What’s an IP Rating?
IP rating (Ingress Protection) is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC 60529). It states the degree of resistance of electrical devices from foreign substances like dust, water, and accidental contact.
Ingress means ‘entering.’ The sealing of mechanical casings offers protection and adds durability.
People in sports, workouts, or athletics prefer devices with standard ratings to use in those activities.
Importance of IP Ratings
An IP rating:
- Enhances the sturdiness of the product.
- Shows the confidence of manufacturers in the level of protection their product offers.
- States the authenticity of the product and shows that it isn’t some advertising trick.
Now you might be wondering, what do these ratings mean?
IP ratings explained: (What those codes tell you about how well a device is protected from water and dust; IP Waterproof Ratings Meaning)
The IP rating is a two-digit code. The first digit specifies protection against solid objects like dust and dirt, and the second digit shows resistivity against foreign liquid substances like water, sweat, and moisture.
These ratings help you choose the perfect device depending upon your requirements with respect to the durability of the device and the degree of sealing.
Let’s talk about the meaning of both digits in detail.
Dust resistance in IP rating is the sealing ability against the amount of dust and other foreign objects entering the device. It ranges from 0-6, where 0 means no protection and 6 is the highest rating.
The ratings from IP0X-IP6X specifies how dust-resistant a device is. Here’s a breakdown of each:
|No protection against any foreign objects
|larger than 50mm
|Protects huge objects only, like the back of your hand
|larger than 12.5 mm
|Protects the device from fingers and substances of similar size
|larger than 2.5 mm
|Protects against thick cables and tools
|larger than 1 mm
|Protects your device from small insects and large ants
|Offers limited dust ingress
|It can defend exposure to some amount of dust
|fully dust resistance
|Has the ability to protect from the vacuum of dust.
What is the ‘dust-tight rating?
The IP5X and IP6X are the only dustproof ratings. IP5X can bear exposure to some extent only, whereas the IP6X is a ‘dust-tight’ rating.
The second digit in an IP rating specifies the sealing effectiveness against moisture ingress. T ranges between 0-8, where zero means no protection and degree 8 is the highest.
The ratings from IPX0-IPX8 specify the water resistance. Here’s a detailed list of different IP ratings for water resistance:
|Cannot touch the water
|Can handle 1 mm of rainfall falling at 90 degrees for less than 10 minutes
|Can bear 3 mm of rain from a few sides only
|Up to 60 degrees; drops of water
|Resistive a low-pressure spray nozzle from few sides for less than 5 minutes
|Splash in any direction
|Won’t get affected by splashed from any sides for 10 minutes; suited for workouts
|Handles rain, and you can take a light shower with them
|high-pressure water spray
|Handles powerful water jets with ease; suited for heavy workouts, sports, and athletics
|Allows immersion in up to 1 meter of water
|Made for workouts, sports, and showers
|deeper than 3 meters of water (Exactly specified by the manufacturer)
|You can carry Marine-graded IPX8 devices to a shallow pool
You might have come across ratings like IPX5 or IP3X. Let’s look at what the X in these ratings means.
What’s the Meaning of ‘X’ in an IP Rating?
An X in an IP rating can mean:
- There’s no protection for that test. For example, the ratings like IP3X mean the device offers touch protection only, and there’s no sealing for water intrusion.
- It could also mean that the product isn’t tested for that parameter.
- Sometimes, an X indicates that the rating is irrelevant. Suppose a radio comes with a rating for wet settings, which means the dust resistance is not applicable.
Comparison of IP67 vs. IPX7
The difference between the IP67 rating and IPX7 rating is that one is tested for protection against foreign objects while the other doesn’t specify resistance to dust or dirt.
Both offer the same waterproof rating, where they are immersible up to 1 ATM for about 30 minutes. However, the IP67 rating is a step ahead and offers maximum protection against dust.
In short, IP67 is waterproof and has a dust-tight rating, while IPX7 indicates that the device is waterproof only, which means IP67 is a better rating.
