IP Rating Explained

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So, recently, I was watching one of the MKBHD’s videos regarding the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

In that video, he mentioned that “This new phone(iPhone Xs) is IP68 water resistant where the iPhone X was just IP67.” Furthermore, he adds, “For those who don’t know IP67 means you are rated for 1-meter under water for 30 straight minutes; IP68 means you are rated for 1.5 meters underwater for 30 straight minutes.”

This got me into some thinking and a bit of research because all I know about is headphones and its highs & lows. I never thought about how these ratings worked; all I knew was the better the digit, the better the proofing.

However, I got to know about it and decided to share with you guys as it will help you in purchasing your new headphones as well as smartphones.

So, let’s get started!

What is IP rating?

In this context, IP is the abbreviation of “Ingress Protection.”

Ingress Protection rating(also known as “IP code”) is a term used to tell the level of protection from the outside contaminants like tiny solid particles(For instance, dust) and water particles (For example, moisture).

It (IP) is a standard term used in international standards like the IEC 60529 (International Electrotechnical Commission).

The IP rating uses 2 digits to describe the level of protection one gets. Like IPXY.

Here, X represents the particle protection on a scale of 0-6. And Y represents the water protection on a scale of 0-9.

That being said, let’s get a bit deeper in the IP rating. The IPX ratings!

There are two types of IPX ratings:

  1. IPX_
  2. IP_X
  1. The IPX_:

Whenever you see an X first and some number afterward, it means that the IP rating only tells the water resistant. E.g., IPX7. This IP code represents the level-7 water protection on a scale of 0-9.

Let me note out different levels of water protection from 0-9.

Different IP protection for liquids:

  • IPX0: No water/moisture protection guaranteed.
  • IPX1: Dripping water equivalent to 1mm rainfall per minute.
  • IPX2: Dripping water equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute. Also, slight tilts won’t have any effect on the components.
  • IPX3: Spraying water from a vertical angle won’t have any harmful effect on the component.
  • IPX4: Splashing water from any direction won’t have any effect.
  • IPX5: Non-forced waterjets like the ones in washbasin won’t have any effect.
  • IPX6: Forced water jets like the ones used to clean cars/bikes shall not have any harmful effect.
  • IPX7: Protection from immersion in water at 1-meter for 30 minutes like in the iPhone X.
  • IPX8: Protection from immersion in water 1.5-2 meters for 30 minutes like in iPhone XS.
  • IPX9: Powerful high-temperature water jets won’t have any harmful effect.

These are the different IP codes in the IPX_ which will help you in buying your desired headphones. E.g., If you want to listen to music in the shower, better go with IPX5 or above. Or if you’re going to swim with headphones ON, better go with IPX7 or higher, depending on the requirements.

Now, let’s move to the IP_X.

  1. The IP_X:

The _ here will have a number which describes the degree of protection the headphone or any other device has against the ingression of solid particles. The scale used here is from 0-6. Let me note out the meanings of different ratings.

Different IP_X ratings:

  • IP0X: No protection against any solids.
  • IP1X (>5cm): Protection against solids greater than 5cm. E.g., a smartphone can’t pass through that protection
  • IP2X (>1.25cm): Protection against solids greater than 1.25cm. E.g., Your finger.
  • IP3X (>2.5mm): Protection against solids greater than 2.5 mm. E.g., Your 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • IP4X (>1mm): Protection against solids greater than 1mm. E.g., Ants, bugs, etc.
  • IP5X (Dust Protected): Protection against moderate dust particles.
  • IP6X (Dust Tight): Protection against any dust particles for any given amount of time.

These are the different IP_X ratings which will help you decide your next headphone. E.g., if you work in a construction area, IP5X or IP6X will be a smart consideration whereas, for an IT firm, the ones without any protection are also good options.

Final Words:

The above’s all you need to know about IP ratings while purchasing new headphones, or any device in general. I hope this will help you in making your purchasing decision. Do let me know in the comments if you want to know about such exciting stuff. Until then, goodbye.