Best Marine Stereo Reviews

Choosing the best marine stereo for your boat can be a challenge. The sheer number of marine receivers out there is enough to make your mind spin.

To help you make an informed buying decision when you're shopping for a new receiver for your boat, we've put together this resource – a one-stop-shop, all inclusive comprehensive guide on how to choose the best marine stereo.

Nowadays there are thousands of selections you can choose from, but not all of them are suitable for marine use. Here are the best marine stereos for those of you looking to boost your system on your boat before you set sail!

Best Marine Stereos Reviews

Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 Jbl Am/Fm/Bt/USB 4X45 Stereo
Kenwood KMR-M312BT Marine Digital Media Receiver and TWO sets of KFC1633MRW 6-1/2" 2-way Marine Speakers with a KACM1804 Amplifier and SOTS Air Freshner
NOAM NUTV4 Quad - 4 Channels Marine Bluetooth ATV/Golf Cart/UTV Speakers Stereo System
BEST CHOICE
Sony DSXM55BT Bluetooth Marine Digital Media Stereo Receiver SiriusXM Ready, Single DIN
Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 Jbl Am/Fm/Bt/USB 4X45 Stereo
Kenwood KMR-M312BT Marine Digital Media Receiver and TWO sets of KFC1633MRW 6-1/2" 2-way Marine Speakers with a KACM1804 Amplifier and SOTS Air Freshner
NOAM NUTV4 Quad - 4 Channels Marine Bluetooth ATV/Golf Cart/UTV Speakers Stereo System
Sony DSXM55BT Bluetooth Marine Digital Media Stereo Receiver SiriusXM Ready, Single DIN
Power: 45W x 4 amplifier
Power: 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)
Power: 100 Watts RMS / 200 Watts Peak
Power: 55 W
Product Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 6 inches
Product Dimensions: N/A
Product Dimensions: N/A
Product Dimensions: 7.00 x 1.97 x 4.72 in
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Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 Jbl Am/Fm/Bt/USB 4X45 Stereo
Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 Jbl Am/Fm/Bt/USB 4X45 Stereo
Power: 45W x 4 amplifier
Product Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 6 inches
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Kenwood KMR-M312BT Marine Digital Media Receiver and TWO sets of KFC1633MRW 6-1/2" 2-way Marine Speakers with a KACM1804 Amplifier and SOTS Air Freshner
Kenwood KMR-M312BT Marine Digital Media Receiver and TWO sets of KFC1633MRW 6-1/2" 2-way Marine Speakers with a KACM1804 Amplifier and SOTS Air Freshner
Power: 50W x 4 (MOSFET Power IC)
Product Dimensions: N/A
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NOAM NUTV4 Quad - 4 Channels Marine Bluetooth ATV/Golf Cart/UTV Speakers Stereo System
NOAM NUTV4 Quad - 4 Channels Marine Bluetooth ATV/Golf Cart/UTV Speakers Stereo System
Power: 100 Watts RMS / 200 Watts Peak
Product Dimensions: N/A
BEST CHOICE
Sony DSXM55BT Bluetooth Marine Digital Media Stereo Receiver SiriusXM Ready, Single DIN
Sony DSXM55BT Bluetooth Marine Digital Media Stereo Receiver SiriusXM Ready, Single DIN
Power: 55 W
Product Dimensions: 7.00 x 1.97 x 4.72 in

The KMR-D765BT is one of the best marine single din stereo that Kenwood has to offer. It's the newest, most advanced marine stereos in the Kenwood's arsenal.

This marine CD receiver packs in a ton of great features including Bluetooth connectivity for hand-free calling and wireless music streaming, two USB inputs (front and rear) to access your playlists, front AUX input, three sets of preamps as well as a wired remote connection.

This model has great audio, tuner, Bluetooth, and media playback features. Whether you’re using Android or Apple, your day on the water will be made more fun with this topnotch marine CD receiver. You can use the Bluetooth feature or just plug your player into one of your device’s USB inputs in order to access your playlist. This is a durable receiver that can handle the rugged marine environment.

Additionally, the Kenwood KMR-D765BT also supports internet radio - Pandora  and iHeart Radio. And, if you're a satellite radio fan, you can add a SiriusXM tuner and you won't miss any of your favorite music, sports, and talk, even when you're miles and miles offshore.

As with most high-end Kenwood stereos, the KMR-D765BT is very well-engineered and well-conceived. It has a large volume knob and its buttons are intuitively placed for eacy access and to reduce distractions. This marine receiver features a big, variable-color 1.5-line LCD display that will makes it easy for you to see song titles and channel information, even in bright daylight or when you're blasting through choppy water.

As for audio features, the KMR-D765BT is fitted with a built-in 13-band Drive EQ that you can use to fine tune the sound and compensate for exterior noise. It has a built-in MOSFET amplifier that can put out 22 watts RMS to each of its four channels.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate) 
  • Kenwood sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music 
  • MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Files Playback with ID-3 Tag Display 
  • Android Rapid Charge 
  • Multi-language (English, Spanish) 
  • Dual Phone Connection 
  • Wireless Music Browsing 
  • Conformal Coating *1 

Pros:

  • It comes with Bluetooth feature
  • Front and Rear USB inputs
  • Well-designed control panel-super easy to use
  • Kenwood’s latest sound technology
  • It’s compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner

Cons:

  • The display may be too dark for some people
kenwood KMRD765BT Marine CD Receiver with Bluetooth
  • TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate)
  • Kenwood sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music
  • MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Files Playback with ID-3 Tag Display
  • Android Rapid Charge. Multi language(English, Spanish)
  • Dual Phone Connection. Wireless Music Browsing. Conformal Coating *1

The JBL PRV-175 is one of the best marine round digital media receivers on the market. Despite its tiny size, this multimedia receiver packs a lot of features into a compact design which makes it one of the most widely sold marine digital media receiver out there.

The JBL PRV-175 is a digital media receiver, what this means is that it doesn't have a built-in MP3 player. So, this receiver would be a great investment for anyone who no longer uses CDs.

This marine digital media receiver features built-in Bluetooth® connectivity so you can stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device. It also has a rear aux input for your portable music player, as well as a rear USB port in which you can plug in your smartphone or a thumb drive.

The PRV-175 can fit neatly into a standard tachometer/speedometer opening. It has a set of rear-mounted preamp outputs, so you can upgrade and expand your boat audio system with a marine amp later. If you’re looking for a compact yet powerful receiver, this is the one for you. 

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • marine digital media receiver (does not play CDs) 
  • built-in Bluetooth® for music streaming 
  • built-in amp (20 watts x 4 RMS/45 peak x 4 channels) 
  • marine-rated watertight face 
  • fits into a standard tachometer opening 
  • inputs: rear USB input, rear aux input 
  • outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs 
  • required cutout: 3.365" (diameter) x 3.3125" (depth) 


Pros:

  • It has Bluetooth
  • Its design is compact and easy to fit onto your boat
  • Fewer holes and sockets to plug
  • Upgradable despite its size

Cons:

  • All its sockets are on the rear side, including the USB and AUX
  • It has no CD player; if you’re the type that still prefers CDs, you should know this
Sale
Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 Jbl Am/Fm/Bt/USB 4X45 Stereo
  • 4 x 45 watts
  • Auxiliary input
  • USB input for USB drivers
  • 2 pair of RCA pre-outs

The Kenwood KMRM312BT is well-known for its top-tier sound. Although this single din stereo has no CD player, it does have all the other features you need.

The KMRM312BT Marine Stereo has Bluetooth connectivity that lets you listen to music through your phone or make hands-free phone calls while navigating your boat.

It also features front AUX and USB ports to make it accessible and more convenient to use than those with backports.

