Which ATV speakers are best?
Anyone who has ever driven an ATV before knows that they aren’t the quietest machines. So, if you are thinking about adding some speakers to yours, you’ll need to make sure they are loud enough to be heard over an engine’s roar.
It’s not just loudness you’ll have to worry about, but overall durability too. Any piece of equipment attached to your ATV is going to take a lot of abuse. You will regularly expose it to the elements, with heavy vibrations and potentially flying debris. This means that whichever ATV speakers you choose need to have weatherproof construction and shockproof components.
The Boss Audio Systems Soundbar stands out as a top choice with the above factors in mind. It has weatherproof construction and shockproof components. It also has several other features that anyone can appreciate, such as an integrated light bar, quick and easy installation and a handy storage compartment.
What to know before you buy ATV speakers
Soundbars vs. individual speakers
ATV speakers come as soundbars or individual speakers. For most people, soundbars will be the best choice, as they are easy to install, don’t require a head unit and are generally wireless. That said, some may prefer individual speakers because they often offer better sound. This is due to several reasons, including greater customization of music using the head unit’s equalizer, the ability to spread out the speakers and expanding the system to include more speakers if desired.
Wired vs. wireless
When it comes to installation, wireless speakers are the clear winner. You simply mount the speakers and they are ready to use. Conversely, wired speakers require the installation of a head unit, which many people may be hesitant to try on their own, especially if their ATV doesn’t already have a spot for a stereo. However, many wireless speakers are not genuinely wireless, as they often need to be connected to a 12-volt power source.
Any speakers installed on an ATV are going to take a lot of abuse. This means they need to be appropriately rugged, with a weather and UV-resistant construction at the minimum. They should also have shockproof components and strong grills covering the speakers to safeguard them against damage from flying debris. The mounting hardware needs to be corrosion resistant and, ideally, made from metal.
Features to look for in quality ATV speakers
People play music from a variety of sources and the more inputs your ATV speakers can accept, the more options you’ll have. The most common input sources are Bluetooth and Auxiliary jacks. Some models may also feature USB or SD card slots. On soundbars, your inputs will connect directly to the unit itself. On speakers that rely on stereos, your inputs will connect to the stereo.
Amplifiers are required for speakers to produce sound. On wireless models, the amplifier is built into the soundbar. Speakers that connect to a head unit may rely on a built-in amplifier in the head unit or require the installation, and potentially the purchase, of a separate amplifier.
Remote controls for ATV speakers are convenient for several reasons. If you have a wireless soundbar, they eliminate the need to reach into your pocket and pull out your phone every time you want to change songs or adjust the volume. Models that include wireless remote controls add an extra level of convenience, as they allow you to control your music when you aren’t physically sitting on your ATV, such as when lounging around the campfire after a fun day of riding.
Some manufacturers incorporate lights into their ATV speakers for either style of functional purpose. For style purposes, they are often multicolored LEDs that may or may not pulse in time with the music. For functional purposes, they are lightbars that illuminate the path ahead and make it easier for other riders to see you. You can find these features more in soundbars than individual speakers.
Another feature sometimes found in soundbars but not individual speakers is a storage compartment. This will usually be weatherproof and is the perfect place to store your phone or other small essentials you take when riding.
If you want to use your ATV speakers for hands-free calling, they need to have a microphone. While not a necessity, this can be a nice luxury to have. However, keep in mind that this will be impractical to use while your vehicle is running due to how loud most ATVs are.
How much you can expect to spend on ATV speakers
Wired ATV speakers start around $50 and can cost up to $400 or more depending on the number of speakers included in the set, the quality and whether or not they have additional components like an amplifier. Most wireless ATV speakers cost $100-$300.
ATV speakers FAQ
Does the size of the speakers matter?
A. As a generalization, larger speakers can get louder, which is crucial if you want to hear your music over the engine. However, you’ll have to keep in mind that most ATVs have limited space, so it may be challenging to find a good place to install or mount overly large speakers.
Is it safe to listen to music while driving an ATV?
A. Listening to music when driving an ATV is no more or less safe than doing so when driving your car. This means that you should follow the same cautions, mainly not playing your music so loud that you can’t hear what is happening around you.
What are the best ATV speakers to buy?
Top ATV speakers
What you need to know: This powerful 700-watt soundbar is packed with smart features and gets loud enough to be heard over the engine, even when cruising at full throttle.
What you’ll love: It has a lightbar on the front to illuminate your path when riding in low-light situations, and there is a helpful storage compartment where you can keep a few essentials you want to keep easily accessible.
What you should consider: The included remote is wired and doesn’t allow you to control the volume.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ATV speakers for the money
What you need to know: At just 27 inches wide, the Pyle PLATV65BT is a good choice for small ATVs without a lot of room to spare.
What you’ll love: You have the option of hardwiring it to a power source or simply plugging it into a 12-volt outlet, and you can control the speed and brightness of its multicolored LEDs to produce a dazzling light show.
What you should consider: It doesn’t get loud enough to be heard clearly over some ATVs.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you don’t mind an extensive installation process, the Noam NUTV4 should be the go-to choice for those looking for the best sound quality.
What you’ll love: It comes with an amplifier, and the included remote control acts as the head unit, so you won’t have to buy a separate stereo.
What you should consider: They mount to a roll bar, which many ATVs don’t have.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.