What does IPX8 Waterproof Rating Meaning? (Explained!)

What does IPX8 Waterproof Rating Meaning? The most important thing to look for when looking for waterproof or water-resistant equipment, whether it’s audio equipment (headphones, speakers) or any kind of electrical/electronic equipment, is the IPX rating.

In previous articles, we discussed IPX ratings in general, as well as IPX4 (splash-proof) and IPX7 (water-resistant) (waterproof). Today, we’ll look at what an IPX8 waterproof rating means and why it’s important.

IPX8 Rating Explained
IPX8 Rating Explained

What Is IPX Rating And Why Is It Important? (Comprehensive Guide)

 

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

WHAT DOES IP/IPX RATINGS MEAN? – THE BASICS

IP is an abbreviation for Ingress Protection (also referred to as International Protection). It is an internationally standardized rating that describes the level of protection against solid particle, dust, and water ingress. An IP rating takes the general form shown in the image below.

 

IP abbreviation is usually followed by two digits or an X and a digit, according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In some cases, the third letter appears when a device is tested under special conditions or against the ingress of fluids other than water.

The first letter (or digit) describes the level of protection against solid particle ingress (against the ingress of dust, to be more precise). If the first symbol following the IP is the letter X, it indicates that the device has not been tested for dust ingress. If it’s a number, that means it’s been tested.

The first digit can be any digit between 0 and 6. A value of zero indicates that a device provides no protection against dust ingress, while a value of six indicates that a device is completely dustproof (or dust-tight). The second letter or a number describes the protection against water ingress (or water resistance).

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the certification is done with fresh water. If the second symbol following the IP is an X, it indicates that the device was not tested for water ingress (IP6X, for example). If it’s a number, the device has been tested, and you’ll know how waterproof or water-resistant it is based on the number.

Water resistance is described using digits ranging from 0 to 8. A value of 0 indicates that a device is completely impervious to water ingress (IPX0). The numbers 7 and 8 (IPX7/IPX8) indicate that a device is completely waterproof. However, there are some differences between these two ratings, which we will go over in detail in the following section.

In some cases, the 9K symbol will appear after the number or letter describing dust resistance (e.g. IPX9K). The number 9K does not imply that a device is completely waterproof. It denotes that a device can withstand high-temperature, high-pressure water jets.

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The third symbol in the IP rating will be hard to find. Consumer electronics are almost never tested under those extreme conditions. These extra symbols are used for industrial equipment that is designed to withstand harsh conditions (like high voltage, different weather conditions, oil resistance, etc.).

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF DIFFERENT IPX RATINGS?

As mentioned in the previous section, the level of protection against water ingress is denoted by the digits 0-8 (or the symbol 9K). The IEC has defined a test (or certification procedure) for each of these ratings. An IPX rating is given to a device that passes the test.

For the purposes of this review, we will only discuss water ingress protection and assume that a device has not been tested for dust ingress (we will not discuss IP65 or IP68 ratings, but only IPX ratings). IPX0 denotes that a device cannot withstand even minor amounts of water and does not pass the IPX1 test.

  • An IPX1 rating indicates that a device will continue to function normally after passing the water dripping test. The test lasts 10 minutes, the dripping speed corresponds to 1mm/min rainfall, and the water drops fall vertically.
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What Does IPX8 Waterproof Rating Means?
  • IPX2 indicates that a device will continue to function normally after a more severe water dripping test. The drops of water fall on a tilted device (15°), the amount of water corresponds to a slightly heavier rainfall (3mm/min), and the test is repeated four times.
  • An IPX3 rating indicates that a device will continue to function even after being sprayed by a nozzle with a counterbalanced shield. The IEC standards define the nozzle, test duration (5min), water pressure, amount of water (50l), and angles at which the water is sprayed (up to 60° from a vertical axis) (IEC 60529).
  • Devices with an IPX4 rating are frequently regarded as splash-proof. The tests for IPX3 and IXP4 are very similar to those for IPX1 and IPX2. The same nozzle is used, but it is not equipped with a counterbalanced shield. The angles also make a difference; an IPX4 device should be resistant to water splashing from any angle.
  • IPX5 and IPX6 ratings are also closely related, as they both refer to water jet resistance. The only difference is the strength of the water jets. The water is projected from a distance of 3m/9.8ft using a nozzle (the IEC defines the nozzle dimensions). The test lasts 1 minute in both cases. The only difference between the two is the water pressure, which is 30kPa (4.4psi) for IPX5 and 100kPa (15psi) for IPX6.
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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE IPX7 WATERPROOF RATING AND IPX8 WATERPROOF RATING?

