Most modern products, especially electronic gadgets these days are mentioning IPX rating, which determines the protection of a device against solids, fluids, or water. Thus, it becomes one of the deciding features to purchase the product in most scenarios.
Here is a clear explanation of the IPX rating that help you to get an idea of why we need it and how to choose the device according to this IPX rating.
Let’s dive into its details.
What Is Meant By IPX Rating
The IPX rating of a product will determine its resistance to external environmental conditions and gives an idea of how well it holds up and perform under certain conditions. Here the IP (ingress protection or international protection) is generally represented as IPXX, in which the first X (0 – 6) is an indication of resistance to solid or dust particles and the second X (0 – 8) is for water or liquid resistance.
For instance, IP65 means 6 refers to the solid-dust resistance, while 5 refers to resistance against water jets from any angle. Simply to say, the IPX rating of the particular product will determine its weather resistance. The higher the IPX rating, the better the protection it offers.
Why It Is Required / Essential To Check Before Buying a Product?
If you are looking to purchase a speaker, camera, headphone, or earbuds for outdoors then this IP or IPX rating matters a lot. As this rating will assure you that the particular product is designed to be weather-resistant. Moreover, each letter or number mentioned after IP specifies a different level of protection, and you have to choose them as per your requirement.
IPXXX is the actual international protection rating, in which the first X (0 – 6, or X) represents protection against the ingress of dust or solid particles. In case, the device has IP0 or IPX then no dust resistance or has not been tested, and devices with level 5 or 6 are preferably best. While the second one indicates the level of water protection against water resistance (0 – 9, or X). If the device won’t have protection, then it is rated as 0 or not tested then replaced with X.
However, the final one is an optional supplementary letter (H, M, S, F, & W) that provides the device’s specific characteristics like H – high voltage, W – weather conditions, S – standing still during the water test, M – moving during the water test, and F – oil resistant.
IP Rating Chart
Here is the chart with detailed information mentioning solid from 0 – 6, and liquid from 0 – 8.
|Solid-Dust Resistance||Liquid-Water Resistance|
|0 – No protection||0 – No protection|
|1 – Protects from > 50mm object (hand)||1 – Protection against water drops|
|2 – Protects from >12.5 mm solid object (finger)||2 – Protects from water drops at 15°|
|3 – Protects from > 2.5 mm solid object (wire)||3 – Protects from water spray at 60°|
|4 – Protects from > 1.0mm object (thin strap)||4 – Protects from water splashing at any angle|
|5 – Dust protected||5 – Protects from water jets at any angle|
|6 – Dust tight (highly protected against dust)||6 – Protects from powerful water jets|
|—||7 – Protects from temporary water submersion (up to 3 feet for 30 minutes)|
|—-||8 – Protects from permanent water submersion (up to 13 feet – highly protected).|
IPX Waterproof/Water Resistance List (IPX0 – IPX8)
Concerned more particularly about the water/liquid resistance rather than solid or dust ingress protection. Then go through the list explaining how this IPX system is represented, and how to choose the device accordingly.
|IPX Rating||Protection Offered|
|IPX1||Only from water drops for 10 minutes|
|IPX2||Survive water drops tilted at a 15° angle|
|IPX3||Water sprays up to 60°|
|IPX4||Water splashes in any direction (sweat-resistant or splash-proof).|
|IPX5||Slight water jets by a 6.3mm nozzle|
|IPX6||Powerful water jets at any angle by 12.5 mm nozzle|
|IPX7||Water immersion up to 3 feet for 30 minutes (waterproof)|
|IPX8||Immersed in water above 3 feet (highly protected)|
Note – Always prefer to choose IPX4 or higher rating for the safe and effective running of outdoor products.
What Each IPX Rating Says…
We all know that water resistance rating is essential to check while purchasing any electronic equipment, especially outdoor devices like headphones, cameras, or speakers that have to be waterproof/splashproof/water resistant. The letter X after IP assumes you that devices are not tested for dust resistance.
IPXX – A device mentioning this X level indicates that there is no data available or the manufacturer didn’t perform any testing.
IPX0 – A device with this zero level indicates that it is not at all water-resistant and the device gets easily damaged upon water exposure.
IPX1 – It is an initial level that makes the device survive from water drops (or 1mm rainfall per minute) falling vertically for 10 minutes.
IPX2 – Level 2 rating will make the device survive from falling of water drops tilted at a 15° angle (or 3mm per minute rainfall).
