Best Marine Amplifier To Buy In 2019
Nautic amplifiers are built for life on the high seas. They are designed to weather the rigors of intense marine use. Their construction has to comply with the marine electronics standards set by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM International. For purposes of installation, marine amps come with configurations of 2, 4, 5 and 6 channels. The thumb rule is that the more the number of channels, the wider your set-up options. For instance, with a 5 or 6 channel amp, you can have satellite speakers out on the deck and in the cabins, and also throw in a sub or two for extra bass.
To select the most optimum marine amplifier, you primarily need to focus on three factors. These 3 factors are the priorities when you are selecting the right marine amp for your marine audio setup. PERIOD. Nothing is more important than these three. Below are the factors to look for –
1) Number of channels ( Depends on the type of use. For example a single sub requires a 1-channel amp).
2) Ideal power of your marine amplifier ( Read the ideal power section at the end of the article ).
3) Extensive conformal coating for long internal circuitry life time and better water-resistance.
We took into account all these factors to handpick some of the best marine amps in different categories. Please read on below.
Let us now take a look at the various categories of marine amplifiers and the top players in each category.
Top Marine Amplifiers To Use In Marine Atmosphere :
Best 6 Channel Marine Amp :
MB Quart NA540.6 Nautic Marine Amplifier :
The number 1 marine amplifier in the 6 channel category is the MB Quart NA540.6 Nautic amplifier. It belongs to the Nautic Series of marine amps by MB Quart. MB Quart is a leading German manufacturer of sound systems and audio components like studio microphones, speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers. The NA540.6 is a Class A/B amp with a top power output of 540 watt.
Its RMS power rating is :-
- At 4 ohms : 60 watt x 6 channel
- At 2 ohms : 90 watt x 6 channel
- Bridged – 4 ohms : 180 watt x 3 channel
The device has Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply. It has a frequency response of 10 Hz to 45 kHz, signal-to-noise ratio of >93 dB and a voltage gain of 0.2V to 6.0V. The MB Quart NA540.6 amp has an inbuilt active electronic crossover with high-pass, low-pass and full pass crossovers. Crossover type is electronic 12 dB per octave. The amp has 250 Hz to 4 kHz high-pass frequencies (variable high-pass filter) and 40 Hz to 250 Hz low-pass frequencies (variable low-pass filter). It also has variable bass boost which provides 0 dB to 9 dB bass boost at 45 Hz for an intense bass delivery. Tone control is bass equalization of 0 to 9 dB at 45 Hz.
The MB Quart NA540.6 amp is a marine grade system with ABYC and ASTM certifications. It has a Life Shield Badge which means it is a waterproof, shockproof, snowproof and dustproof gadget. It also has conformal-coated PC boards to prevent salt water and moisture-induced corrosion. The device has additional protection such as short circuit protection, overload protection, thermal protection and DC protection. The cabinet is a tough aluminum alloy heat-sink design to fight internal heating. It has RCA audio inputs and full-range RCA audio outputs for daisy chain operations. All connections including RCA input and output, power, speaker and ground connections have gold plating to prevent corrosion. The system has adjustable input sensitivity (level: 200 mV to 6 V). It has LED indicators and soft start turn on function. For installation the amp needs 4 gauge power and ground wiring. Dimensions of the product are: 17 inches x 9.4 inches x 2.2 inches. It weighs 5.03 kg.
Key features :
- Class A/B 6 channel marine amp
- 540 max power
- MOSFET power supply
- Life Shield Badge
- Active HP, LP and FP crossovers
JL Audio M600/6 6 Channel Marine Amplifier :
The next best marine powered amp is the JL Audio M600/6 6 channel marine amplifier. It is a Class D amp with JL Audio’s signature high speed switching design known as NexD™. It does away with the orthodox mechanism and drawbacks of Class D amps to produce a full-spectrum low-distortion audio. The M600/6 can be used to power 3 pairs of coaxial speakers or 3 subs in 2-channel mode or a combination of speakers and subs. It has an unregulated switching power supply made of MOSFET. The amp has a total continuous power of 600 watt.
RMS power rating of the device is as follows –
- At 4 ohms : 75 watt x 6 channel
- At 2 ohms : 100 watt x 6 channel
- Bridged mode – 4 ohms : 200 watt x 3 channel
The marine amplifier has variable low-pass filters and variable high-pass filters for subwoofers and speakers respectively (50 to 500 Hz, 12 dB per octave). It also has an optional wired remote for conveniently controlling the volume from the front of the vessel (HD-RLC remote level control). The entire device is made from heavy-duty stainless steel that protects the inner components from shock and impact. It sports a special powder-coated finish in white and grey tones for resisting corrosion. It has a gasketed control cover for added protection against the harsh sea environment. LED indicators on the device show power status and protection.
The JL Audio M600/6 has Advanced Rollback Protection which prevents thermal shutdown in the event of the amp reaching an unsafe operating temperature. The device also has thermal, short circuit and overload protection. The amp requires a 4 gauge or 8 gauge wire for power and ground leads for installation. It also needs a 50 amp fuse. All set-up cables and hardware need to be purchased separately. Dimensions of this product are: 10.25 inches x 2 inches x 7.12 inches.
