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Old 20-07-2020, 09:14   #16
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

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Originally Posted by lawrence_craig View Post
Hi all,

I am a bit of a music lover like most of us. I am missing the sound system from my car on board. I have fairly good sound quality up on deck as the two deck speakers are mounted on a good sound well to provide enough bass. However my speakers down below are missing depth and vibrance. Can anyone give me any practical experience of improving their sound system? I am also concerned with power usage etc so advice there would be appreciated. I'm on a Bavaria 46. Thanks.
We would agree with a previous comment - Bluetooth rules onboard.
All 3 of ours are waterproof; two of them float.
There was an old, beat up car stereo on the boat when we bought it, and we quickly removed the 'built-in' cockpit speakers and plugged the sizeable holes.
To me our two Costco Bluetooths are fine, especially for around $60 each. 8-10 hours on a charge, with minimum ding to the batteries. We move them around as we like, and secure them in place with a bit of Velcro.
But I should add that I have 'profound' hearing loss in both ears, and that I don't wear hearing aids - which makes me very easy to please when it comes to audio! A friend on the boat next door wears a JBL speaker on his belt loop when working around the boat; sounds great to me also.
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Old 20-07-2020, 09:23   #17
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

I’ve been happy with the Fusion MS-UD755 head unit and Fusion subwoofer along with a pair of 6” Bostons and a pair of ADS bookshelf speakers in the saloon. The cockpit has small 4” speakers that are just ok, but we seldom want big sound there. Nice thing about the Fusion head unit is that you can control it via the app on your phone or ipad or the NMEA2000 network. So when I am underway and need to turn the volume off or down, I can do that on my chartplotter. I can stream music from any BT device or USB. Most of the time we use the Astell & Kerns AK70 digital player. Pricey and a pain to use with my iMac, but great sound.
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Old 20-07-2020, 09:25   #18
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

The OP didn't say what the system was in his/her car. That might make a difference. The average car system is quite frankly **** compared to a home system. That being said if the OP has a good car system and likes it, they could buy the same system for boat and scale it up.

It's worth bearing in mind a few things.

Just like a car speaker placement isn't going to be optimal but should be better than in a car as you have more choice.

You will need more powerful amplifier (watch out for distortion) since you are covering a larger space and possibly have more speakers.

More powerful amp, uses more power. 100w is going to be close to 8a at 12v.

If going for bluetooth then make sure it uses the latest standard or better yet, wifi. That means Apple products are out they use AAC rather than aptX HD.

Multi-room might be worth while if you have a good sized boat. That way you can have the music louder in the cockpit when entertaining, and lower inside like around the galley.

Loud music is great for when you have a lovely spot in a secluded anchorage and another boat starts headed your way. Play obnoxious songs and they anchor further away. Aqua Barbie girl works. Daphne and Celeste - UGLY or Stick you, Maybe Lords of Acid - I wanna see you pussy.
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Old 20-07-2020, 10:01   #19
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

I sail so as to get away from the noise, especially other people’s too loud noise. Add a chest rattling base and I go manic. What works well for us are quality headphones when we aren’t listening for whales. The wild is a beautiful place to hear its voice. Working down below at the dock, I do use my car stereo and its speakers or wireless headphones.
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Old 20-07-2020, 10:09   #20
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

+1 on the Fusion MS-UD755. I installed on in our salon using the PO's 8" waterproof speakers (I believe they are Bose) in the cockpit and 6" JBL speakers in the salon. I added a small two-zone Fusion Marine Zone Amp (MS-AM702) connected to a pair of Fusion box speakers (MS-OS420) in the v-berth. Sound is awesome and the power use is surprisingly low. I really like being able to control the volume in all zones either together or independently, and I like being able to control the whole setup from either my phone or my Raymarine MFD.

While I have been really pleased with the Fusion equipment and would buy their stuff again, if I were to do it over I would pick a different head unit and skip the box speakers. The UD755 has an internal dock for a phone, iPod or MP3 player. It's a great feature, but phones today are too big to fit in the dock. I use an old iPhone 5s as an iPod and it works, but it's not the best option. As for the speakers, the box speakers sound great, but they are too big and in the way. Instead, I would go with some of the shallow-mount speakers Fusion is now selling together with surface-mount rings (https://www.fusionentertainment.com/...ries/sm-x65spb) or corner mounts (https://www.fusionentertainment.com/...ies/sm-x65sp3w) which are less obtrusive than the box speakers. In fact, I may make that change this winter and install the Fusion box speakers by the pool instead.
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Old 20-07-2020, 10:17   #21
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

