Speakers — the Master Link
The least expensive and most dramatic way to improve an audio system is to upgrade the speakers. Purchase marine brand-name quality speakers after listening to them in an electronics store. A demonstration can quickly reveal the benefit of premium speakers. Poly-Planar MA-4055RC 5-inch round, two-way coaxial speakers have a wireless remote control feature for the times the stereo is mounted below, and you might want to control the stereo from the flybridge. Pretty convenient.
Don’t Forget the Amps
Amplifiers increase the wattage and volume and provide better fidelity even at reduced volumes. An amp like the Clarion XN3410 ($400, clarion.com) provides 720 watts of maximum music power. Usually 25 watts per speaker is adequate. Areas with high ambient noise levels, multiple speakers and a subwoofer may dictate more power.
Remotes Sweeten the Experience
Clarion’s waterproof MF1 RF palm-size wireless remote ($199) floats for beach use. Sony’s RMX60ML ($129) water-resistant wired remote with digital readout lets you change entertainment functions without having to duck below. The Poly-Planar MRR2 wireless infrared handheld remote can also control stereos through select speakers equipped with IR sensors.