How Are Waterproof Speakers Made?

When you are a kid and learning about the world, you are taught that water and electricity and electrical devices are not a good mix. At best, water can ruin an electrical device, while at worst, it can cause a serious accident. 

Fortunately, there is a safe way to enjoy listening to your favorite music, podcasts, radio stations, or just about anything else you want while you shower or bathe – waterproof speakers. As waterproof devices and accessories like speakers are so popular and widely available these days, you may not have given much thought to how they are actually made. 

That’s understandable. For most people, it’s enough to just know that something does something impressive, without knowing any of the details. If you have ever stopped and wondered what actually is involved in making a waterproof speaker, then this post is for you. In it, we will discuss some of the fascinating aspects of a waterproof speaker’s design and construction that give it its unique functionality. 

Conformal Coating

The first important component of waterproof speakers we wanted to highlight is conformal coating. This is used to protect the printed circuit boards from everything from extreme cold and hot temperatures to solid debris, salt, chemicals, and moisture. It helps to shield crucial electrical marine audio parts from things like UV rays, humidity, and corrosion. 

Although it’s good, it’s not a complete sealant. It is seen as being more of a protective layer that offers breathability for the PCBs. As it ensures water vapor that gets trapped there can escape, it prolongs the lifespan of the circuit board and speaker.

Nanotechnology

Another hugely important component used in the construction of waterproof speakers, especially modern designs, is nanotechnology. As you’d guess from the name, nanotechnology involves incredibly small particles that are used in making anti-UV, oilproof and waterproof coatings. 

These coatings tend to be made from Fluoropolymer. The molecules and atoms of this compound penetrate into the narrowest of crevices and gaps to provide a barrier against chemicals, dust, salt, and corrosion that could wreck the circuitry. 

Superhydrophobic Coating

Most waterproof speakers also have another special coating referred to as superhydrophobic. This is actually a subset of nanocoatings and is made from various materials like Zinc Oxide Polystyrene and Manganese Oxide Polystyrene nano-composite, for example.

It is used on speakers and the PCBs to increase their waterproof properties. It is a super nanoscopic layer that really keeps the water out. You could see it as being the exact opposite of something absorbent. It stops liquid and vapor water and when the water makes contact with the coating, it slides off and it is left totally dry. 

This is especially useful for waterproof speakers for a shower or bathroom that are continuously exposed to excessive moisture and water splashes. Then if water accidentally sprays against the speaker, and it has this particular coating, the water will just rebound off it.

Gaskets, Tapes, and Glue

Alongside the clever materials and technologies used as outlined above, glue also plays an especially important role in the construction of waterproof speakers. A speaker consists of different components that are all held together with special auto-lock sliding clasps and screws. 

As a result of this method of construction, even if they are very tightly secured together, there are still gaps where water can come in.

As there are all these ports and joints on a speaker too, it makes it almost impossible to block up all the potential holes and entry points. To combat this, manufacturers use tape and glue to really cement all the relevant components together, creating a totally watertight seal.

Annika Bansal
 

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.