Are Your Headphones Waterproof? Understanding the IPx Rating System

by Josh Koop | Last Updated:   6 months ago
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When you look at bone conduction headphones you want to know how they will hold up to use, but as well if they will fail due to dirt and grime or to sweat or water. Luckily there is a standardized way to know whether what you are buying is going to hold up to use so, what is the IPx Rating System?

It is used to evaluate how resistant products are to environmental conditions. The IPxx rating system is a protection based number system showing the overall protection versus dirt and water ingress into the hardware. Where a 0 indicates no defense and an 8 would be fully protected versus the element.

When you purchase a device which will be constantly around water and dirt like a pair of bone conduction headphones you want them to stay safe from internal damage.

These ratings help to tell you what can happen should you encounter poor environmental effects like rain or even fog like mists. This is why we list it as a valuable point of data on our best bone conduction headphones buyers guide.

IP Rating Table

IP Rating
Number
Solid
Object
Protection
Fluid
Protection
0No ProtectionNo Protection
1Protection against solid objects over 50mmProtection against vertically falling water droplets
2Protection against solid objects over 12mmProtection against direct water spray up to 15 degrees
3Protection against solid objects over 2.5mmProtection against direct water spray up to 60 degrees
4Protection against solid objects over 1mmProtection against water spray from all directions
5Protection against dustProtection against low water pressure in all directions
6Total protection against dustTotal protection against strong water jets
7Protection against immersion up to 3 feet for 30 minutes
8Protection to long term immersion for up to 13 feet depth

What Does IPx Rating Mean To Bone Conduction Headphones?

It is a measure to allow you to understand the relative risk from your environment along with what your headphones have been certified, that pushing past this can lead to issues like breaking.

When it comes to weather or high dust and dirt areas making sure your device is rated to ensure it doesn’t get gunked up and damaged from either liquid or dirt inside the enclosure.

Bone Conduction Headphones IPx Ratings Understood

Each of the types of ratings will matter specifically to perform the exercise listed while maintaining the quality of your bone conduction headphones.

If you exceed the ratings for your specific headphones there is a chance that they will break down and shorten their lifespans.

IPx Rating for Swimming

When you are looking for a pair of bone conduction headphones for swimming you have special needs. We recommend you to look for headphones with at least an IP67, or more preferred, IP68 rating.

The best option available is the AfterShokz XTrainerz are IP68 rated and a perfect match for swimming. Note that water based bone conduction headphones have no Bluetooth built in, the reason is Bluetooth doesn’t work through water.

IPx Rating for Sweat

This is a little more loose a need and should be at least IPx4 rated which proves that they offer protection against water spray from all directions.

The entire range of bone conduction headphones from AfterShokz are over this range which allows them to be safely used for running.

Tired man runner sweating, taking run break - What is the IPx Rating System
Tired man runner sweating, taking run break

IPx Rating for Rain

Technically an IPx1 rating is more than sufficient for rainfall as that rating is able to protect against vertically falling water droplets, that is rain my friends. This will be almost every single bone conduction headphones out there, even the knock-offs.

IPx Rating for Running

This is very similar to sweat ratings above as it is going to need to be at least IPx4 rated which proves that they offer protection against water spray from all directions.

The entire range of bone conduction headphones from AfterShokz are over this range which allows them to be safely used for running.

Final Thoughts on What is the IPx Rating System

When you are making a decision to purchase a device for around $100 you really want to ensure that your choice will hold up to your intended exercising routine.

Whether you are a swimmer, runner, walker, hiker, biker, or rock climber choosing the right rating can help ensure you get the lifespan out of your bone conduction headphones.

Everyone wants the gear they purchase to last years and understanding the IPx rating scheme can help you in making decisions even beyond headphones and into other electronics you could wear in inclement weather or environments.

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