Sound systems can work wonders in making boat rides more fun. But did you know that there’s a way to level up that experience? Amplifiers. Marine amplifiers help boost audio quality making time spent on water more enjoyable. And with technology nowadays, you can do this without strings of wires hanging around because a lot of amplifiers today are Bluetooth-enabled.
This article gives you a narrowed down list of the best amplifiers on the market that will surely take your audio experience a few notches higher. Before we dive into the details, here is a quick summary of our findings.
|Editor’s Choice – New Rockville||8||1500|
|Runner-Up – Pyle Hydra||4||1000|
|Budget Pick – Pyle Audio Marine||6||600|
|Most Compact – Kenwood||4||400|
|Most Versatile – BOSS Audio||4||500|
Table of Contents
- 1 Detailed Reviews
- 1.1 Editor’s Choice – New Rockville RXM8BTW 8-Channel 1500W Marine/Boat Amplifier
- 1.2 Runner-Up – Pyle Hydra 2.1 Bluetooth Marine Amplifier Receiver
- 1.3 Budget Pick – Pyle 6-Channel Audio Marine Amplifier
- 1.4 Most Compact – Kenwood Compact Automotive/Marine Amplifier KACM1824BT
- 1.5 Most Versatile – BOSS Audio Systems ASK902B.6 Marine 500 Watt 4 Channel Amplifier
- 2 How we picked the best products
- 3 Summary
Editor’s Choice – New Rockville RXM8BTW 8-Channel 1500W Marine/Boat Amplifier
The New Rockville RXM8BTW 8-Channel 1500W Marine/Boat Amplifier is our top pick because we believe that it is built for the marine environment. For a not so hefty price, you get an equipment that can power your audio system like no other.
With Rockville’s advanced technology, you can easily configure this 8-channel amplifier and plug it to your speakers or subwoofers. It has a peak power of 1500 watts. In terms of listening experience, this product not only helps improve sound quality and keeps unnecessary noise away because of its “zero noise” RCA jacks. It is Bluetooth-enabled and has an auto-pairing system which means that you can stream music from any device such as your smartphone. When it comes to build quality, this unit is UV and salt water resistant, and is made of marine-grade corrosion-resistant boards and casing.
- can configure up to 8 channels
- easy to set up
- has a peak power of 1500 watts
- instruction manual is not very clear
Users love this unit from Rockville because of the its power and sound quality. Some users say it is easy to install and while some find the manual difficult to follow. Bluetooth is also reliable in terms of connection and range. A lot of reviews mention how flexible this product is not only because it can be configured into a 4-channel Bluetooth marine amplifier or an 8-channel amp but also because it has an impressive performance.
Pyle Hydra’s 2.1 Bluetooth Marine Amplifier Receiver is an easy choice for runner-up because it is competitive in terms of specifications. This unit has a 1000-watt peak output and is universally compatible. This means that it can be used with a wide range of speakers and sound sources.
As a marine amplifier, it has a sturdy build and has an IP-01 waterproofing and weatherproofing rating. It is corrosion-resistant and can withstand the tests of weather and even time. It is engineered with some safety features as well. For instance, it has a thermal overload speaker short protection and LED light indicator and is built with a heavy duty aluminum alloy heatsink that help avoid short circuits. It’s 2.1 Bluetooth connectivity has a range of 25+ feet.
- has an IP-01 waterproofing rating
- universally compatible
- has a LED light indicator
- insufficient troubleshooting information in the manual
- Bluetooth has a tendency to disconnect sometimes
- a little bulky
Users who have tried the product rave about this unit’s easy installation and affordability. Sound quality is also good – loud and clear – and so is Bluetooth capability which users say connects fast. Some users reported being disconnected from the Bluetooth for an unknown reason and not being able to detect the Bluetooth device in some instances. Nonetheless, many are happy with their purchases and have no trouble using the amplifier with their phones or other music source.
Budget Pick – Pyle 6-Channel Audio Marine Amplifier
The unit is a 6-channel amplifier that has a 600-watt RMS and 2.1 Bluetooth connectivity feature. It is one of the most affordable on the market yet also one of the best in terms of features.
