by Dave Nichols 6 min read
You’ve chosen the perfect motorcycle for you; a bike that stirs your soul. Now it’s time to pick an equally engaging sound system to get you down the road. Just like your choice of scooter, the motorcycle audio system you choose may say a lot about you, what you like, and even what you don’t like.
We started out with the basic premise that the systems herein were all designed for bikes that did not come with factory sound systems as part of the package. We’ve taken a look at the wide variety of handlebar-mounted audio systems available on the market today and have edited them down to these sexy seven, or Magnificent Seven, if you will. Please note that while most of these systems were created with a motorcycle in mind, many can be used on boats, ATVs, and other vehicles. Check out your 2020 motorcycle speaker system comparison below!
Things to Look For
Looks count. Bikers, especially Harley riders, don’t want to spend big bucks on a bike and have a stereo system that looks like it is made out of plastic. There are a ton of cheap, foreign audio systems out there that looks like chunks of cheesy plastic. If the appearance of what you install on your cherished chopper matter to you, and it probably does, make sure the system you choose doesn’t look like a tacky piece of crap. Many of these systems also come in dazzling chrome or satin black to match the look you love.
Take note if the sound system you are considering has Bluetooth so you can easily connect it to your smartphone and instantly listen to your favorite playlist. Also check the IP rating of the system. IP stands for International Protection Rating and has to do with how waterproof your audio system is. That’s kind of important on a motorcycle. Always make sure that you choose a system with waterproof speakers!
The most asked question about motorcycle sound systems has to do with how it sounds while roaring down the road. After all, you can’t hear what a system sounds like while shopping on Amazon. People often ask about the quality of the speakers and the amp of the system they are considering. I ask them about their riding style and if they have an aftermarket exhaust system. Their answers tell me if a 400-watt system will fit the bill or if they should go for more power and more speakers.
The last thing to look for should also be the first thing you look for, and that’s good service. A great audio system is only as good as the people who stand behind it. That means that you should be able to call or email an audio company if you have questions about the product before you buy or have questions about installation once you have the unit. Plus, look for companies that offer discounts to Military Veterans and look for companies that use American-made components whenever possible. It’s also a big plus if your stereo comes with a 5-year warranty. Steel Horse Audio ticks all of those boxes.
Now to our Magnificent Seven. We present them below without fanfare or bias so that each can stand on its own merits or weaknesses. When all is said and done, we hope you’ll pick the best sound around.
BOSS Audio MC750B
Bluetooth Capable: Play and control a vast library of your favorite music using your smartphone or MP3 device, plus plug into apps like Spotify and Pandora wirelessly. All possible via the 2 channel Bluetooth amplifier
Amp: A Bluetooth 2 channel, compact, weatherproof, class D amplifier is included. It has been sealed with the latest weatherproofing techniques to protect against a rainy forecast. Use the 3.5 mm Aux input for even more choices
Speakers: Also included are two, 4-inch chrome/black full range speakers. The adjustable brackets will fit handlebars from ranging from .75” to 1.25”
Volume Control: A convenient inline volume control (attached to the amplifier) can be installed in a place of your choosing, making sure that when the need hits… so will your tunes
Amplifier Dimensions: 3.6” x 2.3” x 1.5”. Speakers – 9” x 6” x 7.5”
Warranty: BOSS Audio Systems provides a powerful 3-year platinum online dealer warranty so long as the purchase is made through Amazon.com. We strongly encourage professional installation of this product to ensure proper and safe functionality
Harley BOOM! Audio Bluetooth Cruiser Amp and Speaker Kit
Features wireless Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity with a smart phone, GPS unit or other music player, and can also connect to traditional music players through a standard 3.5mm stereo auxiliary input
Individual speaker pods clamp to either a 1.0" or 1.25" handlebar and are adjustable to direct sound toward rider
Thumb-activated switches that control on/off/pause, track forward/back, and volume level are conveniently mounted above the right switch housing for easy reach while your hands remain on the grips
Kit includes all wiring and mounting hardware
For a complete 4-speaker surround-sound experience, add the optional rear sissy bar mounted Speaker Expansion Kit
Kuryakyn 2720 MTX Road Thunder Weather Resistant Motorcycle Sound Bar Plus
Motorcycle handlebar mounted sound bar with 300-watt peak power and 1.0 Amp USB charging port; Speaker measures 10.6" L x 2.9" diameter, bracket measures 6" L x 3" in diameter
Internal 4-channel amp powers two 2" x 3" full-range speakers with dual voice coils; Four high-frequency 1" silk dome tweeters with N42 grade magnets for powerful distortion-free sound at any volume level
3.0 Bluetooth receiver allows wireless connectivity to any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or music device; Auxiliary input and output ports connect standard devices via 3.5 mm cable
Durable IP66-rated housing is weather-resistant; Built-in heat sink and self-protection circuit combat excessive heat and over/under voltage regulation
Universal articulating mounting clamps fit virtually any bars between 7/8" and 1-1/4"; Includes power, ground and ignition wire for easy disconnect
600W System - Compact system perfect to tuck away on your ATV, Scooter, Jet Ski, Boat, Golf Cart or Motorcycle. Enough power to hear your music rolling down the road or cruising on the water.
Easy Installation - Speakers include chrome brackets, speaker wiring, external marine grade antenna, wired, and wireless remote.
Powerful Amp - This amp is small enough to tuck into your custom ride, yet packs the power to drive the 100 Watt Waterproof speakers to their FULL POWER. Working Voltage 10-10V DC.
Bluetooth Pairing - Connect your phone or tablet with no wires. Stream your music from your pocket.
Features - 3.5mm AUX input, LCD Screen to show song or FM frequency, USB and SD input, FM radio, wired remote, and wireless remote with power and mute
Available on Amazon
MHI Rumble Road
High-output, high-fidelity stereo speaker system produces crisp, powerful sound even at highway speeds
4-inch, coaxial full-range, high-performance alpine speakers
Attractively packaged in lustrous chrome or black spotlight shells to enhance the look of most any motorcycle
Can be installed on handlebars, crash bars, forks or other locations
Produces approximately 100 watts.
All hardware, wiring and electrical noise filter included
Work with any portable MP3, personal stereo or satellite radio
Features a standard mini-plug headphone jack
Made in the USA
JBL Cruise Bluetooth Handlebar Speaker Kit
2.5" Handlebar Mount Speakers (pair)
Built-in Bluetooth Streaming
Mirror Integration Mount
IPX5 Waterproof Rating
2 x 20 Watts RMS
Great volume even when riding in noisy conditions
Best for small motorcycles
Steel Horse Audio ST400 Cruiser Edition
400+ watts of power for loud and clear sound at highway speeds and beyond
Illuminated handlebar mounted controller for play/pause, source, volume & tracks
Connect to any Bluetooth enabled device for a wireless audio connection
Also connects to any standard headphone jack or RCA connection for dual-source options
Keep your audio device charged with the built in USB charger connection
Choose from an available 2-speaker or 4-speaker option
Mount to handlebars or highway bars with the included hardware (Includes 1" and 1-1/4" clamps. We also have 1-1/2" included free, upon request)
All-Weather certified for even the harshest weather conditions
Industry leading 5-year warranty on all parts and components
Made with steel enclosures in a high quality show chrome or satin black finish
Designed and built in the USA with only the highest quality components
Classification: Full Range Class D
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 90dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz (+0dB, -1dB)
Amplifier Size: '5-11/16 X '1-3/4 X '3-7/8 inch
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by Dave Nichols 3 min read
Fresh from the movie Rough Boys and soon in your garage!