Gone are the days when a simple radio or even CD player would satisfy the music-loving boater. Today’s music enthusiast demands a lot more from their marine stereo system, from the power to deliver clean, clear sound to the ability to stream music. Here are three things to consider when buying a marine stereo.
Don’t scrimp when it comes to power. Unlike the enclosed acoustics of a car, marine stereos have to contend with a wide-open open environment filled with noise from wind, waves, engine noise, the list goes on and on. High power is essential for a quality sound experience. Look for a receiver with built-in 4-way amplifiers.
Lots of Options
You usually get what you pay for. In general, the better a marine stereo’s specifications the better the resulting sound. Receivers should have a wide frequency response, lots of RMS power, and if you still like to listen to FM radio, a low FM sensitivity specification. Still listen to CDs? Look for a high signal-to-noise ratio. Don’t scrimp on speakers. They should have waterproof, not paper, cones, rubber surrounds and grilles that stand up to constant exposure to sun and the elements.
Today’s music lover is more apt to use their phone as the source of their music rather than carry around a case of CDs. Look for built-in Bluetooth connectivity to stream music, maybe even make and receive phone calls though your music system. USB and auxiliary connections allow you to use other devices like a thumb drive or MP3 player. Satellite radio fan? Make sure your system is SiriusXM ready.