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Reviewed by Gear Geeks:

Best Waterproof Marine Radio in 2020

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:

Test 28 different Marine Radio and write reviews of the best.

The result is 15 of the best Marine Radios on the market today.

joao paulo carvalho

Joao Paulo Carvalho

Journalist
A journalist with a passion for gear, photography, traveling and writing.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Boating Editor at DIVEIN.com
Vikingship building gear enthusiast and waterworld fanatic.

There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of waves crashing against your boat, right? 

But having some music playing in the background might be just what you need to take your boating experience to the next level. 

And considering that the marine environment is susceptible to adverse weather conditions, you will need a top-notch stereo system that can withstand the elements, especially the water

For that reason, we’ve come up with a list of the 15 best waterproof marine radios on the market right now. 

But before we dive into our selection, there’s one thing we should mention upfront. 

Even though car stereos might be a cheaper option and you might feel tempted to install yours on your vessel, you really shouldn’t. 

Marine radios are built and designed to stand up to harsh weather conditions such as rain, saltwater and constant sun exposure, unlike the ones your car has to endure on a daily basis. 

The Best Marine Radios In 2020

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

Still unsure as to what marine radio to choose? Read our tips on buying waterproof marine radio in the last section of the guide.

Best Value For Money

This marine-rated receiver offers you plenty of ways to enjoy music along with a smartphone charging option and, best of all, a 3-year warranty. Its compact design fits into a standard gauge opening and its reasonable price will fit perfectly in your pocket.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Boss Audio MGR350B:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 3.75 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.95 pounds
  • Built-in amplifier (20 watts RMS/60 peak × 4 channels)
  • Inputs: USB, AUX
  • Outputs: Front and Rear or Sub Pre-Amp
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Enjoy apps like Spotify and Pandora
What we like:
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Affordable
  • 3-year warranty
  • 2 shapes to choose from
  • Smartphone charging via USB
What we don’t like:
  • Many customers have complained about condensation in the faceplate

With a handful of ways to enjoy music on your vessel, the Infinity INF-PRV250 gives you all the features you want in a marine receiver plus the water-resistant toughness you need in a marine environment.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Infinity INF-PRV250:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Built-in amplifier (20 watts x 4 RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: USB and AUX
  • 2-channel rear preamp outputs
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • RF remote/wired remote option
What we like:
  • Small and compact
  • High quality materials
What we don’t like:
  • The non-standard dimensions
Best Overall Quality

The Kenwood’s KMR-M328BT features all favorites (Bluetooth, Spotify, and Pandora), plus Alexa voice control, SiriusXM tuner, dual phone pairing and a Remote App that lets you control your playlists and sound settings. Made specifically for the outdoors, this marine receiver has a conformal-coated circuit board as well as a positive backlit display for better use on the sea and in the sun.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Kenwood KMR-M328BT:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 1.92 pounds
  • Built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: front USB and AUX inputs
  • Outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, sub)
  • Built-in Bluetooth and Amazon Alexa
  • Rear-wired Bluetooth microphone included
What we like:
  • Easy to install
  • Great sound quality
  • Anti-glare positive backlit LCD display
  • Removable theft-deterrent faceplate
  • Up to 5 Bluetooth devices can be connected to the receiver
What we don’t like:
  • Distortion at higher volumes

If it’s loud music you’re looking for on your boat, then look no further. The Rockville RGHR2 is known for being one of the loudest marine receivers on the market, but you can always adjust the sound quality through the built-in EQ. Apart from the classic features, it comes with a wired remote and it has been tested to stand up to the elements.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Rockville RGHR2 :
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 7.09 x 10.24 x 5.94 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Built-in amplifier (28 watts x 4 RMS/72 peak x 4 channels)
  • USB Input and RCA Aux Input
  • Two Sets of RCA outputs
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Built in EQ with pre-set curves
What we like:
  • Powerful sound quality
  • Wired Remote Control
What we don’t like:
  • It doesn’t fit a standard gauge opening

Combining great sound quality, stylish design, and water-resistant protection, Sony’s DSX-M55BT gives you everything you need on a marine receiver without breaking the bank, including a built-in mic for a hands-free experience.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Sony DSXM55BT:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 8 x 2.81 x 7.06 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Built-in amplifier (17 watts RMS CEA-2006/55 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: front USB input, front AUX input
  • Outputs: 2-volt rear-channel & subwoofer RCA preouts
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • One-touch listening with NFC
What we like:
  • Stylish design
  • Siri control for hands-free use
  • Great sound quality
  • Wireless remote control
What we don’t like:
  • Weak Bluetooth signal
  • Short longevity

Packing loads of features into a sleek and easy-to-install design, the Clarion’s GR10BT lets you stream music from your devices, charge your phone from its USB port, and enjoy great quality sound while its tough construction handles the extremes of the marine environment.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Clarion GR10BT:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.9 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Built-in amp (16 watts x 4 RMS CTA-2006/45 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: rear USB input, rear aux input
  • Outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear)
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • 3-band EQ
What we like:
  • Easy to install
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Smartphone charging via USB
  • Great quality sound
  • Fits into a standard gauge opening
What we don’t like:
  • Some customers have complained about fog in the display

