Experts warn of iPod hearing loss

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, May 9, 2005.

  1. macrumors bot

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    #1
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    The "experts" are being fools. There's a legitimate use for the high ends of the volume spectrum: using a pair of headphones as small speakers (I'm dead serious, I do this regularly).

    ~J
     
  3. macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #3
    42 years of headphones, car stereos, concerts...I don't think I can hurt my ears any more!
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #4
    I unlocked my UK iPods!
    The real problem is the headphones -
    The Apple ones do not isolate you AT ALL, and hence, if you are in a noisy environment, you have to pump up the volume to suit. Sometimes on the Tube (London Underground Rail) you can't hear anything from those crappy cans!
    I recently bought a pair of Shure E3cs that go inside your ear Canal, and isolate you from the surrounding noise, henceforth, I haven't pushed the volume of my iPod beyond 75% - and anything above that can be painful (which makes me think I may re-cap the volume - which you can also do in the US if you are concerned with this).
    These kind of headphones will actually protect your ears by stopping you pushing up the volume to overcome outside noises. (Larger noise-cancelling cans do it too, but to a lesser degree)

    There are lots of manufacturers out there making these kinds of 'phones, - many of them deriving from the music industry - Shure make many of the in-ear "monitors" that artists use on stage (for precisely the reason that they cancel out the speaker noise, and feedback the artist's vocals at a lower volume).

    Look for Etymotics, Shure etc. Hell even Apple offer these, which I have used for a few years and are an improvement to the supplied buds!
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #5
    P.S. - UK consumer "experts" groups give this kind of warning ALL THE TIME! - Why do you think us Brits have volume restricted iPods in the first place!
     
  6. macrumors Core

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    #6
    again, its more than just iPods that people should be wary of, what about all those other MP3 players? wasnt this always a concern with the discman too?

    i guess iPod = MP3 player now, good job Apple!

    eh, ill listen to my music as i always have, but seriously, they only recommend one hour a day? get with it, no one does that, even before the iPod was out
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    True that...even with a cheap pair of Philips ones from Target, I can listen to my iPod at substantially reduced volumes. With these, in a relatively quiet room, my iPod is actually usable at the very lowest possible volume setting! And 50% is easily enough to be heard in noisy situations, whereas I needed 80% on earbuds to get that. They might have smaller drivers that take less power to begin with, but its also definitely in part the noise isolation.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    munkle

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    #8
    Riiiiiggghhtt :rolleyes:


    (Oh I know they mean at high volumes but I'm bored of hearing from these "experts" who are just trying to gain a bit of notoriety by jumping on the coat tails of the iPod).
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #9
    Is hearing all that important anyway?
    I don't need it to post on Macrumors! :D
     
  10. macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #10
    While I agree that these 'experts' are a little OTT, there are lot of people who listen to their music at ridiculous level and it's highly irritating to those around. There are days on the train when I could sing along to the music on someone's iPod (or whatever) because it's so loud.

    I wish those 'in-ear' ones came as standard since it does shut off a lot of the noise... for both those listening intentionally and unintentionally.
     
  11. Guest

    iGary

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    #11
    I play my music way too loud. Guess I'll find out when I'm 40.

    Wait, I'm almost 40.

    Huh?
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

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    #12
    Come on guys, there's a point in all this. Hearing loss is a serious thing so play it safe when listening to your music. :)
     
  13. macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    #13

    Yah but what is safe? The article said that devices shouldn't go above 2/3rds of the max level. But never said what is "safe" I personally never go above 50%.

    I really wish Apple would put a digital meter on the volume screen so you can see where you are at. This guessing crap is erking me off. Take the iTrip. Says you should set the level to no higher then 75%. Well that's great. Let me see. That "LOOKS" like 75%. Maybe a bit more. :rolleyes:
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #14
    what did you say? :D
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #15
    It seems iPod use also:
    1. Makes people associate the written word with spoken language
    2. Mentally represses the inner representation of the language so far as to not be able to "hear" it.
    3. - Hence, you can't even hear what you read! - Dope!
    Ergo Facto:
    iPods make you illiterate!
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I know you're talking about in-ear headphones where it isn't so bad, but keep in mind that if you're talking circumaural headphones isolation is bad. You want open headphones for the best sound.

    Also, that's another problem with these "experts": the volume indicators really don't indicate volume. You take those iPod earbuds and crank the volume up to max and you'll be hurting pretty quick. On the other hand, plug in some AKG K 1000s and see if you can even hear it anymore.

    ~J
     
  17. Lau
    Guest

    #17
    I have recently uncapped my iPod. I was perfectly happy with the volume for almost a year. Then I bought an iTalk, and playing back speech through the mini speaker was completely inaudible, even with my ear pressed to it (like a headphone :rolleyes: ). So I uncapped it with GoPod, and it has been great since.

    So, not everyone is uncapping it to deafen themselves. I usually had the volume below 50% even uncapped, with the standard earbuds. I'm such a rebel. :D
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #18
    I take it by "circumaural" you mean headphones that "actively" cancel the noise? - I would never use these.
    I was talking about in-ear phones that work as part ear-plug part headphone.
    At home I use Grado SR80s - I'd like anyone to find fault with the quality of those cans - but
    1. They're huge and I get the impression a yank on the cable would destroy them
    2. If the background was a noisy place (london underground) the sound quality would be completely lost!

    No-one is going to get me to go back to a normal ear-"bud" or sell me with active-cancelling (or "circumaural" or whatever) after using my Shure E3cs.
    The E4c is out soon - I won't buy but everyone else should have a look!

     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    mrsebastian

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    #19
    ditto! darn it you beat me to it ;)
     
  20. macrumors 6502

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    #20
    No, by circumaural I mean ones that surround your ear—active noise cancelling just means you get an even lower-quality headphone for your money. Compare supraaural, your standard age-old walkman headphone that sits on top of your ear. Circumaurals are generally the ones with meaningful isolation, though, as they can create a semi-sealed chamber around your ears (which is why the sound quality degrades as well—double-edged swords, all).

    Your Grados are supraaural, for reference. I haven't had a chance to listen to them, but Headroom says they're a decent upper-low-range headphone, all things considered—which, as far as us non-audiophiles go, means a decent mid-range headphone (I'm not going to fault anyone's headphones for not competing with $600-and-up 'phones). Word is they've also got problems properly driving the low-range on portables without an amp, but such is life—my Sennheiser HD580s probably suffer the same problem (I've never tried). Incidentally, the E4Cs are out, as are the E5Cs (though I'd stay away from the E5Cs, I hear they're not good value for the money). Etymotic also makes some pretty good earbuds, by all reports.

    ~J
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    calyxman

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    #21
    Well, FYI Apple even posts a warning on their site (it pertains to the iBook). Scroll near the bottom and you'll see the following:

     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Certainly, but that's just common sense. If you'll note it avoids two problems:

    1) Implementing by technical or legally enforced technical means a limitation that should be implemented in wetware (the end-user)

    2) Assuming that all devices playing through the iPod will have the same impedance (that is to say, that 50% of displayed volume slider will generate the same sound pressure with my setup as with that of someone else's).

    ~J
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    Hey! There's still a ghost in this shell! :eek:
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    #24
    How we're treated is what really makes us human, and I'm just doing my bit to dehumanize everyone :D

    ~J
     
  25. macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #25
    In other news, it's been reported cars can cause loss of limbs and other body parts.
     

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