Compared to most marine stereos, Kenwood KMRM312BT is relatively less expensive price-wise but does not sacrifice the quality of both its parts and the sound it creates.

Its overall build is meant to do everything a stereo system does. With its affordable price and excellent sound quality, the Kenwood KMRM312BT makes its way into our top 5 best marine stereos in 2019 review.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • TDF(Theft Deterrent Faceplate) 
  • Rotary Encoder and Direct Key (TEL) for easy operation 
  • Supreme sound reconstruction, restores musical to compressed music 
  • MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC Files Playback with ID-3 Tag Display 
  • Android Music Playback 
  • Conformal Coating *1 

Pros:

  • It has Bluetooth
  • Front USB and AUX ports
  • More affordable compared to other stereos
  • Sound quality comparable to the latest models
  • It is also compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner

Cons:

  • It has no CD player, which may be irrelevant to most
Kenwood KMR-M312BT Marine Digital Media Receiver and TWO sets of KFC1633MRW 6-1/2" 2-way Marine Speakers with a KACM1804 Amplifier and SOTS Air Freshner
  • plays music from your iPod, iPhone, or Android
  • rear-wired Bluetooth microphone included
  • inputs: front aux and USB inputs
  • 2-way 6-1/2" marine speakers with white grilles X2 PAIR
  • Compact 4-Channel Class D Car Amplifier

The NOAM NUTV4 is a water-resistant speaker stereo system. This black box receiver comes with Bluetooth remote control, two 2-way high-quality speakers, and a four-channel amplifier. They’re guaranteed to be waterproof.

The NOAM NUTV4 is well-known for its distinct backlit Bluetooth remote control which you can use to control both the system and the paired device.

Its remote even has an AUX port where you can plug your device and connect it wirelessly to your speaker stereo system.

The NOAM NUTV4 is the only product in our top 5 best marine stereos in 2019 review that has a remote control this versatile. It’s almost as if the remote control is the stereo itself.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • IPX6 waterproof Grade tested 
  • Four channels output 
  • Watertight plugs 
  • Inline power switch and LED power indicator – DIY! You can simply run the power wire straight to your battery 
  • IPX6 waterproof grade-tested 
  • Bluetooth-enabled 
  • Inline Aux input  

Pros:

  • All-around backlit remote control
  • It’s more affordable, almost the same price as Kenwood KMRM312BT

Cons:

  • Other than the AUX port, it has no other ports, like a USB port
  • As with all black box receiver, it has no CD player
NOAM NUTV4 Quad - 4 Channels Marine Bluetooth ATV/Golf Cart/UTV Speakers Stereo System
  • Enjoy your tunes in high quality sound while riding wild.
  • 2 Pairs of 4" 2-Way UTV/ATV/BOAT Mountable Speakers, Marine Grade Waterproof Construction. these speakers can be mount on any round roll bar with size of 1.5"-2" (mounting pads are included)

If you’re looking for a reliable marine stereo that will satisfy your audio needs for multi-day cruises for years to come, the Sony DSXM55BT Bluetooth Marine Digital Media Stereo Receiver is a good choice.   

The DSXM55BT was built specifically for marine use. It is water-resistant with a UV-resistant finish and an anti-glare display that guarantees that you can operate it with ease even when under direct sunlight. In additio, the DSXM55BT has both Bluetooth and SongPal technology with auxiliary and USB inputs, as well as an AM/FM radio and compatibility Sirius XM.   

The DSX-M55BT might be a little short on the extra features, but it checks all of the right boxes, including an affordable price point.  

