Study: More than 90 minutes of loud music harmful | iLounge News


Study: More than 90 minutes of loud music harmful


According to a new study, listening to loud music with earphones on an iPod or similar music player for more than 90 minutes a day will damage your hearing. “The study of 100 doctoral students concluded that people who listened to music at 80 percent of volume capacity, at which point the sound is considered loud, should stick to under 90 minutes a day,” reports Reuters. “The study also found no problems for people who listened to music at 10 percent to 50 percent of maximum volume for extended periods. It found, however, that anyone who listened at 100 percent for more than five minutes faced the risk of hearing loss.”

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I understand the need to avoid confusing the unwashed masses, but this percentage of volume means absolutely nothing at all.

What matters is the decibel level that reaches your ears, which is dependent on target mastering volume, whether or not any sort of volume normalisation is in effect, what the output of the player is, and the impedence of the headphones.

50% with one combination of parameters may be dangerous while 100% with a different combination may be completely safe for extended listening.

Posted by Code Monkey on October 19, 2006 at 6:58 PM (CDT)


I agree with Code Monkey. This is particularly evident on podcasts, which vary greatly in volume (even the “polished” ones).

Posted by BJ Nemeth on October 19, 2006 at 7:05 PM (CDT)


Time to buy shares in companies selling hearing aids…

Posted by Dave on October 19, 2006 at 7:06 PM (CDT)


What,What? More than 90 minutes of proud music is an armful?

I am of the school “if it is too loud, you are too old”. I normally crank up my iPod and back in the day I had the first and for a while the loudest car stereo in the north state.

The only time I felt as though I really might have damaged my hearing is being close to the speakers at a concert. It took 3 days for my hearing to return to normal after a black sabbath concert. I used to amaze my ex who did not like loud music, nor did she go to concerts, with my hearing. In fact I have a wider range of hearing and can hear sounds most people don’t.

What? It’s 4:15.

Posted by Randy Smith on October 19, 2006 at 7:13 PM (CDT)


Does this truly surprise anyone?

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on October 19, 2006 at 7:18 PM (CDT)


and in other news- jumping off of tall buildings may prove to be fatal…

Posted by Jayson on October 19, 2006 at 8:53 PM (CDT)


Unfortunately, the lawsuits down the road will probably cause Apple—if not just the iPod division—to go under.

Posted by UniPalmer on October 19, 2006 at 9:16 PM (CDT)


I think the term “Duh” suits this situation well, anyone who doesn’t know that listening to loud music for an extended period can cause hearing lose deserves to loose their hearing, it’s all part of darwinism ;)

Posted by MatrixSJD on October 19, 2006 at 9:28 PM (CDT)


We’ve been hearing this crap for years. Seriously, who listens to 90 minutes of uninterrupted loud music? But, still I’m tired of seeing articles like this. Loud music continuously WILL hurt the ears, every now then it’s no big deal. Besides, some songs DEMAND to be played LOUD.

Posted by Charles O. on October 19, 2006 at 10:16 PM (CDT)


RE: UniPalmer, if this were the case, Sony would already be out of business a LOOOOONG time ago.  Apple didn’t invent the portable music player or the headphone, they can’t be held responsible, and they have all the disclaimers and the volume limiter as defense.

I’m with Dave though, time to buy some shares in Phonak

Posted by nick g on October 19, 2006 at 10:25 PM (CDT)


Whoa, well thats a good thing that I don’t listen to my music loud.

Posted by Evil Chicken on October 19, 2006 at 11:26 PM (CDT)


I used to sell walkmen and other portable stereos (years before iPod), and parents used to voice concerns about volume when they would buy for their kids. I would tell them: “If you can hear it in the room while he’s wearing it, it’s too loud.”

Posted by Gary on October 20, 2006 at 9:48 AM (CDT)


It’s not crap. The important thing is that your ears need time to recover after a sustained blast of music or noise. They can recover but only in quiet. If you have any ringing in your ears or your ears feel different you need to take a break from headphones for a while. I’m 42, never used headphones for any sustained time in my life until last April, but the ipod is so fun and easy I listened all the time. A week of ringing in my ears last month persuaded me that wasn’t for the best. I don’t listen to music loud, but did listen to it everyday for long periods. The ringing is gone now, I’m the same as before, but I now take days off from the music and try to use speakers when I can. My advice - if you want to crank the music or listen in bed use speakers, and shut it off when a train, subway or jackhammer roars in front of you. Get noise canceling headphones so you can listen at a lower volume. Loud outside noise + even low volume in headphones = ringing in ears. Pete Townshend knows what he is talking about.

Posted by morebinky on October 20, 2006 at 9:50 AM (CDT)


meanwhile in other news ex-spurts say that hairs grow on the palms of your hands but don’t bother mentioning exactly how much of it you have to do or how vigerously you need to do it in order to increase folical activity.

Posted by NJO on October 20, 2006 at 10:01 AM (CDT)


I agree with the first post here - while it is true that “loud music hurts your hearing” in general, it is wildly inaccurate to correlate this with “80% volume”. Source material, EQ, headphones and other factors vary far too much to make such a statement.

Posted by BradPDX on October 20, 2006 at 12:27 PM (CDT)


As another note, if I wish to listen for long periods I often switch to my Bose QuietComfort headphones because I can enjoy them at significantly lower volumes that regular ‘phones. This is due to the noise isolation (you can hear everything really, really well without cranking) and the tonal qualities of the Bose which flat out work better for producing a non-fatiguing experience IMHO. I love my Grados and such, but they are much harder on the system over time.

Posted by BradPDX on October 20, 2006 at 12:31 PM (CDT)


morebinky: I see your point, and I respect it. My point was simply this: This news is crap because, while it may be true, it’s the same news we’ve heard for years. We should all know this by now. In other words, it shouldn’t be reported as news. It’s common knowledge.

Posted by Charles O. on October 20, 2006 at 7:36 PM (CDT)


Duh. If you aren’t smart enough to keep the volume at a reasonable level, then I guess you might get or deserve to have ear problems.

Common sense isn’t common. People are responsible for their own actions. If they want to be stupid, that’s not my problem.

Posted by Bob on October 21, 2006 at 11:28 AM (CDT)


I played in the marching band & orchestra in school, I’m a soundman in TV production and have been exposed to loud music most of my life. My hearing is excellent and I’m 61 yrs of age, I enjoy Jazz on my iPod immensely. I protect my ears when necessary. Common sense should prevail, your ears will tell you it’s too loud! That is unless you’re one of the many teens that I hear blasting their iPods (my 12 & 14 yr olds). Ears are not inherently designed for in-ear phones! Don’t max them out, for your ears sake!

Posted by Ralph on October 22, 2006 at 9:44 PM (CDT)


Why did they measure the study in percentages? That’s useless.

Posted by Jack Bauer on October 23, 2006 at 10:42 AM (CDT)

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