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7 Best Marine Stereos [2019]

Best Marine Stereo

Every boat owner appreciates the thrill of having some good quality music with them while out at sea. Even other people on board get to enjoy the experience music helps create.

A marine stereo is the best gadget for that task. You can install it on your boat’s dashboard as you would in a car, and the hook it up with an external amplifier and speakers if you want that extra punch.

A great marine stereo’s peak and RMS outputs should be powerful enough to produce music that dwarfs all other noises surrounding your boat, which threaten to interfere with your audio experience.

It also needs to be waterproof to resist damage by splashing water and light rain. Some stereos are built to withstand the harsh UV rays from the sun for a long-lasting audio experience.

To help eliminate all the complexities and uncertainties of choosing an ideal model, dive into our top 7 marine stereo reviews and buying guide for all the shopping insight you require.

7 Best Marine Stereos – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Boss MGR350B

1. Boss MGR350B (Best Compact Marine Stereo)

  • Compact round-style design
  • Powerful 80 W RMS, 240 W (4-channel) output
  • USB and Bluetooth connectivity for versatility
  • Weatherproof and IPX6 certification against splashing
Pyle PLRMR27BTB

2. Pyle PLRMR27BTB (Powerful Marine Stereo)

  • Powerful 100 W RMS and 300 W (4-channel) peak output
  • USB, SD, Bluetooth and AM/FM for music payback and radio
  • Bright LCD panel for viewing playback options
  • Very affordable for budget buyers
Kenwood KMR-D362BT

3. Kenwood KMR-D362BT (Best LCD Marine Stereo)

  • Bright, detailed and intuitive LCD
  • Powerful 88 W RMS and 200 W (4-channel) peak power
  • Bluetooth, USB, 3.5 mm jack, and other connectivity features
  • Water-resistant and marine coated
Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175

4. Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 (Easy-to-Use Marine Stereo)

  • Simple, clear buttons for ease-of-use
  • Robust USB, auxiliary, Bluetooth music connectivity options
  • 2 pairs of RCA pre-outs for amplifier connectivity
  • Modest audio output of 80 W RMS, 180 W (4-channel) peak power output
Pyle PLMRB29B

5. Pyle PLMRB29B (Best Marine Stereo with Bluetooth)

  • Superior 40-feet Bluetooth range for convenient controlling
  • Handsfree call answering/rejection feature
  • Superior 75 W RMS, 300 W (4-channel) peak power output
  • Bright LCD with crisp buttons for easy control
Kenwood KMR-D368BT

6. Kenwood KMR-D368BT (Best Waterproof Marine Stereo)

  • Waterproof stereo housing cover 
  • 4 waterproof speakers to complete the system
  • Supports CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA, and AAC, USB, and Bluetooth
  • Bright 13-color LCD with variable illumination
Kenwood KMR-M322BT

7. Kenwood KMR-M322BT (Marine Stereo with Theft Deterrence)

  • Theft-deterrent faceplate
  • 88 W RMS, and 200W (4-channel) peak power output
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Neat interface with a large control knob

PRODUCT

1. Boss MGR350B

(Best Compact Marine Stereo)

Boss MGR350B
  • Compact round-style design
  • Powerful 80 W RMS, 240 W (4-channel) output
  • USB and Bluetooth connectivity for versatility
  • Weatherproof and IPX6 certification against splashing

2. Pyle PLRMR27BTB

(Powerful Marine Stereo)

Pyle PLRMR27BTB
  • Powerful 100 W RMS and 300 W (4-channel) peak output
  • USB, SD, Bluetooth and AM/FM for music payback and radio
  • Bright LCD panel for viewing playback options
  • Very affordable for budget buyers

3. Kenwood KMR-D362BT

(Best LCD Marine Stereo)

Kenwood KMR-D362BT
  • Bright, detailed and intuitive LCD
  • Powerful 88 W RMS and 200 W (4-channel) peak power
  • Bluetooth, USB, 3.5 mm jack, and other connectivity features
  • Water-resistant and marine coated

4. Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175

(Easy-to-Use Marine Stereo)

Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175
  • Simple, clear buttons for ease-of-use
  • Robust USB, auxiliary, Bluetooth music connectivity options
  • 2 pairs of RCA pre-outs for amplifier connectivity
  • Modest audio output of 80 W RMS, 180 W (4-channel) peak power output

5. Pyle PLMRB29B

(Best Marine Stereo with Bluetooth)

Pyle PLMRB29B
  • Superior 40-feet Bluetooth range for convenient controlling
  • Handsfree call answering/rejection feature
  • Superior 75 W RMS, 300 W (4-channel) peak power output
  • Bright LCD with crisp buttons for easy control

6. Kenwood KMR-D368BT

(Best Waterproof Marine Stereo)

Kenwood KMR-D368BT
  • Waterproof stereo housing cover 
  • 4 waterproof speakers to complete the system
  • Supports CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA, and AAC, USB, and Bluetooth
  • Bright 13-color LCD with variable illumination

7. Kenwood KMR-M322BT

(Marine Stereo with Theft Deterrence)

Kenwood KMR-M322BT
  • Theft-deterrent faceplate
  • 88 W RMS, and 200W (4-channel) peak power output
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Neat interface with a large control knob

1. Boss MGR350B – Best Compact Marine Stereo

Boss MGR350B
  • Peak power: 240 Watts (60W x 4)
  • RMS power: 80 Watts
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.8 inches

Boss MGR350B is the best compact marine stereo on our list. It is a round-style stereo receiver, whose design allows it to fit in most boat dashboard cutouts while occupying the least space.

It is also one of the most powerful stereo receivers on our list. It boasts of peak power of 240, with 4 channels of 60 watts each. Its RMS output is 80 watts allows you to hook powerful speakers or a subwoofer through the pre-amp output.

You get some impressive connectivity features such as USB, and Bluetooth for versatility. You can pair the receiver with your phone via Bluetooth or plug a USB stick of up to 32 GB.

The best-rated marine stereo boasts of some impressive weatherproofing features including front-panel UV coating and a PC Board with conformal coating. It is also IPX6-certified for splash resistance.

Although Boss MGR350B outshines its companioning in compactness, we noted that it lacks CD/DVD mechanism, which may lock out some users with music on discs.

Pros:

  • Compact round-style design
  • Powerful output
  • Impressive audio connectivity and playback features
  • Weatherproof and splash-proof

Cons:

  • Lacks a CD/DVD mechanism

2. Pyle PLRMR27BTB – Powerful Marine Stereo

Pyle PLRMR27BTB
  • Peak power: 300 Watts (75W x 4)
  • RMS power: 100 Watts
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 7 x 2 inches

Pyle PLRMR27BTB is one of the most powerful marine stereo receivers you can find on the market today.

It has a superb 100-watt RMS output, and 300-watt peak power, which can accommodate some of the most powerful speakers, and produce excellent audio quality on your boat.

This gadget packs some cool connectivity and playback features including USD, SD, and Bluetooth. It also has an AM/FM radio. You also get an EQ audio configuration option.

You can view explore all your playback options through the receiver’s beautiful and bright LCD screen. It also has backlit buttons that come in handy when you’re out at night on your boat.

The receiver is the best marine stereo for the money, making it the most accessible to buyers who are on a budget and desire a powerful stereo.

Although Pyle PLRMR27BTB is one of the most powerful marine stereo receivers you can buy today, it does not have any waterproofing or weatherproofing features.

It also has an EQ light that cannot be switched off and may distract you while navigating at night.

Pros:

  • Powerful 100-watt RMS and 300-watt peak output
  • Modern and robust playback features
  • Bright LCD panel for viewing playback options
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • No weatherproofing or waterproofing
  • EQ graphic can be distracting at night

3. Kenwood KMR-D362BT – Best LCD Marine Stereo

Kenwood KMR-D362BT
  • Peak power: 200 Watts (50W x 4)
  • RMS power: 88 Watts
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches

Kenwood KMR-D362BT is the best LCD marine stereo. It comes with a clear, detailed, and intuitive LCD panel, which allows you to control all its music playback and radio features.

It also boasts of having one of the highest outputs of 88 RMS and 200 watts of peak power. You can capitalize on this power by using its 3 pairs of RCA preamp outputs to connect to an external amplifier.

