This article was written by Connor, one of our founding editors. Connor is a full-time travel and lifestyle photographer with extensive experience in the outdoors industry.
So, you’ve just invested in a brand new set of wake tower speakers? Excellent. You’re in for a treat. Well, that’s if you know what to do next, anyway.
It’s all very well kitting out your boat in the top wakeboard tower speakers, but if you don’t know how to maximize the sound that comes from them, then you’re wasting your money. It is worth taking the time to set them up properly and making sure that they get the power they (and your passengers) deserve.
There’s no denying it – installing really good wake tower speakers will provide you with good sound at a satisfying volume. However, in order to really do your music justice, you should seriously consider installing a marine amp to your boat.
Not only will this help to increase the overall volume coming from your speakers, but it will also make it far more audible. Sound on a boat gets lost so easily and an amplifier will help to combat this problem. If you use a marine-rated amp, you won’t lose as much of the sound detail to things like wind and engine noise.
In addition to this, if you’ve opted for really high-quality wake tower speakers, then it is likely that you’ll need a bigger and better amp anyway. On-board amplifiers can be pretty weak and will probably not satisfy you. At least, not for long.
When you’re choosing your amp, make sure that you leave enough ‘headroom’ i.e. if you have 80W speakers, don’t just choose an amp that works at 80W. It will be struggling the whole time. Always look to get an amp that works around 30% greater wattage than that of the speaker.
For more information on exactly what an amplifier does and how it helps the quality of sounds, head over to this guide from Lifewire.
If you’re big on your bass, then a subwoofer should certainly be on your radar. It’s probably one of the hardest things to amplify on the sound spectrum, but when it is done right, it’s one of the most satisfying aspects of listening to music.
Of course, you can get a good quality base from high-quality speakers and an amp alone, and the question ‘do I need more?’ is extremely subjective. If you really want that thump to feel the music, a subwoofer is what you’re looking for.
Make sure the subwoofer is powered adequately, otherwise there isn’t too much point installing one. If it is underpowered, you are likely to hear little difference between the sounds. Mount your subwoofer as low as you can and fortunately, you don’t need to pay too much attention to the direction it faces.
Where you hang your tower speakers makes a difference to the quality of sound you’ll experience on and off the boat. Hang them in a place which will achieve the most stereo sound i.e. not right next to each other! It should be as if they’re playing to both of your ears at the same time.
Another consideration, this time nothing to do with sounds, is to make sure that you position them somewhere which isn’t going to get in the way. The last thing you want is someone banging their head every time they stand up.
We’ve actually produced our own guide on boat speaker installation and placement to help you get the most from your money.