• The ubiquity of iPods has caused some researchers to question the threat to hearing posed by prolonged usage of iPods. In particular, the iPod ear bud which lodges directly into the ear canal has been a source of concern for researchers, parents and iPod users.

    Historical Trends

    According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, hearing loss has more than doubled since the 1970s. In particular, hearing loss has spiked among younger populations.

    iPods' Effect on Hearing Loss

    There is no research that has indicated that iPods are uniquely more likely to cause hearing loss than other types of exposure to loud noises.

    Listening to iPods at Loud Volume

    All portable music players, including iPods, pose threats to hearing when listened to at extremely high volumes. Audiologist Angela King has found that repeatedly exposing your hearing to noises above 80dB will eventually result in hearing damage.

    Listening to iPods for Prolonged Periods

    According to research conducted by audiologist Brian Fligor, listening to iPods and other portable music players for periods of time greater than two hours at safe listening levels (no more than 80dB) poses risks to hearing.


    Fligor has found that the iPod ear bud design of headphones is no more threatening than other types of headphones. Moreover, usage of headphones is not linked to increased hearing damage.


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