If you own a boat, a yacht, or any other marine vessel, you know that adding a stereo system can enhance your cruising and watersports experience. Speakers blasting your jam will play a major role in your enjoyment of the waters. Just like when you’re driving, you probably love listening to music to make your drive less boring, especially when you’re alone.
Difference of a Marine Speaker vs. Car Speaker
If you have upgraded your car speaker system, you might wonder if you can use the same for your boat. But these speakers have their own differences, making it important to choose wakeboard tower speakers when installing a speaker to the wakeboard tower of your boat and to get a car speaker system when installing a sound system for your land vehicle.
1. Design and material
From its appearance to the materials used, there’s a lot of difference between wakeboarding speakers and car speakers. Marine speakers are made of weather-resistant materials that can withstand abuse from weather and water. Deck speakers have it rough since they’re directly in the line of fire when you’re hosing down after a cruise. Meanwhile, tower speakers get all the weather, plus the occasional whack from a fishing pole, crab net, a ski, or a tall guest. Because of this, a cheap pair of speakers will age faster.
Most marine speakers are built using heavy-duty components that can handle harsh marine conditions. These speakers usually have unique plastic cones whose main function is to protect the speaker from water damage. Meanwhile, standard car speakers are made with simple paper cones since car speakers only operate indoors.
Marine speakers are surrounded by rubber to protect the internal components, and the grilles are tougher. Manufacturers of high-quality marine speakers usually put the speakers under rigorous testing before selling. The sealants in circuitry boards are also usually weatherproof for enhanced protection from harsh elements. On the contrary, car speakers don’t have special sealing, for they are meant to be used in an enclosed space where environmental elements are not an issue.
The materials used to design the woofer will have a significant impact on the quality of tower speakers. The stiffer and more lightweight the materials are, the more responsiveness you get. The woofer surrounding is also an important consideration – if the surrounding isn’t made of durable materials, the speaker will eventually crack and break. Though you can’t control how much humidity you expose the speakers to, you can choose speakers with a long-lasting woofer surrounding.
Make sure that your wakeboard tower speaker is made with aluminum cans because it’s resilient by nature and can withstand even the worst possible weather condition out there. It also needs to have an anodized or powder coating. Without an anodized finish, aluminum can be vulnerable to oxidation, which will eventually lead to corrosion. Wake tower speakers can also be protected with speaker covers made of outdoor polyester fabric.
The marine rating may not be the first thing you look at when searching for tower speakers. But still, it’s an essential factor to consider. The speakers must be marine-rated so you can use them in a marine environment and get the best audio performance. Like if you were to submerge them in water, they must be able to take the hit and still work just fine. Marine-rated speakers can withstand abuse from the sun’s harsh UV rays and salty waters.
On the contrary, car speakers are not designed that way. Their rubber and plastic components can’t withstand sudden temperature changes, and they are made of basic materials that can rust when used in a humid and salty environment. So, if you were to install your car speakers in a boat, it would hardly last long.
3. Sound projection
The ability to project and disperse sound differs between marine speakers and car speakers. The sonic functionality of a speaker is not just about within the boat, but also behind it. For this, you need to mount the speaker on a tower to disperse the sounds further behind the speeding boat.
Wakeboard tower speakers play music to empty air the entire time. They are not powerful enough to play louder behind a speeding boat. The rapid sound dispersion of a marine speaker might result in distortion, which can ruin your wakeboarding experience. Fortunately, you can get the most out of tower speakers by using a marine amplifier.
For wakeboarding, you also need boat speakers that can disperse sound in a wide area since you’ll often move side to side without control. A marine speaker is designed to project and disperse the sound to a wider area than a car speaker.
Meanwhile, a car speaker lacks the ability to project sound in a wide area since it’s meant to project sound in a small and enclosed car space.
4. Ability to overcome obstacles
Marine speakers have a lot more to overcome, such as the wind, waves, engine noise, seagulls, and other boats to contend with. Since it’s an open water environment, it needs to be heard well than the obvious noise of water waves, roaring engines, and strong winds.
On the contrary, car speakers compete with fewer obstacles and work in an enclosed space. Even if the car engine is not that quiet anymore compared to when it was new, the passengers will still hear the music well once the windows are closed.
Boat speakers typically cost more than car speakers. Since they are made of more rugged materials that are designed to hold well under extreme conditions, these speakers are more expensive to build. This makes car speakers more affordable than boat speakers, so you won’t be surprised to find someone using their car speakers in their boat.
Good marine speakers make a big difference for your boating experience, especially if you’ll be doing water sports like wakeboarding and wake surfing, where you want to enjoy music while cruising behind the boat. Wake tower speakers are what you need for blasting music while you’re in the water since the sound of the engine, waves, wind, and seagulls will blur the sounds of an installed boat speaker. If you’re looking for the best wake tower speakers, check this out.