10 Best Marine Stereo 2018 - Discover The Right Buy For Anglers

Planning to be out there fishing for long durations? It would certainly be a good idea to have some form of entertainment with you. Finding the best marine stereo ensures you get the right port so you can load your favorite hits and spice up every moment. Even as you get busy luring some savage bass or the ever-elusive cod, your podcasts will be there to keep you motivated.

But what makes marine stereo different and why do I need to stick to it and not any other variant? You might want to ask. Well, the truth is that marine stereo is custom-made to marine specifications. That’s to say, these systems are specifically designed to withstand water splashes and extended exposure to direct sunlight.

Basically, when it comes to choosing the right marine stereo, there are a number of factors worth pondering upon. These include:

  • Input methods
  • Output methods
  • Control methods
  • Wireless functionality

Whether you’re planning to use Bluetooth, FM radio, aux jack or even CDs, rest assured that our in-depth review will help you find your best fit. 

Best Marine Stereo in 2018 – Experts Guideline & Comparison

Getting yourself a stereo system loaded with balance, bass and treble controls can transform your fishing experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far because we have a helpful comparison and ranking chart to your rescue. Below is a run-down of some of the most sought-after models in town.

10 of the Best Marine Stereo 2018

1. Fusion Entertainment MS-RA70 with Bluetooth

Featuring some of the latest marine technologies, this value-packed stereo claims to be one of the cool marine stereo packages out there. Its front panel has an IPX7 rating which means it is fully waterproof and can handle the marine environment comfortably. On top of that, this stereo boasts an optically-bonded LCD to provide you with crystal clear display, especially in high and roughest seas.

What’s more? The unit is designed to support your local AM/FM stations to enhance your onboard entertainment experience. In addition to this, the stereo allows you to stream your favorite soundtrack from your iPhone, Android smartphone or iPod via the FUSION-Link app. You just need to download the free to enjoy the freedom of wireless and localized zone control.

As if that’s not enough, it features a 4-way 50-watt amplifier to ensure you have a wide range of options to choose from. Further, it is equipped with two independent zones including one discrete pre-out and sub-out as well as one aux-in. This allows you to customize your listening experience according to your needs in each zone. Another outstanding feature of this marine stereo is the clever styling design that enables you to mount it on a conventional dash or incorporate it into a glass helm with a flush surface mount for high-end installation. 

Pros

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    Protected by a 12-month consumer warranty
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    User-friendly controls that allow you to play, pause or skip soundtracks
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    Compatible with many mobile devices
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    Comes with plenty of customizable features
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    High-quality and durable construction

Cons

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    Does not come with an accessory wire

2. Aquatic AV Bluetooth Marine Stereo

With an IPX5 rating, the Aquatic AV Marine Stereo can be used in all sorts of environments including muddy, dry, damp and wet without problems. It features a removable faceplate that conceals an inner storage compartment so you can safely stash it away out of harm’s way. The faceplate also has a knob-control rotary for ease of control and a conformal coating to protect it from UV rays, dust, and corrosion.

Additionally, this marine stereo supports MP3 devices and you can also choose to stream music directly via its Bluetooth function. It also has a USB port that is compatible with various media devices and smartphones such as iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy. You know what else? You will never get bored in your entire voyage because you can listen up to 30 presets (US and Euro) stations on its built-in AM/FM radio.

Moving on, the stereo is integrated with a 288-watt amplifier that allows you to connect up to 8 speakers for higher quality sound. A 3-inch screen display also comes in handy so you can view track information, playlists, songs, and artists without straining your eyes. Furthermore, you can also perform wired connections with the stereo’s 3.5mm jack or RCA inputs. 

Pros

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    High-quality, durable and robust
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    Easy to install and use thanks to its intuitive controls
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    Designed for marine life
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    Amplifier connects to plenty of speakers
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    Compatible with tons of media devices

Cons

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    Might be a little larger for some boats
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    Does not support wireless remote control

3. NOAM NUTV4 Marine Stereo System

One thing that makes this system one of the great ever marine stereos out there is the fact that it is sold as a complete set. Therefore, you will not need to buy other accessories or add anything else to run the stereo. In addition, it comes with a pair of 4” 2-way mountable speakers that can fit all kinds of Golf carts and UTV’s with round bars. Also, it includes four channels amplifier that makes it possible for you to enjoy your tracks in high-quality sound. The amplifier features an on/off switch for ease of installation.

