These off-road stereo systems produce great sound and are built to take a beating
The first time I ever experienced an ATV radio or stereo system was interesting. The sound quality was ok, although it was quickly drowned out by the engine. But the durability was pretty good and the idea was much better than my previous attempts at music while I rode. Years ago, I would run headphones up the back of my jersey and wear them inside my helmet. It worked ok, except I couldn’t hear anything else. Today’s ATV radios are so much better than anything from even a year or two ago. Sound quality has gone way up, and the actual stereo units are smaller and more durable. Here are five of the best ATV radios and stereo systems available today for your ATV or UTV.
Table of Contents
- 1. Editor's Choice: Rockford Fosgate PMX-2
- 2. Jensen MS3A Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo
- 3. Kenwood KMR-D372BT Marine Bluetooth CD Receiver
- 4. Velex Marine Digital Media Receiver
- 5. BOSS Audio MGR450B Stereo
- What should I look for in a UTV stereo unit?
- How much power do I need for a stereo unit?
1. Editor's Choice: Rockford Fosgate PMX-2
If you’re going to go big, get the best sound quality you can. Rockford Fosgate’s PMX-2 Punch Series AM/FM/WB Tuner and compact digital media receiver is what most other UTV stereo systems are measured by. It has a 2.7-inch color display and a custom built-in user interface and operating system. The full-color TFT screen supports album artwork and channel logos, and you can see it clearly even in direct sunlight. Epsom memory eliminates the need for a constant power source, eliminating battery draining dark-current draw during storage, so it won’t kill your battery like some units do. Rockford Fosgate’s Extreme Environmental Testing and Certification process means this unit can withstand extended exposure to the elements. They even certify for IPX6 water and dust Ingress on faceplate. The full color display has auto-dimming back lightning, a global AM/FM/WB Tuner and the whole thing fits into a 3-inch diameter opening. There is also a USB input, built-in Bluetooth and Pandora internet radio. Power comes from 50 watts x 4 and each unit has 2 ohm stable outputs allowing for up to eight 4 ohm speakers to be used with the internal amplifier. This is the best unit we’ve found so far!
2. Jensen MS3A Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo
The Jensen MS3A is a 160-watt, waterproof, self-contained stereo. Using the Jensen jControl app, you can control all of the stereo’s functions with your mobile device.
Designed to be ultra compact with just a 3.5-inch diameter, it can fit into many UTV dash spaces with minimal effort, only requiring a three-inch gauge hole. It has an AM/FM radio, both USB and Auxiliary inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Despite its compact size, the MS3A has a large LCD display that is readable in daylight with blue backlit controls.
This ATV radio won’t provide the biggest sound, so if you like things a little louder you should invest in an amplifier that you can pair with it.
3. Kenwood KMR-D372BT Marine Bluetooth CD Receiver
If you have the space, and want the option of a CD player too, there are some great options out there for you. This stereo from Kenwood is right up there. It packs everything you could want in a stereo, with AM/FM radio, CD, MP3, Bluetooth and satellite radio from Sirrus. The unit has a security faceplate and a waterproof housing with a flip-down splashguard. The circuitry was built to withstand the rigors of marine use, with solid connections and corrosion resistance. It has 50W x 4 MOSFET built-in amplification and can be expanded with additional amplifiers. Sound quality is amazing and when paired with the right UTV speakers, this unit will provide your inner audiophile with countless hours of enjoyment.
4. Velex Marine Digital Media Receiver
It should really be no secret that many of the in-dash marine receiver stereo units and the same for UTVs are virtually identical. The technology carries over extremely well, as most marine stereos have to withstand the constant pounding a marine environment can dish out with rough waters, salt corrosion and more. Add in dust and mud, and you’ve got the perfect UTV or ATV radio or stereo, too. This unit is Velex’ top of the line and features a 3-inch color LCD display that shows you exactly what mode you’re using and information from the music file being played. It has AM/FM, AUX input, MP3 input and Bluetooth, making it connect with your digital media players and smartphones. It has 50W x 4 output and Balance/Fader/Bass/Treble and Preset built-in EQ controls to tailor the sound to your tastes.
5. BOSS Audio MGR450B Stereo
BOSS audio has been in the business of providing quality audio components for ATVs and UTVs for a long time. It has a wide-range of products, too. In fact, it’d be hard to make a list of ATV radios and stereo systems without including something from the company. The MGR450B is compact and ready to be mounted in the dash of your UTV. It has all the usual features you’d expect with AM/FM/WB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and audio inputs for using other devices. This stereo has 60W x 4 output making it one of the more powerful stand-alone stereo units. Other nice features include RDS Tuner, and controllable Balance, Fade, Bass, Treble and Preset built-in EQ. The display if backlit for easy use and the whole unit is weatherproof just as you would expect.
March 16, 2021: Added the Jensen MS3A to the list.
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What should I look for in a UTV stereo unit?
There are two major points to consider first and foremost with a UTV stereo unit. You need to know if it will fit into the space you have available to mount it, and whether or not it will withstand the abuse of being used in an off-road environment. Luckily, most stereo units are small and compact these days. With the music industry moving away from CDs and to digital streaming, the need for a lot of space for a stereo is over. Now, if you still want the option to play CDs, you can get a nice stereo for it, but know that you’ll need more space for mounting it. You also want a weatherproof stereo. Most of the marine-designed stereo units work exceptionally well for UTV and ATV use. They are waterproof and dust proof and are rated to withstand the shock and vibration of an extreme environment.
How much power do I need for a stereo unit?
How you decide to set up your UTV or ATV stereo is very different from how you would do so in your car or truck. The difference is soundproofing. The interior of your car or truck has significant soundproofing designed into it to make the driving experience more enjoyable. In you UTV, for example, there is no real soundproofing because you’re in the open air, and you’re expecting to like the sound of the motor humming and the tires rolling. If you really want your stereo to overpower all of that, you’re going to want to add amplification and along with it, know that you’ll probably need to adjust the power output and battery voltage to match.