Best Marine Stereo Reviews 2018

For musical enjoyment at sea, you may want to invest in a marine stereo, but how do you know the product that’ll give you best performance and durability for your money? With a view to providing answers to these questions and more, we present to you the best marine stereo brands and 5 great options to get you started. While we reviewed one product from each brand, we’d like you to note the featured brands have still got some great marine stereo models outside those discussed here, so you should check them out too.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Design
Size
Amplifier
Package
Our Top Choice
Sony Marine Boat Radio Receiver
Sony is a renowned brand with diverse product lines ranging from consumer electronics to mobile technologies, gaming consoles to movies and music, among others.
Radio Data Service (RDS) displays information. Features two dedicated amp outputs for connecting extra amplifiers if needed. Sirius package allows you hook up to internet radio.
The remote control may not be the easiest to get to grips with, but it works well.
Receiver
Rectangular/ round shape
13 x 10 x 5 inches; 6.3lbs
52 watts x 4
Receiver, wired & IR remotes
Best Value
Kenwood Marine CD Receiver
Kenwood Corporation products are synonymous with quality and are developed and designed to meet consumer expectations and beyond.
Front-panel input for easy device connection. Multicolor option for backlight control. Optional LCD display in Spanish and theft deterrent faceplate.
Sound quality doesn’t match the best of the competition, but this is still an excellent choice.
Receiver
Rectangular shape
6.7 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches; 4.4lbs
50 Watts x 4
Receiver, 2 speakers
Fusion Entertainment Marine Stereo System with Bluetooth
Fusion Entertainment is a world leader in audio and entertainment system production with products centered on complete satisfaction and class for the user.
High-end look and sturdy build. Free downloadable wireless remote control for your smartphone and an extremely waterproof IPX7 front panel.
Smaller than a standard DIN stereo.
Receiver
Rectangular shape
2.4 x 4.9 x 7.4 inches; 2.2lbs
50 watts x 4
Receiver
Clarion Marine Watertight Remote Control
Clarion boasts close ties to automobiles as far as in-car devices and solutions are concerned, and is associated with several groundbreaking inventions in the field.
Wired to the receiver so you can install the receiver in a safe location. Can be mounted anywhere on the boat. LCD screen displays well under the sun’s glare.
The remote may not be as watertight and durable as portrayed.
Wired Remote
Round shape
5.2 x 4.2 x 4.4 inches; 0.6lbs
45 watts X 4
Wired remote
Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver
Pyle is known for its woofers and speakers built with advanced technology but has expanded its product line to include car stereo systems and home audio units.
High speed and reliable bluetooth connectivity. Integrated microphone for hands-free calls, wireless, full function remote, and a built-in AM/FM radio receiver.
The top performance notwithstanding, there’ve been reports of the unit suddenly malfunctioning and packing up for no obvious cause.
Amplifier/Receiver
Rectangular shape
2 x 4.3 x 7 inches; 1.2lbs
75 watts x 4
Receiver, Amp, 4 speakers, wires

(Updated )
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Watch Our Marine Stereo Review

How Do I Choose the Best Marine Stereo?

Boating is a fun pastime enjoyed by many people. It’s also a well-known fact that music is an activity enjoyed by all and sundry for its numerous benefits ranging from soothing a troubled soul, to jazzing up a dull moment. When these two elements are combined, the reward is often intoxicating, especially when the music is coming from a source well-suited to the open-air atmosphere of the boat.

Of course, you can listen to music on your boat through your smartphone or iPod’s headphones, but these gadgets are not equipped to withstand the elements or even to produce sound that’ll be heard above the prevalent wind and engine noise. So, to fully enjoy your music while boating and also spare your other gadgets from rapid deterioration from saltwater, you’ll need a specialized or marine stereo system specifically designed for use on the boat.

A marine stereo is equipped and designed with features that allow you the pleasure of combining good music and boating. The marine stereo is quite different from the car stereo which is designed to be used in the safe confinement of a car interior. You may be able to manage your music-enabled gadgets in the cabins although you’ll still have to combat the noise from the boat engine and the wind; but what happens when you’re on deck? How do you enjoy your music or listen to your favorite radio program when the rushing winds make it impossible to hear? Not to mention the detrimental effect of water and sunlight on electronic gadgets exposed to the elements.

The only solution to the above problems is the installation of a high quality marine stereo on your boat. The marine stereo’s components are water-resistant or waterproofed so they can withstand being drenched by rain or submerged in seawater and include high-powered amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers so you can enjoy your music clearly.

