10 Tips for Choosing New Marine Speakers

When selecting and installing your new marine speakers, there are a couple of things you'll want to keep in mind that may not be included in your instruction manual. You want your boat stereo system to not only look good, but ultimately sound amazing. With the help of these ten tips, your boat will be rocking to a brand new sound.

  1. This seems like a no-brainer, but before you even start, decide where you want to put these speakers. Do you need more sound up front or in the back? In the cabin or on the deck? Ask yourself if you want to simply replace the factory-installed speakers or if you will you be drilling new holes to install speakers. These questions will help you decide what kind of speakers you will need to look for.
  2. Boat speakers are directional. Keep this in mind as you install them. One strategy is to place the tweeters up front and facing toward the windshield. This allows the windshield to bounce the sound back and disperse it better than the speaker can on its own.
  3. If you are going to place your speakers on the center console or near the navigation equipment, check with the manufacturer to see if it is magnetically shielded. If not, the magnet inside the speaker could throw off the compass.
  4. If you choose to simply replace your factory installed speakers, double check the openings that they came from. Measure the diameter of the opening and make sure that you purchase a speaker that is going to fit correctly in that space or you may have to do extra work to get it to fit. Measure the diameter of the speaker as well when you receive it and return it if it is not going to work for your boat.
  5. In addition to checking the diameter of the existing opening, be sure to check the diameter of the grille of the boat speaker you are planning to install. Not all grilles are alike, and the size of the grille can vary from brand to brand as well as from style to style within a brand. This is important because you want to make sure that it will fit where your previous speaker fit.
  6. When you pull your factory-installed speaker out of your boat, be sure to check the wires for corrosion. Any rust or residue can cause damage to your new speakers and become a hazard. If your wires are corroded, you can trim off the bit that is damaged. After removing the corroded section, peel off the insulation to expose a new section of wire.
  7. If you want to get the most out of your speakers and really hear what they can do, especially when on the water at full speed, you will want to get an amp. Most marine speakers have a 4-ohm impedance rating. This means that you will need an amp that is also rated at 4-ohms. If not, you could risk damaging your amp or speaker, or both.
  8. While cranking up the volume, keep in mind your surroundings. Thinking of your neighbors is a common courtesy, but also think of yourself and the permanent damage you could be doing to your ears. Anything above 85 decibels can cause permanent damage to your ears, and a song cranked up to over 100 decibels only needs 15 minutes of listening time to really affect your inner ear. While listening to music, protect your hearing and listen responsibly.
  9. While many marine speakers say they are waterproof or water resistant, it doesn't mean that they were meant to be submersed. It also doesn't mean that you can spray them down with a fire hose without damaging them. They are meant to withstand splashes and sprays, but nothing terribly excessive. If they get dirty you can rinse them off, but a power washer would be over the top.
  10. This tip is more of a bonus tip. Did you know that marine speakers make excellent outdoors speakers? You can mount them to your house, ATV, motorcycle, RV or any other toy you take outside. Marine speakers are weather and water resistant and are perfect for open-air environments. Find some creative places to install your speakers and enjoy!

Have fun with your new marine speakers and remember to be responsible with them.

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