While IP ranking may seem very specific, there are many products without this ranking at all. However, this doesn’t mean the company is lying to customers or trying to sell some low-quality products.
Ultimately, if a product has a high water resistance IP rating, it’s likely to be decently protected from the dust as well.
The IP rating is a relatively new category on the US market. Therefore, some companies may simply go for some other certification or standard in rating their products. If you don’t see an IP rating for a device you want, don’t sweat it. This just means the company is using different quality markings.
However, if a device is marketed as “absolutely waterproof”, but missing any form of a certificate, this should be a huge red flag for you.
What does an IPX4 Water Resistance Rating mean For Your Device?
Outside of technicalities, you need to know what water resistance means practically. In reality, having an IPX4 ranked device means it can stand up to some water splashes. You can use it in heavy rain or (accidentally) pour a glass of water on it and the gadget will still work. However, if you submerge it in the water, there will definitely be some severe damage.
While IPX4 still doesn’t mean “waterproof”, it offers a pretty decent degree of protection for ultra-intense workouts, long marathons and any other outdoor activity in severe weather conditions.
Talking about damage, there’s one more thing to keep in mind. IP rankings are based on the performances of a device in laboratory conditions. When you say “water resistance”, it’s quite literal. Having a device IPX4 rated doesn’t mean it’s protected from all liquids. Knowing this, try to keep your device from sugar and alcohol whatever IP water resistance rating it has. Also, the IPX4 rating won’t protect your device from saltwater and chlorine.
To get IP ranked, every product gets tested on a specific level of exposition. For the IPX4 rating, the device has to withstand being sprayed form all of the directions for at least 5 minutes without any harm at all. If the device stays on and running at the end of the test, it gets an international ranking and manufacturers get to advertise it like „splashproof“ or “water-resistant”.
When IPX4 Rating Is Making A Difference?
Devices with an IPX4 rating are usually Bluetooth speakers, fitness earbuds, and headphones, as well as “shower speakers”. This water resistance rating is considered a starting point for considering any electronic device suitable for outdoor use. However, water resistance doesn’t have to mean a higher price. At least, not anymore.
Workout electronic devices are really taking a cake lately when it comes to water resistance. Some of the fitness earbuds and watches out there can withstand even sweatiest of us. These products will also allow you not to worry if you get caught in the rain. Just avoid getting these devices soaking wet. Never, ever scuba dive with your gadgets.
Another field where the IPX4 rating is crucial is the Bluetooth speakers market. Their main advantage is portability. Therefore, they have to withstand natural elements like light rain on camping or splashing in the shower.
In Conclusion, IPX4 Rating Is Worth Your Money
Whether you’re looking for a piece of professional equipment or a new gadget with the best performances possible for the money, water resistance is not something to be looked over on. The IP rating is a proven method to ensure your device can survive conditions it will be used in.
IPX4 rating isn’t just another marketing trick used by tech companies to make us want their products even more. This is an official, international certificate given by independent test companies.
For most of us, a device with an IPX4 rating can fulfill all of the expectations. It can take being sprayed from all the angles and still perform just fine. In practice, this covers intense sweating, rain or snow and even tipped water battles.
However, this rating still refers only to water. If you expose your gadget to salt, chlorine, sugar or alcohol, there’s no guarantee it will perform well afterward.
Having an IPX4 rating somewhat becomes a standard for outdoor electronics. Besides that, much other audio equipment is advertised as “water-resistant”. Finally, having a gadget with a high IP rating doesn’t mean giving more money for it anymore. When you compare protection you get with IPX4 and the price of the device, it’s definitely worth a few extra sweet greenies.