You know what else? This stereo is equipped with a Bluetooth remote control that features background light for ease of use in dim or dark lighting conditions. The Bluetooth feature allows you to stream or play music from your mobile device. You can also choose to connect your music player to the controller’s built-in AUX input. 

Further, the stereo system boasts marine-grade construction to offer you long-lasting performance. The Bluetooth remote, speakers and even the amplifier are all waterproof thereby allowing you to use the stereo in any weather conditions. When it comes to the mounting of the speakers, you can choose between using the metal bracket provided to surface mount or snap-in flush mount.

Pros

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    Great sound quality with zero distortion and loud enough
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    Well-built to withstand different kinds of marine elements
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    The installation process is straightforward as it comes with an instructions manual
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    Bluetooth remote controller allows for easy operation
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    Includes mounting accessories and a power wire for ease of installation

Cons

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    Lacks AM/FM frequencies

4. XO Vision XD 103 FM and MP3 Stereo Receiver

If you are looking for a budget-friendly stereo system, this model from the XO Vision brand is an excellent option. But just because it is inexpensive does make it a low quality stereo. On the contrary, it has some nice features that you will be sure to find in expensive models. For instance, it features electronic audio controls that make it easy to control the stereo.

Besides, the stereo comes with a digital FM tuner with 18 presets stations to ensure you never run out of tracks to listen to. In addition to this, it boasts a USB port that allows you load an extensive MP3 playlist. It also features ports for Micro SD cards which means you can take out the memory card from your mobile device and use it directly as a media source for this stereo. As if that’s not enough, it has a built-in AUX-in that gives you the freedom to play tracks directly from any MP3 player.

With a maximum audio output of 20 x4 watts, the XO Vision XD 103 claims to deliver high-quality sound at a budget-friendly price. This is all thanks to its half-size DIN depth that is designed to engage in a four channel audio output. Best of all, it is protected by a one-year limited warranty for your peace of mind. 

Pros

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    Great sound quality for the price
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    Provides you with the option to add Bluetooth function, MP3 cable, and HD radio
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    Lightweight and compact
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    Easy to install and control
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    Bluetooth works flawlessly

Cons

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    Mounting hardware not included

5. Infinity INFPRV250 Multimedia Stereo

Featuring aluminum construction, this stereo is not only light in weight and durable but also resistant to corrosion and rust. As such, it can withstand nearly all kinds of marine elements for a long time including splashes and light rain. The unit is also fairly easy to install and compact enough to fit in different sized marine vessels.

Moving on, it features an in-dash AM/FM tuner that has 12 AM and 18FM presets and MP3 that offers you plenty of entertainment options to choose from. In addition to this, it boasts a 24-bit digital-analog converter that is designed to enhance your MP3 playback. When it comes to the audio input of this stereo, there are no limitations at all. It comes with a USB port and a 3.5mm AUX input that allow you to enjoy your music collection by simply plugging in an MP3 player or iPod.

Additionally, the stereo features an inbuilt Bluetooth function with a range of up to 32.8ft so you can stream music via different applications including Apple Music and Spotify. Also, it boats maximum power output of 50-watts x four channels and RMS of 20-watts x four channels which ensures you get clean and clear sound from your stereo. As if that’s not enough, it is reported to have a two-band parametric equalizer that can compress and equalize your music for optimal sound quality. 

Pros

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    Compatible with many Bluetooth enabled devices
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    Made to be resistant to the harsh UV rays
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    Boasts plenty of power and a very bright display
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    Fast shipping
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    Reasonably priced

Cons

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    Only has one set of outputs for the amplifier which limits you to just two channels
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    There is no way to dim the display other than power it off

6. DSX-MS60- Sony Marine Digital Receiver

Looking to upgrade your marine stereo system? The Sony DSX-MS60 can provide you with the versatility you want. Featuring an AM/FM tuner, you can listen to all your favorite local stations at any time. Also, you can choose to play MP3, AAC or WMA formatted files. This gives you the flexibility to choose what to listen to. As if that’s not enough, the receiver is equipped with USB ports and AUX input which allows you to connect various devices and enjoy music on your iPhone, iPod, and other Android devices.

