Best RV Speaker Upgrade For Interior And Exterior

Few things are better than kicking back in your RV or outside under the awning and enjoying some of your favorite tunes. But in many RVs, the stock speakers aren’t high quality, and the sound isn’t exactly the best. An RV speaker upgrade can change all that.

If you have less than spectacular RV speakers, the good news is, that you can upgrade them fairly easily. Let’s take a closer look at interior and exterior RV speakers, plus the best RV speaker upgrades available right now. 

Do RVs Come With Interior And Exterior Speakers?

Travel trailer with awning lights parked behind a campfire
Exterior RV speakers can make campfires even better

Wondering if RVs come with speakers?

When it comes to interior RV speakers, the majority do have them in some form. These can come in many forms. Bluetooth speakers or a soundbar are common but most common are speakers recessed into the ceiling. In many cases, RVs will even have a central control panel that controls the sound system. 

When it comes to exterior RV speakers, they’re not as common, but you will often find them. And almost always, they’ll be weatherproof speakers so that they can stand up to extensive outdoor use. 

For example, our 2021 Class A motorhome has a sound bar for our main TV and outside TV. Our bedroom TV has its own built in speaker. The Bluetooth radio in our rig has ceiling-mounted speakers in the driver’s cab, dinette ceiling, and bedroom ceiling. And the radio can also play through our sound bars.

Our 2008 Class C RV has a much simpler setup. It just has the normal truck radio speakers in the driver’s cab and two ceiling mounted speakers above the dinette.

Is An RV Speaker Upgrade Expensive?

Soundboard with lots of speakers mounted to it
Are expensive RV speakers better?

As with most things, as a general rule, the more expensive your RV speakers, the better. Of course, the more expensive you get, the more diminishing returns you’ll see on paying more. While top-of-the-line audio equipment is great for audiophiles, your average consumer likely won’t be able to tell the difference. 

What will be noticeable for nearly anyone, however, are cheap RV speakers. With cheap speakers, you’ll get tinny, hollow sound that’s prone to crackling at high volumes. Worse, cheap speakers are likely to wear out much more quickly, especially if used at high volumes. 

Due to this, you’ll want to get at least mid-range RV speakers. Look for speakers in the $50 and above range to avoid the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. For the high-end, look for speakers in the $100 and above range. 

When shopping for speakers, there are three main measurements (besides size) that you’ll want to consider: power rating, frequency response, and sensitivity:

  • Power rating, also called a wattage rating, tells you how much power a speaker can handle. Generally speaking, the higher this number, the louder the speaker can get. 
  • Frequency response is a measure of how good a speaker is at handling different frequencies, usually given as a range in Hertz (Hz). This shows you how well the speaker will handle different ranges of sound like bass, treble, etc. 
  • Sensitivity is a bit more complex, as it measures the relationship between the power going to the speaker versus the volume coming out of it. It is measured in decibels. In general, you’ll want to look for a sensitivity of at least 87 dB, and anything above 90 dB is considered excellent. 

Another thing to consider is your amplifier. This is the device that takes the audio signal and increases the power of the signal so that it is loud enough to drive your speakers.

Even with the best RV speaker upgrade in the world, if you have a cheap amp, they still won’t sound great. If you want high-quality audio, you’ll need a high-quality amp as well. 

Best RV Speaker Upgrade Options

Now that we know about RV speakers, let’s take a look at the best RV speaker upgrade options available for your RV. 

Exterior RV Speaker Upgrade Options

1. BOSS Marine 6.5”

BOSS Marine 6.5” RV speaker upgrade

BOSS Marine speakers are perfect for outdoors

The BOSS MR6W are 6.5” marine speakers that provide a full range of sound. They’re fully weatherproof and appropriate for use as external RV speakers. 

Rated for 180 watts max and 89dB, which means they provide good sound and volume. The 80Hz to 20kHz frequency response means they have a decent range, although they won’t deliver powerful bass. 

2. Pioneer Marine 6.5”

Pioneer Marine 6.5” speaker
Pioneer speakers are legendary

Pioneer’s TS-ME650FC speakers are 6.5” marine speakers with a variety of great features. These RV speakers have an IPX7 waterproof rating.

They’re rated for 250 watts max and 88 dB sensitivity, so they provide decent if not exceptional volume. However, they do extremely well when it comes to their frequency range of 34 Hz to 23 kHz. This means they can provide solid lows and crisp clean highs. These speakers also have an optional RGB LED light kit to provide extra ambiance for your next tailgate. 

3. Kenwood Marine 6.5”

Kenwood Marine 6.5” RV speaker upgrade

Kenwood’s KFC-1673MRWL 6.5” marine speakers are a quality option for exterior RV speakers. 

The speakers are IPX5-rated, meaning they’re resistant to being splashed or getting a bit wet. They also come standard with variable color and pattern illumination, with a remote control included. The lights provide 21 colors, 21 lighting mode patterns, 8 brightness levels, and 7 speed levels. 

The speakers are rated for 260 watts max and 86 dB sensitivity, so they will provide decent sound. The frequency response is rated for 65Hz to 21kHza, so they provide a decent range of sound but will struggle at the low end.

4. Kicker Marine 6.5”

Kicker Marine 6.5” speaker
Looking to Give your RV’s sound system a boost? Kicker speakers are the answer

For a high-quality exterior RV speaker, it’s hard to beat the Kicker KM604 6.5” marine speaker. These speakers are designed to exceed industry standards and can withstand nearly any weather conditions. They come standard with blue LED lighting to add ambiance. 

