IP67 vs IP68 (IP Ratings Compared)

Numerous phones today feature either an IP67 or IP68 rating. The same applies to waterproof speakers and swimming earbuds. These ratings imply the devices are fully dustproof and waterproof

But what’s the difference between the two IP ratings? Is IP68 much better than IP67? Are devices featuring an IP67/IP68 dustproof and waterproof forever, or do they lose their dustproof and waterproof characteristics over time

Keep reading and get all the answers!

IP67 vs IP68

Key Takeaways

  • The abbreviation IP stands for Ingress Protection
  • The first digit in an IP rating describes the protection against the ingress of solids and dust, while the second digit describes the protection against the ingress of water
  • The IEC recognizes 7 levels of dust ingress protection and 10 levels of water ingress protection
  • Digit 6 describes the highest level of protection against the ingress of dust. Both IP67 and IP68 devices have the highest level of protection against the ingress of dust. They are both dust-tight. 
  • Water resistance levels 7 and 8 are given to devices that can be submerged in water. Devices with both water resistance ratings (IPX7 and IPX8) are considered waterproof. 
  • Devices with a water resistance level 7 can survive up to 30 minutes in 1-meter-deep water. Devices with a water resistance level 8 can withstand greater depths for more than 30 minutes. The exact depth has to be specified by the manufacturer. You can find it in the device’s specs. 
  • The only difference between IP67 and IP68 devices is in their waterproofness. IP68 devices can withstand greater depths for longer periods than IP67 devices. 
  • Devices won’t stay waterproof forever. Every time you drop your waterproof device or damage the enclosure, the device becomes “less waterproof” than it used to be when it was brand-new. 
  • IP69 is usually better than IP68 and IP67, but that’s not a rule. If a manufacturer wants to prove that its IP68 device is also resistant to high-pressure high-temperature water jets, it has to send the device to a certified lab and get it IP69-certified. Devices that are submersible in water and resistant to IP69 water jets will have two IP ratings in the specs (IP68/IP69). 

Recommended Reading :

IP Ratings – Basic Information

IP is an abbreviation for Ingress Protection. An IP rating, in its basic form, consists of two digits following the abbreviation IP. The first digit describes the protection against the ingress of dust. The second digit describes the level of protection against the ingress of water. 

Sometimes, two digits are followed by a supplementary letter that describes other substances or conditions the devices are resistant to. This supplementary letter is rarely found in consumer electronics. 

IP Rating – Basic Form

IP Rating – Basic Form

Ingress Protection Standards

There are two international ingress protection standards defined by two organizations – the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Standardization Organization (ISO)

These two international organizations defined ingress protection tests, equipment, and conditions for every level of dust and water ingress protection. 

The differences between the two standards are subtle. Most levels of protection (IP ratings) are recognized by both standards

IP ratings IPX6K and IPX9K are recognized by the ISO standard but don’t exist, in the same form, in the IEC standard. However, the testing conditions for the IEC’s IPX9 test are exactly the same as the testing conditions for the ISO’s IPX9K. 

IPX6K is the only level of water ingress protection that exists in the ISO’s nomenclature but doesn’t exist in the IEC’s nomenclature

Both standards recognize the IPX6 water-resistant rating, but only ISO introduced an additional IPX6K rating. The difference between IPX6 and IPX6K is in the water pressure – IPX6K devices are resistant to increased-pressure water jets. 

International Ingress Protection Standards (IEC 60529 and ISO 20653)

International Ingress Protection Standards (IEC 60529 and ISO 20653)

Levels of Ingress Protection

Both international ingress protection standards recognize seven levels of ingress protection against solids and dust. The levels range from 0 (no protection at all) to 6 (dust-tight). 

The IEC standard recognizes 10 levels of water ingress protection (IPX0 to IPX9), while the ISO standard recognizes 11 levels of water ingress protection (IPX0 to IPX9K, including IPX6 and IPX6K). 

