Are your iPod earphones damaging your ears?

MP3 players

Stylish earphones for iPods and other MP3 players may look better than the traditional style of headphones, but according to a report on Reuters, they could be damaging your hearing.

A leading academic claims that earbuds placed directly into the ear can boost the audio signal by as many as nine decibels. However, these plugs don’t always fit snugly in the ear, allowing background noise to seep in, which often leads to users cranking up the volume. By turning up the volume to drown out additional sounds, you could causing great damage to your hearing.

Read the full story at Reuters.

Dave Walker
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  • It’s not stupid at all. Paul Solecki’s comment shows that that he doesn’t understand that how high or low someone has turned their music device volume control to is not the sole factor in determining the sound pressure level (SPL) that person hears. As mentioned, turning down the volume on a music device when a speaker is closer to someones ear. This is because the SPL increases as the distance between a speaker and someones ear decreases.

    The article in this case is talking about SPL that is absolute (where 0 dB is considered the faintest sound an average person can hear) compared to relative SPL (where 0 dB is considered to be unaltered).

  • This is stupid. For your average user, you actually end up turning the music down as it’s closer to your ear and so louder than normal. I have Westone canal phones and my iPod volume is about 1/3 max and it’s still very loud to me! No hearing damage (i.e. ringing) after many years of use.

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