For one, its Bluetooth range is at 50+ feet which makes it usable long-range. Another cool feature that not all amplifiers have is the USB and SD card reader that makes playing of saved MP3 files possible. It is easy to configure and operate using the installed control panel and the LED digital screen. Being a marine grade Bluetooth amplifier, it is waterproof and has a rating of IP-41.
- has USB and SD card reader
- has LED digital screen
Users are happy not only with the price, but also with how efficient this unit is. It has a compact design but delivers great sound quality. Some say that the Bluetooth range is shorter than what the company claims it is, but, other reviews state they are satisfied with the product in terms of connectivity.
Most Compact – Kenwood Compact Automotive/Marine Amplifier KACM1824BT
Kenwood is a recognized leading brand in radio and audio equipment. With its range of amplifiers, its KAC-M1824BT has a super compact design but also has a build that can withstand marine conditions. It is easily operable because it comes with a remote control that has an IPX-5 rating in waterproofing, making it perfect for marine environments.
Its compact size also makes it ideal for smaller marine vehicles and for other vehicle types where space is a big concern during installation. As with most amplifiers nowadays, it is capable of Bluetooth connectivity. In other words, it is not just an amplifier, but a marine Bluetooth amplifier that can help give audio systems a boost with a simple Bluetooth connection.
- has a waterproof remote control
- smaller peak power output
Users who have tried this product say that they did experience a sound upgrade – getting loud and clear sound after installation. Despite its compact design, this unit can help produce clear audio quality and works well with a lot of source devices. Apart from being used in boats, this product is so compact that some users are able to install it on their motorcycles.
Most Versatile – BOSS Audio Systems ASK902B.6 Marine 500 Watt 4 Channel Amplifier
Those looking for a multi-functional amplifier set may find the Ask902B.6 All-Terrain Amplifier from Boss Audio Systems a suitable candidate. The Bluetooth marine amplifier and speaker is packaged with a remote control that help complete a hassle-free and enjoyable listening experience.
The Bluetooth amplifier is weather resistant and chargeable through a USB port. This product is a 4-channel unit that has a peak power of 500 watts and is compatible with most audio sources such as smartphones and MP3 players. Its weatherproofing system helps it survive in various types of environment. If you want a package that you can use for different rides, this complete system can be easily installed in marine and land vehicles.
- Compact design
- Includes remote control and speakers
- Insufficient troubleshooting information in the manual
Based on reviews, this unit has surprised a lot of users with the decent audio quality that the speakers produce, even with their boats running. Some comment that it is easy to install, use and configure. Some have reported that the product did not last long after purchase, but most reviews state that the product is well worth the price.
How we picked the best products
We all know that marine environments present some of the harshest weather conditions. So, when choosing an amplifier for your marine vehicle, you want to make sure that it is built to resist corrosion, saltwater, and moisture. It must at least be waterproof and weatherproof, and must be rugged enough to stand through turbulent boat rides.
Bluetooth connection has definitely made a big impact on audio devices. This makes playing and listening to music more convenient. Now that it has penetrated the world of marine amplifiers, we looked for Bluetooth-capable products. Although there really might be no variation in terms of range, what we checked on was reliability and ease of connecting to the device. These factor in when trying to get the best sound quality.
When on marine vehicles, power supplies are different. Boat rides aren’t necessarily quiet rides either. So, we considered power output when choosing the best products. We looked for ones that will actually upgrade users’ listening experience and get optimum audio quality out of their sound systems. Users are looking for an amplifier, so we need products that can actually “amplify” audio, and not get drowned in engine noises.
This parameter is very important because we know that marine environments demand a specific set of product features to make sure the product survives. So, waterproof and weatherproof systems are top criteria. Other useful features may include complimentary remote controllers, easy installation, and compact size. Marine vehicles are not mansions that have unlimited space for audio equipment. So, even size is a consideration.
Time spent on boat rides must be relaxing and fun. So, it is only fitting that people invest in good audio systems. As for the amplifiers, we’ve broken down the long list of Bluetooth-capable marine amplifiers and have presented five of the best on the market. We you found our list useful and may you be guided on your next purchase.
Marine amplifiers help enhance audio quality making time spent on water more fun. As a recap, here are the best marine bluetooth amplifiers: