If you want to get the most out of your day on the water – enjoy the sounds of music and attract fish, you need the best marine subwoofer. This device emits low-frequency sounds and ensures your pleasant stay on the water and ultimate audio quality.
Finding the best product in this section can be quite challenging. We’ve done the hard part and found a couple of great units – easy to install and maintain, units that produce amazing sounds and pounding bass. Thus, we decided to collect them all and bring you the characteristics of each product in our marine subwoofer reviews. In our buying guide, you will learn how to choose, install and maintain a subwoofer. So, let’s get right into it!
What Are Marine Subwoofers And Should You Have One?
When using marine speakers, it would be best to use marine subwoofers at the same time. This piece of marine audio equipment is in charge of providing crisp sounds of better quality by taking the strain from your main speakers.
Marine subwoofers increase bass and you can set it to lower, mid-range, and high sounds but always – bright and clear ones. Yet, as we already said – you can’t use subwoofers without the speakers.
Most units use 8 to 21-inch woofers although you can find rare models with woofers with 152-inch diameters or the ones with 4-inch speaker drivers.
Benefits of Marine Subwoofers
1. No Distortion
If you manage to attune your current audio system to your brand new subwoofers, you will see what audio perfection sounds like. Using marine subwoofers with a high-quality stereo is a great combination if you want to help those speakers live up to their full potential. Subwoofers ensure producing cleaner and crisper sounds on the water. You will see a major difference in sound quality when listening to both high and low volumes.
2. Better Performance At Higher Frequencies
If you want to turn it up to the maximum, a marine subwoofer can give you maximum! This device works great with high frequencies and increases the quality of bass notes. Your speakers will generate more power and, thus, produce higher volumes but only clear ones.
Yet, if you want to get the most out of your marine audio system, make sure to get an amplifier, too!
3. Stereo Speakers Can’t Support The Same Bass Quality
Stereo speakers can’t produce that pounding bass you expect but marine subwoofers can. With this device, you can enjoy clear sounds and amazing bass waves can’t absorb.
Best Marine Subwoofers Comparison Chart
BOSS CXX8 8 Inch Subwoofer 600 Watts Single Voice Coil 4 Ohm
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Pyle Subwoofer 8in Dual Voice Coil 4 Ohm Impedance 800 Watt
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Pyle PLMRW8 8-Inch Marine Audio Subwoofer 400 Watt Single
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Rockville MS10LW 10″ 2400 Watt White Marine/Boat 10″ Subwoofer
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Bazooka MBTA10250D Marine 10-Inch 250 Watt Pre Loaded Bass Tube
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Wet Sounds White 10″ Free Air Marine 4 ohm Sub
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SWR-M100 – Alpine 10″ Single 4-Ohm Type-R Marine Subwoofer
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Best Marine Subwoofers Reviews
1. BOSS CXX8 8 Inch Subwoofer 600 Watts Single Voice Coil 4 Ohm
Here comes a great 600-Watt marine subwoofer by a brand – BOSS. What could we expect rather than a topgallant, high-quality sound delivery from a manufacturer with such a sonorous name. This unit can draw attention although it is quite small but the great thing is that you can fit it onto your boat, in your house, or a garage.
As you can already guess, the CXX8 subwoofers grab attention but delivering gratifying sound quality. Well-made, these can withstand UV rays and high summer temperatures. This combination of rubber and polypropylene ensures resistance to impacts and durability.
You can easily control the bass feature and enjoy a more classy than a party-like type of bass. The CXX8 works best if used at medium volume up to 4 hours a day, although you can invite your friends over occasionally and make a boat party – this little guy will make sure you all have much fun.
- 3-year warranty.
- Can’t withstand frequent exposure to significant amounts of energy,
- It would be best if you can prevent the unit from splashing.
2. Pyle Subwoofer 8in Dual Voice Coil 4 Ohm Impedance 800 Watt
Pyle designed a high-quality, powerful subwoofer that performs great at 400-Watt and features maximum wattage of 800-Watt. This unit produces a clear, non-distortive sound you can truly enjoy when on the water.
With 3.7-inch mounting depth, the Pyle subwoofer is easy-peasy to install on your boat while you can use it in your car as well. Well-built, equipped with a dual voice coil, this device is resistant to corrosion and general wear and tear so you can rely on it for a couple of years to come. Thus, have in mind materials used to build this sleek subwoofer – rubber and foam, as this combination ensures durability.
