Best Marine Speakers

Nowadays, there are more people taking to the water for fun. Just because you are hitting the waves in a boat doesn’t mean you need to do without some music.

You can use a phone or another portable music device, but these don’t make the best boat speakers.

What any music lovers needs in their vessel is a specially made boat speaker system, these can transform any waterborne outing including a quiet day fishing into an eventful day.

There are plenty of marine speakers out there, but not all are up to the heaviest watery escapades. So here, we will look at which speakers are designed for use on the waves, and if they are any good.

Marine Speaker for your boat

What is a Marine Speaker?

Marine speakers are much more than just being waterproof speakers for boats. There are huge differences between these and car speakers. The environment is very different so the acoustics need to be catered for.

Car speakers are in an enclosed environment, so specific sounds carry much different in the air and have solid surfaces to reverberate against.

Boat audio systems blast their music into thin air and have no hard surfaces which to bounce off.

A marine speaker system also has to bear the elements, not just being on the water and receiving a splash of water, but being able to withstand the sun and changing temperatures.

A boat radio and speakers system should deliver the best sound experience possible. Come rain or shine, the best speaker setup should be able to perform regardless of the weather.

Polk Audio DB651 6.5″ 6.75″ 2-Way Marine Certified db Series Car Speakers with Liquid Cooled Silk Tweeters

1. Polk Audio DB651 6.5″/6.75″ 2-Way Marine Certified db Series Car Speakers with Liquid Cooled Silk Tweeters

These Polk Audio DB651 are like a bigger brother to the Polk audio DB521 and it shows. They deliver more power right where you need it.

Pol is one of the largest names in vehicle audio, and these Polk audio marine speakers are at home in any vehicle, so you can expect these to be the best 6.5 marine speakers.

They can be a great upgrade and will enhance any audio system you have fitted already. They are easy to fit with their mounting brackets, and when in use they deliver crisp clear sounds that make these the best boat speakers while out boating.

Pros

  • 1-year warranty
  • Marine certified – rain and splash resistant
  • High-power 180 watt each speaker
  • Distortion free sound
  • Rust proof
  • Work great with original sound systems
  • Power efficient
  • Easy to install
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Can’t be adjusted to fit smaller mounting holes than 6.5 inch
  • Very flashy so stand out
  • Bass doesn’t compare to more expensive speakers

Technical Specifications

  • Size: 6.5 inches (Marine certified)
  • Power: Peak 180 watts each
  • RMS: 60 watts each speaker
  • Materials: Polymer mica composite woofer
  • Materials: Liquid-cooled silk polymer composite tweeter
  • Mounting: Shallow depth

The Polk marine speakers 6.5 inch speakers are marine certified and can take plenty of splashes or can fend off the rain. They will also last for ages if someone sits them facing the sun.

With a guide price of just under $65, these punch well over their price for delivering crisp clear sounds.

The marine speakers are also energy efficient, so they won’t strain your battery if you are standing and have your music playing for extended periods.

For any marine audiophile, these are a great installation choice on any vessel.

Marine Speakers BOSS Audio MR50W 150 Watt (Per Pair), 5.25 Inch Full Range, 2 Way, Weatherproof

2. Marine Speakers | BOSS Audio MR50W 150 Watt (Per Pair), 5.25 Inch Full Range, 2 Way, Weatherproof

Boss is one of the largest names in audio equipment. While these deliver rich sounds, they lack power because of their size, that being said, they come in larger than other speakers, so for only being a 5.25 inch speaker, they are on the large side.

During testing, they were found hard to install in current holes. Holes will need to be enlarged, and if going for these Boss audio speakers, you need to be careful you can fit new ones if these should die.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty
  • Cheap
  • Rich clear sounds
  • Quality construction

Cons

  • Some depth installation issues – 3 inch depth
  • Larger than other marine speakers
  • Not very stylish
  • Only water resistant

Technical Specifications

  • Size: 5.25 inches
  • Power: Peak 150 watts each
  • RMS: 75 watts each speaker
  • Materials: Polyurethane woofer
  • Materials: Mylar tweeter
  • Mounting: Shallow depth

While not being anything like a set of Boss tower speakers, the MR50W delivered plenty to like for their very affordable price of a little under $30.

They class these as water resistant, but it looks like these are meant to receive only a quick splash rather than facing an afternoon in the rain.

