• They only present a risk if they are misused. High sound pressure levels will damage your hearing, regardless of the source. Since ear buds are designed to fit into the ear canal and seal it completely when properly fitted, they have the potential to produce very high sound pressure levels when the volume is turned up too loud. Conventional headphones present somewhat less of a risk, because they fit more loosely. However, if you turn the volume up loud enough to make your ears ring or produce muffled hearing after the headphones or ear buds are removed, you are listening to the music at too loud a volume. Loud, impulsive, and intermittent sounds have the potential to do the most damage to your ears. Ear buds present one further risk: because they are designed to completely seal the ear canal, they block noise from the outside quite well. It is easy to turn the volume up high enough to block out environmental noises, such as cars honking at you when you step in front of them in a world of your own. Keep the volume to responsible levels and ear buds are no more dangerous than headphones or speakers. Turning any of them up too loud will damage your hearing. Hearing damage is both permanent and cumulative.
  • Yes it is absolutely true that consumer electronic ear buds can damage your hearing irreparably. As a matter of a fact, the ear-buds, which are designed to rest inside of your ear, unlike regular headphones, are more damaging than regular headphones. To put the difference in decibels between headphones and ear buds in a way that most people can understand, putting in earbuds, rather than headphones, at the same volume, boosts volume by 6 to 9 decibels (the unit used to measure sound objectively). This is equal to the difference between a vacuum and a motorcycle, by the way. It has been shown that just one hour of music using ear buds in the 110 to 120 decibel range can cause permanent damage to your ears. Of course, keeping the volume to safe and comfortable levels will reduce any damage your ears can sustain. Remember, also, that if you are listening to your music in what you think is a somewhat quiet volume and other people are complaining that it is too loud than it is likely you are already experiencing some hearing loss.
  • A good rule of thumb for ipods is that you can listen at 40% or less of the maximum volume control with no problems. Above that, here are safe listening times per day: 50% = 19 hours 60% = 4.5 hours 70% = 1.6 hours 80% = 23 minutes 90% = 4 minutes 100% = 1 minute
  • not that i know of

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