What's The Difference Between Splashproof and Waterproof?

What does it mean when a product is referred to as splashproof or waterproof? Will it survive a pool party? Can you submerge it in water? Will your sweat destroy it? A lot are wondering, so we’re answering!

First let’s clarify, 100% waterproof products will always have some limit to them, such as how deep in the water they can go and for how long. That’s why the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created International Protection Ratings or IP ratings to refer to how much water, moisture or dirt a product can stand (assuming people will push the product to the limit). These ratings you want to be aware of.

What do the ratings mean?

When you see a rating of IPX5 for instance, this can stand splashing, and direct contact from a faucet (such as rinsing your speaker off when someone spills on it). However, in order for it to be submersible it needs to have a rating of IPX7 or IPX8 – the highest rating (this doesn’t mean leave it in water for hours and hours) and one will be your lowest rating.

What does the X mean?

The X is going to be your dust rating, or whether or not the product protects against foreign objects. The X is a place holder for if the product hasn’t been tested for this yet, meaning it only has a water resistance rating. If there was a rating however, it would read something along the lines of IP35, giving you its dust rating and its water rating.

Here's an example...

Let’s use our Epic2 Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds. They have a rating of IPX5, so they hold up against all of your sweaty workouts (we know you get moving), if by some chance you’re caught in a sprinkler while running, and even a quick rinse off after a lot of use. However, we don’t recommend going swimming with them, thus the splashproof term. 

 

For a more in depth understanding check out CNET’s article here, where we got our own lesson on IP ratings!


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