Don’t stop the music! just turn down the volume, not the fidelity


While the revolution in MP3 and phone technology has given us all the benefit of music on the move, an unwelcome side effect is we are pumping up the volume into our ears and at a far earlier age than ever before.

One answer is to pump up the “fidelity” – or quality of the sound – without twisting the volume knob.  Adjusting the EQ settings of a music player to dial in the right mix of treble and bass frequencies can go a long way to ensure that every note is heard and every word is understood.

Turning the volume down slightly is such a simple thing to do and will enable today’s generation to continue to enjoy their music for years to come.

A scary fact, that between 2.5 million and 10 million Europeans could suffer hearing loss from listening to MP3 players at unsafe volumes – over 89 decibels – for more than an hour daily for at least five years.

MP3 players now sold have maximum sound levels ranging between 80 and 115 decibels. Using different earphones could add a further 9 decibels.  Above 120 decibels is equivalent to the level of noise generated by an airplane taking off.

Sales of digital players has jumped in recent years, and some 50-100 million people are believed to listen to them on a daily basis, the EU says.


Also by using high-quality earphones help eliminate as much background noise as possible.

Earphones broadcast powerful sound waves directly into the ear canal, there’s a much greater potential for hearing loss.

Experts agree that a person should never turn the volume all the way up on any personal music player, as the sound can easily exceed 100 decibels (dB).  Prolonged exposure to volume levels of this magnitude – as loud as a chain saw slicing through a tree – can lead to a condition called tinnitus.

The EU’s Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Meglena Kuneva is campaigning for manufacturers to recommend users turn down the volume to preserve their hearing.


Limit periods of exposure to noise.
Avoid dancing or standing close to speakers at clubs, gigs or festivals.  Use the chill out areas to give your ears a break.   If you want to watch main act at the front of the stage, then perhaps watch the support from further back.

Wearing hearing protectors.
Cotton wool in your ears won’t work!  Wearing specially designed earplugs (not swimmer’s plugs) will work. These start from £10.  Not much to preserve your hearing!

Have your hearing tested. Use your initial test as a benchmark to checking that your hearing is declining. Do it today so you have a reference point for the future.

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