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. Click on a sub in the list below to be directed to the quick review. Or, simply scroll down the page to view all of the reviews:
Best Marine & Boat Subwoofers | Top 7
|Our Rank||Boat Subwoofer||Subwoofer Size||Power Handling||Price|
|1.||Alpine SWR-M100||10in||RMS: 300w|
|2.||JL Audio M8IB5-SG-TB||8in||RMS: 200w|
|3.||Kicker 43KMW102||10in||RMS: 150w|
|4.||Wet Sounds SW-10FA||10in||RMS: 300w|
|5.||Rockford Fosgate PM210S4B||10in||RMS: 250w|
|6.||Polk Audio DB1040||10in||RMS: 270w|
|7.||Clarion CMQ2512W||10in||RMS: 180w|
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.