In a groundbreaking development for marine audio aficionados, Garmin Ltd., a global leader in GPS technology, has recently announced its definitive agreement to acquire JL Audio, a preeminent manufacturer renowned for their high-performance audio solutions. This acquisition signifies an exciting merger of top-tier navigation expertise with unparalleled audio excellence, promising to reshape the future of the marine industry.

JL Audio MediaMaster

Above: A JL Audio NMEA 2000 connected MediaMaster® HTML interface (MMA1-HTML). Compatible with the latest JL Audio MediaMaster® marine audio source units, including the MM105 and MM105-HR and all their compatible network controllers.

This alliance is even more notable given JL Audio's announcement they've launched their new NMEA 2000 connected MediaMaster® HTML interface (MMA1-HTML). This innovation, compatible with the latest JL Audio MediaMaster® marine audio source units, allows boaters to take complete charge of their JL Audio systems. What's special about this release is that it signals a transformative shift in marine audio system controls. The MediaMaster® MMA1-HTML interface integrates with multifunction displays (MFD) from industry giants like Simrad®, Lowrance®, and of course, Garmin®.

JL Audio, headquartered in Miramar, Florida, boasts a rich legacy spanning over four decades in the audio space. From marine to aftermarket automotive, powersports, home, and even RV sectors, their products, encompassing speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers, and various other audio components, have made waves in the industry. With more than 600 dedicated associates, the brand has consistently been at the forefront of offering premium audio experiences to its vast clientele.

As Stephen Leigh, Senior Vice President of Electronic Engineering at JL Audio, explains, "In contemporary boating, large control displays are becoming increasingly pivotal." Earlier, multi-function displays (MFDs) could only provide limited compatibility and control over sound systems. This necessitated a dedicated audio system controller. But with the MMA1-HTML, JL Audio has successfully eliminated that need. Boaters can now control and manage their audio system directly from the onboard MFD, a boon for both boat builders and owners who can now revel in enhanced flexibility in helm design.

The acquisition by Garmin brings with it exciting prospects for boaters and boat owners. JL Audio’s comprehensive audio expertise will expand Garmin's reach, introducing high-quality audio features across its diverse range of markets and products. Cliff Pemble, Garmin President, and CEO, emphasizes the brand's global reputation, saying, "The JL Audio brand is celebrated worldwide for its premium audio experience, a feat achieved by their devoted team. We are eager to incorporate the JL Audio family into Garmin."

Lucio Proni, JL Audio’s Founder, and CEO, shares this enthusiasm, stating that JL Audio’s vision aligns seamlessly with Garmin’s dedication to technological innovation backed by substantial R&D and engineering. “Joining the Garmin ecosystem offers us a fantastic platform to pool our audio knowledge and engineering prowess, ensuring the production of top-notch audio products for years to come,” Proni said.

The merger between Garmin and JL Audio, both giants in their respective industries, has the potential to bring more changes on the horizon across the marine audio sector. While Garmin has historically spearheaded advancements in varied fields, including aviation, automotive, and fitness, JL Audio is recognized for its expertise in audio manufacturing. Boaters are likely keen to see how this union will shape future marine audio offerings.

The acquisition is scheduled to culminate by the end of 2023, following regular regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Visit JL Audio for more information

Written by: Ryan McVinney
C. Ryan McVinney is a film director, producer, writer, actor, boat captain, outdoor enthusiast and conservationist. He's currently the host and director of Boat Trader's award-winning Stomping Grounds TV show that explores boating culture across America. McVinney also directs and produces the documentary series Cult Classics and the extreme superyacht show LEGENDS for YachtWorld, as well the popular Factory Fridays video series for He is a regular contributor to leading marine industry publications.