LAST UPDATED: June 20, 2019
Best Motorcycle Speakers: Enjoy Your Favorite Tunes as You Blast Across the Road
Enjoy listening to music over the roaring engine as you blast across the road with our top picks for the best motorcycle speakers
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON June 20, 2019
There is no better feeling than cruising on your motorcycle while listening to your favorite playlist with some of the best sounding speakers. Besides, riding a motorcycle with your earbuds plugged in is unsafe as it pulls your attention away from the ongoing road conditions. So, why not consider upgrading your motorbike's sound system with a pair of high-quality speakers? We are here to separate the good from the bad with our best motorcycle speaker review. Read on.
Bluetooth connectivity increases play options. Offers the convenience of hands-free calls.
Allows use of external storage devices such as SD cards. Equipped with a built-in FM radio.
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Benefits of Motorcycle Speakers
- Make your trips enjoyable. Are you tired of listening to the sound of your motorcycle engine when on long trips? Well, you can change this with high-quality motorcycle speakers. We understand that there are times when you might need silence, but go for some high-end speakers for when you want to share your playlist with the world.
- Navigation ease. You can take advantage of the connectivity options offered by some of the best motorcycle audio systems. Just connect your smartphone to the system and you can get the directions from the speakers without having to stop. Plus, you won’t have to keep looking down at your smartphone for directions.
- Great outdoor entertainment. Having an audio system on your motorcycle means you can listen to music anywhere you like as long as you have your bike. Whether you are mowing your lawn or watching the sunset somewhere far away from home, the speaker sound system will keep you entertained.
- Boost the resale value. Installing an audio system on your motorcycle will boost its overall value. In case you want to sell the bike in the near future, the sound system may be the reason you get more money from the sale. Some buyers may be looking for such convenience features and will shell out more money when they find them.
- Get more motorcycle show points. If you are planning on participating in a motorcycle show, high-quality speakers will help you score some extra points since some judges have their eyes on stereo upgrades. Though the speakers may not guarantee that you will take home the top prize, they may put you a spot above the other contenders.
Types of Motorcycle Speakers
The name says it all about these types of speakers. They are typically mounted on the motorcycle handlebars. Most of them will come with mounts which are easy to install and allow you to adjust their direction according to your preferences. In addition, most of them are sold with an amplifier system to ensure you get the best sound quality.
Helmet Motorcycle Speakers
Helmet motorcycle speakers are modern technology devices that are fitted on a motorcycle helmet. These speakers will allow you to listen to your favorite music from different devices using Bluetooth connectivity. You can also make hands-free calls, communicate with other riders through intercom technology, or receive GPS instructions. They are easy to set up and are better than earplugs that hurt or fall out of your ear.
Boss Audio is a leading audio and video products manufacturer. The company has been in operation for over three decades and has its headquarters in Oxnard, California, and other operating offices in Shenzhen, China. The company’s products are sold in online stores and storefront retailers across more than 130 countries. Some of the high-quality motorcycle speakers the company makes include the Boss Audio MCBK420B and the BOSS ATV25B motorcycle speakers.
Pyle Audio is an American company that manufactures consumer electronics and audio equipment. The company sells its products through online retailers and big-box stores. Pyle was established in 1960 and is headquartered in New York City. The company sells an array of speakers, including motorcycle speakers, such as the affordable Pyle PLMCA20.
JBL is a loudspeaker manufacturing company owned by Harman International Industries. The journey to JBL started back in 1946, and today it is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Over the years, the company has introduced different products into the audio industry, including portable speakers that can be used on motorbikes, such as the JBL Wind Bike Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
Best Motorcycle Speakers Pricing
- Under $50: This price range is mostly for small motorcycle speakers that come with basic features. Most of these speakers are 3 inches wide and typically have wattages of 50 and below. Most do come with mounts for easy installation but might not have Bluetooth functionality.
- $50-$100: This price range is for mid-range speakers that might have advanced features such as wireless connection, built-in microphone, and an amplifier. They are made of durable materials and can also be mounted on a bicycle. However, most of the speakers in this category might not have remote volume control unless it’s from a high-end brand.
- $100 and above: These are the high-end products of the industry and come with multiple useful features such as Bluetooth functionality, remote sound control, and different connectivity options. They are more durable and can come in sets with more than two speakers.
When buying a motorcycle speaker, it's important to decide on the type that will suit your preferences. Your choice on the two main types (motorcycle handlebar-mounted speakers and helmet speakers) will depend on the level of comfort and safety you prefer when riding. Handlebar speakers are louder and have a wide range of functions. Helmet speakers, on the other hand, are easy to use and offer the advantage of hands-free communication.
Speaker wattage or RMS power is the maximum volume a speaker can produce at its peak power level. The higher the speaker’s wattage, the louder its volume. If your aim is to ride around town or a neighborhood, you might want to choose a speaker with low wattage to keep the noise at a minimum. Go for high wattage speakers for long off-country drives where you can play your music as loud as you'd like.
Since the motorcycle’s audio system will not play music on its own if it has no FM radio, it's a good idea to look into the input options available. Some speakers will come with head units that will diversify the input sources. Most, however, will have an amplifier that allows AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, flash drive, and SD card play. Make sure your system of choice will allow you to play music from your favorite devices.
Though most motorcycle speakers are waterproof, it's always important to confirm that the unit you are interested in is water-resistant. Your speaker will be exposed to snow, ice, and rain since you will most likely mount the speakers on the bike’s handlebar. A good-quality speaker should have a durable finish that protects it from water and other weather elements.
- Mounting Options: There are some handlebar speakers that are more difficult to mount than others. You have to pay attention to the size of your handlebars and the flexibility of the mounts. Make sure you choose mounts that can let you change the direction of the speakers. If you don’t think handlebar speakers are for you, you could always settle for helmet speakers.
- Sound Quality: You don't have to be a professional producer to appreciate the good-quality sound. When choosing a speaker, keep in mind that you will be listening to your favorite jams as you ride your motorbike. It’s, therefore, important to ensure that the sound coming from the system is crystal clear.
- Extra Features: There are extra features aimed at making your ride smoother and safer. Features such as thumb control will ensure that you do not lose concentration on the road when operating the audio system. Other features may include docking ports that ensure that your external music source does not run out of battery, Bluetooth audio streaming and weatherproof speakers.
Best Motorcycle Speakers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Boss Audio MCBK420B, a two-speaker, one-amplifier unit, is one of the best handlebar speakers. This system comes with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to play from Bluetooth-enabled devices such as MP3 players and smartphones. The speakers come with a two-channel amplifier that boosts the audio quality of the speakers. Also, both the speakers and the amplifier have a compact design and are made of waterproof material.
The 3-inch speakers have a matte black finish and are fitted with adjustable brackets that allow mounting on handlebars that range from 0.75 inches to 1.25 inches in diameter. The amplifier has a 0.14-inch AUX input compatible with MP3 devices and smartphones. In addition, this unit has an inline volume control that you can install anywhere you find convenient. Everything is included in the package and the installation process is quick and easy.
However, these speakers don’t have an 'on' and 'off' automatic switch that would protect your battery from draining. Moreover, the sound might not be as clear as expected at high speeds. There might also be an annoying beep when you switch the motorcycle on. They are, however, suitable for motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, and any other 12-volt vehicle.
Kicker is a well-known company that produces vehicle audio solutions ever since 1973. These particular speakers are favored among car and motorcycle drivers. Each one of them provides 200 watts of peak power and 50 watts of RMS. With the four-Ohm impedance and the sensitivity of 90 dB, the Kicker speakers make an excellent upgrade to the audio system of all vehicle types.
Another great thing about these speakers is the sleek and compact design. Each device measures 5.25 inches and weighs four pounds, allowing for easy installation in different areas. The rigid polypropylene cones are also designed to prolong the lifespan of these speakers. They even have polyester foam surround to reduce vibrations and ensure more durability.
Still, these speakers won't blow you off with powerful bass and might lack some clarity on lows. Although the sound output is decent and able to satisfy most drivers, audiophiles might want to get something more powerful. The distortion at extremely high volumes might be another issue, so you won't quite be able to crank these up to full power.
With a low profile and a variety of playback options, the JBL Wind speaker makes our list as a great portable speaker, with a decent audio performance. The unit comes with an FM radio and a microSD card reader to broaden your entertainment experience. It has a water-resistant rating of IP45, which means that the speaker is designed to prevent low water jets from damaging the unit.
The speaker has a carabiner adapter that’s easy to install and detach and forms a strong and steady attachment when mounted on a motorbike’s handlebar. You could take the speaker wherever you go to prevent theft, and it runs on a rechargeable battery that can last for up to eight hours on a single charge. It’s also integrated with a microphone, and you could take hands-free calls after you connect your smartphone to the unit via Bluetooth.
It’s not all bells and whistles with the JBL Wind as it’s external antenna is weak, and that makes a poor FM radio. The speaker also has poor midrange frequency which translates to poor quality vocals when playing audio files. You may notice that the speaker pauses a lot or skips a few words when you are listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
If you're looking for rugged speakers to mount on your motorcycle, the Polk coaxial model might be a perfect option for you. This pair is marine-certified and has an IP55 rating for water and dirt resistance. It can withstand salt, fog, UV rays, and humidity—all the conditions you'll be facing during your motorcycle rides.
Considering the excellent weather protection, these two speakers can work without any issues through all kinds of situations. With them, you can enjoy quality sound on your motorcycle for a long time. The speakers have a peak power of 300 watts and an RMS of 100 watts. The frequency range goes between 55 to 2200 Hz. Overall, they are quite powerful and able to deliver a decent sound for rocking your favorite songs when on the go.
The only thing that lacks is the bass. These speakers provide a super crisp and loud sound but are quite small and, therefore, unable to produce ground-shaking bass. If you expect the high-end performance from your new audio system, these won't satisfy you. Also, the installation might be a little tricky depending on the motorcycle type. You might need to make some adjustments for a proper fit.
