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How Do You Know If A Marine Audio System Is Waterproof?
Take A Look Inside

Posted Thursday, January 20, 2011

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CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA (USA) – Not all marine audio systems are created equal. Many of the popular brands of audio systems installed in boats are not manufactured to Ingress Protection
(IP) ratings high enough to prevent damage from prolonged exposure to moisture, water spray, or dust.

In plain English - they aren’t waterproof, according to David Goldstein, product specialist for marine audio systems manufacturer Aquatic AV. “Waterproofing an audio system for marine use takes a lot of engineering and testing. Most
manufacturers market their systems as marine, when all they really do is take their all-purpose system, paint it white and call it waterproof,” Goldstein said.

All it takes is a quick look inside to determine if a marine audio system is waterproof. After just one season, components not manufactured to an IP waterproof rating can show significant
signs of corrosion.

IP testing is a worldwide certification that tests products for water and dust resistance. An IP rating has two numbers after the letters IP, for example, IP66. The first number is the amount and
the pressure of dust that can be sprayed at a unit. The second number is the amount and pressure of water that can be sprayed at a unit.

An IP66 rating is a good rating for a waterproof audio component. It indicates that the component can withstand any dust sprayed at it and it is completely sealed. It also indicates that water can
be sprayed at it at 14 PSI, which is a pressure sprayer spraying the unit up close with no loss of function. For more information about IP ratings, visit

“Multiple steps are required to manufacture an audio system to be waterproof for marine use,” David Goldstein said. “First, the circuit boards are coated with a special waterproof gel and
placed into a stainless steel or rust proof chassis. The chassis is then sealed completely to keep all water or moisture out of the completed component. Next, the faceplate of the component is
completely sealed - when closed, there are no holes for water to enter into the chassis.

“The faceplate is injected with silicon to leave less airspace for condensation to occur. In a waterproof unit all screws are stainless steel to prevent rusting and sealed with special glue
so water cannot enter the unit. Once the unit is assembled, a marine grade connector is installed on the back for a watertight connection. Only then is the unit ready for testing and if it
passes, then the manufacturer can legitimately claim it is waterproof for marine use,” Goldstein said.

For more information about Aquatic AV products, visit or call 1+408.559.1668.

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