Have a Fusion MS 750 as the radio/multifunction player with 2 JL M770 etxv3 cone speakers down below (these are fully enclosed designed for ext mounting on power boat), powered by JL M400/4 amplifier...highs are very good, lows are pretty good...went with these speakers so i didnt have to cut to mount. Each is mounted on underside of headsail track thru bolts, facing astern, near foot of port & starboard pilot berths. Only issue is, no cockpit speakers yet. Can increase volume to hear in cockpit but then painful to go below. Looking for exterior mounted speakers for cockpit w/o cutting into boat...
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Old 20-07-2020, 11:02   #22
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

Bose Resolve+. Use it on my sailboat, powerboat, paddle board, golf cart and more.
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Old 20-07-2020, 12:31   #23
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

JBL bluetooth speakers let you connect multiple speakers to the same source (unlike others I have tried). This would give you plenty of sound for a party and is a good all around solution. But I went with an older Fusion head unit, a Fusion remote, and a Kenwood amp for the third zone which powers a pair of Bose environmental speakers that were gifted to me. I have 6" Fusion speakers in the salon ceiling and 6" monoprice speakers in the cockpit. The Boses reach the outside cabintop when in "party" mode. I have an aux audio jack inside and another outside. The system can also control an older style Ipod (wide plug). I have no bluetooth. The great thing about my system is that I can control the three zones and have a master volume from the wired remote at the helm station. I can switch off the juice to the Kenwood/Bose part to save power. The Fusion head unit was pre bluetooth and didn't cost much off of E-bay. Here is the absolute best deal on some marine speakers, I have been through a few pairs only because they yellow in the sun and are cheap to replace. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8555
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Old 20-07-2020, 12:49   #24
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

So many with Bluetooth... but that ain’t good audio ? I believe you can’t get lossless audio over Bluetooth?
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Old 20-07-2020, 13:04   #25
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

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So many with Bluetooth... but that ain’t good audio ? I believe you can’t get lossless audio over Bluetooth?

Yes, I believe that truly lossless BT is very rare. That being said... it's still pretty freaking good. If you've ever been in someone's house and they have a full Sonos setup, it's very pleasant for most listeners. It's more than adequate for sonic wallpaper, or for tunes at happy-hour.

Unless you're spinning CDs or vinyl on your boat, you're already listening to data-compressed files, and the BT link to the powered speakers is more than capable of transferring that without compromising it.
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Old 20-07-2020, 13:05   #26
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

Most Bluetooth speakers also have an aux in if you are worried about loss or interference. They sound amazing for their size!
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Old 20-07-2020, 13:14   #27
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

Wow, thanks for all the responses! A lot to consider.
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Old 20-07-2020, 13:28   #28
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

I have a JBL Boombox. It is expensive but it is true, it'll play 24h on a charge and it is waterproof. We bring it everywhere. Good sound quality. Bluetooth or aux cable, etc.

I like high end systems. When I lived on land I had some nice klipsh speakers, however, for a boat, the boombox is awesome.
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Old 20-07-2020, 13:33   #29
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

My vote is for the Fusion systems that fit your needs. I had different Sony and JBL, and Pioneer radio/CD/Bluetooth, etc over the years and was settled on the idea that I would have to go all out with a whole new set of speakers and an amp to get decent sound. None of these gave "good" but they played some background all about the same.

Then I saw the Fusion with two zones and thought that would let me avoid installing a selector box and its iPhone/Android interface allows me to change songs, or media as well as volume in different zones without having to go down into the main salon.

All these were pluses but the bonus was the six speakers all had totally more depth and range with no other additions in equipment. Mine is the RA70 which is one of their basic units and there are others with more features and abilities that you may want or not.

I have two small speakers inside the cabin (zone 1) and 2 speakers on the aft deck and 2 on the bridge that make up zone 2. Each can have their own volume control from the unit itself or the phone via bluetooth.
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Old 20-07-2020, 13:52   #30
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Re: Good sound system on a boat

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Yes, I believe that truly lossless BT is very rare. That being said... it's still pretty freaking good. If you've ever been in someone's house and they have a full Sonos setup, it's very pleasant for most listeners. It's more than adequate for sonic wallpaper, or for tunes at happy-hour.

Unless you're spinning CDs or vinyl on your boat, you're already listening to data-compressed files, and the BT link to the powered speakers is more than capable of transferring that without compromising it.
Hold on there... I have everything Sonos and it is lossless, but it is wifi, not BT!
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