What are Marine Speakers?
Marine speakers, sometimes just referred to as waterproof speakers, are speakers that have specific design features to allow them to withstand a range of weather conditions.
These design features make them suitable for use in an outdoor, marine environment such as on a boat or in a pool area. They work in much the same way as ordinary speakers that you have in your home or car, but have to contend with some other factors.
Marine speakers have to produce a sound that can be projected into large open spaces and be heard over the sound of the boat engine. They must also be able to withstand water spray, salt, fog, sun and dust.
Different Types of Marine Speakers
There are quite a few designs and types of marine speakers. The first difference is the mounting style.
Box speakers – these are easy to mount and there is no need to cut any small holes in your boat. However, they take up more space which may not be ideal on a small boat.
Flush mount speakers – these are sleek and attractive. You do need to create a cutout and they are a little tricky to fit neatly, but they do fit in tight spaces and therefore can be very subtle.
When it comes to the speakers themselves, there are several types for your consideration.
Dual cone – these can be considered cheap and cheerful. They will do an OK job but only have one speaker driver along with two cones. One cone reproduces higher frequencies and the other caters for bass and midrange. If your budget is low you can find some decent dual cone speakers, but it really is worth forking out some extra cash if you can afford it.
Coaxial – often know as 2-way or 3-way speakers, they include a separately driven tweeter and woofer, although the tweeter is located inside the woofer which can cause minor distortion due to vibrations. They can handle high frequencies and create a good sound range. They are more expensive that the dual cone, but can still be purchased for a very reasonable price. The combination of high quality and suitable price makes them a very popular choice.
Component – in these speakers, the tweeter and the woofer are completely separate. This eliminates any possible distortion issues. However, because of this, they are generally more expensive.
Subwoofers – a subwoofer is an extension to the component speaker that helps amplify the sound, which is useful to boost sound over the noise of the engine. It will help create a cleaner sound.
Advantages of Using Marine Speakers
Marine speakers are far more suited for use on a boat, or any other outdoor environment, for a large number of reasons.
They have been designed for this very purpose. Marine speakers are made from materials that will resist corrosion and rust, and be able to withstand being out in the sun for a long time. Therefore they will last a significantly longer time than if you were to install regular speakers.
They are also able to project a loud volume without distortion that can be heard over the engine and other environmental factors.
On top of all of this, most marine speakers come equipped with magnetic shielding. This important feature prevents interference with the compass on the boat. This ensures that the compass will remain in good working order, providing safe navigation which is particulate important in open water.
Here are top ten best Marine Speakers
Sony is one of the most popular brands in the technology industry and they have created an aesthetically pleasing set of marine speakers. They are salt water and UV resistant which makes them ideal for the outdoor environment.
Sony is a well known and trusted brand. These speakers come in two colors and are designed to withstand a large range of weather conditions.
The dual cone style of these speakers means that the quality of the sound is not as good as many of its competitors.
These sleek, coaxial marine speakers are perfect for any environment where they may be in contact with water. They are waterproof and have a rust-proof mesh cover for extra protection against the elements.
Pyle speakers come with mounting hardware and wires, and are available in black and white.
These marine speakers are dual cone, meaning the sound quality is good but not great.
These box style speakers are neatly sized and easy to mount, there is no need for any cutting in and creating extra damage to your boat. The white color is suitable for many decors and the 2-way drive will ensure high frequency and a good sound range.
Kicker Marine Speakers come complete with a mounting kit and produce a good sound.
The included mounting kit may be a little flimsy, you may need to replace it. This may be problematic if you are using the speakers in harsh weather conditions, such as on a boat, as the mounting brackets seem to corrode rather easily.
In the world of sound, Kenwood is a known and trusted brand. When purchasing these 2-way speakers you know that you are buying quality. They are pleasing on the eye and the water resistant cover means that they are appropriate for many outdoor settings
These marine speakers look great
Many of the parts may not be able to withstand the harsh conditions that marine speakers on a boat should be able to endure.
