Why sell with earphones in the box?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by iBug2, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    #1
    Because Apple sells iPhones with earphones in the box, they have to stick to the European Union volume limit law, which limits all iPhones sold in EU countries to 100 dB's earphones output.

    iPads are not sold with earphones so they are not volume limited. Same with laptops or other Macs.

    Would it be terrible if Apple sold iPhones without earphones as well? They did buy Beats and are now selling Beats headphones in their stores. Apple's own earbuds are sold in all Apple stores as well. If they dropped the earphones from the package, maybe they can shave off some of the iPhone's cost. Not everyone needs a new earbud every time they buy a new iPhone anyway, people keep using their old ones, or just a different brand anyway. And more importantly, this whole EU Volume limit nonsense would be done with.
     
  2. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a

    nickchallis92

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    #2
    The European Union is a terrible entity and I really hope the UK votes out of it. That said there are worse things about it than this particular directive.

    I imagine Apple wants to include earphones as they help reinforce the apple brand.
     
  3. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

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    #3
    The earphones probably cost 15 cents to make. I'd rather have them "included" with a new phone than to go out and pay $20 at the Apple Store. Yes, I know I'm still paying for them either way but in this case I prefer ignorance.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Assuming Apple does this (stops including earbuds in the iPhone package) would not the EU see that as an attempt to get around this regulation? Would they not respond with action of some kind against Apple?

    I don't live over there which is why I ask.
     
  5. CTHarrryH macrumors 65816

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    #5
    100 db sounds very loud - what db level do you want?
    I'm sure if Apple dropped the headphones they wouldn't drop the price at all anyway.
     
  6. iBug2 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Nope. Just like with iPads, if they don't sell them with earbuds included, the law does not apply.
     
  7. iBug2 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #7
    The problem is that the 100dB is a hard limit, which is tested using the included earbuds. If you are using higher impedance big headphones, they will be much more limited than 100dBs. Or if you are listening to songs not mastered for loudness like 99% of the pop/rock music out there, the limit causes them to be way too quiet.
     
  8. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    #8
    Yeah, like 100dB isn't loud enough:rolleyes:
    Ah, you mean the iPhone output is limited to 100dB (*and not the earbuds themselves)? Right. It still sounds super-loud to me and unless you're using really high impedance HiFi headphones it won't be a problem.

    Really though, as someone who suffers from severe tinnitus I strongly suggest you curb your need for volume.
     
  9. DCIFRTHS macrumors 6502a

    DCIFRTHS

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    #9
    Excellent advice.
     
  10. recoil80 macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Since they bought Beats they have plenty of earphones and headset.
    They could sell the phone without earphones in the box and offer a discount to buy earphones and headset on the Apple store. The discount should be enough to buy the current earphones for free so a customer may get the basic earphones for free and be able to pay a little more for another headset.
    They now sell earphones with a variety of colours to match the Apple Watch bands and they could be great to match iPhone 5C as well.
     
  11. iBug2 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #11
    So what if you are using high impedance HiFi headphones?

    Also, I can find you so many tracks in my iTunes library that are not mastered for loudness, which will sound quiet even with Apple earbuds and EU iPhones.

    If Apple wants to impose a limit, at least make it track based. If a track is recorded and mastered much more quietly than standard, let it go higher in volume. Applying a hard limit on every single track uniformly is just stupid.

    The volume slider changes so much when I'm listening to music with my iPhone. Pop songs are listened at 35%, but then there are certain old classical recordings which I listen to around 85%, and 85% on a US iPhone is higher than an EU iPhone can deliver at 100%.
     
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #12
    I was under the impression that manufacturers can allow higher volumes as long as they prompt the user about potential hearing damage and the user chooses to go higher. I've seen other manufacturers do exactly this so maybe the issue is part EU and part Apple for choosing not to implement like that
     
  13. LucasEVille macrumors regular

    LucasEVille

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    #13
    Was just thinking the same thing
    <-- Tinnitus & noise induced hearing loss due to working for an unnamed company in the music industry
     
  14. iBug2 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #14
    There's a 85dB limit which the user can remove, and the 100dB limit which the user cannot.
     
  15. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #15
    Ah, right - thanks for the clarification
     
  16. hamiltonDSi macrumors 65816

    hamiltonDSi

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    #16
    I agree.
    I walk everyday and I can hear the traffic and the street noise over my music !

    When I go to class I have my iPad Air 2 in my backpack and I listen to music from it and it's much better.
    I can't hear the traffic and the street noise.
     
  17. Givmeabrek macrumors 68030

    Givmeabrek

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    #17
    Walking outdoors not being able to hear traffic is better?? Sounds way too loud to me.
     
