Headphones and the risk of hearing loss

Analysis

children's headphones
©photobar- Fotolia.com

With Christmas fast approaching, stores are well stocked with headphone brands that claim to be safe for young ears, or even to deliver 100% safe listening. A product recommendations website based in the US recently analyzed a set of these products, reports Alaska Dispatch News.

With increased awareness of the potential dangers of loud music to young ears, new products that limit sound have been brought to the market. According to the analysis carried out by The Wirecutter, a product recommendations website owned by the New York Times, half of the 30 sets of children’s headphones tested did not restrict volume to the promised limit.

It has been estimated that half of 8 to 12-year-olds listen to music every day, and nearly two-thirds of teenagers do. To carry out their analysis, the team at The Wirecutter used two types of sound tests to evaluate the 30 sets of headphones and earbuds with an iPod Touch. First, they played a fragment of Major Lazer’s hit “Cold Water” as a real-world example of the kind of music children listen to routinely. They also used pink noise, a method that helps to test the output levels of equipment. They found in the first test that 15 headphones exceeded 85 dB, and in the second with pink noise that 10 exceeded 85 dB.

“These are terribly important findings,” says Cory Portnuff, a pediatric audiologist at the University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO who was not involved in the analysis. “Manufacturers are making claims that aren’t accurate.” Another comment came from Dr. Blake Papsin, Chief Otolaryngologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, “Headphone manufacturers aren’t interested in the health of your child’s ears. They are interested in selling products, and some of them are not good for you.”

Source: Alaska Dispatch News

C.S.