Bluetooth is built into the receiver. It does have a USB port for connecting flash drives, smartphones (to charge or control), iPods and MP3 players. You can also play audio from external sources using the 3.5mm input jack.

The receiver is water-resistant and marine coated making it ideal for boats.

The beautiful and vibrant Kenwood KMR-D362BT LCD marine stereo and all its other impressive features do make the receiver rather expensive for budget buyers.

Pros:

  • Bright, detailed and intuitive LCD
  • Powerful output with connectivity to an external amplifier
  • Bluetooth and other connectivity features
  • Water-resistant and marine coated

Cons:

  • Rather pricey

4. Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 – Easy-to-Use Marine Stereo

Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175
  • Peak power: 180 Watts (45W x 4)
  • RMS power: 80 Watts
  • Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 6 inches

Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 is an easy-to-use marine stereo, which comes with simple and straightforward controls that allow you to concentrate on your boat while enjoying good-quality music.

Its buttons are clearly marked and conveniently arranged to simplify the receiver’s operation.

The receiver accepts different kinds of music connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary. It also has AM/FM radio to diversify your audio options.

You also get 2 pairs of RCA pre-outs, for connectivity to an amplifier if you desire to boost its audio output. Speaking of output, you get a modest peak power of 180 watts, with an RMS of 80 watts which is enough power for great audio.

Although we recognize the Prospec Electronics JBL-PRV175 marine stereo for its ease of use, we noted that the receiver lacks waterproofing or weatherproofing.

It is also notably expensive for its modest features.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Robust music connectivity options
  • RCA pre-outs for amplifier connectivity
  • Modest audio power output

Cons:

  • No waterproofing or weatherproofing
  • Notably expensive

5. Pyle PLMRB29B – Best Marine Stereo with Bluetooth

Pyle PLMRB29B
  • Peak power: 300 Watts (75W x 4)
  • RMS power: 75 Watts
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches

Pyle PLMRB29B is a marine stereo receiver with excellent Bluetooth capabilities.

It boasts of a Bluetooth range of up to 40 feet, which is the largest we have reviewed. You can play music from your phone via Bluetooth without having to hover around the stereo.

The Bluetooth combines well with a built-in microphone on the receiver to allow hands-free calling. You can answer/reject incoming calls conveniently.

This receiver packs some impressive power. It has an RMS output of 75 watts and a peak power of 300 across 4 channels for some loud, and high-quality audio.

You also get more connectivity features including USB and SD card for robustness and versatility.

To access all these robust features, the stereo receiver has a digital LCD with crisp buttons, and knob controls.

An issue we noted with the Pyle PLMRB29B is that it lacks is neither waterproof nor weatherproof.

Pros:

  • Superior Bluetooth range for convenient controlling
  • Handsfree call feature
  • Powerful audio output
  • Bright LCD with crisp buttons for easy control

Cons:

  • Neither waterproof nor weatherproof

6. Kenwood KMR-D368BT – Best Waterproof Marine Stereo

Kenwood KMR-D368BT
  • Peak power: 200 Watts (50W x 4)
  • RMS power: 68 Watts
  • Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 7 inches

Kenwood KMR-D368BT is one of the best waterproof marine stereos you can get for your boat.

It comes with a waterproof stereo housing radio cover for protection against splashes and light showers when you’re out at sea on your boat.

This model comes with 4 Magnadyne Aquavibe series WR40W 5-inch speakers, which are all waterproof. They support the receiver’s peak power of 200 watts and RMS of 68 watts.

The receiver supports robust audio formats and media including CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA, and AAC. You can connect external music source via the receiver’s built-in Bluetooth, USB, and 3.5mm auxiliary input.

Your receiver will also come with a 13-color, 1.5-line LCD which is bright and has variable illumination to hype the mood as you listen to music.

An issue we noted with the Kenwood KMR-D368BT is that all its impressive features come at a steep price as this is the most expensive marine stereo receiver on our list.

