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
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED 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 road conditions. So, why not consider upgrading your bike'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.
A pair of 3-inch motorcycle speakers with one compact amplifier system. The speakers are designed with the latest waterproofing technology and run on 600 watts of power.
- Volume-control feature
- Classy matte black design
- Sound might not be clear at high speeds
- Annoying beep when you start your bike
Two coaxial speakers suitable for different vehicle types. They provide 200 watts of peak power and 50 watts of RMS each.The four-Ohm impedance and the 90 dB sensitivity ensure excellent performance.
- Sleek and compact design
- Polypropylene cones
- Bass is not that impressive
- Distortion might become noticeable at high volumes
This high-quality soundbar mounts on your handlebars with articulating mounting clamps. Your music will sound great, thanks to the built-in amplifier.
- USB charging port
- Built-in heat sink
- Limited handlebar compatibility
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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 Club Series 3-Way Coaxial Car Speakers with Gravity Magnet Phone Holder Bundle.
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
- 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.