Anybody who enjoys listening to music knows that one of the best ways to experience it is through a set of high quality speakers. But high quality speakers don't always translate to the best marine speaker. Whether you're on a lake, in the ocean, or elsewhere similar, finding a pair of speakers that'll withstand the elements is often a challenge.

While you can use your phone or any gadget or device, a marine speaker is always going to be better. This is especially true when you have guests onboard, and you want them to enjoy high quality music. Sadly, ordinary speakers don't always live up to the same quality in marine settings as they would in other applications. This is why getting a high grade marine rated speaker is so important.

When researching the best boat speakers, it’s important that the set you find is durable enough to withstand the elements. Marine grade speakers aren’t always expensive, although price often plays a role in how great the quality and features are. There are a number of speakers that are pricey with high grade materials and performance. But there are a number of affordable ones that offer great value for your money that will bring you high quality audio.

Here is a list of 2017's top rated and reviewed Marine Speakers to help you choose the best products for your boat's stereo:

Best Marine Speakers | Top 6

Our RankMarine SpeakerSpeaker TypePower HandlingFrequency ResponsePrice
1.Wet Sounds SW-6502 Way CoaxialRMS: 100 Watts
Peak: 200 Watts
40 - 22k Hz$$$
2.Polk Audio MM651UM2 Way CoaxialRMS: 200 Watts
Peak: 400 Watts
40 - 25k Hz$$
3.Kicker KM6542 Way CoaxialRMS: 65 Watts
Peak: 195 Watts
35 - 21k Hz$$$
4.JL Audio M650-CXX2 Way CoaxialRMS: 70 Watts
Peak: 150 Watts
55 - 25k Hz$$$$
5.Sony XSMP16212 Way CoaxialRMS: 45 Watts
Peak: 160 Watts
25 - 26k Hz$$
6.Pioneer Nautica TS-MR16402 Way CoaxialRMS: 30 Watts
Peak: 160 Watts
30 - 30k Hz$

Best Marine Speakers | Things To Consider:

Choosing marine speakers for your boat can get a little confusing. But generally speaking, there are a few key things to consider:

Installation Size - While there are no standard sizes, marine speakers commonly come with a 6½” diameter. But it's important to note that just because it's a 6 1/2" speaker, it could come with a different sized grille. For example a small 6” speaker could have a 7½” grille and may appear bigger than a 6½” speaker. Consider your size limitation and you should be set.

Power Handling - To avoid blowing your speakers out, you need to know its power handling. Mainly peak wattage vs RMS (continuous wattage). Sometimes, manufacturers will omit the RMS since peak wattage shows higher numbers. However, RMS is more important. Knowing both is critical though, especially if you are using your speakers with an external amplifier. For example, an amplifier may put out 100 Watts RMS per channel. If your speakers can only handle 75 Watts (assuming you hook up one speaker per channel), it may put your speakers at risk.

Speaker Sound Quality - Of course, you have to get a set of speakers that produce high quality sound. This is even more important if you have high standards. Be it dual cone, coaxial, component, or subwoofers, the best boat speakers for you depend on your needs and the genres of music you listen to. One speaker might work for others but not for you and vice versa. For example, subwoofers are great if you can fit larger speakers into your boat. But they aren’t so great if you can’t support the additional power needs. Similarly, if you listen to music with more high end frequencies, you'll want to make sure the speaker performs well at higher ranges. Consider your listening habits and make sure the speaker conforms to your needs.

Best Marine Speaker Reviews List

Editor's Rating:

- 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
- Power (RMS/Peak): 100 / 200 Watts
- Frequency Response: 40 - 22,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 90 dB

Wet Sounds SW-650 Quick Review:

Wet Sounds is one of the most highly respected offroad vehicle and boat audio manufacturer on the market. They have a reputation for high quality, high performing marine grade audio equipment. The SW-650 is a great example of a product where their reputation shows. The best feature of the SW-650 is that it has an impressive power-handling spec: 100 RMS watts with a peak of 200 watts. It also has a pretty high sensitivity rating at 90 dB. It's a great choice for those who are looking to power it with their head unit, or a separate amplifier. The Wet Sounds SW-650 is the saltwater version of their XS series, so everything is designed with materials that are corrosive resistant. For example, it's made with titanium tweeters and polypropylene woofers, and a noncorrosive “Nylas” (nylon fiberglass) frame. This makes it super durable solution for use on boats. However, it has not yet received the certification from the International Association for Testing Materials (ASTM) for resistance from UV, salt, and fog.

