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Listening to MP3 Players at Maximum Level Can Result in Hearing Loss, news

Protect Your Ears: iPod Safety

Who doesn't crank up the tunes occasionally for a rocking cardio session or to block annoying conversations on a morning commute? Unfortunately, dialing up the volume of your iPod can adversely affect your hearing.

We all know that prolonged listening to loud music can lead to hearing loss. Hearing experts say the maximum safe level for listening with ear buds or headphones is 85 decibels, but most people push the volume past competing ambient noise, which for NYC and DC is 80 decibels. This five-decibel window doesn't allow for much play when it comes to hearing your tunes. The European Union recommends a 100-decibel limit to MP3 players sold within its jurisdiction, with the purpose of decreasing associated hearing loss. But the US has no volume cap for music players, and recent tests found that many MP3 players crank all the way to 115 and 125 decibels. Hearing specialists recommend not only decreasing the volume but also the amount of time we all listen to our mighty iPods. Listening to one at maximum volume for only five minutes can begin deteriorating the delicate hair cells that line the inner ear, which decode sound waves into signals the brain interprets as sound.

I just set the volume lock on my iPod to about 80 percent of maximum volume, and I urge you to do the same with your MP3 player, whatever the brand. Easy listening might just mean hearing forever.


Join The Conversation
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
Thanks fit, Iately my ears have been hurting from my headphones, and they give me static in my ears when I'm outside, it sucks. I am going to lower the volume and invest in better headphones.
bkwithlove bkwithlove 8 years
i liked this post and would really really like a post on good headphones that eliminate competing ambient noise
livetolovex livetolovex 8 years
Wow, FitSugar, this post could not be more timely. I have just been mulling over this precise issue myself, esp. since my younger sister received an MP3 player for Christmas and has been playing it much of the day when she isn't doing school (causing me to be concerned about the sound and her hearing!). I set my new Ipod's volume to a comfortably low lock position at the beginning of the year, and will be sure to do the same for my sister's.
jm1983 jm1983 8 years
I hope hearing aid is well developed in 20 years time...
DevonJade DevonJade 8 years
I have a Zune and I use skull candy brand ear buds as well. They block noise really well and I have small ears but they are still comfortable. I usually have my Zune on the 1 volume setting, which is the lowest it can go and it is still plenty loud. Honestly, if I'm in a quiet place it's too loud, but it can't go any lower lol!
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Yeah, I never like to have mine set too loud.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I've always wondered about SkullCandy - they used to sell them in my campus bookstore and I thought the name was cool.
kristints kristints 8 years
I use noise canceling headphones, so even when I'm on my old crappy treadmill I can't hear any outside noise even with the volume not even halfway to the max. I had a really hard time finding comfy noise canceling headphones that didn't cost a fortune but I finally found them, they're Skull Candy brand, very strange name, very wonderful headphones. :)
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I like that last line.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
OMG Fit this is good . . .I've never know what to limit my ipod volume too . . and I was getting really concerned about messing up my hearing because I run everyday with my ipod for at least an hour . . .also at work it's the Year of the Ear and we are supposed to try to improve our hearing-health . .thanks for this info and tips!
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