Best Motorcycle Sound Systems 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

There are two kinds of bikers in the world.

One, bikers who are all about speaker helmets. Bluetooth, intercom systems, all that jazz.

The second kind is bikers who can’t get enough of motorcycle sound systems. Good old classic high-quality sound systems attached to your bike, that don’t get in the way of traffic noises, and don’t block out the sound of the wind, birds chirping (it’s really the best of both worlds, music + nature).

(And maybe a third kind of biker that rides without music — I’ll never understand you guys)

This was probably one of the most fun product testings: I ordered around 20 sound systems and blasted hard rock until the neighbors told me to shut it down. Whatever, still worth it.

In this article, you’ll find the absolute best performing motorcycle sound systems, and there’s something for every kind of rider. If you’re short on patience though, you cannot go wrong with the Kuryakyn 2720, my top pick.

Top 7 Best Motorcycle Sound Systems 2021

1. Kuryakyn 2720 MTX

Kuryakyn 2720 MTX Best Motorcycle Sound Systems

Our Top Pick Sound System

I couldn’t get the Kuryakyn out of my mind after I tried it out. I’ve been using one of the earliest GoHawk sound system models on my bike, but after testing out this sound system? It’s Kuryakyn all the way for me.

The Kuryakyn is my top pick because it exceeds expectations with sound quality, incredibly loud volume, build and design, and all those extra features. These weatherproof speakers have razor fast Bluetooth connection, connecting way faster to my phone than regular Bluetooth speakers do.

Since the installing position is directly in front of the rider, there won’t be much distortion in the audio. Even when you’re driving at 100mph+ these speakers are louder than the wind. These would be considered motorcycle handlebar speakers since they fit in right in front of you. There’s some great cutting edge technology used in this sound system which is why you get excellent sound quality — dual voice coils and four high-frequency silk dome tweeters with N42 grade magnets (that’s a mouthful).

One of the best things about this Bluetooth speaker is the amplification power of the device. Even though this device is smaller than most regular stereo speakers, it has powerful amplification with a 4-channel amp. It’s quite simply one of the loudest speakers I tried out.

The four-channel amp powers up to 2″ x 3″ full-range speakers. However, the sound quality does take a hit if you don’t have a windshield. If you’re looking for a speaker that’s loud without a windshield, I suggest the GoHawk AN4-X 600 Watts.

This Bluetooth audio system is powerful and can be used in all kinds of weather. The device is completely sealed to prevent any dust from entering it. The built-in heat sink of the device helps to keep it cool even when it’s directly under bright sunlight.

Pros

  • Four-channel amp powers
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Full-range speakers
  • Weatherproof speakers
  • No distortion
  • Handlebar speakers
  • Soundbar style

Cons

  • Slightly complicated installation
  • Not affordable for everyone
  • Clamps need to be adjusted

Suitable For

If you’re looking for a motorcycle sound system that’s the undisputed best and will last for (at least) a couple of years, look no further. The Kuryakyn Thunder Sound Bar is a great choice if you want motorcycle speakers that ‘do it all. They score high on Bluetooth connection, loud volume, and durability.

CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON →

2. Cardo Packtalk

Cardo Packtalk

Best High-End/Best Premium Sound System

Cardo by PACKTALK is one of the best motorcycle speakers in the market. It’s the best premium speaker system: mainly because it sports a JBL powered sound system. This is a helmet sound system that comes with an intercom. That means you enjoy streaming music, Bluetooth compatibility, and being able to talk to your friends riding with you (up to four connections. Sorry Kevin, 5’s a crowd).

It sports a JBL-designed specifically tuned processor that can enhance the music to be audible while riding, even through the sound of wind whipping past you. That means high-quality sound even at the highest volume.

One of my favorite features of this device is that you don’t have to use your hands to operate it. You can use natural voice commands to operate the device. Apart from it being insanely cool to talk to your helmet (You just have to say, “Hey Cardo”), this ensures safety by avoiding any errors in driving due to touch operation. You don’t want to be fiddling around to press a button when you’re riding 70mph.

The Cardo speaker has a technology called DMC (Dynamic Mesh Communication) which is what enables the super long-range intercom. Here’s the good news: the DMC switches from Bluetooth music, navigation, and intercom super quick. The bad news? They can’t run simultaneously.

