Marine speakers are great accessories to have on your motor boats. It pumps super loud sound to match the impressive speed of your water ride. Unlike the regular speakers, this particular device can withstand the rough water environment and deter the splashes of water tremendously.
In this review, I will share with you some of the top marine speakers out there. They will rock your boat and spice up your water activities with the loud booming sound! This also can use for wakeboard tower speakers.
Why Do You Need Marine Speakers?
One of the best boat accessories that you should have on your water vehicle is the marine speakers. It has every little thing that a loudspeaker must have. Manufacturers have equipped this device with super durable and waterproof materials as a casing. Plus, the installed woofers on these marine amplifiers deliver excellent clarity, deep bass, and an exceptional audio experience. It has a unique design that can survive the strong wind, saltwater and the splashing water of the waves.
As if that is not enough, you can also find amplifiers with a UV protection! If you think it is an expensive gadget to have, it is truly not. The price of marine speakers can range between $50 and $500 for high-end models. If you are considering of purchasing the best-rated marine speakers currently available on the market, check out this review to learn some of the top products out there.
What to Look For in A Marine Amplifiers?
An average user who is just about to install such device on their water vehicles might be a bit clueless when it comes to making a selection. In this Best Rated Marine Speakers, I will guide you and show you what to look for in marine amplifiers. Firstly, the device should be able to project high-quality sound. Meaning, it should be loud enough and does not distort at a maximum level. In this review, I will focus on the numbers of drivers found on the speakers.
- Coaxial – Coaxial is a more expensive variant that you can select if you are an audiophile. Some call this device two-way or three-way speaker. It is a speaker wrapped around another. You will find a tweeter located in the middle of a woofer cone, and it comes with an external drive. There is also a passive crossover that will separate the frequencies amongst the speakers to produce an excellent sound quality and higher audio resonance.
- Dual cone – The double cone is relatively cheaper. It has two cones with one driver. The smaller cone supports the frequencies, and a bigger one ensures a balanced midrange and deep bass.
There are also some technical aspects of the amplifiers that you should get familiar. One of them is the installation size. The device comes in various kinds of sizes. When you look at the specs, you should know that the given size might just cover the inside cone. It is not necessarily about the diameter of the cutout hole or the diameter of the grill. You should also note that even if two products mention the same size at 6 ½” inches, sometimes they are different in size by few inches. The general rule is to the get the biggest diameter as possible as it provides a higher frequency response. Plus, consider the mounting depth and the enclosure space that support the sound resonance.
Another technical aspect of choosing a marine amplifier is the power handling. You can know the power handling of a product by looking at the peak wattage or RMS. You should be aware that the higher the RMS power, the better quality of the produced sound.
The Best Rated Marine Speakers Review
In this Best Rated Marine Speakers Review, I have carefully selected four top products. They are Infinity Reference 612M, JBL MS6200, Boss Audio MR60W, and Kicker KM654LCW. They all have a similar diameter size of 6.5 inches, and the price ranges somewhere between $20 and $150.
1. Infinity Reference 612M 6.5 Inches Marine Loudspeaker
Infinity 612M is a 6.5-inch speaker that you can install in your boat cabin or cockpit. Once turned on, you can hear the music as far as 25 yards even when speeding the boat at 30mph. Several professional critics claimed that it can produce spectacular low-range, midrange, and high-range frequencies without any problem. The bass performance is also great, but it has the tendency to overpower the trebles and the mids. Nevertheless, I cannot overlook the big high sensitivity rating of the device. At 92dB level, I can say that it is one of the most efficient speakers with excellent power to volume output conversion rating. It also has an above average continuous power handling at 75 watts. Check out the next Power Handling section to find out more.
Infinity 612M can produce the lowest frequency response at 50Hz and the highest frequency of 20 kHz. As mentioned earlier, it has an excellent sensitivity at 92 dB and the RMS watt that provides continuous power handling is at 75 RMS. When set at a maximum level, it can handle a peak power handling at an impressive 225 watts. All these readings indicate that the loudness of the speakers and its quality is at the best range amongst all similar products out there!
