Spending a day out at sea can be a marvelous way to relax or catch up on quality time with friends. Your yacht may even be an ideal place for an engagement party or your kid’s sweet 16. The only issue is that the bass on your marine audio system might not hold up against the sound of the sea.
For that reason, why not consider installing a marine subwoofer? With one of these speakers, your sound will be more powerful than ever before and you can host parties your guests will remember for years. Even if you’re simply relaxing, don’t you want to feel the music?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know to select the best marine subwoofer and the best ones on the market right now. Maybe you’ll be tempted to take your boat’s sound to the next level.
Why Your Audio System Will Always Sound Better with A Subwoofer
A subwoofer is a speaker that’s capable of handling lower frequencies. As a result, it captures bass and sub bass more dynamically, giving you rounder sound & fuller music experiences. Your marine audio system is enhanced because many sound systems aren’t able to reproduce such low frequencies, so with a subwoofer, you retain the quality audio performance of your music.
If you want to hear every beat of your sound system, it’s highly recommended to add a marine subwoofer. The bass will be deeper which will enhance the atmosphere on your boat. Be sure to check out our list of the best marine audio systems if your looking to replace your current system.
Here are our picks for the best marine subwoofers you can buy:
- Kicker 43KMW102 - Best Overall Marine Subwoofer
- KICKER KMF124 12" Marine Subwoofer with LED - Best High End
- Bazooka MBT1014 Marine Preloaded Bass Tube - Best Compact Marine Subwoofer
- Pyle PLMRW12 - Best Value
- Lanzar AQTB8 – Best for Small Boats
- Garmin MS-SW10 - Top Marine Grade Boat Subwoofer
- MTX Audio RT8PT - Best Enclosure Subwoofer System
1. Kicker 43KMW102 Marine Subwoofer
BEST OVERALL BOAT SUBWOOFER
Once you’re on the water, it’s important that your subwoofer is durable and can withstand the elements. The Kicker marine subwoofer withstands the worst weather conditions so it’ll be reliable whether you’re out on a sunny day or if there’s a storm brewing. Even the hidden screw grille is resistant against salt corrosion so you never need to be concerned with humidity or fog.
Along with its durability, this 10 inch marine subwoofer also has a high peak power output so you’ll be guaranteed full bass. It takes a lot to damage this speaker and you’ll have peak sound quality, making it one of the best marine subwoofers available. It might be a bit pricey, but its high standard makes this cost worthwhile.
If you want to know more about the Alpine marine subwoofer, here are a few features:
- Power: 150 Watts - 300W Watts RMS
- Impedance: 2 ohm
- Frequency response: 35-1000 Hz
- Size: 10”
- Marine Certification: UV certified, NEMA rated water resistance & ASTM approved
2. KICKER KMF124 12" Marine Subwoofer with LED
BEST HIGH END
When it comes to having a subwoofer on your boat, you not only want the best possible bass but also want to make sure that it can withstand any sort of weather conditions. Luckily, the Kicker KMF124 12" subwoofer is weather-resistant giving you peace of mind. Part of the efficiency is thanks to motor structure being sealed and the terminal which also locks and seals well. It is tested against salt, UV rays, and fog which proves its durability even in those unique conditions.
You’ll never have to worry about the party ending with the Kicker KMF124 12" as it will continue to give you the bass you need for long periods of time. The quality sound is thanks to the cone which is marine grade. With the LED lights, the aesthetics will also add to whatever vibe you have going.
Here are some features you may be interested in:
- Silicone sealed LEDs lights
- 175 - 350 Watts RMS
- Exceeds ASTM standards for salt, UV, and fog exposure
- 4 Ohm voice coil injection
3. Bazooka MBT1014 Marine Preloaded Bass Tube
BEST COMPACT MARINE SUBWOOFER
If you’re looking for a boat subwoofer that’s small and compact, then the Bazooka is the one for you. Its peak power is lower than some models, which makes it ideal for easy listening while its low impedance allows this system to double your bass.
Because of its Velcro reinforced mounting straps, it’s easy to install and its chrome plated finish gives it a sophisticated look that will add style to your boat. This stainless steel speaker will back up your sound system and won’t be damaged by salt, fog or turbulent weather.
Here are a few notable features of the Bazooka:
- Power Output: 200W
- Impedance: 4 Ohms
- Size: 10”
- Marine Certification: UV protection & waterproof
4. Pyle PLMRW12
The party can carry on for a long time when you have the Pyle PLMRW12 installed. This subwoofer has great low-frequency bass volume to impress your guests. The plastic waterproofing makes it safe to install in places where there may be moderate splashing.
The size makes it appropriate to install in various places on the boat or even inside a cooler for easy transportation to wherever you’re having your gathering. This subwoofer is also extremely compact so you don’t have to worry about it ruining the aesthetic of your boat.
For repairs or for aesthetic purposes you can remove the grill if needed.
