- nominal power: 30 watts
- peak power: 160 watts
- impedance: 4 ohms
- sensitivity: 86 dB/W/m
- frequency response range: 60 – 20,000 Hz
- unit weight: 4.25 lbs
- unit dimensions: 6.94 x 2.41 inches (diameter x depth)
- warranty: 1 year (applies to purchase from Amazon.com)
- user manual: not available online
- wireless: no
- battery life: n/a
- signal range: n/a
Many times in audio engineering world “keeping it simple” often yield the best results. Kenwood’s KFC-1652MRW is an example of this: A very simple design, resistance to UV and salt water, good isolation, and all in all good quality sound at a very low price. If you’re looking at a balanced starting speaker set that’s about as cheap as you can get, this is your best choice.
The KFC-1652MRW marine speaker system is a coaxial system with a 6.5 inch mid-bass driver, a waterproof carbon glass fibre cone, and a 1 inch PEI balanced dome tweeter. PEI is short for Polyetherimide, which is a high grade plastic material. The crossover point is specified at 5000Hz and it is mostly likely a first order high pass filter done with a capacitor in series with the tweeter. The mid-bass driver uses a ferrite magnet and the tweeter uses a neodymium magnet for compact dimensions.
Power: 6.5/10 – While the KFC-1652MRW sounds good and balanced, it will not give you a lot of output. It is rated at only 30W and has a sensitivity of 86dB/W/m. It will need twice as much power to sound as loud as a speaker with 89db/W/m. This marine speaker is intended to be powered by the head unit. If you’re looking for a cheap, simple solution for ambient music on our boat, these will be fine, but you’ll likely have to go with a higher powered choice if you really want to project sound beyond the direct perimeter of your boat.
Aesthetics & Style: 3.5/5 – These speakers have a clean matte white design that will blend almost anywhere. They have a somewhat classic looking horizontally barred grille with the tweeter in the center. A nice touch is by an extrusion in the shape of a triangle on the grille.
Portability & Convenience: 4.5/5 – One good thing that decent budget speakers have is an easier than normal set up. The KFC-165MRW is a plug and play system. It’s very easy to install, and doesn’t require any adjustment or initial calibration. Just plug in the wire and fit it in. It also comes with an adapter to fit in smaller cutouts. These speakers are designed to go directly into the head unit so you wont have to worry about setting up an amplifier system either.
Durability: 4/5 – Most of the speaker is made from durable plastic. The magnets are sealed and protected against salt water. The speaker set is graded to withstand a marine environment, and many have owned the KFC-1652MRW speakers for years on boats without any problems.
Warranty: 3/5 – All Kenwood marine speaker systems come with a 1 year warranty. It’s a little on the short side compared to other brands, but at least you’re protected from potentially defective units.
Price: 10/10 – At significantly less than $100, these speakers are currently a steal, and arguably the best value per dollar on the market right now as long as the price remains this discounted.
Amazon Average User Rating: 4.8/5 – You can read the Amazon.com reviews here
Bottom Line: 8.1/10
The reason that these budget speakers are so popular is that they have good balanced sound, are incredibly easy to set up, and are cheap enough to practically be a steal. If you’re looking into a starter system that’s simple and you don’t need massive power, than these speakers are a great choice. However, consider that it might be prudent to invest more money into a higher powered system if you plan on it being a permanent fixture in your boat for the years to come.