Last updated on June 29th, 2021 at 05:11 pm
In this article: We'll unbox and take a first look at the Wet Sounds REV 10 tower speakers, review their key features and hardware, and provide our own insights along the way.
The Revolution Series tower speakers from Wet Sounds have been featured on our list of Best Wakeboard Tower Speakers for going on 4 years now. There are a number of reasons why, many of which I'll dive into in this review. I've installed probably 20+ of these speakers over the years, including on two of my personal Nautiques – a Super Air 210 and a G23. The set that we'll be pulling out of the box for this review will be going onto the G23, check back for the full installation writeup.
If you aren't already familiar with Wet Sounds, they were founded in 2005 with the sole purpose of building high performing marine products, period. At the time, OEM equipment on wakeboard and ski boats was crap off the dealer lot and most people were looking for an upgrade as soon as they got their boat home. Over the past 15 years, they've been innovating and expanding not just within the marine application but also across other verticals like powersports and coolers. But it all is centered around their marine-based products.
Tower speakers, in my opinion (arguably), have always been the flagship products of Wet Sounds. At least as long as I've been an authorized seller for them. From the PRO 60 in the 2000s to the REV 10s, they were built for one thing – performance on the water. On my older Super Air 210, I had 4 well-powered REV 8s mounted to the tower and loved them. Drop height was an issue on those older boats though and even with the REV 8s you'd need to watch your head as you got in the boat. On the G23s, the towers are much taller and the hull is much deeper so the drop height of the REV 10s isn't as much as an issue which is why we chose these for the boat.
Let's take a first look at the REV 10s out of the box and review their key features that make them great.
Unboxing & First Impressions
Apart from hearing them for the first time, unboxing a set of tower speakers is my second favorite thing when I'm doing a boat stereo. It's been a while since I've seen a set of 10″ tower speakers, typically the 8″ REVs are more common across the board. So when I opened them up and held the REV 10s for the first time, I was caught off-guard a bit. These are no normal set of speakers. They're one of the biggest set of tower speakers on the market right now.
When you open up the box for the first time, they're covered in a soft cloth to prevent scratching during shipping but when you pick them up and hold them you really get the feel for how large these speakers are. As I write this article, I haven't hung them on the tower of my G23 yet and I can tell you I'm still concerned about head room if I mount them in the inner speaker mounts of the tower. We'll see.
They weren't as heavy as I had remembered though. And comparing them to the 25+lb Kicker KMTC9 tower speaker, they're significantly lighter weighing in at about 15lbs per speakers. Normally, I'd say the heavier the better when it comes to these types of speakers. It indicates the size of the speaker motor, along with the thickness and rigidity of the speaker enclosure. But having installed and listened to dozens of these speakers, I can tell you that regardless of the weight these are powerhouse speakers.
With the speaker socks removed, you can start to get a true look at the design, style and size of the speakers. Looking at the front of the speaker, the signature Wet Sounds grill has always made for an aggressive looking speaker. I chose to stick with the non-LED grills, but if you want LED grills they can be purchased separately for both the black and white models. Again, size was really the only thing I could think of, even when I was maneuvering these speakers around taking photos of them. They're massive.
On the top of the speaker there's the speaker power wire – black and red – with a simplistic clip on it. The REV series tower speakers come with a variety of mounts, so Wet Sounds leaves them removed from the speakers during shipping and you'll need to install them (2 screws) when you get them. See the clamps section further in the article for more information about the options that they have for clamps.
When looking at the enclosure (or pod), personally the Wet Sounds pod is one of my favorites. They're proportionate in length as they are to the diameter of the speaker. Meaning, they don't look like torpedoes hanging from your tower and they also don't look like tree stumps. Kicker's KMTC9 is also comparable in terms of length and diameter, but JL's super lengthy enclosures are a bit of a turn off for me even though they're one of the most popular choices for the Nautiques today.
Apart from the size of these speakers and the grill, the other stand out feature you'll notice immediately is the HLCD tweeter in the central part of the speaker. What I like about these HLCD on the REV 10s is that they really look proportionate to the speakers. There are other speakers on the market that have very pronounced HLCDs that really capture your eye. Especially on the REV 10s, the main attraction is the size of the speaker, not the size of the HLCD.
