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Us poor Europeans have it bad. :(

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
TechConnect Magazine - EU Commission to recommend 85 dBA 'cap' for music players

Heard about this a couple of days ago, good job for headphone amps, eh?
post #2 of 12
Actually, there is such a thing in validity even now in EU. And it is in the form of "suggestion" - not a forbidding law.
My Sony NW-HD5 was a european version, so there was a limiter in the volume. Of course as with every software limitation, there is a hack that unlocks the player's true potential, but nevertheless, the "suggestion" was valid 4 years ago when I bought it.
post #3 of 12
Most of the users of Head-Fi will be aware of the risks to our hearing from loud volumes, but the general public are don't take such an interest in this and so are at a greater risk. So it's not such a bad idea. I've had times when sitting on public transport wearing my Ety hf5's (which block out a lot of background noise) and I can hear someone's music from a couple of meter away.

Providing it is defeatable (as reported), with a warning telling you that it could be bad for your hearing if you do turn it off then I think that is a good compromise. I remember that on my old Creative Zen Touch the European firmware was noticably quiter than the US firmware. If you could download the US firmware then it may be possible to circumvent these regulations.

On a more scientific note: the volume levels will not be the same for headphones of differing sensitivities. So it would be very hard to guarantee volume levels once the device is with the end user. At least they are trying to do something to avoid a generation of people deaf in their 30's.

Bummer for anyone with low sensitivty 'phones though.
post #4 of 12
This news made Slashdot yesterday as well: EU Recommends Noise Limits On MP3 Players

Since this is Sound Science, anyone have any idea how they're going to measure and how they are going to set the testing standard? Is there going to be an official EU ISO earbud that is going to be used for testing?
post #5 of 12
I'd assume there will be an ISO ear model and dB meter. Any device will be tested as it will be sold (mp3 player and stock 'phones) on the ISO-ear for maximum SPL at the ear-drum. This would allow manufacturers to use whatever design of 'phone they wish (canal/over-ear/bud) and set the amplifier in the device to the correct level.

That is a guess, but it would keep the manufacturers happier than if they had to design to a standardised headphone characteristic.

If there were to be a standardised earphone what are the odds that it would be white?
post #6 of 12
Still seems like a great idea. Hopefully it will be implemented in the US, but good ideas hardly ever get implemented around here. If anybody complains, we can legalize marijuana so these younglings can still enjoy the music and keep their hearing.
post #7 of 12
Yeah especially with kids. The trend during my high school days [2001-2005] was listen to the music as loud as it could go. I obviously didn't do this but most of my friends do. So yeah, I see it as a good thing.
post #8 of 12
Eh, just order stuff from the US or another non-EU state.

It might cost a little more, but consider yourself fortunate to live where you do.
post #9 of 12
what's the speed limit on the Autobahn ?
post #10 of 12
What are you guys worrying about...we are head-fiers, we have portable amps !
post #11 of 12
Yeah, we really do have it bad.
This is an EU commission regulation which for sure will be enforced to the entire Europe. Norway included, even if we are not part of EU...

Originally Posted by fishski13 View Post
what's the speed limit on the Autobahn ?
The recommended speed is 130km/h, but in reality there are no limit. Afaik
post #12 of 12
Would it make more sense for the EU to try to regulate the loudness of albums rather than try to regulate how loud MP3 players can get?

Have their been any studies about hearing damage when listening to a loudness war album compared to a pleasant album? It seems to me that when I listen to a loud album at my normal listening level that my ears get tired and show signs of overexposure. If I listen to similar music that isn't loud my ears don't show those signs even though the listening volume is similar. The albums with excessive dynamic compression don't have any quieter spaces between the beats. Everything is a constant blast of sound. No rest anywhere in the music for the ears.

It would be easy to regulate the dynamic range of commercial albums and music that is sold in the EU. There are current tools in development for measuring the dynamic range of albums and songs. It would be simple for the EU to say that no album or song that has a dynamic range of less than say 7 using their standard tool would be allowed for sale in the EU.
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