Lexin speakers offer a perfect combination of small size and decent power output at an attractive price. It's an ideal option for those looking for motorcycle speakers that will make rides more enjoyable without breaking the bank. With the peak power of 50 watts in a small size, the speakers deliver a decent quality sound, while also being easy to install.
The compact design allows you to install these speakers wherever you find it more convenient. The three-inch body can fit almost anywhere, from handlebars to saddlebags. Additionally, the speakers feature all-weather protection and have a built-in Bluetooth A2DP stereo, USB port, and an FM radio tuner. You can enjoy stereo music from your smart devices and even connect a 50-watt amplifier for more power.
We highly recommend these speakers for casual rides under 50 mph. For listening to music at higher speeds, you'll probably need to look for other options. The Lexin speakers are not loud enough to get through wind, traffic sounds, and other environmental noises. Another thing to keep in mind is that the volume button is a little touchy. It takes some time to get used to it.
These little speakers are powerful enough to be heard through a speed of 65 miles per hour. Although incredibly small, they offer 100 watts of peak power and ensure a crisp and clear sound. For the price, they are one of the best available options on the market.
When it comes to construction, the GoHawk speakers are built with durability in mind. They feature high-quality materials and can withstand constant exposure to water and dirt. Along with high durability, compact design is one of the biggest benefits of these speakers. It allows you to easily mount the speakers on handlebars or any other place you find convenient. Once installed, the speakers give you an option to listen to FM radio or plug in your phone by an AUX cable. The Bluetooth feature is even more convenient.
The only thing that might trouble you with the installation is the included wiring. It's not very long, and you might need to buy new wires to mount the speakers in the desired place. The other possible issue might come from the remote. Because it’s prone to damage, you’ll have to handle it carefully.
Polk Audio speakers make an excellent choice for those who want more power for their aftermarket motorcycle audio system. It's a smart investment that allows you to enjoy a full music experience on your whereabouts. Even high speeds can’t muffle the sound coming from Polk speakers.
These are three-way coaxial speakers, which means they deliver full and crisp sound. That's one of the things that makes them special—a wide specter of tones. You'll also love powerful bass and clear mids and highs.
Along with high power output, these speakers feature durable design. They are IP55 rated and resistant to water and dirt. That means you can cruise the roads without worrying that rain and dirt will damage your sound system.
The main thing to keep in mind with these speakers is the price. Those who are on a limited budget will have to search for other options because Polk speakers require quite some extra cash. Another drawback comes from the flimsy wiring design. It might get damaged easily, so we recommend careful handling.
Last but not least, we have these quality speakers from Pyle. The things that make them worthy of your attention are an impressive power output, sleek and simple design, and user-friendly features for more music options. All these things ensure a great music experience for motorcycle drivers.
Speaking of outstanding performance and high power, the speakers offer peak power of 800 watts. That's quite impressive and allows you to hear songs clearly while driving at high speeds. The immense power packs in a four-inch housing, which is another great thing.
Although very powerful and highly resistant to weather threats, these speakers are not bulky at all. You can install them wherever it works best for you and enjoy streaming favorite songs from your phone, tablet, or any other device. The Bluetooth connection gives you an option to operate these speakers with ease.
All these benefits and features come at a price. You'll have to add more cash to get powerful and convenient speakers like these. Although it's a smart investment, some people won't be able to afford Pyle speakers. Those who do end up buying this model might have to spend a few more bucks on the installation accessories as well. The package might lack an adhesive and other items necessary for a stable mount.
- As you choose your music files, make sure to select low-level compression files. Low-level compression files take up more space but will offer better sound quality, especially in non-confined spaces like a motorcycle.
- Consider installing the speakers on the handlebars and face them towards you. That way, the speakers project sound directly to you and offer you the best sound quality. You may notice that such a placement may eliminate the need for high-volume speakers.
- It may be an inconvenience to hook up your smartphone or other devices with cables to your speakers. The devices may fall off when riding at high speeds. Consider using the Bluetooth functionality of the speakers to play music files automatically, and receive hands-free calls.
Q: Will my handlebar controls still work after installing an aftermarket speaker?
A: Yes, they should still work as normal. Some manufacturers also offer installation kits that are compatible with factory controls. However, if you are worried about mixing up the wires or controls while installing the speaker, you could have a professional install it for you.
Q: Why does my amplifier keep on blowing my speakers?
A: That often happens when you buy a separate amplifier from the speakers. The amplifier may have a low impedance and consequently blow out your speakers. Also, be sure to check the wiring of the amplifier and the speakers. Improper wiring can lead to overheating, burnt wires, or blown-out speakers.
Q: My motorcycle speakers are shutting down on their own. Should that happen?
A: Some manufacturers fit their speakers with automatic switches that shut off the speakers when the motorbike is off. If that’s not something the manufacturer advertised with your speakers, then the problem may be a slight electromagnetic interference. You can fix that by moving the speaker’s power cord away from the engine.
Our top choice for the best motorcycle speakers is the Boss Audio MCBK420B for its compact amplifier, quality sound, and volume control.
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly motorcycle audio system, you can check out the Kicker D-Series 2-Way Audio Coaxial Speakers.