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Integrated Bluetooth technology 
  • One-touch listening with NFC 
  • Front USB for iOS & USB devices 
  • Built-in mic 
  • USB playback supports MP3/wma/a AC/WAV/FLAC 
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio ready 
  • Works with Pandora (iOS and Android) 
  • Siri control for hands-free control of your iOS Device, advanced sound with EQ5, Mega bass, and lpf Crossover, 2-volt rear, and sub-RCA preamp outputs 
  • Convenient Wireless remote supplied 

Pros:

  • Has a clear and legible display even under direct sunlight 
  • Easy installation 
  • Convenient wireless remote 

Cons:

  • Numerous reports of the volume going up and down at random
Sony DSXM55BT Bluetooth Marine Digital Media Stereo Receiver SiriusXM Ready, Single DIN
  • Integrated Bluetooth technology, one-touch listening with NFC, Front USB for iOS & msc/mtp USB devices. Built-in mic
  • USB playback supports MP3/wma/a AC/wav/FLAC, siriusxm satellite Radio ready, works with Pandora (iOS and Android)
  • Siri control for hands-free control of your iOS Device, advanced sound with EQ5, Mega bass, and lpf Crossover, 2-volt rear and sub RCA preamp outputs
  • Convenient Wireless remote supplied

Because of advances in technology, CDs are now essentially obsolete. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone is ready to get rid of their prized CDs just yet. If you’re one of those who prefer to play their music from digital discs and want a marine stereo that has a CD player, the Pyle PLCDBT65MRW is a good choice.   

On top of having a CD player, the PLCDBT65MRW also comes with a wireless remote control, a protective cover, as well as two waterproof speakers. This means that it’s a complete budget-oriented upgrade for your boat’s stereo system if not an affordable replacement for any busted speakers.   

Despite the low asking price of the PLCDBT65MRW, it won’t cut you short in terms of features. It comes with an AM/FM radio, as well as Bluetooth functionality, and a built-in microphone for a  more convenient hands-free calling experience. It also comes with a USB port, SD Card reader, as well as an auxiliary cable on top of the front-facing CD slot.  

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Bluetooth Wireless Music Streaming 
  • Built-in Microphone 
  • Front Loading CD Player 
  • USB Flash Drive & SD Memory Card Readers 
  • AM/FM Radio - 30 Station Memory Presets 
  • Aux (3.5mm) Input Connector Jack 
  • Rear RCA (L/R) Output Connector Jacks 
  • Bass Treble Balance Fader Adjustment 
  • EQ Audio Configuration 

Pros:

  • Affordable 
  • Comes as a complete set
  • Quick and hassle-free installation 
  • Ships with all the necessary parts 

Cons:

  • Weak  Bluetooth signal 
Pyle PLCDBT65MRW Single DIN Marine Bluetooth Receiver Stereo System and CD Player with 6.5 Inch Waterproof Speaker Pair and Remote Control, White (2 Pack)
  • STREAM FROM YOUR FAVORITE DEVICE: Compatible with all your favorite devices, you can turn up the tunes with this in-dash stereo receiver and speaker pair using Bluetooth streaming, CD player, MP3, USB, SD card reader, and auxiliary input
  • CONVENIENT FEATURES: Suitable for car, marine, or off-road vehicle use, you can enjoy hands-free calling and portable remote control for ultimate convenience
  • INCLUDES: Marine receiver, 2-pack of (2) 6.5-inch waterproof speakers (4 speakers total), speaker cables, remote control, mounting screws, water-resistant radio shield, and power/wiring harness
  • FULL-RANGE PERFORMANCE: Full-range, 6.5-inch speakers feature a waterproof design,150-watt MAX power, 75-watt RMS power, and 4-ohm impedance for great all-around sound
  • DURABLE SPEAKERS: Dual-cone speaker construction, polypropylene cone with cloth surround, molded ABS basket and grill, 1-inch aluminum voice coil, and 20-ounce circuit magnet

The BOSS Audio Systems MGR350B Marine Gauge Receiver is one of the more unique-looking marine stereos on our list. Instead of the typical stereo design, the MGR350B has a circular gauge-style radio. This design allows it to fit better with the rest of your boat’s interior once it is installed on the dashboard.   

