Loc: Hampstead, MD, USA
Originally Posted By: VarmintBlubber
We're ushering in an entire generation of kids who are going to be suffering premature hearing loss / degradation.
Exactly how is it any different than kids growing up in the '90's who had portable CD players (which played louder than iPods), or kid's in the '80's who grew up with with the Walkman, or kids like me who've gladly used all 3?
I think people would be shocked to learn the volume levels they're subjected to everyday in their cars and offices, and to know they're just as likely to lose hearing from such sources.
As for tinnitus, it's not simply caused by loud noise, but also by high blood pressure, salt, coffee, caffeine, vitamins, and a myriad of other things. Most everyone has a slight form of it, not unlike when you close your eyes and you still see images and patterns for awhile. That's normal. If it starts getting louder however, then it's time to worry.
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Loc: The Wizard's Balcony
i figured i'd bring you up to par on how you can potentially alleviate that particular reason . . . and you got all smart assy in response.
He's got nothing else.
I fear for some of the people I see on the subway with their iPods. I know the things have to be cranked way up in order to her the music over the noise of the train. I have mine set to only go up to about three quarters volume (which I think is still a bit to loud for soe music), and I can barely hear the music over the noise of some trains.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are also fairly common among veteran musicians and DJs, thanks to loud volume, with DJs especially due to having high volume in their headphones while mixing. The iPod itself shouldn't be anymore dangerous than any other device with headphones before or after it.
Which is what Pete Townshend attributes his hearing loss to . . .
Writing on his website, Townshend said that excessive volume at the group's explosive 1960s concerts was not the cause. He blamed the earsplitting sounds emitted through studio headphones during years of recording.
He warned the users of iPod headphones: My intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead. The downside [to downloading] . . . may be that we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound.¯
In 2001, Fligor began a study to determine how loud -- and for how long -- you can safely listen to a portable music player through headphones. He found that the kind of headphones you use greatly affects the risk. "The closer to the eardrum, the higher the sound levels the system is capable of producing," Fligor says. On average, Fligor found that you can safely listen to over-the-ear headphones with a player set at level six (out of ten) for an hour a day. For most in-the-ear headphones, like the earbuds that come with most MP3 players, the acceptable time at that level is less -- around thirty minutes for some models before you've exceeded your safe daily dose.
Manufacturers of portable players recognize that their products are potentially hazardous -- Sony, for instance, includes a hearing-loss warning with all its players -- but they leave it to users to keep the volume at a safe level. Apple declined to specify how loud the iPod can go, but Fligor's preliminary findings indicate that the iPod is comparable to a Sony CD Walkman with earbuds, which can go as high as 130 decibels -- equivalent to a jackhammer. European iPods, in contrast, are capped at 100 decibels by law.
Young fans seem especially unaware of the risks associated with noise exposure. In 1999, Dr. Roland Eavey, Harvard Medical School professor of otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, went to an R.E.M. show with his teenage daughter. "In the parking lot after, everyone was saying things like, 'Man, are your ears ringing?'" he says. "I suspected they didn't realize that they might be having trouble." Eavey conducted a study with the Harvard School of Public Health to determine how conscious concertgoers are that they might be damaging their hearing. Last year, Eavey's team posted a questionnaire on MTV's Web site. In three days, nearly 10,000 people (most under twenty-one) responded, answering twenty-eight questions about their attitudes toward issues including sexually transmitted diseases (fifty percent said it was "a very big problem"), alcohol/ drug use (forty-seven percent) and depression (forty-four percent). "Hearing loss was eight percent," Eavey says. "It was the last thing anybody's concerned about. But we asked later on in the survey, 'Have you ever had a hearing loss or ringing in your ears?' Two-thirds had."
The volume limits you can apply to the iPod are all well and good for the little kiddies, but tell a teenager to turn it down or to limit iPod usage to 30 minutes and you'll get laughed at.
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Matt: I still dig the intimacy of headphones, no question, but like you I limit my use with them and I make a conscious effort to pull the levels down. When mixing vox and music, I use monitors to get a better sense of the tonal balance and equalization priorities. Head phones can be a lot sweeter sounding than the actual thing coming out of your average speaker.
Sarge: sure, people played their Walkmans too loud at one time, too. That was the iPod of its time, although I'm thinking the mighty iPod broke a few records the Walkman originally set - and that means bajillions of teens and twenty somethings are listening to their devices at crazy volume levels.
Hearing loss among U.S. adolescents has surged, probably because of the use of devices such as earbuds for listening to music, doctors say.
Researchers surveyed a sample of children ages 12 to 19 in 2005 and 2006 and found that 19.5 percent had some hearing loss, compared with 14.9 percent in a study covering the years 1988 to 1994, according to a report published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Hearing loss of 25 decibels or more -- enough that the children were often aware of the deficit -- increased to 5.3 percent of the sample, from 3.5 percent in the earlier group.
Listening to loud sounds through earbuds -- the tiny electronic speakers that fit into ears, for use with personal music players -- is probably the main reason that more adolescents are losing some of their hearing, said William Slattery, director of clinical studies at the House Ear Institute, a Los Angeles medical practice, who wasn’t involved in today’s study.
“Once you have hearing loss, there’s a greater risk of that hearing loss progressing as you get older,” Slattery, a clinical professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said today in a telephone interview. “Here is a major study that demonstrates that teenagers are having hearing loss in a significant percent of children. It can happen and it does happen.”
Teens and parents need to be told that hearing loss from noise that occurs early in life isn’t reversible, he said.
Anyway, Matt, you are correct in this. I find myself listening to my iPhone too loud sometimes.
When I was young, we spent most of our time outside, never bothering to listen to headphones that much. Now, that's all you see: kids listening to their iPods. Try to tell them to turn it down only gets you stares from them.
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