tweeter or a bass pacifier, but we couldn’t really notice a difference out on the boat.
A perfect fit for any standardized system, these speakers look and sound great. They’re water, fog, and salt resistant and come at a great price too.
At a glance...
- Base sounded great
- Wide round gives a good all-round sound
- Decent volume and power
- Water resistant/weather proof
Editor's Choice: Boss Audio Systems MR60W
A good pair of marine speakers can contend with the open-air acoustics and the conversations on board, while also outlasting the elements.
For that, the Boss Audio Systems MR60W speakers are a great choice, and we recommend these speakers.
These are your more heavy-duty speakers that won’t be installed into the walls of your boat. With plenty of power and excellent sound quality, these are a good buy for anyone who wants wakeboard speakers.
Durable and marine-grade weatherproofing keeps you blasting for longer. These speakers are great for someone who is going to be on saltwater a lot as they handle the salt really well.
They are also long-lasting in a freshwater environment and reliable in wind and rain. All round, the weatherproofing seems to be thorough.
A great pair of 6.5” marine grade speakers, they are solid and need to be well mounted. They’re certainly one of the best value-for-money sets on the market.
The sound output of these speakers will make every trip a party. At a total of 200 watts, there’s plenty of power, but the range is good too. You will be paying slightly more for these speakers, but the uptick in quality of longevity is noticeable.
A good pair of all rounder speakers that handle weather and all your sound needs.
At a glance...
- Durable and long lasting
- Heavy duty speakers that can do everything
- Great for the coast
- Lots of power and volume without draining your boat’s battery
Best Weatherproof Speakers: Pyle PLMR24S 3-Way Weather-Proof Mini Box
These speakers can withstand rain and shine. We found them to be hardy and completely weather resistant.
Getting a full-on soaking from spray or rain didn’t damage these speakers. The claim that they are marine grade truly held up. The one thing that didn’t go so well is that the mounting isn’t strong enough to keep the speakers turned up against a strong wind. So try putting these out of the direct wind.
The sound range is good and the bass is really not too bad for entry-level speakers. We found the sound to be crisp and did not hear any distortion.
These speakers work well outdoors as their sound signature is wider than the typical indoors speakers.
We did find that these speakers like to be mounted once and then left alone. They are not built to withstand being moved around on a regular basis.
If you’re looking for a pair of outdoor speakers that will handle the weather, make clear and good sound, and don’t want to shell out too much, we recommend the Pyle PLMR24S.
At a glance...
- Handle water well and overall great weather proofing
- Need to be well mounted
- Crisp and clear sound
- Great budget speakers
Buyer's Guide for Marine Speakers
Sound and Power
Outside conditions make a clear and crisp sound so much more important. When looking at speakers for your boat, you need to keep a few factors in mind. Although you want as much power as possible, you also don’t want to drain your boat’s power too quickly.
Your speakers are going to have to deal with wind as well as nothing to have to rebound from. If a speaker with too little power is playing out into the open air, it might lose a lot of what you want to be hearing. Even if you think the sound quality outside is okay, you’ve got to bear in mind that your boat’s engine at full throttle might overwhelm a lesser speaker.
This challenge means you want speakers with a high wattage. More wattage means more power, which makes for a clearer sound out on your boat. A high-powered pair of speakers will be able to deal with the outside environment, wind and engine sound, and the sounds of everyone on board.
Ease of Installation
When buying your own pair of marine grade speakers, you’ll probably need to install them yourself. This is usually quite straight forward, but make sure the speakers you order come with everything you need. Most speakers should have the wires and other installation gear included, to make installation as easy as possible. This includes the screws, but you will probably need your own screw driver and installation gear.
If you’re planning to install new speakers, it’s important to buy something that’s the right size and fit for the new openings you’ll be making in your hull. You also want to be sure you have everything ready before you start, as stopping halfway because you have the wrong wire or too few screws.
Most online retailers will have a product description that will detail exactly what you’re getting with your purchase. This is where you’ll go to ensure that you are getting everything you need to make the installation of your speakers as painless and quick as possible.
Although this might seem obvious, it’s an important factor when choosing speakers for your boat. Speakers that aren’t weather-resistant might be listed under marine grade speakers online. If you’re browsing the marine grade category, make sure to check that the speaker’s product description expressly states that the speakers are marine grade.
Marine grade and weatherproof speakers will be able to handle the spray, wind, salt, and rain that you’re going to experience on board your speedboat.
The sound quality and longevity of the speaker shouldn’t be affected by the weather. It’s also a good idea to check for speakers with plastic parts, as metal parts may rust and cause damage to your boat’s interior. Plastic grills and other parts will also last much longer, and be replaceable.
Your frequency range on your speakers will determine the quality of the sound. This is different from the power, which indicates how loud the speakers will be. Frequency range indicates how good the bass will sound and if the higher notes are going to sound tinny or be sweet and crisp. The wider the range on the speakers you’re looking at, the greater the variety of songs you can play.
Most speakers start at 60 or 70 Hz and go up to 16 000 Hz. If you can find something with a greater range, you can be pretty sure it will be able to handle any playlist you can think of. If you’re more of a bass person, you’ll want something that starts much lower, and you might be willing to write off the higher frequencies.
This is something that also depends on your personal preferences and what music you like to listen to out on the water. Make sure to look up your favourite songs and find out what their frequency is when shopping for marine speakers.