Apple

The new AirPods 3 have an IPX4 waterproof rating


One of the novelties of the third generation of the AirPods is that they are resistant to water and dust with the certification IPX4. Obviously, for the layman in the field, if we see this reference the first thing we do is go to Google and search to see what the hell those acronyms mean.

So we are going to save you the search, and explain what this certification consists of, and see how far your new AirPods can hold. My recommendation is that you do not expose them to the limit of what the norm marks. More than anything because they will have cost you 199 Euros, and it is not a question of putting them in the glass of the cubata to see what happens….

One of the new features of the third generation AirPods is that they are sweat and water resistant with IPX4 certification. For those of us who are not engineers, let’s take a look at what these acronyms mean and figure out what the new AirPods 3 hold up.

What is IP rating

IP stands for Ingress Protection. It is an international standard IEC 60529 which defines these watertight ratings of an object and how to certify them. Defines how tight a device is against water and dust.

Classification begins with IP letters, followed by a numerical rating for protection against solids, and the second digit is a similar rating for liquids. Solids would generally refer to dust particles, and liquid refers to water or sweat.


iPhone 12

An iPhone 12 can be submerged because it meets IP68 certification.

For example: The iPhone XR is rated IP67, which means you can safely stay underwater 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, for example, offer even better protection, being a IP68. They are safe from the effects of water under pressure for long periods of time.

Like headphones that go inside the ear and they are protected from dust, they are only certified against liquids, mainly due to sweat. That is why an X appears after the IP. It means that you have not been “tested” for dust, and you have no evaluation “grade”.

That means that as the AirPods 3 They are IPX4 certified, their sealing against dust has not been certified, and they obtain a 4 for liquids. So let’s see how many levels there are in said water tightness certification, and so we will know what the AirPods 3 can withstand.

Levels of watertightness

  • IPX0: The device has no protection at all.
  • IPX1: The fixture can handle vertically dripping water such as rain for example.
  • IPX2: It can safely withstand vertical dripping water, even when tilted up to 15 degrees.
  • IPX3: With this rating, you can safely assume that the certified device will be fine when sprayed with water at a 30 degree angle.
  • IPX4: Splashing water, from any angle, will not damage the device.
  • IPX5: This rating means protection against low pressure water jets at any angle. The device can be washed under the tap.
  • IPX6: At this level they are safe even when subjected to high pressure water jets from any angle.
  • IPX7: This device will be protected against immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for a maximum of 30 minutes, if it passes said certification.
  • IPX8: This rating means that the device is safe from the effects of water under pressure for long periods.
  • IPX9: Maximum possible protection against water. A device with this rating can withstand powerful, high-temperature, short-range jets of water.

All this means that the AirPods can perfectly withstand being exposed to rain and sweat without any problem. However, you cannot go swimming with them on. They would need at least IPX8.

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