Motorcycle audio shares similarities with marine audio, but it is distinct in other ways. There are numerous differences in the setup requirements between motorcycle audio systems and those of a car. In some cases, heat is a larger factor than in any other type of vehicle audio.
Motorcycles have significant areas that are exposed to air, which regulates engine heat. These areas become hot themselves, and are not conducive to wires. Fortunately, motorcycle audio often integrates bluetooth connectivity that links the speakers and amplifiers to the main sound system, which allows for a sleeker design and less exposure of delicate electronics to excessive heat.
Audio staging is different on a motorcycle than in a car, both due to the level of sound that the engine produces and the way speakers mounted flush would project sound away from the bike. Motorcycle audio has to take into account the fact that the speakers will be exposed to wind and high engine noise. As well, the fact that motorcycle speakers tend to point toward you allows you to stage the sound far better than if they were projecting their sound away from the vehicle, which would need to be excessively loud for you to hear it.
The volume level on a motorcycle has to be balanced differently than in an enclosed car or truck because of wind, the fact that you may be wearing a helmet and the sound of the engine. Often the volume of motorcycle audio will end up being 20 dB or more above what it would be if you were in an enclosed space simply because of these factors.
Water and Dirt Resistance
Much like with marine audio, motorcycle audio must be resistant to the elements due to being outside most of the time. Exposure to dirt from the street and rain means that these systems must be water resistant, which means that the components will not be damaged by splashes. It is even better if the components are water proof, which means they could be fully immersed without damage. Since dirt is very damaging to the electrical components in the audio system, every component must have durable casing and be protected against the intrusion of small particulate matter to avoid internal corrosion, shorting out or physical damage to the circuitry inside the components. Even wiring must be specially treated to keep out dirt and water.
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