When you’re out on the water enjoying time on a boat, having some high-quality tunes can make the environment even better. In order to have the best tunes at a quality worth listening to, that means having access to a marine stereo. You can turn on your favorite playlist while having access to tons of features that modern marine stereos now offer.
However, before you purchase a marine stereo, you need to think about the differences between the many on the market today. A stereo used on a boat needs to be resistant to water while also being resistant to the sun’s rays while you’re enjoying time out on the ocean or another body of water.
That’s why we wanted to do a roundup of the top nine best marine stereos. We looked at specifications and pored through reviews to help you make the best choice for your needs. We’ll share our conclusions and offer some extra information about choosing the stereo that will keep up with you on the water.
Table of Contents
The Best Marine Stereo
Fusion Entertainment MS-RA70 Marine Entertainment System with Bluetooth
When you want a top-rated stereo that offers ultimate performance, the Fusion Entertainment MS-RA70 is one of the best you can buy. It has many features that put it a cut above the rest. The interface supports AM and FM frequencies as well as iPod, iPhone, and Android interfaces and includes a rear USB port.
This stereo has been built to handle the water and offers a crystal LCD with clear display even when on rough waters. It has a 200w amplifier and two discrete zones for sub out and pre-out functions as well as an AUX-in feature.
This is a stereo that fits traditional stereo holes on your boat, which means it will fit well and there isn’t any extra stress with installation. If what you want is an easy to install option that puts out great audio, you aren’t going to find many options better than the Fusion Entertainment.
- Features a high-quality amplifier
- Simple design makes stereo easy to use
- Offers Bluetooth connectivity
- Does not include an accessory wire
BOSS Audio MGR350B Marine Gauge Receiver
One of the most eye-catching features of the Boss Audio MGR350B is the design and the shapes the stereo is available in. Both shapes are innovative and unique, whether you choose the square option or the circular one. Both look great on the boat and the round option even comes with a choice of speaker colors.
There are tons of connectivity options with this marine stereo including AUX, Bluetooth, and USB. It does not offer a CD player, however. This is a stereo that is compatible with a wide range of MP3 players and smartphones so you can get the music rolling quickly and easily.
This stereo has a front panel with a UV coating on top which helps protect it from the sun. It also has a three-year warranty, so you have peace of mind when choosing this stereo. It’s resistant to water and bad weather and durable enough that you won’t need to worry about it.
- Comes in a stylish and unique design
- Features a special UV coating to fight off the sun’s rays
- Available in several shapes to fit your tastes
- Some users have noticed condensation on the screen
Pyle PLCDBT95MRB Wireless Bluetooth Marine Audio Stereo
Those looking for a full marine stereo kit can’t go wrong with the Pyle PLCDBT95MRB. It has everything you need to get started and more. It comes with the stereo receivers along with a remote control, four waterproof speakers, and a radio shield to keep the water out.
This stereo accommodates a number of different devices and includes an SD slot, CD player, AUX jack, and USB port. You aren’t going to run out of options in terms of swapping between devices at your leisure. The speakers and stereo are both waterproof and simple to install.
In addition to connecting to the device in those ways, it also features Bluetooth connectivity so you can hook it up to your phone and stream your favorite songs. There is a built-in microphone as well, which makes it a breeze to make and take calls through the stereo.
- Comes as an entire stereo kit with everything you need
- Includes a built-in microphone for calls
- Features several different connection options
- Speakers are not the best quality
JVC Marine Mechless AM/FM/BT/Sat Ready
JVC is a well-known brand when it comes to automobile stereos and is considered by many to offer exceptional sound quality. The KD-X33MBS unit is no exception even if it’s for a boat and not a car. It has a built-in amplifier with 50-watt x 4 channel output and 22 watts RMS for the best audio quality imaginable.
There are inputs for Bluetooth, USB, and AUX with this stereo which also offers AM and FM radio stations. It doesn’t have a CD player which is done to add additional water resistance with the radio. There is a built-in microphone so you can take calls. It has a detachable display with a subtle blue illumination.
If you’re looking for an aesthetically appealing stereo with the ability to add speakers, this is one of the top options. It doesn’t hurt that it offers high-quality audio on top of that. It’s a great stereo for the money and a nice upgrade if you’re in the market for one.
- Features a built-in USB port
- Compatible with smartphones using Bluetooth
- Has one of the best sound adjustments available
- Sound controls can take some time to adapt to
Pyle PLCDBT85MRW Marine Stereo Receiver Speaker Kit
The reality is that many new marine stereos do not come with a CD player. However, those who still want to enjoy listening to their CDs will appreciate that the Pyle PLCDBT85MRW does include a CD player. It has a DIN-style receiver and comes complete with a wireless remote control, protective cover, and two waterproof speakers.
The CD player isn’t the only thing this stereo has going for it. It also has an AM and FM radio and full Bluetooth functionality. It also includes a built-in microphone so you can handle calls hands-free while you are out on the water. Beyond that, there is an SD card reader, AUX cable port, and a USB port you can use.
This is an inexpensive option that will do you well while on the ocean or lake taking in the sun and the surf. It’s easy to install, simple to use, and offers great audio quality.
- Comes with speakers, protective cover, and remote
- Offers a front-loading CD player
- Includes a microphone for hands-free calling
- Some experience trouble with the volume buttons
Kenwood Marine Boat Outdoor Bluetooth Stereo Receiver
Those who are interested in a marine stereo package with everything needed to have audio on the water will appreciate the Kenwood Marine Stereo Receiver. You get the stereo as well as a cable and a set of four speakers. This is a good choice for someone who wants everything all in one place to get started.
