Panduan IP Ratings untuk Alat Bantu Dengar yang Tahan Air

Panduan IP Ratings untuk Alat Bantu Dengar yang Tahan Air

Jun 03, 2024

When purchasing electronic devices these days, you often encounter terms like "waterproof" or "water-resistant." If you're like many, you might not fully grasp their distinctions. Hearing aids are similar—when researching which to buy, you might wonder, "Will my device withstand rain?" "What if it falls into a pool?" "Can I use it in the shower?" The issue with phrases like "waterproof" lies in their ambiguity.

What are IP Ratings?

IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, detail how well electronic devices resist dust and water. Developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1976, IP ratings standardize testing methods and provide guidelines for manufacturers. These ratings, outlined in IEC 60529, define the level of protection required for each IP digit, alongside the equipment and conditions for conducting tests.

Because of these standardized tests, consumers can better determine if a device meets their waterproofing needs.

How to Understand IP Ratings

Understanding an IP rating is straightforward—it consists of a 2-digit number. The first digit indicates protection against solid particles like dust, while the second digit indicates protection against liquids such as water.

Take ReSound Nexia™ hearing aids, for example. They boast an IP68 rating, common among high-end hearing aids today. The first digit ranges from 0 to 6, with 6 indicating complete protection against solid particles. The second digit ranges from 0 to 9, with 9 indicating protection against high-pressure liquids.

Thus, the ReSound Nexia and similar devices offer strong dust protection and can withstand submersion up to a meter for 30 minutes, despite not being recommended for such exposure.

Breaking Down IP Scales

1st Digit (Solid Objects)

  • X - Protection level not tested
  • 0 - No protection from any size solid objects
  • 1 - Protects against objects ≥50mm, such as hands
  • 2 - Protects against objects ≥12.5mm, like fingers
  • 3 - Protects against objects ≥2.5mm, such as a screwdriver
  • 4 - Protects against objects ≥1mm, like wires
  • 5 - Protects against dust that may interfere with operation
  • 6 – Completely dust-tight

2nd Digit (Water)

  • X - Protection level not tested
  • 0 - No protection from water
  • 1 - Protects against vertically falling water drops
  • 2 - Protects against vertically falling water when tilted up to 15°
  • 3 - Protects against spraying water up to 60° on either side of vertical
  • 4 - Protects against splashing water from any direction
  • 5 - Protects against water jets
  • 6 - Protects against powerful water jets
  • 7 - Protects against temporary immersion in water up to 1 meter depth for 30 minutes
  • 8 - Protects against continuous immersion in water at depth of 1 meter or more
  • 9 - Protects against high-pressure, high-temperature water jets

Note the "X" in some ratings means the product wasn't tested in that category. For instance, Apple AirPods Pro® 2 carry an IPX4 rating, meaning they were water-tested but not tested for solid particle ingress.

As technology progresses, manufacturers face pressure to improve their product's IP ratings. As consumers, we prefer devices with the highest ingress protection level. Many popular smartphones today, like iPhone® 15, Galaxy S23 Ultra, and Google Pixel 7A, boast IP68 ratings, just like ReSound Nexia hearing aids. A recent phone launch with an IP65 rating drew criticism for its lower water resistance compared to competitors.