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iPod Earbuds May Damage Hearing

Steve Jobs Flirting With Hearing Loss

No way! Really?

Dean Garstecki, chairman of Northwestern’s communication sciences and disorders department believes that iPod earbuds may be significantly more damaging to hearing than conventional headphones.

“The earbuds commonly used by iPod listeners are placed directly into the ear and can boost the audio signal by as many as nine decibels — comparable to the difference in sound intensity between an alarm clock and a lawn mower, Garstecki said. Yet, the earbuds do not always fit snugly in the ear, but often allow background noise to seep in, which causes listeners to crank up the volume.”

The portability and long battery life of modern mp3 players allows the listener to be plugged in more often and for longer periods of time.”It’s the combination of high intensity and long duration that creates the unique problem with the iPod,” Garstecki said.

The orginal article went on to say that studies show teenagers don’t think about the connection between loud music and hearing loss, and that iPod users should limit their use to around 30 minutes a day – at a volume no more than 60% of maximum.

This kind of falls under the “common sense” category as far as I’m concerned. Isn’t it obvious that cramming a headphone directly into the ear might result in some hearing damage?

At any rate – I never liked the earbuds in the first place. They don’t stay in the ear properly and the cord tangling is constantly out of control. Seriously, it’s time to get over the syle thing and pick up a decent set of earphones.

Posted by Sean


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