The Pyle subwoofer is definitely not designed for people throwing parties on their boats but it serves the purpose with boat owners who prefer high-quality audio and pleasurable moments alongside splashes of waves.
- 40 oz. magnet,
- Resistant to high temperatures,
- This device can’t bear overpowering,
- Some customers approved of the audio quality but complained about the lack of loudness when the unit is set to 800-Watt.
3. Pyle PLMRW8 8-Inch Marine Audio Subwoofer 400 Watt Single
If you have a smaller vessel and need a compatible, space-saving marine bass system to make your experience on the water even more pleasant, the Pyle PLMRW8 might be a product worth your attention.
This 8-inch activated amplifier system can offer decent sound quality. It can handle up to 400 Watts, which is quite powerful for such a small device. Pyle integrated a remote bass level control so you can adjust the bass to your liking from whatever position on your boat. Levels of adjustment are between 0 and 12dB.
You don’t have to worry about distortion with the Pyle PLMRW8 marine subwoofer as it comes with a low-pass filter that reduces distortion and ensures you enjoy a crisp, powerful sound.
Ultra-slim, this unit can fit into most spaces on your boat. Made of quality polypropylene cone, the Pyle PLMRW8 can handle high temperatures and water splashes and still transmit pretty good bass.
- 35Hz to 3.5 kHz frequency response,
- 3.60-inch mounting depth,
- The unit feels kinda cheap,
- The installation might take some time.
4. Rockville MS10LW 10″ 2400 Watt White Marine/Boat 10″ Subwoofer
Rockville designed one of the most powerful subwoofers on the market with a clear idea – to outperform the competition. The MS10LW features a 1200-Watt RMS program and delivers 2400-Watt at its peak performance.
Another amazing thing that separates the MS10LW from the rest is the 80 oz. magnet – twice as powerful that most of the units. All this results in a topgallant audio quality and the bass feature that is so good you simply can’t ignore it.
Similar to other high-quality devices, this marine subwoofer is made of polypropylene that contributes to emitting better sounds but makes the device more durable as well. The ABS plastic basket and rubber edges approve this enduring and resistant structure.
If you are in pursuit of a subwoofer that can make your trip enjoyable like no other – the MS10LW can provide that type of experience while you are on the water.
- Available in 3 colors.
- Comes with built-in LED lights that usually don’t last as expected.
5. Bazooka MBTA10250D Marine 10-Inch 250 Watt Pre Loaded Bass Tube
If you would like to avoid cutting and drilling holes on your boat, the Bazooka MBTA10250D might be the device for you. Beginner-friendly, this device is super-easy to install and doesn’t require any wiring or complicated tasks.
This bass tube comes with a 10-inch subwoofer that produces 275-Watt RMS thanks to a class D amplifier.
In other words – you won’t have to match an amplifier to a subwoofer, as the Bazooka MBTA10250D provides both features in one unit.
It delivers amazingly clear sound even at low frequencies and customers like the amount of bass it produces. The MBTA10250D is well-built (stainless steel hardware) and boats a unique and compelling design. A white paint finish makes it modern and elegant so you can enjoy the aesthetic aspect of this unit besides great audio quality in the first place.
- Comes with mounting straps,
- Water and weather-resistant,
- UV certified.
- Provides solid quality overall but would be best if more powerful.
6. Wet Sounds White 10″ Free Air Marine 4 ohm Sub
Wet Sounds engineered a marine subwoofer of top-notch build quality. Specially designed for marine purposes, this device is created to provide amazing audio sound even in the toughest conditions you can face while being on the water. Saltwater can’t do a thing to this 10-inch subwoofer.
The powder-coated cast aluminum structure, molded composite cone, and gold-plated speaker terminals ensure a long life of the Wet Sounds subwoofer. It features 300-Watt of RMS and performs at 600-Watt at its peak performance.
It would be a pity not to mention the closed grill design that gives a nice, aesthetic touch to your boat. Overall, the Wet Sounds subwoofer looks sleek, it is made of high-end materials, and produces great audio quality so no doubt it provides great value for the money.
- Easy to mount,
- Available in black and white color.
- The device would use better bass, although it pounds well either way.
7. SWR-M100 – Alpine 10″ Single 4-Ohm Type-R Marine Subwoofer
Alpine is one of the most reliable manufacturers when it comes to audio equipment, and their SWR-M100 meets the expectations on all levels. This is a 10-inch device that delivers one of the best bass qualities on the market.
