Best Marine Amplifier Reviews

10 Best Marine Amplifiers (Reviews Updated 2020)

Installing an amplifier can make your boating experience much more entertaining and leisurely. You may already have speakers installed, but those won’t be loud enough to cover the entire boat. So if you want to have a complete sound system with top-notch audio quality, you’ll need a great amplifier.

The best marine amplifiers will increase speaker volume and improve sound quality by upping the audio signal amplitude. If you also turn the speaker volume louder than it can handle, the sound could be compromised. An amplifier will ensure that you’ll get loud and excellent audio.

There are numerous models of marine amplifiers you can get, so it might be difficult to choose one. That’s why we’ve compiled our top choices for marine amplifiers you can buy. We’ll also discuss what features you should be looking out for.

Best Marine Amplifiers

Here are the 10 best marine amplifiers.

1. Kenwood Marine Amplifier

Best Overall

Kenwood Marine Amplifier

Review

Kenwood’s marine amplifier uses four channels and has convenient Bluetooth capabilities. It’s water-resistant so you can be assured it will survive your sea travels. The amp can reach up to 400 watts of power. Aside from your boat, this can be attached to other land vehicles as well.

Size: 14.8 x 6.8 x 3.2 in

Weight: 2.2 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Boasts water resistance
  • Up to 400 watts
  • Bluetooth connection
Check Price on Amazon

 

2. Pyle Hydra Marine Amplifier

Editor’s Choice

Pyle Hydra Marine Amplifier

Review

Pyle’s waterproof 4-channel amplifier boasts a power of up to 1000 watts, making it one of the most powerful amps we have on the list. It can be connected to speakers via its RCA input with low/high pass filters. It’s a very durable amp with its aluminum construction and it’s short protected. It also features amplifier bridging capabilities. Many reviews deem this amp’s sound quality to be quite excellent.

Size: 9.76 x 5.75 x 3.54 in

Weight: 10 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Waterproof and aluminum build
  • Amplifier bridging capabilities
  • 1000-watt power
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3. Pyle Upgraded Hydra Marine Amplifier

Best Value

Pyle Upgraded Hydra Marine Amplifier

Review

This is another amplifier from Pyle with a more budget-friendly price tag. It has RCA input, universal compatibility, and 4 channels. It has a corrosion-resistant and waterproof build that’s certified as IP-01 grade to resist the elements. As additional protection, the amp also has short protection.

Size: 11.1 x 8.5 x 2.6 in

Weight: 3.95 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Corrosion-resistant and waterproof
  • Uses 4 channels
  • Universal compatibility
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4. Clarion Peak Ultra Marine Amplifier

Clarion Peak Ultra Marine Amplifier

Review

Clarion’s amplifier is compact but it can still reach 400 watts without sacrificing audio quality. It’s resistant to the elements like moisture, salt, and UV rays, so you know it’s built for marine life. There are also RCA inputs, high-pass filter, and soft on-off circuitry.

Size: 3.2 x 7.2 x 1.5 in

Weight: 2.56 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Resistant construction
  • Up to 400 watts
  • Compact but powerful
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5. Pyle Elite Series Hydra Marine Amplifier

Pyle Elite Series Hydra Marine Amplifier

Review

This is one of Pyle’s premium amps with 4 channels, universal compatibility, marine-grade waterproofing, and great stereo quality. The amp power can reach up to 800 watts and you can adjust the gain levels to your liking.  It has RCA inputs and can be connected to your smartphone or MP3 player directly to the amp.

Size: 11.5 x 5.8 x 3.8 in

Weight: 2.4 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Up to 800 watts
  • Marine-grade waterproofing
  • Universal compatibility
Check Price on Amazon

 

6. BOSS Audio Systems Bluetooth Marine Amplifier

Boss Audio Systems Bluetooth Marine Amplifier

Review

BOSS is famous for its quality audio devices, and their amps are no exception. This amp has 4 channels with wireless streaming and Bluetooth connection. It has a remote control, handlebar clamp, and touch buttons for convenient use. It also features USB ports for charging and weather-resistance for durability.

Size: 4 x 4.5 x 4 in

Weight: 3.2 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • 4 channels
  • Weather-resistance
  • User-friendly
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7. Hifonics Nautic Marine Amplifier

Hifonics Nautic Marine Amplifier

Review

This Hilfonics amp has 6 channels and can reach up to 540 watts. It has corrosion-resistance for its aluminum body and circuitry, so it’s built to withstand the marine elements. There are pass filters included that have on-board diagnostic functions.

Size: 18 x 2.2 x 9.4 in

Weight: 11.1 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Up to 540 watts
  • 6 channels
  • Boasts external and internal corrosion-resistance
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8. BOSS Audio Systems Grade Marine Amplifier

Boss Audio Systems Grade Marine Amplifier

Review

This is another great BOSS amp with 5 channels and a PA system which is convenient to make announcements. Along with the amp’s RCA inputs, you can also adjust the input gain and the bass boost for more audio flexibility. This amp is built to resist the elements with excellent waterproofing and UV coating. Finally, BOSS offers this with a premium 6-year warranty.

Size: 12.7 x 7.3 x 2.1 in

Weight: 7.28 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Waterproof and UV-coated
  • 5 channels
  • 6-year warranty
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9. Rockville Marine Amplifier

Rockville Marine Amplifier

Review

Rockville’s 4-channel amplifier has an included microphone and can reach a whopping power of 1600 watts. The durability is top-notch since circuit board has a special coating to protect against the harsh elements and its body is completely marine rated.