Pros:

  • Waterproof stereo housing cover 
  • 4 waterproof speakers to complete the system
  • Supports many audio formats and media
  • Bright 13-color LCD with variable illumination

Cons:

  • Pricey

7. Kenwood KMR-M322BT – Marine Stereo with Theft Deterrence

Kenwood KMR-M322BT
  • Peak power: 200 Watts (50W x 4)
  • RMS power: 88 Watts
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 7.5 x 3.1 inches

You will love Kenwood KMR-M322BT marine stereo for is theft deterrence feature. It comes with a theft-deterrent faceplate, which prevents the receiver from being yanked out of its housing.

This is also one of the most powerful receivers on our list. It has an 88-watt RMS with a peak power of 200 watts across 4 audio channels. You can also connect the receiver to an amplifier using its 2 pairs of RCA ports.

The receiver also supports wireless music playback via Bluetooth connectivity, as well as USB support. You can also use the receiver for handsfree calling because it has dual phone support.

It has a neat interface with a large control knob for volume adjustment and other functionalities.

Kenwood KMR-M322BT may deter theft effective, but it is ineffective in deterring water as it is not waterproof. It is not ideal for intensive marine use where water slashes on the boat in large volumes.

Pros:

  • Theft-deterrent faceplate
  • Powerful audio output
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Neat interface with a large control knob

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

How to Buy the Best Marine Stereo

How to Buy the Best Marine Stereo

1. Power

Since you’ll be using the stereo on your boat out in the sea and sun, the music needs to be loud.

There are a lot of things in a marine environment capable of drowning out your music, including crashing waves marina hums, and engine noises.

A powerful stereo will ensure that music is consistently loud and high quality. Look for stereos with built-in amplifiers so that you won’t need to buy an external amplifier to boost the output.

Also, a high RMS and peak power stereo will support loudspeakers for long periods.

2. Purpose

The intended purpose of your marine stereo will influence the model you buy.

Although you’ll probably be looking for a quality audio system for your boat, you may be looking for a gadget that does more. For example, some people want a stereo that can handle different audio formats such as MP3, WAV, AAC, and more.

Besides music, some may desire a stereo with AM/FM capabilities so that they can listen to their favorite radio stations. You may also prefer a stereo that can accept different media such as USB, SD, CD/DVD, and with Bluetooth connectivity.

All these different purposes are important when choosing the ideal stereo model.

3. Anti-Corrosion Protection

Exposure of some stereo components to salty water can cause them to corrode. Thus, your stereo, like other kinds of marine gear, should be designed to resist corrosion.

Ensure that anti-corrosion coatings extend even to the circuit boards, which have delicate components that would be destroyed by rust.

It is equally important that some plated connections and chassis parts be rust-resistant for your stereo’s protection and durability.

4. Waterproof

When your marine stereo is waterproof, it should be able to resist splashes and light showers. Waterproofing is important because you will likely be listening to it while out at sea.

So, check the rating of your stereo, which often has the prefix “IP”, followed by two numbers to indicate the degree of water resistance it can handle.

For example, a stereo with an IP68 rating has more water resistance capabilities compared to one with an IP67 rating.

It’s worth noting that not all waterproof marine stereos are built to handle submersion in water.

5. UV Resistance

Quality marine gear, including your stereo, should be built to withstand damage by sunlight.

When you fit the stereo into your boat, it will be exposed to mild and harsh sunlight for pretty much its entire lifetime.

Therefore, you don’t want a marine stereo that has low UV endurance because vital components such as the LCD display risk being damaged.

Go for a stereo whose technical specifications indicate the presence of UV-resistant technologies of components.

6. Easy to install

One concern many boat owners express regards the installation of the marine stereo on their boats.

Unlike most vehicles, especially those driven on land, boats don’t have obvious places or slots for installing stereos. When you consider factors such as power, space limitation, and technical requirements, stereo installation on your boat can prove challenging.

It may be easier to install a new stereo if you are replacing an existing one because you simply use the existing wiring and mounting location.

If you’re uncertain about the installation procedure for a new stereo, simply seek the services of an expert to make sure the process is accurate and error-free.

Conclusion

You’ll set to buy the marine stereo of your choice. Remember to look for important factors such as power output, the presence or absence of waterproofing, UV resistance capabilities, and ease of installation.

If you’re new to the stereo’s installation process, you can refer to the guide that comes with the model you buy or seek the services of a qualified expert.

You can always use our top 7 marine stereo reviews and buying guide as a handy shopping companion.