Summer is well on its way now, with tantalising glimpses of the sun appearing in between the bouts of the spring rain. Summer holidays are booked and schools are slowly starting the countdown towards the end of another academic year. Summer is all about getting out in the sunshine and having fun. Music plays a huge part in that, so having the right kit to play it on is very important.
However, it is just as important to protect your portable speaker from the summer conditions. As much as we adore feeling the temperatures rise, it can prove harmful to speakers if we don’t look after them correctly.
Keep it cool
It can be all too easy to place your portable speaker down and then forget all about it as you party the day away. If it is placed in direct sunlight, the rising temperatures can be very damaging to the delicate electronics inside and can cause the speaker to malfunction and break down beyond repair. You can even find that the outer plastic casing starts to melt if left to get too hot. The heat can also cause the speakers themselves to stiffen and crack, seriously distorting the sound quality.
Therefore make sure your speaker is kept out of direct sunlight and keep an eye on temperatures, especially as midday approaches. You could consider covering up your speaker or placing a sun shade over it to keep it cool. Or rig up an arrangement that allows you to keep the speaker inside a house, beach hut or car, facing an open window so the music can still be heard outside.
High temperatures are not the only risk that the summer sun brings with it for your precious portable speakers. Humidity can seriously damage delicate electronics and encourage fungal growth that can lead to a total breakdown. If you are playing music indoors during a hot day, try to ventilate the room your speakers are in by keeping doors and windows open, using air conditioning if it is installed and directing fans at the speakers to keep them cool and dry.
If you are using your speakers outside on a humid day, there’s plenty you can do to keep them dry. Place the speaker on a dry, lint-free tea towel or cloth to stop any ground moisture from rising up and into the unit. Make sure there is plenty of space around the speaker so that the air vents are not blocked or compromised.
Life’s a beach
Taking your music with you when you hit the beach is one of life’s great pleasures, however it also brings its own particular set of issues. Chiefly amongst which is how to stop sand from entering the speakers and messing up the insides. It’s worth bringing along a separate container, such as a cool box to keep your speakers in to reduce contact with the sand. Keep a spare towel on standby that is completely clean and dry to get rid of any sand that is suddenly kicked onto the speaker.
Once you are finished at the beach, it is really important to check your speaker for signs of a sand invasion and to clean it carefully, using cocktail sticks to ease sand grains out of the small holes and cotton buds to wipe around the ports until they are sand-free. Always be gentle when doing this as too rigorous a treatment can lead to additional damage. Another option for clearing sand particles is to use a can of compressed air designed to clean computer keyboards to blow any blockages away.
Water, water everywhere…
Water of any kind is bad news for speakers. Take care not to drop your speakers into water, as this can prove disastrous. If you do have an accident like this, turn the power off immediately and take steps to dry the speakers out as quickly as possible. Ideas such as immersing it into a bowl of uncooked rice can help speed up the evaporation rate, but you won’t know how successful you have been until it is completely dry and you can try turning it back on.
Sea-water can be especially troublesome as the salt in it can conduct electricity and lead to a shorting of circuits and corrosion. The salt can linger even after the water has evaporated, so it is best to seek professional help for its removal. As stated above, the best cure really is prevention, so take all steps necessary to make sure your speakers never even go near a summer water source.