Marine Bluetooth Radio Gear - How It Works and How to Buy the Best.
If you love boating, but hate leaving your radio ashore, you need marine Bluetooth radio. Here's how it works, and more.
There are over 11.9 million watercraft registered in the United States. Getting out on the water is easily one of the most popular summer pastimes.
Nothing is better than dropping anchor, turning up the tunes, and popping a cold beer with friends. But what do you do when your stereo system is lacking?
You go out and buy a new marine Bluetooth radio, that's what you do! Not sure where to start?
Read this handy guide to help you know what to look for when shopping for your new marine stereo system.
What Is Bluetooth?
We are all used to wireless technology, but do you really understand how Bluetooth works? It works similar to radio wave technology. It is designed to communicate at shorter distances, usually up to 30 feet.
Devices that communicate through Bluetooth have a built-in radio antenna that allows them to send and receive wireless signals.
How Bluetooth Works.
Devices that use Bluetooth automatically scan and detect each other. Depending on the device, you can connect to one or more other devices at a single time. If you have a Bluetooth marine radio, you may want it to connect it to more than one phone.
Once connected, you can control the functioning of your marine radio on your phone. This typically includes power, volume, and song control.
Why Buy a Marine Radio?
You cannot buy a regular car stereo and think it will work in your boat. Marine audio systems can endure a lot of abuse that other stereo systems just cannot handle.
Your marine stereo will endure the blazing hot sun shining UV rays onto it. Then its watertight body protects the internal computer board and wiring from the water.
Marine stereos go through extensive testing during production to ensure that they will stand the test of time in your boat. This includes UV chambers to mimic hours of sun exposure, or salt fog chambers to mimic the saltwater exposure.
Every seal gets tested with pressurized water blasts. Every switch and port is confirmed to be waterproof.
What to Look for in Your Next Radio.
There are three key things you need to look for in the marine stereo system, water, UV and anti-corrosion resistance. Once you find a system that satisfies these elements, you need to make sure it fits the following qualities.
The Right Specs -
One thing that car gear and marine stereos have in common are the specs. You want to look for wide frequency response, lots of RMS power, enough USB ports, and a high CD signal-to-noise ratio.
These qualities will ensure that you have high-quality sound coming out of your speakers.
High Power -
Think about how sound waves work for a moment. They get created, and the vibrate outward. In a theater, they hit the walls and ceiling and bounce back towards the audience. This is called acoustics.
When you are out on your boat, you are usually out in the open. This means that there is nothing to bounce the sounds waves off of to bring them back around.
Because of this, you need a stereo with high power to produce a clean and clear sound. Most amplifiers come with a four-way amplifier.
If you are serious about your sound, you may want to install an external marine amp to pair with your stereo.
A quality stereo is going to give you 40 to 60 watts of peak power per channel. Most stereos have four channels. That means you're looking at 160 to 240 watts of power.
This should be plenty for any small boat. If you only plan to have to speakers, you will only be using half of that power anyway.
Useful Features -
The first feature you will look for in your system is Bluetooth. But beyond that, you have Sirius XM satellite radio, USB and aux connections, and even a CD drive.
Think about how you plan to play music and look for the features and connections that work for your needs.
If you plan to create a more extensive system, then you will want to find a Bluetooth radio that sets you up for that. This means you need to look for a system with plenty of preamp outputs so you can create a whole speaker setup throughout your boat.
Installation Size -
If you plan to replace your old stereo unit, then you have a cutout ready for your new unit. If you want to make the replacement easy, look for a unit that fits in the original hole.
Typically remotes come separate from the radio. However, it may be smart to look for a system that either comes with one or has a compatible remote available.
This will give you more freedom in deciding where to install your system. You can choose to install your stereo in the cabin, and then use the remote to control it from anywhere on or around your boat.
Buy a Marine Bluetooth Radio for Your Boat.
When it comes to buying a new marine Bluetooth radio for your boat, look for one that is waterproof. By purchasing a radio specifically designed for marine use, you can be confident that it will last through all of the abuse you throw at it.
Look for a unit that will fit into your boat to make installation less troublesome. You should also look for a radio that has the features you want, such as Bluetooth or satellite radio.
Check out these marine speakers to get the most out of your music while out on the water.