Size: 3 x 3 x 3 in

Weight: 7.75 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Marine rated construction
  • Included microphone
  • Up to 1600 watts
Check Price on Amazon

 

10. JBL Full Range Marine Amplifier

Jbl Full Range Marine Amplifier

Review

JBL’s amp features 4 channels, stainless steel construction, and a circuit board built for marine use. You can adjust the bass boost and use its variable crossover to block out unwanted frequencies.

Size: 12 x 8 x 10 in

Weight: 7.62 lbs

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • 4 channels
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Variable crossover
Check Price on Amazon

 

Buyer’s Guide — How To Choose Your Own Marine Amplifier

Best Marine Amplifier ReviewsTo further assist you, we have a buying guide to let you know which characteristics are most important to consider. Once you have figured out which features are most essential to you, you will have no problem choosing the right amplifier for your sea party needs.

Model

Amplifiers vary heavily in model and design. The most important thing about choosing the right model is testing its durability. Since you will be out at sea and not just stationary on land, a marine amplifier has to contend with constant motion and more environmental exposure. Whatever design you choose, make sure that it is capable of lasting at least several years of boating trips.

Aside from durability, look into the driving power of the amplifier. Different models vary in the wattage and range of its power usage. This power range is usually referred to as the “RMS”, and a higher RMS indicates a higher driving power. Often, these higher driving powers will result in the best-sounding amplifier.

It’s also important that the marine speakers and amplifier have matching power ranges. Sometimes marine speakers will have a power range that is lower than a prospective marine amplifier, so check first that your speakers will be able to handle the marine amplifier.

Type

Most marine amplifiers have more or less the same basic features. These would be adjustments to volume, clarity, and signal of how much it can boost the speakers. However, there are still the main differences between each type.

Many marine amplifiers require several extra cables to hook it up to your current speakers and sound system. Some types carry different settings and controls. There are types of amplifiers that have a built-in cable for connecting with your sound system. This is especially useful if you would rather not bother with the additional cables.

While the cable situation is up to you, the most important thing to note is if the amplifier is a good fit with the rest of your current speakers and sound system. You want an amplifier that can be incorporated into this, not one that can just stand alone.

Channels

Marine amplifiers can come with different amounts of channels. More channels means more speakers it’s capable of powering. Amplifiers go from having one mono channel, to having several, such as multi-channel amplifiers. Those with multiple channels can range anywhere from 2 channels to 6, and these will be better at powering several speakers at a time. Marine amplifiers that are only mono channel are usually hooked up to subwoofers and powerful enough for only one speaker.

But since marine speakers are usually set to be in pairs, it’s more convenient to buy multi-channel amplifiers. Just remember that having 3 or more channels on your amplifier will require you to correlate and match the speakers you are powering to the correct channels.

Installation and User-friendliness

A legitimate marine amplifier will be accompanied by information and instructions by the manufacturer on how to install it. Nevertheless, amplifiers must be user-friendly, intuitive, and simple to install. Each port and button should be labeled so that you know which cable to attach to it. The installation and operation should be easy to figure out.

Many can get by installing the amplifier simply through the user guide or manual. The installation usually involves connecting the amplifier to the cables of your speakers and system. You must secure the amplifier to the boat itself so it will be less prone to damage.

The amp will be hooked up to the marine batteries that are also handling other devices such as your GPS and might be accompanied by battery chargers and boxes. Make sure the amplifier is compatible with these batteries since it will use them as a power source.

Low and High Pass Filters

Marine amplifiers come with several controls and settings to help you adjust the frequencies and sound quality coming through. Through these controls, you can lessen certain disturbances such as distortion. That’s why high-quality marine amplifiers will have a low/high pass filter.

These filters are responsible for enhancing the quality of your audio. High pass filters prevent low frequencies from interfering, while low filters do the same against high frequencies. These two combined will help reduce and even eliminate distortion in your sound.

Bass-Amplifying Function

Although you can simply use your speakers or even a subwoofer for boosting the bass of your audio, this could also cause distortion. Therefore it would be best to keep a low/high pass filter among your amplifier’s features so that it can counter this resulting distortion.

To help answer your burning questions, we’ve compiled a couple of frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are questions frequently asked about the best boat amplifiers.

Why Do Speakers Need Marine Amplifiers?

Amplifiers work together with your marine speakers and subwoofer to clarify and amplify the quality of sound for your boat. This is especially convenient for those who enjoy listening to music or even holding parties on their boats. Using an amplifier will increase the sound level and quality. Some marine amplifiers are even compatible alongside multiple speakers for your entire sound system.

Is An Additional Amplifier Necessary?

A: If getting better and louder audio is one of your goals, then amplifiers will help. Not only do they increase volume, but they also limit distortion you might experience from amplifying the bass of the music. A good amplifier will come with a high/low pass filter, which eliminates distortion and enhances clarity and sound quality. Having this kind of clarity while still maintaining a high volume is a good investment if you enjoy a good sound trip while on the waters.

Will I Need Several Channels On My Amplifier?

Unless you are using only one speaker on your boat, get an amplifier that can at least match the number of speakers you have. Since small boats usually operate with just 2 speakers, get an amplifier with 2 channels. The more speakers you have, the more channels you will need. But your amount of channels can also be greater than your speakers. More channels also mean that you can power a subwoofer in addition to your speakers.

To end, we have some final reminders before you make your marine amplifier purchase.

Marine Amplifier Review Conclusion

The key to knowing a good amplifier is the sound quality it will give you. Sometimes instead of having more speakers, the answer is investing in a quality amplifier. With a good marine amplifier, your boating trips will become infinitely more enjoyable. Just be sure to consider a durable amplifier with a flexible amount of channels.

With our tips in mind, you’ll be able to choose the perfect amplifier in no time.