Marine & Boat Speaker Lists

Best 8” Boat (Marine Grade) Speakers in 2024

Best 8” Boat (Marine Grade) Speakers in 2024

Why Trust Our Opinion on Boat Speakers?

First off, whether its automotive audio or marine audio – we’re all in. And just because we’re “CarAudioNow” doesn’t mean we don’t love boats and boat stereos too. When it comes to marine audio, we’ve got over a decade of experience documenting custom installs and product reviews. Our founder, Kameron, is particularly invested in boat stereos – just check out his stereo upgrades on a Nautique G23Axis A22 and Lightning 247SX (to name a few). It’s dozens of installations like these that make us an expert in not only car speakers, but marine speakers too.

CarAudioNow is also an award winning blog, founded and built from the ground up by car enthusiasts over a decade ago. We don’t use AI to throw regurgitated information about a few boat speakers on a list and say they’re “the best”. We’re dedicated to providing meaningful and authentic lists, with practical information that will help you make an informed decision on a product. And we do it because we genuinely enjoy or highly regard the stuff we add to our lists. Our readers and our reputation are both more important to us than a quick buck or the top rank on Google – although both of those would be nice! Read more about how we choose our top lists here.

Speakers made for cars will technically work on your boat, for a little while at least. But after a while, the sun, spray, moisture, and elements will kill even the best car speakers. For boats (or marine applications in general), you need speakers designed for the environment that audio components are subjected to while on the water. You will also want speakers that are powerful enough to be heard over the roar of the engine, the pounding and chop in the water, and wind. If you really want to step up your boat audio game, having the right speakers is essential.

8” marine speakers are becoming more and more common today. Only a few years back, the 6.5” marine-grade speaker was the ideal configuration. You can see our list of the best 6.5 boat speakers here. But 8” speakers are becoming much more mainstream now, mainly because the extra size allows for a broader range of frequencies allowing them to be truly full range. It makes a HUGE difference when you’re not concealed inside a car with doors and windows which is why we decided to dedicated a new list just for this size and type of speaker for your boat. A number of great speakers are on the market today that will work nicely on your boat. But with prices all over the map and dubious claims by manufacturers, it can quickly become overwhelming to pick the best speaker for your boat.

At CarAudioNow.com, we are dedicated to finding the best quality products and the best value, while fully exploring the newest technology and market trends. We put together this list of the best 8” marine speakers for you by extensively researching the products on the market to find what works and what doesn’t. We’ve installed many of these first hand, and have heard them in their elements. Additionally, we pour over manufacturer specifications to find the best quality and performing speakers. Great tech is awesome, but when the build quality isn’t there, you can pay a lot of money for a hi-tech speaker only to have it fail or distort. We research thousands of reviews from dozens of companies on numerous products. We started out with more than 30 options for you, then narrowed it down to only six that meet the technology standards and robust build quality you will expect, while producing the most amazing sound you have ever heard.

Any of these 8” marine speakers will be a great choice and should give you at least a good direction for what to buy. Let's get right into what 8″ speakers we selected and why!

Best 8 Inch Boat Speakers List

Best Overall 8″ Boat Speaker: JL Audio M3-770X

JL Audio M3-770X front and angle with light blue
JL Audio M3-770X green angle
JL Audio M3-770X blue angle
JL Audio M3-770X purple view
JL Audio M3-770X back view

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 7.7 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 70 watts RMS
    • 225 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 45-25,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90.5 dB

JL Audio M3-770X Quick Review

‘How can a 7.7” speaker be the best 8” speaker on the market?’ you might ask. I’ll be honest, when we started researching marine speakers in the 8” size, we kept coming back to the incredibly realistic, dynamic sound and deep bass from JL Audio’s 770 speakers.

What sets the M3-770 apart from every other speaker on this list is the overall high-quality of the speaker. Yes, it sounds as good or better than many higher priced 8” speakers. Yes, it delivers tremendous bass. Yes, it has LED lighting that, let’s face it, you know you want.

When you compare the specs on this speaker to other 8” speakers, it would seem this one doesn’t belong on the list. It’s 70 Watt RMS rating is the lowest on the list. The speaker is also only rated down to 45 Hz, while many of the speakers on this list will scrape the bottom of the human hearing frequency. So, how can it be the best?