In addition to this, it boasts a two-line LCD text display that provides you with great reading ability even in low-light conditions. The LCD display shows details like track data when playing, clock and station ID.

Also, it is equipped with an internal “Tune Tray” where you can store all your media devices high and dry. Besides, it is coated with a moisture-resistant material that protects its internal electronics from rain, water splashes, corrosion and sun damage.

What’s more? It features a fold-down faceplate designed to prevent theft of the receiver while you are not around your vessel. Additionally, it spots three band equalizers so you can enhance the audio quality of your music. 

Pros

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    Includes a wireless remote control
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    AUX input lets you connect nearly any portable audio device
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    Boasts UV resistant and anti-corrosion finishes
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    Backed by a one-year warranty
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    Offers plenty of expandability options

Cons

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    Does not play CDs

7. JVC KD-X33MBS Marine Grade Stereo

Equipped with a built-in amplifier that can handle extra speakers, this stereo provides a powerful 50-watt x four channels of sound and 22-watts RMS. Further, it boasts three 4-Volt sets of preamplifier outputs which ensure you enjoy the highest quality sound. Another great feature that makes this unit a great buy is its unlimited choice of band equalizers. It features 13 options that you can choose from any time you want to adjust the sound quality of your audios.

On top of that, this stereo system incorporates Bluetooth feature that enables you to stream all your favorite soundtracks from your media device. This feature also allows hands-free phone calls through the built-in microphone in the stereo. USB and AUX inputs are also available so you can plug in an MP3 player, iPod or thumb drive.

Another outstanding feature of this stereo is its detachable display with blue illumination for great visibility in extremely low-light conditions. In addition, it comes in single DIN size and easily connects to a 12-volt marine battery. And with its FLAC playback support, this stereo can blow away your mind with free entertainment. 

Pros

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    Built-in USB port allows you to charge your smartphone from the stereo
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    Provides you with so many sound adjustment options
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    Provides you with so many sound adjustment options
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    Inexpensive 
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    Boasts durable marine-grade construction

Cons

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    A little smaller in size
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    It is not fully waterproof

8. Prospec Electronics All-Environment JBL-PRV175 Stereo

If you’re looking for something simple yet highly effective, the JBL-PRV175 is certainly something worth taking a closer look at. Loaded with amazing sound quality, this unit provides you with an option of accessing your files either through USB or Bluetooth. If you would like to keep up with the latest events and news, there’s a fully-fledged AM-FM radio all-set for you.

One thing that stands out about this marine stereo from JBL is its compact design. The unit fits snuggly inside a 4 inch PVC fitting. What’s more? Mounting it is a breeze, all thanks to the handy user manual and installation instructions that accompany it. 

Worth noting is the radio’s connections are well labeled and pre-stripped and that makes the soldering work much easier and quicker. Once in place, its intuitive buttons and simplistic screen present you with all the power you need in order to play your favorite tunes. The screen is powered by LCD display which illuminates in white meaning you can easily view its content even in the dark. Besides that, you get a two-way iPod control which allows for ease-of-operation from either the stereo itself or remotely from an iPod. The AM-FM radio itself offers you 18 FM presets as well as 12 AM options.

The unit comes with a water-proof faceplate, although the manufacturer is yet to issue more details on the effectiveness of this waterproof feature.

Pros

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    Weighs 1.7 pounds, quite light in weight 
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    Easy to handle
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    Delivers superior sound
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    Moderately interactive display
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    Easy-to-use buttons

Cons

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    May get hot when used for too long

9. Kenwood PKG MR312BT Durable Stereo

Are you having to put up with a harsh and crackly VHF radio system in your boat? Then it’s high time you considered getting an upgrade. The PKG MR312BT offers you just the right starting point with a brand new system. The versatile unit comes with a durable marine CD receiver which is backed up by two rugged 6-1/2 inch speakers. Of course, these are big enough to ensure you get just enough power to power up a 19ft family boat.

Besides that, this unit contains a built-in amplifier which comes fully loaded with 22 watts of power and 4 channel options. Planning to stream music directly from your phone? The fact that this unit contains Android Open Accessory (AOA) protocol means you can control it directly from your SmartPhone. Besides that, you can choose to load files directly from your USB device since this also comes with a USB port for that purpose.