The Infinity 612M speaker uses a stiff polypropylene material for most of the components. They include tweeter, grill, and basket material. Polypropylene is well-known for its ability to avoid degradation when exposed to a water environment. It makes an ideal material for marine usage. Therefore, the woofers on this speaker can withstand the water elements, thanks to the poly-based woofer. According to boating speaker test, at IP5 water resistant rating, you do not have to worry about installing it onto your motorboat. The manufacturer claims that it has a UV testing. However, I found it a bit disappointing since it does not meet the ASTM D4329 standard. A good marine amplifier should meet this kind of ASTM standard. Regardless of that, rest assure that it can withstand water very well. Some users even said that you can even hear loud and clear music even when the speaker is muddy. The product also comes with a one-year warranty.
It has a diameter size of 6.5 inches with two subwoofers. However, the cutout diameter is 5.04 inches. If you have a ready hole on the board, it should have a depth of at least 2.64 inches. If not, it would not fit properly inside the holes. Thanks to the rubber gasket seal, it remains intact inside the holes. It requires five holes to mount the speaker on the board. So, make sure you have enough holes and screws.
Overall, it is the best option for your marine boats or even land motors like ATV, truck or cars. The price tag is also reasonable at about $75.
2. JBL MS6200 6.5 Inches 2-Way Marine Speakers
JBL MS6200 is a powerful speaker that can pump super loud and high-quality sound for as far as 75 yards. It has a satisfactory sensitivity level at 91dB. However, for an enhanced overall audio, you can integrate it with a third-party amplifier. Overall, I found the stereo sound to be clean and crisp. It travels well over water. There is little to none distortion at the highest volume. Plus, the low-range sound is also pleasant. The high-range frequency score has been rated to be above average at 89 percents. If there is one thing that I wish this device to have is a deeper and booming bass. It can sound too bland to my ears at times. Nevertheless, I believe it is sufficient for regular users. It is the second-best product that I have chosen after infinity.
The JBL MS6200 also has a decent power handling. The peak wattage is at 180 watts, and it also packs a power handling of 60 watt RMS. It might not be as powerful as other similar products out there, but the affordable price tag put it as one of the best options out there. Some midrange speakers can have an RMS of 100 watts, but the price can be slightly higher. Therefore, this particular product brings great values to your money. The MS-series speaker from JBL also has a decent frequency response between 55 Hz and 20kHz.
On a first look, the JBL speaker has a superb build quality. Just like the top pick, it also uses polypropylene woofer cones and dome tweeter for a premium water-resistant effect. The all-white grille assembly enhances the durability and makes it an ideal outdoor marine speaker. There is UV Protection to elongate the lifetime of the device. But then again, it also lacks the ASTM certification that ensures a product to be able to withstand salt, fog, and UV efficiently. In fact, some users have complained that some rusting have started to appear after three years in use. However, I believe with proper care, it can last longer than that.
The US-made speaker has a diameter of 6.5 inches and a cone depth of about 3.5 and 4 inches. You can install both speakers side by side or at two different ends of your boat. However, you might need an extra wire since the given wire set is too small and they are not according to a typical standard.
Overall, the sound quality of the product is still above average with several weaknesses. It might not be as loud as other similar devices but at such price, it is still a strong candidate worthy of your consideration.
Read more: Best Outdoor Speaker
3. Boss Audio MR60W Marine 6.5 Inches Full Range Speakers
Boss Audio MR60W is a favorite speaker amongst those on a tight budget but still would like to enjoy a super loud sound on their boat. The best thing about this unit is that it can produce powerful sound with low power consumption. The sensitivity level is at a satisfying 90 decibels. I found that the one-inch mylar dome tweeter has helped tremendously in delivering an ultra clear highs and midrange. The manufacturer also claims that it also has an impedance of 4 ohms. To me, the impedance is quite small, so I suggest you to pair it with an 8-ohm speaker for more audio punches. Just like the best pick, Boss Audio can also produce a booming sound even when you put your boat into a full throttle. Overall, the produced stereo sound might not be the best, but it is a strong contender that you should consider if you need a reasonably priced and super loud speaker for your water vehicles.
