Modern speakers can do a lot, but only very few can cope with water. The only exceptions are really waterproof speakers. Depending on what you’re planning to do with your speakers, you’ll want to consider waterproofing as well.
Waterproof speakers: what do you need them for?
The answer is quite simple: every now and then you need to take your speakers on-the-go to places where it might get a little bumpy. However, water resistance and robustness are not the only purchase criteria for loudspeakers even in such cases. For stationary speakers – especially multi-channel systems – these properties are usually not relevant anyway, since it’s most likely to stay dry in living rooms. If, however, you also want to provide the pool, terrace or balcony with powerful sound, the pre-requisites will quickly change: in this case, robust and waterproof speakers are worth their weight in gold.
This is what you need to keep in mind when buying waterproof speakers
Loudspeakers are rather sensitive structures. Voice coils, diaphragms, frames and grills are tuned to each other down to the millimetre, and electronic components are of course built into the interior. This is why vibrations during transport and installation can cause a speaker to lose its beat or even its sound. And water has the same devastating effect.
Water damage is not just caused when your speaker is caught in a rain shower. Even the morning dew on the morning after a big garden party can cause audible damage. This is why the following properties are required for speakers that are intended for use in various locations as well as outdoors:
- ✔ a high-quality and robust body that resists shocks and bumps
- ✔ a protective device for the speaker diaphragm (e.g. a metal grill)
- ✔ a non-slip underside for safe placement on different surfaces
- ✔ a device for suspension (openings in the speaker housing)
- ✔ a waterproof construction for protection against water splashes
The ROCKSTER family
IPX7 and other protection classes for waterproof speakers
The meaning of “waterproof” can vary considerably depending on the individual case. However, the protection class given provides you with reliable information. You should make sure that your speaker has a protection rating that protects it against condensation.
The protection class is indicated as IP code (International Protection) with two digits – for example IP 34. The first digit stands for dust protection, the second for water protection. If either information is not relevant, an X is used instead of a digit. The information is based on internationally standardised test procedures.
These are the types of protection that offer effective water protection:
- ➥ IPX5: Protection against water jets coming from all directions
- ➥ IPX6: Protection against strong water jets
- ➥ IPX7: Protection against temporary submersion
- ➥ IPX8: Protection against permanent submersion
Waterproof Bluetooth speakers
Portable waterproof speakers are often Bluetooth-enabled. With this transmission standard, a wireless connection can be established between the source and the speaker. The advantages are obvious: you no longer need to provide a cable connection between the speaker and your audio source, which simplifies setup. Further advantages of Bluetooth are fast pairing and stable data transmission over distances of up to 10 metres. In addition, you do not use a lot of energy when connected via Bluetooth.
However, sound can suffer when streamed over a Bluetooth connection. In order to reduce the data volume, the audio data is encoded for the Bluetooth A2DP profile. Information from the source file is lost, which can have a detrimental effect on sound quality. Bluetooth aptX offers an improvement on the sound quality, as it ensures a transmission with virtually no data loss. This standard only comes into effect however if both the transmitter and the receiver support it.
With the ROCKSTER CROSS and ROCKSTER GO, we have developed Bluetooth speakers that not only sound awesome, but are also very durable.
- ▶ ROCKSTER GO: The smallest speaker in the family, the Rockster GO is ready for adventure. Thanks to an IPX7 protection class rating, the GO can even withstand brief submersion in water. In addition, we have equipped the GO with very robust housing. Our powerful stereo system with Dynamore technology provides room-filling and powerful sound. The battery lasts up to 12 hours, Bluetooth aptX enables almost lossless audio streaming and you have an integrated hands-free system as well as a sound card for connection to PCs and laptops.
- ▶ ROCKSTER CROSS: At 2.4 kg, the CROSS is larger than the GO. Water also can’t affect it so quickly (IPX5). In addition, the robust and thick-walled housing absorbs shocks very well. The stereo system consists of two tweeters and a subwoofer. Of course, aptX is also on board with the CROSS Bluetooth. In addition, we have given it practical extra functions: two smartphones can be connected at the same time and an integrated hands-free kit enables phone and video calls via FaceTime and Skype.
Teufel Bluetooth speakers
What you need to know about waterproof speakers
- Waterproof loudspeakers survive contact with splash water and moisture without damage.
- Only loudspeakers with IPX7 protection or higher can withstand (brief) immersion in water.
- The protection class IPX5 means that a speaker is protected against water jets.
- Other important features of waterproof speakers are a protected speaker diaphragm, shock-resistant housing and a secure stand.