There are some words that sound so similar and have such closely related definitions that they get used interchangeably. And because of that, people end up confusing the true meaning and usage of the said terms. Although they feel negligible in most cases, the minor differences can prove to be quite significant. To avoid any mishap, it is important to make people aware of certain similar words and their specific meanings. Water Resistant and Waterproof are two major examples of these words. These words are usually brought up when modern technology is brought up, such as speakers.
What does “Water Resistant’ Mean?
To compare Water Resistant and Waterproof Speakers, we will first discuss each term individually. We all know that water and electronic devices should stay as far away from each other as possible. Water is the opposite of electricity and the combination of the two can be quite fatal. Aside from the obvious hazards that electric contact with water can cause, water can be very harmful to devices. But technology has come a long way, with devices that can withstand specific exposure to water.
Water Resistant speakers do not allow any water to pass through to the parts that can be damaged. This is usually achieved by covering the device’s electrical bits to completely isolate it. The external coating is made up of a material having water insulation properties. But even then, different speakers offer various levels of water resistance.
How Would I Know What Level of Water Resistance My Speaker Has?
Before we head deeper into the differences between Water Resistant and Waterproof Speakers, IP Ratings must be brought up. IP stands for Ingress Protection and relies on proven factual studies rather than people’s opinions. Every electronic device carries an IP Rating with it, which clearly tells what level of water resistance it offers. Since this rating system has been designed by the International Electrotechnical Commission, or ICE for short, it is extremely authentic. It was founded so that a universal system could be set in place for protective elements of electronic devices.
The IP Rating system applies to three types of intruding matter: solids, liquids, and dust particles. But for now, we will only focus on the liquid, specifically water, aspects of it. The Liquid Ingress Protection ratings show how resistant devices are to liquids. If your device has an IPX0 rating, it means you should keep it as far away from water as possible. In other words, it does not have any kind of water-resistive elements. The next various levels of the Liquid IP Ratings are explained below:
- IPX1: This means that your speaker is on Level 1 of water resistance. It can get through 10 minutes of vertically falling drops of water on it. This is equivalent to 1mm per min of rainfall.
- IPX2: This means that your speaker is on Level 2 of water resistance. It can get through falling drops of water on it even if it is tilted at a 15° angle. This is equivalent to 3mm per min of rainfall.
- IPX3: This means that your speaker is on Level 3 of water resistance. It can get through water being sprayed at it by a nozzle at an angle of 60°. This is applicable in the presence of an IEC-approved counterbalanced shield. This is equivalent to 50 liters of water, sprayed for 5 minutes, at a pressure of 50-150 kPa.
- IPX4: This means that your speaker is on Level 4 of water resistance. It can get through water splashes from every direction. For the test, the spraying is carried out by the same nozzle but in the absence of the shield.
- IPX5: This means that your speaker is on Level 5 of water resistance. It can get through small water jets at any angle, sprayed from a 6.3 mm nozzle. This is equivalent to 12.5 L per min of water being sprayed for 15 minutes.
- IPX6: This means that your speaker is on Level 6 of water resistance. It can get through much stronger water jets at any angle, sprayed from a 12.5 mm nozzle. This is equivalent to 100 L per min of water being sprayed for 3 minutes.
When it comes to water resistance, one of the best speakers available today is TANKBASS by Sound Crush. It has a rating of IPX5, making it highly protective against liquids, with a great loud sound and rich bass. As the name suggests, it looks like a portable military tank and comes with a durable hand strap.
What does “Waterproof’ Mean?
Continuing the discussion of Water Resistant and Waterproof Speakers differences, now we will focus on the latter. Nowadays, it has become common for electronic devices to be highly waterproof. Companies and shops flex their products by sometimes dipping them fully into bodies of water.
These are devices that you can take to aquatic parties, into showers, or while walking in the rain. Waterproof speakers are designed and manufactured to be completely protected around or even inside water. These devices follow a similar concept as Water Resistant ones at their core. This makes them totally (at least to a considerable extent) safe from water.
How Would I Know What Level of Water Proofness My Speaker Has?
As expected, Water Resistant and Waterproof Speakers have different IP Ratings. Any IP Rating that goes above IPX6 is Waterproof. The waterproof level applicable to speakers is explained below:
- IPX7: This means that your speaker is on Level 7 of water resistance. It can get through 1m deep immersion in water for 30 minutes, emerging damage free.
When it comes to waterproofness, one of the best speakers available today is M7 by Sound Crush. It has a rating of IPX7, making it fully immune around or under water. It features a clear 360° sound and a deep bass. Being a portable Bluetooth speaker, it is perfect for outdoor use with an 18-hour battery life.
Water Resistant and Waterproof Speakers: Which One Should I Get?
The information above clearly lists the differences between Water Resistant and Waterproof Speakers. Buying a specific kind of product is always the customer’s choice. But it would be wise to opt for speakers with higher IP ratings since they are more immune to liquids. You will never have to constantly worry about getting water into your device, no matter where you are.