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Marine Speakers Buyers Guide

Are you looking to enhance your boat with a robust sound system? Many people think that they can use a car's audio system for the ship. That's not how it goes! For your boat, you need marine speakers!

If you're an audiophile, or someone looking for entertainment in the boats, an audio system can play a vital role. After all, music is a primary source of entertainment and enjoyment for people across the globe. To help you get crisp quality audio, this is the ultimate guide to marine speakers.

What makes marine speakers different? Is it worth investing in marine speakers? If you have other questions like these, this guide will enlighten you. Furthermore, you have complete buyers guide to help you get the best choice according to personal preference.

Before you start with the factors to consider, it's essential to clarify any doubt regarding marine speakers. Ergo, we will begin by asking the most important question first:

What are marine speakers?

There are different types of sound systems available in the market. You have professional sound systems for concerts and clubs. The home sound system is other than a professional system. Similarly, you have a car audio system and marine speaker systems that are entirely different.

Marine speakers comprise premium-grade materials that make them highly durable. They can withstand the harsh conditions of the weather and climate to bring you impeccable sound performance. Factors like UV, water, salt corrosion, and others aren't able to impair these speakers' performance. In comparison, any other standard speaker will succumb to these adversities.

Similarly, marine speakers are completely waterproof from their external modules to delicate internal components. Even the wiring of marine speakers is thoroughly weatherproof to provide best-in-class protection and longer-lasting performance. Hence, elements like moisture and sunlight can't degrade their quality.

To match the surroundings and not damp down due to the ambient sound, marine speakers deliver crisp sound quality. Even the lower-end marine speakers' overall quality is way higher than any other speaker you can get your hands on. It is due to the assembly of premium-grade components that ensure top-notch sound output and quality.

Marine speakers are generally louder than the standard sound system. However, they are more costly than any other standard sound system. Therefore, it becomes paramount for you to learn how to buy marine speakers. From proper factors to consider to tips and tricks, this guide will certainly help you.

Reasons to use marine speakers.

From the information above, you can already gauge the importance of using marine speakers. However, here you have some of the more compelling reasons. These reasons will highlight some significant benefits of using a marine speaker system in your boats.

So if you still wonder whether you should install a marine speaker system or not, these reasons will help you make the correct decision:

Access entertainment in waters

The main benefit of owning marine speakers is that you have access to entertainment in the waters. Imagine having the right display or gadgets but no method to connect them. You might want to amp up the party or set a certain vibe for your cruising.

All of this can be achieved with the right speaker system. Music plays an essential role in our lives, and marine speakers can help you attain it in waters. You can access entertainment anywhere. A robust sound system won't get suppressed by the ambient sound and meet your crip sound performance requirement.

Prevent health hazards

Without proper wiring and protection, you're inviting more corrosion for your system. The sprinkle of water can ruin their performance. Worst case scenario? Without appropriate grounding and electricity protection, you may end up electrocuting yourself or other people. Therefore, a marine speaker system is better.

If you don't want to sustain any damage, these become paramount. Similarly, a proper marine speaker system won't interfere with the transmission of your boat or magnetic fields. Therefore, you can have adequate functionality without any interruption or distortion.

A long-lasting selection

You can't consider price when wanting the best marine speakers. However, if you compare even the most budget-friendly or low-end marine speakers to a car's audio or home audio, these are long-lasting. You can't use a car or home audio system in your boat.

As those speakers don't have a good IP rating, waterproofing, weatherproofing, or UV-protection, they will succumb to the adversities. It's quite possible that they will end up malfunctioning in a single trip. Even if they work well for the first couple of trips, they will eventually wear out.

Comparatively, marine speakers will last way longer, significantly, if you invest in premium-grade marine speakers.

Cost-effective in the long run

Think about it yourself. Consistently investing in cheaper alternatives for the sound system will end up burning a hole in your pocket. In comparison, a single standard marine speaker system can prove to be cost-effective in the long run.

You won't have to replace or repair it often. Even if you don't frequently use your boat, these will survive the trial of time and other elements to bring you impeccable sound output. Therefore, you should strongly consider investing in marine speakers.

You can customize them.

The best marine speakers will enable you to customize the sound system. You will be able to install them anywhere, even in-home or your car's audio, if their quality entices you. Similarly, you can make additions to your boat as you go. You don't have to invest it in a single go.

Hence, if you accumulate funds steadily and invest it in the speakers, you can manage to get a full-fledged and highly durable sound system for your boat. Overall, this ability to customize and build as you go options make marine speakers a highly practical choice.

Factors to consider when buying marine speakers

As you understand the importance of marine speakers over conventional speakers, it's time for you to learn how to get the best marine speakers. For that, you have a complete buyer's guide that comes with some tips, especially related to customization of the sound system.

