Are you looking for a little extra punch from your marine stereo? Finding a top notch marine subwoofer for your boat is the solution. You may think an aftermarket subwoofer is just for seasoned audiophiles, but they’re for anybody who wants more out of their marine audio.

The best subwoofers for boats not only add extra bass, they’ll make your other speakers sound better. Better sound from your speakers is achieved by relieving them of bass duty. Instead of pumping out the highs, mids, and lows all at once, your subwoofer can take care of the deep lows while your other speakers deliver crisper, clearer high and mid-range sound.

If you’re just getting started on creating your dream marine audio setup, read some of our other reviews. Check out our lists of best marine stereos and best marine speakers and find what’s right for you. A good marine amplifier can go a long way in powering your system too, especially with a subwoofer.

Looking for the most powerful bass money can buy? Do you just want a little extra kick in your boat? No matter what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find the best subwoofer for your boat on our list.

Who Is This Review For?

This review is for anyone looking to improve their boat stereo. If you want the whole lake to hear you coming, we have booming subs for you. If you want to flesh out your existing setup with some clean sounding bass, we have subs for you too. This review is for everyone from the most obsessed audiophiles to casual boaters who like to turn up the music on the water.

There are a few things every speaker on this list has in common. They’re all high-end products that have been carefully engineered for marine use. They use special materials and construction methods to ensure they can stand up to salt, sand, UV rays, and of course, water. These subwoofers can take a beating in the great outdoors and still sound great.

So whether you’re shopping for your first sub or your hundredth, you’ll find the best boat subwoofer for you thanks to this list.

Best Boat Subwoofers | What to Look For

The specs you need to know are pretty similar to what you should look for in any subwoofer. We’ll go over those specs and what they mean to make you an expert.

  • RMS Power Rating - We’re going to be talking a lot about RMS power ratings. It’s not something you hear a lot about from the manufacturer and we’ll get into why that is in a minute. RMS stands for “root mean square” which is a mathematical measurement of the best value of a waveform. What it means in plain English is the recommended power rating. RMS is the power level at which you can listen to music through a sub for a sustained period of time. This power level is measured in watts. This is one of the main specs you should be looking for when shopping for the best marine subwoofer. Something to keep in mind - each manufacturer calculates RMS a little differently. If you’re concerned about it being able to keep up with your amp, dig in and do some extra research on how the manufacturers you like measure their RMS.
  • Peak Power Rating - Peak power is where the bragging rights lie for subwoofers. It’s the number you’ll see marketed and plastered in a big font on the packaging. While it’s not as important as RMS, it’s a bigger number so it’s the one manufacturers like to throw around. Since most people don’t know the difference between peak and RMS, they figure the bigger the number, the better. While it’s true that a higher peak power means it can go louder without blowing up, it isn’t as important as RMS. A subwoofer can only handle input at its peak power for moments at a time, not at that high of a sustained volume. If there’s a loud part of a song that goes higher than the RMS, the peak power takes care of it. When looking at the peak power rating of a sub, make sure it matches up with the peak power of your head unit or amplifier. If you feed a sub more watts than it can handle, you’ll have problems.
  • Impedance - Impedance isn’t a huge deal, but it’s still worth noting and understanding. You’re going to see measurements of ohms in each subwoofer description. Ohm is a measurement of electrical resistance which is basically what speaker impedance is. The subwoofer acts like a big resistor and the lower the ohms, the more power it can handle from an amplifier. Lower ohms ratings are often found on high-end products like the ones we’ve reviewed here. The best subwoofer for boats usually has an impedance rating of 4 ohms or lower.
  • Size - This might seem obvious, but sometimes the size of a subwoofer is overlooked. 10-inches is the most common size for marine subwoofers, but there are varying sizes for different applications. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. There’s an 8-inch sub on our list that would be great for a smaller boat or if you just want it to be less noticeable.
  • Mounting - Like size, mounting is important to keep in mind when thinking about where you’re going to put your sub. While the diameter of the actual speaker might be uniform, shapes and sizes can vary greatly between different models. Some are deeper than others. They all have different mounting brackets. Some are intended to go into special enclosures. When you find the best boat subwoofer for you, make sure you do some measuring and have an idea of how you’ll mount it. You don’t want to get it and then figure out you can’t install it where you wanted to.
  • Marinization - What sets the best marine subwoofers apart from normal ones is the marinization. A car subwoofer doesn’t need to be able to withstand the elements like a marine one. Marinization doesn’t just mean water resistance. It also needs to be able to stand up to salt, UV rays, and maybe sand. They’re marinized not only for durability, but to maintain high sound quality with the right protection on the right components. Take your environment in consideration when choosing your sub.