The JBL PRV-175 is a compact, affordable, user-friendly marine receiver offering all the basic features, good sound quality, built-in Bluetooth for music streaming, and a seaworthy design ready to battle the elements.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the JBL PRV-175:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Built-in amp (20 watts x 4 RMS/45 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: rear USB input, rear aux input
  • Outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Marine-rated watertight face
What we like:
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Easy-to-read display
What we don’t like:
  • According to some customers, the unit gets extremely hot
  • Short durability

Don’t let its size fool you! The Kicker KMC2 packs a lot of power to produce great quality tunes. Its easy-to-install shape will get you listening to your music in no time. Plus, it’s sealed against the elements for safe use in the marine environment and when your phone becomes low on battery, just use its USB port to charge it.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Kicker KMC2:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 6 x 5.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Built-in amp (25 watts x 4 RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: rear USB input, rear aux input
  • Outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • IPX6-rated watertight face
What we like:
  • Compact design
  • Good sound quality
  • Fits into a standard gauge opening
  • Smartphone charging via USB
What we don’t like:
  • Display too bright at night
Best Overall Quality

The Fusion MS-RA70 digital media receiver packs a lot of power for your tunes as well as plenty of other features in a compact Din-sized shape topped with the marine-rated reliability the Fusion brand is known for.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Fusion MS-RA70:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 2.36 x 4.88 x 7.4 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Built-in amplifier (25 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: rear USB and AUX inputs
  • Outputs: discrete pre-outs and sub-out for each zone
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Full Apple or Android interface via Unidock or panel mount USB cable
What we like:
  • Simple yet stylish
  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to install
  • Fits any standard DIN-sized opening
  • Easy-to-use interface
What we don’t like:
  • Pricey
  • Volume control
  • Inconvenient rear USB input
Best Value For Money

This low-budget stereo combines a handful of features into a single DIN universal standard design. Convenient and versatile, the Pyle – PLMRB29W lets you stream your favorite music through its built-in Bluetooth while the built-in microphone provides you with a hands-free calling command.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Pyle - PLMRB29W:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Built-in amp (75 peak x 4 channels)
  • Aux-in, USB / SD slot
  • RCA in the rear
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Works with Pandora Radio app
What we like:
  • Low budget stereo
  • Easy to install
  • Hands-Free Calling
What we don’t like:
  • No LCD backlight intensity
  • Weak Bluetooth signal

If you still haven’t parted ways with your old CD collection or you just think music sounds better on a CD, this marine receiver was made for you. The Sony MEX-M100BT features all your favorites, plus Siri control for taking calls and listening to music hands-free, NFC connection, and a USB port to charge your smartphone. All with powerful sound quality and the water-resistant toughness you need in the open sea.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Sony MEX-M100BT:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 10.87 x 4.12 x 8.81 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Built-in Class-D amplifier (40 watts RMS CEA-2006/100 peak x 4 channels)
  • Plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs
  • Inputs: front panel auxiliary and USB inputs
  • Outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (5-volt front, rear, subwoofer)
  • Built-in Bluetooth
What we like:
  • Powerful sound quality
  • Detachable face
  • SongPal App for intuitive remote control
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling
  • Smartphone charging via USB
What we don’t like:
  • Small buttons
  • Complicated controls and settings

The Herdio HMR230B offers you many features to enjoy your music in a compact design that fits into a standard gauge opening, plus a waterproof construction so you don’t have to worry about the elements.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Herdio HMR230B:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 4.41 inches
  • Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Built-in amp (40 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: rear USB input, rear aux input
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • IPX6 water-resistant
  • UV coating
What we like:
  • Easy to install
  • Compact design
What we don’t like:
  • Weak Bluetooth signal

If you’re into powerful sound, but don’t own a big boat, this one’s for you! The Fusion MS-RA55 marine receiver offers you plenty of ways to enjoy your music such as built-in Bluetooth, Pandora, and Spotify, all in an easy-to-install, water-resistant design.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Fusion MS-RA55:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 3.74 x 9.25 x 6.89 inches
  • Weight: 1.98 pounds
  • Built-in amp (25 watts RMS/45 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: aux input
  • Outputs: 2-channel preamp outputs (3-volt rear)
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Enjoy apps like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music
What we like:
  • Sleek design
  • High quality product
  • Easy to install
  • Great quality sound
  • Multi-language user interface (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch)
What we don’t like:
  • Some customers have reported condensation behind the screen

Enjoy great sound quality with this easy-to-install Clarion M508 and make the most of it with its dual-zone control, which lets you split the boat into two distinct areas. Also, its conformal-coated circuit board ensures a reliable protection against the elements.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Clarion M508:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.4 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Built-in amplifier (20 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
  • Inputs: front USB and AUX inputs
  • Outputs: 8-channel preamp outputs (front, rear, sub, zone 2)
  • 3-band EQ with 11 preset sound curves
  • SiriusXM satellite radio tuner compatibility
What we like:
  • Easy to install
  • Great sound quality
  • Strong Bluetooth connection
What we don’t like:
  • Display too bright at night

