Speakers in a maritime environment have to be able to withstand heavily varying environmental conditions. With the possibility of water intrusion into their structure being a constant concern, being water resistant and designed to withstand the elements is a must. As well, utilizing the proper construction and materials to withstand these harsh elements is a mark of superior marine audio equipment. Involving a stainless steel or UV treated plastic body is a good way to keep the speaker's main structure from corroding quickly, particularly in a saltwater environment.
What to look for in Marine speakers:
The cone in marine audio speakers also needs to be specially conditioned for the maritime space. While paper and many kinds of fabric are perfectly well suited to dry conditions, in wet conditions the cone should be made out of a superior material such as polypropylene in order to resist the forces at work. Further, having UV resistance in the outer structure and grille keeps the excessive sun on the water from being damaging to a marine audio speaker's performance or aesthetic appeal.
Marine speakers have to be sturdier than the kind you keep in your car because, unlike the road a car travels on, the water is not even. While water feels smooth, waves and wind will make the boat toss and turn constantly. With these forces as the norm, marine speakers have to be constructed sturdily, with firmer connections that are less likely to rattle loose and lead to a short. Further, these speakers must also have membranes that can produce sound despite the constant vibrations of the boat's engine. Effect bypasses also contribute to sturdy enough speakers for this purpose.
Ultraviolet or UV radiation is more pronounced on the water, as the water's surface reflects a lot of it. While sunbathers appreciate this, marine speakers need to be specially treated so that their coloration does not fade. Further, they must be UV resistant so their casings do not become brittle and break under the physical forces they face.
Water and Precipitation
Water is among the worst threats to marine speakers. First, these speakers must be encased in something water proof, which is defined as being able to protect the inside even when fully submerged. Further, the internal electrical components must be protected from water intrusion by special films that make the circuits themselves resistant. Wires must also be specially insulated and water proof, as water can get into normal wires and corrode or short out, which can be ruinous to the speakers themselves and even dangerous to people aboard the boat. Even marine speaker membranes must resist being water damaged.
Dirt and Other Particles
Dirt and other foreign particles are not just present in sea water. Often, dirt will find its way even amid fresh water, and this dirt can cause physical damage to the speakers. One design element that marine speakers need to have is that their casings must be tough, as they are not protected inside like those of a car. When dirt or sand intrudes, it can break connections in the electronics, disrupt wires, and ruin the operation of the speakers.
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