Posted on: June 7, 2018

Look around next time you are in public. Whether it be on the street, the bus, the mall, or the workplace, chances are you will see a fair number of people wearing earbuds or headphones. These items have become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to go out and not see someone using them. The question is, what is this doing to our hearing?

Here is the bottom line: it’s not the devices that are harmful on their own, but the level we play them at and how long we wear them. Studies have shown that the average person has difficulty using earbuds and headphones at safe volumes and intervals, with many people turning them up over 80 decibels (the volume where sound begins to become damaging) for long periods of time, sometimes all day.

If you are going to use these devices you need to be very careful about how loud you set them and how long you use them for. As a general rule if someone else can hear sound coming from your earbuds or phones when they are sitting beside you, they are too loud. Some devices have a volume limiter you can set, which will not allow you to go past a certain volume. In general, try not to set the volume beyond halfway.

Another issue is noise. People turn up there devices louder when they are in a noisy environment such as a bus in order to drown out the background noise. In these situations, noise cancelling headphones should be considered. These devices will actively reduce background noise so that you don’t have to turn up the music to hear it over the noise.

Finally, even at lower levels, try not to use your earphones for more than a few hours a day. Noise becomes damaging after about four hours at 80 decibels but becomes damaging much faster at higher levels.

To summarize, if you are going to use earbuds or headphones, reduce the volume and time you wear them and consider noise cancelling headphones for use in public places.

For more information please contact Accurate Hearing at one of our convenient locations:

Lower Sackville: 902-252-3004

Cole Harbour: 902-406-4327