Best Marine Speakers

The Top 5 Best Marine Speakers of 2019

If you are looking for marine speakers, it's important to know the best brands and get the highest quality speakers you can. The marine environment is tough on speakers; they need to withstand water, rust, salt, and heat.

These considerations aren't just important for boat speakers; you may want to install marine speakers outdoors on a deck, near a pool, on a swimming platform, or on the outside of an RV or camper. You need well-made speakers to withstand these rough environments and deliver clean, crisp sound on the water or with all your outdoor recreation.

When faced with this tough speaker environment, some people choose to get inexpensive marine speakers, knowing they won't last more than a year or two and will need to be replaced anyway, or invest in marine speakers made from the highest-quality components for lasting performance. Both perspectives have their merits, and we have considered both needs in our evaluations.

With that in mind, here are some of the best marine speakers currently available.

Comparison Table

SPEAKER

POWER RANGE

FREQ

SENS

IMP

PRICE
(APPROX)

OUR RATING

Pioneer-TS-MR1640

30W RMS

160W Peak

30Hz - 30kHz

91dB

$65

Sony-4-XS-MP1611

65W RMS

140W Peak

45Hz - 20kHz

90dB

$50

Kenwood-KFC-1653MRW

50W RMS​

150W Peak

60Hz - 20kHz

86dB

$45

Pyle-PLMR60W

75W RMS 150W Peak

80Hz - 18Khz

-

$20

BOSS-Audio-MR60W

100W RMS

200W Peak

80Hz - 20kHz

90dB

$25

Pioneer TS-MR1640

Pioneer TS-MR1640

Pioneer TS-MR1640

These Pioneer TS-MR1640 marine speakers have an astounding frequency range, so you'll never miss a note: from 30Hz-30kHz, they produce true, clear sound.  Coupled with an above average sensitivity rating of 91dB, which makes for a much more efficient speaker compared to others in this range.  This is significant, because with a continuous power rating of only 30 watts RMS, its power output is way below the average speaker in this range - the higher than average sensitivity rating goes some way towards balancing this out.

Construction wise, these marine speakers are manufactured with exceptional quality, with gold-plated lead wire and connection terminals, an elastomer surround that resists color fading, and an AES glass-fiber reinforced basket/magnet cover for exceptional durability. The Pioneer TS-MR1640 marine speakers are specifically designed to withstand a harsh marine environment, with water resistant injection molded polypropylene composite cones that sound great and withstand salt water, heat, and humidity.

With the TS-MR1640, Pioneer has thought of everything that nautical speakers require, and built it in to the design. The 2-1/4” mounting depth and 5-1/8” diameter holes make them easy to install in most standard speaker setups, and they are high-quality, durable speakers that sound great no matter where you are.

Technical Details

  • Design: 6.5" / 2 Way
  • Power Range: 30W RMS / 160W Peak
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz - 30kHz
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mount Depth: 2-1/4"

Pros

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    Higher than average sensitivity rating
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    Wide frequency range
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    Quality construction

Cons

  • Very low power output

Features

Performance

Value

Our Rating

Sony XS-MP1611

Sony XS-MP1611

Sony XS-MP1611

Sony, a brand that is synonymous with a wide range of electronics, and one that we typically associate with gaming consoles and TVs first and foremost, is nonetheless still quite active in the mobile audio space.

They also have a marine audio presence: the Sony XS-MP1611, a slick looking speaker, boast a reasonable 65 watts of power, and a standard sensitivity of 90dB, delivering a reasonable level of loudness no matter where you go, and no matter how wet and rough the environment. The wide 45Hz-20kHz delivers the full range of sound at all volumes, with deep bass, sharp mid tones, and clear vocals due to the rigid woofer cone.

Aesthetically they are a nice looking speaker, but while they are IPx5 certified for marine use, and are UV coated and saltwater resistant, the overall durability of the speakers may be a concern as many owners have reported the speakers no longer operating after a year or two, and needing to be replaced.  

On the other hand, their particular design, along with a low mounting depth, makes them a very easy install for many boats, and they are a certainly a great improvement on a boat's factory speakers. They are also a good, affordable choice as an outdoor speaker in general, as long as you are not expecting them to withstand a prolonged beating from the elements.

