Better sound quality is just one of the features that makes the Fusion Apollo marine speaker system worth a closer look
‘From the kick drum to your ear drum, Fusion DSP reproduces your music the way the musicians intended,’ is the tag line for Fusion’s brand new marine hi-fi systems.
One of the first companies to introduce dedicated marine hi-fi, Fusion has been a little quiet of late, but with the launch of these two brand new Fusion Apollo units, we can now see why.
Claiming to be the ‘world’s first marine wifi stereo,’ it uses wifi rather than Bluetooth to stream music from your phone or other device. This allows an exceptionally fast data transfer rate, enabling the use of DSP (Digital Sound Processors), which digitise and mathematically manipulate audio at very high speed before being transmitted back to the real world with minimal loss of sound quality.
Of course that’s not the only way to get your music to the device – Bluetooth connectivity still exists if you prefer to use your wifi for other things. The MS-RA770 also allows digital optical input or a USB connection if you prefer to simply download your music to a USB stick at home.
Two additional aux inputs and Sirus XM for use in the US or DAB+ for the UK (although you’ll need a separate module for that) ensure it will pick up most radio stations too. There is even good old AM and FM reception – how quaint (but useful).
It also looks great with a brand new optically bonded touchscreen display. Touching the display pauses and restarts the music, and swiping it moves you on or back a track. Reassuringly, a large knurled knob allows you to adjust the volume so all the major functions can be controlled without even looking at it – handy when you’re bouncing along at 30 knots!
Further benefits include Fusion PartyBus, which allows you to link other enabled music systems to the network, for use in individual zones or cabins. This allows you to play the same music simultaneously through all of them from the central source, which is a great feature for large boats or superyachts with plenty of social zones.
At the other end of the spectrum, it has a built-in 280W amplifier so that you can simply hook it up to speakers in a small boat and it’ll work, and due to IPx7 waterproofing, it will continue to work, even after a dousing.
Link it to an app on your phone and you can control it from there (or even a smartwatch) as well as enabling over-the-air software updates.
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If you like the idea of this new unit, but not the price (it’s nearly £800), then check out the MS-SRX400. Launched simultaneously at half the price, you lose the optically bonded touchscreen (there are good old-fashioned buttons instead), some of the audio sources and the specification is a little lower.
But as well as being IPx7 waterproof, it still has the Digital Signal Processing and wifi audio streaming of its big brother, meaning you can still link it to the Fusion-Link app as well as being able to access over-the-air software updates. And because it’s still compatible with Fusion PartyBus, it makes an ideal satellite unit for the ultimate set up with the MS-RA770 as the main controller.
That would allow you to use this unit (or multiples of it) independently in cabins or other zones, but link the whole lot together when you want to play the same music throughout. The MS-RA770 starts at £799, the SRX400 at £399.
Looking for more choice? Check out YBW’s guide to the best marine speakers on the market right now.