Boss Audio MR60W Marine 6.5 Inches Full Range Speakers provides 200 watts peak power handling for each pair. The frequency response is also quite good at a range of 80Hz and 20kHz. At an RMS power of 100 watts, the speaker is quite good. It is almost on par with the top pick, but it comes with several drawbacks mentioned in the following section.
Unlike some high-end products that are 100% waterproof, this particular product is lacking the feature. Instead, the manufacturer has coated the material with a special protection to make it, at least, water-resistant. It should be enough to avoid corrosion or degradation caused by the salt water and humidity. Most of the compartments also have a polyurethane injection. It supports the production of a high sound rather indirectly. Plus, the mylar tweeter is also durable and do not rip or wear-and-tear quickly.
In the specification list, the size of the speaker is 6.5 inches but the actual cut-out diameter is at 5.5 inches. Another issue is that there is no cutting template in the packaging. Therefore, you will need to make the measurement yourself. Plus, you should also take note that the mounting depth is 2.5 inches. It makes use a push-on connection. So, there are no wires or screws needed with this device.
As a summary, since the price is affordable, you can buy several pairs of this device and install them on your boat for a bombastic music experience on your water rides.
4. Kicker KM654LCW 6.5 Inches 2-Way Marine Speaker
The audio sensitivity of this Kicker KM654LCW is quite the same with some of the products stated in this guide at 90 decibels. Plus, the impedance is also at 4ohms. As mentioned earlier, you can always buy additional subwoofer and tweeter and install it together with the kicker speaker to fill the spectrum. You will get an incredible sound at a high volume without much distortion. It will sound crisp and loud. The low-range and high-range frequencies of the device are optimal, and many critics can attest to this. The only con of the product is that it does not have any crossover network.
Kicker KM654LCW has peak wattage at 195 watts. The continuous wattage power(RMS) is 65 watts. At a frequency response of 35Hz and 21kHz, it produces a balanced lows, mids, and highs. After looking at these numbers, I can say that the power handling is average and on par with other similar products out there.
The speaker from Kicker sure looks stylish and expensive. It suits well to the high price set by the manufacturer. It packs a balanced dome titanium tweeter. The polypropylene woofer is also highly durable. It packs a surrounding rubber that covers the motor and interior terminals quite well. It is 100% waterproof, not just water-resistant. The stainless steel mounting hardware can easily deter water or rust over time. If you are to purchase this model, you can expect to use it for a very long time!
The installation process of the device is simple and quick. It uses a plug-and-play installation design. The mounting depth is about 3 inches. When turned on, it shows a beautiful LED lighting performance that can amuse you and your guests on the boat. It has 19 modes and projects about 20 colors! Because of these additional LED features, you will need to work with extra cables to turn the lighting on.
Indeed, it is one of the most entertaining speakers to have on a water vehicle. The booming sound and fancy light display can spice up your vacation on the water.
After comparing the products at four different perspectives – audio performance, power handling, durability, and installation – I have come up with the final verdict.
- Audio Performance – The winner in this department is the top pick, Infinity 612M. It has one of the loudest and balanced sounds of them four. Boss Audio is also not bad, and Kicker and JBL follow not too far behind.
- Power Handling – Again, Infinity 612M impresses us all with the highest power handling at 225 watts. Boss Audio, Kicker, and JBL are the next in line with 200, 195, and 180 watts respectively.
- Material Durability- It is quite hard to find the winner since they all have the same durability. However, since the Kicker boasts a stainless steel exterior, I expect it to last longer than the rest of them.
- Installation Features – Infinity and Kicker are also the best speakers with the easiest installation process. The wire on JBL is too small, and Boss Audio does not come with a cutting template.
Read More: Top portable speaker.
Our Best Pick
Infinity Reference 612m