Transcript: Positioning speakers on a center console can be a challenge. The temptation is to flush mount speakers on the sides of the console facing out because there isn't usually much of anything there. Unfortunately, that is actually one of the worst places if you want to get the most volume and sound quality from your speakers as possible.
Speakers are directional, which means they push sound in the direction they are pointed. On the side of the console the speakers are pointed away from everyone in the boat and the sound quickly gets swallowed up in the open air. Since bass frequencies are more persistent than higher frequencies, the sound you will hear will be muddy and muffled. To get the sparkle in your music and the volume you want, the speakers need to be pointed at the ears of the person listening.
Obviously, there are a lot of different types of center consoles and each situation will be unique, but here are some suggestions for good speaker mounting positions.
Consider smaller flush mount speakers in the console facing the driver. Space is usually at a premium on the console, but you would be better off with smaller speakers pointed directly at the driver than with larger speakers pointed away. Make sure to get them as high as possible. You don't want them down by your feet.
If you are worried that smaller speakers won't give you enough bass response, consider putting a subwoofer under the seat. Since bass frequencies are more persistant, subwoofers are not very directional so they don't need to be aimed in any particular direction. The best place for them is down low.
No room at all on the console facing the driver? Small box speakers could be mounted on top of the console. A gimbal bracket will allow you to swivel and aim them right where you want them to go.
For people in the front of the boat, consider flush mounting a second pair of speakers on the front of the console facing forward. Remember to mount them as high as possible.
If none of those positions work, try mounting speakers at the very back of the boat facing forward and also at the front of the boat facing aft.
Following these guidelines will dramatically improve the volume and sound quality of your marine stereo system on your center console boat.