Best marine radio: Great sounds when you’re not on land
More than just a source of entertainment, the best marine radio is a crucial investment for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water. A marine radio system, equipped with exceptional signal power and waterproofing, keeps you connected when you’re not on land.
Of course, just like any radio, there are plenty of different kinds of marine radio out there, offering a broad range of benefits, depending on your situation.
Some boaters need budget-friendly receivers capable of withstanding regular use. Others are looking for a fully comprehensive AM/FM marine radio, with additional features like Bluetooth and CD playback.
Today, we’re going to share a selection of marine radio reviews, to help you make the right choice for your new investment.
If you’re looking to upgrade your entire boating experience fast, this Fusion marine radio kit could be the perfect solution. A powerful AM/FM marine radio, this Fusion system delivers entertainment wherever your next adventure might take you.
Integrating some of the latest marine technologies ensures you get the amazing listening opportunity you’re looking for, without the hassle of a complicated installation.
The Fusion MS-RA70 is one of the most versatile and elegant marine radio options available, equipped with a set of high-performance speakers to help you get set up in no time. The simple structure makes the device easy to install, and you can choose between flat or flush mounting.
Meanwhile, waterproofing to IPX7 standards ensures peace of mind.
Fusion-link wired NMEA 2000 certified product
Fish finder or card plotter integration
Two independent zones
Multiple radio sources available
Installation options for various mounting designs
Waterproof to IPX7 standards
Speakers included for fantastic all-in-one experience
High-quality on-water entertainment
The Fusion marine radio kit is a great purchase for anyone looking to enhance their on-water entertainment with one simple purchase. The biggest downside is the initial setup process, which can be difficult for beginners to grasp.
Fortunately, actually installing this device is a relatively straightforward experience, thanks to the intuitive design.
2. Boss Audio single din Bluetooth (best with Bluetooth)
This Boss marine radio combines performance and reliability to create an excellent investment for any boat fan. The solution plays a wide range of different music formats, from USB and SD inputs to AM/FM radio. Bluetooth connectivity means you can easily stream your favorite content too.
With a detachable front panel and output options to connect amp speakers, the Boss marine radio is a versatile and reliable tool. The front panel UV coating protects your machine from unexpected weather conditions.
There’s even the option to remember the channels you don’t want to lose with a series of pre-sets. For better peace of mind when you’re on the move, the Boss radio system comes with waterproofing throughout.
USB and SD ports
Excellent weatherproofing materials
Special UV protection coating
Access to audio apps like Spotify
Front panel detaching option
Connect to external speakers
With the Boss Audio marine speaker, you can enjoy a fantastic selection of musical formats with ease. The embedded Bluetooth functionality also ensures users can manage calls hands-free, without having to fumble with their phone when they’re steering their vehicle.
One of the best round marine radio options on the market, the Velex waterproof stereo with AM/FM radio is brimming with features. This AM/FM and DAB+ radio will play all kinds of music with ease. You can even plug in a device using USB.
Wireless audio streaming via Bluetooth also offers quick and easy connections to your smartphone and apps.
With an IPX6 waterproof rating, UV coating, and plastic protection, the Velex marine radio is an excellent investment. This device fits easily in standard gauge openings, with a coated circuit board for extra protection.
Power inputs and outputs include a USB connection, Aux input and external amplifier port.
AM/FM radio tuner
Wireless Bluetooth audio streaming
Plastic UV coating
Standard gauge fit for easy installation
Multiple input and output options
Preset station saving
With the option to save your favorite channels so you can find them more easily later, and a host of extra components for peace of mind, like a 1-year warranty promise, Velex has it all.
This round marine radio could be an excellent investment for anyone hoping to add more entertainment options to their boating trips.
These days, it’s tough to find a marine radio CD player, or a marine radio system with SW connectivity. However, you can still find tools capable of transforming your entertainment in other ways.
This Bluetooth marine radio from Velex combines audio and video with a large TFT screen. On the screen, you can see your AM/FM frequency, or the name of the song you’re playing.
With digital radio (DAB+) built-in, and a powerful automatic scanning feature, this is a fantastic investment for water-loving traveler. There’s a large heat sink to help drive your speakers without overheating, and you get IPX5 water resistance too.
IPX5 water resistance
Crystal clear sound quality
360-degree viewable screen
Built-in Bluetooth streaming support
Support for up to 4 speakers
Automatic DAB+ channel scanning
Convenient user interface
Large heat sink for protection
AM/FM radio included
The Velex audio video player is one of the most advanced marine radio options we’ve seen so far. This high-performance product comes with access to support for up to 4 speakers too, so you can expand your audio system in any way you choose.
Another comprehensive kit for anyone in search of a best buy marine radio system, the Pyle marine radio system is brimming with value. This in-dash LCD digital stereo with built-in Bluetooth and AM/FM radio comes equipped with a set of four speakers.
The waterproof speakers enable a surround-sound experience, while a remote control ensures you can skip songs anywhere.
Pyle’s marine radio system comes with a 30-station memory, ideal for when you need to keep track of your favorite channels. There’s an illuminated front panel for checking channel information, and a Bluetooth connection too.
The Bluetooth link means you can easily stream music wirelessly from your device, or answer the phone, thanks to a built-in microphone.
