IP rating stands for Ingress Protection-the protection against water and solid. In the IP (Ingress Protection) rating, there are usually 4 characters. For example, IPXX; the first ‘X’ stands for the degree of resistance against solid like dust particles, hands, tools, or wires. The ‘X’ after IP means that the product is not tested to be dust or solid-resistant. If there is some number value then the product is tested for solid resistance. This number varies from 0 to 7.
How IP Rating Signifies Water and Solid Resistance?
Higher the value of the ‘X’, the greater the resistance of the product against solid particles. The highest value of X means that the product can withstand bigger solid particles. The last digit in the IP rating stands for the resistance against liquids. The number varies from 0 to 8.
The higher value of the 4th digit in the IP number makes the device more resistant to water. If the last value is up to 4 or 5, it means the device is only splashproof. A value of more than 5 means the product is fully waterproof. For example, a product with an IP78 rating is 100% water and solid resistant. The number 7 represents solid resistance while number 8 depicts water resistance.
Importance of Knowing IPXX Rating
Knowing the IP rating is necessary before buying earphones or any other device. Because we use earphones at different places and under different conditions. Sometimes, we want to enjoy music while strolling in rain. People also love to listen to music while swimming.
Even if you do not use the earphones in water, they are exposed to moisture and dust. They come in contact with fog, sweat, wet hands, or necks. So, you should know the best IP rating before buying the right earphones for your lifestyle.
Related: IPX4, IPX5, IPX6, IPX7, IPX8 Ratings
What is an IPX4 Rating?
IPX4 is the standard IP rating for earphones or other electronic devices. The IPX4 means that the earphone is splashproof in all directions. So, an earphone with an IPX4 rating can resist water splashes fully. But, it cannot be submerged underwater. The X means that the device is not solid resistant. While the higher IP rating gives more resistance to water.
This article compares different IP ratings. This knowledge will help you in choosing the best IP-rated product for you.
IPX4 vs IP55
The IPX4 rating means that the product is resistant to water splashes from all directions. While the ‘X’ says that it is not tested for solid resistance. However, it does not mean that it is fully vulnerable to solid. It offers some degree of protection against dust or debris.
While an IP55 rating means that the product is dustproof. IP55 rating protects the earphones against the harmful dust particles that interfere with their normal functioning. This rating does not make the earphones totally resistant to dust ingress. For example, an IP55 earphone is resistant to solid objects invading from any direction and projected from a 6.33mm nozzle.
Related: IPX7 Waterproof Rating
IPX4 vs IPX5
IPX4 rated products are only splashproof. So, it means that they can bear low pressure of water and for a little time. The IPX5 rating is one step ahead. The X represents that the product is not tested for solid resistance. However, it is waterproof and is protected against low-pressure jets of water. So, they are safe to use in light rain.
IPX4 vs IPX7
IPX4 rated product is water-resistant not waterproof. While IPX7 is an ideal waterproof rating. You can submerge IPX7 rated earphones into water up to 1 meter. They can remain submerged in the water for 30 minutes.
Although IPX7 rated device is not tested for solid resistance yet you can wash them if they accumulate any dust. Moreover, you can also use IPX7 rated earphones during showers, swimming, and heavy rain. IPX4 is not ideal to use in these places.
So, IPX7 excels IPX4 in terms of water protection. But, both have the same untested dust-proof quality.
Related: IPX8 vs IP68 Rating
IPX4 vs IP67
IPX4 rating protects the device against water splashes from any direction. It does not offer solid, dust, mud, or debris resistance. Moreover, you cannot submerge an IPX4 device into water.
In contrast, IP67 is a fully waterproof and dustproof product. It can be submerged into water for 30 minutes and up to 1-meter depth. IP67 is better than IPX4 both in terms of water and dust resistance.
So, if you want 100% dustproof and waterproof earphones or any other device, IP67 is the ideal choice.
IPX4 vs IP44
The IP stands for Ingress Protection. This code represents solid and dust resistance. The ‘X’ in IPX4 represents that it is not tested for solid resistance. But, it is splashproof from all directions.
In comparison, the IP44 rated product has 4 in place of X. It means that the IP44 product is solid resistant in addition to splash resistance from all directions. It is protected against solid particles that are larger than 1mm.
So, in terms of solid resistance, IP44 is better than IPX4. While in terms of water resistance, both are the same.
IPX4 vs IP24
The last value is the same in IPX4 and IP24. It means that both IPX4 and IP24 are splashproof from all directions. Both cannot be submerged into the water instead resist water spray. IP24 rated products are resistant to touch by fingers and objects that are bigger than 12mm.
So, if you want both splashproof and dustproof products then IP24 is better than IPX4.
IPX4 vs IP78
IPX4 is an untested dust-proof product. Nevertheless, it is splashproof from all directions. While IP78 is far better than IPX4. Because it is both water and dust-proof. The last digit represents a waterproof rating. The 8 in IP78 shows that this product is 100% waterproof.
So, an IP78 rated product can be submerged underwater for 30 minutes and up to 1.5 meters in depth. Moreover, it is fully resistant to solid objects and dust. So, IP78 is the highest rating and is far better than IPX4.
Related: IPX7 vs IP67 Explained
This article provided you a comprehensive knowledge of IP rating. Moreover, we also explained each popular IP rating by comparing it to the standard IPX4 rating. Now, you have a better idea that which IP value earphones you should choose. It depends on your purpose, circumstances of use, and also on your budget. However, you should choose at least IPX4 rated earphones. The reason is that earphones are always exposed to moisture. This IP rating guide is also helpful for deciding on other electronic products.
Hi, I’m Noor Alam, founder of SpeakersMag.com. I love music and got my Bachelor’s degree in Sound Engineering. Now I have started my own blog about music products. Just like you, I also love different music products and in my spare time, I share my knowledge with audio lovers on this site.