Motorcycle Speaker Buying Guide

Installing a motorcycle speaker system is one of the best modifications you can make to your bike no matter what you use loud bikes, sports type, and more. With the motorcycle speaker system installed, you can enjoy tunes or music while riding or even when you are parked.

If you are fond of motorcycles, in addition to the features that usually come with them, you have probably considered or are planning to install an audio or sound system. How much more have you probably noticed the difference in its setup than other speaker systems, usually indoors. To ensure that its installation method is correct and you have the right motorcycle speakers for you, you need to understand that bikes do not have larger storage space for additional or new audio-related features. They are also exposed to outside elements and sometimes get too loud without noticing it since you are right above the engine. However, music gives more excitement to your driving. For average riders, sometimes a long trip is a bit tiring compared to those who love riding their bike and ripping it up. In those instances

Do you need a touch of music to change the mood a bit and add spice while driving? Then, it’s time to change the mood gear with your favorite music and combine it with the revving sound of the engine.

Stereo systems are not limited to your home, full-size cars, and trucks. You can add a fully functional stereo system with good speakers to your bike.

This post will share some tips on what to look for before buying a motorcycle speaker system. Knowing and understanding what to look for is essential since once you install the system in your bike, it will probably stay there for long, and we can’t afford to change them yearly or regularly.

Speaker loudness level

So you have this loud bike and the very grooving revving sound of the engine. Sure, you have nothing more to look for. But, let’s say you’re on a long trip; well, quickly bursting that throttle will show off the engine’s elegance. Cool right? However, if you have a motorcycle speaker system installed on your bike, well, it’s a different story. Of course, you want that engine sound, but you might also like that music to keep up. Not only that, what about road noises? So these cases will call your attention to decide if you ever need a more powerful motorcycle that can stay and consistently stand out from all road noises and keep up with engine sound.

There are two types of speakers, active and passive. As for motorcycle speakers, these are typically active. Now, what do we mean by active and passive speakers? Active speakers are speakers with a built-in power amplifier and only require a power source or battery. In contrast, passive speakers need an external power amplifier to function.

Now, assuming you have already decided to buy and install a motorcycle speaker that will match your persona as a rider. Of course, as a rider, you want it loud and striking.

How loud the speaker plays a significant role. If you are using a loud bike, for example, and your speaker system cannot keep up with its power, then what’s the point of playing or using it while riding? Engine sounds are already music to the ears but if music is a different type of sound for you and has a place in your ear and mood, then look for a speaker system with enough loudness to stand out even at high speed.

Choose a motorcycle speaker that is loud and still clear when you reach the speed of 40mph and above. The loudness of motorcycle speakers depends on the number of decibels-sound pressure levels (dB-SPL) based on their wattage. The measurement or the number is for sensitive speakers that are about a meter away. For example, there are motorcycle speakers with 600 W with or 90-100 dB-SPL, while more powerful speakers can reach up to 1000 W. Therefore, for louder bikes, it is ideal to choose a speaker with 90 or above dB-SPL.

When it comes to the speaker’s loudness, it should have enough volume to be heard along with the engine’s sound. Some might suggest using a headphone, especially now that there are helmets with built-in sound or headset. However, with sounds close enough to your ears, that will make you forget the sound of that revving engine. So the best option is to install a speaker with decent or adequate sound volume to surround that addictive motor tone.

Remember that the more sensitive a speaker, the less power it requires from the amp to sound refined. Unless you are an audiophile and don’t mind spending more on the kind of speaker to install, then nothing can stop you from choosing a very sensitive speaker. Also, keep in mind that small increases in dB levels mean a significant impact on your ears. For example, for every 10 dB increase, it is twice as loud to your ears.

If you want a much crisp and solid sound while the volume increases, you can consider attaching a more quality amplifier if your speaker is a passive type of speaker that doesn’t have a built-in amplifier. For active speakers, you might want to consider choosing the one with higher watts or dB SPL. The bottom line is that the speaker should be louder or still audible enough while your bike is bursting with that hot engine sound.

Like you, we from Ridersbeat; we like it loud, exciting, fun, and convenient. Well, what could be more fitting than a motorcycle speaker that can keep up with loud bikes? That kind of speaker will take your riding on a different level and even big time. However, before you choose a speaker system, you need first to understand the things to consider. 

