With the proper marine audio system, you will transform your boating experience. Imagine your speakers blasting your favorite music from the boat all controlled by BT while you float in the river drinking beer. But before you can start enjoying the day you have to leave the no wake zone. And as tradition has it, you’ll play “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire the second you’re out of the no wake zone to get excited for the day.
And if you’re anything like me, the first thing you’ll do before the lake gets too crowded is wake board. You’ll obviously want music with a little more intensity, basically anything from “Appetite for Destruction” will do. And as the sun begins to set you’ll reflect on the amazing day while “The Joker” from the Steve Miller Band plays.
|1. Source Unit||AM/FM connection may not be possible while boating. Upgrading to an aftermarket source unit will enable you to utilize satellite radio, BT and even USB.|
|2. Speakers||I recommend investing in a pair of JL Audio cockpit speakers with a set of Wet Sounds tower speakers to really enhance your boat's audio.|
|3. Amplifier||A marine amplifier is made for more extreme environments resisting moisture and vibration Two notable brands are JL Audio and Wet Sounds.|
|4. Subwoofer||You read that correct, you can add bass to your boat. Combining your subs with aftermarket speakers will give your music full depth.|
|5. Marine LED Lighting||Although LED lighting isn't a necessity it adds to aesthetic appeal.|
|6. Sonic's Secrets||This section is filled with insider information, direct from experts with decades of install experience and product knowledge.|
After doing some research on my favorite boat manufacturers (Chaparral, Sea Ray, Cobalt, Tige, Sunesta to name a few) they do offer decent marine audio components but at a premium price. That is absurd and no Sonic Electronix customer should have to pay such a high price. Allow us to give you insider information on how to make your marine audio sound awesome without sacrificing your child’s college fund to pay for it.
Any experienced boater will tell you AM/FM radio connection while on the lake is rare. A safe alternative is satellite radio. You’ll be unobstructed by trees, buildings and whatever vertical objects stand between you and the satellite, optimizing connect-ability. Sonic Electronix has a variety of marine stereos so you can listen to your favorite satellite radio stations. Not to mention most of these units come with USB and BT connection.
- NVX has been providing quality products for years. The NVX XUBT4 adapter allows your to control your source unit via Bluetooth and obviously this technology is weather resistant. With a 35 ft range you can relax in a tube switching from station to station.
- Now we have a single DIN head unit from Sony. The MEX-M100BT comes with a 4 channel built in amplifier that allows you to run your speakers from your head unit. Some notable features are BT connectivity, UV resistant coating, built in amplifier and my favorite feature; SongPal enabling you to control the head unit with your phone. Please note your phone is not waterproof.
Your friends at Sonic Electronix offer insider information with a smile. We rarely choose favorites but there are two brands that have really distinguished themselves among marine audio products. JL Audio has been a leader within consumer electronics since 1975. With such a wide variety of marine audio to choose form, JL Audio will not disappoint. Next we have Wet Sounds. The name says it all; they have a focused product line that has been dominating the marine, ATV/UTV audio industry for almost 30 years!
- For JL Audio I’ll focus on cockpit speakers. Although they do offer tower speakers, which are phenomenal, these cockpit speakers are second to none so I need to share with you the importance of investing in these speakers. What sets JL Audio apart from the rest is not the weatherproofing technology. These are certified marine speakers and can handle water exposure. The biggest advantage however is the sound performance. Chances are you did not cheap out when investing in your boat, so there is no reason to start now. These speakers are loud, clear and they are affordable. Any set from the M or MX line will satisfy your audio needs.
- Once you have your cockpit speakers installed, you’ll need something for the tower. Wet Sounds offers tower speakers so effective you can hear them across the wake. I recommend any product from the REV line to ensure your audio needs are fulfilled. Some of these RMS power ratings run at 600W; just for speakers!
Now that you have your speakers set up, you’ll need a power source. Powerful and durable marine amplifiers will satisfy the demands of your speakers only when you choose quality manufacturers. Again my favorite brands as far as marine audio goes would be JL Audio and Wet Sounds. I might sound like a broken record but these two brands are leaders within marine audio for a reason. If you don’t believe me try it out for yourself.
- The SYN-DX 6 amplifier from Wet Sounds enables you to play 4 cockpit speakers, a sub and a set of tower speakers all from this single amplifier! This amp offers 6 bridgeable channels with a power rating of 1400w RMS. Ultimately this product has the specs you need to power all of your marine components.
No audio system is complete without bass.
- Without sounding repetitive I urge you to invest in Wet Sounds. The STEALTH AS-10 box comes with a 10″ amplified 500w RMS powered subwoofer. My favorite feature besides sound quality is the simplicity of the unit. A true plug and play item, this will help you avoid timely installs.
- By no surprise, the next featured item also comes from Wet Sounds. The XS-XXX V2 12″ woofer is an alternative for anyone looking for sheer power and bass. At 1000w RMS you will definitely get plenty of bang for you buck. If you are a DIYer this will make for the perfect project.
Some audio experts shy away from marine lighting because speakers should make sound not light. However after investing so much time, money, and emotion into your boat she deserves to look her best.
I’m sure you guessed it, Wet Sounds is the featured brand in this section. Utilizing the RF-RGB-MC V2 will maximize your boat’s sex appeal. With 640,000 color combinations, this highly stylish lighting pattern redefines the trim around your boat.
Next you’ll want the LED KIT REV10-RGB. These lighted rings enhance your tower speakers with colors matching the rainbow. Essentially these two products will transform your boat into something like this:
- Make sure you seal your connections as thoroughly as possible. Before you start you’ll need a soldering iron, solder, shrink wrap, Nascar duct tape, and silicon. When properly executed this will prevent any water from sneaking in.
- You should always utilize an amplifier that is rated between 75% and 150% of the speaker or subs power handling. There are no shortcuts here; just do it.
- Choosing a safe mounting spot for tower speakers is often overlooked. Do not sacrifice your visibility when installing tower speakers.
- If your boat has a 6.5 inch hole for a speaker and you have extra room surrounding, you can enlarge this cut out pretty simply. That way you can upgrade to 7.7″ or 8.8″ speakers; every inch counts.
- If you buy a speaker with LED lighting built in chances are the manufacturer is trying to distract your from the poor sound quality of your speakers. Rather invest in quality parts and add LED lighting after.
- It is recommended you use a sealed box rather a ported box for marine subwoofers because it will be louder.