Uniqueness isn’t the only selling point of the MGR350B. It is also made out of high-quality marine-grade materials that are weatherproof and IPX6 water-resistant. This allows the MGR350B to withstand the harsh elements, including the sun’s UV rays, and deliver high-quality audio.   

Aside from its high-quality construction, the MGR350B was also fitted with an assortment of features that make it one of the best marine stereos. It can play audio files directly from external devices such as SD cards and flag drives. The MGR350B also has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music via Pandora or Spotify.   

On top of the standard AM/FM radio, the MGR350B also has preset equalizers, an RDS tuner, as well as an antenna for better radio reception. 

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Fully Marinized/Weatherproof, IPX6 
  • Mounts in 3" Hole 
  • 60 Watts x 4 Max Power 
  • Bass/Treble/Balance/Fader Controls and Preset Built-in EQ 
  • RDS, Switchable US, and European Tuner 
  • Mech-less - No CD or DVD Player 
  • Plays USB, MP3, WMA and Smartphones 
  • Inputs: USB, Aux 
  • Outputs: Front and Rear or Sub Pre-Amp 
  • Bluetooth Wireless Audio Streaming 
  • USB Charging, Zero Current Draw Memory 

Pros:

  • Backed by 3-year manufacturer’s warranty 
  • Attractive price point 
  • Weather-resistant 
  • Unique looks 

Cons:

  • No CD slot 
BOSS Audio Systems MGR350B Marine Gauge Receiver - Bluetooth, Digital Media MP3 Player, no CD Player, USB Port, AM FM Radio, Weatherproof, black, small/medium
  • bluetooth - play and control music through your smartphone or mp3 player as well as apps like spotify/pandora, wirelessly
  • weatherproof - the mgr350b has been outfitted with the latest weatherproofing techniques such as front panel uv coating, pc board with conformal coating. it has an ipx 6 rating for protection against splashing water
  • media playback - bluetooth, play music via the usb port or tune into the am/fm radio stations for up to date music/news/sports and more. the mgr350b does not have a cd or dvd mechanism
  • inputs - the usb port gives you the option to have a vast library of audio files at your fingertips. the auxiliary input is compatible with audio output from smartphones and mp3 players
  • outputs - use the front & rear or subwoofer pre-amp outputs to hook up your speakers or subwoofer

What makes marine stereos different?

Unlike car audio components — which live in a safe environment in the interior of your vehicle — marine audio component have to be able to endure harsh outdoor elements. The water, salt, and sun that make your boating so enjoyable can wreak havoc on your boat's audio electrical components. And unless these components are made to endure this sort of abuse, they won't last a season.

Marine certified audio component including speakers and receivers undergo several hours of extensive pre-production tests such as ultraviolet tests to determine how well (or not so well) the component will hold up after years of sun exposure, salt fog test to simulate years of exposure to harsh salt water environments, as well as blasts of water to test and ensure that all the buttons, knobs and ports are water-proof. Additionally, most marine receivers also use an extra layer of special conformal coatings to protect the internal circuitry.

So, when you're shopping for a new marine stereo for your boat, here are a few key things to take into account.

  • Water resistance: If a marine receiver is said to be water-resistant, that means it can handle light rain or water splashes from all directions but it can't handle being fully submerged in water. Levels of water resistance vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  The key here is to look for IPX ratings. The IPX standard gives you a clearer picture of how water resistant your marine stereo is.   Marine stereos featuring an IPX rating of at least 6 (IPX6 : protected against high pressure water from all angles ) are a must. An IPX rating of 7 (IPX7: can be fully submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of one meter) is even better.
  • UV resistance: Your marine stereo should be built to resist sunlight and extreme temperature. UV resistance is an important key feature to look for on receiver face plates, speaker cones and remote controls.
  • Anti-corrosion protection: Unless the audio component designed for marine use have some sort of anti-corrosion protection, they won't last a season. That's pretty obvious as salt water and humidity can wreak havoc on these components in no time. Most marine certified receivers have coated circuit boards, plated connections, and rust-resistant chassis components.

