Speakers for my 342

So I’m looking to upgrade my speakers. I was looking to buy the JBL 6520 but after looking at some of the reviews they said the speakers sounded great but the grills wouldn’t last. I’m looking for a Great sounding speaker without breaking the bank. It would be nice if they would come with lights but I would rather sound quality over looks.


  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 4,975 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have the 6510’s on my 330, they sound great. I had to replace the two lower ones on the arch because the previous owner didn’t cover the boat as much as he should’ve, one was slightly discolored and the others grill was cracked. The rest of the speakers are in great shape.
    2008 330EC
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 4,214 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Anything but Sony.  I've had multiple sets of Sony's marine speakers.  They crumble to dust after 2-3 seasons.  
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 5,905 mod
    John, I was looking at the exact same speakers this past weekend as well and read the same thing in the reviews.  I know someone that has the Kenwood KFC-1653MRW speakers and they sound great & so far have been good for two years & don't break the bank.  I think I'll be going with them.  Just been watching to see if I can get them on sale.

    I'm also looking to replace my 10" subwoofer.   got a really good deal on a JBL 12", but now I don't want to go thru the mods of making the hole bigger & I also don't have a grille cover.  I'm looking at Rockville MS10LW, but not sure.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • cruzancruzan Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    JL Audio Marine Speakers 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 2,872 ✭✭✭✭
    My 06 342 came with all Clarion so when I set out to replace the speakers I went all Clarion. I was able to watch Amazon Warehouse Deals and got all 6 speakers and the sub for around $250. You just need to watch the deals in your cart.... 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • StodgeStodge Lake St. ClairMember Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭✭
    I've had good luck with Memphis Audio marine speakers in the past.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 4,336 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I got Alpine marine speakers when I bought my boat in 2014 and they have held up well. I added an 8” JL Audio sub in 2018 for that extra low end. I got the silver grills on the Alpines for something different and they haven’t faded at all. 
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    I have had good luck with Pyle and kenwood 6.5 and 8 inch speakers for highs and mids In both my boats. I love jl audio for reliable good sounds with subs but they are too $$$.  I currently have 1 NVX and 1 Sundown in my daily being pushed by 1000 watts.  They pound like the jl.  Not w3 level but better than w1.  At sub 140 each for a 10 they dont break the bank.  I like to mix my subs as diffent subs hit different notes better so they can compliment one another.  I dont want to rattle the neighbours house but i do want to feel the thump of a bass drum.

    Audio pipe makes some decent amps that push what they are rated for.  If they need replaced every few seasons it's not much money lost, maybe 425-475 for both subs and amp.  My amp is 2 yrs old now in my daily, kept in the cabin of the boat id imagine it would last year's if kept dry.  If your cabin doesnt have mold issues its dry enough.  Our cabins probably have less humidity than my car trunk.   While not mairne rated most non China crap speakers, head units and amps are built with corrosion, rust and moisture exposure in mind from waterproof coatings to waterproof materials, glues and sealer. Your door speakers are most likely hanging on the outside of the moisturizer barrier in all of your vehicles. They are constantly exposed to moisture.

    I find the key to good sounding highs and mids is an amp, used more as a cross over but it keeps the sounds crisp and clean where a head unit alone tends to distort as you crank the volume.   
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganMember Posts: 4,932 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Polk DB-651’s. 👍🏻

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭
    Cant beat some polks even on a pioneer(my favorite head units) they sound pretty good with the volume cranked.
  • reneechris14reneechris14 Pawcatuck river CTMember Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭✭
    X2 Polk DB-651 do have to redrill but not cutting2 years and still look good
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
  • 69fastback69fastback Gunter, TXMember Posts: 634 ✭✭✭
    Hard to beat JL Audio for anything, be it speakers/subs, or amps. 
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    There are many brands that have better sq and sl than jl audio.  JL makes good most everything, not necessarily the best of anyting.    

    Digital designs are one of many.  Just make sure you're comparing Apple's to Apple's. Dont compare DD entry level sub to a W6
  • shawnmjrshawnmjr Detroit MIMember Posts: 1,804 ✭✭✭✭
    X3 on the Polk audio DB-651. My 246 came with them and just finished my 5th season and not a sign of aging and they sound awesome. 
  • 69fastback69fastback Gunter, TXMember Posts: 634 ✭✭✭
    There are many brands that have better sq and sl than jl audio.  JL makes good most everything, not necessarily the best of anyting.    

    Digital designs are one of many.  Just make sure you're comparing Apple's to Apple's. Dont compare DD entry level sub to a W6
    Yeah, and if you run good stuff, there is no need to mix subs to "compliment each other."

    Due to the nature of the open environment boats operate in, you inherently lose a lot of sound quality. For instance, in my truck I run Focal components in the front, and Focal coaxials in the back, with a JBL sub. Excellent sound quality all put together with a AudioControl d-6.1200 that has an excellent DSP. 

    The boat has 6 JL 7.7s, a infinite baffle 10", and 2 12" W6s and a lot of power. I have excellent sound reproduction, because that's what W6s are good at, and if I want to make some waves, I just turn the knob. That setup will play anything and sound good doing it. I would never spend the money on the Focals in the boat, regardless of how good they'd are, because so much of the quality is lost through the mid range just due to the envirominet they operate In, that they'd be so bright, all you'd have is ear piercing highs and a lot of lows. 

