Do Speakers In The Kitchen or Bathroom Need To Be Weatherproof?

We’ve talked before about whether or not your in-ceiling speakers need to be sealed. There are lots of reasons why they should (depending on where you live). But one question that comes up from time to time is speakers in kitchens. You might have freestanding speakers, Bluetooth speakers, or installed speakers in your kitchen. But your kitchen (and bathrooms) are unique. They experience much higher temperature and humidity variations than the rest of your home. Does that mean that speakers in your kitchen and bathroom should be weatherproof? Let’s discuss!

What is Weatherproof?

As many things in this world, “weatherproof” doesn’t necessarily mean that a speaker is completely safe from ALL forms of weather. The IP rating (indicated by IP followed by two numbers) will tell you exactly what the speaker is rated to withstand. The higher the numbers (it isn’t a two-digit number, it is two different numbers side by side), the more protection it has. The first number maxes out (currently) at 6 and the second at 8. So an IP68 rating would be the highest.

When people think of “weatherproof,” they are really thinking about “marine-grade.” Marine speakers are designed with materials that withstand water, salt, and temperature variations on a boat. They might have an IP rating as high as IPx5. This means the speakers are protected from direct jets of water AND will allow some water inside the speaker without damaging it. The materials used will resist the high salt levels in the water and air that are found near and in boats. Keep that in mind as we talk about your home.

Don’t put these in your kitchen

Comparing Outside to Inside

When people wonder about buying weatherproof speakers for the kitchen or bathroom, they are mostly thinking about humidity. Steam from cooking or from long showers is the top concern followed by temperature changes. In the IP rating, the second number indicates water protection. In a kitchen or bathroom, most speakers would be subjected to little more than condensation. This is the lowest IP rating and would be indicated by IPx1 (the x is a placeholder for the first number). Any rating higher than 1 in the second spot would indicate protection from water being sprayed directly on the speaker.

Your home speakers placed in a kitchen or bathroom shouldn’t experience “jets” of water on them. The salt levels in your home aren’t nearly as high as those near boats. Lastly, the temperature of your home shouldn’t vary nearly as much as it does outside your home. All this leads us to one conclusion:

Wrap Up

Clearly, you can come up with a scenario where a speaker in your kitchen or bath might get splashed with water or experience condensation. The reality is that most speakers should be perfectly fine placed anywhere in your home. There is no need to buy weatherproof speakers for inside. If you are buying a portable speaker, go ahead and get one with an IP rating. That way, if you have it near you while you are doing dishes, you don’t have to worry about it getting accidentally wet. But any in-wall or in-ceiling speaker doesn’t need to be weatherproof inside your home.

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