Transcript: All marine stereos are designed to be used in boats and outdoors, but they aren't all the same in terms of what conditions they are meant to handle. That's what we will talk about in this video.
All marine stereos have circuit boards that are dipped in a plastic coating. The coating forms a barrier that protects the copper in the circuits from corrosion in humidity or salt air. They are also made with UV resistant materials so that the plastic won't become brittle and break down easily over time because of exposure to the sun.
Those are the minimum qualifications for being rated as a "marine stereo" and that is all the protection that some models have. We call these weather resistant stereos, like this one. They are actually not designed to be exposed directly to water and they should not be rained on or splashed. Water could get inside and cause problems. However, a splash cover like this one will work great to protect a weather resistant stereo from water.
Waterproof stereos, like this one, have the same protections as the weather resistant stereos, with the additional feature of being sealed against water. When I say that, I am talking about rain, splashing, or even hosing down. They are not designed to be submerged.
Waterproof stereos usually have a larger faceplate that is meant to overlap the cutout. The overlap allows for a rubber gasket that seals it to the dash. That way water can't get behind if the dash gets wet. That also means that the faceplate is too big to fit into a splash cover, so there is no way to get the benefit of both.
Some waterproof stereos only have a waterproof faceplate. The chassis is meant to be protected behind the dash. But most have a sealed chassis as well. A waterproof chassis is usually made of stainless steel, aluminum, or heavy duty ABS plastic rather than the typical galvanized steel.