As much fun those boats provide us with, the audio systems have it real hard. With constant exposure to glaring sunlight, hard rain, and extreme temperatures, a marine audio system has to stomach a lot of abuse. If you want soothing sound on your boat, you’ll need marine gear designed to stand up to the task.
Unlike car audio components, which are suitable and comfortably parked in the interior of your automobile, marine equipment has to be able to take a lot and hold up under dire circumstances. The water and sun that make boating for such a blast have no problem wreaking havoc on your boat's electrical apparatuses. If your equipment isn't made for the tough marine life, it won't last the season.
As a quick reminder, here are crucial keys to remember when shopping for any marine audio equipment and component. Let's glance through them, and then we'll get to specifics of Marine speakers.
“Proof” is not the same as “resistant." If your gear is labeled “water resistant,” it means that it can handle splashes and some easy rain (depending on the specific manufacture). It isn’t, however, meant for submersion. Although the level of Waterproof products might also vary, they’re generally intended for full submergence; they should be able to tolerate gushing water and punishing rain without damage.
Marine gear should be designed to withstand sun damage. Since they’d typically be exposed to the glaring sunrays, quality gears should be equipped for that. Ultraviolet resistant is a key feature for receiver faceplates, speaker cones, and remote controls.
Salt water is capable of turning even the greatest of gears into rust junk in no time. Properly designed marine gear should resist rust and corrosion – with coated circuit boards, plated connections, and rust-resistant chassis components.
Soundly Ready for the Marine Environment
Marine Speakers should first and foremost be marine-environment friendly. They should be made with composite, plastic, or aluminum cone materials rather than paper, as is typically the case with car speakers. As noted above, and is the case with most marine-audio components, marine speakers should be shielded against corrosion and the glaring UV rays from the sun. They should also be built to function to their full capacity in damp air. These take corrosion-resistant frames, UV-treated surfaces, and stainless-steel hardware for mounting purposes.
Marine speakers are flexible, as far as powering them goes. You can do that via the power built into a receiver, or by using a separate amplifier. However, if you're going to be using them in the open, an amplifier is advisable for getting the volume-level you'll want while the boat is in gear.
How are you going to install it?
Installing a speaker in a boat is a bit trickier than a home or even car . Unlike your home or automobile, boats don't generally provide you with that one obvious spot intended for audio equipment. And, depending on the possible power and space limitations you might encounter, your boat installation could turn out to be quite a challenge. Consult your manufacturer on where to find the best spot for grounding apparatuses in your boat.
Size does matter. Contrary to the norm for other vehicles, there's no "proper" size when it comes to boat speakers. So, in addition for determining what you want to get out of your vessel-speakers, you should also decide beforehand where on the boat you'd like them installed. This is a crucial point to keep in mind before setting out to shop for your boat speakers. If you'll be replacing an existing set of old speakers, you might want consider that spot for size.
When considering the speaker-space, bare in mind the depth dimension as well. Flush-mount speakers will need enclosed air space behind and around them, so to provide adequate room for the sound resonance.
Box speakers will make do, in almost all cases. Equipped with enclosures, this breed of speakers will go along with most places and surfaces, without the need for proper space surrounding them. Another benefit of box speakers over flush-mount is the ease of relocating them, which is a breeze with box speakers but can be quite a hassle with flush-mounts.
What's in a Speaker?
A lot! First and foremost, there's the obvious, size. Larger speakers tend to produce better sound. Frequency is also a big deal and has a huge say on the quality of the sound your speakers will be generating.
You also want to make sure that your speakers have enough power to be used in conjunction with an amplifier. Speakers with higher handling will be better at controlling the increase in power that comes with an amplifier. Power handling is often measured in RMS wattage and peak wattage. RMS wattage is the average power the speaker can be reasonably expected to handle over time, while peak wattage is the maximum power the speaker can handle at a given moment. We recommend the RMS and peak power figures to be greater than those of the stereo or amplifier.
Portable USB speakers, used to connect to a computer, phone, or other device, emit amplified sound through a cable connected to a USB port. One of the main benefits of these "mobile" speakers, which come in a wide range of sizes, is their mobility -- the ability to seamlessly move them from place to place.
Mobility is a key feature to an even greater extent with portable Bluetooth speakers. While varying in size and quality, Bluetooth speakers are designed for short range use. Portable Bluetooth speakers typically have a limited sound range and lack the ability to produce high and low frequencies.
In conclusion, the current market offers a wide range of resilient, long-lasting, solid-quality marine speakers. There are many things to consider while shopping for a marine audio system, so be sure to examine the specs and specifics for each product, so in order to assure that you’re getting the one best suiting your needs.