We live in a society where people want their favorite music with them wherever they go and under water is no exception. Underwater speakers are becoming an increasingly popular pool accessory - no longer just for swim teams and spectacular underwater shows, speakers are being used by more and more homeowners in residential pools. Whether for exercise or recreation, underwater speakers add a whole new dimension to swimming.
Underwater speakers are an investment so the first thing to consider is what you actually want in a speaker. If you just want some music poolside occasionally, installing some standard outdoor speakers might be a better option. You might also consider the Pool Tunes Wireless Speaker which is a floating pool speaker that uses a wireless transmitter to play music from your MP3 player. This is a full range 3-watt speaker that runs on batteries and also features a light for nighttime use.
If you’re serious about having music underwater for sports training, exercise, relaxation or fun, then you’ll want to consider the different underwater speaker options out there. The first thing to be aware of is that underwater speakers don’t create sound, they only transmit it. So they must be connected to a stereo system with the proper amplifier (underwater speakers will require a certain ohm load depending on the model). You’ll need to factor in this expense if you don’t already have a stereo.
Existing Pools – If you have an existing pool, you might want a speaker but don’t want to renovate in order to install an in-wall speaker. Fortunately, you still have some options. The Aqua-30 Underwater Loudspeaker can be wall mounted or mounted in an optional bracket. It is a completely sealed 30-watt speaker made of blue plastic ABS material. Less expensive than in-wall models, it is also not as attractive.
Floating and Drop-in Speakers - Another option for those not renovating their pools is the Aquasonic Underwater Speaker which is typically installed in the pool wall but can also be used as a floating or “drop in” speaker. You should note that in both of these installations the speaker cable will be in the water. This could be a safety issue especially if young children are using the pool. For the floating installation, a float is attached to the speaker and additional floats support the cable. When using the drop-in method, the speaker float is removed and the speaker is lowered into the pool. It is recommended for both the floating and drop-in installations that a length of nylon rope be attached to the tether eyelet hole. The rope is then used to raise or lower the speaker, instead of using the cable.
Portable Speakers - Another alternative to the in-wall speaker is the Lubell Portable Professional Speaker. This underwater speaker is mounted inside a sturdy cage and is well protected enough to be used not only in pools but also test tanks, lakes and oceans. This is a high end speaker that costs less than the Lubell in–wall models but is still over $1000.00.
New Pool Construction or Renovation – In-wall underwater speaker installation is the best option if you’re building a new pool or renovating an existing pool. The speakers are designed to fit inside a pool light niche in the wall of the pool which makes for a much more attractive and unobtrusive installation than the floating or drop-in options. The speaker is pretty much flush with the pool wall and the cable would run underground through conduit to the stereo. This is a safer installation as the cable is out of the way of swimmers. Both Aquasonic and Lubell make in-wall underwater speakers with the niches and hardware sold separately.
How Many Speakers – The rule of thumb is one speaker for every 20’ x 20’ (or 400 square foot) section of pool. So for a 20’ x 40’ pool, you would use two underwater speakers. Some speakers have minimum and maximum depth ratings so be sure to consider this before installation.