There are a number of speakers available for marine applications. In fact, just about every speaker manufacturer makes a marine model which would be suitable for a pontoon boat or any other boat.
Personally, I think the most important factor in choosing a marine speaker for any boat is that the audio sounds CLEAR, has a decent amount of lows, and looks good. We all spend a lot of money on our boats, so we don’t want a speaker that detracts from the beauty of our ‘toons.
Marine speakers for pontoon boats are really no different than speakers for any other boat. The only difference is that pontoon boats are generally much larger in terms of floor size than a typical boat, so having crystal clear audio is even more important.
Just remember that since a pontoon boat is much larger, you may need to order some extra speaker cable to reach if your boat isn’t already wired.
Best Audio Quality Marine Speaker: Polk Audio DB651
Audio Quality: 10! Price: Expensive. Design/Looks: 8.
It’s tough to argue with the quality of a Polk speaker. They have an incredible reputation for a reason, and the DB651 doesn’t disappoint. With 60 watt continuous RMS and 180 watts peak at 4-ohm impedance, you have plenty of power and fidelity.
The overall wattage and output of a marine speaker is an important consideration because boat engines are often quite loud, and mixed with higher winds out on the lake, you really need a speaker that can put out some sound when you’re at WOT (wide open throttle).
One really cool feature (sorry for the pun) about the Polk is that it has a liquid cooled 1″ tweeter. That’s just super cool.
The Polk is probably the most expensive speaker in this list, but if you want the best available, this is it! Check the current price of the Polk Marine Speaker on Amazon.com here.
Best Budget Speaker: Infinity Reference 612m
Audio Quality: 9. Price: Very Reasonable. Design/Looks: 10.
As soon as I get a free weekend, these are the speakers I’m putting in my 22′ pontoon boat. They look really classy on any boat, are reasonably price (sold in pairs of two, so be sure to remember that when comparing prices), and get excellent reviews from customers.
Probably the most stand-out feature of this speaker is the wattage. At 225 watts peak power handling, you’ll never find yourself maxing out the volume dial. Personally, I don’t listen to music very loud, but on a windy day when the engine is revving, it’s nice to have the option of turning up the volume a bit.
In terms of the audio quality, only the consumers with the most discerning golden ears will be able to tell a difference between this speaker and, for example, the Polk. It’s a budget speaker with very very good quality audio. Many reviewers of this speaker mention how CLEAR voices sound on this speaker, which I really like.
This is the speaker that’s going on my boat in the near future. Check the current price of this speaker on Amazon.com (price per pair of two speakers).
Audio Quality: 6. Price: Very Reasonable. Design/Looks: 7.
Pioneer makes great speakers (even better TVs, by the way). The speakers look good, perform well, and are decently priced, but just don’t seem to stick out from the competition in my opinion.
The white body of the speaker is pretty boring, to be honest. Older designs of boats used white speakers in the 1990s and early 2000s, but all of the newer designs have a little color or interest on the speaker to add a little flair.
Most people seem to find that this speaker really lacks in the lows. It sounds a little like a tin can. It’s not horrendous, but there are better options out there in my opinion.
The one factor that could make you want to choose the pioneer is that it is advertised as being extremely water resistant. I didn’t torture test these speakers, but if you have an application where the speaker may get extremely wet (more than a typical boat), then this may be a reason to choose the Pioneer.
Audio Quality: 8. Price: Inexpensive. Design/Looks: 2.
The Boss Audio speaker sounds great, is priced decently well, and gets good reviews. But it has one fatal flaw. What is it? It looks cheap and takes away from the beauty of your pontoon boat.
Personally, that makes a big difference to me. I just think the Boss Audio speaker looks ugly, and that’s enough to turn me away.
It looks more like a smoke detector than a speaker for a high-end boat.
Audio Quality: 7. Price: Very Inexpensive. Design/Looks: 4.
The JBL speaker sounds pretty good and is priced very well. At 180 watts it’s no slouch in the output category by any means.
I personally think the JBL looks a lot better than the Boss Audio, but it’s still not terribly stylish either.