|Motorcycle Speaker||Power Handling||Water Resistant||Price|
|1. Boss Audio MCBK420B||600W Peak||Yes||$$$|
|2. Shark Motorcycle SHKC6800||1000W Peak||Yes||$$|
|3. Sound Storm Laboratories SMC95BC||600W Peak||Yes||$$$|
|4. Boss Audio MC500||600W Peak||Yes||$$$$|
|5. Pyle PLMRKT4B||1200W Peak||Yes||$$|
Back in the day, only larger motorcycles were equipped with sound systems. Today, motorcycle speakers and sound system kits can be mounted even on both large and small bikes. With the number of different brands, the question is how to choose the best bike speakers with the least amount of trouble. Another two factors that are important to your decision is performance and value. Will you get a high performing speaker for a great price?
Our review focuses on 3 main aspects of motorcycle speakers: sound performance, power, and user-friendliness. The fact of the matter is, there are too many choices available in the market today. And a lot of them are cheap. Many of the cheaper models might look good and have a nice price tag, but give out terrible audio and overall quality. Without a quality bike speaker, your money could be wasted in only a few months.
For many bike enthusiasts who love music, there are three ways to listen to music while riding:
- Ear buds
- Helmet with speakers
- Handlebar speakers
All these methods have their pros and cons. For example, ear buds. They are usually the least comfortable choice because they often don’t fit well while wearing a helmet. Helmets with speakers have their share of serious issues too. Mainly safety during use. Sometimes the controls for ear buds and helmet speakers are difficult to access. So, if you want to talk with someone, you have to lower the volume or take the helmet off. In addition, there are wires and attachments that can be bothersome. Bike speakers are the ideal choice for a lot of people. While they are a little pricier than the first two options, a good set of handlebar speakers would be worth the additional cost because of their practicality.
What To Look For
Motorcycle speakers are not the same as the speakers you use at home or in cars. These speakers have to be compact. They need to be strong enough to be heard over the sound of the engine with little wiring. In addition, they should have features like Bluetooth or wireless transmitting.
To be more specific, the factors to consider include:
Wattage – Handlebar bike speakers have a range wattages. For beginners, the general rule is the lower the wattage, the quieter the speakers. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the speakers. If you plan on city driving, you don’t need high wattage because you will not be pushing the speed limit. But, many riders prefer loud audio so a higher wattage might be ideal. Ultimately, wattage is a personal choice.
For low CC bikes with an average speed of 50 miles/hour, the 100-watt speaker system or Series 1 is highly recommended. Wattage starting at 150, also known as Series 2, is recommended for rider speeds of 50 to 70 miles/hour. Series 3 is the audio system that has over 200 watts, and is recommended for touring and highway driving.
Amplifier – Amplifiers are what power the sound, audio, and range of the speakers. They are either built into the audio system or sold separately. It is important to know how many amps your speakers have. Aligning the speakers's RMS power handling to the amplifier's RMS power handling is essential.
Waterproof or water resistant – The majority of handlebar speakers are water resistant. This means they can handle the occasional light downpour. The waterproof types are a bit rarer to find, but if you often ride during rough weather they're a must. If you buy the speaker and amp separately, it's important to check each both are waterproof.
Input Source – The most common input source would be a smartphone that uses the 3.5mm jack, such as an iPhone. However, some speakers allow for multiple audio sources including Bluetooth. Some speakers sell the input source separately. If you want the all-in package, look for an audio system with a head unit. Having Bluetooth is ideal because it eliminates the use of wires, but remember that spotty connections can ruin the fun. It can cause skipping of tracks or make it difficult for you to control while driving.
Warranty – Typical warranty included is one year. Some companies offer extended warranty as an additional opt-in.