- Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
- Environmental settings
- PartyBus network
- 3-year warranty
Fusion aims to design and engineer appealing premium products that are intuitive to use; that seamlessly integrate with their customers’ lifestyle, technology, and vessel; and that deliver an unparalleled musical experience in any environment, season after season.
With this mission matched with their customer-centric design philosophy, Fusion has won over 20 marine industry awards for innovation and product excellence, including recent 2019 Boating Industry Top Products of the Year and the 2019 Pittman Innovation Award for the Apollo RA770.
- “True-Marine” tested and Ingress Protection (IP) rated
- World’s first marine WiFi stereo
- World’s first marine touchscreen stereo
- Fusion-Link configuration and and tuning app
- Apple AirPlay
- Over-the-air software updates
- One-piece glass touchscreen control
- SiriusXM compatible
The heart of Fusion’s design is that all components are built for the marine environment with IP ratings and Fusion’s own “True-Marine” standard that includes extensive testing for salt/fog resistance, ASTM standards for ultraviolet (UV) stability, and fully sealed crossover components.
The Apollo RA770 was designed with a black front face and an optically bonded color touchscreen LCD display, which blends seamlessly into black glass panels at the helm - complementing other electronics and Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) for an elegant installation, and uniformity across the helm.
With two mounting options available, customers can choose the finish to suit their vessel. They can either install the low-profile Apollo Series stereo flush or integrate it flat from the front or the back into a glass helm for a premium finish. The Apollo RA770 makes installation simple and versatile with a small footprint and shallow form factor, so the product can be mounted in a large variety of locations on board.
A retrofit kit is available for existing Fusion customers that are looking to upgrade from the Fusion 755 Series, making retrofitting simple while delivering a premium looking final retrofit installation.
The goal of a DSP is usually to measure, filter, or boost signals. Other high-end audio systems employ DSP technology, but usually further downstream in the audio chain, in the amplifiers. Fusion has strategically placed their DSP in the stereo’s receiver head, so costly add-on components like external amps are not required.
The Apollo DSP's feed-forward limiter anticipates peaks in the audio and automatically adjusts the gain, so boaters can enjoy full-range audio at every volume level without distortion.
Another key feature found in Apollo’s DSP is the mapping of components’ inherent characteristics, allowing not only manipulation of the sound signal but optimization for the components and environment. It is this part of the Fusion DSP programming that maximizes output, without allowing the speakers to be blown or the sound to be distorted.
The user-interface design centers around what people already are familiar with, their phones and tablets, so they don’t have to learn something new. For instance, extensive customer feedback led Fusion to keep the volume knob that people know and like and integrate it with the touchscreen technology people know from their smartphones.
A single proprietary Garmin manufacturing facility in Taiwan provides manufacturing and quality control. Garmin acquired Fusion in 2014.
Other high-end audio companies have products that were originally designed for home or auto and later “marinized” for the marine industry. Fusion’s focus is on building audio systems for the marine market.
We got aboard a new Sea Ray SLX-R 350 that was equipped with the Fusion 770 Apollo receiver, twelve 6.5” (16.51 cm) Signature Series II Fusion speakers connected to a Signature Series II 8-channel external amp, a 10” (25.4 cm) Signature Series subwoofer and a Signature Series II Mono amp to power the subwoofer. National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) wired remote controls were located in the bow and stern. Optional ARX wireless remotes that use Garmin’s ANT technology are available. Apollo’s RA770 is ANT enabled.
The Apollo RA770 is the world’s first marine stereo with a color touchscreen display. The 4.3” one-piece glass touchscreen display is back lit and dimmable. The large knob controls volume with a twist and, when pushed, acts as an encoder selector. It is matched with an intuitively designed user interface that anyone with a smartphone will understand. Just tap the screen to pause and play, or swipe through a playlist to a favorite song.
The stereo touchscreen technology is a direct benefit of Fusion being bought by Garmin. Fusion provides a multi-language option so the user interface can be set to a language of choice.
A stereo has to play people’s personal play lists, whether they are on a phone, an iPod, Sirius XM - whatever the source, they want them streamed. Fusion can do that because the Apollo RA770 is the world’s first marine WiFi stereo.