As far as the ‘feel' test goes – I mentioned this earlier but they're not overly heavy which makes me more comfortable hanging them over passengers in my boat during a choppy day. The grills are stout and so is the casing. I had my REV 8s on my old boat for nearly 6 years and neither the grills or the pods showed any signs of failure or cracking (although my boat was stored inside and was never on the water for more than 5 days at a time).
Separate of the speakers, Wet Sounds included the Swivel Surface Mounts in the box. I always liked the swivel clamps but after seeing some of the competitors, most notably Kickers's, I'm starting to wonder if they're really stout enough for long term use on the REV 10s. It's worth noting here that I chose the Swivel Surface Mount option with this pair of speakers (the REV10 W-SXM). I'll get more into the swivel mounts along with other options that Wet Sounds offers for mounts/clamps further in the article.
What's In the Box:
- Wet Sounds Rev 10 W-SXM V2 owner's manual
- 2 Marine tower speakers
- Mounting bracket w/ built-in connector
- Mounting bracket of your choice
- 2 Rubber covers – these are for the swivel clamp to protect the connector on the clamp should you remove the speaker from your tower
- Four M7 x 60mm bolt
- Four M7 x 45mm bolts
- Four M7 x 30mm bolts
- Wet Sound Logo Stickers – Black and White
Sound Features – Horn Drive, Enclosure and Woofer
Wet Sounds' REV series tower speakers are HLCD (Horn-Loaded Compression-Driver). Essentially all this means is that it has a tweeter that's attached to a horn at the center of the speaker to increase its efficiency and ultimately help sound travel further. Wet Sounds claims that these speakers have the “ability to project volume at 80 feet and beyond without any loss of detail or information”. That may sound pretty crazy if you haven't heard a well-powered set of the Revolution Series tower speakers but they do. Let's walk through some of the key features of the REV 10 speakers and what makes them sound amazing on the water, especially at great distances!
Deep at the center of the REV 10s is a 1in titanium horn loaded tweeter driver at the center of the speaker. The outer diameter of horn itself is roughly 3 3/8in which makes it look pretty proportionate to the outer diameter of the speaker and makes it look integrated, vs the main attraction of the face of the speaker.
Similar to a coaxial car speaker that has a tweeter implemented into the central portion of the speaker, horn tweeters on these speakers are designed to cover the high frequencies exclusively. The most common downside to HLCD tower speakers stems from the horn tweeters themselves. I would say that Wet Sounds is not completely immune to this complaint, however in most cases the harshness that comes along with the HLCD tweeter on these speakers can be combatted with tuning via the WS-420 Equalizer or the crossovers on the amplifier themselves. With the 4 REV 8s that I previously had prior to these REV 10s, I can say that they were a bit bright initially but I tuned accordingly to all but eliminate the problem. However, one of the key things I'm most excited about the REV 10s is the larger woofer, which should provide even more well-rounded mid and low coverage to level out the harshness of the highs from the HLCD. Only time will tell when we install and tune them.
The Revolution Series tower speakers come in both an 8in and a 10in model. These are pretty standard sizes across the industry apart from Kicker. In my own opinion, 8in would be the smallest tower speaker I'd go for if you're trying to get well rounded sound beyond the wake surfing distance. Even then, anything smaller than 8in is going to have a hard time pushing the mids and low frequencies that far.
Wet Sounds makes their woofers with Kevlar EFG™ reinforced material surrounded with a polyurethane surround. EFG is essentially an epoxy and fiberglass composite mix with some added reinforcement from Kevlar. The mixture creates an incredibly durable and rigid cone that's resistant to Ultra Violet light (aka long days in the sun) along with moisture from direct splashes and/or dew. They chose the polyurethane surround specifically for the marine application as well to prevent cracking from the being exposed to the elements. In the 6-7 years that I had my REV 8s on my boat in the dry, sometimes 120+ degree dry heat on the Arizona Colorado River, the woofers and the surrounds were practically new. I can say first-hand that the materials used for the woofer and surround on these speakers LAST.
Structure & Enclosure
For many of you, your boats spend countless hours in the sun all summer long. Normally, the speakers are constantly exposed the sun's rays unless they're on the underside of your engine hatch or below your bimini. For that reason, the enclosure and materials that are used to make the enclosures is pretty critical. Especially when you're forking up the big bucks for a quality set.
I keep coming back to my own experience on my boat. The set of 4 Black REV 8s that I had on my boat for nearly 7 years showed almost no signs of wear or fading from the sun. Granted, my boat was never stored on the water for more than a few days at a time, I did put hundreds of hours on the boat while they were on the tower.