This stereo will allow you to play music wirelessly using a smartphone or other device. It also has the capability to allow hands-free calling. It has Bluetooth connectivity but what really stands out is the Drive EQ technology that makes sure your speakers work well even with the noise of waves around.
The speakers are marine-grade and come in a neutral silver color to fit any style of boat. The package as a whole comes with a one-year warranty which speaks to the quality of every component.
- Comes as a complete stereo package
- Features wireless streaming as well as a USB panel
- Includes Drive EQ for pushing past marine noise
- May need some adjusting for the best audio experience
Pyle PLMRKT36WT Marine Receiver & Speaker Kit
Another stereo from Pyle is the PLMRKT36WT and it offers a ton of features while operating as a full-kit with two speakers and a wireless remote. The marine stereo includes AM and FM radio tuning along with USB, an SD card reader, and AUX input to connect and stream audio from any of your devices.
There is built-in Bluetooth connectivity and a microphone so you can enjoy steaming music from a device or taking calls without using your hands. It’s compatible with all the devices you likely have on hand from iPad to Android, iPhone, and more.
The receiver offers ID3 so your songs playing are tagged with the song title and artist name on the screen. There is also an illuminated front panel with controls for preset equalizers functions. It offers 300 watts of power and will fit in a standard slot on your boat.
- Plenty of power to offer a great sound
- Brilliant LCD display for easy control
- Comes in a stylish design to fit any boat
- Bluetooth can cut out at a short distance
Garmin 010-01716-00 AM/FM/DVD Sirius Ready Stereo
This Fusion Entertainment Garmin Stereo is full of features to take your boat ride from boring to exciting in just a few seconds. It’s an extremely compact stereo system from one of the best names in the business. It has a sleek face with a shallow-mount design for an easy installation.
This marine stereo offers independent control of the volume level and balance in two individual zones. It also has Bluetooth audio streaming so you can turn on Spotify, Apple Music, or Pandora and enjoy your favorite playlists. Both the device and the stereo face allow users to adjust volume and skip tracks in whatever manner they prefer.
There is a 2.6-inch LCD display with adjustable contrast so it will offer great operation no matter the light level. It is rated IPx5 waterproof as long as it is fitted correctly to the face of the stereo. This means it can handle even the harshest water conditions.
- Excellent price considering all the features packed in
- Offers multi-zone technology with localized menu controls
- Sleek marine stereo will stand out and look great
- May not be powerful enough for all users
Pyle PLRMR23BTW Bluetooth Marine Receiver Stereo
Our final marine stereo and another by Pyle is the PLRMR23BTW. It has one of the most powerful amplifiers to be found and yet manages to be available at a reasonable price. This stereo can put out 320-watts of power, which is more than many car stereos on the market.
Being a marine stereo, it’s not surprising that this option doesn’t come with a CD player. It has two RCA outputs so you can send the audio to two speakers. Rather than having a CD player, this stereo has a SD memory slot and support for USB so you can play files that way. It also has Bluetooth capabilities to stream music from your favorite apps on your phone.
This stereo does accommodate hands-free calling so you can take calls while dealing with other matters. It also supports and AUX cable and MP3 and WAV files.
- Features a large 320-watt amplifier
- Offers a microphone for hands-free calling
- Comes in universal single DIN size to fit most boats
- Can be difficult to navigate through files on SD card
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Marine Stereo
Some people who are new to adding audio equipment to a boat may think it’s just as good to pop in an automobile stereo and head off. However, there are many advantages to choosing a specialized marine stereo. You will have a better waterproof rating just to name a single factor that matters when out on the ocean.
You also want to think about Bluetooth connectivity and having AUX input so you can listen to music in the way you prefer. Investing in a high-quality marine stereo will ensure you get the great audio quality you desire. However, there are other things to consider, as well.
Benefits of Choosing a Marine Stereo
While you probably know that a marine stereo is better equipped to handle water, you may not know that most of them have superior UV protection, too. With a stereo that can be in the sun for hours, this has a huge effect on keeping the controls, display, and faceplate looking great. That’s not even to mention the fact that these stereos have corrosion protection, are made of high-quality materials, and include marine weather radio.
With everyone carrying around a smartphone, having access to Bluetooth connectivity is a must. Every stereo on this list offers that and the one you choose in the end should, too. This lets you enjoy music streaming and even hands-free calling while you enjoy time on your boat. Remember to check for a built-in microphone if you want the calling features to apply.
Inputs and Outputs
Sometimes when you look at the information for marine stereos, it all seems like a lot of jargon. However, you should always make sure that the stereo has the functionality that you need. Besides Bluetooth connectivity, you may want to watch for inputs like CD player, USB, SD card, and AUX.
You also have to think about how each of these inputs will effect the stereo as a whole. For instance, if water gets on the stereo and goes into the slot for the CDs, water can enter the unit itself and cause disaster. Some stereos avoid having a CD slot for that reason, but if yours has this input, the best option is to purchase a cover to go over the face of the stereo.
Looking at the range of outputs is just as crucial to choosing the right marine stereo if you want to add a number of marine speakers. Take note of the number of channels, whether the stereo has a built-in amplifier, and what the wattage is.
Selecting the Right Marine Stereo for Yourself
It isn’t always a simple task to find a marine stereo that is sufficiently waterproof, simple to use, and which offers output for extra speakers you may want to add in the future. Thankfully, there are a wide range of stereo styles offering Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect your smartphone for streaming music or other audio on the water.
Each of the stereos on this list is a high-quality option and the tips we provided should give you the insight you need to pick the one that is right for you. Think about what matters to you and pick the stereo that fits that need. Once you get that delivery, you can head on the water with cool tunes in your ears.
Ryan is an extreme kite surfer. When Ryan isn’t shredding in on the waves he spends time with his riding his bike, canoeing, and surfing.