10 Best Marine Speakers in 2022: Review and Buying Guide

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10 Best Marine Speakers

A great set of marine speakers is an excellent addition to any boat and will significantly improve your experience at the lake or the sea. In this article, we will review 10 of the best marine speakers available in the market today and explain what you should keep in mind when shopping for the product.

You first must understand that marine speakers aren’t the same as standard ones. Speakers intended for boats must be waterproof and able to withstand conditions like harsh weather and sun exposure, for example. They must also provide you with good sound quality, as we will explain below.

How We Picked these Best Marine Speakers

Sound Quality

Of course, sound quality is one of the most important factors when buying any set of speakers. We favored marine speakers with a wide frequency range and a good frequency response with great balance across the spectrum.

The frequency range of a marine speaker refers to the lowest and highest frequencies it can reproduce, and it is a crucial factor in determining if the product can deliver great bass and clean highs. Frequency response, on the other hand, refers to how the speaker behaves across the frequency spectrum. Some speakers have more presence in specific frequencies than others.

Wattage and Sensitivity

Wattage and sensitivity are essential factors in the quality of a marine speaker because they will determine its loudness and quality. Wattage is shown in Watts and can be represented as RMS (average wattage) and Peak Wattage (peak power draw of the speakers). Sensitivity, however, determines how well the speakers convert the audio signal into energy.

You must also ensure that your head unit is compatible with the marine speakers you intend to buy. For example, if your head unit has a minimum impedance of 2 Ohms, you must ensure the speakers have an impedance of at least 2 Ohms. In some cases, you might need to use an external amplifier.

Weather and Salt Resistance

Your marine speakers must be resistant to weather and salt. Marine speakers are waterproof and dustproof, different from the speakers you find in a car. Some marine speakers are given an IPXX rating, which will determine how resistant it is to being submerged and splashes of water, among other possible elements.

If a speaker is intended for marine use, you can rest assured it is waterproof. To learn more about IPXX ratings, look at our IPX Ratings Explained article.

Size

Make sure the size of the marine speakers matches your mounting template. Marine speakers can come in a wide range of sizes, usually in inches: 5.25″, 6.5″, etc. It is great to plan how you plan to mount the speakers beforehand to make the installation process easier and avoid any problems.

It is also important to keep the mounting depth in mind, so your speakers look aesthetically pleasing in your boat.

10 Best Marine Speakers in 2022

Best Marine SpeakersRatingPriceReview
Kenwood KFC-1653MRW4.7Check AmazonRead Review
Pyle PLMR6KW4.3Check AmazonRead Review
Sony XSMP16114.6Check AmazonRead Review
DS18 HYDRO NXL-64.3Check AmazonRead Review
Rockford Fosgate M0-65B4.7Check AmazonRead Review
Seismic Audio - SA-525M01W3.5Check AmazonRead Review
KICKER KM4.7Check AmazonRead Review
Herdio 6.5 Inch Bluetooth5Check AmazonRead Review
Fusion XS-FL65SPGW4.9Check AmazonRead Review
Kenwood KFC-1653MRB4.5Check AmazonRead Review

1. Kenwood KFC-1653MRW

Kenwood KFC-1653MRW

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Water Resistant PP Cone
  • Tweeter: 1″ Balanced Dome Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 60 Hz to 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 50 Watts RMS, 150 Watts Peak
  • Sensitivity: 86 decibels

Review

The Kenwood KFC-1653 is a 2-way marine speaker set with 4 Ohms of impedance, water-resistant PP cone woofers, and 1″ balanced dome tweeters. It is not as powerful when it comes to bass response as some other options on the list, but considering its price of $92 per pair by the time this article was written, it is quite affordable.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Most head units can power it without needing an external amplifier.
  • Water-resistant PP cone woofers.
  • Good sensitivity.
  • Very affordable.

Cons

  • Not the best design.
  • The bass response is not that great.

2. Pyle PLMR6KW

Pyle PLMR6KW

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Waterproof Cone
  • Tweeter: 0.5″ Neodymium Dome Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 85Hz-24kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 100 Watts RMS, 200 Watts Peak
  • Sensitivity: 90 decibels

Review

The PLMR6KW kit from Pyle features two woofers and two 0.5″ neodymium dome tweeters that can be mounted separately. It also includes a pair of crossovers for easier installation. Considering everything you get with the product, the price of $50 is quite affordable, but you might need an external amplifier to power this component speaker set.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Woofers and tweeters can be mounted separately.
  • It’s got a good response in the high frequencies.
  • It comes with a pair of crossovers.
  • Decent wattage and good sensitivity.

Cons

  • The bass response is not that good.
  • It might need an external amplifier to be powered.