They can be a great set of marine speakers, but it is recommended to fit them where they are undercover.

The company claims certain components are coated in corrosion protection, this can help, but for long-term exposure, this may not be sufficient and they may not be the best 5.25 speakers you can find.

6.5 Inch Dual Marine Speakers - 2 Way Waterproof and Weather Resistant Outdoor Audio Stereo Sound System with 150 Watt Power, Polypropylene Cone and Cloth Surround

3. 6.5 Inch Dual Marine Speakers – 2 Way Waterproof and Weather Resistant Outdoor Audio Stereo Sound System with 150 Watt Power, Polypropylene Cone and Cloth Surround

These waterproof marine speakers are intended to be used in a variety of situations. Even though they are cheap, and coming in at just under $20, the expectations were not too high.

While researching the main problems users were having were poor sound and the screws rust after one shower or a trip on the water.

The screws are a minor issue, but a 6.5 inch speaker that sounds poor isn’t acceptable. During testing, we found sound to be average if there was little background noise, so in the middle of a lake or out at sea, they may be okay.

Add in some background noise and try to crank up the volume, and then it’s a different story.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Low Profile design
  • Multiple color options
  • Durable
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Not very loud
  • Screws rust quickly
  • Tweeter grill doesn’t cover a tweeter

Technical Specifications

  • Size: 5.25 inches
  • Power: Peak 150 watts each
  • RMS: 75 watts each speaker
  • Materials: Polypropylene woofer – cloth surround
  • Materials: Polymer tweeter
  • Mounting: Shallow 2.5 inches
  • Machined ABS basket and grill

With a waterproof construction, we can only surmise that the materials used in such a cheap speaker set have affected the sound quality.

These speakers come with a 1-year warranty, but we can only say that users may not make full use of this if they head out onto the water more often than not.

For the price and being waterproof, these can be ideal for situations with only two or three people, if the party increases, you better look somewhere else.

Infinity Reference 612m 6.5-Inch 225-Watt High-Performance 2-Way Marine Loudspeaker

4. Infinity Reference 612m 6.5-Inch 225-Watt High-Performance 2-Way Marine Loudspeaker

Being priced over $270, these speakers are at the top end of most people’s budget. The infinity 6×9 marine speakers are designed with one purpose, and that is to fend off water and moisture.

For the most, they can do this easily, but they are in fact only water resistant, and not waterproof. For this cost, you are looking at a marine radio and speakers.

These marine audio speakers come with sealed motors and cones and are UV resistant. With this, they should be able to handle a few splashes more than some of the other speakers in the review. Because of their power, they may be the best 6.5 speakers for bass.

Pros

  • Designed for use on water
  • Sealed motors and cones
  • Durable and UV resistant
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Don’t sound as good as they look
  • Need extra hole if replacing 4-screw speakers
  • Water resistant not waterproof

Technical Specifications

  • Size: 6.5 inches
  • Power: Peak 225 watts each
  • RMS: 75 watts each speaker
  • Materials: Polypropylene woofer
  • Materials: Polypropylene tweeter
  • Mounting: 5 screw – template included

The infinity marine stereo speakers look the part and are built to withstand some heavy use. In the sound stakes, we actually found there was some base missing on the low end, but if you keep it at a suitable level, then this won’t be clear.

The Infinity 6.5 marine speakers deliver crisp sounds which are clear and can be understood in a noisy environment.

They can handle high amounts of power, and there is no chance you can spoil them by cranking up the volume.

These are well worth being on the list, but you will need a marine radio with speakers, and a serious lover of music to have some of these tucked away in your vessel.

Sony XSMP1611 6.5-Inch Dual Cone Marine Speakers

5. Sony XSMP1611 6.5-Inch Dual Cone Marine Speakers

These Sony marine speakers are like many Sony products and look stylish. With removable grills, these can be easily painted to match anywhere they sit.

Although they are not as powerful as other marine speakers in the reviews, they do deliver clear tones and notes all the way through their range.

With a guide price of around just over $50, these speakers are as affordable as they are good looking.

The looks go much deeper and these can stand up to the elements as they are saltwater resistant.

Pros

  • Removable grill
  • Flush design
  • Water resistant and UV resistant
  • Clear quality
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low power handling

Technical Specifications

  • Size: 6.5 inches
  • Power: Peak 140 watts
  • RMS: 65 watts each speaker
  • Materials: Polypropylene woofer
  • Materials: Polypropylene tweeter
  • Mounting: 2.2 inches

Perhaps they could benefit from being able to handle higher power as there are plenty of user reports these speakers are not lasting.

Anyone looking for speakers would be better looking at purchasing them with one of the Sony marine amplifiers, this way you have more of a leg to stand on if you need to use the warranty.

During testing, we found these marine box speaker to be more than satisfactory unless you need to push them to their top end, then there is some distortion creeping in, and it is easy to see why these speakers may not be lasting.

In a noisy area, this distortion can’t be heard, so rather than limiting the sound, they are being pushed beyond their limits.

Looking for the best marine speakers

What to Look For When Buying Waterproof Boat Speakers

Looking for the best marine speakers doesn’t mean they will serve you well. You can pay an extortionate amount for Bluetooth marine speakers only to find, they are not built to stand up to marine environments.

There are a few other things to consider making sure you get the best value for money, and performance that meets your needs. Here are a few pointers what to look for.

Use of speakers

This is often overlooked. While you are after speaker for a boat, you do need to know what you will be using them for.

Fishing on a boat differs greatly from towing water skiers or wakeboarders behind you, so the needs are very different.

Water sports often come with loud music, so the sound may need to carry to the person you are towing.

This means the sound quality needs to carry through a full range up to the highest of power ratings.

Your Budget

It is tempting to purchase the nicest looking set of speakers, but these can cost a small fortune. You need to consider how often you use your boat to see if there is justification in the cost.

If you only use your boat a few times a month, then the watt of power these speakers can pump out will be wasted the rest of the time.

Boat location

Mounting positions can have a huge impact on your marine speakers. Boat speaker installation can have them located under cover, or in the open so they face all the weather has to throw at them.

If someone exposes them, then there can be a requirement for coming with water resistance rather than being water proof.

Marine speakers fit in specific locations because of their depth. The holes also need to be specific sizes, if you are replacing factory or old speakers, then the new ones need to fit in these locations.

Speaker direction

To get the most form your marine sound system. You need to be sure you have the right location. A lot of speakers are directional, so they only push sound in certain directions in which they point.

If you have an area where you wish your sound to be heard, you need to be sure your speakers can deliver into this area. If not, you will have a severe loss of audio quality, and stereo will be negligible.

Magnetic shielding

They build speakers from magnets. This means you can have a compass which is affected when your speakers are turned on.

If your speakers are well away from where you steer, this won’t be an issue, but it is worth remembering that it could be speaker features you need if they are close to your center console.

Power and amplifier

Because speakers come with a high wattage, it doesn’t always mean you can get this from them. Most speakers are limited by the source of your sound, so an amplifier can be a good choice.

If you opt for this, you will find you needs speakers which deliver a large frequency range, and their sensitivity rating falls in line with amplifier use.

Amplifiers deliver more power, so if your speakers can’t handle this extra power, then you can blow them without realizing.

Water Resistant

For casual use, then water resistant should suffice unless you know they will be continually wet.

For protection, most come with a polypropylene cone for the woofer and sometimes if they are dual speaker, a polypropylene dome tweeter.

This being said, some use different materials that are still resistant to water. One other area that is often overlooked is, speakers need UV resistance. They can be hit by the sun while on the water, or while they are moored up.

Polk Audio DB651 6.5″ 6.75″ as Best Marine Speakers

Final Verdict

We looked at five sets of speakers that cover the full range of budgets. Before long we saw that the cheaper options were suffering in sound quality when the power was increased.

The one more expensive option wasn’t as good as it appeared on paper. We found the best marine grade speaker sat in the middle and easily delivered the best bang for the buck. The winner we found was in the Polk audio speakers review.

They have plenty of scope in the power department which was surprising for small marine speakers.

The Polk Audio DB651 6.5″/6.75″ 2-Way Marine Certified db Series Car Speakers with Liquid Cooled Silk Tweeters were the easiest to install, they delivered the best sounds through the range, and they look good.

They are certified safe for marine use, so they easily stand up to heavy downpours as much as the odd splash.

From all the speakers we tested, we found these suitable for all boating conditions. When turned down low, there was still lots of clarity, and even when the bass was pumping, there was no distortion and the Polk just kept on delivering.