Last updated on October 20th, 2021 at 10:04 pm

Anybody who enjoys listening to music knows that one of the best ways to experience good music 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 can be a challenge. Yea, car speakers will work in a boat but they really aren't ideal.

While you can always use your phone, mobile gadget or speaker to play your music, a set of marine speakers is always going to be better. This is especially true when you have guests onboard, and you want them to enjoy high quality music. Ordinary speakers don't always last in marine settings like they would in other applications. This is why getting a high grade marine rated speaker is so important.

6 1/2 inch speakers are the most common speaker size across nearly all automotive and marine applications.  They're not too small, not too large and almost every manufacturer who makes marine audio equipment will have an option for this size of speaker. They come in coaxial or components, like most other speakers (see our coaxials vs components article if you'd like to read more about the differences). They're a great option for mid and high range audio, however if you're looking for an option that will provide more full range and cover more of the lower frequencies and bass we recommend taking a look at our best 8″ boat speakers list.

When researching the best boat speakers, it’s important that you find a set that is durable enough to withstand the elements. Marine grade speakers aren’t always expensive, although price often the quality and features of the speaker (like anything). 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 too.

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

Best 6.5″ Marine & Boat Speakers List

1. Best Overall Boat Speakers Pick: Wet Sounds REVO 6

Wet Sounds Revo 6 XS-S front and side view with rgb light
Wet Sounds REVO 6 XS-S single speaker front view of grill and cone
Wet Sounds REVO 6 XS-S side view of speaker
Wet Sounds REVO 6 XS-S rear view of casing

Key Features

  • 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
  • Power (RMS/Peak): 100 / 200 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 40 – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB

Latest Prices

Wet Sounds REVO 6 Quick Review

Wet Sounds' REVO 6 is our number one speaker right now for the outdoor, marine environment. We love them so much, we put them in our own G23, check out the full writeup. Wet Sounds is one of the most highly respected offroad vehicle and boat audio manufacturer on the market right now. They specialize in making speakers for the outdoor environment and they do it damn well, whether it be for a UTV, a boat or most recently your backyard. The REVO 6 is a great example of a product that showcases the strengths and focuses of Wet Sounds. With a 100W RMS and 200W Peak handling combined with a 90dB sensitivity, they're loud. They're a great choice for those who are looking to power it with their head unit, but even better with a separate amplifier. The REVO 6 is designed with materials that are corrosive resistant. For example, it's made with titanium tweeters and composite woofers, along with a noncorrosive “Nylas” (nylon fiberglass) frame. Combined this with other features like water-resistant terminal plugs and you have a super durable speaker for use out on the open water.

2. Stylish Pick: Kicker KM654LCW

Kicker KM654L front view with white and charcoal grille
Kicker KM654LCW
Kicker KM654LCW front angle white grille view
Kicker KM654LCW front view blue lit
Kicker KM654LCW front view red lit
Kicker KM654LCW front angle grille not lit
Kicker KM654LCW rear view of magnet

Key Features

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

Latest Prices

Buy on eBay $144.99
Buy on Amazon.com $199.95
Buy on Crutchfield.com
Last Amazon price update was: October 20, 2021 5:23 pm

Kicker KM654LCW 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.

Notable 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

3. Best Quality: JL Audio M6-650X

JL Audio M6-650X-S-GmTi-i front angle view and rear view of speakers
JL Audio M6-650X-S-GmTi-i front view of cone and grille
JL Audio M6-650X-S-GmTi-i angle view of grille and cone
JL Audio M6-650X-S-GmTi-i terminals and side view of speaker
JL Audio M6-650X-S-GmTi-i rear view

Key Features

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

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $653.49
Buy on Crutchfield.com $679.99
Last Amazon price update was: October 21, 2021 3:24 am

JL Audio M6-650X Quick Review

This set of marine speakers is from JL Audio’s M6 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 M6-650X is definitely a set to consider.

Notable 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
  • Comes in a variety of grille color combinations

4. Best LED Lighting: Fusion Signature Series 3

Fusion SG-FL652SPC two colors purple and green front shot of speakers led
Fusion SG-FL652SPC front two colors warm white and cool white
Fusion SG-FL652SPC front single view of grille and woofer
Fusion SG-FL652SPC side view

Key Features

  • 2-Way Coaxial Marine Speaker
  • Power (RMS/Peak): 75 / 230 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 70 – 22,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB

Latest Prices

Fusion Signature Series 3 Quick Review

Released in February of 2021, the Signature Series 3 is Fusion's latest full lineup of marine grade speakers. We were lucky to get our hands on their full lineup of tower speakers, coaxial speakers, subwoofer and more to review and install on an Axis A22. You can read up on our full first look review here if you'd like to see a more in depth review. These are another great option for your boat, yacht or other outdoor application. What's nice about these Fusions is that they're part of a larger lineup of speakers and amplifiers that are designed to work together, and look great together. If you're looking for one line of products so that everything matches and works well together, these are a great option.

In terms of technology, they feature a couple cool and innovative features. For one, CURV technology is Fusion's unique woofer cone, which uses woven polypropylene that's heat compressed. This makes for a unique looking (almost carbon fiber ish), strong but lightweight cone. Fusion says it's actually 30% lighter. This makes it more responsive with less distortion at higher volumes. Another unique feature to these speakers is the CRGBW LED lighting. We dubbed these as the “Best LED Lighting” speakers because the new CRGBW LED lighting offers a much more dynamic and wider spectrum of colors than any other marine speaker on the market today. If you're looking for lights at night, these are the speakers for you.

5. Sony XSMP1621

Sony XSMP1621 front angle view paier
Sony XSMP1621 angle view of woofer no grille
Sony XSMP1621 front view of speaker with no grille
Sony XSMP1621 rear view of terminals and magnet

Key Features

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

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $128.00
Buy on Crutchfield.com $129.99
Buy on eBay $129.95
Last Amazon price update was: October 19, 2021 10:24 pm

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.

Notable features:

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

6. On a Budget Pick: Pioneer Nautica TS-MR1640

Pioneer Nautica TS-MR1640 front view with and without grille

Key Features

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

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $117.94
Buy on Crutchfield.com $120.00
Buy on eBay $120.00
Last Amazon price update was: October 20, 2021 12:23 am

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.

Notable 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

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.