IPX3 – The device with a level 3 rating can easily survive water sprays by a spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield at angles up to 60° and the water pressure will be 50 – 150kPa.
IPX4 – Level 4 rating devices can handle water splashes from any direction using a spray nozzle without a shield. Most of the popular outdoor speakers or sports earbuds come with this IPX4 rating, as it is considered splashproof.
IPX5 – Level 5 resistance offer protection against small water jets by a 6.3 mm nozzle in any direction for around 15 – 20 minutes.
IPX6 – Level 6 rating protects the device from strong water jets by a 12.5mm nozzle at any angle. So, the IPX5 and IPX6 rated devices offer excellent water resistance.
IPX7 – Devices with a level 7 resistance rating can endure water immersion of up to 1 m (or 3 feet) for at least 30 minutes. Thus, it is considered fully waterproof, and you can find a lot of headphones/speakers with this rating.
IPX8 – Level 8 resistance will make the device easily survive in water immersion of up to 3m for a bit longer time than IPX7 rated devices.
IPX9K – Though not mentioned in the table, we find this 9k water resistance rating in some powerful devices. It protects and makes the device run successfully even in powerful high-pressure and temperature water jets. It is tested with high-temperature water at high pressure and a bit more volume of water.
Conclusion: We can find outdoor devices like sports headphones, speakers, smartphones, and earbuds with IPX4 – IPX7 ratings, while some protective phone cases, BT speakers, or shower earbuds comes with IPX7 and IPX8 rating. However, the IPX9K is less – not found on these audio devices.
What Gadgets Do We Commonly Check For This IPX Water Resistance
Here are some of the electronic equipment that we check for water resistance.
- Sports headphones
- Smartwatches/normal watches
- Phone cases,
- BT speakers
- Electronic scooters
Things To Check While Purchasing Waterproof Audio Equipment
As we already mentioned that you have at least an IPX4 (sweatproof or splashproof) rating for a perfect usage of any audio equipment. In case, if looking for the best protection, then we suggest you go with devices having IPX7 rating considered a fully waterproof device, or go with IP67 offering total waterproof and dustproof.
Another important point to remember is that a device with either IPX7 or IPX8 rating doesn’t mean it is an IPX5 or IPX6 rating (or not water jet resistance). Some manufacturers tested devices for IPX5 or IPX6 and IPX8, then they mention IPX6/IPX8 rating.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Ans: No formal or series of third-party companies will manage and certify this IP rating for any product. However, this code or rating is a set of standards published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC standards) that are accepted and followed by the manufacturer in every industry. So, they manage, maintain, and organize the right tools to manufacture the IPX rated products.
Ans: Usually, we choose the IPX rating of the product based on the specific requirement. For instance, if you want to use a device while swimming, then use a device offering protection against water submersion, like IPX7 or IPX8. In case looking for a device to run in a water splash or drizzling, then go with a device offering IPX5 or IPX6 protection. We suggest you go with IPX6, IPX7, and IPX8 ratings to have the best protection against water ingress.
Ans: Yes, it is. The devices with an IPX7 rating are fully waterproof and can be submerged in water of depth up to 1m for around 30 minutes. They are completely functional even after submersion. Also, you will find various Bluetooth shower speakers with an IPX7 rating. Yet you need to dry them off completely before storing them.
Ans: Generally, devices with IP68 ratings are considered the best offering fully waterproof and dustproof features. So, it is completely safe for swimming. For instance, you can use IP68 rated Bluetooth speaker or phone for swimming without any problem.
Ans: One has to be careful while checking the IPX or IP ratings of the product during its purchase. Usually, the IP ratings are given as per the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard, and they are mentioned as IP65 or IPX7. Yet you have to check the IPX ratings while shopping for any outdoor product/device. If you find a hyphen after IP or IPX like IP-67 or IPX-6, then the rating is fake or not a valid one. So, it’s a must to check the IP/IPX rating before buying a product.
Ans: Usually, most outdoor products will pass this water resistance test yet might fail in a dust resistance. In some cases, a rating like IPX7 does not mean X is zero in this scenario, yet the manufacturer has not tested the product against solid or dust ingress. Also, never purchase the product claiming 100% waterproof but not showing any certificates.
This guide will help you to get an idea of the IPX rating. Thus, you can purchase the gadgets by checking the IP rating and other equivalent tests to make them use outdoors effectively. But remember that even the highly IPX rating product has to be kept away from dust, and water, and dry them properly after it gets wet or before storing.
Feel free to share your queries or experience with us in the below comments section. We are happy to hear from you.