For some consumers, the choice between waterproof and water-resistant is an important consideration when purchasing a new device. As soon as you spend a lot of money on a new gadget, you naturally want to safeguard your investment. This is where IPX ratings come in handy, and today we’ll take a closer look at each one.

How to tell the difference between “Waterproof” and “Water Resistant”?

If you’re looking to safeguard your phone or tablet from water, the terms “waterproof” and “water-resistant” don’t mean the same thing. The first step in comprehending IPX ratings is to be aware of this.

There are two types of water-resistant and waterproof materials: those that are impermeable and those which are not. However, a water-resistant smartphone would not function underwater the same way a waterproof one would.

Hydrophobic and water-repellent words are also used frequently in this context. Due to their synthetically added qualities, water repellent or hydrophobic substances, as the name implies, will repel water. However, there is no precise scale to measure how water repellent anything is.

It is crucial to realize that even waterproof equipment does not claim to be watertight indefinitely. Each level of water resistance brings the device one step closer to being entirely watertight. A device’s IPX rating tells you how well it is protected against water.

Despite the fact that many devices are water-resistant and waterproof, this is not always the case. Whether or not a gadget can withstand immersion in water does not imply that it can withstand water splashing or spray as well.

Exactly what are IPX ratings?

Intercontinental or international protection or ingress protection is known as IP (International Protection). If you’ve been researching waterproofness, you’ve probably come across ‘IPX6’ or similar grades. IP ratings indicate the level of environmental protection your device’s enclosure provides.

The IP abbreviation is preceded by two or three digits and/or characters. When purchasing an outdoor speaker, sports headphones, or a waterproof/dustproof smartphone, you are likely to encounter simply two numbers or a letter and a number on the packaging (something like IP67 or IPX7). For each letter/number, there is a certain level of protection against the admission of particular particles/fluids.

First letter:

Protection against intrusion of solid particles and objects is described by the first digit/letter of the IP rating. As long as there is no way for solid particles to get into the device, the first symbol is 0. When there is no information on the device’s level of protection against solid particles (it hasn’t been tested), the first symbol following IP is X. (something like IPX4 or IPX7). Many product descriptions for waterproof/water-resistant/splash-proof outdoor speakers and other electrical devices include this information.

Solid particles are prevented from entering through six stages of protection. If you plan to use your outdoor speakers on the beach, look for those with levels 5 and 6. Even if a small amount of dust manages to get through the first number after IP, the gadget will still be able to function normally because there isn’t enough of it to affect its performance. It is entirely dustproof if the first number following IP is 6, which indicates that the gadget is completely sealed from the intrusion of dirt and debris.

Second letter:

A product’s water-resistance level is indicated by the second symbol in its IP rating: (not against ingress of other fluids). Next, we’ll go through the nine layers of water protection that exist. The second symbol in the IP rating will be 0 if the equipment does not offer any protection against water entry, and if the item has not been tested for water resistance, 0 is substituted with X.

Not all devices are checked for the third sign, which is optional. An alphabetical sign completes the set (H, S, M, F, or W). There are a variety of ways in which you might learn more about the device’s performance by reading these letters.

  • High voltage, M indicates that the device was in motion during the water test.
  • S indicates that the device was stationary during the water test.
  • W indicates the weather conditions.
  • And F indicates that the device is oil resistant.

An Explanation of the IPX Ratings

There are nine levels of IPX. It is deemed waterproof if it has an IPX7 rating or above. These ratings all begin with X, which suggests that none of these gadgets are dustproof. However, we’re here to talk about waterproofing.

IPX0 No protection at all
IPX1 Protection against water falling vertically on the product
IPX2 Protection against water falling vertically at 15degrees
IPX3 Protection against water falling vertically at 60degrees
IPX4 Protection against water splashes at any angle
IPX5 Protection against low-pressure water
IPX6 Protection against high-pressure water
IPX7 Can be submerged in 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes
IPX8 Can be submerged in water deeper than 1-meter for a longer period
IPX9K Protection against high-pressure water splashes

Most IPX ratings are quite detailed, and gains at each level are initially tiny but become more effective as we progress through the ranks.


You generally won’t see an IPX0 certification anywhere, but it simply signifies that an item is not waterproof in the slightest. It’s as if an IPX0 gadget were constructed of paper because it won’t be able to withstand any water exposure.


A gadget with an IPX1 certification is protected from water droplets that fall vertically. This means that even in a light drizzle, you could leave your IPX1 gadget outside and it would be safe for roughly ten minutes.


With a 15-degree tilt, IPX2 also protects against vertical drops of water. There are four ways to ensure the 15-degree angle while testing IPX2 devices.
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There has been an increase in water protection for products with the IPX3 standard. The 15 ° angle also extends to 60 degrees, but only when the device is viewed vertically. Because of this, if you were to spray water on the top of your IPX3 gadget from an exact 60-degree angle, you would be OK.


A gadget with an IPX4 rating can withstand water sprays from any angle. An IPX4 grade is required for most outdoor gear and speakers, although higher as well, obviously. Generally speaking, electronics with an IPX4 rating are regarded to be splash-proof. There is no difference in how IPX3 and IPX4 devices are evaluated.