Make motorcycle speakers louder

If you want to make the sound louder, you can replace the speakers with higher sensitivity. When the speaker has a high sensitivity rating, it has a more audible sound output. Average speakers typically have sensitivity around 87 dB to 88 dB. However, if you want an excellent speaker with good sharpness, it must have over 90 dB.

If you already have higher sensitivity speakers, an obvious way to make the speakers louder is to use an external amplifier. Now, how many amps for motorcycle speakers are required? There is no need for an external amplifier; just its built-in amplifier is enough. You can still use an external amplifier to an active speaker, but it is not advisable. 

Remember, active speakers have their built-in amplifier for a reason. Connecting it to an external amp will ruin your powered speaker and, if not, your amp itself. (To understand what we mean about this, later, we will talk about power + power = disaster) If you are using a passive speaker and it’s currently working, we can expect that it has at least one amplifier installed, and one is sufficient no need to add more. You can upgrade the amplifier for much higher power and efficiency.

Keep in mind that passive motorcycle speakers design to handle a certain amount of not very high power. Most amplifiers have a 20W output but most likely a 20W peak and not continuous work. About half of its value is its constant output. It’s understandable what happens when you use a much powerful amplifier with the same loudspeaker diver units. After increasing the amplifier’s amount of power, it is also necessary to increase the power the speakers can handle. You can accomplish this by getting a new set of passive speakers with a higher ability to withstand the extra power. You can learn more about making your speaker system louder here.

If you want a guide on choosing the best loud motorcycle speaker out there, you can check our top loud motorcycle speakers here.

Mount location

When it comes to considerations, where you mount the speaker should be the first. Motorcycles are not like cars where you can choose where to install the speakers and be good with them. Motorcycles are open, and sounds do not rotate in a closed area. Music or sounds on bikes tends to spread out and don’t stay longer in certain areas.

The motorcycle has less space than other vehicles and with limited things to do in terms of customization. However, technology doesn’t know how to limit you. So it has the solution to your every problem and, in this case, customization and other motorcycle-related stuff.

With that said, mostly or the primary location where you can install the speakers is on the handlebars or highway bars. It is an ideal location because it provides high-quality sound and does not interfere with how the motorcycle operates.

Some motorcycle speakers are designed to be attached to the rear, and others mount to handlebars or highway bars. Handlebar-mounted speakers are ideal because they project the sound directly in front of the rider, making the sound clearer and more audible than in the back. Just make sure that it will not interfere with the instruments or controls when you attach the speaker to the handlebar.

All motorcycle speakers have mounting options; you need to choose the mounting options that fit your bike’s design or model. Some motorcycle speakers design to be attached to the rear, and others are mountable to handlebars or highway bars. Handlebar-mounted speakers are ideal because they project the sound directly in front of the rider, making the sound clearer and more audible than in the back. Just make sure that it will not interfere with the instruments or controls when you attach the speaker to the handlebar.

Use simple angle brackets to place them on the bottom of plastic fairings or frame mounts. As usual, do your best to conceal them as much as possible and ensure they are backed securely with some surface for better sound quality. If the brackets are not attached securely and adequately, the speaker’s vibrations will not work as expected.

Stereo System Compatibility

Alright, let’s say you already have the speakers you’ll attach to your bike. The first step in setting up stereo systems with your first choice speakers is to choose the stereo system compatible with your motorcycle. Some might say that all stereo systems are compatible with all bikes. Well, that isn’t true. The fact is, not all stereo systems available in the market are compatible with your precious motorcycle. But when we say compatible, it doesn’t just mean attachable to the bike because all speakers or stereo devices can be attached to the bike as long as they have space for them. Compatibility means whether we need a bolt on the stereo, bag strap, or whether we do or we do not prefer to attach a headset or headphones.

Mount the Stereo System

Once you already have the stereo system compatible with your bike and think suitable for your needs, the next thing to do is mount the stereo system to your motorcycle. If the system’s attachment type is a bolt-in, it should have all the required bolts and nuts. Next, attach the stereo system to your bike as directed from its instruction manual.

If you want a guide on choosing the best handlebar motorcycle speaker, you can check our top handlebar speakers here.

