Here, you’ll learn all about IPX waterproof ratings, as well as IP dustproof ratings for Bluetooth speakers and wireless earbuds.
Below are some broken down explanations that are simple and easy to understand, which are specific to Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth earbuds and wireless Bluetooth headphones.
In addition to the above, we have added an in-depth, but still simplistic rating chart that allows you to compare a rating for a portable speaker or set of earbuds, you are looking at purchasing.
Waterproof and Dustproof Ratings for Bluetooth Speakers and Earbuds
Ever wondered what the waterproof rating on a Bluetooth speaker or set of true wireless earbuds really means?
Then, when you go searching for the information, there really isn’t much that is relative to portable speakers and earbuds. That’s what this little article is all about, IP and IPX ratings for these kinds of products.
Most people just look at the IPX rating and immediately assume that the higher the number, the better protected the speaker or the headphones will be. Most wouldn’t even realize the product doesn’t have a dust protection rating, and it is often assumed if it’s waterproof, it is dustproof.
The fact of the matter is, anything with IPX waterproof ratings, be it an IPX5 or even an IPX7 certification, has no dust protection testing, and therefore you can’t be 100% sure that it is dustproof.
The basics are that if the product has got an IPX7 waterproof rating, it is waterproof, but the X means it wasn’t tested for dust protection.
If the product had a rating where both XXs are replaced with a digit, e.g., an IP67 rating, then this means that the device has been tested for liquids and solids penetration and is dust and waterproof.
Read on, and you will get a further understanding of these grades, and we have set them out in a chart for easy interpretation.
How IPX Ratings Related to Wireless Speakers and Earbuds Work
The IPX certification system is a standard that is used to determine whether a particular product or fiber has any protection from dust and water.
The higher the IPX waterproof classification, the more protected it can be from dust and water.
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The rating system works from low to high, with the lowest ratings having little to no protection from water and dust at all through to the higher ratings, which give high protection from dust or water.
The point here, which is often missed, is it’s fantastic to have a Bluetooth speaker or set of awesome earbuds that are fully waterproof, but are they protected from dust?
What does IPX actually mean
- IP stands for Ingress Protection (IP)
- The first number corresponds to Dust Protection
- The second number corresponds to Water Protection
- X means not tested or no rating available
Ingress Protection Testing of Speakers, Earbuds, etc.
Electrical audio equipment, such as speakers, earphones, earbuds and so on, undergoes several tests before they reach the market. To function as intended, especially in the most challenging environments, the electrical parts of these products have to be protected from the elements.
Ingress Protection is a test that determines how well a product’s electrical parts are insulated and establishes the level of protection against liquid and solids penetration, which can cause damage to internal components.
Moisture and dust can usually find their way inside a product at the seams that join components of the enclosure.
During ingress protection liquid testing, the products are exposed to a powerful stream of water with different temperatures.
The IP dust tests are conducted in special chambers that are filled with dust. The product being tested is then placed in the chamber, and engineers monitor how well it resists the ingress of dust.
IP test of audio equipment provides two digits, IPXX – where the first X is either 5 (dust protected) or 6 (dust tight). The second X can be anything from 0 to 8 with 8 standing for the highest level of protection and indicating that a device can withstand an immersion beyond 1 m depth.
IPX Waterproof Ratings Explained
An IPX rating determines the level of water protection a Bluetooth speaker has. Ratings go from 0 (no protection) to 8 (fully waterproof). A Bluetooth speaker with an IPX0 rating is not waterproof and has no protection.
The best waterproof rating among audio output devices is IPX8, which would make the speaker waterproof and submersible for more than 30 minutes.
One of the more popular ratings is an IPX7, which is common with Bluetooth speakers and headphones, and means that they are waterproof. This means that the portable speaker or wireless earbuds can be submerged in water for a set amount of time. This, of course, depends on the manufacturer’s specifications.
A higher IPX rated waterproof audio device like an IPX7 or IPX8 is going to give you better protection and peace of mind while enjoying music in an indoor or outdoor pool, at the beach and anywhere else around water.
IP Waterproof Ratings Explained
IP ratings show the level of dust and water protection a Bluetooth speaker or other device has. The most common IP ratings are IP65, IP66, IP67 and IP68. Any of these ratings are dustproof, which is the first number, and the second number is the level of waterproofing.
IP68 is the best rating available, which makes a product fully dustproof and waterproof.
The Difference Between an IP and IPX Rating
An IP rating is a protection rating for dust and water. An IPX certification is a protection rating just for water. Dust ratings go from 0-6 and liquid ratings go from 0-9. The water grading for Bluetooth speakers and earbuds go from 0-8. And, as mentioned earlier, the higher the number, the better the protection.
The Higher the Number the Better the Water Resistance
If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker or a set of true wireless earbuds to take to the lake or the beach, then the higher the rating, the better the protection. The speaker or the buds that have a minimum of an IPX7 waterproof rating will be well protected from water.