Below are a few more specs of the Pyle PLMRW12 worth knowing:
- 600 Watts (peak power)
- Polypropylene cone
- The overall diameter is 12.7"
- Frequency response is 20Hz-2.2kHz
5. Lanzar AQTB8
BEST FOR SMALL BOATS
Whether you want a subwoofer for your boat or your deck, the Lanzar AQTB8 could be what you need. You can either mount it or secure it under your seat, solving the problem if you don’t have much space available, which is why it has our vote for use on smaller vessels. After installation you can control it with a remote level control you can install where it’s easily accessible for you.
This model’s marine coating will keep the rust at bay. The wiring system is protected with 15A rated fuses as well as further protection to the wires.
The design of this product has pearl white and chrome-like accents, giving it a sleek and clean appearance. Although the Lanzar AQTB8 is compact, it gives out 1,000 watts of power.
Have a look at some of the Lanzar AQTB8’s specs listed below:
- One year warranty
- 1,000 watts of power
- Short and Overload Protection Circuits
- 14.5” x 9.5” x 3”
- Compatible with any audio system
6. Garmin MS-SW10 Marine Grade Subwoofer
The Garmin 10 inch marine subwoofer holds the True Marine Standard badge meaning that it’s undergone various degrees of testing to ensure it will withstand different weather conditions. As a result, this product is water resistant and will still maintain high quality even if exposed to salt or fog.
Its decent power output means that it’s capable of acceptable bass while not being overpowering so you can enjoy your music experience. Because it’s relatively affordable, it makes an ideal system for your boat without breaking the budget.
Here are some notable features of the Fusion subwoofer:
- Power Output: 400W
- Impedance: 4 ohm
- Size: 10 inch
- Marine Certification: UV rays & ASTM certified as well as water resistant
7. MTX Audio RT8PT Universal Powered Subwoofer Enclosure
Best Subwoofer Enclosure System
The MTX Audio RT8PT 8 inch subwoofer is the perfect unit to install in smaller boats that need a boost in clear bass and sound. This 8" high-performance subwoofer has a carpeted enclosure so that it blends in with the interior of your boat and provides a durable casing.
Installing the MTX Audio RT8PT subwoofer is effortless because the high-level RCA input allows you to connect the unit in any setup. This marine subwoofer comes with mounting equipment to secure the unit in place anywhere inside your boat.
You can customize the level of bass you want by using the external control on the MTX Audio RT8PT subwoofer. It comes with a wired remote so you can control the volume and the level of bass easily. Take a look at the additional specs below for the MTX Audio RT8PT subwoofer:
- Power output of 120W to 360W maximum
- Impedance: 2 Ohm
- Size 8"
- Marine certificate: Not waterproof
Here are a few of the features you should look out for when buying a marine subwoofer:
The volume of your subwoofer depends on how high the power rating is. If you’re looking for casual listening, any power output rating higher than 100W RMS power rating is suitable. On the other hand, if you’re planning a party or you want music to fill the air around your boat, then it’s preferable to find a system that at least has a peak power rating of 300 Watts – 500 Watts. The higher, the better. The actual term RMS stands for root mean square.
To put it simply, impedance refers to how easily electricity passes through the coils in your subwoofer. If the impedance or electrical resistance is low, it means your sound will more powerful. An ideal impedance for a subwoofer is 4 ohms but if you can find one that’s lower it’s even more preferable.
If your subwoofer is too heavy it might weigh down the structure that it’s installed on which will damage your boat but if it’s too small it will hamper the sound quality. For your boat, a suitable subwoofer should at least be 10” – 12”. This will ensure that it’s light enough but will also produce voluminous sound quality.
Marine Certification & Waterproofing:
Even if you install your subwoofer inside your boat, it can still be damaged by moisture in the air. Ensuring that it’s marine certified for free-air applications & waterproof will enhance its longevity so you don’t have to replace it for a long time.
There are several manufacturers of high quality subwoofers that you should consider. They include:
- JL Audio
- Rockford Fosgate
- Polk Audio
In order to install your subwoofer, you should follow these three steps.
Build a subwoofer box in order to contain the sound and protect your speaker. You can do this by making your own one or by using an existing panel on your boat for this purpose.
Either surface mount your subwoofer to prevent any wires from sticking out or use the mounting accessories provided with your speaker. You must make sure that it’s fitted securely but that it’s still easily accessible.
Wire your subwoofer. You can either wire it in parallel or series which will impact the sound quality. Parallel will reduce impedance while series is easier to install. Once your speaker is wired you can power it up and begin using it.
Powering A Sub:
In order to power your subwoofer, you need to connect both the power and ground wires to a battery. This is different from a car subwoofer where only the power wire is connected to the battery and the ground wire is attached to a metal surface. The benefit is that this makes it easier to use a subwoofer on your boat.
With any of these marine subwoofers, your music will be heard across a great area on open waters. It’s a fun way to enhance your parties and lose yourself in the music.
Marine subwoofers are easy to install and you can even find decent ones for affordable prices. What’s holding you back? We hope that our guide helped you find the best marine subwoofer for your boat.