Technical Details

  • Design: 6.5" / 2 Way
  • Power Range: 65W RMS / 140W Peak
  • Frequency Response: 45Hz - 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mount Depth: 2"

Pros

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    great sounding
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    easy to install
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    look nice

Cons

  • low durability

Features

Performance

Value

Our Rating

Kenwood KFC-1653MRW

Kenwood KFC-1653MRW

Kenwood KFC-1653MRW

These Kenwood KFC-1653MRW marine speakers deliver solid sound quality, with durable design and construction that makes them easy to install and use on a boat, even with saltwater splashes. With a frequency response of 60Hz-20kHz, you won't get the very deepest bass, but they deliver great sound through the midrange, and excellent clarity in the high notes.

As far as power output, the KFC-1653MRW is on the low end of the scale: with a power rating of 50 watts RMS, and a sensitivity rating that is one of the lowest amongst the speakers reviewed at 86 dB, this is one of the quieter and less efficient speakers on our list.  On the other hand, as you might expect from a brand like Kenwood, the speakers produce a satisfyingly clear, high quality sound.

The speakers is well constructed, with a water-resistant polypropylene woofer and 1” dome tweeter, and ultimately provide good volume and range on a boat.  The shallow mounting depth of 2-7/16” is on the larger end, but the speaker is still relatively easy to install.  All in all, this is a great speaker at a reasonable price.

Technical Details

  • Design: 6.5" / 2 Way
  • Power Range: 50W RMS / 150W Peak
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz - 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 86 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mount Depth: 2-7/16"

Pros

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    clear, high quality sound
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    good construction

Cons

  • lower power / sensitivity than average

Features

Performance

Value

Our Rating

Pyle PLMR60W

Pyle-PLMR60W

Pyle- PLMR60W

Pyle's PLMR60W marine speakers deliver great features and performance at an affordable price. The frequency response of 80Hz-18kHz is a little narrow, so you won't get particularly deep bass or particularly high notes, but with 75 watts RMS of power they deliver plenty of loudness. It's worth noting that although they are marketed as a 2-way speaker, they do not have a separate tweeter and are in fact are dual cone only.

The Pyle PLMR60W speakers have a lot of great design features that make them well suited for a boat or simply for installing outside near a pool or deck. They are completely water and weatherproof, able to withstand splashes, with ABS construction to combat sun and weather damage. In addition, the low profile design has a mounting depth of 2.48” making them easy to place and easy to install.

One complaint we'd have is that the screws provided with the speakers are not in fact stainless and will rust soon after initial exposure to the elements; As such, we recommend buying a substitute set of stainless screws.

Overall, these speakers are sufficiently loud enough to hear over engine noise, and durable enough to use year after year. They don't have the best audio quality, but they are rugged and affordable, and often a marine environment is noisy enough that non optimal sound quality isn't a major concern.

Technical Details

  • Design: 6.5" / 2 Way
  • Power Range: 75W RMS / 150W Peak
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz - 18Khz
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mount Depth: 2.48”

Pros

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    very affordable
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    loud
  • good sound for price

Cons

  • screws provided will rust immediately
  • 2-way label misleading

Features

Performance

Value

Our Rating

BOSS Audio MR60W

BOSS Audio MR60W

BOSS Audio MR60W

Another budget option, the BOSS Audio MR60W speakers pack a suprising punch, with a whopping 200 watts of RMS power, for great loudness over engine noises, background noises, and overall performance. Coupled with a decent 90dB sensitivity, they achieve good clarity in sound reproduction. They also have a decent frequency response range of 80Hz-20kHz, although with the higher than average minimum low end range, you may want to add a subwoofer for more robust bass.

As you'd expect from a marine speaker, the MR60W is weatherproof and corrosion resistant.  They are constructed with a poly injection cone, an aluminium voice coil, and a Mylar tweeter, and all the major components have been coated in order to protect them from corrosion typically present in humid / salty environments. The speakers also come with a 3 year platinum warranty. 