JL Audio doesn’t screw around when it comes to making sure you get a tough speaker that is equipped to handle the high seas. They built a special factory just for marine-grade products. The M3-series of speakers have been subjected to 400 continuous hours of UV rays and 200 continuous hours of salt and fog, exactly the conditions you are going to use these speakers in. JL Audio made sure that you will buy these speakers and not need to replace them for years. They really are that tough.

Toughness doesn’t matter if the speaker sounds like garbage or can’t get loud enough to overpower your boat. Not only will these speakers get loud, they will produce crisp, clean highs and booty-shaking bass even when cranked way past the limits.

Reasons to Buy
  • Tough as nails construction
  • Excellent sound reproduction for any stereo
  • Slightly smaller size can improve mounting options
Reasons Not to Buy
  • Should be mounted in a box to get the full range of frequency
  • Price is somewhat higher than bigger, more powerful speakers

Best Volume Pick: Wet Sounds REVO 8

Wet Sounds REVO 8-SWW main blue front and angle
Wet Sounds REVO 8-SWW front red view
Wet Sounds REVO 8-SWW angle

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 150 watts RMS
    • 300 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 35-22,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB

Wet Sounds REVO 8 Quick Review

Wet Sounds does a number of things well with their speakers, but among them – they make speakers that are designed to get wet. For those of you who are familiar with Wet Sounds’ tower speakers, these REVOs were designed to match the intensity and quality of the tower speakers that they’ve really became known for. They are undoubtedly a world leader in factory-installed speakers on powersports and marine boats, and for good reason. Wet Sounds puts out one tough speaker. Every component is specifically designed to provide excellent sound in the wettest conditions.

The REVO 8 is a true 8” speaker and uses Santoprene surrounds and spiders to guarantee durability and an injection molded frame. A 1” titanium tweeter and a fully-rubberized magnet provide excellent frequency response and toughness.

Wet Sounds rates these marine speakers for 150 watts RMS. As with most 8” speakers, an amplifier is almost essential to truly get the most out of the REVO 8 speakers. With a high-quality box and a good amplifier, you can get excellent, deep bass and clear high frequencies.

Set your boat up with these speakers and keep the good times going into the night. The RGB LED display is smooth and provides an awesome way to set the mood. An optional controller can be hard-wired and allows thousands of color combinations for a shimmering, shifting effect that is simply stunning to behold. You can also match the RGB LED lighting up with a pair of their tower speakers to create one, synchronous light show on your boat!

Reasons to Buy
  • Among the very best for marine durability
  • Excellent mid-range even with low power
Reasons to Buy
  • Among the very best for marine durability
  • Excellent mid-range even with low power

Splurge Pick: JL Audio M6-880X

JL Audio M6-880X-S-GwGw front and rear angle view
JL Audio M6-880X-S-GwGw front view
JL Audio M6-880X-S-GwGw front angle view
JL Audio M6-880X-S-GwGw side view

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8.8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 125 watts RMS
    • 250 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 38-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90.5 dB

JL Audio M6-880X Quick Review

Since our Best Of speaker was a little under 8”, why not have our Splurge be just a little bigger. After all, if you are going to spend a little more, don’t you think you should get something extra?

Take everything about the JL Audio M3-770X that put it at the top of the list and add 1.1” of cone diameter, a massive 1.25” silk-dome tweeter, and you get one heck of a speaker. JL Audio doesn’t mess around when it comes to rating their speakers -when they say it will have a frequency response as low as 37 Hz, they mean you are going to feel the bass. Our editor, Kameron, sat in on a 2020 G23 Nautique earlier in the year and was “blown away” by the quality and clarity of these speakers. “It brings your boat stereos to a new level” he said.

This speaker can be powered with as little as 50 watts, but come on! This monster needs an amplifier. JL Audio says you can put up to 250 watts of amplified boom per channel to really rock the boat. Even without an amplifier, though, this speaker does a phenomenal job getting the lows and highs clean, punchy, and loud.

Reasons to Buy
  • Great coverage of the lower frequencies
  • Insane physical durability
  • Among the most efficient and responsive marine speakers available
Reasons Not to Buy
  • Big-time price tag
  • Silk tweeters blow more frequently than titanium

Best Value Pick: Kicker 45KM84L

Kicker 45KM84L front black and white view
Kicker 45KM84L front red view
Kicker 45KM84L white front angle view
Kicker 45KM84L side view of casing and magnet
Kicker 45KM84L rear view of magnet

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 150 watts RMS
    • 300 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 30-21,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB

Kicker 45KM84L Quick Review

Above all else, Kicker is known for producing ridiculous bass from their woofers, and that is what you are signing up for when you install a set of these two-way marine 8” speakers. And you won’t believe the specs you get at this price point, either.

First off, Kicker UV-treated the polypropylene cone and attached it with a Santoprene surround. Now, you don’t typically see a Santoprene surround in a budget speaker, so you know Kicker was serious when they wanted you to get the thump from an 8” speaker.

The sound engineers at Kicker used a titanium 1” tweeter to get the most out of the high-mids and highs without that annoying, tinny sound that seems to be a trademark of cheap speakers. Good quality, clear, and loud sound is all you should expect from Kicker’s marine speakers.

These are the cheapest 8” speakers on this list, but not by much. In listening comparisons, some people preferred the Kickers, some prefer the Infinity speakers. They really are so close together in sound features, durability, and price that it is almost a coin flip.

Reasons to Buy
  • Legendary Kicker bass
  • Cheapest speaker on the list
  • Options usually seen on high-priced speakers
Reasons Not to Buy
  • High frequency response gets lost at full power
  • Limited LED lighting options

Highest Power Handling: Rockford Fosgate M2-8

Rockfrod Fosgate M2-8 and M2-8B
Rockford Fosgate M2-8
Rockford Fosgate M2-8 front
Rockford Fosgate M2-8 side

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 250 watts RMS
    • 1000 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 40-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB

Rockford Fosgate M2-8 Quick Review

Rockford Fosgate marine speakers are some of our favorite 8” designs for a handful of good reasons. Let's start out with the durability factor. These speakers carry an IPX6 rating, making them perfect choices for marine applications, obviously. Everything from the UV-treated polypropylene woofer cone to the internal crossover and the laminated PXNX dome tweeter ensure that you’ll get season after season of dependable and reliable performance. 

Simply withstanding the elements isn’t enough for us, though. In order for a speaker to end up on this list, it has to be able to perform at an exceptional level, and this is where some of the Rockford Fosgate technologies stand out These speakers use a VAST rubber surround that allows the woofer cone to produce sound waves associated with a much larger speaker, most notably bass. This is ideal for outdoor or boat applications because bass sometimes doesn’t travel as well as higher frequencies do, especially from full range speakers like these. 

The M2-8 power handling abilities also reflect the advanced surround design. With an RMS rating of 250 watts and a peak of 1,000 watts, you are going to want a good marine-grade amplifier to get the best performance from these speakers.

Rockford Fosgate also incorporated ColorOptix technology, which allows you to put on a light show that is every bit as impressive as the sound quality from these speakers. Boaters that want even more power and volume should also check out the sister speaker, the M2-8H that features a horn-loaded tweeter for exceptional high-frequency sound production.

Reasons to Buy
  • The volume output and sound quality are exceptional for an 8” speaker
  • ColorOptix technology gives these speakers some of the best lighting effects on the water
Reasons Not to Buy
  • Somewhat pricey, particularly when adding in the cost of the lighting controller

Best Convertible 8″ Boat Speaker: JBL Stadium Marine 82M

JBL Stadium Marine 82M
JBL Stadium Marine 82M speakers coaxial configuration
JBL Stadium Marine 82M convertible speaker with midrange
JBL Stadium Marine 82M rear

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 200 watts RMS
    • 500 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 30-25,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB

JBL Stadium Marine 82M Quick Review

Convertible speaker designs are uncommon for marine applications but are increasingly popular in the automotive world. The JBL Stadium Marine speakers are one of the newest designs on the market and have several unique features that make these quality products stand out from the pack. We recently did an unbox and review of the JBL Stadium Marine lineup and were really impressed. Probably the most unique thing about them is the ability to detach the tweeter/mid from the woofer and set your system up as a component design. If you decide you want things more compact, the tweeter simply plugs right back into the center of the woofer to be used as a coaxial setup.

The woofer uses a tried-and-true polypropylene cone design that is both rigid, lightweight, and durable. The 82M takes advantage of JBL Plus One technology that provides as much as 35-percent more surface area on the cone to further enhance mid-low and low frequencies along with overall responsiveness. That’s backed up with a 92db sensitivity rating that means this speaker set will perform well even at low volumes and won’t distort when you crank the volume up.