As the name would suggest, MarineMaxx provides quality sound equipment for a marine environment. These box style speakers are incredibly simple to mount and designedly withstand any outdoor environment. The sound produced by these speakers is loud enough to be heard over engine noise.
When purchasing these marine speakers, the mounting kit is also included, allowing for instant fitting. They do not require any cutting of your boat.
These speakers offer only minimal bass sound. Due to the box style, they take up a little bit of room, so if your boat is small you might have an issue.
These marine speakers by Boss Audio offer great quality. The 2-way drive ensures that the sound that is produced is clear. They are resistant to moisture due to the non-removable grill, and the rubber outer and aluminum coil mean they are suitable for environments where there are water and lots of sun, such as poolside or on a boat.
These speakers can be purchased in black or white, as well as a range of wattages. They also come with a lengthy three-year warranty.
A subwoofer may need to be purchased to improve the quality of the sound when music is being played at loud volumes.
This pair of marine speakers offers superb quality and a stylish look. Made with polypropylene and UV resistant rubber, they are suitable for even the harshest of weather conditions. The 2-way drive means that the sound quality is top notch.
Stainless steel mounting hardware is included in the purchase. These marine speakers are tough, rugged and made from high-quality materials to suit any outdoor environment.
The installation will involve drilling holes into the surface of your boat, which has the potential to cause damage if not done correctly.
These elegant black marine speakers offer a lovely, full sound due to the 3-way drive. The included grill covering will help protect the speakers from the harsh outdoor environment. Rockford Fosgate has developed a set of speakers that are a great mix of quality and affordability.
These speakers are made with a polypropylene cone and a rubber surround to ensure durability in a boating environment. They can be purchased in a wide range of sizes, making it easier to find the pair that is most suited to your needs.
These speakers do not project bass sound very clearly.
Polk Audio have created one of the most durable and weather-proof marine speakers on the market. Their ruggedness does not take away from the stylish design and they will be suitable for any outdoor environment. They offer impeccable sound, even over a noisy boat engine.
These speakers are incredibly perfect for any outdoor condition due to the completely sealed design. Their durability is far superior to that of any of its competitors.
Whilst they great sound and toughness, they might be well above budget considering there are many decent and much cheaper marine speakers.
These coaxial marine speakers will provide you with toughness and quality sound. They come with LED lights to help create that perfect party atmosphere. Kicker has designed a very aesthetically pleasing speaker that has a clean sound loud enough to be heard over a boat engine.
The sleek design along with LED lighting provide a novel and functional speaker. The material used to build the speakers will ensure they withstand the outdoor elements.
These marine speakers are more expensive than many others on the market.
Considerations for Choosing Marine Speakers
Buying the most appropriate speakers for your boat goes far beyond simply purchasing marine speakers. There are many factors you should think about first.
Size – where are you going to put the speakers? If you are replacing old speakers it is worth hunting around to try and find ones the same size to avoid having to alter the existing cutout. If you are purchasing for the first time, you need to consider installation.
Quality – remember that your speakers will be competing against other loud noises such as that made by the engine. You want to be able to achieve a loud volume, but without distortion. It is worth investing a little more money in speakers that won’t cackle as you boost the volume.
Magnetic shielding – even you do not need to install your marine speakers near your compass, magnetic shielding is a must. The last thing you want is to be lost at sea because your new speakers are interfering with the effectiveness of your compass.
Mounting – factor on how you will fit the speakers. Can they be mounted as they are or do you need to cut out small panels in your boat to make them fit? One isn’t necessarily preferable over the other, it’s more of a personal preference.
Color, design, and shape – aim to match your speakers with the décor of your boat. This may seem a little unnecessary, but by styling speakers and boat together your speakers will be discreet and not stand out.
When it comes to buying marine speakers it is worthwhile doing your research. By understanding your needs you will be able to weigh up all the factors that come with purchasing marine speakers. High price does not always equate to superior quality and, as you can see from our list, there are many mid-range speakers that will do the job just fine.