IPX0 devices offer no protection against the ingress of water, while the IPX9/IPX9K devices offer protection against high-pressure high-temperature water jets. Devices that can withstand submersion in water will get ratings IPX7 or IPX8 (depending on the water depth and duration of the test). 

Devices that were not tested for dust or water ingress will have a letter X in place of the first or second digit. 

If a device has an IPX4 rating, the X implies that it wasn’t tested for the ingress of solids, not that it doesn’t offer any protection against the ingress of solids/dust. Analogously, if a device has an IP6X rating, the X implies that it wasn’t tested for water ingress, not that it doesn’t offer any protection against the ingress of water. 

Dust and Water Ingress Protection Ratings – IEC Nomenclature

Dust and Water Ingress Protection Ratings – IEC Nomenclature

IP67 Waterproof Rating

To get an IP67 rating, a device has to pass two tests – the IP6X dust ingress test and the IPX7 water ingress test. 

Devices with an IP67 rating are considered dust-tight and waterproof. 

IP67 Waterproof

The IP6X dust ingress test entails putting the device inside a special chamber and spraying the device with powder dust for up to 3 hours. If no traces of dust are found inside the enclosure after the test is finished, the device will get an IP6X rating. 

IP6X Dust Ingress Test

IP Level (Ingress of Solid) Test Procedure

To get an IPX7 rating, a device has to remain fully functional after being submerged in a water tank at 1m depth for 30 minutes. 

IPX7 Water Ingress Test

IPX7 - Protection Against Temporary Immersion

IP68 Waterproof Rating

To get an IP68 rating, a device has to pass two tests – the IP6X dust ingress test and the IPX8 water ingress test. 

Just like IP67 devices, IP68 devices are considered dust-tight and waterproof. 

IP68 Waterproof

The IP6X test was already described above, so I won’t repeat the same thing again.

To get an IPX8 rating, a device has to remain functional after being submerged in a water tank. Since international ingress protection standards don’t define the exact depth and duration, the manufacturer can specify them. The only condition is that the depth and duration of the test are longer than for the IPX7 rating. 

The manufacturer has to specify the depth at which the device was tested and the duration of the test in the device’s specs list. Some devices are tested at 2m depth, some at 4m, some at 6 or 8m. 

IPX8 Water Ingress Test

IPX8 - Protection Against Continuous Immersion

IP67 VS IP68 – Key Difference

Devices with both ratings feature the highest level of protection against dust ingress – they are both dust-tight. 

While devices with both ratings are considered waterproof, there’s a difference in their waterproof capabilities. 

IP68 devices are more waterproof than IP67 devices. They can withstand greater depths for longer periods than IP67 devices. That’s the key and only difference between IP67 and IP68 devices. 

Do I Need an IP67 or IP68 Device?

Are you going to notice the difference between an IP67 and IP68 device? Probably not. But does that mean that you should go for a lower IP rating if you can get a higher one for the same money? Absolutely not! Always go for a higher IP rating.

If you take proper care of your devices, you will never have the chance to see how waterproof they are, but it’s still nice to have all the protection you can get. Just in case…

Today’s smartphone market has almost adopted IP67 and IP68 ratings as the industry standards. 

Lower-end Samsung phones (A series), as well as older S-series phones, feature an IP67 rating, while the latest flagship phones and tablets feature an IP68 rating. The same applies to Google Pixel phones. 

Smartphones with an IP67 Rating

AppleSamsungGoogle PixelCAT
iPhone 7Galaxy A52 5GPixel 2B30
iPhone 8 PlusGalaxy S5 ActivePixel 6aB15
iPhone 7 PlusGalaxy A53 5GPixel 2 XLB25
iPhone 8 Galaxy A54 5GPixel 5aS50
iPhone XPixel 7aB15Q
iPhone XR
iPhone SE (2nd gen)

When it comes to Apple, all phones starting with iPhone 7 feature at least an IP67 rating. All iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 iterations feature an IP67 rating. iPhone X, XR, and 2nd generation of the iPhone SE feature an IP67 rating, as well. 

