Garmin Tread Audio System
(Photo/Garmin)

Lights, Sound, Action: UTV Party Time With Garmin Tread Audio System

Tread Audio System gives you beats and lights for your side-by-side, all controllable through your Garmin Navigator.

You know Garmin for helping you figure out how to get where you’re going, and to help you to find places you never knew you wanted to go. But the company makes gear to help make the trip as enjoyable as the destination.

Now Garmin is expanding that off-road gear lineup with a new stereo system with LED lights to give your side-by-side weatherproof tunes and a light-up experience.

Small Package, Big Sound

The Tread Audio System starts with a four-channel amplifier that packs a 100-watt RMS per channel punch. And that’s plenty to give you loads of sound in the great outdoors.

Garmin includes a pair of 6.5-inch speakers for high-quality playback. The speakers are built to an IP67 rating. That level means they’re dust tight and can handle rain, water splashes, snow, and other light water exposures. Basically exactly the conditions that you’re probably hoping to find on your next trail blast.

Customizable LED Speaker Lights

Garmin Tread Audio System
(Photo/Garmin)

The party trick of the Tread Audio System is the LED lights that are part of the XS-LED tower speakers. The LED lights light up the entire speaker cone, giving the system a very cool look, especially at night.

Using the included remote or Garmin App, the LEDs can be set to sync to your music to turn your off-road night rides into a disco party. Or you can pick a speed-linked light setup, letting everyone around you know just how fully you’re sending it down that trail.

A third cool option helps with communication and even safety on the trail. Garmin says you can pick a color for the LED lights, and then coordinate with the rest of your crew. Everyone’s light color becomes their radio call sign for easy ID on comms.

If visibility is low thanks to fog or a night ride, everyone is muddy, or if you’re just with a new group, light color ID can be quicker and easier than trying to figure out if that was Steve or Janet who took a wrong turn or is falling behind.

Connects to Garmin Ecosystem

Of course, Garmin offers another product to help you keep in touch and use those light signals. The Tread Powersport Navigator with Group Ride Radio lets you keep in contact with everyone else on your ride. If they have compatible radios, that is.

Garmin is turning the Tread lineup into a gear family for off-road users. The Tread audio system and Powersport Navigator GPS system both link to the Tread App. The app lets you sync maps, waypoints, and destinations with everyone else on your ride. You can also control audio from your smartphone through the Tread app as well as from the included wireless remote.

Tread systems will also work with Garmin’s PowerSwitch 12-volt accessory controller. This electronic box lets you manage accessories like your light bars, horns, air compressors, and even 12-volt refrigerators through the PowerSwitch app or a Garmin Navigator.

What’s disappointingly missing from the system is a way to link PowerSwitch controls and Tread controls through just one app. Though you can control both through your GPS Navigator.

For $1,200, the Tread Audio System bundle includes the amp, LED controller, and speakers. It also comes with the mounting hardware you should need to get the system up and running on your side-by-side.

The audio box amp with light controller is $600 on its own, and if you want just the two 6.5-inch XS-LED tower speakers, that’s another $600. You can add more speakers and subwoofers to the system for more lights, more volume, or just more customization.

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Evan Williams
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Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade