Best Waterproof Marine Stereo System for Your Boat

There’s more to owning a boat, no matter how small or how big, than the horsepower on your motor or that majestic onboard Jacuzzi and freshly polished hardwood deck. A good boat without a matching stereo system can easily turn boring regardless of whether you are a loner or like bringing company on your summer cruises.

How else will you enjoy the calm breeze on your brow, the sun’s rays on your skin and that cocktail other than playing the right tunes to set the mood right? A good marine stereo will always come in handy when you have some company and want to get a small party rolling.

Even though most boats and yachts come with a stock stereo, chances are it will sound crappy unless you are riding a high-end boat or piping tunes through audiophile grade headphones. Upgrading isn’t that hard if you know the best marine stereo system and speakers to use.

That is what we are going to help you with. If you are in a hurry, you can check out this comparison table for our top picks. If you want to know how we came up with the list, scroll down to see what we considered (and what you must consider) before making the call.

JVC KD-X33MBS

jvc kd-x33mbsThe JVC KD-X33MBS is one of the best marine Bluetooth stereos you can find. Besides Bluetooth, this stereo has many other connections for most if not all your digital devices granting you different entertainment options. The display has anti-glare capabilities meaning you can easily operate it on your open boat without a struggle. You can plug in both Android or iPhone devices through a front-facing USB port that also supports fast charging.

This stereo seamlessly connects with services like Apple Music and Pandora (through your phone) while giving you control of the music through the receivers controls too – whether you are on a Bluetooth or USB connection. If you want to listen to the radio, the receiver comes with SiriusXm satellite radio. Lastly, you can also insert a thumb drive or a microSD card as sources of music in various formats including FLAC, WAV, MP3, and WMA, driven by a 24-bit digital audio converter.

Check the price on Amazon.

Pros

  • SiriusXM available
  • Multiple digital device support
  • AUX and Bluetooth

Cons

  • Lacks wireless remote

 Kenwood KMR-M312BT Marine Stereo System

kenwood kmr-m312bt

Like any modern-day stereo receiver, the Kenwood KMR-M312BT stereo system comes with Bluetooth capability. This feature allows you to wirelessly stream music from most digital devices and supports hands-free calling. It also features an equalizing technology that ensures waves, winds and other surrounding noises do not interfere with your music listening experience. You can also connect your Android phone, iPhone or iPod through a front USB input for charging and music listening.

The speaker set of this system features a pair of speakers, a powerful polypropylene woofer built to last – and a nice tweeter that clearly brings out the instrument details and vocals in your music. Hook this system up with an external amplifier and you will get an even better experience. For radio, the Kenwood KMR-M312BT has an antenna that is weather resistant and features a braided cable for longevity.

Check the price on Amazon.

Pros

  • Bluetooth
  • External amplifier support
  • Multiple digital device support

Cons

  • Does not have satellite radio

JBL PRV-175 Marine Stereo System

Another top-rated marine stereo system worth considering is the JBL PRV-175 Marine Stereo System. This unit takes up little space making the perfect choice for installation in your boat. Even if you have a small boat, this system will fit in well without any problems. Like its counterparts above, the JBL PRV-175 connects to various digital devices both wirelessly (Bluetooth) and through a USB port.

Upon connection of your phone through the USB port – you will get the benefits of rapid charging meaning you get to do two things concurrently. It is also watertight so you do not have to worry about any contact with water. Installation is easy and adds a beautiful look to your boat too. It has a built-in amplifier but you can connect an external amplifier if you feel the need to add it. The only downside of this product is it may heat up if used for long periods.

Check the price on Amazon.

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Small size
  • Easy installation
  • External amplifier support

Cons

  • Heating up after extended usage


Jensen MS2ARTL Marine Stereo System

jensen ms2artlThe Jensen MS2ARTL is one of the best marine stereo with wired remote support. What makes this product a marine stereo best buy is it mobile app that you install on your phone and allows you to control it at the palm of your hand. It connects wirelessly to your phone via Bluetooth. In addition, the Jensen MS3ARTL comes with an AUX input for it to work as an external speaker to your digital devices – as well as USB input that can also charge up your phone.

Extra features include a zero count memory draw and a low battery alert to keep you informed on your device’s status at all times. The top of the Jensen MS2ARTL is a solid chassis complemented by a corrosion and UV resistant finish to keep it looking as good as new for a long time.

Check the price on Amazon.

Pros

  • Mobile app
  • Damage resistant
  • Low battery alert

Cons

  • Lacks satellite radio

Aquatic AV AQ-MP-5BT Marine Stereo System

aquatic av aq-mp-5bt-hThe Aquatic AV AQ-MP-5BT Marine Stereo System is another outstanding stereo worth your consideration. This unit comes with a waterproof storage area, which is large enough to carry your phone. As such, your phone can be safe from water splashes, which is almost unavoidable during a boat ride. It features an AUX input and a USB port, which can support any of your devices as long as you use the right cables.

