Apparently, ear bud style headphones are causing people in their early twenties to suffer the sort of hearing impairment that typically afflicts codgery octogenarians with bronze hearing conches sticking out of their ears.
Because the tiny phones inserted into the ears are not as efficient at blocking outside sounds as the cushioned headsets, users tend to crank up the volume to compensate.
“I have an audiologist friend at Wichita State University who actually pulls off earphones of students he sees and asks, in the interest of science, if he could measure the output of the signal going into their heads,” Garstecki said. Often he finds students listening at 110 to 120 decibels.
“That’s a sound level equivalent to measures that are made at rock concerts,” said Garstecki. “And it’s enough to cause hearing loss after only about an hour and 15 minutes.”
What is the fashion conscious music listener supposed to do now? Those behind-the-head headphones are ridiculous and those really nice luxury Sennheiser’s make one look like a modern-day break dancing enthusiast when you’re walking down the street with them fed out of your iPod. I wish these so-called hearing specialists would invent a thin wafer-like headphone that one can stick behind the ear and which can then beam music directly into my temporal lobe. Cochlear could get involved. Of course, that’s just going to fling open the door for court-ordered RIAA lobotomies. So this is bad news for everyone.