Earbuds, or earphones as some call them, are becoming more and more popular amongst music listeners of all ages due to their compact size, portability, and ease of use. These tiny pieces of technology offer so much to us – entertainment and convenience – but they can cause so much irreversible damage (see earbuds and hearing loss).

If you use your earbuds often, or even sparsely, certain safety precautions must be taken to assure that your ears won’t suffer due to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Two main factors should be noted when using your earbuds: sound levels and duration.

Turn it down. Quite simply, loud sounds damage your ears. Sounds above 85 dB are harmful to your hearing. Something tricky about earbuds is that they isolate the noise straight into your ear canals. This small volume of space keeps the volume intense and loud. Increasing the sound to block out external noise is a harmful mistake because your ears will grow accustomed to loud noises, perpetuating the cycle of listening to loud sound levels. This, of course, will lead to hearing loss.

Don’t listen for too long. Another part of NIHL is the duration in which your ears are exposed to loud sounds. If you are listening to sounds around 85 dB for a long period of time, that will harm your hearing. It’s better to space out the time you are exposed to loud noises, that way your ears won’t constantly be dealing with loud noises.

Fixes. A great habit to take up is the 60/60 rule. The volume on your media player should be at about %60 turned up – maximum – for about 60 minutes a day. The ideal percentage is %60, but that, of course, depends on your media player and earbuds.

Another fantastic way to assure your music won’t damage your ears is to set the volume to what you believe is the perfect volume, and then turn it down just a bit.

Source: Center Point Audio

Armstrong Hearing Clinic

Kelowna Hearing Clinic