To stop getting sand in them, go one step further, look for an IP67 rating, then you are not going to get any sand inside your Bluetooth speaker or headphones either. Our rating chart will give you more information such as how long speakers and earbuds can last in the water.
It will also explain how deep and for how long they can be submerged.
The Best IPX & IP Waterproof Rating
The best IPX possible certification is IPX9. Most Bluetooth speakers and true wireless earbuds will be IPX7, and there are a few that have an IPX8 rating, too. With an IPX7 rating, you are going to have on average a fully waterproof product, which can last submerged in up to 1 meter of water for around 30 minutes.
If the speaker or earbuds had an IPX5 rating, they would repel water just fine, but would not have much resistance at all, if they were dropped into a pool or were submerged.
The best resistance that is most commonly found in products of the Bluetooth sound area is an IP67 certification, which proves excellent protection from water and dust. If the speaker or the buds have an IP67 rating, then, if you wanted to, you could take them for a swim with you, and they should do just fine.
On the other hand, if the certification was IP65, then your speaker or buds would not be resistant to water for too long.
Thus, next time around, you may want to make sure your choice of product has a minimum of an IP67 rating for optimum resistance.
Here are a few common IP and IPX ratings compared, so you can easily see the differences between them.
This will also show you which ratings a better than others.
Some Common IPX Ratings and IP ratings Compared
IPX5 vs IPX7
A Bluetooth speaker with an IPX5 rating will withstand a steady flow of water, meaning the speaker would be just fine if it was hosed down. Whereas, a Bluetooth speaker with an IPX7 rating will withstand high-pressure water that is sprayed on it for 30 minutes.
It can also withstand water for up to 30 minutes if it was dropped into a pool. So, an IPX7 rating is more efficient than an IPX5 rating.
IPX5 vs IP67
An IPX5 Rated Bluetooth speaker or earbuds will repel water at low pressure. You could use the speaker or earbuds in light rain, for example. Whereas the same products with an IP67 rating are dust protected and also waterproof.
Products with an IP67 rating are, of course, better, as dust cannot get into them, and they are also waterproof. An IP67 rated speaker or earbuds could be used in water for up to 30 minutes with no issues.
IPX5 vs IP68
When your speaker has an IP68 rating, this means it is dust and waterproof. You can use the Bluetooth speaker near or in water for any amount of time, and it should be fine. If it had an IPX5 rating, on the other hand, it will only repel water for about 30 minutes.
An IP68 rating is far superior to an IPX5 rating and is one of the best ratings you could have on any earbuds or Bluetooth speakers you might want to purchase.
IPX6 vs IP66
Bluetooth speakers with an IPX6 rating can withstand a steady spray of water like rain. They will also survive a quick dunk in the water. Bluetooth speakers with an IP66 rating are just the same, except they are also sealed, so dust will not get in.
An IP66 rating is better than an IPX6 rating, as it also repels dust as well as water.
IPX6 vs IP67
Devices with an IPX6 rating have protection from water spray for up to 30 minutes. They can also survive a quick dunk in water too. However, an IP67 rating is better as it means the device is dustproof and waterproof. No dust can get in, and it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.
IPX6 vs IPX7
IPX6 means a spray or water can be repealed for up to 30 minutes and protection against accidental spills. IPX7, on the other hand, can withstand water spray and can also be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes up to 1 meter.
IPX7 is superior here as it can be fully submerged in water.
IPX7 vs IP67
An IPX7 rating means a Bluetooth speaker can be fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes and up to 1 meter. This makes it waterproof but not dustproof. On the other hand, an IP67 rating means the speaker is not only waterproof but is also dustproof, which means all dust particles will be repelled too.
Therefore, an IP67 rating is better than an IPX7 rating.
IPX7 vs IPX8
Devices including Bluetooth speakers with an IPX7 rating are waterproof, but can only be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. On the other hand, an IPX8 rating is just the same, except the devices with this rating can be submerged in water for an unlimited amount of time.
IPX8 is the best waterproof rating available for electrical household devices, including speakers and earphones, and ensures they are 100% waterproof.
IPX8 vs IP68
An IPX8 rating ensures the product is 100% waterproof, but the X means that there was no testing conducted for dust protection. IP68 means the product is dustproof and waterproof.
IP68 is the best rating Bluetooth speakers, earbuds and other products can have and ensures no water or dust will get into it.
IP Rating & IPX Rating Chart for Bluetooth Speakers and Bluetooth Earbuds
Make Sure You Have the Best Protection You Need
At the end of the day, water-resistant or waterproof, it all depends on what you are going to use your audio device for.
The same applies when looking at dust protection too. If you want an audio product that can be used in most environments, then go for a device with a higher rating for dust and water.
For example, an IPX7 or IP67 rated portable speaker or earbuds will have better protection than ones with an IPX5 or IP65 rating.
Lastly, any product that has a rating lower than IPX7 may also have an unpredictable time level of protection from water, as you can see from the chart, the testing times that are carried out are quite short.