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SiOnyx Aurora

SiOnyx Aurora

W2K-1 NMEA 2000® to Wi-Fi Gateway

SiOnyx Aurora

Best 2020 audio systems for your boat

Full-range onboard audio entertainment systems have been must-have equipment on boats for several years. The current crop of sound systems continues to push the technology envelope in terms of power, flexibility and features to deliver often unbelievable performance.

Here are seven audio systems that are this year’s pick of the litter. The lineup is part of an exercise we do at Marine Electronics Journal every year—we call it the Best & Brightest Boating Electronics. We ask manufacturers to tell us which model in 19 categories of marine electronics products they consider to be their best—not necessarily the most advanced or latest but the one than delivers the highest marks overall. That could be their most popular model or the one that has passed the test of time. Our product categories range from fishfinders and radars to electronic charts and wireless devices. Last week we looked at radars. Next week we’ll tell you about the Best & Brightest in underwater lighting.

Clarion CMS4
When it comes to controlling your music experience on the water, the CMS4 is as seamless as it gets. Boasting exceptional performance and broad music source connectivity, the CMS4 from Clarion offers 280 watts of power and four multimedia source zones, each with independent zone volume control. With an optically bonded color display, intuitive GUI (graphical user interface) and simple roto-push knob control, finding the right source and playlist is easy. Additionally, the system includes 12 pre-amp outputs for nearly limitless system expandability, while four remote inputs allow for up to eight wired remotes to be placed throughout the boat. For boats with integrated electronics, the IP66-rated CMS4 can be seamlessly connected to the NMEA 2000 network and controlled from multifunction displays from leading manufacturers.

Poly-Planar ME70BT

The Poly-Planar ME70BT is a rugged IP65 full-function blue tooth amp that has a remote backlit display with adjustable illumination. It can be set up with different parameters for many audio functions from the waterproof keypad and includes 20 feet of separation cable. The amp has a four-channel, 45-watt-per-channel output that is NMEA 2000 certified. It also has 100-meter Bluetooth range and a USB music player. The ME70BT charges iPhone and Android phones and has rear cables for Aux input. This product is ideal for installation in a small boat or RIB, gives loud, clear audio and will drive up to four speakers. Poly-Planar also makes a smaller amp, the ME60BT, which is four-channel, 30-watt power out with a waterproof control head.

Fusion Apollo RA770

The Apollo RA770 is the world’s most awarded marine stereo. Featuring many industry firsts—including Fusion’s Digital Signal Processing technology (DSP), PartyBus-Network capabilities, built-in Wi-Fi with Apple AirPlay 2 and a large color touchscreen display—the Apollo RA770 redefines audio excellence with its revolutionary technology and innovative design to deliver an unprecedented marine audio entertainment experience.

JL Audio MediaMaster 50
The MediaMaster 50 is a high-performance, single-chassis, powered source unit, engineered to deliver outstanding fidelity and advanced audio features on your boat. Designed to endure the outdoors, the MM50 boasts weatherproof components, and a brilliant color LCD display that’s visible on even the sunniest days. This mechless system supports a broad range of input options, features a built-in 100-watt amp (25W x 4 @ 4 ohms RMS) and offers vast system expandability via its six-channel pre-amp outputs. With three-zone volume control, the MM50 offers flexible volume control, allowing boaters to control zones together or separately. The MM50 also offers direct, seamless NMEA 2000 network connectivity, enabling complete audio system control from multifunction displays from leading brands, such as B&G, Lowrance, Raymarine and Simrad.

Aquatic AV CP6

Aquatic AV’s CP6 fully waterproof marine stereo is the most compact stereo Aquatic AV has ever produced, giving the utmost flexibility to install in the most limited spaces. Not to be fooled by its compact size, the quality of audio and options are uncompromised. The CP6 features a powerful 288-watt amplifier to power up to eight marine speakers, variable brightness display and is remote control-compatible (sold separately). Bluetooth, USB, DAB+, MP3, AM, FM and auxiliary inputs are all supported. Waterproof rated at IP65, and salt/fog and UV resistance ensure reliable performance in the toughest environmental conditions.

Infinity by Harman REFPRV415

The Infinity by Harman marine source unit combines key features into a self-contained round chassis. The 3.5-inch color TFT screen provides vivid resolution while on the water. Features include the following: AM/FM/WB, 4 x 50W, 2-ohm stability, Aux in, three pairs of pre-outs, BT audio streaming, made for iPod/iPhone, B input, Sirius/XM, wired remote ready, video input, and NMEA 2000 ready. Installation is a breeze as only a 3 ½-inch cutout is needed. Hassle free BT pairing and larger buttons for ease of operation are two of the many traits consumers rave about.

Lowrance/Simrad/B&G SonicHub 2

SonicHub2 gives users complete control of songs, radio stations as well as video from Lowrance, Simrad and B&G multifunction displays and is also the first marine audio system built on the newly implemented NMEA 2000 Audio Entertainment protocol. A drop-in replacement for the original SonicHub entertainment system, the enhanced, black-box solution provides independent dual-zone control and features built-in Bluetooth audio streaming, dual stereo AUX-IN connections, integrated support for Pandora Internet radio via smartphone or tablet without the need for additional hardware, and compatibility with the WM-3 SiriusXM satellite radio/marine weather module (subscription required). SonicHub2 is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms, comes equipped with a video output for USB video playback, has dual USB ports for connecting/charging multiple devices, and a built-in AM/FM antenna.

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