A marine gauge radio is essential for boats that have a length of more than 65.5 feet.
With the help of a gauge marine radio, you can establish a connection instantly between your boat and other nearby boats, bridges, coast guards, shore, airplanes, and so on.
This communication is possible via very high frequency (VHF). In marine radios, frequency typically ranges between 156 and 174 megahertz. These allow the mariners to communicate easily for navigation, traffic control, rescue missions, and in cases of other emergencies.
There are thousands of different models and brands of gauge style marine radios available in the market, but not all of them are worth the money.
In this guide, we will review some of the best marine gauge radio options in the market.
Comparison Chart of Marine Radio
Our 5 Best Marine Gauge Radio Reviews
1. Rockville RGHR2 Radio + Wired Remote
The Rockville RGHR2 is a high-quality marine gauge radio that helps the mariners to establish a great and clear connection with other boats, shore, and so on.
This product comes with an IP66 waterproofing certification, and the manufacturers guarantee that it is completely weatherproof.
You will receive a 40-inch USB cable and a wired remote with a wire of 32.8 feet. If we talk about the connectivity of this device, then it supports a wide range of options, such as Bluetooth, AM, FM, and USB.
You can easily connect the USB of this product with any other USB device and can easily stream songs and audio from any Bluetooth supporting device or system. The USB connectivity of this device also has the ability to charge your smartphone.
You can simply mount this marine gauge receiver wherever you want with the help of the mounting bracket and screws that come in the box.
The RGHR2 radio generates a great sound quality which can be clearly heard over the sound of both water and wind of the sea up to the distance of 50 feet, thanks to the 72W x 4 built-in amplifier.
- Excellent sound quality
- Supports USB, AM, FM, and Bluetooth
- IP66 waterproof and weatherproof
2. BOSS Audio Systems MGR350B Marine Gauge AM FM Radio & Receiver
The Boss MGR350B is one of the top marine gauge radios sold in the market. The company manufactured this product using high quality and marine-friendly materials.
Similar to the Rockville marine radio mentioned above, this product is both weatherproof and waterproof, and it comes with an IPX6 waterproofing certificate.
This product is well-known due to its high-quality audio output, resistance against UV damage, and attractive interface. It has some of the best audio connectivity options: USB, Bluetooth, SD cards, and FM radio.
The USB connectivity allows you to connect the radio easily to other devices, so you can easily play music whenever you want. Not only that, but it can also charge other devices when connected to a USB.
The standard FM radio makes sure that you can easily communicate with others. This device also comes with an RDS tuner, pre-amp outputs, preset equalization, and so on.
However, due to the compact shape and size of the radio, this product does not support CDs. But the wide range of connectivity options makes up for the lack of CDs.
Because of the compact size of the radio, you can easily mount the device on the dashboard of the boat or wherever you want.
- Excellent audio quality
- Multiple connectivity options
- Waterproof and weatherproof
3. Kicker 46KMC2 Weather-Resistant Marine Stereo
You can now have a great time on boats and ships without worrying about the network and communication issues with the new Kicker 46KMC2.
Kicker 46KMC2 replaced the KMC2 in the market after the KMC2 got discontinued.
This product has a compact size, so it is a great addition if you do not have much space to mount a gauge style marine radio. The compactness makes it one of the best gauge mount marine radio options in the market.
The IPX66 certificate ensures that this product is waterproof and weatherproof, so you do not have to worry about the water or the wind ruining the radio.
You can establish a connection easily with others with AM/FM tuner connectivity. It also comes with a built-in Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream music easily when connected to any device via Bluetooth.
This gauge mount radio comes with a backlit LCD display, USB input and AUX input. It does not play CDs, but the other options make up for the lack of this option. The large buttons on the device make it easier to control the radio.
Due to the premium audio quality, you do not have to worry about the sound of wind and water overpowering the music.
- Premium audio quality
- Backlit LCD display
- Weatherproof and waterproof
4. Velex VX150 Boat Bluetooth Marine Stereo Radio
In our search for the best marine gauge radio, we found the Velex VX150.
Similar to the marine radios mentioned above, this product is also weatherproof and waterproof with IPX6 certification. It has a power output of 25 watts x 4 RMS.
This gauge marine radio has an impressive range of connectivity options, starting from Bluetooth to FM/AM/WB Tuner, USB, and AUX input. So, you can not only communicate with others but can also stream music in high sound quality.
You can easily connect the radio to your phone, tablet, etc., and play music with your Spotify or Pandora playlist.
It has a circular shape and features a crystal display of 2 inches. The buttons of this device make sure that you can easily control this item.
If you are concerned about how to mount this gauge style marine radio, then we can assure you that there is nothing to worry about. Due to the compact and simple design of this radio, you can simply mount this radio anywhere you want on the ship.
- Excellent sound and communication quality
- Impressive range of connectivity options
- Compact size
- Waterproof and weatherproof
5. Pyle Round Waterproof Marine Radio
Last but not least, we will review the Pyle marine stereo available in the market.
Similar to all the marine radios we have reviewed so far, this product is also waterproof and weatherproof. This means that you can stream music and ensure a stable connection with other mariners, coast guards, etc., without any trouble.