The removable tweeter uses a mylar dome to enhance high-frequency throw to help get the vocals over the sound of the water, wind, and motor. Mylar makes for a nice compromise between titanium domes that can be harsh and silk dome tweeters that can sound muddled on a boat.

The entire package is supported by a unique polymer basket that uses unique rotating cams to lock the speaker in place when you mount it. The speaker has an IPX3 overall rating and an IPX5 rating on the front that will prevent moderate sprays of water from causing damage. One unique feature that we like from these speakers is the inclusion of dual LED lighting. There is an LED ring around the outside of the speaker and another that fires down from the grill onto the cone. This design gives you tons of lighting and really makes the speakers stand out on your boat.

Reasons to Buy
  • Convertible design allows for tremendous flexibility in mounting locations and sound-stage solutions
  • Really cool LED lighting solution that gives you lots of lighting and enhances the appearance of any boat
Reasons Not to Buy
  • Minimal corrosion risk on the speaker wire connectors that may affect performance over the life of the speaker
  • Removing and replacing the tweeter requires a special tool and is a little bit of a hassle

Best Budget Pick: Infinity Reference 822MLT

Infinity Reference 822MLT pair front view
Infinity Reference 822MLT angle front
Infinity Reference 822MLT front view
Infinity Reference 822MLT green front view
Infinity Reference 822MLT red front view
Infinity Reference 822MLT blue front view
Infinity Reference 822MLT purple front view
Infinity Reference 822MLT rear view

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 150 watts RMS
    • 450 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 30-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB

Infinity Reference 822MLT Quick Review

If you have ever been in a car with a set of Infinity Reference-series speakers, you know how full, rich, and dynamic they are. When Infinity made the decision to go nautical with their Reference speakers, they didn’t hold back. These are not just car speakers dressed up for your dinghy. These 8” speakers make waves.

One of the best things about reference-series speakers from Infinity is the high degree of fine tuning the engineers put into every model. Anyone can make a speaker that is loud, or makes good bass, or provides life-like highs. Not very many companies make a speaker that does all three, and finding a better price for the high-quality you get puts the 822MLT speakers on this list.

Infinity beats the hell out of all their speakers before they put them on the shelf. They freeze them, bake them, and run them at peak power for days and days. Infinity decided to add salt, fog, and UV to these tests for the marine grade speakers, ensuring the Reference speakers you buy today will sound just as great three, four, or five years from now, no matter what you try and do.

Reasons to Buy
  • Affordable price
  • Excellent balance of bass, mids, and highs
  • LED lighting
Reasons Not to Buy
  • Bass is not as punchy as some speakers on this list
  • Average frequency response

Runner Up, Best Budget Pick: MB Quart NH2-120

MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 black
MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 white grille angle
MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 silver grille angle
MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 woofer front
MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 rear
MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 tweeter closeup
MB Quart Nautic NH2-120 spider

Latest Prices

Key Features

  • Speaker size: 8 inch
  • Power handling:
    • 90 watts RMS
    • 180 watts peak
  • Frequency range: 20-24,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB

MB Quart NH2-120 Quick Review

MB Quart might not be a name you are most familiar with, but the company has a long history of producing high-end audio products, particularly studio recording systems. In the 1980’s, the Germany-based company began developing marine-certified speaker systems to offer high-fidelity sound quality to boaters. In 2022, MB Quart introduced the updated Nautic-series that features designs more commonly associated with high-end home theater than car or marine audio applications. 

The NH2-120 is the only marine-certified compression driver that we have on this list. Typically, these types of speakers fall into the high-end category, so we were surprised to find these carry a budget-friendly price tag. Compression speakers differ from traditional speakers in the way the frequencies are distributed. By using a diaphragm-mounted tweeter that feeds into a horn through a phase plug, the NH2-120 speakers can produce significantly more volume than a similarly sized speaker, which makes this design ideally-suited for on the water use. 

The compression design also allows for near total sealing from water, dust, and salt. The NH-120 8” drivers carry an IP67 rating, one of the highest we have seen in any price range. Details such as an internal crossover that is conformal-coated and a special UV-resistant paint that is used extensively give these budget speakers the chops to handle life on the water. They have excellent power handling properties and unexpectedly-good sound quality. 

Reasons to Buy
  • Impressive sound quality and volume handling for a budget speaker
  • Very good dust and water protection
Reasons Not to Buy
  • Requires a deeper installation depth than many comparable speakers due to the horn design

Looking for a different type of marine speaker? Check out these lists!

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