Deaf iPod Generation

The forum for non-component-related silent pc discussions.

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MikeC
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Deaf iPod Generation

Post by MikeC » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:28 pm


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Post by SnooP » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:53 pm

Ahh yes the great 'blame the company for the users problems'. Still, might save a few peoples ears. Personally I don't see this as a complete solution though, the real solution is educating people of issues of long exposure to loud music. It would be good to see a bit of acknowledgement from the music industry to, instead of the usual competition of 'which rock band is the loudest', resulting in everyone who was in the front 40 rows or so of the concert having ringing in their ears for the next few days, possible even permenant hearing damage.

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Post by mathias » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:55 pm

I don't think it's neccesarily unreasonable for it to be able to put out so much power, what if you want to use a big set of headphones, and/or use a spliter? It would be safer to have the spliter function built into the device though. How much can big headphones reduce the maximum volume?

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Post by MikeC » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:05 am

SnooP wrote:Ahh yes the great 'blame the company for the users problems'. Still, might save a few peoples ears. Personally I don't see this as a complete solution though, the real solution is educating people of issues of long exposure to loud music. It would be good to see a bit of acknowledgement from the music industry to, instead of the usual competition of 'which rock band is the loudest', resulting in everyone who was in the front 40 rows or so of the concert having ringing in their ears for the next few days, possible even permenant hearing damage.
Actually, I don't think the news piece is really blaming Apple, it's just a way of bringing attention to the issue of potential and real hearing damage from personal music players w/headphones or earphones. It is definitely an awareness thing, most of all, but the MP3 players make it easier to self-abuse one's hearing. People find ways to do it regardless oft technology, tho.

As a teenager, I remember making hours-long compilations of rock music on a big Sony reel-to-reel tape recorder. I'd put on headphones and play music pretty loud (but probably not 100 dB) till 2-3-4 in the morning while reading novels. Have to wonder how much better my hearing might be if I didn't do this for years.

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Post by qviri » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:27 am

So what exactly is the news? That kids these days are stupid? Big deal:

a) I've known this for the long time. Heck, if I was smart, I'd be comfortably asleep right now, not doing a report worth 26.25% of my mark the night before it's due. Or I wouldn't be here while taking a "break" from doing so to read SPCR.

b) Adults aren't that intelligent either, just look at the results of the last U.S. presidential election.

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Post by SnooP » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:34 am

Actually, I don't think the news piece is really blaming Apple, it's just a way of bringing attention to the issue of potential and real hearing damage from personal music players w/headphones or earphones. It is definitely an awareness thing, most of all, but the MP3 players make it easier to self-abuse one's hearing. People find ways to do it regardless oft technology, tho.
Yeah, i wasn't really trying to blame the article, more the people who think that this is an all complete solution, or even a solution at all (since you can always replace the default headphones with louder ones, or add a headphone amp, or buy another player etc). Awareness is the key :)

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Post by MikeC » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:41 am

The piece was interesting to mention in SPCR for several reasons:

1) MP3 players can play loud, and for a long time. I had not thought about the length, but it's a real factor in hearing damage.

2) The EU actually has a cap on max volume these things are allowed to produce. It may not be that useful, ultimately, but it says something about how advanced they (EU govt agencies?) are regarding noise pollution / hearing damage compared to everyone else.

3) MP3 exist because of PCs.

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Post by SnooP » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:01 am

true, at least the EU is doing something....

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Post by Al » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:08 am

MikeC wrote:The piece was interesting to mention in SPCR for several reasons:

1) MP3 players can play loud, and for a long time. I had not thought about the length, but it's a real factor in hearing damage.
From a silent computing point of view, isn't hearing damage a good thing...? Raising your hearing threshold is probably a lot cheaper than silencing a monster PC. Imagine the articles; "Tinnitus vs. the Delta - MikeC ready to throw away his SPL meter?" :wink:

In all seriousness though, I think MP3 players present a far more imminent danger in that you're much more likely to be hit by a car/tram/bike when using even low volume headphones - in which case your carefully preserved hearing sensitivity is instantly and permanently removed...

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Post by Buzku » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:23 am

My Sony HD-mp3player had EUs volume cap. I noticed a tip how I can remove the cap and it worked. When player was in full volume w/ EU cap it was way too silent when using my nonsensitive headphones. When I removed the cap the volume became much much louder. Still, I had to raise MP3s volume with mp3gain from ~92db to 100db.

I recently bought Koss' Plugs. Those are really really sensitive so now I can keep the volume in under half. That is great because then the player comsumes less power.

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Post by spiffy102 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:18 am

Yes, the EU has limits on the volume of personal music players. Everyone just installs the US firmware and goes right back to deafening themselves...

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Post by moritz » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:24 am

I'm on my iPod (and another mp3 player before that) for huge amounts of time. Used to be at least 2 or 3 hours every day, it's less now that I've moved to my own place close to the university instead of commutiny 2 hours. And yeah, I've noticed my hearing is not as good as it was. :?

