BOSS Rebel PowerSports Sound System Review
If you happen to visit a UTV rally or any event with a lot of machines on hand, you are bound to see a wide array of accessories that improve both performance and the enjoyment of the riding experience. Never wanting to leave money on the table, the vehicle manufacturers offer many of these items on special edition models. One notable absence, though, is a sound system.
The major UTV manufacturers are reluctant to offer even a basic stereo in a stock UTV. Since UTV drivers have a stereo in their tow vehicle to listen to on the way to the trails, many of them would like the same convenience in their off-road machines. Fortunately, the aftermarket noticed this demand and offers no shortage of options to get your UTV pumping out your favorite music.
While we have seen many UTVs outfitted with many different audio systems, we have never tried to install one of our own. We had a chance to remedy that problem when BOSS Rebel PowerSports asked us to test out one of its systems. Since we were heading to West Virginia for the Gilbert National TrailFest with a borrowed Kawasaki Teryx4, we agreed.
Upon arrival at our lodge in West Virginia, we were greeted with a collection of boxes filled with BOSS Rebel PowerSports goodies. It was time to get to work.
The BOSS Rebel BR800 Amplifier was the key component in our sound system.
The key piece of equipment for our sound system project was the BOSS Rebel BR800 amplifier. As the name implies, this amplifier can produce up to 800 watts of power. But more important is the claim that this is a weatherproof piece of equipment. Since the forecast was calling for lots of rain, which means lots of mud on the trails, this claim was going to be put to the test.
Also included in the kit were a pair of 550-watt MRWT69 marine speakers. Measuring 6″ x 9″, these speakers were much larger than I was expecting. Fortunately, they are marine speakers and are designed to laugh off anything Mother Nature planned to throw at them.
A pair of BOSS MRWT69 would bring music to our ears.
Our kit from BOSS Rebel PowerSports also included a relay, Bluetooth controller, and a wiring kit that included everything we needed to install the components. We brought along a small tool kit, which included wire cutter/stripper, adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, cordless drill, electrical tape, and a handful of zip ties. A ratchet set would have saved us considerable time and aggravation; shame on us for not thinking about it ahead of time.
This Bluetooth controller hooks up with your smartphone or tablet to access your music library.
Installing the speakers was the first order of business. We secured them to the roll cage above the rear seats. The clamps on the speakers came with rubber squares to help protect the roll cage from scratches, which worked great. However, the cage on our Teryx4 was too small for the speakers to clamp down on fully. We called on our inner MacGyver and cut up some cardboard into smaller squares, which we placed inside the clamps, giving the speakers a much firmer grip on the cage. Tightening the hex bolts was another challenge, as the roof on the Teryx4 made accessing the bolts difficult. A ratchet set would have allowed us to temporarily remove the roof to do a better job tightening the clamps. We would also recommend some threadlock on the bolts to keep them from loosening on the trail.
The speakers were installed on the roll cage above the rear seats.
After clamping down the speakers, we ran speaker wire across the cage (which we secured with zip ties) and over to the driver’s seat. We removed the seat (would have been much simpler with a ratchet) and placed the amplifier in the cavity. We secured the amplifier to a square of plywood so it wouldn’t move around too much and packed in a bunch of folded cardboard to provide some cushioning. However, if the Teryx4 wasn’t a loaner we would have securely/permanently mounted the amplifier in the seat cavity.
We removed the driver’s seat to access a spot to hold the BR800 amplifier.
The amplifier is the connection point for the speakers, controller, relay and the machine itself. We spliced and installed wires to make all the necessary connections to the components and had to remove some plastics off the Teryx to reach the battery, where we had to connect separate wires to the positive and negative posts. Once again, this would be been much easier with a ratchet.
A ratchet would have come awfully handy when we needed to connect some wires to both battery posts.
The final piece to the puzzle was connecting the relay to the ACC (accessory fuse) of the Teryx4. This ensures you can’t draw any power from the machine when it’s not running, thus saving you from draining your battery. The easiest way to do this would be to splice one of the wires leading to the ACC. Unfortunately, we needed to return the Teryx4 in the same condition we found it, so splicing a wire was out of the question. After much head scratching, we attached a spade connector (found in the wiring kit) to the wire coming out of the relay and inserted it into a spare spot in the ACC, unsure if this would work.
With fingers crossed, we turned on the Teryx and connected the playlist on our tablet with the Bluetooth controller, which couldn’t have been easier. A press of the Play button on the controller was quickly followed by music. Eureka!
Sitting idle in the parking lot of our lodge, the music sounded pretty good. It’s not obnoxiously loud, but certainly loud enough to get the attention of anybody close by. The real test, however, would come on the trail.
After getting outfitted with helmets and proper riding gear, four of us loaded into the Teryx4. To make as much room as possible for the rear passengers, we pushed the speakers to the far left and right of the crossbar of the frame. Getting in without bonking your helmet on a speaker requires some careful movement. Once seated you are pretty much out of the way of the speakers, but if you’ve got an aggressive driver who takes corners fast and plows through the whoops, you will bump into them on occasion. Fortunately, when you are wearing a helmet (and you are wearing a helmet, right?) this is just a minor inconvenience.
We started up the music again after we got to the trailhead. With helmets on and the engine running hard, the music didn’t sound as loud as we expected. We could still clearly hear the music and know what song was playing while driving, but it would have been nice if it was a touch louder. Of course, that comes at the risk of bothering other riders and locals who live near the trail. We talked to other riders at TrailFest who had sound systems from other manufacturers installed in their UTVs and most wished their systems were louder as well.
If everybody’s music was as loud as what the guitar guy in Mad Max Fury Road was playing, sound systems would likely be banned from off-road trails in short order.
We rode with the BOSS Rebel PowerSports system in our Teryx4 for two days through heavy rain and lots and lots of mud. Both the speakers and amplifier were covered in mud and dirty water by the time we uninstalled them, yet everything remained in proper working order. To say we came away impressed with their construction would be an understatement.
Both the speakers and amplifier were covered in muddy water by the time we were done with them, but that didn’t stop them from playing music!
With proper tools and a little knowhow, installing the BOSS Rebel PowerSports sound system into a Kawasaki Teryx4 or any other UTV shouldn’t take more than an hour or two. We would highly recommend properly mounting both the amplifier and remote directly to the Teryx4. Though everything came out unscathed after our test, we imagine you’d vastly improve the life of your sound system by doing a much more thorough job that we did.