Best Marine & Boat Subwoofer List

# 1. Alpine Marine SWR-M100

Alpine Marine SWR-M100

Editor's Rating:

4.8 Stars

  • 10” Marine Subwoofer
  • 900 watt peak
  • 300 watt RMS
  • 4 ohm impedance
  • Thermal management system
  • Integrated insert and spade terminals
  • Hidden screw mounting and grille design
  • Waterproof rubber mounting gasket

Price Comparison

Alpine Marine SWR-M100 Quick Review:

An old favorite in the car audio arena, Alpine makes a fantastic marine subwoofer. The SWR-M100 has everything people love about Alpine. It’s a good value, it delivers excellent sound quality, and it looks as good as it sounds. This 10-inch subwoofer has an RMS rating of 300 watts and a high peak of 900 watts. Alpine’s car audio expertise shines in this subwoofer. The bass it cranks out sounds like something you’d hear in a high-end car stereo setup. It sounds so good at high volumes it almost sounds like you have multiple subwoofers in your boat. On top of all of that, it has the build quality you’d expect from Alpine.

# 3. Kicker 43KMW102

Kicker 43KMW102

Editor's Rating:

4.8 Stars

  • 8” Boat Subwoofer
  • 500 watt peak
  • 50-200 watts RMS
  • 4 ohm impedance
  • Injection-molded mica-filled polypropylene cone bodies
  • Synthetic rubber surround specifically formulated with UV inhibitors
  • Marine grade progressive roll synthetic fiber spider
  • Proprietary Dynamic Motor Analysis (DMA) technology

Price Comparison

JL Audio M8IB5-SG-TB Quick Review:

This subwoofer from JL Audio is a somewhat compact design with an 8-inch diameter. Power rating is moderate with an RMS range of 50-200 watts making it good for stereo systems without an amplifier. For example, if you have a head unit powering two speakers and want to add a subwoofer, this one from JL Audio would make a good addition. It’s more for filling out low bass sounds rather than adding pounding bass. It makes your whole system sound better by taking the bass duty away from the other speakers. It’s also built to high marinization standards so it will hold up in your boat for years. It comes with a cool titanium sport grille to add a bold, yet tasteful look to your system.

# 3. Kicker 43KMW102

Kicker 43KMW102

Editor's Rating:

4.7 Stars

  • 10” Boat Subwoofer
  • 300 watt peak
  • 150 watt RMS
  • 2 ohm impedance
  • Injection-molded polypropylene cone
  • Single voice coil
  • Santroprene sound

Price Comparison

Kicker 43KMW102 Quick Review:

This 10-inch Kicker subwoofer is kind of similar to the JL Audio one we just talked about. It doesn’t have a super high power range and that’s just fine. What you do get is a high quality subwoofer that makes a great addition to any boat sound system. Looking for a little extra kick, but don’t need anything crazy? This Kicker could be what you’re looking for. With RMS at 150 watts, it gets the job done with rich bass. It’s marinized with an injection-molded polypropylene cone and locking, splash-proof terminal covers. For extra bass in your boat from a trusted brand, this Kicker is one of the best boat subwoofers.