Also, you get a Bluetooth connection for wireless music streaming that has two-way communication so you do not have to use your phone as a control. It has an FM/AM radio that carries 30 station presets and a colored display that shows a song’s details as it plays. It has a rotary knob, which makes controls easier and supports the connection of an external amplifier to enhance your music listening experience.

Check the price on Amazon

Pros

  • Has a phone storage unit
  • Colored display
  • External amplifier support

Cons

  • No satellite radio

Sony DSX-MS60 Marine Digital Media Receiver

g158DSXMS60-CThis receiver is optimized for use with the iPod. Its Tune Tray features keeps your iPod just behind its face to protect it from water. Within the receiver’s circuits is a moisture resistant and waterproof coating to protect its electronics. For this reason, you do not have to worry about any damages from rain or salt among many other substances that may get into the receiver.

The Sony DSX-MS60 comes with a three-band equalizer that lets you play around with the sounds to suit your taste. It has a powerful built-in amplifier with an allowance to boost it even further with an external amplifier. You may also pop in a thumb drive loaded with music into a USB port on the Tune Tray or even a Walkman using an optional adapter. You also get an FM/AM tuner and option to plug in a satellite radio into the AUX input.

Check the price on Cruchfield.

Pros

  • External amplifier support
  • Water resistant circuits
  • Walkman support

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity

Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver

pyle marine bluetooth stereoThe Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver as its name suggests – comes with Bluetooth wireless audio streaming. It also features a built-in microphone, which when coupled with Bluetooth, allows you to use hand-free calling for convenience. You also get an AUX input alongside USB and SD card readers to directly play your preloaded music from the various storages. An FM/AM tuner with 30 presets is also available if you need radio.

On the front panel, you will find illuminated button controls to enhance visibility and beauty. You also get a remote control meaning you do not have to be next to the stereo at all times. It works with virtually all smartphones so you do not have to carry your music elsewhere.

Check the price on Amazon.

Pros

  • Remote control
  • Hands-free calling
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • No satellite radio

Fusion Entertainment MS-RA70 Marine Entertainment System

fusion entertainment ms-ra70

The Fusion MS-RA70 is a sleek marine stereo system that employs some of the latest technologies to deliver a great music experience on water. You would not have to reconfigure your dash space to install this unit since it features cleaver styling. This allows mounting the unit with a conventional dash finish – or integrating into a glass helm. The MS-RA70 comes with a companion smartphone app that allows seamless connection with full control over the stereo through Bluetooth.

This stereo also features an IPX7 rating to survive the marine environment including water if mounted in the right way. It has an LCD display for clarity even in the high seas. You also get a USB port to connect your phone for both music access and charging. Lastly, there is an FM/AM tuner to let you listen to your local radio station if that is your thing. It comes with a one year warranty.

Check the price on Amazon.

Pros

  • Companion smartphone app available
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • No satellite radio

 

What to Consider Before Buying a Marine Stereo System

Marine systems aren’t cut of the same block. Some are thoroughbreds, powerful monsters built to grace medium-sized to large party boats. Others are faithful, hardworking mules that will fill your boat with decent music for years to come. Here are the top things we considered (and you should consider) when choosing our sound systems.

How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

The upper limit on your budget will always be a crucial determining factor when shopping for anything. Are you willing to break the bank to get state of the art technology or are you on a tight budget? Once you know your upper limit, you can start looking for that stereo system that will give you the perfect value for your money.

What Do You Use Your Phone For?

If you own a fishing boat, an affordable but powerful stereo that is water resistant and hardy will be more reasonable. If you use your boat as a chill spot, you can afford to go for fancier marine stereo system with multiple speakers, satellite radio, and perhaps a dedicated subwoofer to bring that music to life.

Boat Size and Design

The bigger your boat, the more external speakers and raw watt power you will need for the best experience from your marine stereo. You will not only need a powerful stereo that can push more speakers harder but one with preamp outputs so that you can hook up external amplifiers to extend your system’s reach.

marine stereo

Connectivity With Other Devices

The age of purchasing physical music has passed giving way to a digital era. Find a stereo that has Bluetooth or another wireless capability so that you can connect to your devices like smartphones and tablets for music. However, if you are still content playing music from your USB flash drive or an AUX cable, there is no need to spend more on a marine stereo receiver with wireless connectivity or internet streaming capabilities.

Ease of Installation and Warranty

Installing a new marine stereo system on your own may prove to be a daunting task. For this reason, you have to make a decision on whether you should hire a professional to do the installation or take up the task on your own. You should then check on availability of warranty and what it covers to ensure value for your money. Also, you should also check on the display and controls of the system and pick one, which is easy to control and has a legible display.

Marine Stereo Reviews

If you want to find out what is the best marine stereo for you – go through the following reviews and make your decision. It is a compilation of some of the best marine stereo systems you can find out there.

The ultimate marine stereo system will always comprise of a good head unit and decent speakers. Apart from considering sound quality and connectivity, ensure that your system can endure the harsh salty or humid environment your boat has to contend with whenever you take it out to sea or go for a quick ride on the lake.

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