If there is something that I never buy without a lot of research and consideration, that’s electronics, and especially when it comes to boat accessories. Everything that goes into your boat will be constantly exposed to the open climate and has to be designed to stand up to the elements, even if your watercraft is tied up in the marina. If you are like me, and you love listening to music, regardless of whether you are in the car, at home, or you are looking for the best place to go diving, and good sound is important to you, buying a marine-rated stereo system will not be an easy task for you.
While the market offers a lot of audio gear designed specifically to use on boats, with a range of different qualities and features, there are ways to narrow down your choices and find the right system for your favourite means of transportation, relaxation, and pastime. Basically, when you start to look for the perfect marine stereo systems, there are two main factors that you need to always keep in mind: whether the sound is as good as you want it to be, and whether the product can withstand all the challenges it will have to go through.
Think About Protection and Longevity
Technically, marine boat stereo systems aren’t too different from the other types, and they work similarly to the ones that go in your car. Nevertheless, the main difference is that they have to go through a lot more abuse, especially when it comes to the climate conditions. They have to be protected against water, salt, the sun, extreme temperatures, etc. Good boat stereo systems, meaning all of their components are extensively tested to determine the level of resilience they offer. And, while all of them are made to be water-resistant, the best ones amongst them can endure more, offering more security measures, meaning they are more long-lasting, more durable, highly resistant to the harsh saltwater, to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and to corrosion, and, of course, they offer much better sound.
In fact, audio products made for watercraft come in a big range of levels of water resistance, from ones that can endure light rain or splashes, to ones that are virtually water-proof, designed to stay undamaged even if they are submerged. The level of water resistance is of course entirely up to you, depending of course not only on your needs but also on your budget, because of course, the better the quality the bigger the investment. Nevertheless, personally, I prefer a bigger initial investment to higher ongoing costs for repairs or for replacement.
Think About the Features and the Sound
Audio technology has been advancing rapidly on par with all the incredible devices that surround us in our everyday life, as well as in the majority of the industries. And nowadays, you can get so much from marine stereo systems, as advanced as all the others. High-quality water-proof remote controls give you full control over what you are listening to as well as how it sounds from different spots on your boat. Moreover, thanks to them, your boat stereo system can be safely tucked away in a watertight compartment, to give your precious gear even more protection.
Today’s marine boat stereo systems give you a lot of connectivity options. You can connect USB thumb drives, MP3 players, as well as your devices, via cable or via Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology takes your music-at-sea experience to a whole new level, giving you the opportunity to stream music from all of your devices, and even making hands-free phone calls.
Of course, the whole reason you’re buying any type of audio equipment, whether it’s for your boat, your car, for professional needs or for home use, the most important thing, and the whole reason you are buying it is the joys of music it will give you. So, more than anything you need to concern yourself with the sound quality – combined, of course, when it comes to marine audio gear, with proper and strong protection against the weather.
While marine audio equipment can be compared to car audio equipment, there are two main differences. One, is obviously that your car gear doesn’t have to be water-resistant, and the second one refers to the sound. While you can find incredible stereo systems for cars, don’t forget that your boat speakers will have to fill a larger area, including open space areas, with quality audio sound. What this means is that all of the components of the marine-rated stereo system you get for your watercraft, including even the cables and the connections, have to uphold the standard you are looking for. This of course will depend on your needs, for instance, the size of your boat.
Think About the Installation
There is one important step to take before starting your quest – take measurements. You don’t want to end up falling in love with a product and then getting disappointed when you find out it doesn’t quite work in your space. To take the proper measurements, you need to consider all the components of the system, as well as the locations where they would be installed on the boat so that you can find the proper sizes, and concentrate your search on the gear that will actually work for you. In other words, when you are measuring, don’t forget to take the marine radio and speakers, as well as the mounting itself into account.