iPods, Earbuds and Your Ears

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 29, 2008

We all have seen the little earphones that come with iPod’s. They are tiny and fit right inside of your ear. They come in different colors, some different sizes, and they are small and thus portable and convenient. They are called earbuds. However, earbuds pose a risk of hearing loss, and hearing damage to the user. So, how can you keep your ears safe when using earbuds with your iPod? Good question…let’s take a look at the answer:

1.The best choice for keeping your ears, and hearing, safe when using the earbuds of your iPod is to simply replace the earbuds with the padded, bigger, earmuff type headphones. However, as most music listeners are somewhat fashion conscious, this is probably not an option you will go for. But, it is the best option for protecting hearing and still using an iPod so it is worth mentioning.

2.A second viable option is to simply choose a better earbud. Many people love to crank up the volume on their music when they have an earbud in, and this is due to several things. One is that if your earbud does not fit snugly, background noise might be seeping in, and thus you crank it up to cancel that out. However, another reason is that the quality of digital music, such as that on an iPod is so great, that you can turn it really loud without the distortion you used to get. That is great, but not for your hearing.

So, you can fix the bad fit problem by finding a pair that fit your ear shape well. In fact, there are even some places that will custom fit them. As far as the other problem goes, it is a temptation you will have to overcome with your future ability to hear in mind. A better choice then cranking up the volume for a clean clear sound is to use noise-canceling earbuds, which block out excess background noise so you can enjoy music at lower volumes. You can get a great pair of noise canceling earbuds for about $100, which is well worth saving your hearing.

3.The next thing is to test your volume preferences. Usually others know when you are listening to your music too loud because they can hear it too. So, ask if others hear your music seeping out. If the answer is yes, it is time to turn it down. A great way to protect your hearing is to go somewhere silent for thirty minutes and let your ears get used to it. Then, put your earbuds in, and start at the lowest volume level, then gradually turn it up until you get a comfortable listening level that is clear. Then, take note of where that is, and never turn it past that place. If this seems like too much work, just know to never turn it past 60% volume capacity as the decibel level above that causes damage to your hearing.

4.Listen less. This is a great way to protect your hearing. The only way to get hearing back is with hearing aids or costly cochlear implants, so do what you can not to lose your hearing in the first place. Loud noises are bad for you, but somewhat loud noises for an extended amount of time is just as bad. So, limit your earbud use to a maximum of one hour per day.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "iPods, Earbuds and Your Ears." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 29 Feb. 2008. Web. 31 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/355/ipods-earbuds-and-your-ears/ >.