What is Fusion’s True-Marine™ Rating and Why Does it Matter?

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Here at Fusion we’ve got a long history of enjoying life on the water. Our True-Marine™ philosophy was developed directly from our collective experience confronting the harsh marine conditions in New Zealand’s beautiful backyard – the Pacific Ocean. 

Our drive to be a True-Marine world leading marine entertainment brand stems from our founder, Sir Peter Maire. Sir Peter also founded Navman, a Kiwi company which designed, developed, and manufactured marine navigation and GPS products and grew to become a major global brand. His lifelong passion for developing quality marine products and being recognized as worldwide leaders in marine entertainment and innovation is unquestionable. He was pretty keen to make sure that Fusion products weren’t just great – he wanted them to go above and beyond the competition.

It’s a tough life for a marine audio system…

The marine environment is naturally extremely tough on most materials and products, especially electronics! Salt water can wreak havoc on non-marinized stereos and speakers that aren’t built to withstand the elements, which can appear quickly in the form of rust, condensation behind screens, and the products simply not working. We strongly believe that any product you install on your boat should last the test of time, which is why we build from the ground up, specifically for marine use, to assure you that each piece of equipment you fit into your vessel will continue to perform season after season. No one wants to keep replacing their stereos, speakers, or any other equipment every season, which is why at Fusion we make sure you don’t have to! 

Enter True-Marine. We understand the need for purpose-built marine electronics, which is why we’ve developed our own standard, the True-Marine™ rating. What’s cool about True-Marine is that it actually exceeds industry standards for protection against the marine environment. The current industry standards for protection of marine electronics are good, but as market leaders we’re big believers in going above and beyond the basic standards. An industry-leading warranty was exactly what was needed!

What goes into our True-Marine™ rating?

All True-Marine accredited products are IP (Ingress Protection) rated to appropriate industry standards for protection against water and dust ingress. This is where many other manufacturers’ testing stops, but water and dust aren’t the only threats to marine electronics on board! We take it a few steps further by testing to higher levels than other manufacturers for salt fog, temperature, vibration and UV protection, which are all important factors for product durability to keep them singing season after season on the water. Let’s uncover a little more about each of those factors:

Vibration Testing

A product’s ability to consistently operate in irregular or stormy seas without physical damage or degradation is crucial. This is why vibration testing is part of our process for rating products True-Marine, making sure that each product is fit for its life on the water. We simulate these rough sea conditions using a range of frequencies in a controlled environment to ensure the products perform consistently over an extended period of time. The products are switched on and operational for this test to ensure seamless operation of all True-Marine stereos, not only for one season, but across the products’ entire lifespans – even in rough seas.

Humidity Testing

Marine electronics face a real risk of corrosion and mechanical failure as they are always installed in areas with high humidity. This exposure to moisture for even a small period will cause any non-marine specific stereo to fail as the metal components corrode.

Special chambers are used at Fusion to test our True-Marine products for resistance to humidity in a temperature and humidity cycle test. This test cycles between -10°C and 65°C with 95% relative humidity over 40 hours – so you can rest easy knowing your system can withstand extreme temperatures and humidity for an extended period with no damage. Testing in these conditions ensures that your True-Marine product will resist humidity to sustain high performance season after season in any marine environment, whether you’re boating in the Pacific, on the Intracoastal in Florida, or reeling in the catch of the holiday at Lake Tahoe.

Salt Fog Testing

The marine environment creates perfect conditions for electronic components to corrode if they are not resistant to salt fog, which will see non-marine specific products deteriorate pretty rapidly with rust.

Bring on the 48-hour test – run with the product installed as it would be on board, we’ll test out any products in a controlled chamber set at 35°C with concentrated salt fog. Our True-Marine Signature Series speakers are tested for an impressive 500 hours for salt fog, so you know they’re still going strong even after prolonged exposure to salty conditions. These conditions are more extreme than what would be experienced on the water to ensure that the metal, PCBs and surface coatings on True-Marine products will not suffer from corrosion, damage or loss of performance in the presence of salt fog.

UV Resistance Testing

We all know how UV is harsh on our own skin – so why wouldn’t it be similar for our marine speakers? A crucial feature of any product installed outdoors, especially on the water, is UV resistance. Any material that isn’t effectively UV resistant will display discoloration, peeling, cracking, or possible detrimental effects to the product’s performance over time. Each True-Marine product is tested for a total of 200 hours of accelerated UV-A/B exposure in both light and dark periods to ensure reliability of the materials season after season on the water. Enjoy peace of mind that your True-Marine products will not deteriorate when summer comes around, even in the harshest New Zealand sun or out on the water during a European summer.

Temperature Resistance Testing

Another factor we test a product for to gain a True-Marine rating is resistance to extreme temperature. The ability for a marine stereo to function in extreme temperatures is crucial, to ensure that it withstands changes in temperature without experiencing physical damage or degradation in performance. At Fusion we test each True-Marine stereo under operating conditions more intense than what would ever be experienced in the real world – so you know it’ll be reliable when you’re actually out on the water!

Fusion tests products between a minimum of -40°C and a maximum of 100°C for a total of 16 hours. Compare that to Florida, where extreme temperatures recorded range from -19°C in winter to 43°C in summer, or Rhode Island, where they range from -33°C to 40°C. If a black stereo is sitting in the sun all day, however, the surface temperature can rise much higher, which is why we test to more intense temperatures to ensure that we have exceeded all possible operating conditions. You can be assured that your audio entertainment system will not fail, even during one of the hottest summers on record!

True-Marine industry-leading warranty

At Fusion we confidently back all True-Marine rated products with an industry-leading 3-year warranty. No other marine electronics manufacturers back their products for this long in such a harsh environment, but after extensively testing the products, we know that they’ll continue performing for you season after season – even after prolonged exposure to the marine elements.

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