5 Signs That It's Time to Replace Your Boat Speakers
How do you know when it’s time to replace the speakers on your boat?
Picture this: The sun is high, the water’s warm(ish), and you’re skimming over your favorite lake/river/ocean for a little escape from the noise and chaos of life on land. The only thing that could make this day of fun and relaxation even better is your favorite song dancing over the sound of the water lapping and/or engine roaring if you’re on the go. You turn on your marine stereo, scroll to your favorite station/streaming service, and hit play—only to find that the result is underwhelming. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to make a change to your marine sound system.
Here are 5 signs to keep an eye out for that may indicate it’s time to replace your old boat speakers or marine audio:
Do you hear static when you turn on the stereo? If the static isn’t due to a tuning problem with the radio or disconnected Bluetooth, this annoying white-noise could be a result of the speakers themselves. When speakers age and/or suffer damage, the wires and connectors that make them work can begin to loosen and eventually tear, resulting in the need for costly repairs or replacements, at which point audio quality may be restored, at least to some degree. The kind of audio equipment used in marine, motorcycle, powersport, and even spa environments typically experiences significantly more environmental challenges than traditional audio equipment; from the obvious risk of water intrusion that could damage a device to the often-unsung villains of salt, fog, UV rays, and even excessive heat, outdoor sound systems tend to wear out faster than your traditional indoor system.
Like static, the sound of pops coming through your speaker could indicate damaged wiring and connections, or possibly the presence of water inside the device. Even speakers billed as waterproof may be vulnerable to liquid intrusion, depending on their age and design. This is why it’s important to check out a company’s experience with and reputation in the waterproof audio industry before purchasing, as not all waterproof speakers are made equal. In fact, the term “waterproof” can refer to a range of protection, represented by a device’s IP Rating. A pretty standard rating for waterproof audio equipment is IP65, where the first number represents the protection against intrusive particles, like dust, and the second number represents the device’s protection against liquid intrusion under pressure.
3. Sound gaps
If you’re singing along to your favorite song and suddenly find yourself singing along when the beat fails to drop, this is another indication that your speakers might be going out. Missing words, dropped verses, skipping music, and other types of sound gaps can indicate some of the same problems discussed above, and are another sign that it’s time to make a change to your sound system. Does anyone else miss the days when a skip in the music just meant it was time to buff the scratches out of your favorite CD?
4. Visible damage
Aside from the lesser inconvenience of disrupting your aesthetic, visibly damaged speakers can represent more problematic damage to come. For example, cracked plastic can allow for harmful water intrusion, and likely means you’ll be experiencing the problems detailed above if you’re not already. Plastic that is extremely faded by the sun is another indication that if your speakers aren’t going out yet, they might soon, as audio equipment designed for boats and similar environments is supposed to be designed with protection against UV rays and other hazards. Seriously faded plastic likely means the speaker is either A) old enough to retire; even well-made speakers can suffer serious UV damage over time, or B) not designed with sufficient environmental protection.
5. Sound strength and clarity
Finally, one of the biggest indications that it’s time to replace your speakers has even less to do with damage to or age of the equipment, and more to do with a speaker’s ability to perform. Boating and other adventure environments are known for presenting high levels of background noise; from the wake rushing behind the boat, to wind, engine noise, and particularly vocal seagulls, it’s important to invest in a sound system for your boat that is audible wherever you go, with enough clarity that you cannot only hear your music but understand the words as well.
If it’s time to replace your old boat speakers or you’re simply looking for an upgrade, don’t forget to check out Aquatic AV’s 6.5” Speakers and matching 10” Subwoofers. From customizable RGB illumination to top-of-the-line sound power, our speakers have everything you need for the ultimate aquatic adventure without sinking your budget. Aquatic AV speakers also offer the bonus of extreme energy efficiency, allowing you to use less power without compromising sound quality.
Ready to browser-window shop? Explore our waterproof adventure audio here.