IP ratings are used to indicate the levels of protection a device has against intrusion from solid objects and liquids. IP stands for “Ingress Protection” and the numeric code afterwards specifies the extent of protection. For speakers and other audio devices like headphones or earbuds, an IP67 rating is commonly seen and indicates a high level of water and dust resistance.
The first digit in the IP code, in this case 6, refers to the level of protection against solid objects like dust. The higher the number, the better the protection. A 6 rating means the device is “dust tight” and prevents any dust from entering the internal components. While not completely impervious, it offers complete protection against contact from dust and will prevent most dust from getting in even under pressure.
The second digit, 7, indicates the water protection level. Again, higher numbers denote stronger water resistance. A rating of 7 means the device is rated to be waterproof and withstand immersion in water. An IP67 speaker can be immersed in 1 meter of fresh water for up to 30 minutes without damage.
So in summary, an IP67 rating for a speaker means:
- Complete protection from dust getting into the internal parts.
- Can be immersed in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
There are a few key things to note about the IP67 water protection:
- It only applies to fresh water. The rating is invalidated if the speaker is immersed in any other liquid like salt water, chlorinated water, drinks, etc.
- Water pressure is not a factor in the rating. The device may fail if there is pressurized water like a powerful jet from a hose or showerhead even if fully submerged for less than 30 minutes.
- While rated for 30 minutes of submersion, it’s best practice to minimize the time underwater. The longer the duration, the higher the risk of failure. Quick accidental immersions are fine but the device shouldn’t be used underwater on a regular basis.
- The water protection will deteriorate over time so older IP67 speakers may lose their water resistance even if brand new. Manufacturer warranties related to water damage also have a time limit.
- Physical damage compromises the waterproofing. Cracked casings, broken ports and seals, etc. can allow water to seep in and damage the electronics.
- Speakers must be completely dried out after getting them wet before charging or using. Trapped moisture can damage the internal circuitry over time.
What the IP67 Water Rating Enables
An IP67 waterproof speaker opens up all sorts of applications and scenarios that non-waterproof models cannot match:
- Using it safely in the shower to listen to music. No need to worry about steam or splashes while washing.
- Listening to music or taking calls while lounging by the pool, hot tub or at the beach without damage from splashes.
- Can be used without damage in rainy conditions, making them ideal for outdoor activities and sports.
- Rinsing or quickly washing the speaker to clean it is no problem for an IP67 model.
- Kids can use the speaker in wet environments like by sinks or baths safely.
- Adds protection when used on boats, kayaks and other marine vessels where splashing or soggy conditions are expected.
- Can be used worry-free in wet workshops, garages, basements, etc. where moisture is prevalent.
While IP67 allows the speaker to withstand wet environments well, it’s still best to avoid submerging the device for longer than necessary. For heavy marine use or underwater applications, there are specialized floating or fully submersible speakers. But for everyday water and dust resistance, an IP67 speaker provides very capable protection. Just avoid pushing its limits unnecessarily.
Maintenance Tips for IP67 Speakers
To keep an IP67 speaker performing at its best, there are some maintenance practices to keep in mind:
- Clean with a soft damp cloth and mild soap if needed. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Check the ports, seals, and housing regularly for cracks or damage that could compromise water protection.
- Avoid exposing it to pressurized water flows greater than what would be experienced in 1 meter depth immersion.
- Let the speaker fully dry out after getting it wet before further use or charging. Dry using soft absorbent cloth, do not apply heat.
- Limit underwater immersion time to the 30 minute rating. For occasional quick immersions, that’s not a concern but don’t make underwater use a regular practice.
- Reapply waterproof grease on seals if they appear dried out.
- Consider waterproof pouches for added protection if doing water sports or activities with greater water pressure.
With proper care and maintenance, an IP67 speaker can deliver years of service and keep on pumping out the tunes rain or shine. Just be mindful of its limitations and how to keep its water-resistant abilities intact. With an IP67 rating, you can be confident your portable speaker can withstand wet weather, splashes, dust and dirt that life throws its way.