If you’re on a boat and want to play high-quality music, you must have the best marine stereo! But before you can choose the perfect one for you, there are many things to consider.
Marine stereos are built differently from other types of devices, as they need to be resistant to the sun’s rays and to any water they might encounter on deck.
The best boat stereo for you is out there, and we’ve got a list of our favorites ranked from best to worst. So keep reading to decide which one’s the perfect fit for you!
Choose the best radio with Bluetooth for you from the list below.
Best Marine Radios with Bluetooth
- Easy-to-Use – Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175
- The Most Compact – BOSS Audio Systems MGR350B Marine Gauge Receiver
- Innovative – Fusion MS-BB100 Marine Black Box
- The Best All-Around Stereo – FUSION–MS-RA70
- Best Zone Control – FUSION–MS-RA770 Apollo Series Touch Screen Stereo
1. Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175
- Has easy-to-use controls
- Supports RCA outputs
- The device includes a few connectivity options (Bluetooth connectivity and USB), so it can connect to external devices
- With AM/FM radio station for additional music selections
- Good sound quality
The JBL PRV175 has Bluetooth capabilities so that you can stream your favorite music. It also includes a USB input for connecting your device to marine stereo receivers, perfect for charging.
This receiver is portable and upgradeable, but it doesn’t have a CD player, so if CDs are important to you, this might not be the best option.
2. BOSS Audio Systems MGR350B Marine Gauge Receiver
The Most Compact
- It can be connected to the best speakers through the amplifier to increase power output
- Boasting features are perfect for any weather
- Has specifications of a peak power of 240 (4 channels of 60 watts each)
This compact marine head unit is compatible with all smart devices (Apple and Android devices). It has aux inputs, a unique design, UV coating, and a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer.
One disadvantage to this product is that some controls can be difficult to manage when wet.
3. Fusion MS-BB100 Marine Black Box
Innovative Marine Stereo System
- Easy navigation from wired remote for convenience
- Compatible with most used media devices
- With multi-zone technology, so you can control your audio settings for all zones
- Has high quality audio
USB can be controlled using an iPhone and played from a memory stick. Still, the control unit has a small diameter to mount in the same spot as the OEM controls.
4. FUSION–MS-RA70 Marine Stereo
The Best All-Around Stereo
- Has easy installation, so there is no need to worry about installation or whom to call for installation
- Fusion-Link app compatibility for quick access to your onboard audio entertainment
- You can use your phone as the wireless remote control
FUSION–MS-RA70 Marine Stereo has a unique design, built-in Bluetooth connectivity, and is easy to use. Still, it has thin and delicate gauge wires, so it should be handled.
5. FUSION–MS-RA770 Apollo Series Touch Screen Stereo
Best Zone Control
- The first touch screen radio for accessibility through physical touch
- With access to WiFi and Apple AirPlay for more options to stream your favorite tunes
The innovative features make it worth the price, but it takes time to start up, and the touch screen LCD is not very handy for people with big hands. WiFi and Apple AirPlay are also prone to interference if you’re around a ton of other WiFi signals.
What is a Marine Stereo System?
A marine stereo system is a form of entertainment equipment designed for use on boats, ships, or other watercraft. A marine stereo is usually permanently mounted in a waterproof casing in the boat’s cockpit or cabin.
The main purpose is to provide music and entertainment for passengers when they are onboard the boat.
This system aims to survive harsh exposure to water, sun, and salt. If they can’t stand up to these elements, they are never going to last.
Being water-resistant and surviving when completely submerged in water when hunting for a receiver or marine speakers are two completely different things.
Resistance to these environmental factors is part of what makes a good-quality marine stereo.
Unlike a car stereo, the circuit board assemblies of most marine stereos have a conformal coating that protects against breakage due to the salt and moisture inherent to the marine environment.
The price of marine-specific stereo installation of your boat radio is determined by years of trouble-free use.
Things to Consider When Buying
There are so many high-quality marine stereos with great specs and other features on the market these days.
It is important to know what you need from the best radios before buying one to ensure that you get the best of what you pay for.
Water resistance is important for marine electronics so that they can withstand light splashes in particular. It is also necessary to prevent breakage if you accidentally drop it on water. If it isn’t resistant enough, it won’t last long.
Water-resistant marine electronics should be one of your top considerations when buying a new device.
UV protection is needed as it spends the most time in the sun. It is important to protect the boat radio system against harmful UV rays to prevent cracks and damage in the sound system.
This feature will also allow your equipment to handle sitting under the sun for extended periods.
Saltwater can cause corrosion and rust, which can reduce the functionality of marine audio equipment. Marine audio gear was invented to resist rust and corrosion with coated circuit boards, plated connections, etc.
To keep your equipment safe, you can use a marine-grade protector. These products contain substances that prevent corrosion and rust on your audio equipment.
Why settle for a low-quality stereo when you can enjoy the power of a marine system? Modern marine systems peak at 60 watts per channel and boast a total peak power output of 240 watts!
It’s important to have a high-powered speaker with good sound quality. This way, you won’t need an amplifier that generates a lot of heat.
But if you like loud music or simply want to drown out engine noises, adding a marine amplifier will be a good idea.
Building a boat radio system is not an easy task. If you would rather focus on your on-water experience, here is the perfect solution for you.
All you need to do is connect and control external amplifiers and subwoofers. You can stream music from any device from anywhere onboard.
A marine stereo is a must-have for every boater looking to enjoy the great outdoors. You can play music directly while having fun on the water.
It would be best to carefully think of the features when picking the stereo system for your boat: power output of speakers, wireless connection, built-in microphone, preamp outputs, a digital media receiver, theft-deterrent faceplate, etc.
Marine stereo systems are not only for recreational purposes but also for emergency communication devices. It can also increase your safety by providing communication for your boat.