These speakers are rated for 150 watts max and 90 dB sensitivity, providing excellent volume. With a frequency response range of 35Hz to 21kHz, they also provide exceptional sound, with rich lows and crisp highs. 

5. Jensen Marine 5.25”

Jensen Marine 5.25” speaker

The Jensen Marine MS5006BR 5.25” marine speakers are a great choice for highly affordable external RV speakers. 

They’re corrosion and UV-resistant to be appropriate for external use. The speakers are rated for 36 watts max and 85 dB sensitivity, providing decent if not spectacular volume. The frequency response range goes from 70Hz to 20kHz, so they have a decent range but will struggle at the low end. 

Interior RV Speaker Upgrade Options

6. BOSS 5.25”

BOSS 5.25” RV speaker upgrade
BOSS Audio is a trusted brand in mobile audio

The BOSS CH5530B are 5.25” speakers that are a great choice for interior RV speakers. They’re full-range, 3-way speakers, meaning they contain a mid-range, woofer, and tweeter driver for a full range of sound. 

These speakers have excellent volume, with a max wattage range of 225 watts and a 90dB sensitivity rating. The frequency response ranges from 100 Hz to 18 kHz, providing decent sound, though they won’t deliver strong low ends. 

7. Pioneer 5.25”

Pioneer 5.25” speaker

For interior RV speakers that provide great value for the price, the Pioneer TS-A1371F 5.25” speaker is an excellent choice. The speakers are designed to provide seamless and smooth sound with dynamic, high-impact bass, thanks to Pioneer’s OPEN & SMOOTH sound concept. 

The speakers provide excellent volume, with 300 max wattages and 89 dB sensitivity. With a frequency response range of 44 Hz to 52 kHz, they also produce solid low ends and clear highs. 

8. Kenwood 5.25”

Kenwood 5.25” RV speaker upgrade
Any speaker enthusiast knows the name Kenwood

The Kenwood KFC-1396PS is an excellent choice for 5.25” interior RV speakers. They have a diamond array pattern woofer cone, which enhances sound and reduces distortion. An acoustic sound harmonizer produces smoother, natural sound by only allowing certain frequencies to pass through the speaker. 

These speakers are rated for 320 watts max and 85 dB sensitivity, meaning they provide good volume. The frequency response range goes from 80Hz to 25kHz, providing a decent sound but struggling at the low end. 

9. Kicker 4”

Kicker 4” speaker

The Kicker CS Series CSC4 are small 4” speakers that deliver big sound and clean bass, thanks to large woofer magnets. Plus, neodymium tweeter magnets mean increased volume at high frequencies. 

These speakers provide good volume for their size, with 150 watts peak power and 88 dB sensitivity. The frequency response range goes from 60Hz to 20kHz, for solid sound at low and high ends. 

10. Jensen 6.5”

Jensen 6.5” speaker
Jensen speakers provide lots of bang for your buck

The Jensen MSX60RV are 6.5” speakers made specially for RVs. They’re waterproof and corrosion and UV-resistant so can be used as exterior or interior RV speakers. 

The speakers are rated for 75 watts max power and 91 dB sensitivity, providing decent volume. The frequency range is rated for 65Hz to 20kHz, providing solid sound through the mid and high ranges, and providing some decent low end. 

Can You Use Interior Speakers Outdoors?

Replacing RV speakers is a pretty easy job

Interior RV speakers are generally cheaper than their outdoor counterparts. Due to this, you might be tempted to install interior speakers on the exterior of your RV to save money. However, this is not recommended, for a variety of reasons. 

You see, exterior RV speakers are designed to withstand the elements. That means not just the speaker itself, but also its housing, hardware like screws, and all other parts are able to withstand temperature changes, humidity, rain, and the increased wear and tear of outdoor use. They won’t rust or become damaged from being exposed on the exterior of your RV. 

Interior RV speakers, meanwhile, are not designed for this kind of use. If you install them outside, you’ll find that parts quickly become rusted, and the speakers will likely stop working in short order. 

Are RV Speakers The Same As Car Speakers?

Small round speaker in a car door

Looking at RV speakers, you might notice they look pretty similar to car speakers. And this is for good reason: in many cases, they are in fact the same. 

Interior RV speakers are a little different from car speakers, and mostly use the same standard sizes: 4”, 5.25”, and 6.5”. So, in most cases, a car speaker can be used inside an RV without issue. However, sometimes, you may encounter differences, such as slightly different housings. 

Exterior RV speakers, while similar in appearance, are not as interchangeable. This is because they’re rated for outdoor use, while car speakers virtually never are. So, we recommend you avoid installing typical car speakers on the exterior of your RV. 

Final Thoughts About RV Speakers

If your RV speakers aren’t delivering the sound you want, then an RV speaker upgrade is highly recommended.

Look for speakers with higher max wattage ratings, a large frequency response range, and a sensitivity of at least 85 dB, with 90+ being ideal.

Also, be sure only to use weatherproof speakers designed for external use on the exterior of your RV. With your new speakers installed, you can enjoy rich, booming sound, anytime.

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About the Author:

Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer who owns a Class C RV and a Class A RV. He loves to travel with his wife Susan and write blog articles about the RV lifestyle.

Mike and Susan also make YouTube videos on the RVBlogger YouTube channel.