Simple, budget-friendly, and packed with enough features for you to have a nice time, the Dual AM400W, despite not having Bluetooth connectivity, still lets you enjoy your favorites tunes through its USB port or the Pandora Radio app. It’s also an excellent option for the ones who still haven’t gotten rid of their CD collection.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Dual AM400W:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Built-in (18 watts RMS CTA-2006/60 peak x 4)
  • Plays CDs
  • Inputs: front USB and AUX inputs
  • 2-channel preamp outputs (2-volt)
  • Bass and treble controls with 7 EQ presets
What we like:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Good sound quality
  • 2-year warranty
What we don’t like:
  • No Bluetooth connectivity

How to choose the best marine radio? | Buying Guide

We’ve just made your life a little easier by listing our top 15 stereos and to help you even further, here are 7 things to look out for when you go marine radio shopping: 

1. Water Resistance

Since your boat will always be surrounded by water whether it’s on the marina or in the open sea, this is a no-brainer. It is important to note though, that the water exposure these products can handle will vary between simple resistance and waterproof. 

However, most of them will withstand light splashes of water to rain.

2. UV Protection

Sun exposure can seriously damage your boat’s music system, especially if your dashboard is often exposed to the sunlight. So make sure you invest in a stereo that is properly designed to endure the UV rays on your controls, faceplates, display, and speakers.

3. Anti-corrosion 

As much as we love to feel the sea breeze caressing our faces, seawater does not go well with the metal and electrical parts that make up your stereo system.

Therefore, for your boat radio to last longer, any metal should be rust-resistant and the circuit boards must have a coating against corrosion.

4. Sound Quality 

In a marine environment, many things can prevent you from enjoying your favorite tunes: the sound of the engine, the waves, the wind, and the occasional loud seagulls are just a few of them. 

Consequently, your radio needs to be powerful enough so it can drown out these noises and provide you with a clear and clean sound. Another reason why you shouldn’t install your car stereo on your boat. 

Most marine stereos will have an amplifier built-in and they are, for the ordinary sailor, quite good and powerful. However, if you are very picky about sound quality or you’re a party animal who enjoys loud music, you might want to consider investing in an external amplifier.

5. Installation 

Another aspect you need to check before buying your marine stereo is that it fits into your dashboard or into a pre-existing hole from a previous stereo. This is by far, the easiest choice or you might need to widen or shorten your existing space.

6. Expandability

A good set of speakers is a game-changer when it comes to boosting the quality of your sound. And although this topic deserves an entire guide dedicated to it, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind. 

Be sure to check out that your stereo comes with a range of preamp outputs, which are essential for you to connect not only the amplifiers but also future subwoofers. The former is what delivers sound to the speakers while the latter gives you that perfect bass sound. 

And just like you did with your marine stereo, make sure to get the right measurements of where you intend to place your speakers. This will prevent you from a future headache and will make the installation process a lot easier.

7. Additional Features

  • Smartphone Compatibility: As you can see from our list, whether it’s through a wireless connection or through a cable, you’ll definitely find a way to integrate your smartphone with your marine stereo. The majority of them will have Bluetooth built-in, which is the most convenient option, but you can also connect your portable device through the USB port or the auxiliary input. 

 

  • Bluetooth Connectivity: The Bluetooth technology provides you with a range of functions such as playing music stored on your phone, access to music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music as well as hands-free calling, as long as your stereo has a built-in microphone. And since music streaming services have become the most preferred way to listen to music nowadays, this is quite a useful feature to look for. 

 

  • USB port & SD slot: This is another way to access your media files. Most marine stereos will come with a USB port that lets you play your songs straight from your flash drives but only a few of them will have an SD card reader. And in some cases, the USB port will also serve as a charging station for your smartphone. 

 

  • Auxiliary port (AUX): A simple way to connect your portable audio device directly into your radio.

 

  • Near Field Communications (NFC): Technology similar to Bluetooth that allows you to stream music and share files but compared to the first one its transmission is slower and the range of communication is shorter. 

 

  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio: This is a subscription service offering over 150 channels, including weather, wind and wave forecasts and it’s available in the continental United States and its coastal regions as well as Southern Canada. 

 

  • Built-in microphone: A built-in mic grants you access to your phone through voice control, which then allows you to make phone calls without having to pick up your phone besides connecting you with your Siri or Alexa enabled devices. 

With that being said, keep in mind that it’s important that you look for a radio system that not only suits your vessel but also your needs and pocket.

So be sure to check out our list at the top for the best waterproof marine radios on the market. 

And please comment down below if we forgot to include your favorite marine stereo on our list. Which ones should we have included instead and which one is your favorite? 

If you already have a Marine Radio or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

2 Comments

  1. Doug Mackenzie

    Isn’t there a problem using spotify when out on the water? I’m thinking the signal might not be so reliable.

  2. Bradley Axmith

    There’s no problem keeping the connection between telephone and radio, for example. If you’re cruising far from the coast your signal for streaming might be dodgy. But otherwise any saved songs you have will play smoothly, loud and clear.

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