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earbuds and hearing damage?
1 March 2017
3.14pm
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Rishikesh
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I read something today that says listening to music at your office with earbuds all day can cause you to have a certain kind of hearing damage where you can hear perfectly fine one on one, but you can't hear a thing in loud places like clubs and restaurants. Sure enough, I can't hear a thing if there is loud background noise.

Has anyone else experienced this? Should I switch to over-ear headphones? Supposedly that solves the issue, but the problem is they are huge and clunky and I'm afraid my boss would think they are unprofessional.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

1 March 2017
3.33pm
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HMBeatlesfan
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It's rare and isn't worth lowering the volume over, but it happened to George Martin.

Maybe you should try posting more.

1 March 2017
3.40pm
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Martha
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I don't think that it will be too dangerous if you don't listen to music too loudly. However, I would not recommend using headphones which you insert too deep into your ears ( I think they're called in-ear headphones ) but rather earbuds.

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Beatlebug

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1 March 2017
3.51pm
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Starr Shine?
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I say play songs at low volumes.

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1 March 2017
6.43pm
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Leppo
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I've always had a problem hearing conversations in loud environments whereas I notice people I'm with seem to hear ok. I don't think mine is from earphone usage but being in bands when I was younger I did spend a lot of time near very loud amps. I sometimes think the problem is that I notice background noises more than most people I'm with and find it hard to dial down the background sounds so that I can focus on what someone is saying. A doctor once told me my ear canals are very narrow so maybe this is also factor.

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Beatlebug

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1 March 2017
7.02pm
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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When I listen to music with earphones for too long, it starts to hurt my ears, but headphones don't do that to me. Earphones are nicer because they are smaller and more easily portable, but headphones are better in every other way. Talk to your boss about it, they'll probably understand. 

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1 March 2017
9.05pm
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sir walter raleigh
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I second that a-hard-days-night-ringo-8  

If your boss gives the ok there is no downside to using headphones. 

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1 March 2017
9.28pm
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My boss is generally not very understanding. At one time she told us we weren't even allowed to use earbuds. Thankfully that's all over now. They tend to make unfair rules at my office. 

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

2 March 2017
9.37am
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Starr Test
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If your boss is this hard on you, you should quit your job, maybe get a job elsewhere, you'd look great as a John Lennon in a Beatles tribute band.

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2 March 2017
9.01pm
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moriz
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I've used earbuds my entire life and I have excellent hearing. It's not just using them that causes hearing damage, it's misusing them. My little sister used to listen to music at high volumes; so loud that people around her could hear it through her headphones. She now has bad hearing in one ear. I listen to most things at 2%-12% volume depending on the volume of the file, and music slightly louder than that. I've never had a problem. 

It also might depend on the individual person, though. If earbuds give you problems, you could always try finding a small pair of headphones instead. 

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Beatlebug
2 March 2017
9.30pm
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Pablo Ramon
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Starr Test said
If your boss is this hard on you, you should quit your job, maybe get a job elsewhere, you'd look great as a John Lennon in a Beatles tribute band.  

I'd say it really depends on the environment and the type of work whether this is particularly "hard on" the employees. There are plenty of situations where I might expect earbuds to be verboten. However if earbuds are OK, I would expect headphones to be OK.

 

I happen to know a bit about hearing loss. I suffer from partial hearing impairment myself, but in my case it appears to be genetic and not related to exposure to loud sounds. (And, no, it doesn't explain my taste in music...with technological assistance - high end hearing aids mostly paid for by my health insurance - my hearing is in the normal range.)

However, it is really important to be careful with volume and headphones / earbuds. There is no practical difference between headphones and earbuds in terms of long term consequences. But headphones and earbuds do put the source of the music closer to the eardrum and you can very easily achieve 120 dbs with your phone or mp3 player. 75-80 minutes of exposure to 120 dbs can result in hearing loss. This type of hearing loss happens gradually over time and you may not notice it as it occurs. Having a hard time hearing conversations in noisy rooms is one symptom of this kind of hearing loss. As a rule, you should listen at 60% of your player's max volume and not for more than an hour or so per day. 

Take it from someone who has struggled to hear for his entire adult life and who has lost a big chunk of his hearing through no fault of his own - TAKE CARE OF YOUR EARS! Don't you want to be listening to every nuance and detail of I Am The Walrus when you're 85?

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Beatlebug
2 March 2017
10.42pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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I've refrained from saying this, but I figure, what the hey, he doesn't mind.

My dad has 5% hearing in his left ear and 20% hearing in his right ear, and a fair bit of the damage is from lots of exposure to loud music in his youth. I can vouch for what Mr. Ramon said!

Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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3 March 2017
4.15am
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moriz
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I feel like if I ever listened to anything on 60% volume, my head would immediately explode. Do people really listen to music that loudly and think it's not going to hurt them?

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Beatlebug
3 March 2017
5.55am
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Starr Shine?
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People will blast music on headphones loud enough where you can here it from across the room.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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3 March 2017
5.59am
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Leppo
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I remember going to gigs in small clubs when I was about 16 or 17 and music was so loud that when me and my friends came out we had a constant hissing sound in our ears for a day or so and when we spoke it felt like we had a lisp. 

Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

3 March 2017
1.21pm
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Rishikesh
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I have to turn my iPod up to 50-60% volume to feel like I am really hearing the music. But then I've never been able to listen to music at low volumes, except for my stereo, which turns up very, very loud.

On my stereo, I listen to music at 2 or 3 out of 10 and that is loud enough. If I turned it all the way up, I think everyone in my row of apartments could hear it.

I'm 46. When I was 24 or so, my cousin fired a shotgun near my left ear one day when we were in a barn. I couldn't hear anything in my left ear for about three or four years except a loud ringing. That finally went away and I have been slowly getting hearing back in that ear.

I've also been to many loud shows.

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Jojo McCartney, The Hole Got Fixed, Beatlebug, SgtPeppersBulldog

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

3 March 2017
1.43pm
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Rishikesh
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Something else I've noticed is that these days they make music louder. Some newer songs I can turn my iPod down below 50% and still hear them just fine.

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Beatlebug

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

3 March 2017
1.58pm
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Starr Shine?
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Louder mixed music is a trend. Started around the eighties I think.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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3 March 2017
1.59pm
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Rishikesh
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Starr Shine? said
Louder mixed music is a trend. Started around the eighties I think.  

I first noticed it about 1997. It has been steadily getting louder every year.

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"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

3 March 2017
8.15pm
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Beatlebug
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Starr Shine? said
People will blast music on headphones loud enough where you can here it from across the room.  

Good god. How is that not physically painful? a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

My mum nags me occasionally about damaging my hearing by using headphones...  I ignore her Cassandra-croakings a-hard-days-night-george-4 

I don't listen to music very loud on my 'phones, usually not more than 40%, but the ability to hear all the mad little titbits -- especially with Pink Floyd -- is too good to give up. Plus, headphones sometimes help me focus on my work. 

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