If we talk about the connectivity options of this marine radio, then the list is quite impressive.
It supports Bluetooth, USB, AUX input, AM/FM, and so on. The wireless range of Bluetooth is 10 feet, the frequency of AM ranges between 530 and 1710 megahertz, and the frequency of the FM ranges between 87.5 and 107.9 megahertz.
You can connect your device with this radio easily with the help of Bluetooth, USB, and AUX input and stream your favorite songs and audio files.
This radio features an attractive LCD display with button controls on the front panel of the radio. The buttons of the front panel of the radio also illuminate like the LCD display.
- Waterproof and weatherproof
- Establishes a stable connection
- Attractive LCD Display
- Multiple connectivity options
Marine Gauge Radio Buying Guide
In order to make sure that you are purchasing the best marine gauge radio, there are certain factors that you have to consider. These factors are-
When it comes to choosing a gauge style marine radio, the first thing you have to see is whether the radio is waterproof.
As the radio is mounted on ships and boats, there is a risk that it can be damaged due to water. If the radio is waterproof, then there is no risk of damage to the radio by water.
It is essential to make sure that the radio remains undamaged to establish a good and stable connection.
There is a huge difference between waterproof and weatherproof.
While waterproofing saves the radio from damage caused by water, weatherproofing helps to save the radio from other damages such as UV and corrosion.
Exposing the marine stereo to sunlight can cause severe damage to the panel, display, control, speakers, and so on. Thus, it is necessary to make sure that the marine radios can withstand the exposure to the UV rays.
Seawater often reacts with metal and electrical items, and this reaction results in corrosion of the material. Before choosing a marine radio, you will have to make sure that the radio is made up of materials that do not rust, and all the other parts must be coated with an anti-corrosion product.
Quality Of The Sound
As we know, the main purpose of a marine radio is to communicate with others and stream music and audio files. To fulfill this purpose properly, the marine stereo must have a decent sound quality.
You should be able to hear and communicate with other people and stream music without any distortion or disturbance. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the quality of the sound is great in a marine radio.
Not only that, but the sound of the gauge marine radio must also be able to drown out noises like wind, water waves, and so on. The majority of marine radios come with built-in amplifiers, and these amplifiers help reduce the external sounds.
The installation of the marine gauge radio is another important factor to consider.
Before buying the radio, you will have to check whether you can mount it on the dashboard or any other place on the boat easily or not.
Also, consider the space you need to install the device and if the available space on your transport is on par with that.
Marine gauge radio with speakers generally features a lot of connectivity options, and it is necessary to consider these options.
Bluetooth, USB, and AUX are some of the most common yet important connectivity options. These options allow people to connect their devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc., and stream audio files and songs.
Before purchasing a marine gauge radio, make sure that you check whether the radio has these connectivity options or not.
Marine Radio Vs Car Radio
There are certain factors that make a marine radio different from a car radio. These differences are-
Waterproof And Weatherproof
One of the top differences between marine gauge radio and car radio is that marine radios are waterproof and weatherproof. Car radios are not waterproof as the chance of the radio being damaged by water is very low.
Car radios are usually not weatherproof as well. Marine radios have to be weatherproof due to their exposure to sunlight and seawater. On the other hand, car radios do not come in contact with sunlight directly, and they definitely do not come in contact with seawater as well.
Marine radios use very high frequency to establish a stable connection with other boats, coast guards, shores, and so on. Car radios do not have to establish any such connection and are usually used to stream music and audio files. Thus, the frequency range of car radios is very less compared to that of marine gauge radios.
There is not much difference between the connectivity options of a car radio and a marine gauge radio. Bluetooth, USB, and AUX input are the connectivity options that are common in both of these radios.
However, car radios come with CD slots and support CDs, but due to the compact size of marine gauge radios, they usually do not support CDs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do All Marine Gauge Radio Have The Same Shape And Size?
No, marine gauge radios come in various shapes and sizes. This mainly depends on the design prepared by the manufacturers and the requirements of the users. You will have to choose a shape and size that goes well with the dashboard of your ship.
2. Is It Necessary To Use Marine Radio On Ships And Boats?
Yes, it is essential to use a marine radio on ships and boats as it helps the sailors to guide the ships on many occasions. With the help of a marine gauge radio, sailors often navigate the boat and also communicate with the port, other boats, bridges, and so on in cases of emergencies.
3. How Far A Marine Gauge Radio Transmit Its Signal?
As we know, marine gauge receivers use very high frequency to communicate, and this frequency is usually suitable for communicating within a short distance. The majority of marine gauge radios can transmit signals within a radius of 5 to 10 miles. If you want to increase the radius of transmission, you will have to install a satellite along with the radio.
4. Can You Install A Marine Radio In A Car?
There is not much difference between a marine radio and a car radio. Even if you cannot install a car radio in a ship, you can easily install a marine radio in a car. This is because a marine radio usually has all the features that come with a car radio.
The marine radios we have mentioned in the guide above are some of our preferred options when it comes to choosing the best marine gauge radio.
A marine radio is quite different than a car radio, so make sure that you check whether it is a marine radio or a car radio before purchasing.
Do not forget to properly check all the buying factors before making a final decision on the gauge style marine radio.