The quiet serenity of the open ocean has its charm, but cranking up your favorite tunes on a new marine audio system will turn a nice day out on the boat into something special to remember. Not sure what kind of equipment you’ll need or how much protection from the elements is required? Check out these FAQs about marine audio systems:
Q: Why do boats need specialized marine audio systems?
A: Typical car audio systems and portable stereos can’t handle moisture or the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, but marine audio equipment is specifically designed to withstand direct exposure to the sun, saltwater, wind, and extreme temperatures. Here’s how:
Marine audio receivers have coated circuit boards, water-resistant faceplates, line-level outputs to send signals to an external amplifier, and satellite radio controls. Many also come with weatherproof faceplate covers and watertight remote controls.
Marine audio speakers have plastic cones and rubber surrounds, corrosion-resistant mounting hardware, and enough power capabilities to blast music over wind, water and engine noise.
Marine subwoofers also have plastic cones and rubber surrounds, plus enclosures that are designed to work with the challenging mounting locations typical on boats.
Marine amplifiers have coated circuit boards, non-corrosive connectors, and extra power capabilities.
Q: What is the difference between water-resistant and waterproof?
A: Equipment that is water-resistant can handle splashes of seawater or light rain, although levels of resistance tend to vary by manufacturer. Waterproof means the equipment can be fully submerged in water, though submersion depths and lengths of time also vary.
Q: Where is the best place onboard to install boat stereos?
A: Boats are so varied in size and shape that each marine audio installation presents unique challenges and limitations—one of many reasons the job should be left to professional installation experts. However, amplifiers and subwoofers are typically installed in compartments under the seats or under the bow of the boat, while midrange speakers for boats and tweeters can usually fit into the side panels of the boat or under the dash. If you’re upgrading a factory system, it’s best to use existing speaker and receiver cutouts, but if you’re having a system installed from scratch, a professional installation expert will select the best location for each component.
Q: What if my boat has no room for audio equipment in the panels or under the seats?
A: Small boats can still achieve big sound thanks to the variety of marine audio equipment available, including components that can be mounted to wakeboard towers. Professional audio installation experts are skilled at outfitting any size of boat with the best marine stereo system possible.
Q: How far offshore will satellite radio reach?
A: Sirius XM, the only satellite radio broadcaster in the US, offers signal coverage across the entire continental United States, including domestic and coastal waterways, and up to 200 miles offshore.
Ready to rock your boat with the high-quality sound of a new marine stereo?
Car Audio City carries the best brands at the best prices, and we offer professional installation to ensure a seamless, high-quality soundtrack to your next boating adventure. Give us a call at (619) 474-8551 or stop in our National City location today.