Bluetooth Speakers and IP Code/Rating (Ingress Protection)

IP in cases like this mean Ingress Protection. IP Ratings / Codes are the level of protection the item has. If we look up the definition of “ingress” we find the number one result on Google is “the action or fact of going in or entering”.

Putting this all together it means a rating indicating the level of protection for something entering the item. In the most common cases its two “somethings” people are worried about, and they are dust/dirt/solids and moisture/water/liquids. At times the rating gets more detailed to include items like oil based liquids or voltage protection.

However it seems for the most common occurrence people pay attention to is the dust and water protection of their electronic goods. Like Bluetooth Speakers or Cellular Phones.

In the IP code includes number after the abbreviation IP. It is common to have two digits/numbers.

What is the first rating digit?

The ratings first digit represents the level indicator for solid particle protection. The rating is from 0 to 6.

Level sized Effective against Description
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50 mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5 mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5 mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1 mm Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.

Table from wikipedia.org

What is the second rating digit?

The second digit is commonly the most important part to a buyer.
We see the reason why being that it indicates the liquid ingress protection. People tend to be more concerned about water protection and damage than their device getting dusty.

The rating is from 0 to 9.

Level Protection against Effective against Details
0 None
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM. Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute

2 Dripping water when tilted at 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes. Test duration: 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt (10 minutes total)

Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute

3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.

Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b) is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum.

For a Spray Nozzle:

Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes[2]
Water volume: 10 litres per minute
Pressure: 50–150 kPa

For an oscillating tube:

Test duration: 10 minutes

Water Volume: 0.07 l/min per hole

4 Splashing of water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with no shield.

Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes. Test b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.

Oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes, or spray nozzle (same as IPX3 spray nozzle with the shield removed)
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 15 minutes

Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
Pressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3 m

6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 100 litres per minute
Pressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3 m

6K Powerful water jets with increased pressure Water projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects. Found in DIN 40050, and not IEC 60529. Test duration: at least 3 minutes[citation needed]

Water volume: 75 litres per minute
Pressure: 1000 kPa at distance of 3 m

7 Immersion, up to 1 m depth Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion). Test duration: 30 minutes - ref IEC 60529, table 8.

Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.

8 Immersion, 1 m or more depth The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion. Test duration: Agreement with Manufacturer

Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m

9K Powerful high temperature water jets Protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs.

Smaller specimens rotate slowly on a turntable, from 4 specific angles. Larger specimens are mounted upright, no turntable required, and are tested freehand for at least 3 minutes at distance of 0.15–0.2 m.

There are specific requirements for the nozzle used for the testing.

This test is identified as IPx9 in IEC 60529.

Test duration: 30 seconds in each of 4 angles (2 minutes total)

Water volume: 14–16 litres per minute
Pressure: 8–10 MPa (80–100 bar) at distance of 0.10–0.15 m
Water temperature: 80 °C


Table from wikipedia.org

Now it's time for the dirty truth.

A large amount of companies will try to sell consumer electronics like Bluetooth speakers saying they are waterproof with the an IPX6 rating. Saying that its waterproof is a complete lie.

IPX6 is Splash Proof. Waterproof starts at IPX7. So saying something under IPX7 is waterproof is a lie and a scam.

While a IPX6 rated item may be totally good to put into the shower it is NOT submersible. It can get splashed and be totally ok and not suffer any water damage.

But if what you want is a real waterproof speaker then you need to grab something at least IPX7!

One of the best bluetooth waterproof speakers on the market is the Hat Trick 2.0 by Malektronic.

So if you want a bluetooth speaker that always Sounds Perfect then you best check out Malektronic Bluetooth Speakers & Headphones.

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