Earbud headphones, the type that rest inside the ear, can lead to permanent damage after just an hour of high-volume music in the 110- to 120-decibel range, equivalent to the noise level of a concert.
The earbud-style headphones packaged with iPod and MP3 players can cause serious hearing loss, a Northwestern University professor and audiologist said last week.
"Insert earphones can boost the signal by as much as six to nine decibels. That's about the difference between the sound of a vacuum cleaner and a motorcycle," said Dean Garstecki, a professor at Northwestern in a statement. "It's a significant difference."
Earbud headphones, the type that rest inside the ear, can lead to permanent damage after just an hour of high-volume music in the 110-120 decibel range, equivalent to the noise level of a concert, Garstecki said.
The large amount of storage space on iPods also contributes to problems, said Garstecki. "Not only do you have a signal that is likely to be more intense, you're likely to be using this device longer than people have been using CD players and Walkmans in the past. This increases the likelihood of hearing loss down the road."
Not surprisingly, rock and rap are the most dangerous, since they're typically played at a higher volume than, say, classical or jazz.
To minimize hearing loss, Garstecki recommended listening no more than an hour a day, switching to over-the-ear headphones, and dialing down the volume on iPods to "6" or lower.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 18, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."