Are MP3 Players Causing Hearing Loss

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The increase in popularity of personal audio devices, such as a wma mp3 player or an iPod, are increasing concerns of hearing loss as well. In a poll done by audiologist, it was determined that up to eighty percent of the people polled, most listen to their personal audio devices at dangerous levels. In other studies, a large amount of people were found to listen loud enough to cause hearing damage in as little as five minutes.
To add to that, over an extended period of time this damage could drastically increase the likelihood of permanent hearing loss. So the question being asked now is: Is the wma mp3 player causing hearing damage? If so, who is to blame? Are the users exercising the proper use of their personal audio products and their features? Or are the manufacturers inadequately protecting the consumers from hearing loss by allowing the wma mp3 player volume to exceed known dangerous levels to the human ear?

This debate is not a new one. In fact, it began with the popularity of the Walkman and portable compact disc (CD) players of the 1980?. The craze for personal audio devices has only become more popular since then with the advent of the wma mp3 player and the iPod. This increasing popularity worries more than merely parents and auditory patrons, but some European government officials and some large corporate employers. In 2009, France outlawed music players that exceed one hundred decibels. One major manufacturer of personal audio devices in Europe already released volume capping software to eliminate damaging volumes from being achieved by users. Some members of the European Union worry that up to ten and a half million people in Europe could suffer from hearing loss due to extended exposure to wma mp3 players and iPods at excessive volumes. There are there are no restrictions on volume in America currently.

A European commission expressed that the maximum sound levels of a wma mp3 player currently being sold is between eighty and one hundred and fifteen decibels. Using certain types of earphones can increase those levels by up to nine decibels, bringing our possible sound output to the equivalent of an airplane taking off right next to you.
Keeping in mind that anything over 89 decibels is going to damage the human ear, especially over long periods of time. A study conducted in 2006 stated that users can safely listen to personal audio devices for up to about four and a half hours a day at 70 percent volume without having to worry about hearing loss.

Most wma mp3 players are sold with a direct warning about the possibility of hearing loss after use at high volumes over extended periods of time. This warning must not be a popular one with the majority of digital audio listeners, considering that most ignore it almost completely. This brings up personal responsibility of the user, who does in fact; ultimately have control over the volume at which they choose to set their personal audio device.

Here are two recommended fundamental practices that can help prevent hearing loss: the amount of time the user is exposed to audio and at what levels, as well as the type of hearing device that is used. Unfortunately, the trendiest hearing apparatus of today, ear buds; are inserted directly into the ear canal instead of being placed oer the ear. Some found this trend to be derived from most young people being fashion conscious and wanting to conceal use of their wma mp3 players. These two factors, along with a few others have helped lead most youthful users into using the more damaging hearing accessory of the two.

One of the simplest of ways to insure hearing loss does not occur is to listen to an audio device in a quiet setting. This will disable the need to drown out background noise and turn you wma mp3 player up to hazardous levels. For more helpful information on the subject go to

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