College Kids' iPod Volume Hurts Hearing

Most subjects in study set volume to damaging level
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2009 2:20 PM CDT
An iPod Classic is shown in this undated file photo.   (Photo: Business Wire)
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(Newser) – Most young people listen to their iPods at levels that will damage hearing over time, a new study shows. Researchers measured the output of an iPod while college-age students listened to music in a lab setting, and they found 55% of the subjects set the volume higher than 85 decibels—sufficient to cause hearing loss, with prolonged exposure.

"They tend to want to set them at levels that are pretty high," the lead researcher told LiveScience. Listening to music at 85 decibels will damage hearing only with hours of exposure over a period of years—but that’s exactly what many iPod users subject themselves to, a habit that "will gradually cause significant permanent hearing loss," the researcher warns.
(Read more iPod stories.)