5 Best Stereos For Motorcycles: Reviews and Buying Guide for 2020

For many motorcycle owners, customization is essential. If you're looking to add or upgrade your motorcycle's stereo, our guide is a great place to start. Motorcycle stereos can range in price and quality, so finding the right fit for your motorcycle requires research and know-how to ensure your motorcycle has the proper audio equipment. We'll review various options so that you can find the best stereos for your motorcycle.

Why Upgrade Your Motorcycle Stereo?

Knowing why you want a new stereo system is key to how you choose and install your new equipment. Here are some reasons to install or upgrade your motorcycle's stereo.

Enhancing Your Ride

The freedom and open-air experience of riding a motorcycle is a major reason most people buy a motorcycle in the first place. Whether you like to speed across county lines or trek across the country, creating a unique playlist for your journey can inspire and enhance your riding experience.

Whether you're blasting your favorite songs or speaking to your family as you coast along the backroads, having premium stereos for your motorcycle highlights the best parts of riding.

Entertainment Hub

Whether parked in your driveway or sitting in front of the local watering hole, mounting a stereo and top-tier speakers to your motorcycle can put you in charge of the entertainment.

Though you likely prefer to ride your motorcycle, having entertainment options while you work away in the garage makes your motorcycle a multifunctional entertainment machine.

Increase Your Motorcycle's Value

In most cases, customizing your motorcycle increases its resale value. Make sure those customizations are not too specific, as the market for resale needs to be as broad as possible. However, if you focus on value-added upgrades to your motorcycle—and adding stereo and entertainment equipment certainly does that—you're more likely to see better resale value.

This doesn't mean you have to spend all your money on new gear. Adding value is about enhancing your motorcycle via customization, and these days, stereos for motorcycles tend to add value for the general motorcycle consumer.

Upgrading Your Audio

Though some motorcycles come outfitted with audio systems, audio setups tend to be the exception and not the rule for most motorcycles. When a motorcycle does come standard with an audio system—or you're looking to add one to your motorcycle—there are two types of setups:

Traditional Audio Setup

These are your average audio systems that play just like the one in any car. The challenge is that most motorcycles are exposed to noisy surroundings. Hearing your favorite music or radio station is difficult when exposed to the elements. Unless you have ample wind protection from your motorcycle, traditional setups are not advised.

Intercom Audio Setup

More of the norm, an intercom style setup allows for your audio system to relay directly to your motorcycle helmet. With a simple audio-jack input and the right helmet gear, all of your audio can be pumped through your helmet's audio, allowing for less external noise and clearer audio listening. 

How To Install Your Motorcycle Stereo

Traditional stereos for motorcycles come with various audio accessory options that can be mounted to your motorcycle. These speakers and amplifiers can be mounted on various parts of the motorcycle.

If you're not looking to add these accessories to your motorcycle, intercom style listening may provide you with the easiest setup. Intercom style listening accessories can be mounted to most helmets, and many options come with dual listening and Bluetooth phone-compatibility options. Many helmets come with such accessories, or Bluetooth connectivity, already in place.

Both types of motorcycle stereo options come in various brands, wattage, and stylings. Make sure to do ample research before buying.

Can I Install Motorcycle Stereos Myself?

In short, yes! There are several videos to help you add your specific stereo to your motorcycle. Most new stereo systems will come with compatibility information and detailed instructions for installing your intercom or traditional audio and speaker system.

Some great practices for installing any new motorcycle stereo can be found here. More specific instructional videos can also be found on Youtube and other video platforms.

Best Stereos for Motorcycles - Under $250

For top-quality stereos for under $250, here are our top picks.

Fodsports M1S Pro

The Fodsports M1S Pro is a Bluetooth intercom system that allows you to listen to music, GPS instruction, talk on the phone, and communicate with other motorcyclists with a similar setup. With a range of 500 to 2000 meters, this option keeps you connected to others on the road while also providing crystal clear sound via a 30mm speaker and CVC tech to eliminate outside noise.

The M1S does need to be charged, which can be a drawback, but its versatility of intercom technology and audio options may make it the right choice for your needs.