Key features :
- Ultra-high-speed switching design made of proprietary NexD™ Technology
- Class D amp with 600 watt total continuous power
- 6 channel marine-ready amp
- Advanced Rollback Protection
- HP and LP filters, high-level and low-level inputs
- Bridgeable amp
Pyle PLMRA620 6 Channel Marine Amplifier Receiver :
The third best 6 channel marine amp is the Pyle PLMRA620. It is a durable waterproof 6 channel bridgeable amplifier receiver. It has a jaw-dropping max power output of 2000 watt with a power supply made of dual gate MOSFET. The Pyle PLMRA620 is a tri-mode configurable amp. It has adjustable 4 to 8 ohm impendence, input gain level controls.
RMS power of the amp is as follows : –
- At 2 ohms : 1 channel x 400 watt and 4 channels x 175 watt.
- At 4 ohms : 2 channels x 250 watt and 4 channels x 100 watt.
In 4 ohm bridged mode it has a max power of 2 channels x 400 watt + 1 channel x 900 watt. The Pyle PLMRA620 marine amplifier has left and right RCA input connector jacks. It is 2 ohm stereo stable and can be operated by a remote. The device has IP-01 marine waterproof rating with gold-plated outputs for better protection against salt and moisture. The gadget also has delay mechanism to minimize thump. It has a high and low-pass electronic crossover. It has variable low-pass and high-pass filter controls, and variable bass boost controls. It also has a connector jack to link the remote bass boost controller. Variable bass boost of the device is 0 +/- 18 dB at 60 Hz.
The Pyle marine amp has a solid heat-sink (aluminum alloy make) for effective heat dissipation. It prevents the temperature of the power transistor from exceeding the safe limit. The amp also has standard triple protection against overload, over-heating and short circuits. It has LED indicators to show protection status and also the power. The Pyle PLMRA620 is a Class A/B amplifier with a frequency response of 15 Hz to 30 kHz, impendence of 10k ohm and sensitivity of 250 mV. It has a fuse type of 40 A x 2 and a SNR of >05 dB. It needs a 12 volt DC power source. Dimensions of the Pyle marine amp is 19.6 inches x 10.9 inches x 2.7 inches. It weighs 16.67 lbs.
Key features :
- 6 channel marine amp with 2000 watt peak power
- Dual gate MOSFET power supply
- Aluminum alloy heat-sink
- Tri-mode configurable, bridgeable amp
- Anti-thump delay circuit board
Best 5 Channel Marine Amp :
JL Audio M700/5 5 Channel Class D M-Series Marine Amplifier :
The top contender in the 5 channel category is the M700/5 M-Series 5 channel marine amp from JL Audio. It is a Class D amp with innovative Class D NexD™ super-high-speed switching design. This design minimizes distortions and removes the drawbacks of conventional Class D amplifiers. The M700/5 can drive two sets of marine speakers (component or coaxial) and a marine subwoofer with the fifth channel. Each of the front and rear channels of the amp deliver up to 100 watt while the subwoofer channel has up to 300 watt.
The JL Audio M700/5 amp shows the following RMS power rating at 14.4 volts :-
- At 4 ohms – 180 watt x 1 channel + 75 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohms – 300 watt x 1 channel + 100 watt x 4 channels
- In Bridged mode, 8 ohm – 150 watt x 2 channels
- In Bridged mode, 4 ohm – 200 watt x 2 channels
This marine amplifier has the following RMS rating at 12.5 volts :-
- At 4 ohm – 180 watt x 1 channel + 60 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohm – 300 watt x 1 channel + 90 watt x 4 channels
- In Bridged mode, 8 ohm – 120 watt x 2 channels
- In Bridged mode, 4 ohm – 180 watt x 2 channels
The JL Audio amplifier has an unregulated MOSFET power supply. It has a heavy duty stainless steel construction with a gasketed control cover. The over-heating due to long duration usage can be managed through a special circuit known as Advanced Rollback Protection. It has nickel-plated RCA inputs and screw terminals. The M700/5 has preamp level inputs and pass-through pre-amp RCA outputs for daisy chaining additional amplifiers. It has variable high-pass filters (50 to 5000 Hz, 12 dB/octave) and variable low-pass filters (50 to 500 Hz, 12 dB/octave). The filters can be configured like a 3-way crossover with a high-pass filter on channel 1 and 2, a band-pass filter on channel 3 and 4, and a low-pass filter for the subwoofer. Frequency response of the main channels is 12Hz to 22 kHz and that of the subwoofer channel is 10 Hz to 1000 Hz. Signal-to-noise ratio is >104 dB.
There is an optional HD-RLC remote level control. The speaker output connections of the amplifier can work with up to 8 AWG (American Wire Gauge) wire. Power and ground connections are compatible with up to 4 AWG wires. Input range of the device is 100mV – 4V RMS, total harmonic distortion is < 1% and damping factor is –
- >150 at 4 ohm
- > 75 at 2 ohm.
Dimensions of the product are : 10.25 inches x 2 inches x 7.12 inches.
Key features :
- 5 channel marine amp
- Class D NexD™ super-high-speed switching design
- Unregulated MOSFET power supply
- Advanced Rollback Protection circuitry
- Gasketed control cover
- Daisy chain compatible
- 3-way crossover
Kenwood KAC-M8005 5 Channel Marine Amplifier :
The Kenwood KAC-M8005 is a top-quality Class D marine powered amp with a max power of 1600 watt. It is a bridgeable marine-rated amp with MOSFET power supply, 2 ohm capability and CEA-2006 certification. The amplifier can power 4 full-range speakers with 50 watt per speaker and up to 500 watt for the sub. You can also convert the system into a 3 channel amplifier by sending 150 watt power to the two component speakers and 500 watt to the sub.
