The Difference Between Waterproof and Splash Proof Speakers

Technical terms are bandied about with abandon these days. Sometimes because there’s simply no other way to express the qualities of a certain item and other times because manufacturers and/or marketers are trying to disguise a weakness behind something that sounds pretty good. For instance “all natural” sounds like a pretty good thing, right? But when you consider that radioactivity is technically “all natural” you realize there’s a lot of wiggle room within the term. When it comes to shower speakers “splash proof” and “water resistant” sound pretty good as well but make no mistake; splash proof/water resistant and “waterproof” are entirely different beasts. Below we’ll try to make sense of the difference for you.

Where Water Resistant and Waterproof Part Ways

The term “splash proof” may not by itself be intentionally misleading but it’s led a lot of people to purchase items they thought were waterproof but actually are not. So for clarity’s sake we’re going to take a look at splash proof and waterproof and try to create some common sense separation between them.

  • What is “Waterproof”? – A waterproof product, whether it’s a camping tent, a jacket, a pair of work boots or walking shoes or in this case shower speakers, is something that is completely impervious to penetration by water. You can drop it in a sink full of water and go take a nice long nap and when you come back and retrieve the item it will function normally. Waterproof speakers then can be held directly under the shower and nothing will happen to them. They can be placed on the floor of the shower and nothing will happen to them. Being waterproof is, in fact, such a plus that when something is actually waterproof manufacturers and marketers make no bones about it. They don’t mess around with fuzzy terms, they stick out their chest and boast about it: “100% waterproof.” So if you ever see this term used by the manufacturer you can be sure water will never be an issue.
  • What Constitutes “Splash Proof”? – “Splash proof” and “water resistant” are the same thing but neither is the same as “waterproof”. Splash proof in essence means just that; that you can splash water on the device and it should emerge from the experience unharmed. A splash proof device is typically well built to close tolerances that create seals tight enough that incidental contact with water won’t result in penetration. By “incidental” we mean the occasional splash of water or even being accidentally held under the shower for a few seconds. However, should the device be submerged or subjected to direct contact with water for an extended period of time it is not only possible but likely that some water will find a minute crack or crevice to exploit and enter. Once it does your water resistant electronic device has probably had it.

Which Do You Need?

The entire issue of splash proof vs waterproof really hinges on the answer to one simple question: Do you need your shower speakers to be waterproof? While the question may seem simple just try and find a definitive answer on the Internet or anywhere else. We’ll save you the time and tell you that you won’t. Because there is no definitive answer. Whether or not you want waterproof speakers for the shower is entirely up to you. In most cases it’s just not necessary because most shower speakers are never exposed directly to the water flowing out of the shower head. They’re off to the side somewhere maybe picking up a few drops of water here and there. As such water resistant speakers are usually just fine. People who insist on buying waterproof speakers are just buying into the old truism “better safe than sorry”. And that’s fine too. So when it comes to selecting shower speakers A) don’t be fooled into thinking splash proof means waterproof and B) don’t be fooled into thinking you must have waterproof. Most of the time splash proof will be enough.