So read along to get the perfect marine speakers for you.

Type of speakers

When you talk about a type of speaker, it has more to do with the design and speaker model. You don't have to fall into the marketing scheme of 'gloss' finish and other similar descriptions. Those are up to personal preference and according to your taste of décor.

If you can look past that, the type of speakers you buy will play a significant role. Let's take a quick look at them.


A flush-type speaker might require you to consider the model or cabinet of your boat. These need you to install them around the ship in a specific area. However, these tend to be very space-conserving and fit firmly in your boat.

Ergo, you won't have any problem with them as they are well-protected and least exposed to the elements. They will last longer and deliver outstanding performance year-round. A flush-type speaker will install in your boat and would require internal wiring to work optimally.


Think of these as a counterpart to bookshelf speakers that you buy for your home. These usually have a box that prevents acoustic resonation and delivers high-quality sound. Box-type speakers are great if you don't have an assigned cabinet or option to install speakers 'in' your boat.

You can place them around the boat or bolt them. As these are external, the box is their primary defense against the elements. Over time, they may loosen up through wear and tear, or the box may get damaged. In that case, you might have to get the box replaced or repaired.

Overall, these also deliver excellent sound quality and performance. The real difference is the ease of installation, as most of the box-type tends to be more DIY-friendly. You may choose external or internal wiring for them.

However, they occupy more space according to their size and maybe a better choice if you're looking to enhance your boat's sound system.

The durability of the speakers

Once you understand the type of model you want for the speakers, the second most important consideration is durability. The durability of the speakers will play a vital role in their longevity. Water is full of bumps, and the speakers have to withstand these bumps.

Similarly, the sprinkle of water (salt or fresh) and the sun's harsh light may take a massive toll on the speakers. Correlatively, climate conditions may change from summer to winter, and there may even be a storm of fall. Therefore, it becomes indispensable for you to consider the durability of the marine speakers.

The durability of marine speakers is not a single concept. It has different factors and specifications that you have to consider. Here is what you might have to consider when checking the durability of the speakers:


Your speakers' material, the sound cones, wires, and internal components will play a significant role in determining the durability. The standard sound system can use wood, metal, and other materials. However, it changes when you consider marine speakers.

Marine speakers may have a plastic module with proper coating for wiring. Instead of paper cones, they will have rubber cones that will still deliver impeccable sound quality. You can cross-check the material. It is vital to thoroughly read the material and get the ones that are most suitable for you.

However, the better the materials are, the more the marine speakers' price will go high. So, you might still have to keep your budget in check. If you genuinely want long-lasting speakers, you can focus your budget primarily on the speaker's material instead of looking for other features.

That's what you should do to have truly durable speakers.


As you're looking for marine speakers, they should have apt waterproofing. Don't settle for standard waterproof speakers. They are suitable for household systems and everyday use but not for a boat. A marine speaker should be adequately waterproof. You can look for IP65 at least to get for their waterproofing rating.

Make sure that not just the shell but the wiring and components are adequately coated and waterproofed. Many manufacturers have a marketing scheme of claiming to be waterproof, but they misguide you through these waterproof ratings.

The right waterproofing will enable the speakers to survive a jet of water or frequent sprinkles, among other things.


Your in-house or portable speakers will not have any weatherproofing regardless of how waterproof they might be. However, your marine speakers will need proper weatherproofing. Now, start by understanding that weatherproofing means they will be anti-UV and anti-element.

In other words, dust, mold, mildew, and other agents won't corrode them or affect their integrity. Several plastic marine speakers don't have proper UV-protection. As a result, while they may provide appropriate water protection and anti-corrosion, they will sustain damage and wither away due to UV-rays.

Therefore, it becomes paramount for you to check for weatherproofing and the kind of elements your marine speakers can withstand. Once you get this under consideration, you can buy better speakers.

Ease of installation

It goes without saying that speakers have to be easy to install unless you aim for wireless speakers. A wireless marine speaker would make it easier for you to install them. They may have different power options, such as batteries that work with solar chargers. However, these tend to be way too costly for the convenience of the wireless feature.

Therefore, it's better for you to get wired speakers. These offer impeccable connectivity and clarity. Here's all you have to consider for ease of installation of marine speakers


A durable coating that can withstand wear and tear would be necessary. If you have a big ship and wiring can't reach the distance, it needs to have proper connections. For those connection options, the wire should not be loose or bare. Otherwise, the wire will rust away.

Similarly, the wiring should be completely protected against the elements, or you will end up with a potential health hazard of electrification. Especially since the water won't be kind to you, it is full of minerals to conduct electricity.

Proper grounding and anti-static wiring are vital in boats for marine speakers.

