Water Proof, Water Resistant, and IPX - What Does It All Mean? - Outdoor Tech Blog

Water Proof, Water Resistant, and IPX – What Does It All Mean?

A lot of the Bluetooth stuff we make is water resistant, obviously you are stoked on that. This means that if you are playing in the snow, the sprinklers, the bath-house, in the middle of a super soaker fight, or all male wet t-shirt contest with something from us, it’s gonna be fine. But hold on kiddies, water resistant is different than water proof. There are different “levels” of water resistance that are standard. This standard is referred to as IPX, kinda.

And now, a picture that represents flowing liquid. I sure am getting thirsty…

Booze, and lots of it.

If something has a water only rating (whether 4, 5, or 6) you write it as IPX5. The X acts as a placeholder since there is not a particle (or dust rating)

If something has a dust rating of 6 (dustproof) and a water rating of 5, you write it as IP65

In the rare instance that the dust and water rating are the same (let’s say 6), you write it as IP6 This isn’t used nearly as often as the other two models.

Here is a breakdown of the IP standard as it relates to water proof and water resistant:

IPX0 – This means it’s not water resistant at all. Think of what happens to paper when it gets wet. It’s a mess and your novella is ruined.

IPX1 – This will protect a device from some water drops that are falling vertically on said device. I guess it’s possible for this situation to actually occur but so is winning the lottery. If you or someone you know has won the lottery, sharing is caring.

IPX2 –  This will protect your thingy from some water drops when the device is tilted up to and including 15°. If you have your device at 16°, you are screwed, sorry but there are limits in the world.

IPX3 – Getting better, you can now spray your gear up to 60° from the top of the device. So that’s cool, I guess.

IPX4 – Now we are getting somewhere. This will keep “yo ish chill” from splashing water from any direction. So if you drop some cubes of ice into you scotch and it splashes, there is no need to worry. Well, except for those drops of scotch that didn’t make it into your tummy.

IPX5 – (this is where the super soaker is allowed). Will protect your stuff from water jets at any direction. Spray away kiddo, spray away.

IPX6 – Protects from powerful water jets. So if you modified your super soaker with an air compressor and an aftermarket tip, your stuff is still safe.

IPX7 – This is for full water splashdown. If you drop your device in water up to 3 feet (1 meter but this is ‘Merica and we don’t do the metric system. USA USA USA) your device is still going to work.

IPX8 – You can protect your device in water over 3 feet. This is for your stuff at the bottom of a pool, lake, or even Shamu’s tank. Good luck getting your stuff back from Shamu though. I mean, that guy never gives back the stuff you let him borrow.

In a very strange, completely unplanned, and non-thought-out coincidence, here is a list of some of our products and their IP rating.

The Turtle Shell Bluetooth speaker has an IP65 dust and water resistant rating.

The Buckshot Pro bike speaker with light has an IP65 dust and water resistant rating.

The Chips wireless helmet audio kit has an IP45 sweat and water resistant rating.

Super Soaker

The knowledge has been dropped and science has been performed. Everyone is actually smarter for having read this. You can thank me by liking on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, plussing on Google+, puffing with Smoke Signals, tapping on the Telegraph or sharing during your drum circle.

We love you, just remember that.

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  • Burnerjack

    For a topic as dry as water resistance, this explanation was actually pretty entertaining! Great job! It was as if I wrote it myself. Really, who ever wrote this has agreat sense of humor and a talent for connecting with the audience. Again, great job!
    Oh, and thanks for the info…

  • NK Shukla

    Thank you for all the knowledge explained in such laymans terms. It has greatly helped me in deciding to buy a birthday gift for my child who has already spoiled one iPod while listening to music in the shower. I was contemplating to go in for IPX7, mow I think a less expensive IPX4 is good enough.

  • Jack

    This was informative and hilariously entertaining. You get a share on Facebook just for this article being great.

  • Radical Rob

    Learn something new today!!! Thanks for taking the time to do this helpful article. Now I know electronics are safe unless tilted 16° haha

  • Vinit Kothari

    Thank for informative article. Keep it up !!!

  • Chris Drysdale

    Great article!