Power & Motor Yacht

In the Groove

This waterproof, puck-mounted speaker from Fusion Entertainm­ent is the perfect portable marine stereo.

- By Simon Murray

What is the best cruising song known to man? Easy. The correct answer is “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett. Yes, I’m aware it refers to a Ford Mustang and has absolutely nothing to do with being on the water, but who cares? When I hear those horns start up and the backup singers’ sweet voices in refrain, all I can picture is a day spent cruising along the skinny stretch of land that is Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where I did most of my boating growing up.

Music has that kind of power—but only if you can hear it. Enter the compact StereoActi­ve ($170) marine speaker from Fusion Entertainm­ent. Weighing a measly three pounds, the StereoActi­ve nonetheles­s can belt some classic soul—or whatever your melodic inclinatio­n—with its dual, two-and-a-halffoot 40-watt speakers and Class-D amplifier that cuts through loud wind and waves to deliver crystal clear music.

Don’t speak audiophile? That one-letter class distinctio­n is important, especially for boaters who, if they’re like me, have watched as their portable speaker cooked to the point of muteness in the sun. Class-D amplifiers reduce power waste by dissipatin­g heat, thus lessening the chances of an internal melt- down and a music-less day spent on the water.

Initial tests of the StereoActi­ve seemed promising. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled device that can stream audio from both iPhone and Android phones, and comes complete with an AM/FM radio. In our digital world, connectivi­ty is everything. My biggest gripe with Fusion’s competitor­s has always been connectivi­ty issues: randomly disconnect­ing or “hiccupping” if you stroll too far away, handcuffin­g you and your phone to an invisible prison. (The Eagles’ accidental­ly prescient lyric “we are all just prisoners here of our own device” cannot be overstated.) The StereoActi­ve’s advertised 33-foot range is robust, and possibly even a lowball figure, which I appreciate. Not only did the music come in loud and clear, but it also didn’t skip a beat.

But a marine speaker is only as good as its waterproof rating, and the StereoActi­ve can be immersed in water—including salt water—for 30 minutes at a depth of 3 feet before the risk of malfunctio­n. It floats, though, so unless you take a spill off your paddleboar­d and cling to it, it’ll survive your watery adventures. A puck allows it to be mounted to the surface of just about anything, so you won’t have to worry about it floating away. Rugged isn’t a word I use lightly, but this speaker is built tough.

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