IP Ratings Explained - and Why They Matter

Back to Pulse

When you’re on the water, you want to know that the equipment you have installed on your boat isn’t going to give up on you after only one season – even when exposed to the elements. That’s why many marine electronics manufacturers, including Fusion, test to international IP standards to ensure each product is protected from the harsh outdoor conditions – and keeps you enjoying your tunes season after season.

Fusion NRX300 wired remote on a Sea Ray SLX250

So what is IP?

A product’s Ingress Protection rating (IP) reflects its resistance to environmental factors like dust and water – pretty important in marine electronics! You might already be familiar with terms such as “IP65” or “IPX7” – but what do they really mean?

The first number in an IP rating reflects the product’s protection against solids, like dust. These first digits range from 1, where a hand can’t fit in, to 6, where the product is completely dust tight. Electronics, whichever environment they are designed for, don’t perform well with any interference from solid objects (whether probing fingers or pesky dust!). That’s why it’s so crucial that the components are sealed to a level that prohibits solid objects, which could affect performance, from entering.

Fusion StereoActive splash in water

The second number in an IP rating indicates the product’s level of water resistance, which ranges from 1, where the product is only protected from vertical water drops, to 8, where the product can withstand complete immersion in water for prolonged periods of time. No electronic components can withstand moisture damage, with corrosion and system failure a real possibility when exposed to even small amounts of water. That’s why all Fusion products are designed for the marine environment, with high IP ratings.

An X is used where there is only one class of protection, like when the product is water resistant but not tested to be dust tight. 

Fusion IP rating chart
What does that look like in real life? 

If we take IP65 as an example, it means that the product with this rating is tested to be completely dust tight and resistant to water sprayed at the surface from any angle. Our Fusion Signature Series speakers and subwoofers are rated IP65, ensuring that the components are completely weatherproof. Epic adventures await!

Fusion Signature Series Sports Chrome marine speaker

An IPX5 rating indicates that the product is not tested for dust protection, but is still pretty resistant to water sprays from any angle. Our 755 Series stereos are a good example of this, as they’re rated IPX5 all around the unit.

An IPX7 rating means that although the product is not tested to be dust tight, it is water resistant even when fully immersed in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. Our Apollo Series and 70 Series stereos are a good example of this, as they’re rated IPX7 from the front panel when installed correctly. Our StereoActive is also rated IPX7, with the added bonus of being able to float when dropped in water (pretty handy for if it drops off the paddleboard!).

Fusion StereoActive marine stereo floating

These three ratings are the most commonly used for Fusion products. This internally set design and engineering process ensures that the products are built – and tested – to perform in marine and outdoor environments.

Why is a strong IP rating so important?

We’re big believers in any product you install on your boat lasting the test of time, which is why we build from the ground up, specifically for marine use, to make sure that every piece of equipment you fit into your vessel will continue to perform season after season. No one wants to keep replacing their electronic equipment every season, which is why at Fusion we make sure you don’t have to! 

Garmin Striker Plus

We understand the need for purpose-built marine electronics, which is why we have developed our own standard, the True-Marine™ rating, which goes above and beyond industry standards for protection against the marine environment. Delve deeper into our True-Marine standard, what it really means, and find out why it’s important for any boatie. 

Marine Preview