So, you’ve bought yourself a nice pair of earbuds, and you plan to wear them while you work out. Well, you might want to pause and take a look at the IPX rating before you sweat your love handles off. What is an IPX rating, and which IPX rating is sufficient for working out?
What is an IPX rating?
IP stands for “Ingress Protection” given by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which rates how resistant electronics are to solids and liquids. If there are two digits next to the “IP,” such as IP57, it means that the device has been tested for solids and liquids. If there’s an “X” after to “IP” followed by a single digit, such as IPX6, it means that the device has only been rated for liquids. If there is no IP or IPX rating, it means that the electronic product has not been tested for solid or liquid resistance. Since earbuds are usually solely rated for liquid resistance, we’ll be focusing on IPX ratings.
IPX Rating Breakdown
Most of the major consumer earbuds have at least an IPX4 rating. The AirPods, 3rd generation, for example, have a rating of IPX4. IPX4 means that the earphones are resistant to minor splashes. So, if you’re a moderate to heavy sweater, IPX4 should be sufficient. For sports earphone models, the ratings range from IPX4 to IPX8. IPX5 will protect your earbuds from more significant splashes, like a water jet from a tap of fountain. At IPX6, you can comfortably stroll the beach and expose your earbuds to a rogue wave. At IPX7, the earbuds can handle being submerged in up to 3 feet water for 30 minutes. And finally, at IPX8, you can scuba dive in up to 13 feet of water for as long as you like.
Best Sounding Earbuds with Sweat Resistant IPX Ratings
Unless you’re a fish, the following earbuds should sufficiently withstand any sweat or splashes you throw at them. Since, we’re an audiophile site, we’ve focused on the best sounding earphones with solid IPX ratings. But if you’re looking to swim the English Channel, you may want to do a little more research.
Sennheiser SPORT True Wireless
In addition to being sweat resistant, these buds can withstand dust too. So, they’re perfect for running the deserts of New Mexico. In classic Sennheiser style, the SPORT True Wireless deliver a warm and full bodied sound signature that’s easy on the ears, making it suitable for long runs and workouts. The fit is super snug too, with rubber wing tips provided in various sizes.
You can buy the Sennheiser SPORT True Wireless at Audio 46.
Sony LinkBuds WF-L900
The Sony LinkBuds are great for runners, particularly for those who have to navigate through busy city streets. They’re not sound isolating, which means you’ll be able to safely hear your surrounding environment. Much like Sony’s more famous models, this model has a warm and bassy sound signature, ideal for those who enjoy modern genres like pop and hip-hop.
You can buy the Sony LinkBuds WF-L900 at Audio 46.
Final Audio ZE3000
Here, we get to true audiophile sound. The ZE3000 may not be specifically designed for sports, but these earbuds have a solid IPX4 rating and sound incredible for the price. Although these the ZE3000 doesn’t feature wing tips, the fit is very secure for everyone who has tested it at MajorHiFi. They’re also extremely light weight, making them easy to forget they’re in your ear, even during long workout sessions. The sound profile is well balanced and transparent, the response is fast and tight, and these buds can easily handle any genre you throw at them. Lastly, they’re made by Final Audio, which is a high-end Japanese headphone company famous for its outstanding quality.
You can buy the Final Audio ZE3000 at Audio 46.
Campfire Audio Orbit
Audiophiles will be well acquainted with Campfire Audio. They have produced high-end IEM winners, like the famous Andromeda, which is priced at $1K. Interestingly enough, the Company’s recently released Orbit boasts an IPX5 rating, which is unusual for an audiophile-grade IEM. The sound is great for long workouts, given the easy, bass-generous signature. And although the Orbit may only approximate the sound quality of their pricey wired models, you can expect the punchy low-end, well-separated midrange, and the clear high-end for which Campfire has become famous.
You can buy the Campfire Audio Orbit at Audio 46.