What you need to know about IP ratings
And why you should care
cary moment — I was hanging midair on a cannonball into my friend’s pool when I realized I still had my brand new phone in my pocket. My phone wasn't water resistant, and I knew its fate before I even hit the water.
Sure enough, it was a goner. Too bad my phone didn't have a higher IP rating. What exactly are IP ratings though?
Many of our Bluetooth speakers, sports headphones, underwater cameras and marine products come with an IP rating. For example, the MTX MUDHSB-B handlebar Bluetooth speaker is rated IP66, and the jaybird X4 Wireless Earbuds have an IPX7 rating.
Below we explore what the different IP ratings mean. But first, here's a video that shows me putting some waterproof products to the test.
IP ratings defined
IP stands for International Protection (sometimes translated as Ingress Protection). The ratings tell you how much protection any given product has against exposure to solids and liquids.
There are many different IPX variants. A product does not need to be rated for both solids and liquids. For example, the Jaybird X4 earbuds are only rated for water protection. Therefore the solids slot is given an “X” as a rating, meaning no testing was done.
First digit = solids
The first digit stands for its protection against solid particles like dirt and dust. A rating of 1 signifies protection against anything greater than 50 mm, about the size of a fist. It goes all the way to 6 which means that not even dust can enter. The solids rating is more applicable to industrial machinery, however. Most of our products will not carry this digit. For now, just know that the closer it is to 6, the better.
Second digit = liquids
The second digit is an indicator of how well the product protects against water. The scale goes from 1, which covers dripping, all the way to 8, which protects against submersion. The higher the number, the more waterproof it is. Consult our charts below for the meaning of each number.
|X||No data was collected|
|0||No protection against the entry of solids|
|1-4||Large objects cannot enter the enclosure|
|5||Keeps out most dirt and dust|
|X||No data was collected|
|0||No protection against water|
|1||Protects against vertically dripping water|
|2||Protects against water dripping at several angles|
|3||Protects against spraying water|
|4||Protects against splashing water from all directions|
|5||Protects against water projected from a 6.3 mm nozzle at low pressure|
|6||Protects against water projected from a 12.5 mm nozzle at high pressure|
|7||Protects against immersion into up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes|
|8||Protects against immersion more than 1 meter for a duration defined by the manufacturer|
Your Crutchfield Advisor will help you find weatherproof and dirt-proof products that meet your needs.