Cardo is one of the slimmest Bluetooth systems for a motorcycle helmet. It measures around 6.5 mm top to bottom. You can easily fix this anywhere you want on the motorcycle: but since it has a compact and aerodynamic design, it’s best when fixed to your helmet.

This motorcycle Bluetooth system is super durable as well. Cardo is qualified as IP67 waterproof, which lets you use this speaker even when it’s raining outside. (Maybe don’t dunk it in a swimming pool, though). The water-resistance feature is something that even the Kuryakyn speaker doesn’t have.

I think this is the best motorcycle audio system that you can get in the higher-end price bracket. It’s definitely worth investing in technology that’ll last years together.

Pros

  • Compact and aerodynamic design
  • 1P67 Waterproof
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Loud Audio
  • USB Charging port

Cons

  • DMC and Bluetooth are not simultaneous
  • Not affordable for everyone

Suitable For

If you go on long cross-country rides with your friends, you’ll probably enjoy the crisp sound of an in-helmet speaker, as well as being able to talk to your pillion or fellow rider without having to pull over. The Cardo PACKTALK for you if you’re serious about riding and willing to invest in a speaker that’ll radically improve your riding experience. If you can convince three of your best buds to get their own Cardos, you’ll unlock a whole new level of bike riding.

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3. Boss Audio Systems MC420B

Boss Audio Systems MC420B

Best Budget Motorcycle Sound System

If you’re not looking to go all out on your motorcycle stereo system and would be much more comfortable with a budget option: I’ve got just the thing for you. The MC420B is one of the best models from BOSS for the price point.

These speakers will be a great fit for all the vehicles which support 13 Volt music systems. You can connect these speakers to any Bluetooth-enabled device and use them to wireless stream on the speaker. The speaker also supports streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Prime Music)

These stereo speakers have a protective rubber layer on the handlebar mounts. Why is this necessary? This rubber layer prevents direct contact between the metallic surfaces of the handlebar brackets and the handlebar, so you don’t get any scratches on your precious two-wheeler.

You can easily control the speakers using the inline remote volume control provided by the manufacturer. You can connect this directly to the speaker. This makes using the device much easier as you don’t have to lean in to touch the speakers all the time.

You can also connect to this device using a cable with the 3.5 mm audio jack, in case you find that more convenient.

While you don’t get a ton of fancy features, the Boss MC420B is great for what it promises: decent sound quality and durability. It may not be waterproof or run on voice commands like the Cardo PACKTALK, but it could be perfect for someone looking for a solid stereo system.

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Rubber insulation
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Loud sounds
  • Sound clarity
  • High-quality audio

Cons

  • Not as durable as other speakers
  • Electrical components not waterproof

Suitable For

This is the best motorcycle stereo system for someone on a budget. You get great sound quality for the price point and it’s pretty durable as well.

CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON →

4. Boss Audio Systems MCBK520B

Boss Audio Systems MCBK520B

Best Amplifier System

Boss is known for producing the best motorcycle speakers, and the MCBK520B is a more premium version of the MC420B.

This is one of the few stereo speakers that come with an FM radio and an amplifier. When I tested this one out, I realized the sound from the device wasn’t as blaring loud as some of the other speakers on the list, but unless you’re tearing down the highway at 80mph, it should be sufficient.

The MCBK520B Motorcycle Speaker is also completely waterproof: so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the pouring rain. The device is sealed tight to prevent any foreign substances from entering the device.

This Bluetooth device also has a great design. The two speakers that are provided with the device are chrome coated to look their best on your motorcycle. The adjustable brackets of the Bluetooth system will fit in motorcycles with handlebars of .75 inches to 1.25 inches (I recommend you measure your bike before purchase).

You get a multi-function remote in the device. Make sure that you fix the main control panel in a place easily accessible to you: this speaker isn’t operated by voice commands, unfortunately.

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Rubber insulation
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sound clarity
  • High-quality audio

Cons

  • Not as durable as other speakers
  • Electrical components not waterproof

Suitable For

I’d recommend this Boss speaker to the Harley Davidson cruiser-lover since they work best at slower speeds. It’s a really solid speaker choice for someone looking for a mid-range value for money option with the perfect blend of durable build and additional features.

CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON →

5. Handlebar Pyle PLMCA90

Handlebar Pyle PLMCA90

Best Handlebar Speakers

Pyle PLMCA90 is a handlebar mount speaker set. Even though a couple of the speakers on this list are in the Handlebar style, I felt this Pyle model fit the best on different-sized handlebars. The package includes four speakers which can be fixed on the same motorcycle for surround sound (or give two to your buddy. Sharing is caring). The speaker pods have a metallic finish which looks good on most motorcycles (I said most motorcycles. Nothing can make the original 2003 Multistrada look good.)

Pyle PLMCA90 is equipped with a four-channel amplifier. This amplifier can work on 30p Watts of each speaker output and produce a very loud and high-quality sound. The speakers can be directly mounted on the handlebars by using the handlebar brackets provided with the product.

These speakers from Pyle are designed so that they can be used even when it’s raining heavily. The amplifier, however, can not be exposed to water as it may damage the internal circuits of the device. Try to place the amplifier under some protection from the rain.

Thanks to the latest version of Bluetooth in the device, you should be able to connect to almost all of the Bluetooth-enabled devices with this audio system. The connection will also be more stable with the improvements in the version.

It is so easy to change the volume of the speakers using the volume control system provided with the speakers. The 12 Volt T-TAP in the device ensures that the device consumes less power and outputs the sound of better quality and higher volume.

Pros

  • Waterproof speakers
  • Low battery consumption
  • High volume
  • Works well with high speeds
  • Clean sound produced
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Great build quality
  • USB charging port

Cons

  • Amplifier not waterproof
  • Tricky installation
  • Nuts and bolts not corrosion resistant

Suitable For

This is the best sound quality for a handlebar speaker, making it the perfect choice for someone looking for handlebar styles. Just like the MCBK520B, this is a great sound system for a Harley Davidson, in terms of looks and performance.

CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON →

6. GoHawk AN4-X 600W

GoHawk AN4-X 600W

Loudest Motorcycle Speakers

If the maximum volume is always disappointing to you: you’ll meet your match in the GoHawk AN4.

Believe me when I say that they’re loud.

It’s crazy that this much sound can come out of 4 and a half-inch high-performance speakers. They’re also IP56 waterproof: not even rain can turn that volume down.

You can connect any device to the audio system using the 3.5 mm AUX port present in the speakers. There is also an option to connect to other devices using the Bluetooth system of the speakers. The range of wireless connectivity of the speakers is around 15 meters, which is more than enough in my experience.

I personally find these a little too loud for my taste at peak power — I’m good with playing them at half volume. I can’t deny the sound quality, though. Even at 68 mph, I can hear my favorite tunes loud and clear.

Pros

  • Sturdy build quality
  • Really loud volume
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Volume is affected by the mobile device connected
  • Too much treble, less bass
  • Needs equalizer

Suitable For

If the number one thing on your mind is speaker volume: these GoHawk speakers can’t disappoint. They’re really loud and really durable. Enough said.

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7. GoHawk TN4-R Amplifier

GoHawk TN4-R Amplifier

Most Affordable Motorcycle Speaker System

Even though the Boss MC420B won the Best Budget sound system category, it isn’t the most affordable option on this list. This GoHawk speaker is practically a steal for its price point, and definitely impressive in its capabilities. This model comes with a built-in FM radio feature, in case you’re old school and don’t need music streaming platforms.

The four-inch high-performance speakers are the things to look out for in this audio system. While they may not be the most high-quality build, they’re definitely loud with plenty of clarity. The only drawback is that they’re not specifically designed to tune out wind noise, so they don’t perform the best with high speeds.

Since this device is equipped with the latest version of Bluetooth, it is now easier to connect these speakers to any Bluetooth-enabled device. You can also connect the audio system to a cd player or a Nav controller to use it to listen to music or get directions.

Pros

  • Fm radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Affordable price point
  • Navigation

Cons

  • Not the best at high speeds

Suitable For

If you’re not sure about getting a speaker system for your motorcycle, you might want a quick trial period. Picking up these GoHawk speakers doesn’t make a dent in your wallet and is a great starting point.

CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON →

Factors To Consider While Purchasing Best Motorcycle Sound System

1. Loudness

Here’s why earphones and headphones while riding is discouraged. While we all love blasting our favorite songs, not being able to hear traffic noises is dangerous and can be fatal.

You need to be in your senses to be present while driving. There are helmet speakers that are specially designed to block out all atmospheric noise except traffic noises: but people are still queasy with trusting technology to that extent.