    Boats will never sound like car audio, when it comes to quality. Speaker placement options, outside noise, and an open cockpit will not properly recreate the sound. JL Audio for a marine application is very hard to beat. If only I could get it to sound like my old setup from my IASCA days, then I'd be happy. But the JL stuff does pretty dang good, for the money. 
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭
    Even running good stuff some subs inherently hit better notes than others.  Cone design, travel, different subs react differently in the suggested recommended box size, you can debate this all you want but the proof is in the specifications and that is not debatable.  I care more about sound than matching subs.  I ran w3s for years and my first set of elemental designs turned me from jl audio to the smaller companies.  ED is unfortunately no longer in business but i still have a 20 yr old set of 10s in my excursion paired to a punch amp from 1999.  The set up would long since been dead as a daily use but being my tow/vacation rig it's reliable, clean and hits plenty hard for my musical tastes.  The bass is too much for me when the little lady hops in and plays Dre or other 90s rap.  

    I'm more audiofile than noise making fan.  For the money you can get louder and cleaner subs than jl audio.  Im not knocking jl audio, they make a good product but just like buying Stihl equipment you are paying for name recognition.  It's most always going to be good but there are better products our there that sound better for less money. 
  • 69fastback69fastback Gunter, TXMember Posts: 634 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Actually, there’s more to it than the specifications. As I pointed out, boats lack the ability for proper installation, which is key to getting them to perform to their advertised specifications. What works on paper doesn’t apply to real world applications and the most correct thing you said, was “for my musical tastes.” 

    All of my audio, in everything from my house, to my outdoor setup, to my truck, and my boat are setup for SQ. I never said JL was the best on the market, and from that statement, you must have not read my previous post where I clearly said I wouldn’t spend the money on the best, because the operating environment kills any chance at retaining the high level of sound that can be reproduced. JL stuff isn’t expensive, and I’d put my boat against about anything for straight sound quality. Sufficient power, installation, and setup plays just as much of a part in quality, if not more, than brand does, within reason. 

    I don’t allow rap music in my boat, so I can’t help you there ;)

    now, what I actually said was it’s hard to beat JL, be it speakers/subs or amps, and since this is a boat forum, I was stating that in the context of boats. I whole heartedly stand by that statement. 

    Since the OP was asking about a coaxial speaker, I’d say all of this talk of full systems is irrelevant anyways. If you have room to open the hole up a little, I’d highly recommend the JL 7.7. It produces much more sound than any of the marine 6.5s on the market and they sound fantastic.  
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,791 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    My lady was born in the 90s and is southern born and bred, ill take her 90s rap over country any day of the week.  Country music is the one banned from my boat.  

    I also dont mix subs without making sure the specs on paper compliment one another, if the wave legnth or frequency dont jive you won't get good sounds.  Specs are not the end all be all of speakers but if you don't use them as a guide starting point you'll be hit or miss when you hit play.  

    I consider jl audio and especially marine jl to be very expensive.  

    If you have access to speaker pods or the ability to do some wood work/fiberglass work there is no reason you cant plan your stereo system around a boat to fit properly. You dont have the sound deflection or enclosure of a vehicle so getting loud without distortion should be top priority to make up for lost acoustics.  ive never set anyting up so the person behind the boat being towed can hear the music. My speaker level stops when in can hear the music yet still have a convo with people 25 ft away on a sandy beach.  

    With the selection of 6.5 and 8 inch subs that we didn't have 20 years ago there isn't much reason not to be able to properly fit enclosures.  There is also a huge selection of shallow subs now we didn't have before.  From voids in the cockpit walls to under seat storage, .5 to .75  c.f. of space will allow for many sub options.  I find many of the subs located in the cabin of a boat to sound better than cockpit mounted subs due to the better acoustics and almost bandpass effect.    It also keeps on deck storage space left open.  I like smaller enclosures due to the tighter bass but some people prefer the large ported pounding.  That's what she said. 

    Diesel is better...just so we stay relevant 😄

  • 69fastback69fastback Gunter, TXMember Posts: 634 ✭✭✭
    I feel like there are a lot of assumptions happening here....LOL

    Music type
    size and layout of boat
    what people are willing to deal with for sound installation

    we will have to agree to disagree in certain areas, as much of it boils down to installation, budget, and most of all, personal preference. If you’re ever in north Texas just let me know and I’ll let you listen to a well setup installation of JL stuff that wasn’t all that expensive, and it was setup by someone who competed in IASCA for 12 years. 

    Again, for the OP, if you have room, take a look at those 7.7s. They’re a great speaker. 
  • John41John41 Member Posts: 34
    Thank you for all your advice.So I’m starting to lean towards the Polk. I did read that the bass could be better. What do you guys think about the bass? I do have a sub I’m sure that will help. 
  • javhavjavhav new york nyMember Posts: 372 ✭✭✭
    @john41 me personally would go with kicker  I've installed many marine speakers all different brands but the kickers sound good last for ever and great price for budget build
  • bella-vitabella-vita Buffalo NYMember Posts: 350 ✭✭✭
    I have had those Polk on my boat for 5 years now. I’m happy with them
    2002 Rinker FV 342
  • The Main ExchangeThe Main Exchange Kansas City, KSMember Posts: 280 ✭✭✭
    Has anyone installed Rockford Fosgate RM1652 speakers? I am looking at those for our 300.

    2007 300 EC, 350 Mags, B3's, Table Rock Lake, MO

  • Lake_BumLake_Bum Flagstaff, AZ Member Posts: 524 ✭✭✭
    Has anyone installed Rockford Fosgate RM1652 speakers? I am looking at those for our 300.
    I used those in the past on a different boat.  I then switched to Alpine Marine's for highs, and was MUCH happier. 
    2000 Captiva 232 
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