IPX4 Rating Water Resistance Meaning: What It Does? (Explained!)

What is IPX4 Rating Water Resistance? You’ve probably heard of the IPX4 rating if you’ve been purchasing modern electronic devices, particularly earbuds and speakers. We assume you have a basic understanding of IPX ratings, but we’ve decided to write a brief article about IPX4 water resistance rating and explain its significance.

Many modern products are water-resistant, water-repellent, waterproof, or hydrophobic. These terms are used to describe the level of protection against liquid intrusion and are frequently misunderstood because they are applied to different situations and products.

For example, the terms “water-resistant,” “water repellent,” and “hydrophobic” are commonly used to describe the level of protection provided by clothing, whereas the term “waterproof” is used to describe the level of protection provided by electronic devices against liquid intrusion.

When we say something is water-resistant, we mean that its fabric is dense and that you will be protected for a long time before getting soaked. Both “water repellant” and “hydrophobic” imply that the fabric is coated with a liquid-repellent coating. However, hydrophobic materials are thought to be of higher quality than water-repellant materials.

IPX4 Rating Water Resistance Rating
What Does IPX4 Water Resistance Rating Means?

What is the IPX4 Rating Water Resistance Meaning?

Waterproof, on the other hand, is commonly associated with various types of electronic devices. Waterproofing is typically accomplished by coating the product with a special coating that prevents liquids from entering electronic components and causing them to malfunction. However, simply labeling a device as waterproof makes determining the exact level of protection difficult.

There are always questions about the exact meaning of the term, how it is used, and so on. This is why the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Standard, established in 1989 and later adopted by the European Standard EN 60529, makes it easier to classify electronic devices.

The IP code/rating was created based on this standard. IP refers to the ingress of solids and liquids into electronic devices and stands for “International Protection” or “Ingress Protection.” The IEC standard allows all consumers to use IP codes to determine the capabilities and potential of electronic devices before purchasing them.

IP code sends us detailed information about the level of protection that our device has using up to 5 numbers/letters. With this information, we can plan our purchase, decide what type of device we need, what its purpose will be, and then begin looking for such devices. We’ll go over this in greater detail later, but for now, let’s get to the most important part – IPX4 rating.

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Manufacturers frequently describe their products as “dust resistant” or “moisture proof,” and these claims can be supported by an IP rating. But what exactly does this mean?

We’re used to hearing words like “waterproof,” “weather resistant,” “dust resistant,” and a plethora of other variations. While these terms provide product marketers with numerous ways to massage their message, they can cause significant confusion for the rest of us.

Is my water-resistant phone as rain-proof as my weatherproof Bluetooth headphones? Can I bring either of them scuba diving? (Please don’t scuba dive with your phone.)

IPX4 Ratings
IPX4 Ratings

IPX Rating Chart Meaning for Waterproof and Water Resistant (Complete Guide!)

IPX Ratings Earbuds and Headphones: What Is it? (Easy Guide)


International Protection is abbreviated as IP (also called Ingress Protection). It is the marking that defines the level of protection provided by a device’s enclosure against the intrusion of water and other liquids or dust and other solids.

IP code is made up of the letters “IP” and one, two, or three symbols that can be a number or a letter. The first symbol indicates that the device is dust resistant. When dust resistance of a device is tested, its value is represented by a number ranging from 0 to 6. If the device has not been tested, the manufacturer will simply mark it with a “X.”

The second symbol represents resistance to water. If a device is tested, its level of resistance to water intrusion is indicated by a number ranging from 0 to 9, or by the letter “X” if the device is not tested. The third symbol is quite uncommon, and it describes the conditions under which the device was tested.

It is denoted by the letters H, M, S, F, and W. H denotes high voltage conditions, M denotes that the device moved through the water during the test, S denotes that the device did not move during the test, W denotes different weather conditions, and F denotes oil resistance. The second symbol is currently the most important to us because it refers to liquid intrusion protection.



