Being able to go out on your boat and cruise around the lake or the ocean is an incredible luxury. It is something that few people get to experience and almost all would love to do. If you’re one of the lucky ones why not improve your cruise with a bluetooth marine radio? This way you can not only listen to your favorite AM and FM radio channels but also play music directly off your SmartPhone with the Bluetooth capabilities. If your looking to replace your entire system be sure to check out our best marine stereo guide for additional information.
With a streaming distance of 30 to 40 feet, the convenient benefits of Bluetooth radios are endless:
Alternatives to Bluetooth:
Simply because the marine radio has Bluetooth capabilities doesn’t mean you’re limited to streaming via Bluetooth. If you want to create a specific playlist to suit your mood on an USB and plug it in you can. Playing from USB has the advantage of better sound quality. With these radios you can also use SD cards.
You can even listen to your favorite radio station and listen to the best DJs on all your AM & FM stations.
If music isn’t your thing these radios can play any kind of MP3 media that you can connect them to. From the relaxing sounds of birds to a podcast from the history channel. The options are endless and they’re all available to you.
The Best Marine Radios with Bluetooth
Having read all that, it is only fair that you’re given a few of the best options reviewed to pick from.
1. Pyle Marine Bluetooth Stereo Radio PLMRB29W
This radio has a 12Volt receiver and a 300W peak power output split into the four speakers. This allows for higher quality sound and greater EQ configuration. With the Bluetooth connection you can manage your calls and speak to your friends & colleagues while driving the boat completely hands free.
The display of the Pyle Marine radio is a digital LCD panel with clear crisp buttons and knob controls which light up for easy night use. On the LCD screen the name of your song and the artist will be presented when listening to music. When receiving or making a call the name and number of the caller will be present.
In addition to the Bluetooth capabilities, this radio has aux-in, USB/SD slot and the traditional AM FM radio. In the rear it has RCA out. Finally, this radio comes with a remote to control it from anywhere on the boat. While some components can be improved the lower price is sure to convince you to buy this product.
2. BOSS Audio MGR350B Marine Gauge Receiver
Although the BOSS radio has similar power specs to the Pyle Marine radio, this one is rated IPX6 with regards to its water resistant capabilities. This makes it very useful on water as it is resistant to splashing; something that is bound to happen when on a boat. The IPX6 rating also ensures that the radio is protected against the harsh elements thanks to additional UV protection.
Although the Bluetooth capabilities of the BOSS radio doesn’t let you manage your calls it has been said that when making phone calls through Bluetooth systems on boats, the boat’s engine interferes with your call quality regardless of what radio you’re using.
The BOSS radio has much the same input specs as the Pyle Marine radio, but the output specs are vastly greater. The radio has front, rear and various subwoofer outputs to improve the quality & depth of your sound.
The radio allows for USB charging of your devices and plays media from a variety of formats including MP3 & WMA. Although the radio doesn’t allow for CD use, it’s optimized for digital media files with the EQ balancing and correction.
BOSS radios don’t deny you any information and have detailed lists of inputs & outputs available for your convenience. They’re also available with different speaker combinations and a square style instead of round.
While some users complain about the radio breaking quickly, BOSS audio have partnered with Amazon to provide a platinum 3 year warranty, so it’s worth the investment.
3. Fusion MS-UD750 Series
Best High End Stereo
When looking at the Fusion Series it’s clear to see that it’s compatible with so many different formats of media and different media devices. You will struggle to find a media option it won’t connect to and play music from. An iPhone can be plugged in and the media can easily be played from there.
The Fusion Series supports Wi-Fi and can be controlled from an app downloadable onto your SmartPhone. The radio is equipped with every kind of input imaginable. They not only have state of the art speakers but also an incredible LCD screen.
The LCD screen of the Fusion stereo is an optically bonded color widescreen. It is glass filled and structurally rigid while still lightweight. The side fin aluminum heat sink ensures that there is no problem of overheating which was seen in the Pyle Marine radio.
There are four independent audio zones to take your stereo audio to the next level. It has a class D amplifier which has a higher RMS output than your standard stereo.
When considering the high price and endless positive reviews, it is easy to say that the Fusion Series is the best high end marine stereo radio with bluetooth on the market.