Why is Wi-Fi important? The best stereo in the world won’t sound very good if the signal going in is subpar to begin with. Bluetooth protocol, for example, compresses signals and takes the highs and lows out. The sound quality, regardless of the stereo system playing it, is limited.
Wi-Fi also has a better range and a faster data transfer rate than Bluetooth.
Fusion is the world’s first marine stereo series to bring seamless high-quality audio streaming from a favorite music app via Apple AirPlay® over WiFi from a compatible Apple device.
They have more source options than ever before which include Bluetooth®, Apple AirPlay®, UPnP, Optical Audio, Advanced SiriusXM features, DAB+ Ready, AM/FM Radio, AUX and USB.
Digital Signal Processing
Once the source is delivered with the best starting signal via WiFi, Fusion’s Digital Signal Processor gives all music a slight signal boost then optimizes that sound, song by song, to the maximum dynamic range of the installed equipment without distortion. It protects the equipment, and finally adjusts the sound for the environment the equipment is in, such as an open-air cockpit versus a cabin down below.
This Digital Signal Processor is located in the stereo head and is not dependent on added equipment like external amps.
Fusion has a free phone app called Fusion Link that sets up, configures, and tunes everything, one time, in just minutes when the system is first installed. When external amps are involved, it even shows how to tune the amp.
Traditionally, tuning an audio system was an intimidating task that was left to audio experts with acoustic engineering experience and specific tools – not anymore. As with all Fusion equipment, it literally takes just 2 to 5 minutes to completely tune and configure the Apollo 770 system from an intuitive menu on the free Fusion Link app - . Name the zones, pick the equipment in that zone, choose a few parameters and upload the settings to the unit via WiFi and it is done.
Each zone can be customized not only for the equipment in that space and type of space, but for listening pleasure, more bass for instance in the cockpit.
Two side benefits of the Fusion-Link tool are that it allows software updates and it also allows a cell phone to act as another remote control.
Having to choose between a marine entertainment system that enables one audio source to play in every audio zone on the vessel, or needing several receivers that enable playing a different audio source in each audio zone of the vessel is a thing of the past with the Apollo’s PartyBus™ feature. Boaters can now enjoy the best of both worlds with the new Fusion Apollo Series in a single stereo.
Simply play the same perfectly synched audio source through the entire vessel or opt into PartyBus’s personal mode and listen to other available audio sources for the zone without disrupting the music playing in the other areas of the vessel.
PartyBus can even connect every vessel in an anchorage equipped with Apollos to all blast the same music. Fusion calls this raft up. Fusion is an international company that respects privacy so one can exclude any music sources from PartyBus networks, such as TV audio for instance.
Speakers, Amps, and Subwoofers
Fusion makes a range of speakers designed specifically for the marine environment. Fusion’s top of the line speakers, the Signature Series II, are typically used in conjunction with the Apollo series. Even if we used Fusion’s RX series speakers, the DSP would still configure the system to maximum sound quality with those particular speakers.
The Signature Series II speakers come in three sizes: 6.5” (16.51 cm), 7.7” (19.55 cm), and 8.8” (22.55 cm), ranging in power from 230 to 330 watts. Generally, the bigger the speaker, the wider the frequency range, mostly in added bass.
Three styles of 10” (25.4 cm) subwoofers – sports chrome, sports white or classic white mesh - are capable of 450 watts of peak power.
It is often difficult to find the space for optimal speaker placement on boats, which results in installations where speakers are mounted low, close to deck height - limiting the amount of high frequency audio that can be heard when standing.
Cue the compact Signature Series tweeters, to restore the high frequencies for an audible improvement in sound quality. Install the tweeters in higher locations such as the helm station, dash or pilothouse window/windscreen support frames to enjoy enhanced audio quality.
Fusion’s Signature Series II speakers include 8.8” (22.32 cm) wake tower speakers with 330W peak output, the kind of True-Marine speakers necessary in an outdoor sport like wake boarding.
There are five Signature Series II external class D amps to choose from, ranging in power from 1,400 to 2,250 watts of peak power. In general, an external amp can power 2 speakers per channel, so the more speakers there are, the more power is needed for them.
