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Clarion M205

Marine digital media receiver (does not play CDs)

Item # 020M205

Designed specifically for the marine environment, Clarion's rugged M205 digital media receiver gives you all the...

Read more from Crutchfield writer, Jon P.

This item is no longer available.

About the Clarion M205

A durable, digital dynamo

Designed specifically for the marine environment, Clarion's rugged M205 digital media receiver gives you all the audio options you need in a sleek, stylish package that will look great in any boat.

A durable, digital dynamo

Clarion M205

Designed specifically for the marine environment, Clarion's rugged M205 digital media receiver gives you all the audio options you need in a sleek, stylish package that will look great in any boat.

Master your music

The M205 features built-in iPod® and iPhone® controls that give you mastery over your music collection, including genre/album/song title search using your iPod control wheel. Pandora® Internet radio fans, you can listen to your favorite stations when your iPhone's connected via USB, and you'll see song and artist information clearly displayed on the sharp-looking black-on-white 2-line display.

Clarion M205

The M205 packs a lot of features into a compact chassis

If you've ripped your entire CD collection and gone digital, you can plug a thumb drive into the front USB port and enjoy all your favorite MP3 or WMA tunes. You'll also find a front AUX input for your digital music player.

Sculpt the sound you want

The M205 is built to last, but it's also designed to deliver outstanding sound. The 3-band equalizer lets you adjust the highs, mids, and lows to suit your preferences, and you can use the built-in frequency filters and sub controls to get the best possible performance from your system. Want more? The M205 features two sets of preamp outputs, which makes it a little easier to add outboard marine amps to your system.

Terrestrial radio, anywhere on the globe

Clarion's excellent AM/FM tuner hauls in plenty of local radio stations, no matter where in the world "local" might turn out to be. You'll also be able to get the latest on changing conditions with Weather Band.

Marine-rated durability

Clarion invests thousands of hours into making their marine electronics tough enough to withstand salt water, heavy fog, blistering sunlight, and lashing rain. The M205 really fits the bill if you need a versatile, multi-source receiver that's tough enough to handle the extremes of a marine environment.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

This marine digital media receiver will not play CDs.


Product highlights:

    • marine digital media receiver with built-in amplifier (20 watts RMS CEA-2006/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • no internal CD player — plays MP3 and WMA music files from your iPod and other external sources
    • specially sealed against the elements for use in the marine environment
    • 2-line black-on-white LCD display
    • 3-band equalizer with 11 preset sound curves
    • AM/FM radio reception in U.S, Europe, Asia, and Australia
    • Weather Band reception
    • built-in iPod control
    • inputs: front USB port and AUX input
    • outputs: 4-channel preamp outputs (2-volt front, rear/sub)
    Marine-specific Features:
    • conformal-coated PCB circuit board
    • durable covers for USB and AUX inputs
    Other Features and Specs:

    What's in the box:

    • Marine digital media receiver
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Trim-ring (attached)
    • Wiring harness
    • 4 Counter-sunk screws
    • 4 Hex-head screws
    • 2 Removal tools
    • Backstrap
    • Rear-support bolt
    • Lock-washer
    • Hex-nut
    • Owners/Installation Manual
    • Warranty Card

    Customer reviews

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    Clarion M205 Reviews

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    Crutchfield response

    More details on the Clarion M205

    Features & specs

    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Front
    Backup Camera Input No
    Second Camera Input No
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB memory
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready No
    HD Radio No
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size No
    Nano 7/6
    Touch 5/4/3
    iPhone 6+6/5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) 20 watts
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 4-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs No
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs Yes
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 2 volts
    Screen Size ---
    Display Color White/Black
    Key Button Color Blue
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Optional
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    FM Sensitivity 8 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No
    High-res Playback No

    Product Research

    Marine, Remote, & Display Features
    USB/Aux Connectivity
    iPhone + Pandora Integration
    Audio & Tuner Section

    Marine, Remote, & Display Features

    Marine Tested: The Clarion M205 Marine digital media receiver has been engineered and tested for use in the harsh marine environment. The M205 meets ASTM B117 and ASTM D4329 guidelines ensuring the receiver's resistant to salt, fog and UV exposure. The receiver features a drip shield chassis to keep water from dripping onto the unit's internal circuits. In addition, the head unit's PCB and microprocessor are conformal coated to protect them from corrosion.

    High Visibility LCD: The two-line, 13-digit, high visibility LCD (with white background and black characters) on the M205 allows numbers and characters to be displayed clearly in almost any lighting condition.

    Water Resistant Covers (optional): Even though the conformal coating makes the receiver water-resistant, it is still recommended that it be used with a universal marine cover such as the Metra (120999005B, sold separately) or Scosche (142ACM1, sold separately).

