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Hearing loss...After how long of listening?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
About everyone I show my headphones to immediately goes "You're going to go deaf soon." I'm 16 so still have some fairly fresh ears, but was wondering exactly how much caution do I need to ensure that my hearing isn't going to get damaged? I primarily use the around ear, closed, Sennheiser HD 380 and keep the volume levels half on my iPod and under half on my Mac. Is that significant enough to damage my ears after several years?
post #2 of 27
I've been using closed headphones for like 20 years, I still pass audition tests hands down! never listen too loud, don't go to stupidly loud concerts, and you're good to go

as long as your ears HURT, then it's no big deal...only the external ear hurts..

the major issue w/ closed phones is that they cut the air flow, so your ears can't "breathe" anymore...and you might very well end up w/ eczema from time to time if you never take them off
post #3 of 27
If you can get access to a sound meter I find this site very useful: Dangerous Decibels: About Hearing Loss
post #4 of 27
post #5 of 27
Short of getting an SPL meter, it's just a matter of common sense. When you start listening, if the singer is at like a normal conversational level, you should be fine. If you start listening at a volume where, if it were a boombox your mom would be knocking on the door telling you to turn down that stupid music, that's probably not OK. Don't listen for many hours at a time, and don't allow yourself to progressively turn the volume up as you go.

If your body starts giving you warning signs, you should know you are doing something wrong and to stop doing it in the future. Things like ears hurt, high pitched ringing/buzzing sound that isn't coming from anything, things sound softer after you stop listening to music than what they normally do are bad signs. If things like that happen with any frequency, you certainly should change your listening habits.
post #6 of 27

Dink.
Note that a standard conversation is 80 db.
@leeperrys comment.
Yeah, the most common ache/pain experienced is because of pads pressing against the ear (or bad pillows etc).
However, listening to something very loud (124 dB or so) will cause discomfort and pain.
post #7 of 27
I'm not sure where you got that graph, but it's WRONG! The headwise article was wildly inaccurate in some places too.

The lowest (1st) entry on the graph lists exposure to 85dBA for 40 hours. In the European Union figures are used from the WHO who state that 85dBA for 8 hours is likely to cause hearing damage. Any workplace within the EU with a SPL of 85dBA (or higher) is required by law to have it's employee's wear hearing defenders.

Standard conversation is usually around 60-65dB although again, in the USA maybe it is 80dB

To be honest, most of the figures used throughout the world as "safe" hearing volumes are to an extent guess work. Different individual people experience hearing loss (and/or permanent damage) at different levels. The figure of 85dBA is often quoted by various government agencies but some audiologists believe that the figure should be 75dB. I doubt that there will ever be precise definitive figures.

The OP question is in fact flawed. It's not a question of "if" you will damage your hearing, more a question of when and how much. Just through everyday use our hearing deteriorates throughout our lifetimes. The more loud music you listen to, the more hearing damage you will experience at a younger age. If you are listening to loud music this could mean just a couple of years and profound deafness, extremely loud music could permanently damage your hearing in a far shorter period of time!!

G
post #8 of 27
It is more about SPL (Sound Pressure Level) than how long you listen.
Keep the volume down and you can listen for years. I have been listening to headphones for 30+ years and have not taken any serious damage.

The higher SPL the shorter listening time though, of course.
post #9 of 27
People that say you're going to go deaf are ignorant and uninformed on the matter. They assume large headphones and amplifier = loud music. That's simply not the case. If you have any doubts that you are listening too loud, get a SPL meter.
post #10 of 27
Etymotic has many papers on their site - look for the relevant titles

Etymotic Research, Inc. - Etymotic Publications



manufacturers' headphone sensitivity numbers are close enough if you can measure the audio V from your amp
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDBacklash View Post
Not sure what parties they go to...I'm not 100% that "party with band" should be so low.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punnisher View Post
People that say you're going to go deaf are ignorant and uninformed on the matter.
It is of course the other way around, people that say you're not going to go deaf are ignorant and uninformed on the matter! Hearing loss affects everyone (without exception) and starts becoming intrusive to the majority of people 60+ years old. The louder the music you listen to, the earlier the age where hearing loss becomes intrusive and the more severe the level of hearing loss. I'm not assuming anything about your equipment just stating simple scientific fact which has been known about for many decades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aristos_achaion View Post
Not sure what parties they go to...I'm not 100% that "party with band" should be so low.
Most of the figures and times on the graph are either a bit inaccurate or completely wrong. Apparently, anyone who has ever listened to or played in a marching band is probably already deaf. I'm not making any musical judgements with that last statement

G
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
It is of course the other way around, people that say you're not going to go deaf are ignorant and uninformed on the matter! Hearing loss affects everyone (without exception) and starts becoming intrusive to the majority of people 60+ years old. The louder the music you listen to, the earlier the age where hearing loss becomes intrusive and the more severe the level of hearing loss. I'm not assuming anything about your equipment just stating simple scientific fact which has been known about for many decades.



Most of the figures and times on the graph are either a bit inaccurate or completely wrong. Apparently, anyone who has ever listened to or played in a marching band is probably already deaf. I'm not making any musical judgements with that last statement

G
Of course you will go deaf with excessive volume levels. You didn't quote the second part of my post where I made that clarification, so you quoted me out of context. Listen safely and you won't damage your hearing.
post #14 of 27
I have a sound level meter, what's the best way of measuring headphone volume?

When I stick it right up against the inside of my HD 595's it's about 10db higher than 3 cm away and it's hard to tell where the ears actually sit when they're on. Either way even having the meter right up against the screen its 85db for the loudest I listen to which is safe for 8 hours a day as per my link above.
post #15 of 27
Aside from HUGE decibel levels over 100 I think it is safe to say you will not go deaf as long as you dont listen for 12+ hours straight everyday. And most likely the pressure is way more detrimental to your hearing.
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