A high-strength construction made of Santoprene rubber and polypropylene cone ensures of the build quality of this marine subwoofer. Also, this combination of the frame and surround ensure this unit is resistant to marine conditions, and most importantly – water so you don’t have to worry if a wave splashes your subwoofer.
You can turn it up to maximum and the Alpine subwoofer will still run cool. It handles 300-Watt RMS and 900-Watt of peak power and can handle heavy use. You can use it as a vented enclosure or sealed – whatever works best with your boat.
Delivering constant, crisp audio, pounding bass, and featuring amazing and durable build quality, the SWR-M100 might be a good investment if you are looking for an almost-professional marine subwoofer device.
- ASTM certified,
- Suitable for free-air use,
- 1-year warranty.
- It is not the loudest option but still one of the best units on the market.
Types of Marine Subwoofers
We can divide subwoofers into a single and dual voice coil. A major difference between these two types is in the wiring options each provides. Here is some useful info about single and dual voice coils.
1. Single Voice Coil
With single voice coil subwoofers, you have one winding coil – just as its name suggests. It comes one positive and one negative terminal while the other type comes with two positive and two negative terminals.
Usually, you can find this type of wiring in car subwoofers. However, single voice coil can’t produce as much output as you need for marine use, which is why single voice coil subwoofers are more affordable than their counterparts.
2. Dual Voice Coil
Again, you can already guess it by the name – this type comes with 2 separate windings. With this type, you can get more power output when using it with an amplifier. You can also connect a couple of subwoofers to a single amplifier with dual voice coil systems.
Yet, it is fine if you don’t want to bridge your amplifier as well. Either way, you can wire each of these 2 coils to different amplifier channels. This method is better known as independent wiring.
Marine Subwoofer Buying Guide
When making a buying decision, you should get familiar with the main features of a product to look for. Whether it be VHF marine radio, marine stereo, or marine subwoofers, make sure the unit you are going to use meets all the required criteria. Here are the top characteristics of marine subwoofers.
1. Power Ratings
Each unit comes with power ratings displayed on the back of each speaker – peak power and RMS rating.
The latter indicates the recommended power you should be using with a specific device. This is, simply said, the measure that points out the best value at which your subwoofer will produce sound. Using your subwoofer at a recommended rating will allow you to enjoy the sounds of your favorite music longer than with using it at peak power.
Now, the peak power is still a very important measure as it indicates how far you can go with your subwoofer. Just as its name suggests, this is the maximum power you can use your unit at without causing any damage to it.
Take both the PPR and RMS as two important metrics and use your device accordingly if you want to ensure its long life.
Note that even the best units in this category can’t do as much as they would with another useful piece of equipment – a good marine amplifier.
Once you see “ohms” when checking on the characteristic of a specific marine subwoofer, you should know this abbreviation stands for impedance or electrical resistance of that unit. Speakers act like resistors. The smaller the rating, the more power your device can receive from an amplifier.
You should be careful whether the resistance of your subwoofer is suitable to your amplifier. Only like this, you will ensure it works properly and delivers pounding bass.
Most boat owners don’t take this measurement seriously. Yet, they should, as there is a common fallacy that bigger subwoofers are better at the same time. Although most devices measure 10-inches on average, you will come across other measures as well.
Make sure the size of your subwoofer is compatible with the size of your boat. Using a large subwoofer on a small recreational vehicle would make the device vibrate and spoil your experience.
When spending time on the water, you need equipment that can take on numerous impacts. A marine-grade subwoofer should be resistant to numerous factors – water, saltwater, sand, and UV rays. However, not all materials can withstand these elements. Rubber and powdered materials are more resistant than plastic whilst polypropylene takes the middle ground here.
5. Ease Of Installation
The very beginning of your experience with a new subwoofer can be either pleasant or troublesome. It all depends on the easiness of installation of this unit.
When setting up audio equipment on your boat, you should be familiar with some basic wiring tasks. In most cases, this should be more than enough but some models require some more skills. If you don’t have as much hands-on knowledge, make sure to find a unit that’s easy to mount, otherwise – you will need a professional to do this for you.
Down below, we will take you through the installation of marine subwoofers.
How To Install a Marine Subwoofer?
When buying equipment for your vessel that needs to be installed, it is quite important to find units that not only fit the size of your boat but the ones you can install in a reasonable period. Also, make sure to find a marine subwoofer that is compatible with your existing audio equipment.
Keep a manufacturer’s instruction near at hand when installing a subwoofer on your boat. With some subwoofers, you would have to cut holes inside your boat so that you can make them fit correctly. You should make a plan where you want your speakers and subwoofers to be beforehand you start with this task.