But you also need some kind of music to block out the loud ringing in the ears from wind whipping around you at high speeds. Bikes also produce a knocking sound while running. Using fuel with low knocking resistance and even your engine functioning can produce this knocking.

You hit the sweet spot with speaker systems that have enough volume to block out wind and knocking, but not so loud that you can’t hear traffic!

2. Audio Quality

Loud music isn’t enough. It’s really common that you’ll find speakers with really loud volumes, but unclear or muffled audio quality.

That’s because some manufacturers use cheap sound amplification materials to boost the volume. However, low-quality materials and engineering can suppress some tones or notes from the music. So be sure to purchase the music system from a trusted manufacturer.

3. Speaker Durability

Now, since the main usage of the speakers will be on a motorcycle, it is crucial that these speakers are highly durable. There is a good chance that music systems on motorcycles will be exposed to various kinds of weather (hello rain and dust-storms).

They should be well protected against water as well. If the speakers are not water-resistant and you happen to be outside on your motorcycle when it is raining, they will get damaged, and you’ll be forced to purchase new speakers.

The music system should also be dustproof. As the speakers will be fixed in places that are prone to a lot of dust intake, the speakers must be sealed to prevent the dust from entering them. If dust enters the audio system, the main receiving components will be filled with dust which obviously ruins the performance.

4. Compact Size

Motorcycle audio systems need to be compact. Since many motorcycles accommodate two people, most of the sound systems fit in the front part of the motorcycle. You have to check whether the sound system will fit on your motorcycle or not. Some sound systems are designed for specific vehicles with broad front panels.

So if the sound system is small, it can fit the front or the side panels, giving you more flexibility in choosing the better audio options.

5. Affordability

When it comes to a motorcycle speaker system, you pay for high-quality build materials and extra features (like water resistance and intercom).

A lot of cutting-edge speakers come with stunning new features like Artificial Intelligence compatibility, solar charging cells, etc. Understand your own budget is key to getting the perfect value for money.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Motorcycle Sound Systems

1. How Do I Connect A Motorcycle Sound System?

Most speakers wirelessly connect to your device, but you will find wired connection speakers in the lower-end range. I recommend opting for wireless connectivity because it’s safer and more reliable.

2. Can I Make Calls With A Motorcycle Sound System?

It really depends on the model you own: some include intercom connectivity, navigation, and other features. Other sound systems are more minimalistic, only playing your favorite music loud and clear.
Here’s my take: if you’re spending on a sound system for your bike, you might as well get one with an intercom system. It’s easier to communicate with your fellow riders and lets you answer calls seamlessly without fishing around for your phone.

3. Why Are Motorcycle Radios So Loud?

Motorcycle radios and speakers are designed to be extra-loud because they need to drown out the sound of the high-speed wind, as well as the sound of your vehicle’s engine. You’d be surprised at how loud your speaker needs to be when you’re riding at 70mph.

4. How Can I Make My Motorcycle Speaker System Louder?

As with any speaker, you’d need to get a good-quality amplifier that can boost the speaker volume. You can find a great amplifier here. Alternatively, it’s a good idea to simply invest in a loud motorcycle speaker system or one that comes with an amplifier.

Conclusion

A lot of bikers think listening to music helps them enjoy the ride more than when they would without listening to music on the ride. I, for one, completely agree with this.

Getting a sound system sure is exciting. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with riding all over again?

Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Picks for Sound Systems

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
OUR TOP PICKptsntbl-table__imageKuryakyn 2720
  • Peak music power 300 Watts
  • Integrated water-resistant
  • Built-in heat sink
VIEW ON AMAZON →
ptsntbl-table__imageCardo PTS00101-PACKTALK
  • Best in class wind-noise reduction
  • Sound by JBL
  • Semi-Integrated configuration
VIEW ON AMAZON →
ptsntbl-table__imageBOSS Audio Systems MC420B
  • Weatherproof
  • Wired Remote Volume Control
  • Compatible with Audio Output of Smartphones and MP3 Players
VIEW ON AMAZON →
ptsntbl-table__imageBOSS Audio Systems MCBK520B
  • Volume Control
  • Sealed with the latest weatherproofing techniques
  • Two Speaker Handle Bar Mounts
VIEW ON AMAZON →
ptsntbl-table__imagePyle PLMCA90
  • Supports various devices
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to install speakers
VIEW ON AMAZON →

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