Quick features:

  • 5” 100W RMS marine coaxial speakers
  • Rubber spider & surround
  • Nylas (nylon fiberglass) frame/grille
  • Injection-molded composite cone
  • Mounting depth: 3.1 inches (78.74mm)

Editor's Rating:

- 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
- Power (RMS/Peak): 200 / 400 Watts
- Frequency Response: 40 - 25,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 92 dB

Polk Audio MM651UM Quick Review:

At around $200, the Polk MM651UM is a 6.5 inch boat speaker that combines high-fidelity audio with quality performance and durability. There are only a few speakers that have Klippel optimization, the MM651UM is one of them. Klippel tests loudspeakers using high-end equipment that measure how well sound is produced. The results are used to tune and optimize the performance of the speaker. We also tested them ourselves and were impressed with at how balanced and detailed the sound was across all frequencies.

The MM651UM features a power handling of 100 RMS watts and has a 92 dB sensitivity rating. And while these speakers sound great, they're also very durable. Everything on this speaker is noncorrosive and waterproof. The front is completely sealed off, preventing any water damage. The grille uses a stiff carbon composite while the tweeter is of woven glass composite. It's tough enough to face the saltiest of seas. The crossover on the back of the speaker is also sealed. This means there’s no need to find room to hide an extra box. Everything from the wiring to the coaxial unit is protected from the elements. It comes with a one-year warranty, and Polk has a great resource of FAQs and user forum should you need help or support.

Quick features:

  • Completely sealed front design prevents water intrusion
  • Rugged, built-on grille includes tweeter mount eliminates the need for a traditional tweeter post
  • Sealed crossover assembly built into back of magnet
  • Steel heavy duty input terminals will not corrode or tarnish
  • Passes the most rigorous 600 hours of salt, fog and UV testing

Editor's Rating:

- 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
- Power (RMS/Peak): 65 / 195 Watts
- Frequency Response: 35 - 21,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 90 dB

Price Comparison

$129.75
Free shipping

Kicker KM654 Quick Review:

One of the coolest features in the KM654 is its customized waterproof LEDs (as opposed to the KM652, which is essentially the same minus this feature). These lights are installed on the opposite side of the tweeter. They are great for matching your internal lighting or setting the mood for special occasions. With 19 dynamic modes and 20 colors, they can even fade and strobe in unison with the music you’re playing. If your boat is docked, and the LEDs are on, it’s enticing for your friends to hop on board and join the party!

As for sound quality, these marine speakers perform well too. When we tested, we thought that they were balanced and well rounded. The set is extremely durable, with a waterproof polypropylene woofer, titanium tweeter, and Santoprene rubber grille. It has passed the fog, salt, and UV resistance ASTM test too. Even though it does not have a sealed crossover for the tweeter, it’s not really a downfall since the watertight seal protects them. Installation isn't as easy as normal speakers though. First, because of the LEDs as they require extra wiring. But the installation guide and wiring diagram will walk you through the steps. And second, because it doesn’t have a cutout stencil you will have to measure and cut the mounting hole yourself.

