Need to rock on the rocks, mambo in the mud or twist on the trail? If you're looking for a bulletproof upgrade for your truck's sound system, or if you'd like to find water-resistant audio components that'll fit in the tight confines of your Jeep, look no further. Here's Four Wheeler's Extreme Conditions Guide for the ultimate 4x4 sound system.
For the 'wheeler who wants a quality sound system that's as durable as his 4x4 and as dependable as a rock-and-roll rhythm section, options are scarce. It's pretty hard to find rough-and-ready components that hold up to trail use because the car-audio industry has yet to target the 4x4 market, and those companies that do recognize our niche fail to understand what actually works out there in the elements. The result is a market that begs for innovations, and technology that is waterproof and dustproof.
One place the 4x4 enthusiast can turn to find quality audio products that stand up to the severity of four-wheeling, however, is the marine market. A marine-grade product is, obviously, engineered to be seaworthy. A commonly used standard among marine products is CFR-46, which refers to an official Coast Guard definition for "waterproof." To be CFR-46 compliant, a component must be constructed so that a stream of water from a hose can douse it without leakage.
And if it's actually that waterproof, it follows that it's also completely dustproof. And that's a good thing. It would be safe to say a CFR-46-rated product would still work after a soggy trip up the dreaded Tank Trap during Top Truck Challenge. Very few electronic products can survive that type of encounter with water and dust, and the few that can are usually hard to find. Follow along and see what makes audio products sink or swim on the trail.