The RMS power rating of Kenwood KAC-M8005 5 channel marine amp is as follows :-
- At 4 ohm : 300 watt x 1 channel + 50 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohm : 500 watt x 1 channel + 75 watt x 4 channels
- In Bridged mode at 4 ohm : 300 watt x 1 channel + 150 watt x 2 channels
The Kenwood KAC-M8005 has speaker level and preamp inputs, and Signal Sensing Turn On feature. It also has variable high-pass filters for the front and rear channels (50 to 200 Hz at 12 dB/octave) and variable low-pass filters for the sub channel (50 to 200 Hz at 24 dB/octave). In addition, the variable bass boost (0 to 18 dB at 40 Hz) enhances bass delivery of the subwoofer. The amp has a conformal-coated enclosure and plastic-covered speaker terminals to protect against water, wind, dust and salt. It has an extruded aluminum heat-sink cabinet which allows for effective heat dissipation.
The gadget’s circuitry is protected against over-heating, overloading and short circuits. For installation, the amp needs 4 gauge power and ground wires (sold separately). Fuse rating of the gadget is 30 A x 3, frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, signal-to-noise ratio is 100 dB and total harmonic distortion is <1%. Dimensions of the product are: 9 inches x 2-3/16 inches x 7-3/8 inches.
Key features :
- 5 channel Class D amp with MOSFET power supply
- MAX power 1600 watt
- Thermal, overload, short circuit protection
- Signal Sensing Turn On
Clarion XC2510 700W Peak Ultra Compact 5/4/3 Channel Marine Amplifier :
The next top 5 channel marine amp is the Clarion XC2510. It is a Class D amp with a peak power of 700 watt and 2 ohm stability. It can power 4 front and rear channel speakers with 50 watt per speaker and a subwoofer with up to 300 watt. The amplifier is ultra-compact and fits in small and narrow spaces. It has a heavy-duty aluminum housing and nickel-plated connectors to resist corrosion in the open marine environment. The circuit board is conformal-coated on both sides to prevent salt, wind and water induced corrosion. The circuitry has a soft turn on and soft turn off function to safeguard it against damage during power on and power off.
Power distribution of the amplifier is as follows :-
- At 4 ohm : 200 watt x 1 channel + 50 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohm : 300 watt x 1 channel + 75 watt x 4 channels
- In bridged mode : 300 watt x 1 channel at 2 ohm + 150 watt x 2 channels at 4 ohm
The Clarion XC2510 marine amplifier is a CEA-2006 compliant product with MOSFET power supply. It has high-level speaker and RCA input connectors. The high-level inputs let you connect the amp to any type of device including factory radios without RCA connections. The amp has ground loop isolation circuitry integrated into the system to lower input noise. There are variable high-pass filters (15 to 250 Hz, 12 dB per octave) on the front and rear channels. The filters attenuate signals below the cut-off frequency to elevate the higher bands. On the subwoofer channel there are variable low-pass filters (35 to 250 Hz, 12 dB per octave) and a variable bass boost (0 to 12 dB at 50 Hz). The low-pass filter attenuates signals above the cut-off frequency to focus on the bass while the bass boost intensifies the low-end thump. The Clarion XC2510 requires 8 gauge wires for ground and power connections. Fuse rating of the device is 40 A x 2. The product measure: 12.25 inches x 1 5/8 inches x 4 3/8 inches.
Key features :
- 5 channel Class D amp with max power output of 700 watt
- CEA-2006 approved
- Nickel-plated terminals
- Conformal-coated circuitry
- Ground loop isolation circuitry
- Soft turn on/on feature
- Variable LP, HP filters, Variable Bass Boost
BOSS Audio MR1950 5 Channel Marine Amplifier :
Another 5 channel marine amp highly recommended by powersports enthusiasts is the Boss Audio MR1950. It has MOSFET power supply and a staggering top power output of 1950 watt. It can power four or more marine speaker pods and subwoofers for the ultimate on-deck entertainment. The Boss Audio MR1950 has a rugged all-weather cabinet with a watertight rubber door covering the jacks and ports of the control panel. It has a fixed high-pass crossover for controlling the frequencies passing through the full-range speakers. It has a variable low-pass crossover for adjusting the frequencies passing through the sub. The amp also has a bass boost with subwoofer level controls. The variable bass boost increases the thump of the lowest bass frequencies. The amp is bridgeable too and can be turned into a 2 channel or 4 channel amp for high-impact stereo effect.
The Boss Audio MR1950 marine amplifier is a 2 ohm stable Class A/B amplifier. The device has low-level inputs for linking up with devices that have RCA preamp outputs. It has a variable input control so that the input of the amp can be suitably adjusted with the output signal of the head-unit. It has switchable input sensitivity for monitoring the input from the head-unit. The amp is protected against short circuits. A cable is included in the package for remotely controlling the subwoofer. Dimensions of the Boss Audio MR1950 are: 18.9 inches x 7.32 inches x 2.09 inches.
