IP Ratings in Bluetooth Speakers & Headphones

by | Mar 14, 2019

We all have at least once came across the term IP rating while purchasing electronics gadgets such as smartphones, Bluetooth speakers and earphones.

We know that IP ratings have to do something with the durability of these gadgets and its resistance to natural forces such as rains and dust.

In this article, we’ll discuss the details of these IP ratings especially in concern with Bluetooth speakers and headphones.

This explainer article aims to walk you through the specifics of different types of IP ratings and how it suits your choice of products.

International/Ingress Protection (IP)

Ingress Protection defines a set of guidelines which has been laid out to ensure the resistance of gadgets against foreign bodies such as water and dust.

This is brought about by improving the sealing between the chassis enclosures of these devices.

Since there is an internationally set standard for Ingress protection, companies have been trying to incorporate this feature into their products so that it can be used outdoors under adverse weather conditions without any damage.

IP Code

International Protection/ Ingress Protection is represented in IP [number1 number2] format.

The term IP as you might have already assumed stands for International/Ingress Protection.

what-is-ip-rating

The first letter after IP denotes the level of protection offered by the device against solid particles such as dust and sand.

The second letter after the IP denotes the level of protection offered by the device against liquid particles such as water.

The IP [X number2] format notifies that the device doesn’t have rated solid particle protection.

IP rating chart

IPNumber 1 (Solid particles)Number 2 (Liquid particles)
0No protectionNo protection
1Protection against solids > 50mmProtection from water droplets
2Protection against solids > 12.5mmProtection from vertical water spray
3Protection against solids > 2.5mmProtection against sprays of water from any direction
4Protection against solids > 1mmProtection against water splashes from any direction
5Limited dust ingress protectionProtection against low-pressure water jets
6Full protection against dust ingressProtection against high-pressure water jets
7-Protection against short duration water immersion
8-Protection against long duration water immersion
9K-Protection against close range, high-pressure water

Importance of IP ratings for Bluetooth speakers and Headphones

Bluetooth speakers and Headphones are one of the most used electronic devices used along with smartphones on a day to day basis.

These are devices most commonly used outdoors and has a great chance to come in contact with water and dust.

Not just the outdoor conditions, there is also chances of water, sweat and dust coming in contact with these devices indoors.

The minute electronic circuitry inside these speakers and earbuds are so sensitive and can damage easily if exposed to foreign substances.

Especially in Indian conditions, where the atmosphere is littered with smoke and dust particles and chances of torrential downpours make having an IP rating for such devices a must.

Most common IP ratings in Bluetooth speakers and Headphones

IPX4

Generally, Bluetooth speakers are given the IPX4 rating which denotes there isn’t any solid particle protection, but protection from momentarily water splashes from any side.

IPX5

IPX5 ratings are given to affordable Bluetooth speakers, earbuds and earphones which offer protection from low-pressure water jets.

Some Bluetooth earphones priced under Rs.2,000 comes with IPX5 certification as well.

IPX7

There are budget Bluetooth speakers and headphones with IPX7 which offers no protection against solid particles but, the device can survive a brief complete water immersion.

Bluetooth speakers like JBL Clip 3 which comes under Rs.3,000 price range, has IPX7 certification.

IP56

Some of the mid-range speakers and earphones offer IP56 rating which protects these devices from dust particles less than 1 mm and high-pressure water jets damaging the internals.

IP57

Premium midrange speakers and headphones come with an IP57 rating which features limited dust ingression protection and can withstand a few minutes of full submersion under water.

IP67

IP67 offers full dust ingress and short water submersion protection for Bluetooth speakers and earbuds.

IP68

IP68 is possibly the best available IP protection that Bluetooth speakers and devices such as earbuds and earphones can have at least in the Indian market currently.

This offers full dust ingress protection and up to 30 minutes of full submersion under water without any damage to the functionality.

Final thoughts

If you are planning to use your Bluetooth speakers and headphones indoors, there isn’t much to be bothered about the IP ratings.

However, if you plan to use those outdoors, you should genuinely invest some time to check what type of IP protection does the device offers.

Using devices without an IP certification outdoors will void your warranty and the device most probably will become dysfunctional.

We hope that this article did shed some insights about the IP certifications and genuinely wish it comes useful to you in your next purchase decision.

Thanks for your time and have a great day!