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Aside from water splashes from every direction, IPX5 can also withstand higher water pressures. IPX5 gadgets are able to withstand water sprays from every direction because that is how they are tested.

It is the starting place for gadgets such as shower speakers and swimming pools. A typical issue for these devices is whether to use IPX5 or IP7. It all depends on what you require.

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Note: IP67-rated speakers are the best option if you want to use your speakers on the beach (fully dustproof, fully waterproof).


Protection from water splashes with a lot of pressure is the same as protection from water splashes with a lot of pressure in IPX6. However, IPX6 gives better protection. It is safe to say that both IPX5 and IPX6 are water-resistant.
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Fully submersible gadgets with IPX7 ratings can withstand total immersion in water. While advancements in waterproofing technology have improved the lives of many, IPX7 gadgets can only be protected from water damage for a short period of time if submerged in water that is no deeper than three meters. If you want to take underwater selfies, an IPX7 smartphone is a fantastic choice.

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The safe water depth for IPX8 devices has been increased from 2 meters to 3 meters, however, there is no time limit for how long an IPX8 device may be submerged. In order to receive this information directly from a manufacturer if you truly need it, the testing time may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

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These devices are able to withstand water sprays at high pressures, as well as water at greater temperatures, thanks to the K at the end of the rating. It takes around 15 minutes of testing at a temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. IPXK is an exceptional rating that is only accessible on a limited number of products, and audio equipment is not among them.


The IP65 designation indicates that it is also capable of coping with spray. Technically, it is tested using a 6.3mm nozzle and water. The fact that it can withstand rain or a shower in the real world is all that matters in terms of practicality. Just don’t use a power washer to clean it.
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Since it’s been evaluated to a depth of more than one meter, a phone has an 8 after its serial number. However, while normal testing does not specify a precise depth, you’ll discover manufacturers who do. For example, Apple claims that its IP68-rated iPhone 12 can withstand immersion in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 6 meters.
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What to look for in the case of waterproof speakers, headphones, and earbuds?

There is less of a guessing game now that you know what each sign in the IP/IPX grade stands for. At least IPX4 certification is required for each set of sports earphones. It’s common for manufacturers of headphones and earbuds to describe their devices as “sweat-resistant” if they have an IPX4 rating or above. Because there is no such IP classification as “sweat resistant.” You should be aware that the majority of items marketed as “sweat-resistant” are really splash-proof (IPX4 certified). A gadget with an IPX7 grade (totally watertight) is the finest option if you’re seeking the most protection (fully dustproof, fully waterproof).

Not all devices that are totally waterproof and submerged in water have to be IPX6 or IPX5 certified, even if they are labeled as such on the packaging. The IPX5 and IPX6 ratings or IPX7 and IPX8 devices must also be verified. IPX6/IPX8 is the IPX rating if they have been tested for both. Make sure to double-check if a rating is legitimate or not by looking for any hyphens before or after IP (or IPX) numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is there a way to tell the IPX rating?

Answer: IPX ratings are used to characterize a device’s level of protection against water intrusion. It’s a technical word that refers to a device’s ability to withstand water exposure. Following the IPX mark comes a number (0-8), which indicates the level of water and submersion protection provided by the device.

Note: There is no guarantee that a gadget can withstand submersion in saltwater, even if it is labeled IPX7 or IPX8. When it comes to submersion, it’s not enough to say an IPX7- or IPX8-rated gadget withstands water-jet attacks, even if it’s submerged in water.

Question: In terms of waterproofing, what is the best rating?

Answer: In terms of water protection, the IPX6 grade is the most comprehensive. A varied IPX grade should be sought depending on your specific demands. If you want to go swimming, you’ll need a submersible gadget (IPX7 or IPX8).

Question: Is it possible to explain the meaning of the IPX7 rating?

Answer: IPX7-rated devices can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter (3 feet). After the submersion, this gadget is totally functioning, although it is advised that it be dried off before usage.

Question: Is the IP68 rating safe to use in the water?

Answer: An IP68-rated item is impervious to both dust and water (submersible in the water of up to 3m depth for more than 30 minutes). It’s reasonable to say that the IP68 certification is suitable for use in the water.

Question: Is IPX7 water-resistant?

Answer: That’s correct. A gadget with an IPX7 certification may be submerged in water for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. Fully waterproof equipment should be able to withstand a few slaps of water. Bluetooth shower speakers with an IPX7 certification are plentiful.

Question: The maximum waterproof certification is IP68, correct?

Answer: An IP68 rating is the highest on the spectrum. Maximum levels of both digits, 6 indicates complete protection from solid infiltration. Complete protection from water infiltration, up to and beyond complete submersion under a meter including more than 30 minutes, is meant by an 8 rating.

Concluding IPX Ratings

For as good as it seems to have an IP68 or IP67-rated gadget, you need to remember that the certification method is set by the manufacturer. The procedure is also carried out under precisely regulated settings, which is not always the case in real life. If your device has an IP rating, you need to be careful about how far you can push it even if it falls within the limits of the IP rating, which is rarely revealed.

I hope that the above information regarding IPX ratings will prove to be of great value. These IPX ratings are important to understand the protection level of the product.

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