iPods Can Make You Deaf

How’s that for a headline? ThisisLondon reports London commuters riding the tube (subway) and trains are at risk for tinnitus and severe damage to the inner ear because they turn up the volume to dangerous levels due to the background noise on public transportation.
What’s so unusual about this? We’ve had Walkmans for years. It’s thanks to the the popularity of the iPods, which have the ability to carry up to 30 hours of music on a single battery charge. The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) has a Web site to spread the word about the problem.
The solution is to turn down the volume. Convincing users to do it won’t be easy. Young folks believe nothing bad will happen to them.
Which is worse? Enjoying music for many years at acceptable volume levels or enjoying music for a few years at dangerously loud levels. Doesn’t seem like a tough choice to me.

1 comment

    • alicia on May 13, 2005 at 11:05 am

    I seem to remember reading some time ago about about noise-canceling technology that did a pretty decent job of silencing background noise. Wouldn’t it be better to build that technology into iPods rather than simply limiting the volume (in other words, intentionally crippling their product)? I wonder if Apple has gotten in touch with the hearing-aid industry to find out what they’ve been doing to reduce background noise.

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