We’ve finally arrived at the main point of our discussion: the IPX8 waterproof rating. IPX7 and IPX8 ratings are closely related, as are IPX1 and IPX2, IPX3 and IPX4, and IPX5 and IPX6. Waterproof devices are those that have either of these ratings.

Furthermore, the same equipment is used for testing, but the test durations and water depth are different (testing conditions are defined by the IEC 60529 standard). According to the IEC, an IPX7 rating indicates that a device will continue to function normally after being submerged in water up to 1m deep for half an hour.

The testing conditions and duration for the IPX8 waterproof rating are not strictly specified and are defined by the manufacturer (or in cooperation with a certified lab that performs the test). The environmental conditions must be more severe than in the case of the IPX7 rating. The water depth is usually 3 meters (or 9.8 feet), and the test must last more than 30 minutes.

IPX8 waterproof devices are typically hermetically sealed. Certain types of devices, on the other hand, will be rated as IPX8 waterproof even if some water enters the enclosure, but only if the water does not affect the functionality of those devices.

The main difference between IPX7 and IPX8 is in the purpose of devices with these ratings. A device with an IPX7 rating is only suitable for temporary immersion in water, while an IPX8 device is suitable for continuous immersion in water.

Why Are IPX Ratings Important?
Why Are IPX Ratings Important?

WHY ARE IPX RATINGS SO IMPORTANT?

An IPX rating (particularly those waterproof ratings such as IPX7 and IPX8) is regarded as a critical marketing point by manufacturers. They like to advertise the waterproofness of their devices, which is understandable given that it gives them a significant competitive advantage over other manufacturers.

Things are even clearer from the consumer’s perspective. Some devices, particularly smartphones, have become indispensable in our lives, and we don’t want them to be harmed. Some people are practically glued to their phones, which contain a wealth of sensitive personal information. The loss of such an important device can be disastrous.

That is why we purchase devices that are more resistant to various conditions, such as those that are weather-resistant, sweat-resistant, splash-proof, or waterproof. At this point, we would like to make a small digression and discuss different terms used by the manufacturers to describe the water-resistance and waterproofness of their products, especially waterproof headphones/earbuds and waterproof speakers.

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All the odd words used to describe the level of protection against water ingress mean nothing if there’s no IPX rating to support the manufacturer’s claims.

So, if a manufacturer claims that its earbuds/headphones are ‘sweat-resistant’ or that its Bluetooth speaker is ‘weather-proof,’ but there is no IPX rating, you can assume that their devices have not been tested and that there is nothing to back up those claims.

Also, if the IPX rating is written with a hyphen or a space between the number and the IPX, those ratings should not be trusted. The only proper way to write an IPX rating is as follows – IPX8. If you see IPX 8 or IPX-8, you can assume that the device is not waterproof.

Generally speaking, IPX4 speakers are advertised as splash-proof and weather-resistant, IPX4 headphones/earbuds are also advertised as sweat-resistant, IPX5 and IPX6 devices are advertised as water-resistant, and devices with IPX7 and IPX8 waterproof rating are considered waterproof. IPX8 devices can even be used underwater, but not indefinitely. 

CONCLUSION on IPX8 Waterproof Rating Meaning

To sum up this article on the IPX8 waterproof rating, we can only recommend that you choose your waterproof audio equipment carefully and always pay attention to the IPX ratings.

Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks; instead, look for the IPX rating in the specifications. Also, keep in mind what kinds of conditions a device with a specific IPX rating can withstand.

IPX8 Ratings
IPX8 Ratings

FAQs About IPX8 Rating Waterproof

What is IPX8 waterproof rating?

If a device has an IPX8 waterproof rating, it can withstand prolonged immersion in water. The manufacturer defines the testing conditions for the IPX8, but the testing is always performed under more severe conditions than the testing for the IPX7 rating.

Is IPX8 superior to IP68?

In IPX8, the product is not tested against solids, whereas in IP68, the product is tested against solids and has passed all tests, earning the maximum value of 6. As a result, IP68 is far superior to IPx8.

Can I swim with an IPX8 phone?

IPX8 is based on testing conditions in which the device is submerged in freshwater for up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. These devices are not suitable for use at the beach or in swimming pools, and they are not dust-resistant.

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