Did you know you can listen to music on your jet ski? It is a totally amazing experience jumping waves with your favorite tunes blaring in the background.
Unfortunately, most personal watercrafts don’t come with an audio system and you might be wondering if you can install one yourself.
For anyone wishing to add speakers to their jet ski, here are a few ways you can do it.
3 Ways to listen to music on your Jet Ski
(1) Buy a jet ski with preinstalled speakers
The best solution is buying a jet ski that has already been equipped with speakers. Kawasaki and Sea-Doo are two companies that currently manufacture jet ski models that boast powerful on-board audio systems and speakers.
These sound systems look sleek, secure and have more controls than aftermarket ones that require permanent modifications on your jet ski. They are pretty powerful and can be quite loud too. Even if you are riding at a speed of 60mph you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite tunes.
If you are shopping for a new personal watercraft, built-in sound systems are a key feature to consider. But for anyone that already owns a used jet ski, or anybody shopping on a budget, you will have to look at other options for adding audio to your jet ski.
(2) Install aftermarket speakers
You can also have a custom job done to install speakers on your jet ski. This can be done with aftermarket speakers which are fully-integrated audio systems that include a radio, amplifier, and speakers. This option is a bit expensive. You can expect to spend between $1000-$2000 depending on the quality of speakers you choose.
The biggest benefit of aftermarket speakers is they are more complex sound systems so they can get much louder than a standard portable speaker.
How to Install
If you don’t have experience with electrical wiring or installing stereos, it’s important to hire a professional to help install the speakers.
Most professionals who install audio systems on cars or trucks can get the job done on your jet ski. However, the necessary waterproofing adds a unique twist to the installation process which many technicians don’t have to think about when installing systems into land-based vehicles. So be sure to find a capable technician to install your speakers.
Some speakers can be mounted via straps, others have to be screwed to the body of the jet ski while others require drilling holes on the body of your jet ski where the speakers will go through.
Get a professional job done because this process can weaken the structure of your jet ski, interfere with other features, void warranties or significantly decrease the resale value especially if the next buyer isn’t impressed by the cool speakers you installed.
Things to consider
The biggest downside of installing aftermarket speakers on your jet ski is the subwoofer and the amps are placed where the storage compartment should be. And this might take up all your storage space and leg space which can be a big problem during tow sports or if you do a lot of camping. You might need to buy a waterproof pouch to store your phone if you don’t have a compartment.
If you drill holes make sure to use a generous coating with epoxy to maintain the original look of the jet ski and sealant to prevent water from getting in through the holes.
You should also consider getting an extra battery for the audio system in order to get full power for playing your music and avoid draining the battery of your jet ski.
(3) Portable Bluetooth speakers
Portable Bluetooth speakers are the best option for listening to music on your jet ski if you have limited space or if you don’t want to make any permanent modifications to your watercraft. They are affordable and small in size so you can just attach with clips or straps.
You can also put the speaker in your storage compartment since it doesn’t take up much space and can leave room for other things. Some Bluetooth speakers are small enough to attach to your life jacket.
Bluetooth speakers come with their own battery so you don’t have to worry about draining your jet ski’s battery with your music system. Another good thing is since the speaker is not permanently attached to your jet ski, you can take it with you if you want to chill on the beach or if you want to continue listening to your music at the pool.
The only downside of using Bluetooth speakers is how loud they can get. You probably won’t be able to hear anything if you are moving at a speed of 30mph or above.
Things to consider
Get portable Bluetooth speakers that have an IPX7 rating because these are waterproof and they can be submerged into 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. You should also get speakers that are sand-proof.
Placement and Safety Precautions
The best place to install speakers on your jet ski is where they are out of the way but still loud enough. This could be below your mirrors, handlebars, or on your life jacket. Make sure you place your speakers in front of you so the sound can travel back towards you.
Keep in mind that some speakers are designed to replace the mirrors on your jet ski. In some states, you may be unable to tow a tube or wakeboarder without mirrors so check if this is allowed in your state before replacing them with speakers.
An empty compartment is also a very good place to store your speakers because it creates an echo chamber that amplifies the audio. However, if you are riding past 30mph, it may be difficult to hear the music with the speakers inside the compartment.
You can place your speakers below your seat or the rear grab bar but this is not ideal because the sound will be traveling to you from behind. Most portable speakers are small and not powerful enough to project the sound to you from behind when the jet ski is moving at high speed.
If you are using clips or straps to attach your speakers to the rear of the jet ski, make sure they hold tight because they can fall off in turbulent waters.
Don’t attempt to install a fully-integrated audio system on your own if you are not an electrician or have experience installing stereos. This process requires some complex wiring and drilling holes into your jet ski. And as mentioned earlier, making permanent modification to the jet ski body can decrease the overall resale value or void certain warranties.
There are different ways to add speakers and listen to music on your jet ski. Each option has its pros and cons but your choice of speakers will depend on how much you are willing to spend, how loud you want your music, and if you are willing to make permanent modifications to your jet ski.