Best Motorcycle Radio: Stay Connected On the Go
These radios allow you to listen to music and communicate with others on every motorcycle ride
Who doesn’t love listening to their favorite music while on the go? Most vehicles come with a radio that allows you to do this, but unfortunately, motorcycles don’t.
However, we’ve discovered some of the best motorcycle audio systems on the market that are portable, lightweight, and contain all the same features as an in-car radio. Take a look through the full range of options so you can stay entertained while you’re on the road.
Benefits of Motorcycle Radios
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- Communicate with other riders. One of the main benefits of motorcycle stereo systems is being able to talk with other riders or answer your smartphone while riding, without having to pull over.
- Listen to music. Without any distractions and safety in mind, you can play your favorite songs while cruising along. These radios are designed with excellent quality and power, so you don’t miss out on not being inside of a vehicle.
- Jazz up your motorcycle. These radios look cool and provide a sophisticated touch to your motorcycle and helmet.
Types of Motorcycle Radios
Motorcycle speakers that mount to a motorcycle’s handlebars play music aloud for all to hear. They’re robust and weatherproof to withstand all weather conditions, including snow and rain. They’re trickier to install, though, as they require handlebar mount equipment and accessories.
A radio that connects to your helmet, with no aux, is generally less expensive than speakers that mount to a motorcycle. They don’t offer the opportunity to charge your smartphone at the same time as listening to music via apps such as Spotify or receiving calls. They’re a popular choice for listening to music inside your helmet without disturbing others and taking personal calls without risking your safety while riding.
Opening its doors in 1946, the Kenwood Corporation was originally called the Kasuga Radio Corporation. With roots in Tokyo, it quickly developed a stronghold in the sound equipment industry. Merging with JVC back in 2008, this brand now represents the consolidated strengths of JVC and Kenwood electronics. Products range from radios for marine vessels to motorcycles to cars. Among its popular options is the Kenwood Flush Mount Coaxial Sports Series Speakers.
One of the few companies that focuses exclusively on audio equipment for motorcycles, Golden Hawk is a California-based company with an impressive selection of stereos and everything from powerful soundbars to products exclusively for Harley-Davidsons. In business for several decades, this company focuses on keeping up with the times by advancing its tech. A good example of this commitment to innovation is the GoHawk Second-Gen Waterproof Stereo Speakers.
BOSS Audio Systems
This brand stands out as a leading name in the soundsystem industry. BOSS. is an American brand founded in California in 1987. Since its inception, this brand has focused on both quality and diversification. While it does have supplies for everything from cars to motorcycles, boats to ATVs. It is a privately held company and the BOSS headquarters remain in Oxnard, though it now ships supplies globally. One of its best motorcycle radios is the BOSS Audio Systems Motorcycle Bluetooth Speaker System.
Motorcycle Radios Pricing
- Up to $70: For this price range, expect access to FM radio with a device that fits your helmet. It’ll have Bluetooth connection that’s generally compatible with two devices at the same time.
- $70-$110: Within this budget, you’ll receive speakers that attach to your motorcycle’s handlebars. The unit will be water and weatherproof and feature Bluetooth and auxiliary connections.
- $110 and up: For a high-end motorcycle radio, this won’t lose Bluetooth connection when driving at fast speeds. You’ll also receive more features for your music, such as play, skip, rewind, and more.
The sound quality is one of the most important features of a motorcycle radio. You can expect a range between 600-100 watts, which can affect the maximum volume and overall sound quality. Look into the maximum decibels, too, especially if you travel at high speeds or on uneven terrain. Most rated over 140 decibels are the best quality.
Depending on your budget and preferences, you can opt for a minimum FM capability. However, most come with Bluetooth connection, and some even allow multiple devices to connect to the radio at one time. If you wish to charge your smartphone while listening to music, the unit should have a USB connection that fits your device.
You want the device to remain long-lasting, so it must be equipped with high-quality materials. ABS and polycarbonate are preferred materials, as they’re sturdy but lightweight. Whether you opt for a Bluetooth device for your helmet or speakers that attach to your handlebars, you’ll likely wish for a waterproof feature. Check to see that it’s compatible and will remain working in the rain or harsh winds.
- Installation. Whether you opt for an audio system that attaches to your helmet or speakers on your handlebars, check that the device comes with all the necessary fasteners and mounting brackets you need.
- Distance. Motorcycle radios typically connect to your chosen device via Bluetooth. The distance of connectivity matters. If you wish to listen to music or chat with your friends off your motorcycle, check the distance covered.
- Charge. Another consideration is how long the device can operate before requiring a charge. Consider how long you travel to calculate the number of hours the charge should last.
Best Motorcycle Radio Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Best OverallBOSS Audio Motorcycle Speaker System
Looking for a sound system that is both resilient and loud? The BOSS Audio Motorcycle Speaker System lives up to these demands — and then some. For starters, they feature a straightforward design with the pair of rounded speakers funneling the sound directly to the driver. With a Class D amplifier included, it powerfully plays sound while remaining free of distortion. Mounting directly to any handlebar between ¾ inch and 1 ¼ inches, you can equip just about any ride with this setup. Provided it’s wired with a 12-volt setup, these speakers offer reliable sound and durable performance. Resistant to moisture, debris, and temperature, you can either connect via bluetooth or connect it via the AUX port. Improving the quality of motorcycle music, this set of speakers is a solid choice overall.
