Water-Loving IPX Headphones
Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by hzodev
Water-Loving IPX Headphones
Color, price, comfort, and whether or not they are the latest pair of Beats by Dr. Dre. Normally these are the top things people consider when picking out their next pair of headphones. What people don’t consider often enough, however, is the fact that their precious headphones are just as susceptible to water damage as the rest of their electronic devices. With some pairs of headphones reaching prices over $200 a pair, it’s something people should probably think about more often. It doesn’t take very much water or moisture to damage a pair of headphones or earbuds. In fact, a small splash of water can easily short out a headset. Plus, because they sit so close to your body, headphones and earbuds can easily collect excess moisture and sweat produced by your body during a quick jog, permanently damaging the delicate internal components. Luckily, headphone manufacturers have devised a number of ways to make their units a little more rugged – advertising them as waterproof, sweat-proof, water-resistant, and even weatherproof. Let’s take a look at a few of the options currently available on the market today and examine their IPX rating . . .
ZAGG Aquabuds– $29.99
Our friends at ZAGG have produced a pair of “weatherproof,” water-resistant earbuds that are meant for the everyday music listener. Although their website states that they can be used for up to 3 meters in depth, ZAGG aquabuds aren’t advertised for use while swimming, and their website doesn’t give any kind of IPX rating against water ingress. However, they are a great option for those looking to protect against water damage while running in the rain, hanging out in a particularly humid climate, or sweating a little more than normal at the gym. Plus, for $29.99 and a bunch of great product reviews, they are hard to argue with.
These headphones definitely talk the talk, boasting online that they are both completely waterproof and can last for an unlimited amount of time in up to 12 ft. in water. That’s pretty impressive, although there doesn’t seem to be any IPX rating or military spec water testing to back those claims. According to user reviews, the earbuds look like they’re hit or miss. Customers’ comments about shorts in the cables after a few months of use seem to be a common trend, while other customers have no problems at all. Designed for those looking to take their headphones fully underwater, these earbuds seem to be a decent choice for the price.
These pricey earbuds are advertised as both sweat-proof and washable, but Monster doesn’t provide any specifics as far as an IPX rating or recommended maximum depth or time limit underwater is concerned, so it’s safe to assume that these headphones should not be taken underwater for any extended periods of time. What these earbuds might lack in water protection features, they sure make up in design and quality components. This particular headset gets good reviews for comfort and sound quality, so if you are looking for something more like a regular headset and aren’t as concerned about using your headphones around water, then these earbuds might be the ones for you.
Bose SIE2 Sport Headphones– $119.99
Bose recently released a new line of sport headphones, and according to some of the customer reviews we read, they are blowing customers away with their quality of sound and comfort. According to the website, these headphones are both sweat and weather-resistant, plus they come with a fitness armband right out of the box to help hold your precious electronic devices in place during exercise. The website doesn’t specify if the headphones can be fully submerged in water, and also don’t give an IPX rating of any kind, so we would definitely keep these headphones out of the pool, but they look like a great headset for outdoor or general exercise use if you don’t mind the price tag.
The Big Picture With IPX
One of the biggest concerns among these types of headsets is the lack of uniform water protection descriptive language. With one pair labeling itself as sweat-proof, and another saying it’s weatherproof, how are you supposed to know which is superior? Most don’t even take advantage of the industry standard IPX Code, which rates devices on how well they stand up against water entering inside of them. This could be due to the fact that it’s hard to measure headphones against the IPX Code. These manufacturers are left without a consistent standard to help educate the consumer of the benefits of their product. Here at HZO, we have been working to develop a new set standard to measure levels of water protection in electronic devices, called the HZO Standard. This new standard will be able to measure devices based on how well they stand up against water damage, regardless of whether or not water enters into the device. With this new scale, consumers will be able to more easily identify which products work best for them, without having to rely on inconsistent, ambiguous marketing terms like “waterproof”, “water-resistant”, and “water-repellent”.