It's official: teens play iPods loud

March 28, 2008

Although teenagers are aware that loud music from their MP3 players can damage their hearing, they choose not to lower the volume, according to the March Journal of Pediatrics.

Although teenagers are aware that loud music from their MP3 players can damage their hearing, they choose not to lower the volume, according to the March Journal of Pediatrics.

Seventy-three students from two high schools in the Netherlands participated in focus-group discussions. Most students said they played their MP3 devices at maximum volume, despite the risks.

Many students also said they could not tell when their MP3 players were too loud, and few said their parents had warned them about the risks to their hearing.

The investigators noted that volumes at or above 90 decibels are believed to be dangerous, but in order for pain to occur, volumes need to reach 120 to 140 decibels. They recommended volume maximums of 60% and 70% of full capacity for MP3 players with ear bud and over-the-ear headphones, respectively.