  18. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    #18
    You should be thankful that Apple have imposed these limits. You shouldn't just keep turning the volume up until everything else is blocked out. I have some specialist ear plugs and they blot-out 40% of background noise, but I can still hear traffic and hustle-bustle whilst wearing them, and that's whilst using a device which is designed to reduce noise. Earphones and headphones, especially open headphones do not attempt to blot out background noise. There are some special in-canal earphones which do go a long way to blotting out background noise (and your musical noise pollution for others) but I wouldn't recommend those. The ability to damage your hearing is much stronger with them.
     
  19. LCPepper macrumors regular

    LCPepper

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    #19
    There is no specific EU law and/ or ruling that mandates Apple to impose any such upper limit. The EU has imposed limits on sound exposure for workplace environments only.

    The EU requires that consumers be informed of audio exposure:

    http://ec.europa.eu/health/opinions/en/hearing-loss-personal-music-player-mp3/index.htm

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-09-418_en.htm?locale=en

    This is something that is imposed at a individual member state level (France 2002), but has nothing to do with supranational EU law. This was discussed between 2008/ 2009 and hasn't been mentioned since as far as the European Union's website is concerned.

    There is an option to disable the supposèd "EU limit" in the settings on iPhones and iPods; which may or may not relate to the 80db or 100db. But really there is no official upper limit, and the EU identifies 80db as the upper limit for safe extended listening:

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-09-418_en.htm?locale=en
     
  20. iBug2 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Disabling the EU limit removes the 85dB limit, but the 100 dB limit cannot be removed. Of course these numbers are based on Apple earbuds and if you use another earphone/headphone with different impedance, the maximum SPL will be different.

    Non-EU iPhones can go up to 120 dB with Apple Earbuds, so there's a 20 dB difference between the EU and non-EU ones.

    The law is a France law but every EU product has to match the specs because of the trade union laws. Even in countries that do not belong to EU, if they are part of the trade union, they have to sell the iPhones with the limit.
     
  21. LCPepper macrumors regular

    LCPepper

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    #21
    There is absolutely no precedent in EU Law regarding the common market that says if one country imposes a certain restriction or condition on a product, that this also applies to all units of that product sold in other member state countries and those operating with and/ or within the common market.

    The major and most significant competence of the EU in this area is that a member state cannot impose a quantitive restriction or condition on a product if this would cause a contradiction on the free movement of products and free market principles. If France chooses to impose a volume limit, this would not be seen as an act of creating a barrier for the product.

    There is no evidence whatsoever to support that the EU or EC has supranationalised the French law on volume limits, and neither is this automatic.

    http://www.acc.co.nz/PRD_EXT_CSMP/groups/external_ip/documents/reports_results/wpc120204.pdf

    From the above article, we see that the EU warning is respected, but that the restriction appears only to apply to 'models for that market', read France.

    In fact the original BBC article appears to suggest that the 100db limit existed in France before the iPod, and that the law suit in the US prompted/ highlighted in France the iPod's contravention of this, leading to Apple reworking the iPod for the French market:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4673584.stm

    Or if you prefer something less official and academic, this article in 2009 from the Telegraph also reinforces this:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6240432/EU-calls-for-volume-limit-on-MP3-players.html

    So really, what this is saying is, France imposed this restriction on iPods in the French market only. However, Apple was the one who on their own initiative applied the restriction in a blanket sense for European sold iPods (who knows what their definition of the European market is, don't just assume EU). The EC proposals are proof to the fact that the French law does not obligate other member states, and that the blame for the blanket imposition of the restriction lies with Apple alone; most likely because they are lazy.
     
  22. LCPepper macrumors regular

    LCPepper

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    #22
    Just to add to this, I have found some more information.

    It would appear that the BBC was right in that the decibel limit exited before the iPod in France. The limit was imposed in 24 July 1998 and pertained to Walkmans/ portable music players.

    http://www.inpes.sante.fr/70000/dp/08/dp081023.pdf (page 6)
    http://www.lne.fr/publications/acoustique/reglementation_baladeurs.pdf
     
  23. Azzin macrumors 68040

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    London, England.
    #23
    Apple won't drop the earbuds from iPhones.

    Apart from also being a hands free device to speak on the phone, they're far too valuable from an advertising/marketing perspective.
     
  24. LCPepper macrumors regular

    LCPepper

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    #24
    That's true.

    Also, I am not saying here that this limit does not exist. But rather that, it's Apple's fault and doing that it exists in Europe outside France... So don't blame the EU, it's a great thing. People just need a bit more information about things.

    One thing I've just realised too, is that, there is nothing around that seems to suggest at all that the inclusion or exclusion of earbuds/ phones would affect the iPod's/ iPhone's classification as a portable music player. So it really wouldn't make much difference.

    To counter as to the assertion that iPads and Macs don't have the limit because they don't have the earbuds/ phones, is would most likely be due to the fact that they wouldn't be classed as portable music players, but rather as a computer of some description...
     
  25. iBug2 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #25
    That's interesting since an iPad mini is not much less portable than an iPhone 6+.
     

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