Things to Consider When Buying a Stereo System for Your Motorcycle

July 28, 2017

Motorcycle Speakers on a Harley-Davidson Road King MotorcycleThinking about buying a new stereo system for your motorcycle? Doing so is a fun modification that will make those long rides just a little more enjoyable. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing a motorcycle stereo system for your Harley, Honda, Indian or other.


Is it Waterproof?

I know this probably sounds like common sense to most seasoned riders, but it's still worth mentioning that motorcycle speakers should be waterproof. Even if you choose to ride only on sunny days, there's bound to be unforeseen rainfall sooner or later. If you install standard “home” grade speakers on your motorcycle (note: it can be done), there's a greater risk of damage due to moisture and water. The moisture will settle into the speakers, shortening out the electrical components. To prevent this from happening, choose a waterproof stereo system that's designed for outdoor use.



What kind of warranty (if any) does the stereo system come with? It's generally a red flag when a manufacturer doesn't offer a warranty on its stereos, fearing that customers will return them. If a manufacturer believes in its products, however, it will offer an iron-clad warranty to back them up. Take the Cruiser Edition by Steel Horse Audio, for instance. This premium-grade motorcycle stereo system is backed by a complete 5-year warranty, attesting to its sheer quality and performance.



When shopping for a new stereo system for your motorcycle, pay close attention to the type and quantity of ports it has. The most commonly used port is the 3.5 mm auxiliary port, which is typically used for connecting smartphones, iPods, and other playable devices. Some stereo systems also feature USB ports for charging devices as well as playback from USB flash drives.  However, with all the options available on smartphones (from SiriusXM to Pandora to iTunes), the use of other ports is becoming limited.


Bluetooth Connectivity

Does the motorcycle stereo system offer Bluetooth connectivity? This is a relatively new feature that's just recently gained popularity among riders. Basically, it allows users to connect devices to their stereo wireless, using the near-field communications (NFC) technology of Bluetooth. So instead of worrying about cables and wires, you connect via Bluetooth. It's an excellent and highly reliable form of data transmission, which is why so many devices today use it.

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