    Optional Remote: The M205 is compatible with Clarion's RCB-176 infrared wireless remote control (020RCB176, sold separately) for wireless operation of the marine receiver.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input on the rear of the unit that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

    Mounting: For proper operation, you must install the unit within 30-degrees of horizontal.

    USB/Aux Connectivity

    Front-Panel USB Port: The Clarion M205 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device - such as select portable digital audio players or USB thumbdrives (up to 32GB). The unit supports playback of MP3 & WMA  music files stored on a compatible USB memory device. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the digital media receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    Note: The unit's USB port does not support connection of an Android OS device.

    Compatible Music Files: The Clarion M205 supports the following types of MP3 & WMA files recorded onto a USB thumbdrive or other USB mass storage class device.

    Media Type USB (Mass Storage Class)
    File System FAT 16/32
    Playable File Types MP3: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz
    WMA: bit rate of 8-320 kbps w/ sampling rate of 8-48kHz
    Maximum # of Folders/Files 65,535 files
    Tags ID3 tag (V2.0 or later), WMA tag

    Playback & Search Functions: The M205 provides a variety of playback & search functions that help find your music easier and allow you to enjoy your music even more.

    • Top Function: The Top Function resets the USB device to the first track.
    • Folder/File Select: This function allows you to select a folder containing MP3/WMA files and start playing from the first track in the folder.
    • Scan Play: This function allows you to locate and play the first 10 seconds of all the tracks or the first 10 seconds of the first track of all the folders.
    • Repeat Play: This function allows you to play a file currently being played in a MP3/WMA folder repeatedly.
    • Random Play: This function allows you to play all tracks recorded on in a folder in a random order.
    • Last Position Memory: If you turn off the unit while a USB device is playing, it will resume playback at the stopping point when it is turned on again.

    Front-Panel Aux Input: The M205 feature a front panel 3.5mm auxiliary input so you connect your external portable audio player or portable satellite radio receiver to this head unit. You can set the Auxiliary input sensitivity level to Low, Mid, or High to match the volume output of your connected external audio device.

    iPhone + Pandora Integration

    iPod/iPhone Direct Connection: The Clarion M205's front-panel USB port can be used to connect your Lightning-connector or 30-pin dock connector iPod/iPhone to the head unit. Simply use the cable that came with your iPod/iPhone device or a 3rd party Apple certified cable (sold separately). The M205 supports audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of your compatible Apple device.

    • Audio Playback w/ DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's stored music and music apps to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 1-bit D/A converter. The Clarion head unit supports audio playback of stored music, music apps, and podcasts on your iPod or iPhone.
    • Music Control: You can choose to control your iPod/iPhone from the head unit or from your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen.
      • Head Unit: The Clarion head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically (A through Z). The head unit also supports Repeat (file/all) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone.
      • Simple Control: In Simple Control mode, you can navigate the stored music on your iPod/iPhone from its clickwheel or touchscreen. You can also listen to your favorite music apps from your iPhone (iOS 5.0+) through the Clarion head unit and your vehicle's speakers. You will continue to use your iPhone's touchscreen to navigate your apps. Not all apps will be compatible with App Mode.
    • Song/Artist Info: The head unit will display your iPod/iPhone's stored music file information; including Track number, Elapsed playing time, Song title, and Artist/Artist name. The head unit will also display song/artist information from the Pandora App. It will not display metadata from other streamed apps or when in Simple Control mode.
    • Charging: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position (if your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it).

    Pandora App: The Pandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Clarion M205 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+), via the cable that came with your iPhone device or a 3rd party Apple certified cable (sold separately). Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.

    • Music Control: The M205 provides control over the Pandora music service. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down or bookmark songs/artists that are currently playing.
    • Song/Artist Display: The M205 will also display your Pandora station's song/artist information such as artist name, song title, and album title.
    Note: Access to the Pandora  service will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    Apple Device Compatibility Chart: The Clarion M205 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 3/10/2015):

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Head Unit iPod/iPhone Pandora Artist/Song Text Track Info
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4 7.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    4S 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    5/5C/5S 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    6+/6 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 6.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 8.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    7th 1.02PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    2 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    3 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    4/air 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y N
    mini 8.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Audio & Tuner Section

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Clarion M205 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the M205 are as follows:

    • CEA2006 Specs: 20 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 1% THD-N)
    • Maximum Power Output: 50 watts x 4 channels (200 watts total)
    Note: The power specifications for the M205 are compliant with the CEA2006 Mobile Amplifier Power Testing and Measurement standards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards were developed as a way to equitably compare power specs from model to model and between manufacturers.

    2V/4Ch RCA Output: The Clarion M205 features 2V/4Ch RCA line-level outputs (Front, Rear/SW). The unit's Rear/SW RCA output can be configured as a dedicated non-fading RCA subwoofer output with a low-pass filter and level control (+/-6).