Quick features:

  • 2 new Kicker 41KM654LCW 6.5" 195W LED marine audio coaxial speakers with stereo KM65
  • Peak power: 195 watts
  • RMS power: 65 watts
  • Impedance: 4 ohm
  • Tweeter dome material: titanium

Editor's Rating:

- 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
- Power (RMS/Peak): 70 / 150 Watts
- Frequency Response: 55 - 25,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 89.5 dB

JL Audio M650-CCX Quick Review:

This set of marine speakers is from JL Audio’s M series. They are one of the most durable and sturdiest on the market today. Though the price tag is pushing $400, it’s an investment and well worth it. In fact, we've read a number of consumer reviews across the web that have boasted how long lasting these speakers are. Its ASTM certification is most remarkable. All of its components have been tested – not just the woofer and tweeter. The woofer, grille, and frame are all made of a polymer composite. And the tweeter is made of silk that has been specially treated for marine environments. Its terminals are gold-plated brass, making it optimal for signal transfer and noncorrosive. It’s only limitation, based on our tests, is it's lower sensitivity of 89.5 dB and power handling of 75 RMS watts (on average). The sound volume doesn’t pack the same punch compared to its competitors. However if you value sound performance, the M650-CCX is definitely a set to consider.

Quick features:

  • Cockpit coaxial speaker system
  • Features 6.50 inch woofers with separate 0.75 inch dome tweeters
  • Provides 20% more sound radiating area than typical 6.5-inch designs
  • Also benefit from oversized 1.25-inch diameter woofer voice coils
  • Specifically optimized models are available for cockpit panel-mounting

Editor's Rating:

- 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
- Power (RMS/Peak): 45 / 160 Watts
- Frequency Response: 35 - 26,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 91 dB

Price Comparison

$128.00
$129.95
Free shipping

Sony XSMP1621 Quick Review:

Coming from one of the most popular electronics and audio brands, the Sony XS-MP1621 made it on our list because of its quality and value. It’s certainly a bang for your buck! After our tests, we found it has great audio quality and its speaker efficiency is slightly above average. This is necessary though since its power handling is a bit below average. The unit has just above the 90 dB average sensitivity, at 91 dB. But it makes a huge difference even though it doesn’t seem that way. In fact, it is about 33.3% more efficient than most marine speakers in its class. This makes its power handling of 70 RMS watts (below average) go further. And for its price, you're really getting a great value. All its components are made of polypropylene so you can feel assured that they will not degrade or warp in the elements. The XS-MP1621 is also ASTM certified for salt, fog, and UV protection despite not having a sealed crossover network.

Quick features:

  • 6-1/2" 2-way speaker
  • Water-resistant IPx5 certified design
  • UV and Salt Water Resistant
  • Removable grille
  • 70 Watts CEA2031 RMS Power

Editor's Rating:

- 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
- Power (RMS/Peak): 30 / 160 Watts
- Frequency Response: 30 - 30,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 91 dB

Price Comparison

Pioneer Nautica TS-MR1640 Quick Review:

The Pioneer Nautica TS-MR1640 made it to our list mainly because it’s an excellent upgrade from your factory-installed marine speakers. They're very well priced. The audio quality may be a little some of it's competitors, but don't be fooled these speakers perform very well. These speakers feature a polypropylene woofer, polytherimide tweeter, and acrylonitrile-elastomer styrene glass fiber frame. They're made to withstand exposure and damage from exposure to sun, saltwater, and fog.

Quick features:

  • Water-resistant white IMPP composite woofer
  • 1-1/8-inch PEI dome tweeter with magnetic fluid and equalizer
  • Strenuously resists water, corrosion, and heat
  • 6-1/2-inch marine two-way speakers with 160 watts maximum power handling (30 watts nominal)
  • Water-resistant white IMPP composite woofer
  • 1-1/8-inch PEI dome tweeter with magnetic fluid and equalizer
  • Strenuously resists water, corrosion, and heat
  • 30 Hz to 30 kHz frequency response; 91 dB sensitivity

2 Comments to “ 6 Best Marine and Boat Speakers to Buy in 2017”

  1. Steven @ FishFindly says :Reply

    I tried some of the speakers from your list but my personal choice is Kenwood 6.5″ Marine Boat Speakers. I have these on my boat for some time and they do the job very well.

  2. dan says :Reply

    I have the Wet Sounds SW-650 and they are great. I know these are a bit expensive but if you want quality music you must have these on your boat.

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