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Things to Consider When Upgrading Your Boat's Stereo System

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Top Tips on How to Select Marine Audio Systems That Sound Great and Can Handle Life on the Open Water

Unlike a car, truck, or SUV, outfitting your marine vessel isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all kind of affair. For starters, boats and yachts come in vastly different sizes. The boat stereo system and waterproof boat speakers you get for a pontoon is probably not the same as the marine audio equipment you’d get for a 40-foot yacht. As you’d expect, the design and logistics of your boat is ultimately going to determine your marine audio systems. Additionally, how you use your boat plays a factor as well. If all you do is fish quietly on your boat, you won’t need your boat stereo system to pack as much of a punch as a speedboat that needs to overthrow the sound of the engine. These are the areas of concern we address here at Stereo Depot when people are trying to figure out which marine audio is going to be a good fit for their specific vessel.

To break this down further, here are the top things to consider when upgrading your boat’s stereo system. Some of these will seem like no-brainers while others are commonly overlooked.

The Qualities to Look for When Selecting Marine Audio Systems

When it comes to selecting things like boat amps and speakers, you have to be cognizant of a few key attributes in your equipment. Namely, you have to keep in mind the environment that your boat operates in. Boating on the high seas means that your equipment is going to be exposed to wind, rain, chop, sunlight, and salt – all things you never have to worry about when installing car audio. Look for the following traits in your marine audio upgrade.

Water-resistant or Waterproof: This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when selecting marine audio equipment. If you’re out on the water, you need to be prepared for water to come at you from any angle. Equipment that is water-resistant can handle being splashed on and the occasional rain shower. What it can’t handle is full submersion. For full submersion, you’d need to go with equipment that is completely waterproof. However, in our expert opinion, most boaters don’t need to fork over the extra cash for equipment to be fully waterproof.

Anti-corrosive Materials: It can be easy to forget about salt playing a factor, but if you’re going to be out cruising the Pacific, you need to have the right equipment that can hold up over time. When choosing your marine audio, always make sure to go with equipment that is clearly marked to be manufactured out of anti-corrosive materials. Coated circuit boards and rust-resistant marine audio will be able to endure the salt content that it’ll encounter out on open waters.


Although here in San Diego we’re fortunate to get a lot of consistent great weather, you still need to be aware of how the sun is punishing for electronic equipment when put in the direct sunlight. UV rays can damage pretty much anything that’s not built to withstand them, so make sure you go with marine audio that’s specifically marked to be UV-resistant. That not only ensures the equipment can withstand the sun and heat, but that it won’t begin to peel or discolor as well.


In the car, all the sound pumping out of your speakers and subs is contained within the confines of the vehicle. Out on the open waters, your sound doesn’t have much to bounce off of, so what we advise customers to do is to invest in a powerful system that can overcome the noise of the boat engine, wind, and water. Your boat speakers are competing with all the outside noise, so it’s best to go with marine audio equipment that’s powerful enough to be heard over it. Keep this in mind when discussing which equipment to get. The last thing you want is to come up short on sound.

Upgrade Your Marine Audio Equipment Today!

Now that you know what to look for when it comes to marine audio and how to select the equipment that’s right for you, the next step is to come to Stereo Depot to sample some of our equipment in the store. This will kick off the process of figuring out the logistics of your boat speaker and stereo installation.

Depending on the type of boat or yacht that you have, we’ll be able to determine which arrangement of marine audio is right for you and your budget. Simply come by one of our two locations in San Diego or El Cajon, and one of our experienced team members will be happy to discuss your upcoming marine audio upgrade. Or, feel free to contact us via our website with any questions you may have.

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