    Low-Pass Subwoofer Filter: The Low-Pass Filter (LPF) for the subwoofer preamp output (when activated) will send only the low frequency range through the preamp outputs to ensure superb performance with a connected subwoofer. The low-pass filter can be set to 80Hz, 120Hz, 160Hz, or Through (full-range).

    3-Band EQ + Presets: The Clarion M205 incorporates a 3-band EQ and 11 EQ presets. The EQ presets consist of Flat, Jazz, Pop, Classic, Rock, News, Urban, Rave, Movie, Techno, and User. The User preset allows you to adjust the head unit's 3-band EQ (Bass, Mid, & Treble) from -7 to +7. EQ settings are applied to all sources.

    Loudness: The Loudness features enhances both the bass & treble frequencies at lower volumes.

    Global Radio Tuner w/ Weather Band: The built-in multi-band tuner supports reception of radio stations just about anywhere in the world - which is nice when you're sailing around the globe or just across the gulf. And with Weather Band you'll always have the latest weather updates, including automatic reception of emergency weather information to keep your voyage as smooth as possible.

    • AM/FM Radio: The Clarion M205 is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner offering manual, seek, & preset tuning. 18 FM station presets and 6 AM station presets can stored; stations can be stored manually or automatically. Preset scan lets you quickly scan through all of your preset stations in a selected band. This function is useful when searching for a desired preset station. When Local seeking is turned "On", only those radio stations with strong radio signal can be received. This unit's tuner is initially set to USA frequency intervals, but can be changed to Europe, Asia, and Australia tuning.
    • Weather Band: Weather Band channels include - CH1 (162.400MHz), CH2 (162.425MHz), CH3 (162.450MHz), CH4 (162.475MHz), CH5 (162.500MHz), CH6 (162.525MHz), & CH7 (162.550MHz).
    • Instant Station Recall (ISR): You can store one radio station in Instant Station Recall (ISR) memory and recall it from any mode (except Power Off). Once the ISR station has been recalled, you cannot tune to another station without first disengaging the ISR function. You can, however, switch to another source.

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    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
    I have used this product before and was very pleased with it. [ RANDY  Jul 26, 2018 ]
    Weather Band radio is a must have for me in the boat, the USB also will charge my phone while it's playing music, plenty of power to crank the tunes, and the Clarion name has been around as long as I can remember. [ Michael  Jul 10, 2018 ]
    outlet bargain [ William  Jun 08, 2018 ]
    Price and features. [ Michael  Apr 16, 2018 ]
    update my old stereo [ Jim  Sep 11, 2017 ]
    This was the most economical choice for my boat, from a manufacturer I can trust. I don't need CD playing capability, just the ability to play from my ipod or a usb stick, but I mainly listen to the radio on the water. The built in weather channels are a plus, so I can keep my marine radio on 16. [ George  Jun 12, 2017 ]
    Looking for a basic head unit. This fit my needs and was a great price! [ MIKE L  Jun 07, 2017 ]
    clarion makes great products and needed to replace the head unit. if it lasts great if not I'm not out much [ James  May 26, 2017 ]
    Weather Band, aux input were features we wanted in a radio for our tractor cab. [ Melinda  Feb 09, 2017 ]
    Weather band, front usb port [ William  Nov 14, 2016 ]

    4 questions already asked

    Will the input from aux output to amplifier?
    [ Aaron  Jun 14, 2017 ]
    1 answer
    I cannot use the aux input I purchased as it doesn't connect to the head unit!
    [ James  Jun 14, 2017 ]
    Is there a connection for a wired remote?
    [ Mark  May 23, 2017 ]
    1 answer
    Thanks for the question! The M205 is compatible with Clarion's RCX001 infrared wireless remote control, seen on our website here: However I'm afraid they don't offer a compatible wired remote for the M205 model at this time. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat.
    [ Larry  May 29, 2017 ]  Staff
    can you control the preamp outputs? on/off and or volume control? I am adding tower speakers to my system and would like to be able to have some separate control of the tower speakers.
    [ Ryan  Jul 23, 2015 ]
    2 answers
    I don't think so I went with a different head unit that had more features . The clarion is a very basic unit
    [ CHRIS  Jul 24, 2015 ]
    I'm not really sure yet, I'm currently out of town for a few weeks. And haven't really messed with it since I installed it. Sorry that I'm no help.
    [ DUSTY  Jul 24, 2015 ]
    can you turn the pre-amp output zones on/off? is there volume control for those outputs? I am adding tower speakers to my boat and I need a new head unit as well
    [ Ryan  Jul 23, 2015 ]
    1 answer
    I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: A preamp output on a radio does not have its own volume control, everything is still controlled by the main volume knob on the radio, and the preamp outs are not designed to turn on and off. You could have existing speakers run of the radio's built in amp on the Clarion M205, and the tower speakers run off a separate amp, but everything would be on, and again you would not have separate volume control. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat.
    [ Krissy  Jul 29, 2015 ]  Staff

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