IP67-Certified Samsung A34 5G – Water Test

Samsung Galaxy A34 5g Water Test | IP67 Water and Dust Resistant

All the iPhone models produced after the iPhone X and XR feature an IP68 rating. However, they are not all equally waterproof. 

All iPhones from iPhone 12 to iPhone 15 (all iterations) were tested at 6m depth. iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were tested at 4m depth, while the iPhone 11, 11 XS, and XS Max were tested at 2m depth. They can all survive the stated depths for 30 minutes. 

Smartphones with an IP68 Rating

AppleSamsungGoogle PixelCAT
iPhone 12 (all versions)S23 (all versions)Pixel 3S75
iPhone 13 (all versions)S22 (all versions)Pixel 3 XLS53
iPhone 14 (all versions)S21 (all versions)Pixel 4S42 H+
iPhone 15 (all versions)S20 (all versions)Pixel 4 XLS62 Pro
iPhone 11 ProS10, 10e, 10+Pixel 5B40
iPhone 11 Pro MaxS8, S8+, S8 ActivePixel 6
iPhone 11Note9, Note8Pixel 6 Pro
iPhone XSNote10 (all versions)Pixel 7
iPhone XS MaxNote20 (all versions)Pixel 7 Pro
S7, S7 Edge, Active
S9, S9+, S9 Active
S6 Active
Tab S9, FE, 9+, FE+, Ultra

IP68-Certified iPhone 15 – Water Test

The absolute champion when it comes to dustproof and waterproof phones is CAT. All the latest CAT phones feature at least an IP68 rating. Older budget models featured an IP67 rating. Some of the CAT flagship phones are also IP69-certified. For example, CAT S75 is certified for two IP ratings – IP68 and IP69.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though most of today’s smartphones, especially flagship models, are either IP67 or IP68-certified, getting a replacement if your phone gets damaged by water or dust will be tricky, probably impossible. While these phones provide protection against dust and water ingress, they are not meant to be used while swimming, underwater, or in dusty environments. So, if your phone gets damaged by water or dust, the manufacturer will probably refuse to give you a replacement.

Speakers, Earbuds, and Headphones with IP67 and IP68 Ratings

The most rugged and most durable Bluetooth speakers on the market feature an IP67 rating

You will find some Bluetooth speakers made by brands you have never heard of that supposedly have an IP68 rating, but I find it hard to believe that these speakers are more rugged and more durable than something made by JBL, UE, or SONY. 

So, when it comes to speakers, the highest level of protection against the ingress of dust and water you can get is IP67

IP67 Bluetooth Speakers

IP67 Bluetooth Speakers

Things are a little bit different when it comes to earbuds and headphones. There are numerous wireless earbuds made by reputable manufacturers featuring an IP67 rating. Some are Bluetooth, others have built-in storage.

IP67 Bluetooth Earbuds

IP67 Bluetooth Earbuds

While there are no IP68-certified Bluetooth speakers, there are at least a few IP68-certified earbuds and headphones. Most of them are designed for swimming and other outdoor activities. 

IP68 Earbuds and Bone-Conduction Headphones

IP68 Earbuds and Bone-Conduction Headphones

Which IP Rating Is Best for Swimming?

Both IP67 and IP68 are good enough for swimming, but IP68 is definitely better. You can also swim with IPX7 and IPX8 earbuds. However, an IP rating is not the only important thing when it comes to swimming.

Bluetooth does not work well in water. There’s simply too much interference. So, even if your phone is waterproof and attached to your body somehow, Bluetooth transmission to your earbuds will not be flawless. 

In other words, Bluetooth earbuds, even if they are IP68-certified, are not a good choice for swimming. Earbuds and headphones with built-in storage are a much better option for swimming. 