3. Sony XSMP1611

Sony XSMP1611

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Water Resistant IPx5 Cone
  • Tweeter: Water Resistant Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 45Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 65 Watts RMS, 140 Watts Peak
  • Sensitivity: 90 decibels

Review

These marine speakers from Sony have a 6.5 dual cone design and removable grilles. We like the fact that the brand specified the IPXX rating for these speakers: IPx5, which means they will survive water splashes and jets. The rating should be sufficient for most use cases, but it isn’t fully waterproof, which is a drawback.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good frequency response.
  • The brand specifies that these marine speakers have an IPx5 rating. 
  • The product is resistant to UV rays and salt.
  • It has good sensitivity.
  • It has removable grills.

Cons

  • While an IPx5 rating will work for most cases, it is not waterproof.

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4. DS18 HYDRO NXL-6

DS18 HYDRO NXL-6

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Waterproof IP65 Woofers
  • Tweeter: Water Resistant Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz-23kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 100 Watts RMS, 300 Watts Peak
  • Sensitivity: 90 decibels

Review

The DS18 HYDRO NXL-6 marine speakers have a great design and feature waterproof IP65 woofers inside a 6.5″ casing with a wattage of 300 watts peak. These features make these speakers much more powerful than most other options on the list. The IP65 rating of these speakers also means they can survive strong water splashes and jets and are fully dustproof and sand proof. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It has higher wattage than most other options on the list.
  • It has high sensitivity and an excellent frequency range.
  • Available in both 6.5″ and 8″ options.
  • It’s got shallow mounting depth, making this speaker excellent for small spaces.

Cons

  • These speakers are more expensive than other options on the list.

5. Rockford Fosgate M0-65B

Rockford Fosgate M0-65B

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: High Temp Kapton Woofer
  • Tweeter: 0.5″ LCP Balanced Dome Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-25kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 65 Watts RMS, 250 Watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 90.5 decibels

Review

Rockford is one of the most renowned brands in the consumer-grade speakers market. The Fosgate M0-65B is shielded against water salt, dust, UV rays, and, most importantly, water splashes. The price of these marine speakers isn’t the lowest, but considering the quality of the product, it holds its value very well.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Slick all-black design that will fit most boat interiors.
  • These speakers are very good at reproducing high frequencies, thanks to the 40Hz-25kHz frequency range.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • It costs much more than other marine speakers.

6. Seismic Audio – SA-525M01W

Seismic Audio - SA-525M01W

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Propylene Edge with Rubber Edge Waterproof Woofers
  • Tweeter: 1″ Waterproof Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 50 Watts RMS, 100 Watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 90 decibels

Review

The Seismic Audio – SA-525M01W is one of the most well-built marine speakers on the list. Since they are not only water-resistant but waterproof, they will survive even the harshest weather conditions be it in fresh or salt water. The price is also surprisingly affordable: $50 by the time this article was written.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It has a solid waterproof construction that will survive the harshest weather conditions.
  • Sturdy design.
  • Affordable price.
  • Easy installation, comes with mounting cutout template.

Cons

  • These speakers don’t have the best response in the low frequencies.

7. KICKER KM

KICKER KM

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: UV-Treated Polypropylene Woofer
  • Tweeter: 1″ Waterproof Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz-21kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 65 Watts RMS, 390 Watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 90 decibels

Review

KICKER is known for its high-quality speakers. While the price of these is a little higher than most other options on the list, it is understandable given the excellent quality of the materials used in the product and its resistance to weather elements. The sound quality is also impressive, with a very wide frequency response.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • These speakers come with two sets of grill covers in different colors.
  • Excellent frequency range. Great response, particularly in the lows and highs.
  • It has 390 watts of peak power, higher than most other options on the list.
  • It has larger tweeters compared to other marine speakers.

Cons

  • These speakers are very expensive.

8. Herdio 6.5 Inch Marine Bluetooth Speakers

Herdio 6.5 Inch Marine Bluetooth Speakers

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: UV-Treated Polypropylene Woofer
  • Tweeter: 1″ Waterproof Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz-18kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 65 Watts RMS, 120 Watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 90 decibels

Review

This kit from Herdio comes complete with a pair of marine speakers, a Bluetooth amplifier, and an AC adapter, meaning an easier installation. These speakers were priced at $69.99 when this article was written. Therefore, you won’t find a model on a budget that offers the same benefits and quality as this one. 

You can also mount these speakers on a ceiling, which may be a great option depending on your boat setup. Furthermore, it also comes with a Bluetooth amplifier and an AC adapter

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • These speakers are very affordable, at only $69.99 per pair.
  • It comes with a Bluetooth amplifier and an AC adapter.
  • They are easy to install. 
  • Good design.

Cons

  • The frequency range is not that good.
  • These speakers can only be installed on the ceiling.

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9. Fusion XS-FL65SPGW

Fusion XS-FL65SPGW

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Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Injection-Molded Polypropylene Cone Woofer
  • Tweeter: Aluminum Dome Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz-18kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 50 Watts RMS, 200 Watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 91 decibels

Review

These speakers by Garmin have excellent components such as the aluminum dome tweeter and a good reputation among buyers. They are available in black and white in a flush mount style and look and feel very sturdy. One of their most notable features is that they are fully protected from harsh marine environments. It also features RGB LED lighting for improved design.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The materials on these speakers are very sturdy and durable.
  • Installing these speakers is very easy. 
  • These marine speakers are shipped with all the necessary screws.
  • Their features include RGB-led lighting.
  • These speakers have shallow mounting depth and a flush mount design. 
  • They are perfect for smaller spaces in your boat.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • The response on the high frequencies is not that great.

10. Kenwood KFC-1653MRB

Kenwood KFC-1653MRB

Check Price on Amazon

Specifications

  • Drivers: 2-Way
  • Woofers: Injection-Molded Polypropylene Cone and Rubber Surround Woofer
  • Tweeter: 1″ Balanced Dome PEI Tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Wattage: 50 Watts RMS, 150 Watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 86 decibels

Review

Kenwood is a renowned brand in the market of speakers. The KFC-1653MRB is solid and made with solid materials designed to resist harsh conditions that last a long time. It also comes with several extras, such as mounting screws and speed clips, making the installation process much more manageable.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Their construction is solid.
  • These are not the most affordable pair of speakers and are reasonably priced considering their quality.
  • They have an excellent frequency range.
  • These marine speakers come with everything you need to install them.

Cons

  • They have lower sensitivity than other models on the list.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Marine Speakers

When shopping for marine speakers, you want to remember some essential factors, which we will explain below.

Should You Purchase Waterproof Speakers or Water-Resistant Speakers?

It depends on your particular use case. Expensive models are usually waterproof, and they will be able to withstand harsher conditions (and can even be submerged underwater). These speakers are the best for extreme situations.

On the other hand, water-resistant speakers will survive splashes and jets of water, depending on their IPXX rating. These speakers are suitable for most occasions if you’re only sailing or fishing and not doing extreme activities with your boat. These must also be installed inside the cabin.

Where Should I Install Marine Speakers?

It will depend on the particular model of your speaker and your boat. Still, usually, it is recommended to install coaxial full-range marine speakers as high as possible for optimal performance. This is the case when you install the devices in places such as your boat’s cabin.

The speakers are also commonly installed on the side of the seats. If you plan to add a subwoofer, always place it as low as possible.

What Level of Sound Quality do you Want out of your Marine Speakers?

Ideally, you want a pair of marine speakers that sound good but also offer a great deal of protection against harsh weather elements. To ensure your marine speaker is good-sounding, always look at specifications such as the product’s frequency range and sensitivity.

As a rule of thumb, the higher the frequency range of a marine speaker, the better. This is because it will be better able to reproduce the lowest and highest frequencies of the frequency spectrum. Sensitivity will dictate how well the device turns the audio signal into energy, so it is vital to aim for a high number.

Do you Need Marine Speakers with Magnetic Shielding?

It will depend on your boat and the location you install your speakers. Depending on these factors, your speakers may cause magnetic interference and affect your compass’ function.

If you’re installing your speakers on the back or the sides of your boat, away from the cockpit panel, you likely won’t need magnetic shielding. If you’re installing the product near the compass panel, choosing a magnetically shielded pair would be best.

What Additional Functionality and Features Should you Consider?

Different marine speaker models come with additional extra functionality and features. For example, the Herdio 6.5 Inch Marine Speakers come with a Bluetooth amplifier and are meant to be mounted on the ceiling, which is great if you’re looking for a pair with a more straightforward installation process.

Other than that, cosmetic features such as removable grills and LED lighting are also welcomed. Some models even come with multiple grills in different colors!

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Conclusion

Several options available on the market for marine speakers offer a great balance between audio quality and resistance to harsh elements. When looking for the best marine speakers, consider factors such as the frequency range and sensitivity. Always ensure that your product is water-resistant or waterproof, depending on your use case.

While all of the speakers on the list perform very well, two models became our favorites: the PYLE PLMR6KW and the Herdio 6.5 Inch Marine Bluetooth Speakers. Both are affordable, costing around $50, and offer a great balance between sound and build quality. You can find the link to each product’s respective titles on the list. If you found our 10 Best Marine Speakers in 2022 article helpful, please consider sharing it!

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