Pros:

  • Ability to connect with up to eight drivers at once
  • Installable on any motorcycle helmet
  • Hands-free answering

Cons:

  • Low sounds quality compared to other amplifiers on the market
  • Needs to be charged regularly
  • Hands-free answering doesn't include voice control

Kicker 4-Ohm Mini System

If you're looking for mounted speakers, the Kicker 4-Ohm Mini System can be mounted on the handlebars or elsewhere on your motorcycle. The speakers are weatherproof and ensure that they sound great in any weather. You'll need an existing, or new amplifier stereo hookup, and Kicker recommends 50 watts of power for the best sound.

The Kicker 4-ohm provides clear sound even at high speeds. The small size doesn't create extra bulk while still providing a clear and powerful sound. For mounted speakers, the Mini System provides easy-to-install quality speakers.

Pros:

  • Easily mountable anywhere on your motorcycle
  • Includes all mounting gear
  • Weatherproof design

Cons:

  • Does not come with an amplifier
  • Sound quality can differ depending on the motorcycle's amplifier
  • Shorter speaker range given mini speaker size

Best Stereos for Motorcycles - Under $150

For slightly more affordable options that still provide quality options and sound, check out our top recommendations.

LEXIN LX-S3

An all-in-one mounted speaker option, the Lexin LX-S3 is an all-weather self-mounted handlebar option that comes with built-in Bluetooth capability. The built-in amplifier consolidates the entire stereo system into the two 3-inch stereo speakers. With the LX-S3, you can stream stereo music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled or USB audio source, including directly from your phone.

If you do want to connect to FM radio, you will need a connectivity wire or antenna, which can get in the way. Though not the loudest speakers on the market, the 50-watt amplifier still can be heard at high speeds while on the road.

Pros:

  • Weather Proof
  • USB port adds additional listening options
  • Built-in amplifier in speaker for sleek design

Cons:

  • Antenna for FM radio can get in the way
  • 50-watt amplifier is not as loud as competitors
  • Bluetooth can be a bit spotty depending on phone compatibility

GoHawk TJ4-R Bluetooth Motorcycle Stereo

The GoHawk TJ4-R Bluetooth stereo for motorcycles comes with two standard chrome speakers that are easily mounted to your handlebars. With an included four-inch 1000 watt amplifier, the two-speaker stereo gets plenty of clear sound while on the road at a more affordable price.

The GoHawk TJ4-R speakers perform in all-weather, but the amplifier itself is not weatherproof. Bluetooth capability does allow for streaming music, GPS, and phone capabilities.

Pros:

  • Easy to install design
  • 100-watt amplifier with plenty of power
  • Chrome speaker design

Cons:

  • Amplifier not weatherproof
  • Wired control and not hands-free
  • Volume control is difficult while riding

Best Overall Stereo for Motorcycles

Want the best of the best? Read more about our number one pick for stereos for motorcycles.

GoHawk TJ4-Q Bluetooth Motorcycle Stereo Speakers Audio System

The GoHawk TJ4-Q speaker and audio system is an all-in-one stereo that is weatherproof and comes with a 1000W built-in amplifier. The TJ4-Q setup comes with four separate four-inch chrome speakers and a separate amplifier.

Though mounting the amplifier takes some extra work and space on your motorcycle, the 1000 watt output is crystal clear and streams almost any Bluetooth device and also gets FM radio. Though the speaker system does require a lot of wiring and accessory, the output and overall sound quality for a mounted system may make up the additional setup on your motorcycle.

Pros:

  • Four speaker system provides the clearest sound
  • 1000 watt amplifier among most powerful on the market
  • Bluetooth compatibility across all various mobile operating systems

Cons:

  • Four speaker mounting can be difficult on smaller motorcycles
  • The larger amplifier is difficult to mount
  • Lots of wiring required across all stereo parts

Final Thoughts

Deciding which type of motorcycle stereo setup you want is key to finding the best audio system for your motorcycle. Though some may prefer intercom style offerings, the cost and limitations may not outweigh the benefits of mounted speakers.

For a full speaker setup, the GoHawk TJ4-Q offers the most output, most versatile Bluetooth connectivity, and overall quality. Mounting speakers on your motorcycles may limit clarity of sound on the road, but utilizing the different stereo options allows for adaptable listening opportunities.