Whether your musical tastes veer toward indie rock or hip hop, death metal or EDM, one thing that all riders can agree on is that sound has always been and will continue to be an integral part of the wakeboarding experience. Marine audio systems — and wakeboat audio systems in particular — have come a long way in the past 10 years, says Colin Brumbaugh, vice president of Roswell Marine Audio, which has been making some considerable noise (literally) in the industry of late.
Both on the original-equipment and aftermarket side of things, manufacturers like Roswell are delivering speakers, amps and audio accessories that not only withstand the challenging marine environment but look and sound great at the same time. But even with this overall increase in quality, putting together the perfect audio system for your ride can be a daunting process. We sat down with Brumbaugh to make sense of today’s marine-audio landscape and identify the keys to creating your perfect system on the water. Lesson No. 1: If all else fails, trust your ears.
Your audio experience will be diminished if your speakers are firing into your passengers’ feet or backs. As a result, it’s important to position speakers so they’re directed at the most obvious listening locations, like the helm, bow, cockpit and behind the boat. Roswell offers fiberglass fobs built at an angle that allows you to more effectively position speakers in flat mounting locations.Advertisement
You wouldn’t want your engine to have to constantly operate at max rpm to give you the performance you desire, so don’t expect your audio system to provide perfect quality if it’s underpowered. “You want an amp that’s powerful enough to comfortably deliver the performance you want,” Brumbaugh says. “Otherwise, you could damage the amp or your speakers, and you won’t get the audio quality you could be getting.” A good rule of thumb is to invest in an amplifier that delivers 20 to 30 percent more power than your speakers demand.
Towers afford wakeboarding audiophiles a unique platform to enhance their sound experience. If you’re looking at new boats, check out Centurion’s Downfire system, a collaboration with Roswell that features four 6.5-inch speakers that fire down into the cockpit. You can get a similar effect on the aftermarket side with Roswell’s Elite Vamp Spin tower speakers, which feature 180-degree rotation.