The only downside worth mentioning is the tricky installation demands. If you possess ample knowledge about wiring motorcycles, you might be able to tackle the job. Otherwise, the complex design requires you to take a quick trip to the shop.
Getting crisp audio while you bike shouldn’t break the bank, which is what makes the GoHawk Waterproof Bluetooth Motorcycle stereo Speakers such a solid value pick. Meant to work on any standard handlebar, this set includes two mounting speakers and the mounting hardware to attach them to the bike. By using aluminum housing, the speaker tech is protected from weather. Given the natural benefits of aluminum, it also resists overheating or issues with the cold. Featuring a 12-volt power connection, unlike many other selections, this model is as easy to install as it gets. Equipped with the ring terminal connector and color-coded wires, all you need to do is plug it in and you’re set to go. Complete with USB, FM radio, and microSD files, you can opt for either manual or Bluetooth to get your music going. Affordable and effective, this makes a worthy value pick.
Bear in mind that, while these motorcycle radio speakers are terrific in a lot of ways, they don’t have features like USB charging. As long as your device is at a good charge when relying on Bluetooth, there’s no issue. But if not, you can’t use this radio device to restore your smartphone’s power.
Premium PickKuryakyn MTX Road Thunder Motorcycle Sound Bar
In the market for something a little bit more advanced than the basic radio design? Check out the Kuryakyn MTX Road Thunder Motorcycle Sound Bar. It stands out as one of the heaviest-duty options, mainly in terms of its structure. The 300 watt peak power and single-amp USB port is relatively standard, but the large size of the speaker isn’t. This bar rings in at over ten inches across, mounting via brackets to the center part of your handlebars. Offering distortion-free sound at any volume, this radio incorporates advanced dome tweeters to optimize sound.
It’s rated at 1P66 standing for water-resistant benefits, making it safe to use in reasonable motorcycle-riding weather. Combined with the heat sink and circuitry failsafes, it won’t overheat or suffer over- or under-voltage issues. The manufacturer has a pending patent on the innovative clamps, featuring an articulating feature for easier attachment to the handles. A premium pick, this will definitely add to your bike.
It’s worth keeping in mind that this stereo is an investment meant for the long-term. Because of the price point, it’s best if you ride your motorcycle regularly. Otherwise, you risk paying a higher amount upfront and not reaping the full benefits.
Most VersatileRockville RockNRide Bluetooth Handlebar Speakers
Need a radio that is rugged enough to resist weather damage yet high-tech enough to keep up in the modern era? Take a gander at the Rockville RockNRide Bluetooth HandlebarSpeakers. Not only are they affordably priced, these speakers connect both manually and via Bluetooth. Including a reliable amplifier whose wiring is designed to prevent smooth sound flow, free of static, these compact speakers pack a punch. At only 3 inches across, the speakers might look innocuous, but the design is curved to push the soundwaves towards the driver. You can mount them on anything between ¾ inch and 1 ¼ inches, so they are compatible with most rides. The Bluetooth range is an impressive 33 feet, with the speakers able to handle 300 watts of peak power. Durable and weather-resistant, these budget-friendly speakers make a solid value pick.
It warrants a mention that, while you can use a USB connection to attach your soundtracks, this port is the least durable part of the speakers. These components are notorious for overheating and shifting, compromising performance. Aim to use the radio or Bluetooth to prolong this pick’s lifespan.
Honorable MentionGoHawk Waterproof Motorcycle Stereo
Want to feel the pulsing beat of your music while you drive? The GoHawk Waterproof Motorcycle Stereo stands out from the crowd as a high-quality model that focuses specifically on bass. It accommodates both AUX and USB input, compatible with entirely wired controls. Despite this, it does offer advanced Bluetooth technology. You can use the system to stream music or access FM radio. With a range of 15 meters, as long as you’re riding the motorcycle, the connection stays intact. Coming with all the hardware needed for installation, this model incorporates extreme waterproof abilities. Rated to a 1P56 standard, it can withstand rain, sleet or snow (not that you want to be driving in that weather). Mounting directly to any standard handlebars, the four-pack of speakers, each 4 ½ inches, offer a powerful music experience.
Keep in mind that this is a set of four, so make sure your handlebars can realistically fit both speakers. The extra speakers add power and give you extra volume and better depth, so long as they fit properly on your motorcycle.
- Consider your motorcycle’s handlebar size when choosing a sound system, as not all devices come in a universal size.
- A dustproof feature is useful if you tend to travel across sand or in dusty conditions.
- Check to see if the speaker has an auto shut-off mode if it’s sitting idle to avoid draining the battery.
Q: Will speed affect sound quality?
A: Generally, yes. Many audio systems aren’t equipped with excellent sound quality above speeds of 50 miles per hour. Consider your average speed, and select a radio that accommodates this.
Q: Are all radios weatherproof?
A: No. There’s a difference between weather-resistant and weatherproof speakers. Some devices can handle a few drops of rain, but if you’ll be riding when it’s pouring down, consider a waterproof design.
Q: What other features should you consider?
A: Consider the frequency response when looking for the best options available. You should also opt for a high-quality auxiliary to connect your smartphone to the speaker.
Now that you’re ready to deck out your ride with the best motorcycle radio, you can make your pick. We peg the BOSS Audio Systems Motorcycle Speaker System as the top choice overall for its weather-resistance and high functionality. If you’re trimming the budget — but still want that powerful audio — the GoHawk Waterproof Bluetooth Motorcycle Stereo Speakers are easy on the budget.