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View Full Version : Eu volume cap on music players and buying a player from the US




roisin and mac
Apr 10, 2008, 08:14 PM
Hi everyone.

I am in the process of getting myself a music player. I'll be using it mainly while walking around and on the bus and train, rather than in the quiet of my own room or a study hall or library, so that means that the sound volume has to be adequate so that I can hear the music, especially softer music like some piano pieces, or softer jazz like Chet Baker.

After trying an ipod nano in a store using the sort of earbuds I prefer, and finding the sound disappointingly low (even in the relative quiet of the store, which was not busy at the time, and even after removing the Volume Limit on the ipod itself!), I did a bit of googling and realised there is a lot of talk and actually quite a bit of solid evidence that the ipods sold in europe have a much lower maximum volume than those sold in the US, because of an EU directive regarding so-called safe sound volume on portable audio devices.

I was all set to get an ipod nano because of these playing so nicely with my mac (I keep my cellphones cheap and nasty, so intended to load all my contacts and calendar info on it, and even put some stuff in the Notes section, in addition to stocking it with plenty of music and pics and video. my music players are always my most personal devices after my laptop), so I was really stoked for making full use of it, until this rather strange ocurrence of the vanishing sound. The Thrill Is Gone*, indeed :(

My question on this is: is it a good idea to buy one from the US, and if yes how could I go about that, given that I live in Europe and have only a Europe based credit card and no prospect of travelling to the US that I can see of? Also, if I were to do this, how would warranty work?

I have heard of some applications that will unlock the sound of your ipod and let it go as high as the one on US/rest of the world ipods, but I am not sure I would want to use that; would I not run the risk of voiding the warranty? Plus, it would really ruin some of the fun of getting a new device--it would rather throw the whole 'right out of the box' thing out the window :rolleyes: And now that I have had opportunity to experience that with my mac, I'm afraid it's spoilt me :)

I have also seen it mentioned that I should try isolational, or in-ear, earphones. I have tried these in the past on other devices, but I find using those a really unpleasant experience, they even affect my balance when I try to walk around with them. They also isolate me far too much, as they are a lot like earplugs, so that I never know what is going on around me. In other words, I would never think of using these out on the street because they are too dangerou, and like I said walking around outside is the main kind of situation I will be (would have been? hope not, hope I figure this out, with a little help from my friends**) using the ipod.

Large headphone sets are also not very practical, as they take up a lot more space and require more care in storage, so that the 'headband' does not snap or bend. earbuds can be well taken care of if I just roll them loosely around my hand, then put them in a little pouch so they don't get pulled on or tangled--even wound around the ipod can do in a pinch. but the others need more special care, and they will also mean carrying a significantly larger bag, something I am keen on avoiding as I already carry around a camera bag in addition to my handbag, so I don't need the extra bulk and weight. They are also not practical for use during winter, because I find it hard to accomodate a hat or wide headband to protect my ears from the cold with these headphone types.

So to sum up, I want to know all you can tell me about how to work around this alleged but likely extant guideline on the volume limit. And if you know of another music player as good as the ipod, and as compatible with macs, and with all the contacts and calendars and notes and video/photo capabilities as the nano, but that has somehow slipped through the net of european guidelines, please mention it. I guess I might want to know what to go for if it whould all come to smash :(

Thanks,
roisin




*The Thrill Is Gone is a Chet Baker song, it's one of my faves of his. Check him out on iTunes, it's great for relaxing to, but without being silly elevator music.
**Sorry about the double music reference!! I didn't set out to do it but it just came naturally! Anyway I bet you all know where this one's from ;)



MrMojo1
Jan 19, 2012, 03:11 PM
Bumping an old thread's question...

EU has the volume cap law designed for health reasons.... so people don't go deaf while listening to portable media devices!

You can buy US version iPods/iTouch on eBay.com or Amazon.com or Buy.com or other websites but check where the company is located in the USA, if possible. Also, check to see if the seller or company will ship internationally. Many do but some don't!

The shipping charges may be relatively high depending on where you live in Europe and you may also pay any customs tax depending on the country.