Before you invest in a marine stereo, it’s necessary to check it meets certain vital specifications like waterproofed or at least water-resistant components, corrosion-resistant cables and wires and UV protection. You should also check for things like remote controls, design, extra features and the price. We will be talking about these points shortly.
Price
Marine stereos are a special category of stereos and have several features that distinguish them from the normal car stereo. These special features also mean that their prices are much higher than that of the car stereo. Thus, you’ll be seeing good quality marine stereos with prices ranging from as low as $90 to as high as $250. The pricier high-end stereos are likely to be more feature-laden than the lower priced marine stereos but this does not necessarily mean the low-end products are of low quality.

The products we reviewed here fall within the price range stated above which means we have both high-end and budget-friendly marine stereos so whatever your budget, you’re sure to find a reliable model that fits nicely into your boat and gives you the highest possible value for every cent spent on it.

In the course of our research, we came across some rather cheap marine stereos but we ignored them because they were either made with materials that’ll not stand the strength of the elements or their components have low power ratings.
Features
Once you’re shopping for a suitable marine stereo for your boat, you should keep some factors in mind that affect the overall performance and durability. These factors include:
  • Design and type
  • Protective features
  • Components
  • Expandability
  • Other extra features
Construction and Design
There are marine stereos that accept musical input from android, iPhones, iPods and other Bluetooth enabled devices and then there are the marine stereos that also have in-built CD players. If you’re one of those who wouldn’t leave their CD collection behind for the world, then you’ll do well to make sure the marine stereo you’re looking to purchase comes with a CD player.

The protective features of a great marine stereo are what make them different from car stereo systems. There are 3 basic and extremely vital protective features that you should look out for when shopping for a marine stereo for your boat. They are – water-resistant / waterproof components, UV-protection and anti-corrosion parts. Because the marine stereo components are situated mostly on open deck or other places where they’re exposed to seawater and rainfall, they ought to be fully waterproofed or at least, water-resistant.

The next important protective feature to look out for is to check whether the marine stereo is UV protected against sunlight damage. Due to the exposure of some of its components like the speaker cones and receiver faceplate to long hours of sunlight, it becomes necessary for such components to be UV protected to reduce the adverse effect of sunlight on the stereo system thereby extending its life span.

Because of their exposure to saltwater which is an extremely corrosive medium, it’s recommended to go for marine stereos with wires and cables made from tin instead of copper. Tin is known to be highly resistant to corrosion from saltwater as opposed to copper, which easily corrodes when exposed to water – either salty or fresh. The circuit boards should also be coated with corrosion-resistant materials.

If you have a large boat, then you’ll most likely be looking for a marine stereo to effectively service the entire boat. Such devices have the provision of several preamp sets and outputs so you can connect multiple amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers easily. This feature helps you create the marine stereo system tailored to your specific needs and desires and ensure all nooks and crannies of your boat enjoy music.
Performance and Ease of Use
You’ll have to decide where’s best to mount your marine stereo. Consider the space and power limitations of your boat and also the best location that affords the most protection against the elements. Once you’ve successfully installed your stereo, you can go right ahead and have a ball on your boat.

There are four basic components of a marine stereo: the stereo receiver, speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers. The stereo receiver is the central control unit and coordinates the general operation. It ought to be kept away from the elements always and as such, better mounted in a location safe from both water splashes and sunlight. The stereo receiver features the display unit, ports for USB attachments, amplifier outputs, charging ports and CD player if available.

Stereo speakers are for the most part placed at strategic locations on the deck for better sound production and thus are highly exposed to water. This means they should ideally be waterproofed with rubber cones coupled with a corrosion-resistant mounting hardware.

The stereo amplifier serves to amplify the stereo sound above external noise levels while maintaining the sound quality and integrity. It’s important, however, to ensure the receiver, amplifier and speaker systems all have matching power ratings so they can work well together.

The last component is the subwoofer which reproduces the ultra-low bass frequencies. It’s not essential, but certainly a desirable component. Subwoofers are speakers and ought to be waterproof in the same manner as the stereo speakers.

A key feature that makes the marine stereo easy to operate is the remote control. This device doesn’t come in all marine stereos so you should be on the lookout for it if you want more versatile control for your marine stereo. The remote control allows you mount your stereo receiver in a safe place like inside the cabin and operate it from a reasonable distance.
Some marine stereos also come with a satellite radio with FM and AM options that allow you listen to and stay in touch with your favorite radio programs while at sea.

You may also want to check if the marine stereo system has a hands-free call option so you can receive or make calls while navigating your boat. A marine stereo with backlit controls has an added advantage of being easy to operate even in the dark and may also be bright enough to be used as a source of muted illumination.

