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Man and Boy Fishing

Environmental Protection

Hearing aid users have always had to be careful with their instruments. But dust and water are a part of everyday life. If your lifestyle involves playing sports, splashing with children, gardening, or working in a dusty environment, you expect some protection. But just how resistant are hearing aids?

The IP Code

One of the simplest and clearest ways to compare the properties of hearing aids is to use a common rating system. Sonic uses the international Ingress Protection (IP) Code to describe how well our aids withstand dust and moisture.

The IP Code classifies and rates the degree of protection a case provides against the intrusion of solid objects (e.g. dust) and water. It specifically relates to how well electrical components are protected from these environmental factors.

An IP rating consists of two numbers that follow the initials “IP.” The first number indicates the degree of protection from solid foreign objects. A low number means it’s protected from larger objects (like a body part or finger) while a high number means even very small matter (like dust particles) can’t get in. The first IP number is measured on a scale of 0 (no protection) to 6 (complete protection; no ingress of dust).

The second number in an IP rating relates to the ingress of water. A low number indicates protection from a small amount of water over a short duration of time. Higher numbers mean protection from jets of water or immersion at different depths. The second IP number is measured on a scale of 0 (no protection) to 8 (continuous immersion deeper than 1 meter).

Understanding the IP Code

Sonic Products: IP57 and IP58 ratings

Thanks to good design and our hydrophobic coating, Sonic has achieved impressive IP57 and IP58 ratings on our BTE and RITE devices. Looking at the numbers individually, this means a solid particle protection rating of IP5x: “Dust-protected”, plus a liquid ingress protection rating of IPx7: “Protection against the effects of temporary immersion in water”; and IPx8: “Protection against continuous immersion in water at a depth of 3 feet (1 meter).”

This means not enough dust can penetrate the device to interfere with satisfactory operation or to impair safety. It also means that the hearing aid is protected against the effects of temporary and/or continuous immersion in water to an extent that the aid will – under normal circumstances – work again, after it has been wiped dry and the battery has been replaced.

All Sonic BTE and RITE styles have an IP57 or IP58 rating, meaning this high level of protection in these styles is available across all the technology levels.

  miniRITE NanoBTE miniBTE miniRIC BTE Power BTE Compact Power Plus Super Power
Celebrate IP58   IP57     IP58

Cheer IP58 IP57       IP58 IP58  
Journey               IP58
Bliss     IP57   IP57      
Charm     IP57   IP57      
Pep         IP57      
Flip       IP57        
Sonic products with an IP57 and IP58 Rating (June 2016)
Cracking the code
Learn about the IP code, the industry rating for device protection against dust and water.

Fun fact!

How does the IP rating of Sonic hearing aids compare to other household items? Check out this list of other moisture- and dust-resistant items:

Sonic miniRITE: IP58
Sparkplug: IP65
Mobile phone: IP54
Electric hair dryer: IP21