The Apollo RA770 is 2-Ohm stable so it can power up to eight speakers on its own internal amp, but an external amp should be a consideration for more speakers or an increase in power and fidelity.
ANT+ is a wireless technology that allows accessories such as heart rate monitors, Garmin watches, and power meters to “talk” to a compatible Garmin device. Fusion’s ARX wireless remotes based on ANT+ technology work with Fusion’s ANT+-enabled Apollo series where wired remotes are impractical or for an easier retrofit.
Fusion stereos are truly marine stereos. There are plenty of “marinized” systems out there, but no one else has stereos built from the beginning designed to go exclusively on boats.
All Fusion products undergo extensive testing above and beyond industry standards to prove their suitability for long-term use in harsh marine conditions. All Fusion stereos, speakers, subwoofers, amps, media docks, and wired remote controls are Ingress Protected or IP rated. Then Fusion tests to a higher standard they call “True-Marine” for salt/fog, temperature, vibration, and UV protection – all important factors for durability to ensure Fusion products will perform reliably season after season on board.
The Apollo RA770 is being called an audio entertainment system because it can integrate with TVs and other multi-function displays (MFDs).
Fusion-Link is the most widely adopted protocol for on-water audio integration, supported by the world’s leading electronics manufacturers and trusted by the industry’s most prestigious boat builders. Fusion-Link enables partnered MFDs to interface with and control selected functions of the sophisticated Fusion audio interface.
Fusion has a fleet app for builders that allows them to repeat factory configurations for each model, saving them time and money. For those who have bought a new boat with an Apollo stereo, the fleet app allows the builder to upload a factory reset of the configuration, if necessary.
For boaters looking to select the right aftermarket components of speakers, amps, and subwoofers to mate with Apollo’s RA770, Fusion recommends contacting a Fusion representative for guidance.
- Marine digital media receiver (15A fuse)
- Wiring harness
- 2 Aux-In/Zone-output harnesses
- 7' NEMA cable
- Rubber front-cover
- 2 endcaps
- 4 screws
- Quick start manual
- Mounting template
- Installation instructions
Price (Retail Aftermarket)
Fusion’s Apollo series receivers include the 4-zone RA770, the 3-zone RA670, and the single-zone SRX400. All have DSP built into the receiver itself.
- Apollo RA770 ($649.99)
- Apollo RA670 ($449.99)
- Apollo SRX400 ($349.99)
- 6.5” Signature Series II Speaker ($349.99)
- 7.7” Signature Series II Speaker ($399.99)
- 8.8” Signature Series II Speaker ($469.99)
- 10” Signature Series II Subwoofer ($299.99)
- Signature Series II Tweeters ($99.99)
- 8.8” Signature Series II Wake Tower Speaker ($699.99)
- 4-Channel Signature II Series Amp ($419.99)
- 5-Channel Signature II Series Amp ($599.99)
- 6-Channel Signature II Series Amp ($599.99)
- 8-Channel Signature II Series Amp ($799.99)
- Monoblock Signature II Series Amp ($419.99)
- Signature Series II Voltage regulator ($59.99)
- Compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio tuner
- Works with existing Wi-Fi systems
- Inputs: rear USB port; AUX input; digital optical input
- Outputs: 3-zone audio (line outs require separate amplification)
- SPDIF port supports TV audio output
- Ethernet port
Other Features and Specs:
- Built-in amp: 26 watts RMS/70 peak x 4 channels
- Over-the-air software updates via the free Fusion-Link app or USB
- Can be controlled with a Garmin smart watch
- Multi-language interface: English/French/German/Spanish/Dutch /Italian
- Mounting hardware included
- Mounting depth: 4-1/4"
- Warranty: 3 years
Entry-level boats usually have optional upgrade paths for better stereos. People paying $300,000 to $400,000 and up for a new boat can expect that one percent of the cost covers a full audio entertainment system.
Teams of audio engineers make sure all of Fusion components work together. The Fusion-Link App configures each Fusion component in the DSP, which is why buying an all-Fusion system is the best solution.