As for the EU cap - well, I'm in the EU. :) It doesn't do much good when you don't take into account the different headphones, and it's a bit absurd to claim it's a cap on x db(a) for any value of x. My Sennheiser HD500 "mickey mouse" headphones never get very loud on the iPod, but the Koss canal phones (same Buzku has) are virtually painfully loud on the maximum setting. I don't think I'm using the US firmware, although I'm not sure, I routinely select English-language versions, maybe I accidently installed a US one.

Canal phones are great, though. I don't think the power you save by leaving the volume down makes any difference beyond a few minutes overall, but since they block outside noise, the relative volume doesn't have to be as high, which is better for the ears. Ie. the volume setting is not only set lower because the head phones are more efficient, it really is (way) more quiet. Makes a world of difference in a train. They sound pretty good, too. Not that it helped me much.

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Post by Bluefront » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:59 am

Hearing loss is an interesting/tragic subject, and much like smoking, because the effects of excessive noise exposure are usually so gradual, a person doesn't realize what's been happening until too late.

My sister and her husband are research scientists in this field......and have published many papers/books on the subject. link.

Interestingly, I have built a number of quiet computers for her. She never noticed computer noise until I brought it to her attention. :lol:

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Post by jdsmith575 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:04 am

I always wanted my iPod to play lower volumes.

The difference between no noise at all and one click of volume was too great where I used to study for tests.

chirs
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Use better earphones

Post by chirs » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:19 am

People should really use isolating earphones like the Etymotics, Shure, or Westone ones.

Sure, the higher-end ones cost as much as the ipod itself, but they all block outside noise, allowing you to hear the music that much better and at lower volumes.

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Post by Linus » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:26 am

This has been mentioned, but I want to quantify it a bit - legislating a maximum sound output from a device doesn't necessarily affect the output dB. I don't know what the variation in headphones is, but loudspeaker sensitivity can vary from something 86 dB @ 1W & 1m to 98 db 1W & 1m. If I remember right, the human ear perceives 3 dB as a doubling in amplitude, meaning some speakers can produce 16x the volume as others. This makes the output limit either detrimental to those who have low-sensitivity speakers, pointless for reducing hearing loss, or both.

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Re: Use better earphones

Post by Badger » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:57 am

chirs wrote:People should really use isolating earphones like the Etymotics, Shure, or Westone ones.

Sure, the higher-end ones cost as much as the ipod itself, but they all block outside noise, allowing you to hear the music that much better and at lower volumes.
I agree, my Shure E2C's let me listen listen to my mp3 player at a fraction of the volume that other headphones do, and reduce outside noise.

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Post by cAPSLOCK » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:12 pm

How about banning night clubs and 50cc scooters with "tuning" exhausts :lol:


caveat: "tuning" exhausts are more often then not banned

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Post by moritz » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:31 pm

jdsmith575 wrote:I always wanted my iPod to play lower volumes.

The difference between no noise at all and one click of volume was too great where I used to study for tests.
Yes! I feel the same way. I sometimes listen to music or audio books when going to sleep, and even with large inefficient headphones an intermediate step would be direly necessary. With canalphones it's even worse.

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Post by BlueCan » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:02 pm

Linus wrote:This has been mentioned, but I want to quantify it a bit - legislating a maximum sound output from a device doesn't necessarily affect the output dB. I don't know what the variation in headphones is, but loudspeaker sensitivity can vary from something 86 dB @ 1W & 1m to 98 db 1W & 1m.
The same is true of headphones. The "100db limit" of the EU is VERY like a "Motorcycle Helmet Law" or a "Seatbelt Law" in that you're attempting to mitigate blatant stupidity on the part of the user by creating a law that must be enforced by police--who should, IMO, be spending their time on crimes perpetrated on OTHERS, not crimes that someone is perpetrating on themselves...

Just because you can listen to something at 190db doesn't mean that you should. The user (not the manufacturer) should bear the responsibility for the impact of the user's decisions. IMO.

-Patrick

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Post by cAPSLOCK » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:11 pm

BlueCan wrote:
The same is true of headphones. The "100db limit" of the EU is VERY like a "Motorcycle Helmet Law" or a "Seatbelt Law" in that you're attempting to mitigate blatant stupidity on the part of the user by creating a law that must be enforced by police--who should, IMO, be spending their time on crimes perpetrated on OTHERS, not crimes that someone is perpetrating on themselves...

-Patrick
The thing is that people that injure themselves cost money to society, so for the good of the general population - not only deaf iPodders - people should be stopped from hurting themselves by the governments. You might say that a firmware doesn't stop you, but it does stop 99% of the average iPod users that are often the ones that are stupid enough to put it at max. volume.

