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EU music volume limits shouldn't be ignored, warn experts

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Feb 2013 16:32 User comments (5)

EU music volume limits shouldn't be ignored, warn experts European Union regulation sets default sound limit of 85 decibels (dB).
While it is described as a limit, users will be able to increase the limit to 100dB if they choose to do so. The limit comes from research into the affects of high volume music on hearing, and its ability to bring on conditions like tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in either ear, or both, and is often associated with hearing loss.

Experts embraced the new regulations as good news, but charity Action on Hearing Loss fears that a large proportion of listeners may decide to ignore the warnings and bypass the 85dB limit.

After this month, all portable music players sold in the EU must come pre-set with a limit of 85dB, and must display some form of warning if the limit is bypassed informing the user of the danger of hearing damage.

The European Commission cited research into the matter that concluded that persistent listening at 85dB was safe, while some users push the volume up as far as 120dB, which is the equivalent of standing new a jet as its taking off.

The quality of headphones/earphones can also contribute one way or another.

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5 user comments

15.2.2013 17:02

Seriously? I think you pointed out the main flaw in the slaw with your last sentence there.

"The quality of headphones/earphones can also contribute one way or another."

How can a device tell what decibel is coming out of the headphones? There is no possible way to monitor that... hell if I wanted I could splice the 3.5 jack of my phone into the sound system of my cars amplifier and blow that 85db up to about 850db and shatter every window around... all while the phone thinks the volumes set at 60% or w/e.

This just stinks of nanny state, the EU should be ashamed they are spending resources protecting the sweet innocent children ears and not... you know... fixing their economy.

25.2.2013 17:27

Originally posted by Qliphah:
Seriously? I think you pointed out the main flaw in the slaw with your last sentence there.

"The quality of headphones/earphones can also contribute one way or another."

How can a device tell what decibel is coming out of the headphones? There is no possible way to monitor that... hell if I wanted I could splice the 3.5 jack of my phone into the sound system of my cars amplifier and blow that 85db up to about 850db and shatter every window around... all while the phone thinks the volumes set at 60% or w/e.

This just stinks of nanny state, the EU should be ashamed they are spending resources protecting the sweet innocent children ears and not... you know... fixing their economy.
Well this rule only applies to portable music players, which can control the volume output quite well in most cases. Amplifying of course with something else is a different story.

As for the Nanny State part, well the limit can easily be pushed up in settings, its only put that there because research shows that most people have no idea that the default max volume limits put them at high risk for hearing loss.

Oh and on the European Union economy, the EU is actually fine, the EU is largely based on the single market and shares a lot of the same regulations and standards to make doing business in the market easy across borders. When it comes to economic conditions, that's really up to member states and not the European Union. You can take Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain etc as examples of countries doing badly, but then you have Germany, the Nordics etc. who are doing relatively well. The difference came down to national politics, banking systems of individual states and so on.

Then there's the problem of people thinking the European Union and the Eurozone are the same thing. The Eurozone is a group of 17 countries that are a monetary union, within the EU (that is, they use the same currency, the Euro). The entire "Eurozone Crisis" is largely based on the idea that several Eurozone states are in bad economic conditions and high debt, and that threatens the future of the monetary union, so you have reluctance of the markets to loan to certain Eurozone members. But that is an issue for those 17 countries to deal with.

35.2.2013 17:59

This is really annoying as it is extended to phones....and they put it in phones sold all over the world. I use my phone as a media player in my car and always have to turn up the volume when I plug it in. If I just turn up the radio it amplifies the interference.

45.2.2013 19:09

Originally posted by Qliphah:
if I wanted I could splice the 3.5 jack of my phone into the sound system of my cars amplifier and blow that 85db up to about 850db and shatter every window around... all while the phone thinks the volumes set at 60% or w/e.
......which just goes to show that your 'nanny state' complaint really isn't that appropriate.

You in fact remain 'free' to make yourself deaf if you really must.
Wow, such awesome liberty.
The issue gets much more cloudy when you remain 'free' to damage the hearing of others who have made no such choice and in fact might reasonably assume that you would not be so irresponsible as to blythly be damaging theirs with no thought or care.

That's the problem with many 'freedoms', they can be great for some but hell for others.


57.2.2013 11:44

Originally posted by Dela:
Well this rule only applies to portable music players, which can control the volume output quite well in most cases. Amplifying of course with something else is a different story.
The modern phone 'is' the media player of choice, this happened about 10 years ago in 1st world countries.

Originally posted by Dela:

As for the Nanny State part, well the limit can easily be pushed up in settings, its only put that there because research shows that most people have no idea that the default max volume limits put them at high risk for hearing loss.


This just further confirms my nanny state comment, you now have to access a system setting that they assume most of the population will never change as they do not "tinker" with their devices.

Originally posted by Dela:

Oh and on the European Union economy, the EU is actually fine, the EU is largely based on the single market and shares a lot of the same regulations and standards to make doing business in the market easy across borders. When it comes to economic conditions, that's really up to member states and not the European Union. You can take Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain etc as examples of countries doing badly, but then you have Germany, the Nordics etc. who are doing relatively well. The difference came down to national politics, banking systems of individual states and so on.


I apologize for that, I was just venting. The US economy is no better off. And if were to fail as badly as Greece... well I'll apologize in advance for that, we're all screwed if that happens.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2013 @ 11:45

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