Many manufacturers boasting their products complying to standards like IP55, IP67 or IPX4. That is especially true to outdoor speakers and mobile headphones. And it is indeed of significance for outdoor use in case a device might be subject to rain, water or dust. The ingress protection, or IP code of “International Protection”. Following a standardized IEC test procedure, they simply express which external ingress a device can withstand and for how long. This is separated for water and dust/solid ingress.
This is exactly what the two digits that follow the “IP” actually mean: The first indicates resistance to small solid structures such as dust and sand, the second simply means 10 different levels of water resistance.
Protected against ingress of dust, sand and solid structures
The ability to withstand solid particles is expressed on a scale between 0 (= no protection at all) and 6 (highest protection). It is based primarily on the size of the solid particles that might potentially penetrate a device and cause malfunctions. The smaller the particles being successfully kept out, the higher the protection code. IP5X classification for examples ensures resistance against dust in usual quantities. The IP6X class means absolute dust resistance.
|IP0X||no protection against solid particles|
|IP1X||Withstands particles of 50mm in diameter or bigger|
|IP2X||Withstands particles of 12.5mm in diameter or bigger|
|IP3X||Withstands particles of 2.5mm in diameter or bigger|
|IP4X||Withstands particles of 1mm in diameter but not sand|
|IP5X||Withstands ingression of sand and dust|
|IP6X||Completely sealed and dustproof|
Protection classes for water and immersion
The second digit indicates how well a device is withstanding the ingression of water and moisture. These tests are always executed using fresh water. Dedicated codes for seawater or chemicals such as solvents are not subject to classification and therefore they are not guaranteed.
Usually you find water protection codes from IPX0 (=no moisture protection at all) to IPX8 (waterproof against longtime submersion). In addition to that, a code IPX9 even ensures waterproof at high pressure and increased temperature.
|IPX0||No water/moisture protection|
|IPX1||Withstands dripping water with vertical incidence|
|IPX2||Withstands dripping water from above or up to 15 degrees|
|IPX3||Withstands spraying water or rain ( from up to 60 degrees)|
|IPX4||Splashwater-proof in all directions|
|IPX5||Sealed against water jets|
|IPX6||Sealed against water jets with pressure|
|IPX7||Waterproof against immersion limited by time and pressure (30min, 1m in depth)|
|IPX8||Completely waterproof with immersion not limited in time limit|
|IPX9||Completely watersealed even at high pressure and temperature|
These IP protection codes you might find on Bluetooth speakers or headphones
When reviewing personal audio components we found th following IP protection codes to be quite common. We therefore provide an explanation of the respective protection class both against the ingression of dust and water. An X or a 0 instead of either the first or second digit means that no test has been executed or the manufacturer does not guarantee any protection against either solid particles (1st digit) or water (2nd digit).
Protected against small solid particles (but neither sand nor dust!!) & Splash water protected from all directions.
Withstands sand and dust & Splash water protected from all directions.
Withstands sand and dust & Jet water protected
Withstands sand and dust & Jet water protected with pressure
Withstands sand and dust & waterproof when immersed up to 1m for 30min
Completely sealed from dust/sand but no water/moisture protection
Completely sealed from dust/sand but & jet water protected
Completely sealed from dust/sand but & jet water protected with pressure
Completely sealed from dust/sand & waterproof when immersed up to 1m for 30min
Completely sealed from dust/sand & immersion proof
Not protected against solid particles but Splash water protected from all directions.
Not protected against solid particles but jet water protected
Not protected against solid particles but jet water protected with pressure
Not protected against solid particles but waterproof when immersed up to 1m for 30min