What is the Best Marine Stereo?

Marine stereos are not just any kind of stereo. They’re rugged and designed for the challenges of water. Having read our buying guide, we hope you’re well-armed with information that’ll help you make an informed choice from our individual product review section.
Our Top Choice
The Sony Marine Boat Radio Receiver features Radio Data Service (RDS), a wireless remote control, USB 1-wire tray, protected circuit board and plastic carrying case. For a marine stereo with Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone app remote, see the Sony Marine Receiver Stereo Bluetooth.
Sony Marine Boat MP3 USB iPod iPhone Radio Receiver with Wired Remote

Sony Marine Stereo DSXMS60


Features
Sony is a household name and among the top giants in the electronics industry. Established in 1946 in Tokyo, Japan, it has since established itself as a renowned brand with diverse product lines ranging from consumer electronics to mobile technologies, gaming consoles, movies and music. Its products and services are all geared towards fulfilling your dreams and imaginations by pursuing innovative and ground-breaking technologies guaranteed to move and wow you in a unique manner. Its products boast the highest quality materials and are put together by the finest engineers and technicians from all walks of life. Your satisfaction is of utmost importance and for each product bought or service rendered, customers can be assured of unparalleled performance and support. It has a retinue of dedicated support staff that follow up on purchases thus rendering top notch after-sales services to ensure customer satisfaction.

The Sony Marine Boat Radio Receiver is a classic marine stereo built to give you the best sound ever while boating. It comes with Radio Data System (RDS) that enables you see data information of the music playing, like the artist’s name, album and song title. Its preset tri-band equalizer lets you adjust and balance the bass sounds for greater enjoyment of your songs and radio programs. It also features a wired remote control for added receiver control.

Other interesting features of this product include:
  • A fully functional wireless remote control that allows you install the receiver in the safety of the cabin and helps you access and control the stereo from a distance
  • A sleek and functional USB patented tray situated behind the receiver plate’s face that lets you safeguard, recharge your iPod’s battery and control it while at sea
  • Highly compatible with various MP3 players including the USB thumb drive that you can connect via the front panel USB port so you can enjoy your WMA, AAC or MP3 music files
  • Comes with two outputs dedicated to extra amplifier connections, if you want additional sound output from the unit
  • For increased durability, the unit comes in a UV-treated cover and the circuit board is coated with a protective material that prevents rust and damage from sun and water
  • Its powerful 52 watts x 4 built-in amplifier is capable enough to power your speakers, outboard amplifier and subwoofers
  • This marine stereo features Sirius software that lets you hook up to satellite radio stations so you can stay connected to your favorite stations provided they’re on the satellite network
  • The front panel auxiliary input can also be put to use to connect a portable, easy to operate satellite radio if you have one, and you can increase the reach of the latter by adding a radio tuner
  • A plastic carrying case ensures the face cover stays safe and undamaged and it’s also extremely easy to carry it around when it’s not mounted
Best Value
The Kenwood The Marine CD Receiver comes with a 3-band equalizer and front-panel inputs for the ultimate experience. The gadget is also and Bluetooth-enabled and is compatible with iHeart, Pandora and Sirius compatible. If you want a marine stereo with removable faceplate and 50-foot speaker cable spool, look up the Kenwood Bluetooth Radio In-Dash Marine Audio Receiver.
Kenwood Marine CD Receiver With Bluetooth with 6.5” 2 Way Speaker Package

Kenwood Marine Stereo PKG-MR362BT


Features
Kenwood is a household name in the consumer electronics and communication systems industry. Its products are synonymous with quality and are developed and designed to meet and exceed consumer expectations. It prides itself on the manufacture of electronic gadgets far ahead of the competition and the reliability of its products. With its manufacturing plant in Japan, its USA sales subsidiary office was founded in 1961 and has grown to become the largest sales subsidiary of the corporation. Its portable communication systems and two-way radios took the American market by storm and for over 30 years, have remained the benchmark for quality and performance when it comes to communication equipment for both personal and corporate use.

The Kenwood Marine CD Receiver unit comes with a marine receiver and a pair of 6.5 inch speakers. Its 3-band equalizer lets you customize and balance the bass sound for your music and the front-panel USB and auxiliary inputs allow for quick connection of your smartphone or any digital music player source like thumb drives or hard disks. The unit’s 50 watts x 4 maximum power is high enough to provide the speakers with enough power for maximum sound output.