To be completely honest, I couldn't find much information about the material used for the enclosures/pods apart from the fact that they're reinforced composite. The only reason I can say they're durable and last is from personal experience.
One of the things I really like about Wet Sounds is that they are really universal when it comes to mounting the speakers. They offer 6 different systems/clamps that will allow you to mount your speakers. And if you combine these with their custom tower adapting brackets, you can really get an incredibly clean look on almost any wakeboard boat.
- Mini Swivel Clamp – Swiveling clamps for smaller diameter tubed towers (1″ – 1 7/8″)
- Swivel Clamp – Swiveling clamps for normal size tubed towers (1 7/8″ – 3″)
- Mini Fixed Clamp – Fixed clamps for smaller diameter tubed towers (1″ – 1 7/8″)
- Fixed Clamp – Fixed clamps for normal sized tubed towers (1 7/8″ – 3″)
- Swivel Surface Mount – Swivel surface mount clamps. Can also be used with tower adapters
- X Mount – Surface mount clamps. Can also be used with tower adapters
For the pair of speakers in this review, I purchased the #5 with swivel surface mounts to mount up to the FC5-U tower adapters which is what you'll see in the photos below. The swivel clamp is really the only one I'll dive into detail here in this article since the others are pretty straight forward.
Wet Sounds kept it really simple with their swivel clamp. Essentially there's a top portion that will fix itself to the surface that you're mounting your speaker to with a male cylinder and plug that fits into a female side. The female side fixes directly to your speaker. To hold it together, there's a stainless steel fork that secures the male to the female side. When tightened all the way down, the fork will also prevent the speaker from swiveling. Here's a few pics of the swivel mechanism.
For the speakers with the X Mount that would be fixed to the tower, I attached the X mount directly to the FC5-U adapter and the mount to the speaker.
If you want to read up more about the tower speakers, I put together a REV 10 First Look & Review that walks through the features, unboxing and my personal opinion of them.
Mounting the speakers was easy – I screwed the three bolts into the top of the FC5-U adapter to mount it to the tower. Then, to wire and install the speakers, I cut the 4-pin Deutsch Connectors. There were 4 wires – overhead light positive and negative (blue and yellow) and speaker positive and negative (red and black). I capped the overhead light wires since I am no longer using them (for now) and soldered the positive and negative leads of the speaker wires together, shrink wrapping them to ensure there wouldn't be any arcing over time. I also ran new wire loom to clean up the look after the speakers were wired. Here's a look at the speakers while we were mounting and wiring them along with the end result!
Highlights & Specs
- two black or white speaker pods
- sleek design with fixed brackets and stainless steel hardware
- 10″ Kevlar-reinforced woofers with polyurethane surround
- titanium horn-loaded compression drivers
- reinforced composite enclosures
- power handling: 20-300 watts RMS (600 watts peak power)
- frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- speaker sensitivity: 92 dB
Wet Sounds Revolution Series is a performance tower speaker through and through. You can see it when you open the box up and you can hear it when you turn them on. I never had to turn my 4 REV 8s up full blast even when I was riding and I don't anticipate I'll need to do it with these REV 10s.
I chose the REV series for the second time to go into my G23, after about 7 years of having my REV 8s on my Super Air 210 because I knew they perform, they're durable, they look great and they're LOUD. I would SERIOUSLY recommend forking up the money to purchase a Sinister Amplifier from Wet Sounds to power these puppies. I chose the SYNDX4 to power my 4 REV 10s. Without proper power to these, you're really cutting your self (and your wallet) short of their full potential. These speakers are monsters and will change your expectations for music on the water.
All that said… Even though I chose these speakers for a second time, I wish:
- That these speakers had a dome light add on like the JL enclosures do so that I could keep the dome light functionality in my G23.
- That the hanging distance was shorter. When you combine the top of the enclosure with a swivel clamp with a tower adapter, they get pretty low on the tower. I think a portion of the mounting mechanism could honestly be countersunk into the enclosure.
- That the swivel clamps didn't require an allen wrench to turn the speakers while on the water and that you didn't have to worry about cranking down the detachment fork super tight afterwards to keep them from wobbling while you're driving.
- That the LED feature was more subtle and faced the cone instead of being placed on the outer ring.
I hope you enjoyed the writeup! Leave us a note in the comments if you did or if you have any questions!