Wired and Wireless Connectivity

After looking at the mounting location and the speaker’s loudness, now it’s time to consider the features that the speaker system has. There are many motorcycle speakers available in the market, and each has various specific features. So what are the features to look for in a speaker system? Check first the 3.5 mm AUX hookup as it is considered an excellent feature as it will allow you to connect your smart device’s mp3 player to the motorcycle’s stereo. And also, look for Bluetooth connectivity. With Bluetooth connectivity, you no longer need a wire to connect your portable devices to your speaker system; all are done wirelessly. Bluetooth is not much necessary for other streaming music platforms, but it is essential for turn-by-turn GPS navigation services. And if you prefer listening to music with your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can easily project your phone’s audio output to the speaker.

Remember, wireless capability in motorcycle speakers or audio systems means the motorcycle speaker has Bluetooth capability. Of course, we are also aware that there are speakers that don’t have Bluetooth capability. However, the good news is, we can still use them wirelessly using Bluetooth adapters or receivers. With Bluetooth adapters, you can convert wired speakers (from the source) to wireless speakers capable of communicating with your postable smart gadgets/devices.

Motorcycle speakers with wireless capability provide full-range audio to your bike at no cost and do not require much more space. They are simple and the most versatile speakers you can install on your bike. Whenever you need or want music while on the road with your bike, you can easily access it and enjoy it.

You won’t find fully featured motorcycle speakers in the old days; however, many innovative and convenient features can be added today to motorcycle speakers to make the rider experience more enjoyable. So always remember to choose the speaker with as many features as possible.

If you want a guide on choosing the best wireless motorcycle speakers, you can check our top wireless motorcycle speakers here.

Other things to consider

Ergonomics

Assuming you have mounted your speaker, it is essential that you next check where its buttons are and whether they are easy to operate while you are driving. It is also necessary to know what types of buttons are on the motorcycle speaker or stereo system. Imagine if you mounted adequately, but the controls were in an awkward position. Even if we say your speaker is wireless, there are still times when you need to press the physical buttons on the speaker manually.

Waterproof Capability

There are indoor-type speakers available that have a perfect style and impact, especially on bikes. However, by default, all motorcycle speakers are waterproof and have good protection from outside damaging elements such as rain or humidity. There are many waterproof speakers on the market for motorcycles, so choosing one takes no pressure. Just make sure that the speaker is waterproof and if so, consider selecting the one that will highly sustain prolonged exposure from tiny particles that might enter the system.

Wattage

It is a fundamental requirement. Typically, lower wattage speakers are quieter and have less power consumption. However, it has a significant impact on performance and on the volume, the rider will hear. For better speaker setup, always check the correct location to mount the speaker, noise coming from engine sound, and your overall driving style. If you often use your motorcycle in a quieter place, you can lower the wattage as it is more suitable in such places. If you often use it in noisy places such as highways or populated areas, buy a high power-rating speaker. The average factory motorcycle stereos have 10 to 15 watts of power per speaker. However, there are attachable motorcycle speakers with higher wattage depending on where you often use your motorcycle.

Warranty

Good-class motorcycle speakers will give you many years of enjoyment in your journey on your motorcycle. But there are times when cheaper or high-quality speakers are damaged unexpectedly in less than a year of use. So it’s a good idea to have a speaker with a solid warranty. 

Conclusion

Now you know the things to look for when choosing a speaker to buy for your motorcycle. It is essential to know them to choose the most suitable speakers that even your motorcycle will approve. Eliminate those dull moments while riding, if there are any. Playing your favorite music list while on your bike will make you feel more relaxed while giving a quick short burst to those throttles to surround the tune with the sweet sound of that engine. Bet you can’t get anything better than that.

Sometimes you need a crooked road to get your head straight, and this is true for bikers. But, with all those twisting roads, some elements will boost your mood and clear your mind. What are these elements? Well, your bike’s sound and the music you loved the most. Loud bikes with cool music on the side, what else can you ask for.

Choose the most suitable speaker for your motorcycle. Add flavor to your every trip. Riding alone or riding two-up, get those gears up, and enjoy the sounds coming out from your bike. Remember, it’s not how fast or far you can go, but it’s about enjoying the ride.

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Motorcycle Speaker Buying Guide

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About Our Blog

We at Ridersbeat are bike lovers at our core. We like it big and loud. Through our thorough research and long-time experience in riding bikes, we aim to share information to help you choose the best motorcycle speakers for you.

As riders, we have an understanding of how a motorcycle works and other related stuff about it. However, our focus is on motorcycle speakers because we like to add sounds to our bikes to add a more exciting experience during every ride.

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