More than two-thirds of young people who regularly use MP3 players face premature hearing damage because the volume is too high, a charity warns. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People said its findings were alarming, particularly with eight million MP3 players sold last year alone in the UK. It urges MP3 player fans to invest in in-ear filters for headphones, these cancel out background noise and reduce the need to increase volume levels.
The World Health Organization says that listening to earphones at 85 decibels or more for over an hour at a time can damage hearing. RNID found that almost half of young people who use MP3 players listen for more than an hour a day, with a quarter listening for more than 21 hours a week.
Brian Lamb, acting chief executive of RNID said “It’s easy to crank up the sound levels on your MP3 player to damagingly loud levels, especially on busy streets or public transport. But if people can hear the music from your headphones from just a metre away, you’re putting your hearing at risk.”