What are the differences between waterproof and water resistant earbuds? You can get both on Amazon and other sites but what are the differences. The biggest difference is the amount of water the earbuds can be submerged in before they leak water into the earbud and ruin the electronics inside.
Waterproof earbuds are few and far between but they are out there. To understand how waterproof an earbud is, we need to know the ratings and their meanings for waterproofing.
There is a standard for waterproofing testing for nearly every piece of technology, it is standardized across the industry and is a very good indicator for how waterproof something is. IP is the general standard for electronics. There will be up to two numbers after IP to let you know what rating for dust prevention (First digit) and water prevention (Second digit) a product has.
The first digit is dust prevention and is a number ranging from X to 6, X means the measurement isn’t applicable, and then it is 0 to 6. The second digit goes from X to 9 with X being the same as above, and then going from 0 to 9. There are multiple earbuds out there that have an IP68 rating which is the highest besides IP69 which is highly unlikely to be obtained. IP68 means the device in question is completely dust proof and can stay underwater at a depth of 1 meter to 3 meters for longer than 30 minutes. IP67 on the other hand means the device can stay underwater at a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes but not much longer. IP69 is a device that can withstand close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs with a jet of water. The temperature of the water for this test is 80 degrees Celsius and the pressure is anywhere from 8 to 10 MPa or 80-100 Bar. This is very high pressure water and is a very hard test to pass. Many device manufacturers don’t even try to pass this test as they know the plastic or other parts in their device would overheat and melt.
A water resistant earbud on the other hand cannot pass these tests and get a lower score. Many earbuds have a IP66 or lower rating and are considered water resistant. The use case for these earbuds are all dependent on the person using them. If you don’t go swimming with earbuds in, run for miles through pouring down rain, or even just think you are clumsy and will drop these earbuds in a sink, toilet, or glass of water; then you likely only need water resistant earbuds. If you think you want to do any of the activities above, or think you will likely drop the earbuds in the toilet, sink, or glass of water, then you likely want to get some waterproof IP67 or higher rated earbuds. Overall most earbuds have a 6 for the dust rating as they just need to have the earbud completely sealed. This is generally easy to do which is why I didn’t go into it too much.
There are many waterproof and water resistant earbuds out there and they are a lot of the time well reviewed and you can figure out based on your needs, what you want. The options are truly endless. There are hundreds of different kinds of wireless earbuds from reputable manufacturers and startups alike. The key is finding what you want out of an earbud and finding one that fits those criteria.