Luckily, there are several IPX7, IPX8, IP67, and IP68-certified earbud models and bone-conduction headphones with built-in storage. Some of them also feature Bluetooth, so you can use them as regular Bluetooth earbuds when you are not in water. 

Some of the most popular swimming earbuds and headphones with built-in storage are Shokz OpenSwim (IP68), SONY NW-WS413 (IP68), H20 Audio TRI Multi-Sport (IPX8), H2O Audio Sonar Pro (IPX8), Finis Duo (IPX8), JBL Endurance Dive (IPX7) etc.

Swimming Earbuds and Headphones Compared

The best earphones for swimming - Aftershokz vs JBL vs Sony

Do Devices Stay Waterproof Forever?

No, your phones, Bluetooth speakers, earbuds, and headphones will not keep their water and dust resistance forever. Water and dust resistance will decrease over time. 

So, a 6-month-old phone doesn’t offer the same level of protection against the ingress of dust and water as a brand-new phone. 

The pace at which the dust and water resistance decrease depends on how you take care of your devices. Any fall or accidental drop could damage the seal. If the seal is damaged, your device will no longer be waterproof or even water-resistant.  

If your device suffered damage and had to be serviced (screen or battery replacement, for example), you should assume that it’s no longer waterproof. It might be water and dust-resistant to some extent, but there’s no way to tell the exact level of protection against water and dust ingress. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: What is better IP67 or IP68?
  • Answer: IP68 is better than IP67. While they both feature the same protection against the ingress of dust (they are dust-tight), the IP68 provides greater resistance against the ingress of water. IP67 devices will stay fully functional after submersion in 1m-deep water for 30 minutes, while IP68 devices can survive greater depths for 30 minutes or longer. 
  • Question: Is IP67 good enough for swimming?
  • Answer: Yes, it is. IP67 earbuds/headphones and other devices are suitable for swimming.
  • Question: Can I swim with IP68?
  • Answer: Yes, absolutely. IP68 devices can survive continuous submersion in water deeper than 1 meter for 30 minutes or more. 
  • Question: Is IP69K better than IP67 and IP68?
  • Answer: It usually is, but there’s no guarantee. Only devices with ratings IPX7, IPX8, IP67, and IP68 are submersible in water. 
  • Devices with ratings IPX5, IPX6, IP69, and IP69K are tested for resistance to water jets, not submersion. 
  • So, you can’t assume that IP69/IP69K is automatically better than IP67 or IP68 just because 9 is greater than 8 or 7. Also, you can’t assume that IPX8 or IPX7 is better than IPX6 or IPX5. 
  • Question: Can I shower with an IP67 phone?
  • Answer: You can. Your phone won’t get damaged. 
  • Question: Is IP67 a marine grade?
  • Answer: Marine grade is more of a marketing term without a precise definition. Since most marine-grade equipment is IP67 and IP68-certified, you can assume the equipment featuring these ratings is marine-grade. 
  • Question: Is IP68 good for saltwater?
  • Answer: All IP tests are done with fresh water. IP68 devices, for example, are submerged in freshwater, not salt water. Salt water is much more aggressive and could damage the seal that protects your device from water ingress. The seal won’t get damaged if you accidentally drop your device into the ocean and take it out immediately, but long-term exposure could cause damage.
  • Question: Can iPhone 14 go underwater?
  • Answer: iPhone 14 is IP68-certified. It can be submerged in 6m-deep water for 30 minutes without being damaged. Note that this only applies to brand-new phones.


Water and dust resistance are important features in today’s consumer electronics, especially smartphones. Having some level of protection against dust and water ingress is crucial. Having the highest protection is ideal. But you need to know a few things about IP ratings to understand what’s considered high enough.

I hope this comparison between IP67 and IP68 helped you understand the true meaning of these ingress protection ratings, discover the difference between them and figure out which one is good enough for your needs.

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