Its RMS power rating is as follows :
- At 2 ohms – 225 watt X 4 channels
- At 4 ohms – 113 watt X 4 channels
- Bridged at 4 ohms – 450 watt X 2 channels
- 563 watt X 1 channel 5th channel at 2 ohm
- 281 watt X 1 channel 5th channel at 4 ohm
Key features :
- 1950 max power 5 channel marine amp
- Bridgeable, watertight cabinet
- Rubber cover over control panel
- High-level and low-level inputs
- Switchable input sensitivity
Best 4 Channel Marine Amp :
Rockford Fosgate TM400X4AD Power Marine Amplifier :
The most top-rated marine amplifier at number one position is the Rockford Fosgate TM400X4AD. It is built with Class AD technology which is a proprietary innovation of Rockford Fosgate. The technology enables the amplifier to draw more power while using less current from the connected electrical system. This function is aided by the Constant Power feature which maintains power consistency to ensure the same output at 4 ohm and 2 ohm impendence levels. The TM400X4AD marine amp is an ultra-compact gadget. It is designed to fit in small spaces like in-dash storage units on boats. It measures just 1.6 inches x 4.3 inches x 8.3 inches, and weighs 1.5 kg. The amp has high-pass filters and low-pass filters to attenuate the incoming signal for the smoothest sound delivery. It also has all pass crossover controls.
The TM400X4AD is a bridgeable amp and can be converted to a 3 channel amp to drive a pair of speakers and a sub. It has auto turn on feature and high-level and low-level inputs. It has top-mounted controls so that the onboard crossovers can be easily accessed. The housing of the amp is made from high-quality stainless steel. The marine-ready circuit boards have 2 layers of epoxy coating. The cabinet and terminals are protected against moisture, salt, dust and UV rays. The amp features a 3-stage unique thermal lock extrusion system which uses real-time temperature monitoring and a double fan forced induction system to keep the amplifier cool and prevent over-heating. The device has remote out with high-level inputs and 2/4 channel input switch. The Rockford Fosgate TM400X4AD has a proprietary C.L.E.A.N. set-up. This means it has LED indicators for output and input clip detention for matching source to amplifier. The amp is built according to CE standards. It is also CEA-2006 compliant. Total peak power of the product is 400 watt.
The RMS power rating is as follows :-
- At 4 ohms – 100 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohms – 100 watt x 4 channels
- At Bridged mode at 4 ohms – 200 watt x 2 channels
The amp is 2 ohm bridgeable. It has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and input sensitivity of 150 mV – 12 V.
Key features :
- 4 channel marine-rated amp
- Built with Rockford Fosgate’s signature Class AD technology and Constant Power
- Innovative C.L.E.A.N. set-up feature
- 3-stage thermal lock extrusion for heat reduction
- Approved by CE, CEA-2006-comlpiant
- Max power 400 watt
Pyle Hydra PLMRA400 4 Channel Audio Marine Amplifier :
The second position holder in our review for 4 channel nautical amp is Pyle Hydra PLMRA400. It is a durable marine-grade 4 channel amplifier. The marine amplifier has a peak power output of 400 watt and Dual MOSFET power supply. It is ideal for powering speakers and subwoofers on boats and yachts. The PLMRA400 has high-level and low-level inputs which throw up a lot of options in terms of compatibility with sound sources and head-units. The high-level inputs let you connect the amp to a factory radio or any receiver which lacks dedicated RCA output jacks for an amplifier. The low-level RCA inputs are for gadgets that have RCA-type connectors.
The PLMRA400 marine amp has dual adjustable input GAIN level control (1 – 300 mV) for monitoring the line level input to reduce distortions. It has remote turn on/off feature for easy usability. The Pyle Hydra PLMRA400 is an IP-01-rated weatherproof amp with triple circuitry protection. It has thermal, overload and short circuit protection. The enclosure is an aluminum alloy heat-sink that minimizes heat build-up inside the amp and enhances longevity of the system. All RCA speaker outputs are gold-plated for resisting corrosion. The amp has an anti-thump delay circuitry and LED indicators to show power on status.
Maximum power output of the Pyle Hydra amp is 100 watt x 4 channels. It is a Class A/B amplifier with a frequency response of 15 Hz to 30 kHz. It has special connectors of dual RCA screw-type and 2 A fuse type. The device has a high-level input impendence of 100 ohm and a low-level input impendence of 10K ohm. Input sensitivity is 2.5 V (high) to 250 mV (low). The amp can work with pairs of speakers that have impendences of 4 ohm or 8 ohm. It needs a 12 volt DC power source. Total harmonic distortion is <0.04%. The product measures: 9 inches x 7.9 inches x 2 inches. It weighs 4.14 lbs.
Key features :
- 4 channel Class A/B amp with 400 watt peak power
- 4 channel marine amp
- Dual MOSFET power supply
- Dual adjustable input GAIN level control
- Thermal, overload and short circuit protection
Kenwood KAC-M3004 4 Channel 600 Watt Amp Marine ATV Boat Amplifier :
The Kenwood KAC-M3004 is another reliable 4 channel marine amplifier. It has a peak power output of 600 watt and is perfect for driving marine speakers and subwoofers in powersports applications. The KAC-M3004 is super-compact and measures just 6.5 inches x 1.75 inches x 4 inches. It easily fits in storage compartments of ATVs, boats, yachts and even motorcycles. It is a bridgeable amplifier and can be converted to a 2-channel amp to send 150 watt each to two subwoofers.
RMS power rating of the amp is as follows :-
- At 4 ohms – 50 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohms – 75 watt x 4 channels
- In Bridged mode at 4 ohms – 150 watt x 2 channels
The KAC-M3004 is a fully-marinized device. The enclosure is an extruded aluminum heat-sink designed to keep the transistor temperature from exceeding the safe threshold. The amp has conformal-coated circuit boards which protect it from salt water, dirt and wind-induced corrosion. The terminals have plastic-jacketed plugs to keep them safe and dry in the open high seas.
The Kenwood amp has speaker-level inputs and preamp inputs which make it a versatile device in terms of connectivity options. It can accept input from almost all types of sound sources including factory radios that do not have RCA outputs and receivers that have RCA connector cables. The amp has MOSFET power supply and Signal Sensing Turn On feature. So, when a signal source is connected through the speaker-level inputs, you are not required to run a remote turn on lead to your stereo system. The amp senses the incoming signal and turns itself on. The amp also has variable high-pass filters and variable low-pass filters for adjusting the frequencies flowing through the speakers and the subwoofer. Fuse rating of the device is 30 A x 1. Signal-to-noise ratio is 89 dBA and frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The amp is a Class D amp with CEA-2006 certification and 2 ohm load compatibility. It consumes 22 A current and has an operating voltage of 14.4 volt. For installation the amp needs 10 gauge ground and power leads.
Key features :
- 4 channel marine amp with 600 watt peak power
- Bridgeable amp
- Terminals have plastic jacket plugs
- Signal Sensing Turn On
- Preamp and speaker-level inputs
Pyle Hydra PLMRMP3B 4 Channel Micro Marine Amplifier :
At number 4, we have the Pyle Hydra PLMRMP3B. It is a rugged ultra-compact 4 channel amplifier with a maximum power output of 800 watt. It is a waterproof amp suitable for marine water-sports, off-road adventures and RVs. The PLMRMP3B marine amp has plenty of options for connectivity. It has RCA stereo inputs and includes a fully-marinized waterproof 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter. The adapted lets you connect the amp to a wide range of sources including smart phones, iPods, tablets and MP3 players. Adjustable high-level and low-level inputs are available for accepting input from various applications. The amp has an electronic crossover network for filtering the incoming audio signal frequencies. It has a number of settings for fine-tuning the audio. You can adjust the sensitivity at the input level when connecting with an RCA type source. You can jack up the polarity of the bass response. You can even adjust the gain settings to get the most out of the amp.
The Pyle Hydra PLMRMP3B marine amplifier has soft turn on and turn off feature for preventing damage during system power up. Total harmonic distortion of the amp is <0.05% and channel separation is >65 dB. It has a volume gain remote control (included) and anti-thump turn on feature. The amplifier has a frequency response of 10 Hz to 40 kHz and a signal-to-noise ratio of >95 dB. The device is 2 ohm stable and has a thermally protected circuitry. The amp comes with all the necessary mounting brackets and hardware. It also includes a waterproof polythene pouch with a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for holding the amp and keeping it dry while simultaneously playing songs on your connected smart phone. The terminals and switches of the amp are placed behind a watertight plug.
RMS power rating of the amp is as follows :-
- At 4 ohms – 100 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohms – 300 watt x 4 channels
Dimensions of the product are: 6.1 inches x 3.35 inches x 1.38 inches.
Key features :
- Ultra-compact 4 channel marine amp
- 2 ohm stable
- Max power 800 watt
- Soft turn on/off
- Includes volume gain remote control
- Includes waterproof 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter
- Waterproof polythene pouch
Velex VX-502 Water resistant Bluetooth 4 Channel Marine Amplifier :
The Velex VX-502 4 channel amplifier is a marine amp with Bluetooth. Its wireless ability gives it a clear and definite advantage over other amplifiers in the category. It can connect wirelessly with any media source for sound input. The amp comes with a 5 meter wired remote control. It has soft-touch illuminated buttons for power, play, pause, song selection and volume adjustments. The remote can be placed on the dashboard or any easily accessible place. The Velex VX-502 marine amp is a Class A/B amp with a max power of 400 watt (100 watt x 4 channels). It is an IP56-rated waterproof device perfect for boats, golf carts, tractors, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and ATVs. It has a conformal-coated printed circuit board (PCB) and weather-resistant stainless steel hardware for weathering hostile environmental conditions. The circuitry has standard triple protection: thermal, overload and short circuit protection.
The Velex Bluetooth marine amp can be mounted on your vehicle or vessel in 3 different ways. It can be flush mounted on a cut-out hole measuring 82 mm by 43 mm. The quick fount bezel does not need any harnesses or screws. The second option is to surface mount the amp. 2 oval-headed screws and 2 recessed screw holes in the flush mount bezel are provided for this purpose. The third option is to mount the amp on a handlebar using the included stainless steel clamp and the pan-headed screws.
The Velex VX-502 4 channel marine amp has an RMS power rating of 25 watt x 4 channels at 4 ohm. It has a frequency response of the 20 Hz to 20 kHz and a signal-to-noise ratio of >60 dB. The device has LED indicators to show power and protection statuses. It changes via a USB port. It has preamp RCA output connectors for pairing up with other amplifiers in a multi-channel set-up. The amp measures 3.9 inches x 8 inches x 2 inches.
