Anyone who buys new Earbuds may ask a logical question: “How well are they waterproof ?”
It is possible that someone needs protected earbuds in order to run or to train in the gym. And someone wants to have them just to go to work.
Every person who wants to buy earbuds will come across dozens of them, which have reliable protection against sweat, water, splashes and other things…
Currently, there are 3 terms that are used to refer to how much water a pair of earbuds can withstand:
– Resistant to sweat (sweat-resistant)
– Impervious to sweat (sweatproof)
– Waterproof (water-resistant)
What are they? Marketing tricks? Or do headphones need to meet certain waterproof standards to be in any specific category?
Let’s figure it out together…
Table of Contents
Do I need Sweatproof Earbuds?
Sweatproof earbuds are needed for running, sports, outdoor training, yoga…
Sweatproof earbuds will turn a visit to the gym, from boring exercising along the equipment into an energetic training or even into a meditation session that plunges you into a nirvana from which you don’t want to get out for hours.
And, of course, they can be used as comfortable and reliable everyday headphones, which will not only please you with high-quality sound, but also last twice as long as regular earplugs.
What Are Sweatproof Earbuds?
Sweatproof Earbuds are designed for sports.
Usually, they are perfectly held thanks to flexible hooks.
They stay comfortably in place throughout your workout.
They are created with sweat resistance; it means that they can resist sweating during any sports workout.
They are protected by Ipx5.
The IP Ratings of Sweatproof Earbuds
The IP rating of the headphones and earbuds should be as high as possible.
This indicates that the headphones are better at keeping both water and dust out.
So, how can you tell if a pair of earbuds is “waterproof” or “water resistant”?
To do this, you need to know how the IP rating actually works.
The IP code, or International Security Code, is colloquially referred to as the “Ingress Protection Code”.
It is defined in the IEC 60529 standard, which classifies and evaluates the degree of protection against dust, accidental contact and water.
It was published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The European standard that is equivalent to it is EN 60529.
The standard is necessary in order to provide the user with more detailed information than some vague marketing terms. Such as water resistance.
IP ratings are a predominantly standardized method of describing how well a gadget is impervious to certain substances. These include, for example, dust and water.
Any IP rating that is listed on the gadget, with two numbers.
Let’s say “IP67”. The six indicates how good the dust protection system is. The seven says how good protection against water is. There may be higher numbers. As a rule, they mean that the device copes with this task better.
In the event that you see a pair of earphones that have an IP55 rating, then know that the first five means that the headphones are “dust-proof”. They let in a little dust, but this does not interfere with normal operation.
The second number indicates how well the headphones can hold water. This means that if the IP55 headphones are sprayed with a jet of water for even 10 minutes (depending on the test setup), there will be no damage.
Keep in mind that these two numbers are independent of each other. That’s why when you have a choice of three IP45, IP55 and IP65 rated earbuds, they all hold water equally well. Although they differ in protection from dust.
The second number ranges from 0 to 9. It is needed in order to show how well the product has protection against water.
For example, the IPX0 class means that the gadget is not capable of providing special protection against water at all.
Many waterproof headphones today have at least a dust rating of 5 or 6. But in this article, I will focus only on water.
Let’s say our imaginary pair of earbuds has a dust rating of 6.
Then here’s how the IP ratings for water would differ:
– What does IP 64 mean: splashing water for 5-10 minutes does not damage the headphones in any way.
– IP65 rating means: water jet from a small nozzle for 5 minutes does no harm.
– Protection class IP66 means: water with a powerful jet cannot cause harm for 1 minute.
– What does IP67 mean: the gadget is able to withstand immersion in 1 meter of water for half an hour.
– Degree of protection IP68 means: headphones can be immersed to a depth of more than a meter or for more than half an hour, but under conditions agreed by the manufacturer.
That’s why anyone who wishes to have the right waterproof headphones should heed the recommendations of experts: the rating must be at least IPX7.
And “X” in this case means the level of dust protection that is right for you.
The IP Rating Disadvantages
This rating system has an oddity that causes some annoyance.
The gadget, supposedly, is designed for immersion in water.
However, technically, this does not mean that it has also been certified to withstand water jets. In the case when the headphones can withstand not only immersion, but also water jets, they must have two ratings at once in the current system.
Let’s say the IPX8 rating means that the headphones can be submerged in water deeper than 1 meter. The exact depth is determined by the manufacturer.
And the IPX9K class shows that the gadget can withstand high pressure, high temperature water sprays at close range. This case is special. It is dictated by a separate standard. If it is used, it is very rare.
Note that IPX7 and IPX8 do not stack with lower ratings.
That is, a product with an IPX8 rating is able to spend some time deep under water. And yet it can be damaged if simple splashes of water fall from the side.
In the event that the product is able to withstand both scenarios, it receives a double rating. Let’s say IPX6/IPX8.
Many manufacturers simply indicate a higher rating. It can be assumed that they do this because it is all so confusing in the classification. And it’s often hard to know exactly what the buyer should expect.
This is especially true when we’re talking about most of the smaller manufacturers that list weird ratings like IPX-68.
But this is a non-standard class.
It can be assumed that it does not conform to the actual IP standard. Or perhaps the company itself has not verified these claims at all.
When a gadget has a non-standard IP rating with a dash, an additional letter or something like that, then you have no reason to trust such a rating.
What To Do if Earbuds do not have IP?
If Earbuds do not have IP, it must be taken unambiguously: the product has not passed any specific IP test.
And don’t be surprised if the headphones are tested, for example, only for water resistance, and not for dust resistance.
In this case, the gadget may have an IPX7 rating.
And “X” is not the same as “0” here. This should be taken unequivocally: the manufacturer simply deliberately did not test the product for protection against particulate matter.
There is also no IP rating when a company has started using a different certification or rating standard. And it makes sense to look for another quality label that will prove that the product is resistant to both water and dust.
And be aware that the manufacturer must indicate this in the instructions for the headphones.
In the event that the seller claims that the offered product is completely waterproof, and at the same time does not show you any confirmation certificates, then we assure you that he wants to impose on you some product of dubious origin.
Can Earbuds be Damaged By Sweat?
Short-term exposure to sweat for earbuds is not terrible. It is worse if earbuds, along with the phone or player, fall into a puddle.
How do I Protect My Earbuds From Sweat?
Do not use the headphones in damp places where sweat or moisture can easily get on them. If you notice sweat, moisture or dust, wipe it off with a dry soft cloth and let it dry completely at room temperature before charging.
Is Sweat Proof the Same as Waterproof?
No, Sweat Proof Earbuds are the earbuds with sweat resistant, although they are not waterproof. You can play sports in them (even with profuse sweating) and not worry if it rains, or splashes get on the earbuds. But swimming or taking a shower in them is not worth it. Better take waterproof earbuds.