If you have marine speakers already, you might be thinking their diameter is universal. However, different models come with different body shapes and different dimensions you should take into account when installing a subwoofer. It is essential to have a mounting bracket of appropriate size.
So, it is quite important to do the measuring part prior to making a purchase as you want your subwoofer and mounting bracket to be fitted properly as vibrations can cause audio equipment to break down.
Maintenance and Safety Tips For Marine Subwoofers
Each piece of marine equipment requires at least minimal care. In this section, we are giving you clues about how to clean and take proper care of your subwoofer, retain its shine, and extend its lifespan.
- Your subwoofers should be completely dust-free. Clean the dust every few days. Debris can spoil the glossy finish of your unit and cause it to deteriorate quicker. Scratches are not attractive so vacuum any particles from your subwoofer. If you don’t have a handheld vacuum, a microfiber duster would do as well.
- Although you could see most marine subwoofers are waterproof, you should still try to keep them dry. A unit that is water-resistant is not waterproof at the same time. The thing is – you are connecting your subwoofers to electricity and we all know electricity and water don’t go along. If a wave splashes your subwoofer, wipe any water from it with a dry cloth.
- Sometimes, you will spot greasy stains on your subwoofers. Don’t let grease sit there – remove it with a damp cloth and water. Note that alcohol-based detergents would only cause damage to audio systems to refrain from using them.
2. Safety Tips
Although it is important to keep your subwoofer nice and clean, it is more important to stay safe and use your device without any worries. Here is how.
- The basic tip is to install your subwoofer properly. If you think you could make a mistake that would cause further troubles, you can call a professional to install it for you.
- If you want to install it on your own, we highly recommend using stranded, tinned wires.
- Double-check wires every time before using your subwoofer.
- Don’t use strong chemicals and alcohol when cleaning subwoofers.
- Some subwoofers can take a splash of water and occasional rain but that doesn’t mean you can submerge them or keep moisture on the unit for too long. Try to keep your unit dry as much as possible.
- Subwoofers are, in general, sensitive to saltwater, UV rays, rain, and wind. If you want to ensure your safety while using subwoofers, opt for models with rubber surroundings and plastic cones.
- If your mounting location is a bit challenging, go for enclosed or free-air rated subwoofers.
- If you don’t want to invest in an amplifier, a powered enclosed unit would be the best choice.
FAQ About VHF Marine Subwoofer
1. Where Do You Put The Subwoofer In a Boat?
To get the best experience with your new subwoofers, we highly recommend you to install them in a well-built enclosure. Mounting the unit here will ensure the best output. Yet, you can place your subwoofer around the stern or storage locker.
2. What If My Marine Subwoofer Gets Wet?
Let’s get this right – your marine subwoofers will get wet multiple times. Although occasional splashing won’t damage your device, frequent splashing can damage the unit if you don’t wipe the excess water away.
In other words – if it gets wet, swab the water with a cloth and you’re good to go. Most of the products we reviewed above provide a good level of water resistance. Yet, if you want to be fully confident about your subwoofers, a device that offers waterproof protection is a way to go.
3. How Do You Waterproof a Subwoofer Box?
Use a table saw to cut the back, top, front and side of your subwoofer box – 7 pieces total. We highly recommend you to use medium-density fiberboard for this task. Use a pen to mark the cutout spots.
You can use either carpenter’s glue and metal screws or bracing to piece together these 7 pieces. If possible, glue even when using bracing and apply 2 internal seams.
Use a handheld drill or a drill press if you have one to make a hole for the jigsaw blade to fit in. Then, use a jigsaw to make a circle opening for the woofer and a rectangular opening in the back.
Wrap some silicone caulk around the terminal cup. You will need sheet metal screws to connect the back and front pieces. Fasten pre-drilled holes with the screws but add some carpenter’s glue as well.
Now you have a square box in which you should fit your subwoofer and check whether it fits. If it does, all that’s left is to make holes for the mounting screws and mount the box.
Many boat owners find the investment in marine subwoofers a worthwhile one. This unit can give you a better, crisper, and clearer sound and spice it all up with more bass. You can ensure no-wave splashing can mess up the sound quality and loudness of your favorite songs by getting the best marine subwoofer.
We believe you have a clear understanding of which features matter the most and how to choose the right device for your boat after reading our marine subwoofer reviews and buying guide. Yet, you can find a myriad of other guides from Marine Expert divided into categories for your better user experience. Make sure to check them all out!