For iPhone users, this marine stereo features Siri Eyes Free control which makes it one of the most intuitive platforms for iPhone and iPods. Last but not least, Kenwood KMR-MR312BT comes with a detachable face offering variable color illumination to allow for ease-of-viewing in different conditions. 

Pros

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    High quality of sound
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    Enhanced connectivity through USB, Aux, Siri and AOA inputs
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    Can be remotely controlled
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    Backed up by a 1-year warranty coverage

Cons

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    The display tends to be dim in direct sunlight

10. Kenwood KMR-D765BT

Whether you’re an Android or Apple junkie, the KMR-D765BT from Kenwood might just be what you need to transform your fishing trips into absolute fun. The stereo comes with a top-of-the-range CD receiver loaded with a ton of awesome features which work with the latest gear to keep your music blaring all season long.

To ensure the authenticity of your favorite tunes comes out unperturbed, there’s a built-in MOSFET amplifier which boasts 22 watts of power. As if that’s not enough, you also get AptX audio compatibility which makes sure you get high quality hits whether using Bluetooth or CD input.

And because this unit is internet-enabled, you can even stream internet radio from sources such as iHeart Radio and Pandora. To top it all up, you get intuitive controls which make it super easy for you to load your favorite music selections.

Unlike some of its siblings whose LCD displays have visibility issues in direct light, this one contains variable-color illumination which ensures you can adjust the lighting to your convenience. The unit comes with a white default setting which should suffice for most occasions unless you’re looking for an extra oomph.

As far as security is concerned, this unit comes with a theft-deterrent faceplate and conformal coating. As you might already be aware, a conformal coating is a thin polymer film that protects electronic circuits from chemical contaminants or moisture. So, you can go ahead and use the KMR-D765BT without worrying about accidental water splashes. 

Pros

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    Large buttons and intuitive functionality
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    Clear display with variable colors
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    Wireless content browsing capability (NFC-enabled)
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    Allows Android and Apple phones to be connected, hands-free
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    Compatible with high-resolution audio (e.g. aptX and AAC audio)

Cons

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    Its controls could be improved to make it even more user-friendly

The Buying Guide

From salty water to punishing sunlight and extreme temperatures, marine entertainment system has to put up with endless abuse. So, what are some of the key factors to consider when making your purchase? Here’s a sneak peek.

Quality of Features

You want to find a unit that combines a bit of modern technology with better sound power and unlimited intuitiveness. Of course, it’s always a good idea to go for an easy-to-install unit.

Water Resistance

If your stereo is water resistant, that simply means it can put up with all manner of splashes. Water resistance levels vary from one unit to another. A good idea is to go for a unit that offers reasonable protection if you’re planning to fish in rough waters or under the rain.

UV Resistance

Because marine equipment is exposed to the sun for long hours, it is always a wise idea to go for a unit that is built to withstand this kind of impact. Be sure to settle for a stereo that has UV-protected speaker cones, faceplates, and remote controls.

Specs

Last but not least, always go for gear that boasts a decent combination of features. Look for a unit that allows for at least USB, CD and FM/AM input. A unit with separate speakers would certainly, also, be a much better bet than one where you have to buy speakers separately. 

Which Is Best Marine Stereo For You

We believe that to a large extent, the choice of marine radio depends on your specific preferences. However, if specs are anything to go for, we think the Aquatic AV Bluetooth offers a pretty decent combination of features. It has an IPX5 rating meaning it can be used in different kinds of environments with no qualms. Its plate is also quite secure and brings onboard UV protection as well. If you are looking for simplicity, the JBL-PRV175 from Prospect might just be the deal you need although it limits you a lot as far as user experience is concerned.

What You Should Know About Marine Stereo

Overall, there is no better and efficient way to heat up rooms during the cold seasons than with the best oil filled heaters. The benefits of having a unit at your home or office are numerous and, therefore, it is always a good idea to get one for yourself.

Final Words

If entertainment is your thing, getting yourself the best marine stereo is the best decision you can ever make. Fortunately, your choices are unlimited and you can’t go wrong with our in-depth reviews. So don’t fret – go ahead and find your best bet and enjoy blasting your favorite hits the next time you’re out there on the lake.

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