Overall they are a good speaker for the price and make affordable OEM replacement speakers.  One thing to note is that, despite the standard speaker dimensions, they do not fit standard size holes, so please take into consideration if you are upgrading to the BOSS MR60W marine speakers in an existing installation.

Technical Details

  • Design: 6.5" / 2 Way
  • Power Range: 100W RMS / 200W Peak
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz - 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mount Depth: 2.6"

Pros

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    very high power output
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    affordable

Cons

  • do not fit standard size holes

Features

Performance

Value

Our Rating

Final Thoughts

Marine speakers are incredibly useful in any outdoor environment, and even some indoor environments: some people install them in the shower. Choosing good speakers with good sound quality and durable construction makes your summers (and maybe your showers) more fun and more convenient.  

With your budget in mind, we hope our selection above ensures you are able to choose the best marine speakers for your needs, and make the most of your outdoor activities for years to come.


Key Terminology

RMS

Audio companies generally advertise their products using terms like "MAX" or "Peak power".

Forget about all that. When we're discussing power, RMS is the only value that lets you make any sort of meaningful comparison between two products. Why is that?

Well, RMS stands for Root Mean Square. No math lessons here; this just means that RMS measures how much continuous power a component can handle safely.

Peak power is how high the system can go at maximum output, but it can't stay at that wattage for long without causing problems.

That's why devices that advertise "peak power" are being a little misleading. What's really important is sustained sonic output for an indefinite length of time.

RMS lets you quickly and easily compare power outputs between components.

This means a speaker with 200-watt MAX but only 60-watt RMS is less powerful than a speaker with 100-watt MAX and 80-watt RMS.

Range / Response

When we start talking about speaker range or frequency response, you might have a general idea of what we mean.

On the surface, it's pretty simple. Range is a measure of how much of the audible sound range the speakers can produce. It's measured in Hertz (Hz), with low numbers being long, deep tones (like the boom of a drum) and high numbers being shorter, sharp tones (like the singing of a bird).

Obviously, we're only concerned with the portion of the Soundwave we can hear. Human ears are capable of responding anywhere from 20Hz to 20,000Hz (or 20 kHz).

Range is a simple concept to understand, yet difficult to master. If you want to fully appreciate the implications of range and how it applies to audio equipment, you have to dive into some complex mathematics. That's beyond the scope of this article.

For now, just remember: Range is a useful way to measure how much of the audible spectrum a device can produce.

Please note - it doesn't tell you anything about the quality of that sound! Don't make a purchase based entirely on response.

Impedance

This fancy term just means how much AC resistance exists in the wiring of the speakers. Please note: Different frequencies can have different impedance values.

Generally, most loudspeakers will have resistance that ranges between 4- and 8-ohms. As long as your speakers have similar impedance to your amp, you'll be fine.

A higher impedance means that an amplifier will have to push more voltage to create the same sound quality. On the other hand, it also means a component can handle more juice without taking damage.

As long as you make sure these values are in alignment, you shouldn't worry too much about impedance.

Sensitivity

This isn't how fragile or delicate your speakers are; nor does it have anything to do feelings. This is a universal metric that simply tells you how much sound pressure (loudness) an audio device will create at a stated distance on a single watt.

What does this mean to you? The more sensitive your speakers are, the less power they require to produce the same amount of volume. Basically, it's translating more of that raw power into crisp audio goodness!

Depth

My first car was a 2005 Subaru WRX. I loved her, but she had very shallow door panels and it was a struggle to find speakers with a profile narrow enough to fit.

Depending on your ride, you'll have more or less room to work with as you build a stereo system. Make sure you don't make the mistake I did and assume depth is universal - you could save yourself some serious money and a lot of heartache. 

Work components around your car; don't work your car around components.

How much room will you need to mount the speaker in your vehicle? What's the difference between "top mount" depth and "bottom mount" depth?

Top-mount depth is how much room the top of the speaker needs from the point of installation. This is how far it 'juts' out into your car interior.

That means bottom-mount depth is how much room the bottom of your speakers need to clear the interior of your dash or panel.

For simplicity's sake, in our reviews we focus on the more commonly available measurement: top-mount depth.

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