Often, we come across an electronic gadget online, and the term "water resistant" or "dust resistant" is usually slammed on it. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous one “waterproof” that also seems to define the level of protection an electronic device can have.
While marketers surely enjoy throwing these words in carefully conjured sentences that thrill us into purchasing these gadgets, the question remains, do we understand what these terms mean?
Or do we just hear them and assume what these words mean without actually researching these words, so it shapes how we make use of our smartphones, smartwatches, and other electronics?
Anyway, if you’re conscious and curious about the protection your smartphone or electronic gadget has, you’ll have come across the IpX8 and Ip68 terms. If I’m correct, you’ve also tried to understand which one means higher protection, yeah?
Well, I’ll answer all your budding questions about these terms and do an IpX8 vs Ip68 comparison. After reading this article, we would deepen your knowledge about IpX8 and Ip68. Let’s dive in already, then!
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What do ipx8 and ip68 mean
Countless times, I’ve thought about stepping into the shower with my IP waterproof rated airbuds so I can groove better to the music stuck inside my ear.
Frankly speaking, I don’t think I’m the only one that feels this way. Sadly, that line of action might damage the earbuds, depending on their IP waterproof ratings.
Speaking of IP waterproof ratings, there are quite a few types, but we address only two here.
They are the IpX8 and the Ip68. What exactly do they mean? Let’s find out.
For starters, the IpX8 gives your electronic gadget a much higher waterproof protection. But that’s all it has to offer. Its specialty is to protect your gadget from the woes of water or submersion. Nevertheless, there’s a limit to how the IpX8 protection kicks in to protect your gadget when it is submerged. The IpX8 waterproof offer sclose to the highest level of water protection. If your phone is marked IpX8, you are assured that if it drops in water about 9.8ft deep for more than 30mins, your phone or electronic device won't be affected by the water. The IpX8 protection would kick in, preventing your gadget from damages or malfunction.
Unlike the IpX ratings, which cater to waterproofing gadgets alone, the Ip ratings, in the case of the Ip68, both cater to protection from solids like dust and water.
Specifically, Ip68 means that your gadget is fully protected from the woes of dropping into water and dust. You should know that the numbers “6” and “8” represent number ratings in the IP field.
When it comes to the highest number rating in protection against solids, six is the highest. When it comes to waterproofing, eight is the highest.
Hence it’s no surprise that Ip68 equals high protection against both solids and water. Awesome right?
Related: IPX7 vs IP67
Why are IP ratings important?
There are dozens of inexhaustible reasons as to why IP ratings are important. IP ratings are the international standard by which manufacturers should test and grade their electronic gadgets.
Think of it as a universal language that everyone who uses electronic devices speaks.
In essence, it prevents manufacturers from having their standard of protection measures for the gadgets they produce, which might be dangerous for consumers who do not live in the same country as the manufacturers.
If every manufacturer had a unique method to measure how safe their gadgets are, it would be limited to the country and state that they reside in.
The result? Users and lovers of electronic gadgets worldwide probably won’t be able to use specific gadgets because of the differences in climate, etc.
Hence, IP ratings are essential as it presents a generally acceptable way to test the protection level of any electronic gadget that makes it suitable for anyone, regardless of geographical differences.
Another reason IP ratings are important is, it serves as a guideline for consumers. How?
Depending on the IP rating on your gadget, you’ll know not to go to specific locations with your gadget to avoid ugly accidents.
For instance, if your gadget is rated IpX0, it means you should avoid taking it to areas that are water lodged.
The reason? If it drops in water, there would be no redemption for it. IpX0 rated devices mean that your gadget has zero resistance to water.
Hence, it is susceptible to any slighted water it encounters. IP ratings also help manufacturers promote their gadgets well.
Imagine creating a gadget that, after testing, is a genuine Ip68 device? You’d be delighted as a manufacturer to deploy that information in your marketing message.
So, when tech lovers see it, it would be one of the reasons they’d buy your electronic device without thinking twice.
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IPX8 vs IP68 Rating
IPX8 test performed
An IpX8 test is done to determine the waterproofness of an electronic object. Don’t worry! It doesn’t follow the tedious scientific tests in the science world.
Since it’s the tech field, the IpX8 test is done by immersing the device in water that’s 9.8ft deep for prolonged periods. After it’s been performed by the manufacturers, they always take notes of their discovery.
Then, they document it in the user’s manual. If the IpX8 feature of the gadget only comes into play in certain conditions, the manufacturer always indicates it as essential to how users use the gadgets.
It is part of why reading the user manual is very important to the life span of your electronic gadget as a consumer. Note that this test is not performed with sprayed water.
Ip68 test performed
An Ip68 test requires manufacturers to test for both the dust and water-resistant features of their gadget.
Hence before manufacturers can label their gadgets as Ip68, they must have passed the test that shows that they can withstand being immersed in deeper than 1cm water.
It also must show that if it ever drops in the sand at the beach, sand particles won’t get it as it is dust-tight.
You also would not suffer connectivity issues from dust clogging or entering the connector.
IpX8 vs Ip68: Which is Better?
If you’ve been following this article right from the start, you should already have an answer to this.
However, for people who didn’t catch on, I’ll expressly state it. Generally, IP means Ingress Protection. When an “X” is added to IP, regardless of the number that comes after the “X,” it refers to the waterproofness of the gadget in question.
In essence, when you see a gadget rated IpX0 or IpX7, etc., it means the device has only a waterproof feature. But that depends on the other features enlisted.
Nevertheless, an IpX refers to the waterproofness of a gadget. When it comes to waterproof, the level of waterproofness is numbered from 0-8. Here, 0 is the lowest while eight is the highest.
On the other hand, a device that’s simply rated IP and is accompanied by a number means that it most likely protects your device from dust and water, depending on the number that accompanies it.
When it comes to dust resistance or protection against solids, the highest number is six, while the lowest is 0. Hence, a gadget that’s rated Ip6 means it is highly dust-tight.
Now, concerning IpX8 and Ip68, the IpX8 means that your device is highly waterproof. But that’s where it ends.
An Ip68 device, on the other hand, means that your device is both waterproof and dust-tight.
But that’s not an invitation to get careless with your device as these things still have their limit.
Should we buy IP68 or IPX8 Rated products?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. The reason? While an Ip68 gadget is better secured and protected than an IpX8 gadget, you still should consider the other juicy features of the products in question.
For instance, if the Ip68 product seems to have other features that you need in the gadget in question but the IpX8 gadget lacks it, go for the latter.
However, if the reverse is the case, you should opt for the IpX8 gadget. You have to be extremely careful with how you manage it. Also, you should consider your budget.
Which of the devices doesn’t require you to break the bank? The Ip68? Or the Ip8X? In the end, opt for the device you can afford.
Although you now know the IpX8 vs Ip68 difference and similarities, you should still pay attention to the other features that the gadget in question offers.
While the IP protection level of your gadget matters a lot, you might want to look into the other features you stand to gain by using either of the two gadgets.
Which features serve you better? The features in the IpX8 or the features in the Ip68? Note that you should clarify the kind of result you want to get before choosing between gadgets.
However, without context, an Ip68 is better than an IpX8 because it offers more than just waterproof protection.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.