Rock Your Boat

Published in the August 2012 Issue August 2012 Ask The Expert


Clarion is a well-known market leader in marine waterproof audio electronics. Its marine speakers, amplifiers, illuminated stereo covers, and brand new Bluetooth capabilities are very popular amongst boaters and manufacturers. A few familiar Clarion products are the Clarion M502, CMS1 stereos, and MFI wireless remote control.

The Clarion M502 stereo is compatible with the new SXV200 SiriusXM. It only has one connection, making it easy for satellite radio. It has the option of Pandora Internet radio compatibility, which makes it the first marine source available with this feature. It also has built-in Parrot Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming. The M502 has a splash-resistant control panel and blue illumination for easy visibility during those cloudy days on the boat.

The Clarion CMS1 sound system has all the basic iPod and MP3 hookups, as well as the Sirius satellite radio receiver that you plug in through the auxiliary input. This allows you to use the CMS1 black box to control everything so you don't have to worry about getting any water on your device.

Clarion also has the new MF1 wireless remote control kit with waterproof floating, and a secure clip for docking. It has up to 100 feet range and is compatible with the CMV1, CMD6, CMD7, CMS1, M309, and M502 marine stereo units.

Misty Harbor's Grand Mystique line includes the M109, which is a standard Clarion deck model. This model has a marine CD receiver with built-in amplifiers, detachable face and optional remote control.

Jensen Marine Direct

Avalon Pontoons use a variety of stereo systems in their boats and strive for the most dependable stereos in the industry. Avalon's Paradise 2585 Elite boat that was in our Shootout Boat test issue comes with the Jensen MSR2107 stereo. The Jensen MSR2107 is not only dependable, but user-friendly. It has an enclosed unit for your MP3/iPod. It is waterproof and can hold up to 1GB (250 files) of music in its built-in memory card. This allows the user to load his favorite jams and have them every time he's on the boat. It has an USB input as well so you can plug in your iPod or MP3 player as well as an AUX port to play from a headphone jack if needed.

The display has large buttons and is easy to read. Included with the stereo are four high-performance Jensen speakers along with the stainless steel logo speaker covers. This is a great product for those of you who aren't the most tech-savvy people.


The new Prospec Millennia MIL-iDock docking station goes perfectly with the Millennia MILPRV21 stereo. With the appropriate adaptors, the MIL-iDock allows you to connect portable media devices to the USB drive and AUX input, all within an enclosed drawer. The MIL-idock has a slide drawer system to provide a safe, weatherproof docking station. The Millennia MIL-idock ensures it will connect to all your trendy media devices and stay dry the whole time.

Sound equipment plays a very important role in whether or not your boat looks up to date. You don't want to be the only boat out on the water with the ancient, run down stereo, or the speakers that rumble because they're blown out. Everyone loves to rock out to some good music while on the lake; that's what makes boating fun. So get the next step in marine sound equipment and you will love how your favorite tunes are displayed on the stereo, and the spectacular sound that radiates from the speakers.


The Fusion MS-IP600 stereo is used in Nautic Global Group's high-end boats like the Sanpan and Aqua Patio lines. Fusion Electronics has a license with Apple to be able to plug in iPods and use a similar interface as Apple products. There is even an app you can download on your smart phone that will allow you to run the stereo from your phone, which is what many people are doing, and why they love Fusion stereos.

The speakers in the Sanpan and Aqua Patio are placed higher in the boat for better surround sound, and so the carpet won't absorb the sound. They have a total of 11 speakers in the boat, which makes for high frequency and spectacular sound.


Several manufacturers include the Sony GT260MP stereo with its standard features. This stereo includes features such as detachable faceplate, front AUX input, MP3/WMA playback, iPod support, and has red key illumination. The power source for this package is a premium Alpine Digital amplifier that delivers crystal clear sound for hours on end, and you don't have to worry about draining your battery.

Another popular model is the Sony CDX-H910UI, which is a high-end marine deck, and provides top-of-the-line performance and features. This package includes the premium Sony deck, 6-inch kicker speakers, a 10-inch sub and an Alpine amp.

Sweetwater pontoons use Sony stereos because of the good price and simplicity and because the units include an AUX input and a CD player. Sweetwater gives owners the option of whether they want to listen to a CD or an iPod/MP3 player. Bill Erdman, engineering manager at Nautic Global Group said, "Most customers are still demanding both the docking station and CD player even though the trends are steering away from CDs."

Bennington Marine uses the Sony M6 Stereo. It has a flip-down detachable faceplate, front AUX input, a USB plug in for MP3 players/iPhones and iPods, and a satellite radio that is HD Radio ready.

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