As we have previously mentioned, if your device is tested for water resistance, the level of protection will be expressed by a number ranging from 0 to 9. The IPX4 rating was chosen for this article because it represents the bare minimum of protection/rating that any device intended for occasional outdoor use must have.

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It is also the bare minimum of protection required for any device that may be used near water. IPX4-certified devices have been tested under standardized conditions that include the use of an IEC-approved nozzle.

The same shield is used for testing devices with IPX3 and IPX4 ratings, but the nozzle in the first case has a counterbalanced shield. In the second case, the shield is removed, allowing water jets to strike the device from any angle.

IPX4-certified devices are frequently regarded as splash proof and can be used in a variety of situations and scenarios. We can’t call them “waterproof” because they can’t be completely submerged in water.

Because those are the only devices with IPX7, IPX8, or IPX9 ratings, we’ll use a “weaker” expression – “water-resistant.” Let’s take a look at how and when these devices can be used.

Why Is IPX4 Important?
Why Is IPX4 Important?


All outdoor devices should have an IPX4 rating or higher because they can withstand certain (less severe) outdoor conditions such as rain. Furthermore, these devices are not only splash-proof but also sweatproof, which means they can withstand contact with human sweat and continue to function normally.

So, what IPX4-certified devices do we have? Different kinds, in fact. When we hear the term IPX rating, the first two things that come to mind are portable Bluetooth speakers and Bluetooth earbuds, both of which are frequently used outdoors.

For example, if you like to listen to music while hiking or camping, you’ll need a device that can withstand rain or general humidity without malfunctioning. Furthermore, because IPX4-certified headphones can withstand constant sweat exposure, you can use them not only for jogging but also for indoor workouts.

To prevent damage, the devices are nicely coated. Not to mention headlamps, which are frequently designed for outdoor use. In addition, there are certain situations that require a device to be water-resistant even if it’s not used outdoors.

For example, many people love to listen to music in the shower. In case you are one of those people, you should definitely buy a speaker with a minimum IPX4 rating, because they can survive drops or even splashes of water falling on them at different angles. 

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If you don’t have the entire framework, answering this question can be difficult. This refers to your desires, needs, and the purpose of the product you want to purchase.

Before you buy it, consider what device you actually require. Consider all of the scenarios in which you might use the device and decide whether the IPX4 rating is adequate for you or if you require a device with a higher level of protection.


The absence of an IP rating on the specs list is not cause for concern. It doesn’t have to imply that the device isn’t secure or that it lacks the necessary level of quality. It could simply mean that the manufacturer did not test it and therefore no such information is available.

If you’re really interested in that product, you can always call the manufacturer and confirm the details. On the other hand, there are times when the IP code is displayed in an incorrect or unusual manner. You should avoid such products because the information about the IP rating is completely false.

If you see a product with an IP-X4 or IP-44 rating, you should be aware that it was most likely not tested at all and that the manufacturer is attempting to dupe you into purchasing the product. The only correct way to state the IP rating is without hyphens (IPX4, IPX7, IP44, etc.).

IPX4 Water Resistance Rating
IPX4 Water Resistance Rating

FAQs About IPX4 Rating

Is IPX4 OK for shower?

Wireless earbuds with IP ratings ranging from IPX1 to IPX4 are only resistant to water drops, sprays, and splashes. Such earbuds can withstand curses, water spray, and drops of water, but not showerhead water.

Is IPX4 water-resistant?

All of our products have at least an IPX4 rating, which means they are splash proof. In reality, the IPX4 rating means that the headlamp or flashlight can be used in heavy rain but cannot be submerged in water.

What is IPX4 equivalent to?

The standard IP rating for earphones or other electronic devices is IPX4. The IPX4 rating indicates that the earphone is waterproof in all directions. As a result, an earphone with an IPX4 rating can withstand water splashes completely. However, it cannot be submerged in water.

Barry Moroney

Hi, Barry here. I'm a tech writer and blogger. I write about the latest technology, gadgets, and software. I also provide the best how-to and guides on the latest sound systems. I'm always excited to share my knowledge with others!

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