Marine Receivers Types

Each boat is built differently. Some boats are quite large and offer plenty of space in the dash or bulkhead, while other smaller boats have a lot less space. Marine audio manufacturers are aware of this, which is why marine receivers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations. So the question is, which marine stereo type is for you? Let's find out.

Single-DIN Receivers

Single DIN (2" tall) receivers are the most popular marine receivers on the market. They are designed to perform just like any standard car receiver. The main difference between car single din head units and marine single DIN receivers is that the latter ones are built to resist marine elements.

They feature water-resistant face plates, and special covers for CD openings and/or USB and AUX ports which allows them to stand up to moisture, sunlight, and salt.Single DIN marine receivers will fit neatly into most boats out there (not to mention Jeeps, ATVs, and golf carts…), The thing you want to take into consideration before you order is the depth of the enclosure/opening in which it's going to be mounted in your boat has a shallow opening, then you might want to consider a digital media receiver instead of a regular receiver, that's because digital media receivers (also known as mecheless) have no built-in CD player, therefore, their chassis isn't nearly as deep, so they fit into tighter opening.

In case your boat has no bulkhead or control panel space for a single DIN head unit and you still want it, then you might want to consider a universal waterproof marine housing/bracket which makes it easy to install in the best spot on your boat.

Round Receivers

These round digital media receiver have no built-in cd player are specially designed to fit into standard-size (3") openings, so you can enjoy your tunes even if you have very limited space in your boat. And like all marine rated receivers, they're coated and sealed in all the right places, so they'll give you great performance for many years to come.

Black Box Receivers

What sets these "black box" receivers apart from the other marine rated stereos is that these are designed to be installed out of sight. Don't get me wrong, they can give you access to all the functionality and connectivity you'd ever want from a standard marine stereo. The downside, however, is that while these receivers can resist moisture and corrosion, they're not as water-resistant as receivers designed specifically for outdoor and marine use.

What should you look for in a marine stereo?

Aside from the type of the receiver, there are many other technical things you should take into consideration before you buy a marine stereo. Remember that the better the specs of your receiver mean better sound quality. The things to take close attention to are : RMS power, USB ports, a wide frequency response. Additionally, if you like listening to radio that much, then look for FM sensitivity spec — the lower, the better.

High Power Output:

Since you'll be listening to your music out in the open and your boat isn't acoustically perfect (as opposed to a vehicle), you'll want your speakers to play louder, therefore, you need to give them enough wattage. Most marine receivers come with built-in 4-way amplifiers. What this means is that they can power 4 speakers simultaneously. If you want your speakers to really sing, consider adding an external amplifier to your boat audio system.

Expandability:

If you are going to build a relatively large boat audio system, it's wise to invest in a marine stereo with multiple sets of preamp outputs. This will save you money down the road if you decide to add external amps and subs.

Remote Control:

Being able to control your boat receiver remotely is a very convenient feature. It's not mandatory, but it's very convenient.

Other Useful Features:

  • Bluetooth for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming.
  • SiriusXM satellite radio - which let you enjoy your favorite music, sports and talk up to 200 miles offshore.
  • Multiple USB inputs for plugging in your iPod, thumb drive or MP3 player.

Conclusion

If you ask us what the best marine stereos out there are, we won’t be able to give you a definitive answer. Just like with car stereos, your marine stereo of choice depends largely on what you need and prefer. In particular, what conditions you like to boat in and just how much you can afford are two factors that you’ll need to consider the most when choosing a marine stereo.   

If we had to recommend specific marine stereos though, the ones we reviewed above would easily be our top choices. Whatever you decide, we hope our review has given you a little bit of insight when choosing your next marine stereo before you hit the open seas! 

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API