Here are more features that make this marine receiver a great buy:
  • It’s bluetooth enabled, so you can connect to your smartphone or other bluetooth devices via the wireless connection
  • It features a theft deterrent faceplate that makes it almost impossible for thieves to steal, hence you can hang out in a public place and have some measure of confidence that your marine stereo is safe
  • Comes with an in-built compatibility to internet radio services like the iHeart and Pandora radio services and you can even use SiriusXM on it
  • Its unique variable color illumination gives you multicolor options for the unit’s backlight so you can have any color of your choice to either match your mood or the color of your dash display
  • Compatible with iPhones, iPods, Windows and Android devices
  • Has a dual phone connection that allows you switch between two phones once you’re connected via bluetooth
  • You can use a multiport USB adaptor on the unit since it has the capacity to let you play from the different drives on this device
  • Superior sound system that reconstructs sounds from compressed files into their original formats and outputs
  • The unit can display the menu on the LCD screen in Spanish language in addition to the default English language menu
The Fusion Entertainment Marine Stereo System is ergonomically built with optical bond glass, and comes with a free downloadable wireless remote to give you the entertainment experience you deserve.. If you need to play your DVD or CD while on the sea, then you should check out the Fusion 750 Series Marine Entertainment System. It also features a color widescreen display for the ultimate experience..
Fusion Entertainment Marine Entertainment Stereo Receiver With Bluetooth

Fusion Entertainment Marine Stereo MS-RA70


Features
Founded as a car audio manufacturing brand in New Zealand in 1998, Fusion Entertainment Ltd has grown steadily to occupy one of the top spots in car audio and entertainment system production. Its products are manufactured with the highest quality materials geared towards giving you the best sound production ever. In a bid to expand on its innovative products, the company added marine stereos to its already well-established car audio offering. The brand is a home grown marine audio manufacturing company patronized by renowned boat manufacturers and owners all over the world, and with products centered on complete entertainment and class for the consumer, it’s poised to become a leading name in the boating industry.

The Fusion Entertainment Marine Stereo System is ergonomically designed and value-packed for the music lover on the sea. Its sleek, high-end and sturdy design combines style, performance, and quality in one product like no other, and ensures you get your money’s worth at every turn. What’s more, it's designed in a way that it can easily fit into a traditional car stereo cut-out, so you can install the unit in your vehicle and enjoy your favorite music.

Some of this marine stereo’s astounding features include:
  • A 50 watts x 4 high-powered amplifier that supplies enough power to the unit’s speakers for the best acoustics ever
  • Bluetooth audio streaming technology that lets you stream your music wirelessly by connecting to your Bluetooth enabled devices like your smartphone
  • A free wireless remote control in form of an app that you can download on your smartphone from the Apple store or Google play store for zone control, selecting tracks and navigation
  • The front panel is a water-proof IPX7 built to withstand all forms of adverse weather conditions, thus protecting the unit and increasing its durability
  • Its LCD display screen is made from optically bonded glass for high clarity even in rough weathers and it doesn’t fog over
  • A patented MultiZone technology that offers two mutually exclusive audio zones, with each zone having a full set of localized controls so you can customize them to your specific listening requirement
  • Highly compatible with your Android or Apple smartphones and can also play music from other sources like MP3 players, USB mass storage devices and other compatible devices
  • Its design is such that you can mount it on your boat’s dash or flush on the glass helm with either mount option giving a sleek and high-end look to your boat
  • Side-fin cooling vents on both sides of the unit ensure that the interior never over heats due to constant or prolonged use
A 1-year consumer warranty on this stereo gives you peace of mind while assuring you of the highest quality product
The Clarion Marine Watertight Remote Control is a wired and mountable remote, has an innovative round shape and LCD display screen with high visibility. If you’re looking for a boating radio with bluetooth capacity, external and internal microphone and Sirius XM readiness, then see the Clarion M505 Boating Radios.
Clarion Marine Watertight Stainless Steel Bezel Remote with LCD Display

Clarion Marine Stereo MW1


Features
For almost a century, Clarion has been a brand with close ties to automobiles as far as in-car devices and solutions are concerned. It’s been associated with several groundbreaking and pioneering inventions in the industry which include but are not limited to Japan’s first car radio, Japan’s first car stereo system, the world’s first in-car “AutoPC” and the world’s first bird’s-eye view camera for car rear-view system. Having fully established itself as a world leader in the in-car devices industry, it now expands its product line to include marine stereos so you can take your music along with you while cruising in your boat. Applying the same level of expertise as it does in manufacturing its in-car devices, the brand’s marine stereos are top-notch and designed to give the consumer guaranteed satisfaction in performance and durability.