# 3. Kicker 43KMW102

Kicker 43KMW102

Editor's Rating:

4.7 Stars

  • 10” Marine Grade Subwoofer
  • 600 watt peak
  • 300 watt RMS
  • 2 ohm impedance
  • Powder coated cast aluminum frame
  • Gold plated speaker terminals
  • Injection molded composite cone

Price Comparison

Wet Sounds SW-10FA Quick Review:

Wet Sounds is a leader in the marine audio industry. Boating audio enthusiasts love them for their obsessively engineered products and top-notch build quality. If you want really high quality marinized materials, Wet Sounds might be your best marine subwoofer. It has a powder coated cast aluminum frame with a great strength to weight ratio. The speaker terminals are gold plated and it has an injection molded composite cone. This 10-inch sub has a healthy RMS of 300 watts. It has an aggressive closed grille aesthetic adding some extra attitude to your boat. With high-end materials and a superb look and sound, this Wet Sounds sub is hard to beat.

CarAudioNow

# 5. Rockford Fosgate PM210S4B

Rockford Fosgate PM210S4B

Editor's Rating:

4.6 Stars

  • 10” Marine Subwoofer
  • 500 watt peak
  • 250 watt RMS
  • 4 ohm impedance
  • Meets or exceeds ASTM test standards for marine/outdoor use
  • 2.0” 4-layer aluminum voice coil diameter
  • Proprietary corrosion resistant spring loaded push terminals

Price Comparison

Rockford Fosgate PM210S4B Quick Review:

Don’t be fooled by the budget-friendly price tag on this Clarion subwoofer. This 10-inch sub has some serious marinization and delivers impressive bass. It meets or exceeds high ASTM standards for salt, fog, and UV exposure. It also has a neat liquid drainage system to keep it dry and protected in tough marine conditions. It comes with gold plated speaker terminals which is impressive at this price point. This is another one that doesn’t have a very high peak power rating, but will be good enough for most of you. RMS come in at 180 watts. The included faceplate doesn’t offer a ton of protection, but it looks great.

# 3. Kicker 43KMW102

Kicker 43KMW102

Editor's Rating:

4.5 Stars

  • 10” Marine Boat Subwoofer
  • 540 watt peak
  • 150-270 watt RMS
  • 4 ohms impedance
  • Completely marine certified
  • Designed for sealed or ported enclosures
  • Integrates cutting edge technology for optimal bass performance

Price Comparison

Polk Audio DB1040 Quick Review:

This Polk is the lowest priced subwoofer on our list, but it’s also one of the most popular. Polk is normally known for expensive, high-end audio equipment and it’s amazing how much quality they’ve packed in at this price point. It delivers the fantastic, pounding bass you’d expect from Polk at a very affordable price. The RMS range is a respectable 150-270 watts and it gets plenty loud. This subwoofer has everything Polk is famous for from the sound quality to the striking, yet subtle look. This is a great option if you’re looking for multiple subs for your boat because of the price. When it comes to bang for the buck, this Polk is one of the best subwoofers for boat.

# 3. Kicker 43KMW102

Kicker 43KMW102

Editor's Rating:

4.5 Stars

  • 10” Boat Subwoofer
  • 400 watt peak
  • 50-180 watt RMS
  • 4 ohm impedance
  • Liquid drainage system
  • Gold plated terminals
  • Mica-injection polypropylene cone woofer
  • Magnetic shielding integrated into basket

Price Comparison

Clarion CMQ2512W Quick Review:

Don’t be fooled by the budget-friendly price tag on this Clarion subwoofer. This 10-inch sub has some serious marinization and delivers impressive bass. It meets or exceeds high ASTM standards for salt, fog, and UV exposure. It also has a neat liquid drainage system to keep it dry and protected in tough marine conditions. It comes with gold plated speaker terminals which is impressive at this price point. This is another one that doesn’t have a very high peak power rating, but will be good enough for most of you. RMS come in at 180 watts. The included faceplate doesn’t offer a ton of protection, but it looks great.

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