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.

 

$205.99

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

bossaudio.com

 

$529.99

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

mstore.harley-davidson.com/shop/boom-audio

 

$404.99

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

kuryakyn.com

 

$209.95

Shark 600


 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


$399.95

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
 Built-in amplifiers
 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

mhinstruments.com

 

$229.95

JBL Cruise Bluetooth Handlebar Speaker Kit


 2.5" Handlebar Mount Speakers (pair)
 Built-in Bluetooth Streaming
 Mirror Integration Mount
 IPX5 Waterproof Rating
 Easy Installation
 2 x 20 Watts RMS
 Great volume even when riding in noisy conditions
 Best for small motorcycles

https://www.jbl.com/search?q=Cruise

 

$449.99

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


www.steelhorseaudio.com


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