Getting audio in your sauna has always been a challenge, the harsh environment just isn’t great for electronics. Moreover, a niche product that caters to sauna-specific use isn’t too easy to find. Bluetooth is an option that comes to mind because of its portability, but is this an excellent option for a sauna?
You can safely use a Bluetooth speaker in a sauna, just make sure to use a waterproof speaker, place it on the floor, keep it as far away from the heat source as possible, and do not use it for prolonged periods of time. All of these things should keep the Bluetooth speaker from overheating.
Let’s be honest; there aren’t too many in-sauna entertainment options. For most people, listening to their favorite music can be out of reach. While it may seem like an easy option to use a Bluetooth speaker, safety should always be on your mind. Let’s take a dive into Bluetooth speakers and sauna and learn more about how to do it safely.
Are There Bluetooth Speakers for the Sauna?
When it comes to speakers in your sauna, there are several options you can choose from. Between simple portable Bluetooth speakers and in-ceiling speakers, you can find speakers to fit any sauna. Often you can find speakers built specifically for use in a sauna, like these speakers from Superior Sauna’s website.
Manufacturers design these units with special materials and gaskets to keep out moisture and make sure they can withstand the intense heat. But we are talking about portability and cost efficiency, so that means Bluetooth. Bluetooth can be a great option, but it is imperative to keep moisture out.
There are a few combos that everyone knows don’t go together. Electricity and water tend to be one of them. Saunas are hot and humid and, depending on the type, can be filled with moisture which can be a death sentence for many electronics.
Suffice to say, any electronic product you intend to bring into a sauna should be waterproof. Additionally, a good speaker will need to withstand the extreme heat of a sauna because some saunas can get all the way up to 195ºF. If you use a Bluetooth speaker in your sauna, it needs to be able to handle this type of heat during every use.
Steps to Take When Using a Bluetooth Speaker in a Sauna
While there aren’t any specific Bluetooth speakers meant for saunas, there are some things you can do with a highly waterproof or outdoor Bluetooth speaker to protect it inside of a sauna.
- Place the Bluetooth speaker on a tower on the floor of the sauna.
- Keep the speaker as far from the heatsource as possible.
- Make sure the speaker is made out of plastic with no metal on the outside.
- Don’t use the speaker for longer than 15-20 minutes.
- If the feel the Bluetooth speaker getting too warm, immidiately remove it from the sauna.
This isn’t 100% foolproof for protecting the speaker, but it’s much better than not taking any precausions.
Do “Rugged” or “Waterproof” Bluetooth Speakers Work in the Sauna?
It’s not uncommon for there to be a group of terms plastered on the packaging that claim a speaker’s resistance to the elements. But often, these promises, like the promises seen on other devices’ packaging, fall short when tested. Be wary of cheaper and lower-end products that make exaggerated claims.
But are there Bluetooth devices that can handle this type of wear and tear? If you think about a sauna, it presents a specific set of challenges including extreme heat, excessive moisture, and temperature extremes like going from hot to cold.
When a speaker manufacturer envisions the environment their product will be in, they usually don’t consider these conditions. They may think of the heat of, say, a shower, but pushing temperatures near 200ºF is not what they had in mind.
Additionally, the extreme humidity of certain types of sauna can be an issue. Some audio devices may be impervious to water and carry an ingress rating — a rating that describes the ability of water to enter the products. But, the type of waterproofing that most speakers on the market may have will not prevent the steam and condensation of a sauna.
Others may just repel water to some degree. If you are looking for a better waterproof speaker, go with trusted brands. A product like the Altec Lansing Mini H20 (on Amazon) will still provide some protection, but don’t think it can stand up over time.
Another term you may come across is “rugged.” Much like waterproof, this can mean different things from different manufacturers. A device like the Altec Lansing IMW479 (on Amazon) makes for a great speaker. It’s durable, carries a long charge, and has an IP67 rating.
While this may seem like a sure choice, rugged does not translate to a good sauna speaker. Usually, when a manufacturer uses the term rugged, they mean the speaker stands up well to drops and other rough situations.
Temperature and Bluetooth Speakers
When it comes to ideal operating temperatures, there is a wide range of recommendations. Each manufacturer is going to put up its own recommended ranges. The trouble is, you can’t always find this information easily. Some brands will advertise it on product packaging, and some won’t.
To give you a general idea, let’s take a look at the popular Bose Soundlink Micro (on Amazon). This power-packed speaker comes with IP-rated waterproofing and crisp sound. It can withstand temperatures ranging from -4° F – 158° F. This would put it at the lower end of traditional sauna temperatures.
How a Bluetooth Speaker Could Fail in the Sauna
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers in saunas, there are a few different things to know about. First, you need to be aware of all the risks. Some risks are low stakes and some are high. A low-stakes risk would be risking the product itself.
This could be shaving off a few years of operational use, or a risk to certain parts, and even complete failure in some cases. At the end of the day, you are safe and sound, but your Bluetooth speaker is kaputt. High-stakes risks are a different story.
While certainly not as probable, these risks are real and can happen in the right circumstances. This is why you always need to be careful when using electronic devices in wet or extreme heat conditions. Here are some things to consider:
- Lithium-Ion batteries — This popular battery for rechargeable devices is sensitive to heat. In rare circumstances, they can even set fire and explore.
- Shorted wires — If water happens to get into the inside of your Bluetooth speaker, you could fall victim to a short. While this may not be dangerous under all circumstances, if you happen to be handling it at the time of the incident, it could be trouble.
Be Prepared for the Speaker to Fail
There is no perfect Bluetooth speaker, especially when taking into account sauna conditions. No matter what speaker you decide to purchase, one day, it will likely fail on you. If you choose to use a Bluetooth option instead of installing sauna-specific speakers, this is a reality you will need to face.
Decide now whether the price of replacing a speaker is something you are comfortable with. While it may cost less than installing speakers initially, it may not pay off over time. Even with special sauna speakers, you may need to replace them at some point.
Our recommendation is to use a Bluetooth speaker that has a high IP rating, and one that you are comfortable with failing on you. Don’t use a very expensive speaker that would hurt your wallet to replace.
As we stated in our guide on AirPods, a sauna is just too extreme an environment for any electronics to last forever. Not only is there water, but there can be steam and condensation that can easily seep into your speaker. If any part of the unit is susceptible to water damage, chances are it will experience it at some point in its life in the sauna.
Heat can also cause untold damage to electronics. Not only will it cause components to fail, but in the conditions of a sauna, you can expect metal parts to expand and contract. This can, over time, cause connections to loosen. When this happens, the speaker is as good as done.
Bluetooth speakers can make for a somewhat suitable option for in-sauna audio. Some can even last for years with proper care. But not all speakers are created equal. Waterproof for one company may mean something else for another.
Additionally, terms like rugged don’t always translate to extreme temperatures, which is important for a sauna speaker. If you want a portable option, it might be your only choice. Just be prepared for the speaker to fail in such extreme conditions.