If you plan to use the product only at your home or in a clean area without dust, you may go for an IPX7 rating. But if you live in dusty environments, you’ll need an IP67 rating to ensure the device’s durability for a longer time.
What does ‘K’ in IP rating mean?
The letter ‘K’ in IP Rating specifies the sealing against extreme conditions of pressure. It is an essential extension of the IP ratings that come from the DIN standard 40050-9.
Any device with the letter K after the IP rating can withstand water jets of high pressure. Usually, you won’t get these in headphones or other daily use devices.
These ratings are only two types: IPX6K and IPX9K
|Protected from high-pressure (8,000-1,000 kPa) water jets from any directionProtection from complete submersion and steam cleaning
|Mostly in industrial devices that require regular sanitation and cleaning.
|Like IPX6K and dustproof
|Highest IP Rating in Electronic Devices
|· Protected from high-pressure (1160-1450 psi) water jets from any direction· Protected from high temperatures up to 176°F/80°C.
|Primarily found in industrial machinery. Highest water-resistance rating.
|· LikeIPX9KProtected from total dust ingress
|Highest IP rating any device can have; primarily found in the equipment of food-grade industries
What IP rating is waterproof?
A waterproof IP rating allows immersion of products in water.
Only these IP Ratings are waterproof:
Any other IP rating shows that the device is water-resistant but not waterproof. Also, the waterproof rating is only for pure water. It is not applicable for chlorinated pools, salty water, coffee, tea, drinks, or wine.
Unless the manufacturer specifies, keep your device away from these liquids even if it has the highest waterproof rating.
Underwater Bluetooth Headphones for Swimming
Underwater Bluetooth Headphones are devices that don’t sacrifice the audio experience even with continuous immersion in water.
These earbuds stand strong against sweat, water, moisture, and even when you take the longest laps in the pool.
Whether you plan to take these earphones underwater or not, they offer excellent durability and built quality that makes them suited for sports and workouts (except scuba diving).
Things to Note Even if the Device is Waterproof
Water isn’t exactly a friend of electric devices. So, even if your device has a water-resistance or waterproof tag, you should follow some general rules to stay on the safe side.
Also, since water is an electric conductor, you should ensure its safety to avoid minor shocks.
- Before plugging in your device for recharging, ensure it’s scorched.
- Confirm all flaps of your device, like the charging ports, are sealed before submerging it.
- Avoid using any buttons of your device while it’s around water.
- Ensure that water is at room temperature since all the certified water-resistance tests are conducted between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius.
- Avoid using the device in extreme environmental conditions.
Which is better: IPX5 or IPX7?
An IPX7 rating is better than the IPX5 rating since IPX7 is waterproof, while IPX5 is water-resistant. IPX5 can handle low-pressure water sprays, rains, and sweat, but the IPX7 rating means your device is immersible up to 1 ATM for 30 minutes.
Can you swim with IPX7 headphones?
An IPX7 device can handle submersion up to 3 meters for 30 minutes, which means it’s suited for swimming and laps in the pool. However, if you’re looking for dedicated swimming headphones, look for marine-grade IPX8 or IPX9.
Can I wear IPX8 earbuds in the shower?
IPX8 is the highest IP rating in earbuds. It is submersible up to 3 meters for 30 minutes, which means it can easily handle showers.
What’s the minimum water-resistance if I want to shower with my headphones?
If you want to own headphones that can withstand the water from your showerhead, look for a minimum IPX5 water-resistance rating.
Water Proof, Water Resistant, and IPX – What Does It All Mean?
Water resistance means that your device has sealing ability against water and moisture, whereas waterproof means that your device is immersible in water. An IPX implies that the device isn’t tested for the parameter.
What is the best waterproof rating?
IPX9K is the best waterproof rating. However, it’s found in the machinery of the food-grade industry and not daily life devices. The best waterproof rating found in headphones is IPX8.