I'm interested in why headphones are more damaging to our ears than speakers. I see a lot of people say so but without explanation. (I'm not talking about those people who use iphone earbuds on the subway - or in fact any earphones - only headphones).
So let's say you listen on headphones in a silent room vs speakers in a silent room, both set at the same volume, or at least at the same SPL at your ear.
From what I can see the reasons headphones are more damaging are:
1. "In loudspeaker reproduction, sounds must travel several feet before reaching the listener’s ears. By the time they arrive, a portion of the high frequencies have been absorbed by the air. Low frequencies are not absorbed as much, but they are more felt through bone conduction than actually heard. With headphones, the ears hear all frequencies without any attenuation, because the transducers are literally pressed against them. Thus, when listening to headphones at the same effective volume level as loudspeakers, headphones may still transmit louder high frequencies that are more likely to cause hearing damage."
So as I understand that, with speakers you feel it's loud enough without it actually being as loud in those higher frequencies as with headphones..?
2. Closed back headphones reflect all sound directly back into your ear so there is no respite or pause as with speakers, and perhaps some resonance can occur in your ear (?)
3. This one is partly psychological: Due to lack of external cues such as conversation or noises, the headphone listener gradually becomes accustomed to the volume and feels the need to increase it.
- What do you all think about these three points? Are there any others?
- Are open backed headphones better because of these reasons?
I ask because I will have to mix on headphones for some months quite soon and I am trying to figure out which are the best to get to avoid hearing loss.
(P.S This is a cross post from another forum where I am a member as I thought there might be some interesting opinions here.)
Thanks for your advice!