One of the major hindrances which will limit you from enjoying your favorite music at any time or place using your earbuds is water. Water will damage the motherboard together with the battery. Presently technology has improved in that there are earbuds that will break this limitation.
Technology has made it possible for us to have waterproof and water resistance earbuds. When buying an earbud you need to differentiate the two because they are different. Below is a guide to assist you in determining the difference between water-resistant and waterproof.
What Determines The Water Protection Level Of Earbuds?
Different earbuds have different water level protection which brings about whether the device is waterproof or water-resistant. The certification that determines whether an earbud is waterproof or water-resistant is called an IP rating (international/ingress protection rating scale).
What is the IP rating?
IP rating which is an abbreviation of international/ingress protection rating scale is a scale that shows the level of protection to a device on water, moisture dust, and other fluid or particles. IP is usually followed by the other two numbers or characters i.e. IP67, IPX3, IPX5, IPX6, etc. These two other characters have a different meaning.
The first number or character representing the after IP shows how resistance the device is to dust and other particles. Its scale ranges from 0-6. The bigger the number the higher the protection. The second number shows how resistant the product is to water and other fluids and its scale ranges from 0-9K.
Differences Between The IP Ratings:
Since we are to differentiate between a waterproof and water resistance we will concentrate more on the second digit which shows how waterproof or water resistance the earbud is. Here is a breakdown on the IP rating system levels.
IPX0 – The level of water protection is number zero which means there is no protection at all.
IPX1 – The level of water protection is number 1. This means that this earbud can endure vertical dripping water (1-mm of water in every minute) for a total time of 10 minutes.
IPX2 – This earbud has a number 2 water protection. This means that this earbud can survive in the water when tilted at 15-degrees for about 10 minutes with 3mm of water.
IPX3 – At this level, the earbud will be protected at different angles of up to 60 degrees from normal orientation. The water should look like spray and it should be falling with a pressure of 50-150kP in 5 minutes.
IPX4 – At this level, your device is protected from water coming from any direction for four minutes.
IPX5 – At this point, the device is protected against water which is sprayed with a water-jet of 6.3mm. This water can come from any direction or angle. The spray should be within 15 minutes.
IPX6 – Earbud with this certification has water protection from any angle and direction within three minutes. The water should be sprayed with a 12.5mm water-jet nozzle.
IPX7 – At this point, your earbuds can survive underwater with a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes. At this point, the product is said to be fully waterproof. A lot of IPX7 earbuds are available in the market for use in swimming together with swim mp3 players.
IPX8 – Earbuds at this level can comfortably survive in water within a depth of 13 feet.
IPX9 and IPX9K – No earbuds are yet at this point because plastics and rubbers melt and deform due to powerful and high-temperature water spray.
What Are Water-Resistant Earbuds?
A water resistance earbud means that the earbud can be subjected to water, but do not immerse in it. Water-resistance earbuds have a light coating which increases the chances of blocking water or sweat out. The water-resistance earbuds only give protection against water up to a certain level.
Water-resistance earbuds are best for use when jogging or during any workouts. Water-resistance earbuds cannot survive on when inside or submerged underwater.
IPX1 – IPX5 earbuds are examples of water resistance earbuds. Remember earbuds at different levels will survive at different water exposure as stated earlier above.
What Are Waterproof Earbuds?
Waterproof earbuds are highly protected against water. A waterproof earbud is capable of surviving a lot of water which comes from any direction. You can comfortably immerse this earbud in different depths and time depending on which level the device is.
These earbuds are made with materials that won’t let any water within a particular time and depth. These earbuds are suitable for listening to your favorite track or audio together with a waterproof mp3 player when in an activity like diving, swimming, cycling, and others. You can also use these earbuds when taking a shower.
Waterproof earbuds are within IPX6 and IPX8. Remember their waterproof levels are different depending on the level the earbud is on the IP rating scale. IPX8 earbuds can survive on more water with a deeper depth, unlike IPX6 earbuds.
Waterproof Vs Water-resistant Earbuds:
- Water-resistance earbuds have IP rating from IPX1 – IPX5 which waterproof earbuds have IP rating from IPX6 – IPX8.
- But Water-resistance earbuds can’t sustain itself underwater which waterproof earbuds will comfortably be used underwater
- Water-resistance earbuds are best for jogging, running and when doing other workouts on light rainfall while waterproof earbuds are best for use in swimming, diving when taking showers and other workouts under heavy rainfalls.
- And the Water-resistance earbuds when submerged, can’t survive for long while waterproof earbuds will survive for long underwater.
- Water-resistance earbuds levels are determined by time exposed to water and the amount of water while waterproof earbuds levels are determined by the time they are exposed to water and the depth of the water.
What If An IP Rating Is Not Provided For The Earbuds?
If an earbud doesn’t have an IP rating, it doesn’t mean that the earbud is water-resistant. This means that this company or brand didn’t take their product for testing and certification to have a specific IP rating.
Another reason for not providing an IP rating is that the company can go for a different certification, test or rating standard hence they may use a different quality marking. More good-quality earbuds that don’t have an IP rating have a coating that will protect it from light rainfall, splash, and sweat.
What to Consider When Buying Waterproof Wireless Earbuds
As per now, I believe you know how important an IP rating level is to any earbuds. Every company should show clearly their certification so that you should be sure of what you are buying. Be cautious when checking for IP rating because others are fake. The invalid ones can be easily identified because they have a hyphen in between the IPX & the last digit or IP and the 2 digits.
When finding the best waterproof wireless earbuds you need to consider the following so that you can get the best earbud. These include;
- High IP rating
- The place you need to use them
- Latest Bluetooth connections
- Battery life
- Cost of the earbud
- Sound quality