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EU Plans Further Reduction In MP3 Player Volumes

Gordon Kelly


EU Plans Further Reduction In MP3 Player Volumes

Back in October 2008 the EU claimed that if we didn't turn down the volume of our MP3 players 10 per cent of owners risk hearing loss. Skip forward a year and it appears further action needs to be taken...

According to The Guardian, authorities are now looking for an 85dB max to be placed on MP3 players and phones capable of music playback (these days virtually all). Last October 89dB had been the figure targeted, and some experts insist 78dB is the true figure where hearing damage starts to occur. Despite this Apple is the only high profile company to limit the maximum volume of its products and that is to 100dB for Europe only. Meanwhile many players can top 115dB.

Now I can feel the rage of freedom for x,y and z campaigners gathering as I type, but this is one nanny state ruling I can get behind. Why? Because 85dB is extremely loud (the equivalent of most bedside alarms) and if you don't think so then you're using crap earphones and need to upgrade (did you hear that?).

Cheap headphones lack isolation, they leak sound and compete with the noises of the outside world - so you turn them up because "they aren't loud enough". That's the same logic as someone shouting in your ear at a concert and you can't hear it: they are still shouting in your ear! Furthermore, there is no fix for damaged hearing. In the words of Dr Robin Yeoh, an audiology consultant at the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, "Once you damage the nerves of your inner ear that's permanent, there's no medication, no surgery, no therapies that {are} going to reverse it."

Personally I think the solution is to ban bundled earphones. Worth mere pence, they are a dangerous convenience akin to supplying you a sports car fitted with emergency tyres. Furthermore, unlike emergency tyres or unhealthy food, the majority of people don't realise the risks.

In short, let's see this EU proposal approved because, as I've infamously ranted in the past, "please readers, tell yourselves, tell your friends, scare your elderly relatives if you have to that if you don't become more discerning about what you stick into your ears then you're GOING TO GO DEAF!"


via The Guardian

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