How safe are your earphones from Dirt, Dust & Water?

How safe are your earphones from Dirt, Dust & Water?

by Poonam Shaw

When we look into the features of the modern earphones or for any other wearable device, we may come across terms such as “weatherproof”, “dust resistant”, or “moisture proof.” While some will say their products are “water resistance”, others state they are “sweatproof.” 

But which one to choose for the right result, now that there are so many options. The answer is IP Ratings which are pretty much the industry standard which helps classify a product’s protection levels from foreign bodies like water, dirt, and other natural or man-made elements. 

IP Rating and decoding them

IP here stands for “Ingress Protection”. It is used to measure how well a device is protected from both solid objects and liquids, so both dust and water. Here the first digit shows how well the product is protected from solid items and the second one shows its resistance to water.


For any earphone to get IP rating, it has to go through special testing by a certified, independent company.

IP Rating For Solid Objects and Dust

It is measured on a scale of 0 to 6, where 0 means no protection from dust or solid object and 6 mean complete protection from dust and dirt. Here IP0X means no protection, IP01 means from objects larger than 50 mm, IP2X means object larger than 12.5 mm, IP3X means things above 2.5 mm and IP4X means anything bigger than 1 mm. IP5X signifies dust can get through but your earphones are safe.

IP Rating for Water and Sweat

It is similar to IP rating for dust protection but goes out on a larger scale. So, instead of 0 to 6, it goes on from 0 to 9. It goes from no protection at IPX0 to IPX9K which gives complete protection at high pressure and high-temperature sprays. Here is a chart to make it easier for you.

Ingress Protection (IP)




not protected

no special protection


larger than 50 mm

drips vertically


larger than 12.5 mm

at a 15° angle


above 2.5 mm

up to 60°


bigger than 1 mm

any direction


almost complete dust resistant

low-pressure water jet spray


fully dust tight

high-pressure, heavy sprays



extremely high pressure



up to 1 meter



deeper than 1 meter



high-pressure, high-temperature sprays


PTron_IP_Rating_ChartSo to make things clearer let’s take an example of an earphone that comes with an IP67 rating. This would mean that it is completely protected against dust and can be submerged in water up to a meter for about 30 minutes without any harm. Therefore, it can be used as a perfect sports earphone, protected from dust and sweat.

You may come across to a product that does not come with any IP rating, but there is no reason to worry. It can just mean that the product has not gone through any specific IP test.

What if there is no rating?
Therefore, next time you are on a quest to land the perfect earphones, you may find the IP ratings useful in choosing the right one. Go grab that perfect earphone and pour your heart out in music.

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