How to Safely Listen to Your Music with Headphones
We have heard many times before that loud music and other sounds contribute to hearing loss. Listening to loud music over 80-85dB (decibels), over a long period of time can cause hearing loss to occur.
Nowadays loud music coming from one’s headphones connected to smartphones, tablets, laptops, iPads, and iPods are becoming a major cause of hearing loss.
According to the World Health Organization 43 million people between the ages of 12 and 35 have hearing loss. In half of those cases loud music from personal audio devices are to blame.
So how can you have your proverbial cake and eat it too?
Turn down the volume
The easiest way to prevent hearing impairment is to turn down the volume. It might seem like an easy and obvious fix, but how many times have you heard people say “the music just doesn’t sound good if it isn’t loud.” The sound isn’t any better with hearing loss.
Set volume limits on your devices
Setting volume limits on your electronic devices is one way to help prevent permanent hearing damage. In newer smartphones a warning message pops up on your screen once the volume gets turned up above a certain level. You can lock in a volume limit by going into your device’s Settings. Contact your device manufacturer for more details.
Wear earmuff style headphones
Earmuff style headphones cover your entire ear and are able to keep out background noise. If possible opt for noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones are able to eliminate more of the background noise people often try to decrease by increasing the volume. The result is you are over 50 percent less likely to increase the volume.
Follow the 60/60 rule
When wearing earbud headphones keep the volume below 60 percent and keep your listening time to less than 60 minutes per day.
With superior sound quality these earbuds are custom made from an impression of your ear. Custom earbuds remove most background noise, eliminating the need to crank up the volume.
Other ways to monitor and control volume and prevent permanent hearing damage
SoundMeter+ provides accurate sound levels and noise exposure readings
Play It Down is available for free on iPhone and iPad devices and allows you to assess your hearing ability in noisy environments.
Hear Angel is a soon to be released volume limiting app that lets you know when your hearing is in danger of overexposure. The app actually monitors your listening habits and can reduce sound for you without losing sound quality.