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Will playing Ipod at max volume damage earphones?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by WillMak, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    I just bought the shure e4 earphones and they have been great. However, a few minutes ago I didn't realise my ipod was at max volume when I plugged them in.So when I pressed play, it played the music at 100% volume for about 2 seconds while I struggled to grab my ipod and lower it back to normal levels...OUCH. Anyway, I don't know if it's just my ears recovering from that sonic wave, but the music doesn't sound as good as it did before (unfortunatly I've only had the shures for about a day so I can't really be sure how they did sound). So did I damage my earphones or am I just being paranoid?
  2. macrumors 604


    not for 2secs, people i know Blast them so much, just play at the sound you want, and let your headphones live on day at a time.

    But no 2secs, max Vol, should be fine:)
  3. macrumors 6502a

    thanks! I was growing worried that I damaged a pair of 300 dollar earphones in jjust one day!
  4. macrumors newbie

    I had the same question. Bought some shure e3c's the other day and plugged them into the iMac. Came back an hour and turned up the music since it wasn't any louder when turning up the volume. Turns out the shures were plugged into the headphone jack and I was blasting it up to the max thinking the internal speakers were dead, but it really was just the e3c's playing. I broke my iPod headphones the same way, but I guess the shures are much higher quality.

    Thanks for the clarification, zap2! :)
  5. macrumors 6502


  6. macrumors 603


    No damage to the 'phones, but to your ears, probably a bit. Nothing long term (unless you make that a habit).

    This might be a good time to suggest usage of the Hold Switch?
  7. macrumors 603


    Be more careful...you can always get new earphones but your eardrums..thats a different story.

  8. macrumors 6502a

    thesmallelder. how did your e3s sound after?
  9. macrumors 68000


    You really don't want to lose your hearing -- or sight for that matter, not that it's relevant. Those are two things taken for granted every day, but they're just useful =).
  10. macrumors G4


    True, I have on a few occasions accidently bumped the volume up (usually when my iPod Mini was in my pocket & not on hold) and its not pleasant. :)
  11. macrumors 603


    It is probably true, but it is probably your ears that are slightly damaged. Loud music like that is terrible for your ears. And with those high quality ear-buds, it can't be good.

    I'm actually studying Acoustics at University, and we went over Psychoacoustics. Psychology of Hearing. Playing music too loud will increase your high range hearing loss which is probably why you think the sound isn't as good anymore. Although what you would have done with a 2 second blast is probably minimal, you will notice the effect for an hour to a couple hours.

    As you get older your high frequency hearing diminishes. Nothing you can really do about it. At 22 you can hear up to 22khz possibly, but around 27 you will be lucky to hear up to 18khz. Most music only has sound up to 4-5khz though, 8-10khz possibly, but quite unlikely.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    the 4shures are actually better for your ears than the regular iPod headphones because they block out more outside noise. If you are concerned about damaging your hearing (which is worth being concerned if you are always listening to your iPod in public/loud places), it is best to get noise cancelling headphones. They are expensive, but instead of having to turn your music up to overcome outside noise, they block that sound out completely, allowing you to listen at a normal volume and not putting stress on your hearing.

    oh, and the iPod actually has less output strength than most other devices that you would use computers with (discman, laptop), so I'm sure the headphones will handle the noise alright, although the regular iPod headphones do have a tendency to blow out if hte volume is too hihg
  13. macrumors 68000


    naw dude... the ear phones will be fine at max-volume... but it'll sure damage the hell out of your ears. i VERY rarely listen to an ipod above half-volume.
  14. macrumors newbie

    They sound perfectly normal, but with my iPod buds I couldn't hear the static problems until the volume was at the max. I haven't tested the e3cs to max to make sure theres nothing wrong, but as of now, they sound fine.
  15. macrumors 603


    I hear that. And I can only imagine what those Shure headphones can do at half max-volume. I bet they sound amazing though.
  16. macrumors newbie


    is this a mostly american site? isnt it true that you guys have your ipod volumes uncapped already? because european ipods volume is so low as standard that i had to listen to it on full until i uncapped it and if its not an uncapped ipod it certainly will not damage your headphones if played at full!!
  17. macrumors 6502

    I've wrecked several pairs of Apple headphones by playing them too loud... good job they replace them :D

    I've never had it happen to anything very expensive, though.
  18. macrumors regular

    At 29 ohms, the Shures are efficient, but not terribly so. SO, even at max volume, they would not be as loud as earbuds with a lower impedance. For your ears, though, it's all relative. I will bet they were what suffered in this incident.
  19. weg
    macrumors 6502a


    Hearing, sight, hair.. that's what the catholic church says you'll loose if you.. you know what ;-)
  20. macrumors regular

    Having had Etymotic ER-4P(S)s for 6 years, I know how good these can sound. The Etymotics are still the gold standard of in-ear headphones. They are a great portable solution, with caveats. The first is that the bottom end is always missing that "feel" of compressed air. Secondly, the ear canal, even when conditioned, fatigues from the tight fit necessary to ensure a proper seal. Thirdly, the extended frequency response in the high end can also cause long term reduction in high frequency recognition. SO, be careful with the Shures or any in-ear headphone. Don't use them too much, but that should not be a problem as the comfort and bass issues usually have you thinking about another solution before long.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    As a sound engineer, I can give you some advice on how loud earphones should go so you do not cause damage to yourself. Sit in a normal room with normal day to day SPL, for example, an office. Place your headphones 6 inches infront of your chin, so they are just in front of you. Turn the volume up on your iPod until you can just hear it, make sure only just. Now place them in your ears. This should be the max volume you should ever use. Sounds not so loud? Maybe because your not used to it being that loud. Anything above 80dBSPL for long periods will damage your hearing.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    This is a mostly American site, but people from all around the world use it often.
    Yeah, ours in the States are uncapped and will play much more loudly at full than yours will capped.
    Ours can blast our freaking ears out at full. I'm not sure about damaging headphones, though.
  23. macrumors regular


    From all accounts, in ear monitors are actually more effective at blocking outside noise than earphones with active noise cancelling.
  24. macrumors 68000


    You won't have permanently (or to be honest, even temporarily) damaged your hearing with a short blast like that, so don't worry. At most it would be desensitised for a couple of hours, but that's all.

  25. macrumors 6502a

    Lol I'm not worried about damaging my hearing at all. It's my shure in ear headphones that I'm concerned about.

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