Explained: What is IP rating and what does IPX5, IP68 rating mean for smartphones, earphones, smartwatches


IP55, IP65, IP67, IP68, IPX5, etc are terms you often found associated with smartphones, smartwatches and earphones. If you are not aware, then the IP rating of a device defines how well your device is protected against water and dust.
But what are these numbers and what do they signify? How each IP rating is different and what do they actually mean for your devices? Let us explain.
What is IP rating?
IP rating means Ingress Protection. It is a universally accepted measurement of protection against dust and water. The IP rating of a device basically defines how well the body of the device that has electrical housing inside can prevent dust and water from entering.
Whether IP rated devices completely protected?
No, an IP rating just signifies the degree of protection the body can provide. However, it does not mean that the device will never get damaged. Also, there are different IP rating that offers more or less protection. For instance, IP68 rated device is relatively more protected than a device that comes with an IP55 rating.
Also, it is important to note that the term used here is water and dust. That means the protection offered here does not stand for other liquids like coffee, alcohol, seawater, etc.
How does a device get an IP rating?
As mentioned, the IP rating is a standard measurement of protection against water and dust. These ratings are standardised by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). For a device to get the IP certification, the device goes through a series of lab tests and then rates a device.
Different IP ratings and what do they mean
For starters, an IP rating carries two numbers IP68, IPX8, IP67, etc. The first number signifies the protection against dust and particles and 6 is the maximum rating a device can get on a scale of 0 to 6. If a device receives 0 ratings then X is given to it.
The second digit signifies water resistance and is measured between 0 to 8. That means IP68 is the maximum a device can get.
Here’s a list of common IP ratings and their meaning
IP68: An IP68 rating means a device can survive against dust and up to 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes.
IP67: Offers a similar level of protection against dust as IP68. However, in terms of water protection, it is only safe up to 1-metre water for 30 minutes.
IP55: This rating is only for sweat and a little bit of dust protection
IPX5: Not protected against dust, but offers minor protection from water





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