Are Waterproof Speakers Really Waterproof?

Waterproof speakers are some of the coolest gadgets to add to your home sound system. While they can be used anywhere just like any other standard speakers, waterproof speakers are especially great addition for outdoor events, especially pool, beach and hot tub parties.

There are also waterproof speakers that are designed to be used for outdoor use such as boating, fishing or other extreme sports like motorboat racing.

If you are planning to buy a new set of waterproof speakers for such purpose, it brings you to an important question: “Are waterproof speakers really waterproof?” Well, the answer is: not necessarily. In this regard, a little education is what you need before buying waterproof speakers.

Just think of a possible worst-case scenario: the party gets out of hand, and one of the waterproof speakers gets knocked over and falls into the pool. With your waterproof speaker now drenched,  chances are it would be beyond repair, and that won’t be covered by the warranty.

That is why you have to know how waterproof your speakers should be, so that you will be able to buy  the best units that will truly stand up to even a great degree of moisture.

What is the difference between “waterproof” and “water resistant”?

But wait… you may have also encountered some devices that are labeled “water resistant.” So that brings you to another important question: “What is the difference between ‘waterproof’ and ‘water resistant?’”

First, here are definitions of the two terms by Merriam-Webster:

Waterproof – “covered or treated with a material (such as a solution of rubber) to prevent permeation by water.”

Water resistant – “designed to not be easily harmed or affected by water or to not allow water to pass through easily.”

Water resistant devices are built with a special material to “fight” against water and make themselves difficult for the water to enter. So between “waterproof” and “water resistant,” the latter sounds like a better feature for your new speakers, especially if you plan to place them around sources of water such as a swimming pool.

IPX Standards – why should you know about them when buying waterproof speakers?

The IPX Standards (or IPX Ratings) will definitely make a very useful guide for you whenever you are looking for waterproof (or water resistant) devices such as speakers. Technologies are granted with this rating which tells you how waterproof (or how water resistant) an item happens to be.

Below you will see a breakdown of the IPX Standards, in relation to “waterproof” and “water resistant.” Each rating is assigned with the numbers 0 to 8, to let you know how waterproof your speakers should be. You can see these ratings in item’s label or product description.

IPX0 – The speaker is not water resistant at all. Even just a few drops of water can potentially damage your speaker beyond repair.

IPX1 – The speaker has a little degree of protection against a few little drops of water, falling vertically. Despite that, you should not place it directly under certain areas where there are lots of splashing. It is still better to keep your speaker perfectly dry.

IPX2 – It is the same as IPX1, but it protects your speaker from some drops when tilted up to 15 degrees.

IPX3 – It is still the same as IPX1, but it protects your speaker from some drops when tilted up to 60 degrees.

IPX4 – This protects your speaker from some sprays and splashes of water that come from any direction. While it can’t survive being splashed for a prolonged period time or being submerged, a momentary splash from a pool won’t otherwise hurt.

IPX5 – It is the same as IPX4, but this protects your speaker from a stream of water at any direction. It protects the speaker from certain water pressures, such as a water gun, but it is only for a short period of time. It cannot also be submerged.

IPX6 – It is still the same as IPX4, but your speaker can withstand additional water pressure such as that coming from a pressure washer. It cannot be submerged.

Everything after this is now waterproof… and water resistant:

IPX7 – This rating allows the speaker to be submerged into the water, to depths of up to 1 meter (or 3 feet) for a certain period of time, usually 30 minutes. The speaker will still function normally ((assuming that it doesn’t have any manufacturing flaws).

IPX8 – With this rating, a pool speaker can be submerged to the depths of 1 meter and beyond. Even if your speaker is found at the bottom of the pool or even at the bottom of the lake, if it has the IPX8 rating rest assured that it will still work fine as it did then (assuming that it doesn’t have any manufacturing flaws).

 

If you want speakers that can endure occasional splashes or speakers that can survive prolonged immersion, these ratings will guide the way to buying the ideal waterproof speakers.