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Post by moritz » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:46 pm

BlueCan wrote:The same is true of headphones. The "100db limit" of the EU is VERY like a "Motorcycle Helmet Law" or a "Seatbelt Law" in that you're attempting to mitigate blatant stupidity on the part of the user by creating a law that must be enforced by police--who should, IMO, be spending their time on crimes perpetrated on OTHERS, not crimes that someone is perpetrating on themselves...
Ehh. I wouldn't actually mind having a limitation on the output volume of portable players, but I don't mind having seatbelt or helmet laws, either. But having a limitation on output power when the output power does not actually correlate to any specific volume, but can vary between too silent and painfully loud depending on the headphones is just stupid. Or at least not very effective. Of course, I don't see any feasible way to regulate it more sanely, short of mandating a small range of headphone efficiencies, which certainly is not a Good Thing for a number of reasons.

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Post by mathias » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:28 pm

moritz wrote:Of course, I don't see any feasible way to regulate it more sanely, short of mandating a small range of headphone efficiencies, which certainly is not a Good Thing for a number of reasons.
Actually, that woulh be quite easy to do, simply designate different connectors for headphones that give different volume adjustments.

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Post by moritz » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:38 pm

Inventing new connectors to replace an extremely common, entrenched standard is not an easy thing to do, in my eyes. But yeah, that'd work. Of course people would end up simply getting adapters.

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Post by tjoff » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:51 am

Another problem with that is that the connectors would take up too much space on todays mp3 players - making the whole player bigger.

And about the EU law I personally don't like it. Of course if a firmware is there for you to bypass it might not be that bad but all players doesn't have firmware upgrade abilitis (and not all that has firmware upgrades can just switch to the US firmware without problems).

And when using big headphones the ipod is too weak - even without the EU-cap and many buyers are really focusing on getting a stong output - jusst to realize that they have to fight the EU-cap also.

And as far as I know (I'm no expert), the real danger is to listen to music (loud but not _that_ loud) for long periods of time, never giving your ears a chance to recover rather than just listening to loud music from time to time (of course extremely loud music is not that great, no). And with the "right" set of headphones the ipod is more than capable of doing that even if you don't even get up to levels near of the EU-cap.

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Post by Bluefront » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:04 am

IMHO....based on conversations with my sister the Otolaryngologist, who has spent her entire medical practice studying hearing problems related to noise exposure.....for the sake of one's hearing, avoid the use of any ear-phones for listening to music.

The chances are simply too great that you will be exposed to excessively loud sounds. You're pushing you luck if you do so. Being hearing inpared is no fun, neither is having Tinnitus. Both result from loud noises....even for short periods of time. :cry:

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Post by qviri » Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:27 am

tjoff wrote:And when using big headphones the ipod is too weak - even without the EU-cap and many buyers are really focusing on getting a stong output - jusst to realize that they have to fight the EU-cap also.
I have to disagree - I used my iPod shuffle with my Sennheiser HD280s, which are humungous, but I've always kept it in the lower end of the volume scale. Part of the reason might be their noise attenuation, so that I don't need them to be that loud, part might be the 64-ohm impedance.

On a related note, though, one of my classmates asked to listen to the shuffle + HD280 combination once, and he had me put the volume way way up. After he was done, he commented, "you like to listen to your music quiet, don't you?" It was on the louder end of my comfort scale to start with. No comment.

Bluefront - I'm sorry, but that's not possible in today's world, lest we go back to days of shouldered boomboxes; and I personally prefer not hearing others' music.

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Post by Steve_Y » Sat Dec 03, 2005 4:04 pm

Personally I find these kind of nanny state regulations utterly ridiculous. It's not like industrial noise where people risk hearing damage because of their occupation, listening to loud music with your iPod is entirely voluntary. You can't always protect people from themselves, someone who listens to their MP3 player at high volume will probably find other ways of damaging their hearing if that's taken way. Maybe eventually they'll force everyone to wear inch thick cotton wool bodystockings 24/7, just in case they trip over or bump into something. :roll:

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Post by Bluefront » Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:17 am

Tragic commentary on the state of today's world. Qviri uses his ipod much like a baby uses a pacifier.....shields him from the sounds of the outside world, gives him comfort at the expense of his hearing. :lol:

This is SPCR.....and we visit here to learn how to quiet noisy computers. But why exactly? So we can stuff microphones in our ears, blast our hearing all to hell without any outside noise distractions?

Well....for me a quiet computer is only one part of a quiet life-style. (I'm a reformed noisy motorcycle addic...most of my hearing is intact, with only some Tinnitus). I don't need music on all the time, and I avoid noisy things and places. The ipod gives you nothing except more noise to mask this noisy world.

I won't touch one of the dammed things..... :x

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Post by cAPSLOCK » Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:36 am

Bluefront wrote:Tragic commentary on the state of today's world. Qviri uses his ipod much like a baby uses a pacifier.....shields him from the sounds of the outside world, gives him comfort at the expense of his hearing. :lol:
Personally I vastly prefer the sound of music to the sound of cars and scooters, if cars were silent enough for me to hear the birds chirping, the leaves rustling in the wind and the waves breaking on the shores of the lake, I'd happily give up my mp3, well sort of (I still love music, but I find that I don't really listen to it when I'm concentrating on the traffic).

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