The Clarion Marine Watertight Remote Control is an innovative device from the Clarion stable that allows you access your marine stereo receiver in a unique way. Its LCD display gives you useful radio data information like the song title, artist’s name and album title. It has all the functions that let you control the music playing on your stereo. It comes in a round, sleek shape that is easily installed in any part of the boat. This unit makes it quite possible to install your marine stereo receiver in a safe compartment out of reach of adverse elements that might lead to its deterioration while you control it from any part of the boat where you have the remote mounted. Its screen is designed so it’s super easy to see the display even under the hottest sun glare.
This device is backed by a 1-year limited warranty

Here are more marine stereo options from Clarion:
  • Clarion M505R boating electrical equipment Marine Digital Media Receiver features Bluetooth compatibility and has a blue backlight color that lets you easily see the controls in the dark
  • The Clarion CMD8 1.8-Inch Marine CD-USB-MP3 Receiver comes in two styles, has an auxiliary input for versatile connectivity, USB port to connect your iPod, iPhone, Android phone or any other compatible storage device, an app-controlled Pandora system and water-resistant components
  • The Clarion CZ205 CD/USB/MP3/WMA Receiver with Wireless Remote Control comes with a full function wireless remote control, a 45 watts x 4 high-powered amplifier, and is compatible with different music sources like your smartphone, MP3 player or USB storage device. Its backlight offers enough illumination so you can see the controls even in the dark
  • Clarion CMS2 Marine Digital Media Hub with USB Port is ergonomically designed with a 3-line DOT matrix LCD display screen. It’s also Bluetooth enabled and SiriusXM ready in addition to its AM/FM radio tuner
  • Clarion CMS5 Marine Digital Media Receiver J1939 features a widescreen LCD display and connects wirelessly to your Bluetooth enabled devices. Its power output is 50 watts x 4 channels and it is compatible with Pandora internet radio service
The Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver works for both cars and boats and comes with a powerful 75 watts x 4 amp output for those tunes with a heavy bass. If you need a marine stereo with front loading CD player, you can check out the Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver & Waterproof Speaker Kit.
Pyle Bluetooth AM/FM Radio Marine Receiver Stereo with MP3/USB/SD Readers and Wireless Streaming – Available in 4 Colors

Pyle Marine Stereo PLRMR23BTW – White


Features
Pyle was founded in the 1960s and is known for its high quality woofers and speakers built with advanced technology that put it ahead of other manufacturers on the market. Within a relatively short period after its establishment, the company expanded its product category along the audio line to include car stereo systems, home audio units, marine stereo units and professional musical equipment. Its products are a hallmark of quality and reliability and coupled with unequalled customer service, it remains little wonder why its customers are almost always satisfied. Its products are scientifically-tuned and innovative, with the primary aim of meeting and surpassing the needs of clients at all times. Go for the ultimate acoustic experience with one of Pyle’s products in your car, home, studio or boat.

The Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver is a versatile receiver that works well in an automobile, on a boat or in other marine crafts. It has a powerful 75 watts x 4 amplifier maximum output capable of powering a pair of speakers and discrete rear RCA L/R output jacks. Its LCD digital display has an ID3 tag display system that shows the name of the song, title of the album and the artist’s name.

Here are more interesting features of this marine stereo that you should know:
  • It comes with Bluetooth technology version 2.0 which is highly compatible with all the common bluetooth devices including iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones, tablets and others
  • It has a standard 3.5 millimeter auxiliary input jack that you can use to connect compatible devices like an MP3 player and a USB flash drive and memory card reader slot
  • Its front-panel integrated microphone allows you receive or place calls on your cell phone, hands-free
  • Backlit controls make it easy to operate the controls even in the dark
  • The receiver features a built-in AM/FM radio frequency receiver and an optional tuner
  • Adjustable equalizer lets you set and customize the bass, treble, balance and fader system for the best sound production from the unit
  • Universal standard DIN size so even if you’re replacing an old stereo, you won’t need to drill an expansion into the already existing installation space
  • The wireless, full function remote control makes accessing and controlling the songs playing on the stereo from a distance quite easy
  • A metal chassis bracket is included in the pack to help easy and safe installation

Get the Best Marine Stereo of 2018!

Thank you for reading. We’re certain by now you should be placing your order for the marine stereo that most suits your needs. In case you didn’t find the exact one you’re looking for, feel free to check out more options from our featured brands through the navigation links provided.

Our Top Choice
Sony Marine Boat Radio Receiver
Best Value
Kenwood Marine CD Receiver
Fusion Entertainment Marine Stereo System with Bluetooth
Clarion Marine Watertight Remote Control
Pyle Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver