Best Marine Amplifiers- Review and Buying Guide
If you are like most boat owners, you have found yourself asking one, several or all of these questions:
Maybe you have answers to some of these questions. And yet here you are; seeking more understanding of marine amplifiers. You don’t want to take chances when selecting the right amp for your automobile.
Our researchers have spent tens of hours exploring the world ofmarine amplifiers. Now, ready your mind for a deep dive into the ins and outs of this world. This well-researched buying guide for marine amplifiers encapsulates expert knowledge of audio equipment. It also gives you a framework for witty assessments of marine amplifier alternatives worthy of consideration by a serious buyer.
Below is a quick-view table showing the 8 ranked amps.Then, make sure to see short, direct-to-the-point reviews of each marine amplifier featured in the table.
45w x 4 channels
Peak: 100w x 4 channels
RMS: 94w x 4 channels
RMS: 45w x 4 channels
Peak: 250w x 4 channels
RMS:100w X 4 channels
RMS: 220w X 4 channels
1. Kenwood 1177524
Kenwood 1177524 transforms any basic marine sound system into a powerful setup that pumps out music with clarity and oomph. It is a compact Class D amplifier designed for the toughest land and marine conditions. Neither slight splashes nor salty or sandy environments will stop the music given by this well-protected marine amplifier.
Features of Kenwood 1177524
Kenwood 1177524 is a powerful yet compact and easy to install marine amp that syncs flawlessly with your Bluetooth device. It comes backed by Kenwood’s superior expertise and trustworthiness.
Let Kenwood 1177524energize your boat’s audio system with up to 400 watts power and efficient sound amplification.
2. Pyle PLMRA400
The PLMRA400 is a part of Pyle’s upgraded Elite series of waterproof amplifiers. It’s one of the few universally compatible amps on the market, meaning it works with a wide variety of stereos. More importantly, its premium performance features enable it to facilitate the reproduction of high-quality sound regardless of the source.
Premium features and capabilities of Pyle Hydra PLMRA400
Pyle PLMRA400 is a great deal if you are looking for powerful audio performance. Surprisingly, Pyle put a very favorable price tag on it. You cannot find such an inexpensive yet high-performing amplifier anywhere else. Kudos Pyle!
Give your boat’s audio system the ability to impress above the windy and noisy conditions characteristic of outdoor applications.
3. BOSS Audio Systems MC900B
A unique all-terrain, fully-marinized amplifier, the MC900B is built to give you great power amplification value in light weather conditions. It has a wide variety of capabilities, some of which are uncommon to other marine amps featured in this review of best marine amplifiers. Explore them below as you determine whether it fits your needs.
What makes the MC900B different?
Just listening to music isn’t as impactful as feeling it. Industry leader Boss Audio Systems has gone the extra mile to ensure that the MC900B revs up your music with power and passion.
Take advantage of the top-of-the-class audio engineering technology that Boss Audio Systems MC900B showcases.
4. Kenwood KAC-M1814
Kenwood KAC-M1814 is a 4-channel bridgeable marine amp with 2 ohms capability. It’s designed to power your high-performance speakers on any outdoor automobile. It’s compact to fit in tight locations, and it’s well protected against water splashes, moisture, sand, and other elements.
Features of Kenwood KAC-M1814
The KAC-M1814 is a budget-friendly option for a powerful, highly durable, marine-rated amplifier. If your existing stereo has been too weak for the windy outdoors, this amp is here to double the power and ensure that you get powerful audio the outdoor noises notwithstanding.
Grab Kenwood KAC-M1814 today and let the music flow all day or night on your boat or motorsport vehicle.
5. Rockville DBM25
Other marine amps claim to be powerful but the DBM25 shows what real power means. This amp stands in its own class with 1500 watts peak power output. The RMS output is 750 watts, which is still way higher than the power rating of most competitors. What’s more?
Incredible attributes of Rockville DBM25
Rockville DBM25 is the real deal if you want the best of both worlds – powerful output and a favorable price. You cannot get a better deal at such a price.
Choose the DBM25 for guaranteed distortion-free music playback at all volume levels.
6. Pyle PLMRA420
Pyle Hydra PLMRA420 is a 4-channel marine amp that can be bridged to operate in a 2-channel mode. Among all the amps featured in this review, it’s the only amp that seems to give the powerful Rockville DBM25 a run for the money. You’ll be amazed to learn that it can pump up to 1000 watts to your sound drivers. Explore more about this amplification powerhouse below:
Outstanding features of Pyle PLMRA420
Despite the downside of having limited channels, Pyle PLMRA420 is a powerful marine amplifier with a favorable price tag. It comes with reliable marine-rated features for assured durability.
Consider Pyle Hydra PLMRA420 if you want something that can power a marine stereo with two speakers.
7. Rockford Fosgate TM400X4AD
Rockford Fosgate is one of the most trusted audio equipment brands in the industry. The brand always ranks in speakers and amplifier reviews by experts and customers. The TM400X4AD competes with stable power output and durability. See below how its features contribute to giving users great value for their money:
Features of Rockford Fosgate TM400X4AD
This is a high-end marine amp from one of the most trustworthy brands on the market.You will not think about buying an amplifier again for the next few years after installing this amp to your automobile’s sound system.
Don’t hesitate to pick Rockford Fosgate TM400X4AD for high-level audio performance during your outdoor escapades.
8. NVX VADM2 440W
Last but not least, we have NVX showing off the VADM2, a 440w RMS class D microamp. This power amp might look like just about any other average compact thing but the amount of power it delivers is unbelievable. The VADM2 fits in your hand like an iPhone, just to give perspective. This is like all other amps in the new VADM line of microamplifiers released by NVX. Now, let’s get to the features that matter.
NVX VADM2 Highlights
NVX VADM2 is no doubt a wonderful marine amp. Consider it if you are looking for great power in an unusually small unit. It’s the easiest to stash under the driver’s seat or any other tight space on your automobile.
Get the VADM2 to experience NVX’s unparalleled amplifier engineering technology.
Important Considerations for Selection of the Best Marine Amplifier
Every manufacturer of marine audio equipment wants to make their piece of equipment as durable, power efficient, and compact as possible. However, one manufacturer’s level of effort or industry expertise is rarely equal to a competitor’s. Also, a brand may design an amplifier model targeting a particular customer profile. Ultimately, the options available for marine amplifiers are different in terms of design, function, durability and more. What’s suitable for a motorboat owner may not be equally attractive to a yacht owner.
That said, it’s paramount that you take your time to assess every alternative in your consideration list based on your requirements of a marine amp. Here are the crucial aspects to investigate:
Number of channels: Most marine amps have either a 2-channel or a 4-channel configuration. A 2-channel ampcan power two speakers. If there are more than two sound drivers in the system, a 4-channel amp is the better fitting option.
Is the amp bridgeable?: Some marine amps are bridgeable while others are not. Noteworthy, having a bridgeable amp doesn’t provide obvious advantages. If you are running two speakers whose power needs can be easily met by the amp’s individual channels, you are good to go. A bridgeable amp comes in handy when you have a big speaker or a subwoofer that requires more power than one channel can provide. In that case, you combine two channels and dedicate them to the speaker or sub.
Power: It’s common practice among manufacturers to indicate power handling in a way that makes the amplifier look good. Thus, you’ll see marine amp advertisements with ‘shouting’ PEAK power handling details.
It’s important to remember that RMS rating is the truer indication of an amp’s power capabilities. Thus, start with assessing the RMS power an amp pumps to every channel. If you are satisfied that this amount of power is enough for your speakers, you can go ahead and consider PEAK power handling. PEAK/MAX power handling is an indication of the power that the amp can deliver in the most demanding situation, say, when playing music at the highest volume.
Protection features: Current, short circuit, and overheat protection are great aspectsof any amplifier. In addition to these, marine amps require special protection against outdoor environment elements such as water, moisture, salt, and sand. When selecting the right marine amp for your automobile, check its water resistance, rust and corrosion resistance, and ignition protection.
Protection against water and moisture damage is indicated by IP rating. Rust and corrosion resistance is enhanced by the insulation of connection terminals. Brands use materials such as plastic to cover terminals for reduced risk of rusting and corrosion.
Versatility: How many applications does the amplifier fit? Besides boats, in which other automobiles can it fit? Can it work with factory and aftermarket stereo systems? Evaluate the versatility aspects of the amp you are considering for purchase. An amplifier with high-level and low-level inputs, for example, can work with a wide variety of factory and aftermarket systems.In addition, check user reviews to get first-hand information about the amp’s performance in different applications.
Size: Finally, the size of the amp will influence your choice of installation location. Also, the unit’s size will determine how easy or hard installation is going to be. Compact amps and microamps are better alternatives for automobiles with limited installation space.
There is no shortage of high-performing marine amps on the market. From the above list of 8 top performing amps, you can choose the suitable alternative for your boat, car or other automobile. We included marine amps with different price ranges so that you can find one that fits your budget.
Why Kenwood 1177524 is our pick for the best marine amplifier
The 1177524 is a favorite of many music enthusiasts for many reasons. First, it’s a powerful marine amp that can handle up to four channels. Secondly, its construction shows off Kenwood’s excellent workmanship as one of the most experienced brands in the industry. The amp is well protected to withstand the roughest treatment on water and land. Additionally, its compact design makes setup simple even in vehicles and boats with limited installation space.
Of course, all these would mean little to you if Kenwood did not take care of sound quality. This is not the case. When you install the 1177524, you are going to notice significance difference in sound quality especially in the mid-range and low frequencies. Many customer reviews have reported enjoying clearer sound with a crisper mid-range and more distinct bass. Another great thing about this marine amp is that it connects to your smartphone and other devices via Bluetooth.
To top it off, Kenwood included a remote controlto allow you easier and more convenient control over the amp’s functioning.
There you have it. That’s our final say. What’s your pick for the best marine amplifier?
You may Also Read: How to Install a Replacement Marine Stereo