The Best Marine Audio Gear of 2021

The Best Marine Audio Gear of 2021

Last updated on Octover 7, 2021

Our picks for this year’s best-of-the-best marine speakers and audio equipment.

Rule #1 about buying audio equipment for your boat: if it’s not specifically made for life on the water, do not take it to sea. True marine audio gear is water-resistant, fog-proof, salt-proof and UV ray resistant. Marine receivers or head units come with coated circuit boards that don’t rust, rubber caps to cover all open inputs, and gasket sealed covers for all controls, knobs, and end caps. Marine speakers and subwoofers are built with plastic cones and rubber surrounds and come with weather-resistant mounting hardware. Anything less than true, marine-grade audio gear, and you’ll be tossing it before the season’s over. Rule #2: unless you own your own cruise ship, smart and efficient use of cabin space is critical, so look for an audio system you know will fit… while giving you the best possible bang for the buck. 

Below are our picks for the best of the best by category, as chosen by experts - one of whom is both a life-long sailor and a recent inductee into the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame: our own founder, Bob Cole. So… you ready? Let’s shove off… 

Questions along the way? Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to one of our audio technicians at 1.866.961.7781 or email us here.  We love this stuff and want to help.

2021 Marine Audio Deals

We’ve made it easy to find the best deals from brands like Sony, Kicker, Focal, JBL, Polk and more. Our deals update daily so you don’t miss a beat, and we’ve got your back through with our price match guarantee, 60-day returns, easy financing, and free shipping. Don’t see what you want on sale? Give us at 1.866.961.7781 or chat with an expert.

Shop This Guide

1. The Best-Sounding 6-1/2" 2-Way Marine Speakers:

Kicker 45KM654 6-1/2" 4-Ohm Marine Coaxial Speakers


Regular Price: $199.95

Save: $30.00 (15%)

There’s nothing like enjoying music on the open waters – especially if you are listening to great speakers like the marine-grade Kicker 45KM654 2-way coaxial speakers.

The 45KM654’s woofer cones are made of UV-treated polypropylene and then attached to the speaker’s frame with a durable rubber surround. The 3/4” titanium dome tweeters do a fine job of delivering stellar high-frequency response to each listener – even through the fair amount of noise when the engine is running and wind is whipping past.

Capable of handling up to 65 watts continuously (and up to 195 watts of peak power), these speakers will run well off a marine-grade amplifier. Adding an amplifier (assuming you don’t already have one) will increase both sound quality as well as volume potential.

Two pairs of stylish protective grilles are included to finish the speakers off quite nicely – one pair is white and the other is charcoal in color. These Kicker speakers are designed to withstand the punishing environment found on boats, so you can rest assured that you’ll be enjoying them for years.

45KM654 6-1/2" 4-Ohm Marine Coaxial Speakers - Pair

  • Nominal Power Handling: 65 watts
  • Maximum Power Handling: 95 watts
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz - 21kHz
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2. The Best Value 10” Marine Subwoofer for Boats:

Kicker 45KMF102 10" 2-Ohm Free-Air Marine Subwoofer


Adding bass to a boat can be a very challenging prospect. Don’t worry: Kicker’s got you covered with their 45KMF102 10” marine-grade free-air subwoofer. You can get the bass you crave without sacrificing much space at all.

Free-air? What’s that mean? It means that this Kicker subwoofer doesn’t need an enclosure to perform well, which is a good thing for a boat where space can be at a premium. Instead, this rugged subwoofer can be installed into places such as a cabinet, compartment, or in a bulkhead.

Due to the high potential of the subwoofer coming in direct contact with wind, water, salt, and UV, Kicker built the 45KMF102 to withstand all of these elements and come out on the other side grinning. The built-in water drainage system will keep the subwoofer running well and the included stainless steel hardware will resist corrosion quite well. A Santoprene rubber surround will keep the subwoofer in-check for a good long time, too.

Kicker’s 2-ohm 45KMF102 will handle up to 175 watts of continuous power and up to 350 watts of peak power, so you don’t need a massive amplifier to get the job done.

If protection of the subwoofer is required, Kicker does offer a sturdy ABS plastic grille with built-in LED lighting (Kicker 45KMG10C (charcoal) and 45KMG10W (white) grilles available).

45KMF102 10" 2-Ohm Free-Air Marine Subwoofer

  • Woofer Size (in inches): 10"
  • Power Handling: 250 watts RMS, 500 watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 86.27dB
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 500kHz
  • Impedance: 2 ohms
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3. The Best Value 12” Marine Subwoofer for Boats:

Kicker 45KMF124 12" 4-Ohm Free-Air Marine Subwoofer


Bass is an integral part of every genre of music and adds so much in immersing you into the music. Out on the open water, this should be just as important as if you were sitting in your home. Kicker’s 12” 45KM124 is a wonderful solution and absolutely something worth considering for your watercraft.

This marine-grade subwoofer has a sealed box requirement of 1.25 cubic feet, so it doesn’t take up too much while delivering solid performance. The subwoofer’s durable polypropylene cone repels water with ease and the built-in water drainage system gets rid of excess moisture so the subwoofer can play as long as you need it to. The hardy Santoprene rubber surround on the 45KM124 will keep the woofer cone in-check, ensuring accurate bass response in addition to a long lifespan.

The 45KM124 has a 4-ohm voice coil and handles up to 175 watts of continuous power (and up to 350 watts peak). It’s mounting depth is only 5.5”, so finding a suitable enclosure for the subwoofer should be relatively easy. If you prefer a ported enclosure for this subwoofer, the box requirement only jumps to 1.75 cubic feet.

If protection of the subwoofer is required, Kicker does offer a sturdy ABS plastic grille  (Kicker 45KMG12C (charcoal) and 45KMG12W (white) grilles available) with built-in LED lighting.

45KMF124 12" 4-Ohm Free-Air Marine Subwoofer

  • Woofer Size (in inches): 12"
  • Power Handling: 300 watts RMS, 600 watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 87.46dB
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 500Hz
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
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4. The Best Loaded Subwoofer Marine Enclosure for Boats:

JBL MBP10AM 10" BassPro Amplified Marine Subwoofer Enclosure


Regular Price: $499.95

Save: $220.46 (44%)

While the JBL MBP10AM powered subwoofer might look like a spacecraft out of a science fiction flick, it’s way more at home in a marine environment, like your boat or other watercraft.

Imagine how much better your music will sound out on the open water (or dockside) by adding some more “thump” to it. Every bit of music – from hip hop to heavy metal – has bass response that your current speakers cannot reproduce. The MBP10AM from JBL can change that.

What makes this JBL powered subwoofer really popular is that it has a 250-watt amplifier built into its chassis, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing an amplifier (or figuring out where you’re going to place the amp!) to drive the sub. Speaking of the amplifier, it gives you basic (but definitely worthwhile) adjustments to get the most out of the speaker. You can control things such as a variable bass boost, a low-pass crossover, gain, and phase.

The MBP10AM system is designed to endure the harsh marine environment because it has gone through all manners of testing right at JBL’s manufacturing facility to ensure longevity. What manners of testing, you might be asking? JBL’s QC crew will bake, freeze, blast with UV, and shake the powered subwoofer to mimic what might happen in its lifespan to guarantee a long-lasting solution.

MBP10AM 10" BassPro Amplified Marine Subwoofer Enclosure

  • Size (in inches): 10"
  • Built-in Amplifier Output: 250 watts RMS, 750 watts peak
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 120Hz
  • Inputs: Stereo female RCA jacks
  • Product Dimensions: 8-1/2" top mount depth, 10-1/8" cutout diameter
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5. The Best Marine Tower Speakers: 

Kicker 45KMTC65 6-1/2" Marine Coaxial Tower System


Regular Price: $699.95

Save: $50.00 (7%)

If you are the owner of a boat and it lacks either the volume you’re gunning for or speakers entirely, Kicker’s 45KMTC65W could be just the thing for you.

These sleek, glossy white weather-proof enclosures each house a 6-1/2” polypropylene woofer and 3/4” balanced dome titanium tweeter that will not only outlast the weather, but they will also sound (and look) great doing it. The built-in LED lighting will only enhance your experience! Perhaps best of all, this speaker system from Kicker is treated to be resilient against UV rays, salt, fog, and water so they will last as long as the boat does.

The 45KMTC65W tower speakers come with the hardware, such as brackets, clamps, and levers, to get them in-place and fastened securely. The swiveling clamp system will allow you to point the speakers in the direction where you want the sound to be.

In powering these speakers, Kicker does suggest an amplifier with up to 65 watts of continuous power per channel to get these things singing clearly throughout the volume spectrum.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get your boat rockin’ – whether it’s out on the water or dockside.

45KMTC65 6-1/2" Marine Coaxial Tower System - Pair

  • Size (in inches): 6 1/2"
  • Power Handling: 65 watts RMS, 195 watts peak
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz - 21kHz
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
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6. The Best Marine Subwoofer Amplifier: 

Kicker KMA800.1 800 Watts Marine Mono-Channel Amplifier


Regular Price: $329.95

Save: $10.00 (3%)

In need of a heavy-duty marine-grade amplifier to drive your new subwoofer(s)? Look no further than Kicker’s 48KMA800.1 monoblock amplifier. Measuring in at only 7-1/8”W x 2-5/16”H x 8-1/16”D, this amplifier is compact, but powerful.

This KMA-series amplifier boasts pretty incredible power output: 300 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms, 600 watts x 1 @ 2 ohms, and 800 watts x 1 @ 1 ohm. To ensure that this amplifier keeps chugging along in the marine environment, Kicker applied a conformal-coating to the amplifier’s internal printed circuit board. The amplifier’s hardware is also resistant to corrosion and rust. This thing was designed to last.

The included remote bass knob allows you to dial in the perfect amount of bass response from the subwoofer(s) connected to this Kicker amplifier. Speaking of tuning, the 48KMA800.1 has an on-board bass boost to help emphasize the bass output of the subwoofer(s) as well as a subsonic filter to protect the subwoofer(s) from harmful ultra-low bass response. With these controls properly set, those subwoofers will be able to achieve fantastic volume with low potential of distortion.

Long story short: get this amplifier to get the most from your boat’s subwoofers. You won’t be disappointed.

KMA800.1 800 Watts Marine Mono-Channel Amplifier

  • Power Output @ 4 ohms: 300 watts x 1
  • Power Output @ 2 ohms: 600 watts x 1
  • Power Output @ 1 ohm: 800 watts x 1
  • Frequency Response: 25Hz – 200Hz
  • Wired bass control knob included
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Regular Price: $309.95

Save: $10.00 (3%)

Upgraded speakers for your boat are awesome. Adding a Kicker 48KMA360.4 4-channel marine-grade speaker amplifier is even more awesome. Why? Because adding the Kicker amplifier will improve fidelity along with volume. Who doesn’t want that?

With dimensions of 6-11/16”W x 2-5/16”H x 12-7/16”D, this KMA-series amplifier delivers a strong 65 watts per channel at 4 ohms and an even more impressive 90 watts per channel when the impedance of the speakers drops to 2 ohms. The amplifier can even be bridged at 4 ohms to deliver 180 watts x 2! The versatility of this amplifier is simply amazing.

Intended for the marine environment, this KMA-series amplifier checks all the boxes: conformal-coating of the amplifier’s printed circuit board, stainless steel hardware to resist corrosion and rust, etc. When it comes to tuning the amplifier, it comes with a bevy of tuning controls, such as high-pass and low-pass filters, bass boost, selectable fader (On or Off), and more, to help you sculpt the sound to your requirements.

It’s time you experienced what the Kicker 48KMA360.4 amplifier can do for your speakers and yourself.

KMA360.4 90 Watts x 4 4-Channel Marine Full-Range Amplifier

  • Power Output @ 4 ohms: 65 watts x 4
  • Power Output @ 2 ohms: 90 watts x 4
  • Power Output Bridged @ 4 ohms: 180 watts x 2
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20kHz
  • Variable KickEQ™ 0-6dB bass boost @ 40Hz
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One more thing... 

Once you pick out your marine audio gear, a last word of advice: buy from a trusted dealer, and the more experience / the longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens. (See our “Happiness Guarantee,” right here.)

Speaking of trusted dealers… 

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. And P.S.: we’re brutally honest when it comes to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised - even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight.  

Until next time: turn the music up, have fun, and be safe – make sure everyone has a life jacket – including the dog!

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