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What is an IP rating?

We've described many of our products with the IP letters and then some numbers, but what does that actually mean? It's simpler than you think.

Several of our products carry an IP rating. For example, you may have seen our Apex 3 TKL gaming keyboard, first-ever of its kind, to receive an IP32 rating and the keyboard GamesRadar+ named the Best TKL Membrane Keyboard. Let's dive deeper and explain better what those numbers actually mean.

IP Rating Explained

Standing for "Ingress Protection," it defines how well an electrical object is protected from dust and water. The two numbers aren't exactly on a scale of 100, but each number has its own meaning. The first talks about dust and particle protection, while the latter relates to water.

The higher the number, the better, but remember, that even having a low number is a pretty big deal, as you could say that water is "super effective!" against electronics. This rating isn't easy to acquire, either, as an independent company tests the product and assigns it, so rest assured that we aren't skirting around the process at SteelSeries.

Protection from dust

Aerox 5 Wireless

The first number in the series, it talks about resistance to physical objects. Again, bigger numbers are better.

  • IP0X: No dust protection whatsoever.
  • IP1X: Only protected from objects larger than 50 mm, so it still won't filter our small, invasive things.
  • IP2X: Protected from any object larger than 12.5 mm.
  • IP3X: Protected from things above 2.5 mm, getting closer to filtering out small objects.
  • IP4X: Protected from anything bigger than 1 mm.
  • IP5X: Dust resistant. Even if some gets in, it won't damage the product. This is what the new Aerox 5 and Aerox 9 have.
  • IP6X: Total dust protection.

Protection from water

Apex 3 TKL

Our Apex 3 TKL gaming keyboard, as mentioned, has an IP32 rating. Input Mag has tested it by spraying water, as well as Gatorade and soda on it. You can check out the results in the link, and while we really don't recommend actually spraying your keyboard, it's great to see how powerful the IP rating actually is.

Here's a breakdown of the second digit, which goes all the way up to 9:

  • IPX0: The product isn't protected from water.
  • IPX1: Can resist water that drips vertically onto the product.
  • IPX2: Can resist water that hits the product at a 15° angle or less.
  • IPX3: Can take water sprays of up to 60°.
  • IPX4: Is resistant to water splashes from any direction. This is what the Aerox 5 and 9 have.
  • IPX5: Can resist a low-pressure water jet spray.
  • IPX6: Can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water.
  • IPX6K: Can resist water jets of extremely high pressure. Rarely used.
  • IPX7: Can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes. We're approaching waterproof territory, though technically this isn't quite it yet.
  • IPX8: Can be submerged deeper than 1 meter, and it also doesn't matter for how long, which means it's actually waterproof.
  • IPX9K: Resists high-pressure, high-temperature sprays at close range. Very rarely seen.

Our proprietary AquaBarrier™ is an important feature of our new Aerox mice. It's a great complement to its ultra lightweight, holey construction, which is what helps it achieve such a cutting-edge build. But you also don't have to worry about spilling your preferred gamer juice on it.

Award-winning SteelSeries Gear

Apex 3 TKL Gaming keyboard water resistant

Don't let just us convince you — GamesRadar dubbed the Apex 3 TKL the best TKL membrane keyboard.


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