Top Marine Speakers For Pontoons

There’s nothing like a good party when you want to relax and feel entertained. You can just let go of whatever worries burden you, have a beer or an orange juice, munch on your favorite brand of nachos or peanuts, and dance ‘til you drop. What can you get more than that, you ask? Well, there are a couple of things, not the least of which is a great party location: a pontoon boat.

It’s really great when you have the time to relax and it doesn’t get any more relaxing than this: the gentle rocking of a boat on a calm lake or even the sea, with enough room for a couple of people to enjoy a nice chat and the abovementioned forms of entertainment. What’s more, you can also savor the blessings of being on the water, the way no pool party will ever allow you to. You can bring your favorite fishing rod and have a small contest with your friends, get a grill and barbecue the catch of said contest, and then celebrate by throwing the loser into the water.

At any rate, there’s something no party could ever do without, and that is good music. Without it, a barbecue is also just a barbecue, and a fishing trip gets even more boring than you could imagine. You, therefore, need a good sound system on your pontoon boat, something that will bring out the clearest and crispest sound while at the same time being an aesthetic addition to your boat and resisting whatever Mother Nature can think of hitting your boat with. The latter is, probably, the most important characteristic of a sound system for boats, compared to one designed for home or car use: weather resistance. After all, however big and comfortable your pontoon boat may be, it’s still a boat nonetheless and not even a weatherproof one. Whatever you put on it must resist the wind, rain, fog, an accidental water splash here and there, salty atmosphere if you’re going out on the sea, and a couple of other similar things.

Of course, this is just one important thing among others. The speakers you buy must be at the same quality standards as any speakers for your room or car, whether it’s sound clarity, loudness, power usage, and so on. In fact, you may want them to be louder than average, as the sound of a pontoon boat engine can get quite loud and annoying. Clarity and sharpness of sound are also indispensable qualities – seriously, better no music at all than a low-quality sound that disturbs your ear. And, since you want to keep your beautiful boat beautiful, you should try to get some speakers that look the part as well. In order to make sure your speakers are of the best quality, you may want to have a look at a couple of recommendations we’re showing below.

Polk Audio DB652: expensive, but no regrets

Yes, you read that right. The most expensive among our recommendations, the Polk Audio DB652 will make your ears go to heaven and back again, making the most financially sound (pun intended) investment you could make.

These speakers are nothing short of spectacular, and we’re not only talking about looks. There’s an RMS of 100 W per pair of speakers, making them easily loud enough to cover all the engine and party sounds, a liquid-cooled swivel mounted tweeter that allows for perfect sound aiming, mic and polymer build with rubber surround that makes them render the sound perfectly and resist hundreds of hours in harsh environments, and mounting options which you can use for your car, boat, or fridge on wheels just as well.

Yes, they are expensive, but given how much you spend on your boat anyway, might as well get things done to the last detail.

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Infinity Reference 612m: budget price, high-end everything else

If you don’t quite like the first option, this second one is just as good. While the sound quality is not exactly as fantastic (although only Mozart himself could tell the difference), these speakers are just as great in terms of looks, construction, resistance, and basically everything you can think of. Some people even claim that they look a lot better, although that’s more of a matter of taste.

The one remarkable thing about these speakers is the amazing level of power handling, with a 225W peak and 75W RMS, making them quite a bit louder than the Polks. They are also specifically made for boats instead of being generic vehicle speakers and thus are even less prone to water damage than the others.

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Pioneer TS MR-1600 Marine Speakers: storm? What’s that?

Pioneer is a very well-known company in the audio gear industry, providing sound for TV’s, cars, concerts, and wherever else you want to be heard loud and clear. They also make good quality products for boats, which is the case with these speakers. Another boat-specific model, the MR-1600 is probably the best in terms of waterproofness. If you’re surprised by a sudden burst of wind, rain, and pretty much whatever else, you can at least rest assured that you won’t lose the money you paid on these.

With a 100W maximum power handling and a 25W nominal, these aren’t the strongest speakers around, or the most crisp-sounding. The design isn’t particularly appealing either, but if you want pretty good quality at a reasonable price and excellent resistance, this is what you’re looking for.

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Boss Audio MR60W Marine Speakers: excellent sound for a smoke detector

Coming from another famous audio gear company, this model is definitely not renowned for its looks, looking like a bathroom vent instead of something music comes out of. However, don’t let yourselves be tricked: there’s a good reason why Boss has a good name in the business. For a pretty low price, you get sound comparable to the 3rd placed Pioneer and an almost as good weather resistance.

The Boss speakers boast a nice RMS power handling of 100W per pair, which is pretty OK. They’re also designed to resist and, in the unlikely event that they don’t, the warranty is one of the best around.

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JBL MS6200 Marine Speakers: cheap, but not really

Surprisingly, these really cheap speakers have reviewed just as good as our high-end recommendations. Of course, they don’t exactly perform as well as the Polks, nor are they as pretty (in fact, the final 3 entries on the list all look like they’d fit better in the 90’s). Then again, if you want to get something good for relatively little money, you may want to take a serious look at them.

These speakers peak at 180W, while the RMS power handling is 60W. This is not half bad, compared to the two alternatives above. The sound is more than fair for the price, as reviewers have discovered, and the insulation is up to standards as well.

 

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Jerry Brookes
 

Hi I'm Jerry, founder of PontoonHelper.com. I've been pontooning for over 30 years believe it or not and have learned a thing or two about pontoons. As my passion project Pontoon Helper is aimed at educating any reader on all the different things you need to know before pontooning. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this industry as it has become my life since retirement. Feel free to submit a comment or question on the website and I'll try to get back to you.

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David

The Infinity Referencers are amazing, i’m so glad I ordered them! Wanted to replace my factory speakers for something a bit louder and got these installed last week and I couldn’t be happier

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Bill

you had me at the Boss audio MR60W looking like smoke detectors! yeah it’s true they aren’t the best looking speakers out ther but hey I ain’t going for looks here, if they’re loud and not flat you bet imma get them!

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Vinnie

Hi Jerry, any idea on what’s the best place to install a sound system on a pontoon? I was thinking about getting two pairs of Polk Audio’s and wiring two of them to the rear bar and the other two somewhere along the side railing….

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