Last updated on June 28th, 2021 at 09:57 pm
In this article: We'll review 6 of our best pick 8″ marine and boat speakers and provide quick reviews, photos, opinion and price comparisons for each to save you money!
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!
Looking for a different type of marine speaker? Check out these lists!
Best 8 Inch Boat Speakers List
Best Overall 8″ Boat Speaker: JL Audio M3-770X
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.
- Tough as nails construction
- Excellent sound reproduction for any stereo
- Slightly smaller size can improve mounting options
- Should be mounted in a box to get the full range of frequency
- Price is somewhat higher than bigger, more powerful speakers
Best Value Pick: Kicker 45KM84L
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.
- Legendary Kicker bass
- Cheapest speaker on the list
- Options usually seen on high-priced speakers
- High frequency response gets lost at full power
- Limited LED lighting options
Best Volume Pick: Wet Sounds REVO 8
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!
- Among the very best for marine durability
- Excellent mid-range even with low power
- Among the very best for marine durability
- Excellent mid-range even with low power
Splurge Pick: JL Audio M6-880X
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.
- Great coverage of the lower frequencies
- Insane physical durability
- Among the most efficient and responsive marine speakers available
- Big-time price tag
- Silk tweeters blow more frequently than titanium
Best Budget Pick: Infinity Reference 822MLT
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.
- Affordable price
- Excellent balance of bass, mids, and highs
- LED lighting
- Bass is not as punchy as some speakers on this list
- Average frequency response
Best Power Handling Pick: JBL Club Marine MS8LB
JBL Club Marine MS8LB Quick Review
Whoa! 450 watts of peak power per channel? That is a boat load of beats. JBL didn’t just make a speaker that can handle your huge amplifier, either. These Club Marine speakers are designed from the ground up to be the ultimate in aquatic sound.
JBL seals the motor and uses a cast-polymer basket as the base of these great speakers. Everything is UV-treated to prevent fading, cracking, and damage. Even the connectors have been engineered to reduce the effects of salt, sun, and fun.
What these speakers are meant to do is pound sound on the water. You could probably run them okay with a 50-watt head unit, but why? Get a nice, big amp on these suckers and let it rip. You can crank it at maximum all day long and when the evening comes, switch on the RGB LED lighting to keep the party going.
- Good price point
- IPx5 Marine rating
- Great sound when amplified
- Demands an amplifier
- LED lighting is bland compared to competitors