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What Is IPX4 Rating and Why Is It Important?

If you’ve been buying modern electronic devices, especially earbuds and speakers, you have probably heard about the IPX4 rating. If your device is tested for water resistance, the level of protection will be expressed by a number ranging from 0 to 9.

The reason we have chosen the IPX4 rating for this article is that it represents the minimum protection/rating that any device intended for occasional outdoor use must have. It is also the minimum protection that any device that might be used near water must have.

IPX4-certified devices are the devices tested in standardized conditions that involve the use of a nozzle approved by the IEC Standard. The same shield is used for testing devices with IPX3 and IPX4 rating but the nozzle has a counterbalanced shield in the first case. In the second case, the shield is removed and the water jets can hit the device at any angle.

IPX4-certified devices are often considered splash proof and can be used in various situations and scenarios. Since they can’t be fully submerged in water, we can’t use the term “waterproof” to describe them.

All the outdoor devices should have at least IPX4 rating because they can survive certain (less severe) outdoor conditions such as rain. Also, these devices are considered not only splash-proof but also sweatproof, which means they will survive contact with human sweat and still be able to work properly.