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.
Here are our picks for the best marine subwoofers you can buy:
- Kicker 43KMW102 - Best Overall Marine Subwoofer
- JL Audio Subwoofer M12IB6-SG-WH - Best High-End Marine Subwoofer
- Bazooka MBT1014 Marine Preloaded Bass Tube - Best Compact Marine Subwoofer
- Kenwood P-WD250MRW - Best Amplifier and Subwoofer Package
- Rockville MS12LW - Best Value Marine Subwoofer
- Garmin MS-SW10 - Top Marine Grade Boat Subwoofer
- Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt - Best Lower Profile Marine 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. JL Audio Subwoofer M12IB6-SG-WH
Best High-End Marine Subwoofer
The M12IB6-SG-WH subwoofer is suitable for small or bigger boats. No matter where you place this unit it will deliver crisp clear bass that will enhance the sound of all your favorite songs. The design of the JL Audio M12IB6-SG-WH unit is aesthetically pleasing and will blend in with the interior of your boat.
M12IB6-SG-WH marine subwoofer has an integrated 4" voice coil and a robust suspension so it can handle higher levels of bass. The system inside the subwoofer includes an injection-molded mica-filled polypropylene cone with synthetic rubber surround that provides high-quality sound and protection from corrosive environments.
Here are a few additional specs for the JL Audio M12IB6-SG-WH unit:
- Power output of 100W to 600W RMS
- Impedance: 4 Ohm
- Size: 12 inch
- Marine certificate: Waterproof
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. Kenwood P-WD250MRW Marine Subwoofer and Amplifier Package
BEST SUBWOOFER AND AMPLIFIER PACKAGE
The Kenwood subwoofer may have a low power but its impedance is so small that it’s capable of immense volume. This package also includes a Kenwood amplifier so your bass and sound needs are sorted.
On top of this, the installation of this marine subwoofer is ease and it’s suitable for a small boat or pontoon. The sound quality is crisp & clear and it’s also so light that you don’t have to worry about any long term damage to the integral structure of your boat. For a subwoofer and amplifier combination, it’s highly affordable.
If you want to know the specifications of the Kenwood, here they below:
- Power Output: 200 Watts
- Impedance: Two 1,5 ohm coils
- Size: 10”
- Marine Certification: Yes
5. Rockville MS12LW Marine Subwoofer
When it comes to power, there are very few subwoofers like the Rockville that can rock your boat. This device’s peak power handling goes into the thousands, giving you immense bass that you can feel when you listen to it. Even though the impedance may be a bit high, the 100 Oz magnet is larger than other models on the market, which means it can handle any type of noise.
Not only is it powerful, but its elegant design is durable and waterproof so it can handle a great deal of wear & tear. Even if you jump on it, it won’t break and will still sound impressive.
Here is everything you need to know about the Rockville:
- Power Output: 700 – 2800W Watts
- Impedance: 4 ohms
- Size: 12”
- Marine Certification: UV certified & waterproof
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. Rockville RW10CA 10" 800 Watt Slim Low Profile Active Subwoofer
Best Low Profile MARINE Subwoofer
The Rockville RW10CA has an ultra-slim design that allows you to store it anywhere on your boat. The level of bass that the Rockville RW10CA produces is impressive for a unit that’s so compact. This subwoofer transmits a crisp clean sound with no distortion or white noise.
Rockville’s RW10CA subwoofer is easy to install because of its high-quality input that doesn’t require you to remove the receiver. Simply use the input to wire the RW10CA subwoofer to your speakers. The design of the Rockville RW10CA subwoofer allows for a clean and easy installation because the input & output wires are all on one side.
There are volume, phase, and boost controls as well as a subsonic & low pass crossover filters that allow you to customize your sound. Take a look at these additional features the Rockville RW10CA can offer you:
- Power output of 800W
- Impedance: 2 Ohm
- Size 10 inch wide and 2.7" thick
- Marine certificate: Yes
8. 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.