Looking after your speaker
So you’ve got a shiny new speaker – how do you keep it in good condition? There are a few natural enemies of speakers and electronics, so here’s a handy guide to look after any speaker, including a wonderful new SoundBucket!
So what damages portable speakers. Lets see:
Excess heat is the #1 killer of electronic device. As they get hot, the little junctions inside the chips start to expand and they can crack the insulation layers, so shorting out the chips innards. Excessive heat will also shorten the electronics life. Heat is produced whenever you play the music, and the speaker can get quite hot if you hammer the volume. How much? Well a SoundBucket is rated at 30W continuous power. That’s like putting an old 40W light bulb in a sealed box – it’s going to get very hot! Thankfully we designed the SoundBucket with a metal body which acts like a radiator and helps dissipate this heat, but powerful plastic speakers can get very hot inside. So if you’re going to have a party, and turn the volume up, try and make sure there’s plenty of flowing air over the speakers, to keep them cool.
A speaker left in a window will also tend to get quite hot as the speaker drivers are naturally black coloured. This is not a huge problem for the speaker, but the batteries inside the speaker will loose capacity to hold charge if they are kept at a high temperature for a long time – kept at 40ºC for a year, a Li-ion battery will permanently lose up to a 1/3rd of it’s charge. In a hot country, keeping a portable speaker in a south facing window is a no-no!
So absence of heat is good right? Sadly no. The batteries don’t like the cold either. If you try and charge them regularly at or below freezing, you’ll damage them. Portable speakers like room temperature.
You’re kidding right? Speakers don’t like the light?? Well actually they don’t like UV rays, especially plastic bodied speakers. If you’ve ever seen black plastic on a car a few years old, you’ll notice it goes slightly white-ish. This is the effect of UV rays on the polymers in the plastic. Keep the speaker out of the window! SoundBuckets, being made of metal are less prone to this, but if they become bleached over time, because they’re hand made, we can always fit a brand new outside to them for you.
Water and speakers don’t mix. Even if the speaker says it’s waterproof, please don’t go swimming with them. On the other side of the coin, as long as the drivers are coated, like the ones in a SoundBucket, a bit of rain won’t damage them. If it’s too wet for you, it’s too wet for the speaker!
Sand tends to get into all the little crevasses of humans, and will try to do the same for speakers. Again some speakers are very well sealed, and are sand proof. The SoundBucket is sealed, and by all means use it on the beach, but just brush off the sand when you’re done. You can lift of the top to shake out any sand that’s got into the bass driver grille.
It’s going to happen. It’s best to invest in a carry bag for your speaker if you’re going to be taking it out and about a lot. Plastic boxes tend to scratch and scuff badly, thankfully the metal finish on the SoundBucket is much more resilient, but we make a neat carry bag if you want to keep it pristine.
Dropping from a great height
Quite a lot of the smaller speakers will bounce, but the bigger ones will crunch. However any rapid shock to a speaker can damage the drivers, so try not to drop them. Plastic cases can also break open or crack, so take care. The SoundBucket is much more robust, but don’t drop it if you can help it, and never put a 2 ton car on top of it either! The SoundBucket won’t care, but it’s a bit silly.