Marine Stereo Systems

Cruising on our vessels along the coast or on the high seas is exciting, but sometimes we require a bit of entertainment to fill the hours between conversations with crew and other fellow cruisers in VHF and HF radio conversations. A remote-controlled stereo system with wireless speakers is an easy, affordable way to bring some extra cheer aboard while we count the nautical miles left to our next anchorage. Before you shop for a stereo system, keep in mind some stereos include speakers while others do not. If you already have dependable, waterproof speakers mounted out on deck, then all you need is a compatible stereo system.

The Rockville RGHR51 5 Zone Marine Receiver comes complete with a Bluetooth six-channel amplifier and remote controls, a 660W marine-grade amplifier and an installation kit, which includes wiring and cables. Speakers are sold separately. Bluetooth capability allows you to stream and control audio functions, including volume, from any Bluetooth-enabled device. The whole package, including digital display screen, separate push-button control and wiring, is available at under $500, an affordable price for the value.

The BOSS Audio Systems ASK904B.64 marine stereo features four 6 ½ -inch, waterproof speakers wired to a four-channel, 500W amplifier, all of which you control through either a push-button pad or a Bluetooth connection with your cellular device. The amplifier measures 7.8 inches x 3.8 inches x 1.8 inches and weighs 2.9 pounds. Rather than acting as a receiver, the BOSS system uses Bluetooth to amplify output from your smart phone or MP3 player. The system is easy to install, and at a price of under $200, easy on the pocketbook as well.

The Sony MEX-M72BT marine Bluetooth stereo permits the use of two smart phones for simultaneous control of the receiver. A 10-band, digital, graphic equalizer allows you to dial in the sound mix you prefer for your listening pleasure. Unlike some other stereo systems, the control with digital screen may be installed out on deck, where it will shrug off ocean spray like an umbrella. The remote is compatible with the audio output from smartphones as well as MP3 players. Just plug in the system, connect to a set of speakers, match with your cell phone and start enjoying the tunes. Priced at under $200, this is yet another high-quality, marine stereo system well worth the small investment.

If you already have a dependable stereo system but want to “amp up” your sound output, check out Kenwood’s KFC-1673MRW 6 ½-inch, two-way, marine speakers with built-in white LED lights. Not only will your stereo sound great, but your speakers glowing on deck at night will look great as well! You can adjust both the brightness and color of the lights to add extra spice to your next deck party. And more importantly, being able to use red light while you are out on deck steering at night will eliminate night blindness, which we experience temporarily after looking at bright, white light. At 200 bucks per pair, you can enjoy great sound and some extra spice in the deck ambience for parties at a very affordable price.

By Bill Morris