AM/FM stereo radio with 30 station memory
USB reader and SD card reader
LCD display with control buttons
Bluetooth with built-in microphone
2-way cone speakers (set of 4)
Easy to install with standard sizing
Power wiring harness included
An excellent all-in-one solution for the modern sailing enthusiast, the Pyle marine head unit kit is a fantastic investment. This convenient kit comes with a range of playback options, including the option to plug in your own devices through an SD card or USB stick.
If you’re looking for a radio you can keep handy when you’re working on your boat, the Cobra MR HH350 could be the ideal choice.
This 6-watt radio won’t play your FM/AM channels, but it will give you peace of mind by ensuring you stay connected to your crew. The submersible handheld radio floats on the water and comes with NOAA weather reports.
A noise cancelling microphone makes it easy to speak to your contacts as clearly as possible. There’s also a backlit display for tracking information, like which channel you’re on. A burp feature also ensures you can vibrate any excess water out of your speaker grill after the radio gets wet.
Coverage for US, Canada and international channels
NOAA weather reporting
Scanning to find channels quickly
Sea ready floating design with IPX7 rating
Clear communication with burp feature
Noise cancelling microphone
Excellent antenna included
Drop-in battery charger, plus a DC and AC charger
Loaded belt clip
The ultimate all-in-one device for keeping you safe and informed when out at sea, the Cobra handheld marine radio is completely sea ready. This device even comes with access to an automatic scanning feature, to help you find channels where people are active during emergency situations.
The term “marine radio” could apply to a tool used to keep you entertained when you’re travelling through your local waterways. It’s also the title people use to define emergency radios, intended for maintain communication with other boats.
This Uniden UM385 is a marine radio designed for ease-of-use and peace of mind.
With a triple-watch function to let you track multiple channels at once, and a IPX4 waterproofing rating, the Uniden has it all. This helpful emergency radio includes all NOAA weather channels and alerts, plus there’s a DSC feature.
Digital selective calling functionalities include position send and request, and distress panic buttons.
International, US, and Canadian marine radio
Triple channel watching functionality
NOAA weather alerts
Rugged handheld microphone
IPX4 waterproofing standards
DSC (Digital Selective Calling) function
Press one button to call for help in an emergency
Easy to use with backlit screen
Promising better protection when you’re in the more unforgiving parts of the ocean, the Uniden UM385 is an excellent product for any boat captain. This device, with its backlit screen for easy visibility, is ready to connect you to other boats and groups whenever you need extra help.
The Alexa button enables quick and easy support from your digital assistant, so you can find your favorite channels and enjoy the music you love in no time.
Bluetooth connectivity allows users to stream their favorite content straight from their smartphone. You can even connect up to five Bluetooth devices at the same time. This means everyone gets a chance to take control of the audio.
Front USB inputs allow you to load up albums saved to a flash drive. There’s also access to digital radio for checking the news.
CD player built-in
Aux and USB interface
Digital radio connectivity
Access to multiple smartphone apps
Streaming for up to 5 devices at a time
Marine ready with high durability
Multiple color illumination options
Android rapid charge feature
Remote app control
This marine radio with CD player is one of the most versatile options on the market, with marine control support built-in, and access to Sirius XM. You can adjust your EQ with the device or the remote application and charge your smartphone through the rapid-charge port.
The best marine radio for you will depend on a lot of different factors, including what you need your radio for. For some, the most important purchase will be the best marine radio with Bluetooth, so they can stream all kinds of entertainment on their boat.
Others prefer an AM/FM marine radio with access to extra features, like emergency broadcasting.
Our marine radio reviews above have covered a wide range of different options, from a marine radio CD player to the handheld products you can use to ensure you always have access to help when you need it most.
Here are some additional key features to look out for:
First, decide what you want from your marine radio. Do you need an AM/FM radio with DAB connectivity? Are you looking for a handheld radio to help you communicate with other sailors?
Maybe you just want an emergency system with access to NOAA emergency weather reports, to give you the extra protection you need.
The best marine radios often come with an IPX7 waterproofing rating, which means you can even drop your device in the ocean, and it will continue to work as normal. Some offer slightly different waterproofing levels.
The better the protection against the elements, the more comfortable you should be with your radio device.
If water does end up getting into your device, you’ll need to ensure it’s not going to damage the internal components. Corrosion protection and special coatings help to keep your device working as long as possible, so you don’t have to spend a fortune on replacements.
Though a commonly overlooked part of the marine radio, UV resistance is a very important investment. When you’re out on your boat in the sun, UV rays can significantly damage the performance of your device.
Making sure you have UV protection included for your product could keep it working for longer.
Most radio systems today come with a host of additional features, including Bluetooth connectivity, hands-free calling, and even the option to save channel pre-sets. Consider what kind of features you’re most going to appreciate when you’re out on your boat.
Options like a charging port for your smartphone can definitely come in handy.
Installation and ease of use
The easier your marine radio is to install and use, the better. Some devices are a lot more complicated than others. It’s best to check out user reviews before making your purchase, to ensure you don’t miss out on a great experience.
Choosing the perfect radio system for your boat can seem like a challenge, but there are plenty of great options out there.
Try making a list of exactly what you need before you start searching, to improve your chances of finding the right product. If you need extra help finding your next radio, make sure you check out our other round-up reviews here at Radio Fidelity.