“Turn down the music, it’s too loud! I can hear it all the way across the room! You’ll ruin your ears if you keep that up!” Sound familiar? This scenario is certainly a common theme in your house if you have children between the ages of 10 and 21 and they happen to have some instrument of parental torture in their arsenal such as an iPod or MP3 player. But is it true? Can listening to loud music through headphones damage your hearing?
The answer to this question depends on a lot of different factors. Interestingly iPODs and other MP3 players are safer than what parents grew up with using the portable Walkman CD players of the past. That’s because those sorts of devices actually put out louder more hazardous levels of music that went uncontrolled by any sort of limiter in the gadget itself. Because newer devices actually allow the user to put a limit on how loud sound can be through the headphones, today’s music players can be much more safe.
Damage risk to ears is based primarily upon two factors: how loud the music is and how long the person plays the music. Today’s players can cause damage to ears if played loud enough for long enough. If the limiter is raised too high or is not set at all, damage can occur fairly readily.
The type of earphone used can make a difference in how loud the sound is delivered to the ear as well. When surrounding background noise is loud, like in a work out gym or riding the bus or train, people typically turn up the volume of their music player to compensate. Most types of completely over the ear headphones can block out some outside noise and therefore the volume does not need to be increased as much as with other headphones. The lower the volume, the less likelihood for damage.
A good rule of thumb for safe iPod or MP3 player use is keep the volume below 80% and to listen for less than 90 minutes per day. Using the device at 60% of total volume is safe to use all day every day. Parents should check the user manual of the device to find out how the limiter is set on each individual device. You know they’re still going to wear the headphones at a volume too loud for your liking but you’ll know that they can “Pump Up the Volume” and still keep their ears in good shape.
If you are a musician, more likely than not you believe that protecting your hearing is of utmost importance. With any amount of hearing loss, the fidelity of the sound of any instrument may change. But, there’s just something to be said about experiencing the music in its full form, unhindered by a volume dial or a set of earplugs. In a way, it’s a “catch 22.” Many audiophiles (music lovers) like to have the volume at a high level in order to experience the music to its fullest. But by having the volume turned up, you may be placing your hearing in jeopardy.
An easy solution, besides turning the volume down, is to wear earplugs. There are many different brands of earplugs that can be purchased over-the-counter and there are several different types of custom-made earplugs, as well. But ordinary earplugs change the sound quality of the music. The goal of wearing earplugs is to shut out as much sound as possible. By doing so, earplugs significantly decrease the high frequency sounds, which means that you hear mostly the mid and low frequency sounds. The high frequency sounds are the most important for the clarity of speech. As a result, decreasing the high frequencies can cause voices to be difficult to understand and music can sound distorted, as if you were listening under water.
The type of sound you can experience with Musicians earplugs can solve this issue. Musicians earplugs reduce the volume of the music without distorting the sound. It’s as if you have a built-in volume control. The nuances of the music are left intact. And so is your hearing. When the sound is turned down, you can still experience the music to its fullest without causing damage to the very delicate hair cells of the cochlea in the inner ear. Such damage can be permanent.
Here’s the great part about Musicians earplugs…
Musicians earplugs are not just for musicians! Suppose you like to enjoy music at concerts but you don’t play an instrument or you live or work in a very noisy environment. Musicians earplugs decrease sound without interfering with your ability to understand conversational speech or distorting the music you love to listen to. Instead, the full range of the sound is unhindered; it’s just at a softer volume level. The softer volume level is the key to protecting your hearing for years to come.
Musicians earplugs have filters with varying levels of decibel (volume) decrease. Whether you need a lot of protection from noise or just want sounds to be decreased slightly, there is a choice of filters to fit your listening needs. Musicians plugs can be custom molded to your ears, as well, allowing for comfortable long-term wear.
Whether you are a music lover who is concerned about protecting your hearing or just want your world to be slightly less noisy, Musicians earplugs offer an inexpensive way to enjoy your world on your terms. Call our office to make an appointment for a free consultation today.