4. Fusion MS-RA70 Stereo
The Fusion Stereo can be considered the little sister of the Fusion Series mentioned above, coming in at half the price. Although the features are very similar, there are a few key differences:
- The Fusion Stereo supports a smaller range of digital media types, but it is not limited. It still connects with Apple and Android devices.
- The screen has the same optically bonded glass display but it’s not in full color. Like the Fusion Series, it has IPX6 water resistance rating once installed.
- Another difference is evident when considering the output. There are only two sound zones instead of the four without the sub-woofers.
Without the high price and additional accessories of the Fusion Series, the Fusion Stereo has all the same manufacturing quality associated with the Fusion radios without the high price tag.
5. Kicker KMC2 Gauge Mount Marine Grade Receiver
Like most of the previous radios, the Kicker radio is IPX6 certified water resistant making it perfect for use on a boat. The radio has USB and RCA inputs along with Bluetooth & AM/FM capabilities making it a good all rounder. The Kicker radio has two RCA outputs as well as a USB charging point. It has a black and white LCD screen & is circular in design.
Kicker separates itself from the other radio brands by providing top of the line customer service. The Kicker radio comes with a full factory warranty and lifetime customer service by kicker product experts.
Customers of the Kicker radio have mixed feelings when it came to how well it worked. Some customers have complained about sound quality while others were amazed at how loud and clear their music was. If yours shows a problem it may be worth contacting the customer service department.
6. Kenwood KMR-D362BT Marine CD Receiver
If you’re looking for a marine radio that can play your mix CD or the latest hit of your favorite band then you’ve come to the right place. Not only does the Kenwood radio have Bluetooth, USB and AM/FM capabilities but it is also able to play CDs. It’s the only radio reviewed here that can play these discs. It may seem outdated, but some of us still love it, right?
The Kenwood marine radio has a wide black and white LCD screen which will show your song title as it plays. It is compatible with Apple and Android. Like most of the other radios, the Kenwood is water resistant and marine coated. It has 200W of power via four channels.
The Kenwood radio has three sets of RCA outputs to send to an amplifier if desired. It comes with front and rear speakers with a sub-woofer, making it appropriate for many music genres and frequencies. There is also a built in equalizer and bass boost to ensure your music sounds as good as possible. The Kenwood comes with a waterproof remote for ease of use.
Customers were very happy with the product and only the high price is a matter of concern. But the system is easy to install when reading the manual and will produce good sound and volume from your SmartPhone. That makes it a good investment, no matter your level of experience with these gadgets.
7. Sony DSXM55BT Marine Digital Media Receiver
This product is like the others with water resistant features, UV protection and anti-glare ensuring all weather protection for your radio on the boat.
The Sony radio has multiple input methods including Bluetooth, AUX and USB. It is compatible with a variety of digital media formats including MP3, WMA and FLAC. It is also satellite radio ready ensuring you have no issues connecting to your radio station. The Sony works with both Android and Apple devices making it appropriate for most consumers.
The output of the Sony radio is to be admired. It has Mega Bass which acts as a smart system to ensure your music always plays at the right volume. It compensates for the engine noises and prevents distortion when you turn the volume all the way up. The Sony radio also has advanced equalizer capabilities so you can ensure the settings are just right for you and your genre of music.
If you want to expand your sound system on your boat, the Sony radio is also prepared for that. It has RCA outputs for rear external and subwoofer amplifiers. Users are very happy with this unit, but know that it’s usage specific: this is not one you can use in other scenarios such as your motorbike.
When looking to install a radio onto your boat it’s important to consider a number, the same way you would when buying any other electronic product. If you want to go with the top of the range brand, then Fusion will be your answer. Looking to spend a bit less with the same quality? Fusion MS-RA70 Stereo will work for you. Looking to spend near to nothing? Pyle Marine is one of the cheapest radios on the market and it will still perform well.
But maybe you’re looking to get something specific and you have a more flexible budget, with medium spending goals. Then you need to look at your list of personal preferences. If a CD player is essential, then the Kenwood is the only option. If you want to up your volume and sound quality, then go with the Sony. Do you want great customer service? Kicker is the brand for you. And if you’re looking for the best warranty, look no further than BOSS.
See? There’s something for everyone. Having a boat is an incredible luxury—now buy one of these radios to perfect your cruising experience.