Magnetic interference

The second most important factor during installation is magnetic interference. As speakers have magnets, a magnetic field may build in salt water and other elements in the atmosphere. If your ship has a built-in compass, then the speakers should not be installed near them.

However, if there's a compartment for speakers near the compass, you need to get anti-magnetic speakers who won't be affected by the compass or vice versa. You may think that this is a tiny problem, but it can prove a vital problem for proper navigation.

Similarly, consistent exposure to magnets could also degrade or interfere with your speakers' transmission of power.

Customization-friendly choice

The best way to save cost on your marine speakers is to invest in a high-grade range. However, many people can't afford a full-fledged system right off the bat, and that's fine. You can make some compromises by getting a cheaper receiver or amplifiers for the starter. However, it shouldn't be too cheap, just lower end on the brands so that it won't impair your speaker's performance.

From there, you can buy single, dual, or four-channel speakers as you accumulate funds. Once you integrate valuable speakers, you can replace your amplifier and, finally, the receiver. This could help you slowly customize the set and get a full-fledged sound system for your boat.

However, there are two customization options marine speakers should have:


If you love the high bass performance, then subwoofers would be an indispensable requirement. The more you add subwoofers, the better bass output you will have. However, you need an adequately powered receiver and unit to provide you with a proper power supply.

Follow the same rule as the speakers. Get the subwoofers that fall around the same RCM as the speakers or lower.


Most speakers come with an 'amp-in' function that allows you to connect them through the receiver directly. However, for better performance and 'hi-fi' sound, it would be better to get speakers that work with amplifiers.

Many speakers have amp-in but would work optimally with amplifiers. So you can choose them as well. For a boat, if you want a cost-effective choice, a two-channel would do the job. However, it's better to get four or even six channel amplifiers for the best performance to meet the modern requirements.

Connectivity options

Modern connectivity options are paramount for any full-fledged sound system. You need marine speakers with the latest opportunities, such as USB, AUX, SD card, or even Bluetooth connectivity. However, as you explore the connectivity options, the price of the speakers will inevitably go up.

If you don't mind using an old-school speaker with a receiver that has CD, or AUX support, you can compromise the connectivity. You might also have to consider how often you will use the boat and how long you will stay on the ship.

Regardless of that, you will most likely need a speaker system that can connect to other devices. After all, if you plan on watching movies, you would have to either install a display or rely upon your smart devices like tablets and smartphones. For that, you'd need connectivity with the speakers for correct sound output.

Power Requirements

Another important consideration for the longevity of your speakers is the power requirements. You will require a good receiver or even an amplifier that can support the power outlet. Although you're in a boat, there has been a significant improvement in the sound system.

Therefore, you can receive the same amount of output as you would do from an electrical board. However, if your speakers have less RCM than the receiver or amplifier, they may bust or blast. In other words, it would lead to that teary and distorted sound that won't recover your speakers.

As a result, you will have to get new speakers. So, power requirement and supply becomes a vital consideration.

Short protection

Some speakers have full-fledged short protection to protect them from static. It also protects them from the potential transmission of electricity due to excessive moisture. Most of the time, water is the bane of electronic devices. However, short protection is not only excellent for your components but personal safety as well.

FAQs: Best Marine Speakers

Q: Can you use your car's speaker system for a boat?

A: You can indeed use your car's speaker system in the boat. However, they are more likely to decline in performance faster. It is because they don't have proper protection against elements, water, or corrosion.

You're better off investing in a budget-friendly marine speaker system that could provide you with a well-versed performance and last way longer than any average sound system.

Q: Do you need an amplifier for your marine speakers?

A: It depends on the grade of your marine speakers. Most of the latest speakers come with built-in amplifiers that make it easier for you to assemble and install the system. However, you might have to check.

Many powerful speakers might not have a built-in amplifier to provide you with more flexibility in volume control and overall power output capacity. If you're using subwoofers, an amplifier becomes vital to install for proper connectivity.

Similarly, for boats that produce a loud sound or waters that do the same, an amplifier could deliver better performance.

Q: How to choose the right marine speakers for your receiver?

A: A general rule of thumb is to buy speakers with higher watt capacity than your receiver can deliver. If you choose lower powered speakers, they will bust or blow.


If you own a boat, you shouldn't hesitate about the expenses. A sound system on a ship is a luxurious addition. Many dealers will promise a cheaper sound system. However, it would be best if you didn't fall for the cheaper schemes. They won't provide you with optimum performance.

Therefore, it is vital for you not to consider the cost of marine speakers while purchasing them. It is a good idea to check for a warranty or some form of guarantee. If you genuinely want to enjoy the sound system's leisure, you should invest in a robust sound system.

Whenever you carry out maintenance for your boat, it would be great to get your speaker system checked. Hopefully, this guide helps you choose the right marine speakers according to your requirements. / - © Copyright 2020