How to Rock Out With Earbuds Without Damaging Your Hearing
Whether you're on the subway or walking to work, your earbuds are mostly blaring loud music. You might even be wearing them right now, listening to your favorite tune while reading this article.
As entertaining and fun it is to listen to your playlist at full volume, excessive exposure to loud music is also harmful to your ears. The CDC found that 17% of young Americans have hearing loss that could be due to loud noise.
Does that mean you have to give up on music altogether? Well, no. Let’s discuss some safe ways to enjoy music without damaging your ears.
1- Keep the Volume Down
It might sound like basic advice, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't follow it. If you're constantly listening to music at full volume, it's bound to take a toll on your hearing, especially if your wireless headphones have a high-frequency range.
To give you a clear picture, normal conversational noise is around 60 decibels. In contrast, music volume ranges from 100 to 105 decibels.
Now, consider this: the volume range for thunder is up to 120 decibels. If you compare this with the music in your Bluetooth earbuds, there’s not a huge difference.
What makes this finding even more harrowing is that thunder can damage your hearing in just a few seconds. What makes you think that listening to music at high volume for long periods won't do the same?
The truth is that constantly listening to loud music can damage the sensory cells in your inner ear. If you occasionally hear a buzzing sound in your ear, it can be a symptom of damage to ear cells.
We love to hear Bruno Mars uptown funk as much as you do, but is it worth the consequences? Just lower the volume, and you'll be okay.
2- Choose Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds.
Some manufacturers focus intently on making the best noise cancelling wireless earbuds, which prevents you from listening to loud music, as the music naturally appears louder with noise cancellation.
Bluetooth noise-cancelling earbuds help reduce hearing loss because they eliminate the need for playing music at the highest volume. While using regular non-noise-canceling earbuds, you’ll have to set the volume to the highest level to drown surrounding noise.
For instance, the Reduxbuds are equipped with AI-Powered Noise Cancellation, which is much superior to regular noise cancellation. With intelligent technology, the earbuds streamline the audio according to your ears.
Plus, they have a Transparency Mode, which lets you listen to ambient sound even while wearing the earbuds.
You'll certainly have to pay more for these earphones! Nonetheless, the Redux earbuds are probably the cheapest for such technology, have a look and if that's an investment you have to make for your ears' safety, we'll suggest you go ahead.
3- Take Breaks
If you like listening to music at loud volumes, the easy way to minimize the chances of hearing damage is to take breaks.
The longer your ears are exposed to high volumes, the more they are at risk of getting damaged. You can prevent this by taking a five to ten-minute break after every half or a full hour of using the earbuds.
For instance, if your favorite series’ new season is out and you want to binge it overnight, take breaks after each episode. Go look for snacks in the kitchen or fix yourself a cup of coffee. Or, you can put the 60/60 rule to use. As per this rule, you can listen to music for 60 minutes at 60% volume before taking a break.
4- Limit the Listening Time
Another favor that you can do to yourself, particularly your ears, is to limit the earbuds' usage time.
Wearing your wireless earbuds on the commute to work is quite helpful in drowning the surrounding noise and wandering into an imaginative world. However, if your commute is an hour-long, that makes two hours a day of using the headphones. At full volume, the damage can be even more adverse.
Try limiting the usage of earbuds if you can. Instead, maybe read a book on your way to work. We hear those things are pretty cool too.
5- Use Supra-Aural Earphones
Extended exposure to direct sound vibrations can damage your inner ear over time. Unfortunately, in-ear wireless without noise cancellation earbuds are the main culprit here.
In contrast, over-the-ear wireless headphones can significantly reduce the damage to your sensory cells, as they do not directly pump sound waves into the ear canal.
Instead, they sit on your ears instead of inside them. So, they’re less harmful than in-ear wireless earbuds. Plus, they offer better isolation than most earbuds as they completely enclose your ears.
How Loud is Too Loud?
As the National Institute of Health would say, it’s in your best interest to avoid noises that are too loud and too close.
Let's make it simpler: if you're practically shouting during a conversation while wearing your wireless earbuds, the music in your ears is definitely too loud.
Also, if a person standing at a foot's distance from you can hear the music in your ears, the volume is too loud. Have you ever stood next to someone in an elevator and heard half the song playing in their earphones? - Yeah, that's the perfect description of 'too loud.'
With people as young as 20 having poor hearing due to loud music, the issue is quite concerning.
The worrying part is that the process of losing your hearing is gradual, so you might not even notice until things get way out of hand.
Nowadays, music and Netflix have become easy escapes for most people. While these things are great at distracting you from the stress of daily life, they can harm your hearing.
Thus, you must not listen to music for an extended period or at high volumes. Even when you do, make sure to take breaks to limit the listening time.
If nothing else seems to work for you, invest in a good pair of noise-canceling wireless headphones to protect your ears while getting an incredible audio experience.