Key features :
- 4 channel marine amp with Bluetooth
- Class A/B amp
- 400 watt max power
- 3 way mountable
- 5 meter wired remote control
- IP56 waterproof rating
Soundstream SM4.10000D Stealth Series 4 channel Marine Amp :
The last contender in the 4 channel group is the Soundstream SM4.10000D. It is a special Stealth Series 4 channel amp from Soundstream. It is marine-ready and has a slim shallow-profile enclosure. With a depth of just 3 inches, it can be mounted on literally any surface on your boat, golf cart or ATV. It can be mounted on dashboards as an in-dash amp or in your ATV storage unit. The SM4.10000D amp is suitable for powering marine speakers and subs. It can provide 90 watt power per channel for each of the front and rear speakers. It can also be bridged to a 2 channel system with up to 250 watt per channel for the subs. Max power output of the device is 100 watt.
RMS power is as follows :-
- At 4 ohms : 90 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohms : 125 watt x 4 channels
- In bridged mode – 4 ohms : 250 watt x 2 channels
The Soundstream marine amp has a weatherproof frame and circuitry. It has thermal, direct short and overload protection. It has high-level and low-level inputs. It has a QuickDisconnect RCA/high-level wire harness. The amp is a bridgeable Class D amp with MOSFET power supply. It has high-pass and low-pass filters (35-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave). The variable 12 dB high-pass filters allow frequencies higher that the cut-off frequency to pass through the speakers, and attenuate frequencies lower than the cut-off. The exact reverse is true of low-pass filters. They let bands lower than the cut-off pass through the subwoofer and attenuate the bands higher that the cut-off. Fuse rating of the gadget is 30 A x 1.
It has Audiophile Grade IRTM transistors. The printed circuit board (PCB) of the amp has Surface Mount Technology (SMT) for optimal sound output. The cabinet is made from extruded aluminum alloy heat-sink to keep a check on heat build-up. There are Quick Disconnect power and speaker output harnesses. The amp has high and low-level inputs for a variety of connections. A speaker-level input adapter is also included. LED indicators show power and protection statuses. The gadget needs 8-10 gauge (AWG) power and ground wiring for installation. It has to be bought separately.
Key features :
- Compact and low-profile 4 channel marine amp
- MOSFET power supply, Class D amp
- Audiophile Grade IRTM transistors
- SMT circuit board
- QuickDisconnect RCA/high-level wire harness
Best 2 Channel Marine Amp :
BOSS Audio MR800 2 Channel Marine Amplifier :
The best marine amp in the 2 channel category is the Boss Audio MR800. It is a bridgeable Class A/B marine amp with MOSFET power supply. It has a peak power output of 800 watt and a remote control for managing the subwoofer. The MR800 has high-level inputs and low-level RCA inputs. It has a variable low-pass crossover and fixed high-pass crossover. The amp also has variable bass boost for enhancing the low-end bass thump. A variable input gain control is provided for maintaining a balanced sound output. The device also has an input sensitivity control for controlling the volume.
The Boss Audio MR800 is a fully-marinized amplifier with a frequency response of 6 Hz to 50 kHz, which is greater in bandwidth that most amplifiers. It means the amp is capable of processing very low and very high frequency bands. The housing of the amp has UV protection while the PCB is conformal-coated to keep corrosion at bay. The control panel of the amp is covered by a watertight rubber door to prevent damage. The Boss Audio amp has 2 ohm stability and multiple options for set-up. It can drive a couple of marine speakers or 2 subs at 4 ohm, or drive 2 pairs of speakers or 4 subs at 2 ohm. RMS power at 2 ohm is 300 watt x 2 channels. Dimensions of the product are: 8.75 inches x 7.25 inches x 2.25 inches.
Key features :
- Class A/B 2 channel marine amp
- 800 watt max power
- 2 ohm stable
- MOSFET power supply
- Variable input gain control
Fusion MS-AM702 2 Channel Marine Amplifier :
The very close to number one and a pretty fast-selling 2 channel marine amp is the Fusion MS-AM702. It is a Class D amp that consumes less battery while delivering more output. It has a space-saving ultra-compact design and is ideal for powersport vessels, off-road vehicles and golf-carts. The Fusion MS-AM702 has a weatherproof housing. It has a waterproof chassis and a conformal-coated circuit board to shield against water and salt damage. The amp can be used to power a pair of speakers out on the deck together with a sub to create a multi-zone audio system. It has a max power output of 140 watt for 2 channels. RMS rating of the device is 26 watt/channel at 4 ohm and 43 watt/channel at 2 ohm. The amp is 2 ohm stable and has variable high-pass filters. It has adjustable full-range/high-pass setting.
The Fusion MS-AM702 has Audio Detect feature that helps it detect audio and automatically turn itself on. When not in use for a sustained period of time, the amp goes into sleep mode to save power. Operating voltage of the device is 10-16 Volt DC. It measures: 5.06 inches x 3.06 inches x 2 inches. It has a warranty of 3 years.
Key features :
- 2 channel marine amp with 140 watt max power
- Class D amp
- Conformal-coated circuitry, waterproof chassis
- Sleep mode, Audio Detect
Pyle HYDRA PLMRMP1B 2 Channel Marine Amplifier Receiver :
The final high-efficiency 2 channel amp is the Pyle Hydra PLMRMP1B. It has a max power output of 400 watt. It is 2 ohm stereo stable and has line-level RCA inputs. The amp has a waterproof body to withstand the rigors of marine life. It includes a waterproof bag to keep it dry in stormy weather conditions. It has thermal protection to prevent over-heating. It comes with a water-resistant 3.5mm stereo-to-RCA adapter for connecting to any sound source including smart phones, MP3 players and tablets. It has anti-thump turn on features and a signal-to-noise ratio of >95 dB. Channel separation is >65 dB.
The gadget can be used to power a pair of speakers and a sub on boats and off-road vehicles. It has an electronic crossover network and adjustable high-level and low-level inputs. There is a remote control for volume gain and soft turn on/off feature to prevent the circuit board from getting damaged during power up. Frequency response of the device is 10 Hz to 40 kHz. It comes with a wired volume control for easy monitoring of the volume from the dashboard of your boat or handlebar of your ATV.
RMS power rating of the amp is as follows :-
- At 4 ohms – 100 watt x 2 channels
- At 2 ohms – 300 watt x 2 channels
Fuse rating is 10 A and total harmonic distortion is <0.05%. Dimensions of the product are: 4.13 inches x 3.35 inches x 1.38 inches. It weighs 1.89 lbs.
Key features :
- 2 channel marine amp with 400 watt peak power
- Wired volume control
- Stereo-to-RCA adapter
- Waterproof carrying bag
- Anti-thump turn on, soft turn on/off
- Thermal protection
Now let us look into details of what you need to check before buying the right amplifier for your marine audio systems. Here we are presenting an authority buying guide for the same.
Marine Amplifier Buying Guide :
Adding a marine amplifier is an ingenious way to upgrade your boat’s sound system. An amplifier significantly improves the audio profile of speakers. It makes the sound richer and more nuanced. It increases the volume, and adds plenty of depth and detail to the soundtrack. More specifically, a marine amp elevates the music above the surrounding wind, water and engine disturbances so every lyric, every instrument, is crystal clear.
Role of a Marine Amplifier :
One might argue that a built-in amplifier inside a receiver is sufficient to boost a weak signal. While that may be true, one must also acknowledge that built-in amplifiers are small in size, which restricts their capability. Integrated amplifiers have limited space to work with. The cabinet of the receiver is often compact in size, and that acts as a limiting factor for the amplifier. Typically, the bigger an amplifier, the better its sound-boosting capability. For this reason, external amplifiers perform better than built-in amps. They are not constrained by space issues. They are beefier and far more adept at enlarging a feeble input signal.
If you want to add aftermarket marine speakers or a marine subwoofer to your existing sound system, you will need a marine amplifier. In both cases, you will need more power to drive the new units, which your old receiver might be incapable of handling. A separate amp will be needed to power the additional speakers/subwoofers. In fact, if you love bass, and enjoy bass-heavy music like EDM and hip hop, you will hugely benefit from an external amp. It will bring out the true flavor of the music and make your boat party truly exciting.
How many channels do you need ?
If you have a small boat with a simple pair of stereo speakers, a 2-channel amp is enough. If you want to add a subwoofer, you can get a 3-channel amp. It will take care of a pair of speakers and a separate amp quite easily. If you want more power for your sub, you can go for a 4-channel amp. Two channels will drive the pair of speakers and the other two can be bridged to power the sub. This is a flexible arrangement as you can remove the sub if you want and run a second pair of speakers in its place. If you want to add the sub too, you can have another amp to power the sub separately. However, if you want a more convenient set-up, a 5-channel amplifier is the best solution. It can power two pairs of speakers and a sub simultaneously. For larger sound systems with multiple speakers and subwoofers, we suggest you check out a good 6-channel amp. They are capable of driving almost any speaker combination, and are perfect for yachts and large boats.
What should be the power of your amp ?
The first thing you need to look into while buying marine speakers is their power requirement. Make sure their power needs are adequately met. The RMS power rating of the speakers is very important. It is the continuous power rating of the device and is usually indicated as a range such as, ‘5-60 watts RMS power range’. The upper limit indicates the approximate power at which the speakers sound best. But, most aftermarket speakers have conservative ratings. They can take a lot more power than their specified ratings. Around 150% of the printed limit is considered a safe level. However, keep in mind that speakers need at least 75% of their rated power to function well. So make sure the amp is able to meet that power requirement.
Minimum power :
For a pair of aftermarket speakers, consider their top RMS rating. But, if the speakers have different ratings, consider the lower rating and multiply that figure by 0.75 to get the 75% value. This is the minimum RMS wattage the amplifier should have per channel.
Maximum power :
For maximum power, just multiply the same lower rating by 1.5 to get the 150% value. This is the maximum RMS wattage the amplifier should have per channel. If your speaker system has a very low power rating, just adjust your amp’s gain to keep it at a low level. It will keep the amp from operating at top power and also keep the speakers safe.
Ideal amp wattages for small and large vessels :
If you have a small boat, the most desirable wattage per channel is 50 watts RMS. Make sure the speakers you buy have a top RMS power rating of at least 35 watts to go with the amp, keeping in mind the 75% 150% rule.
If you have a larger vessel, or just like loud music, you could opt for an amp with an RMS rating of 75 watts per channel, and speakers with a top RMS power rating of 50 watts or more. It doesn’t matter if the values differ by 5 or 10 watts this way or that. The idea is to find the right speaker-amp combination that gives you the best sound.
For ski boats and speed boats that have loud engines, the ‘max power’ approach is recommended. Here you need an amp with an RMS wattage of at least 100 watts per channel and speakers with an RMS wattage of at least 75 watts each. This will give the system enough muscle to rise above the surrounding distortions.
Marine Subwoofer Amplifier :
If you are looking for a dedicated amplifier for your high-power subwoofer, we suggest you get yourself a 1-channel mono amp. These amps are specially designed for marine subwoofers. They can work with a wide range of impedances, and have tone controls and filters for optimizing the bass output.
Normally, a 2-channel or 4-channel marine amp can be bridged to jack up their power enough to drive a subwoofer. But in reality, they are unable to handle the low impedance of the sub. As a result, they heat up too quickly or slip into protect mode. With a single-channel mono amp, you won’t face these issues. That is because it is tailor-made to work with marine subwoofers. The bass it generates does not overpower the music but blends in beautifully with the rest of the notes. Also, the low-end thump of bass is reproduced more clearly even at high volumes. In any case, remember to match the sub and the mono amp before going in for a purchase. Otherwise, you will be straddled with an amp that is unable to drive the sub as the sub’s impedance is too low for the amp to handle without heating up.
Here are a few simple rules to help you pick the right marine subwoofer amplifier.
- For a stock stereo, 50-200 watts RMS power for bass is sufficient.
- For an aftermarket stereo system, you will need around 200-300 watts RMS for the subwoofer.
- For amplified speakers with an RMS wattage of 50 watts per channel, you will do well with a 250-500 watt RMS rating for the sub.
- For amplified speakers with an RMS wattage of 100 watts per channel, you will need a minimum of 1000 watts RMS for your subwoofer.
- If you want to add a subwoofer to a factory-installed system, make sure the amp has speaker-level inputs so it can work with the factory speaker cables.
How weather-resistant is your marine amplifier ?
While selecting a marine amplifier, make note of its waterproof rating. You do not want a device that will spoil easy. It should be water-resistant and capable of withstanding harsh marine conditions. Amplifiers with shockproof cabinets, UV protection, corrosion protection and conformal-coated circuit boards are any day preferable. They are better suited for a long life on the high seas. They can comfortably function in the scorching heat in a salt water environment in the midst of fog, dust and snow. Additionally, look for amps with waterproof plugs or rubber doors on their connection ports. They have a better chance of making it through rough weather, and will last longer. Apart from this, ensure your amplifier has short circuit protection, overload protection, and thermal protection. It will keep the system safe in all situations.
There are two special product from JBL which are worth looking as marine amplifier. One is 4 channel operation and the other is 2 channel amp. You may find these two products interesting as well.
JBL MA6004 4-Channel Full-Range Marine Amplifier :
One of the leading player in the 4 channel category is the JBL MA6004 full-range marine amplifier. It is a weatherproof device with a shallow-profile stainless steel heat-sink and a fully-marinized circuit board. It is corrosion-resistant and ideal for boats and yachts. The JBL MA6004 is a bridgeable Class A/B amplifier with a peak power of 640 watt and RMS power of 320 watt. It is 2 ohm stable and CEA-2006 compliant. It can be used to drive wake tower speakers and subwoofers. It has onboard 12 dB variable electronic crossovers. It has high-pass crossovers and low-pass crossovers for fine tuning the incoming audio signal for the best sound output. It has variable bass boost to jack up the bass effect of your music.
RMS rating of the JBL MA6004 is as follows :-
- At 4 ohms – 60 watt x 4 channels
- At 2 ohms – 80 watt x 4 channels
- In bridged mode at 4 ohms – 160 watt x 2 channels
Dynamic power of the device at 2 ohm is 145 watt. It has Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply. You can daisy chain additional amplifiers to the JBL amp using the preamp RCA inputs. The gadget has soft turn on and soft turn off feature to protect the circuit from damage while powering up. The circuitry is also protected against short circuits, overheating and overload. Input sensitivity of the amp is 100 mV while signal-to-noise ratio is 80 dBA. Damping factor is 6.395 at 4 ohm and dynamic power output is 145 watt at 2 ohm. Total harmonic distortion is ≤1%.
Key features :
- Class A/B 4 channel marine amp
- CEA-2006 certification
- 640 watt max power
- Pulse Width Modulated MOSFET power supply
- Soft turn on/off
- 3 way circuit protection
JBL MA6002 2 Channel Marine Amplifier :
A very decent 2 channel marine amp we considered to be worth mentioning is JBL MA6002 marine amp. It has a peak power output of 160 watt (dynamic power output) and RMS 140 watt. It is perfect for driving a pair of coaxial speakers and a subwoofer on boats and yachts. The MA6002 is a marine-grade amp with stainless steel hardware and waterproof keys. The circuitry has protective coatings to safeguard it against corrosion from salt water, moisture dust and wind.
The JBL MA6002 marine amp has an onboard electronic crossover network with 12 dB per Octave (HP and LP filters). This means the amp has awesome tenability and is compatible with a variety of speakers. The amp also has a variable bass boost for improving the bass signature of the music. The JBL 2 channel marine amplifier has a low-profile heat-sink cabinet designed to fit tight spaces. It measure 9 inches x 10.25 inches x 2.18 inches. It hardly occupies any room and mounts discreetly on dashboards and storage units. Input sensitivity of the device is 10 mV and signal-to-noise ratio is 84 dBA (reference 1 watt into 4 ohm). The product has a one-year warranty.
Key features :
- 2 channel marine amp
- Max power 160 watt @ 2 ohm
- RMS power 140 watt
- 12 dB per Octave crossovers
- Low-profile heat-sink design
- Variable bass boost
Marine grade sound bars are considered complete solution for music in extreme water sports.
If you are considering compact subwoofers, then car underseat subs are good option to consider.