Preserving Your Hearing: 5 Golden Rules for Using Your Headphones Safely
Everyone uses headphones. Headphones are very commonly used for many reasons. People use them when they exercise to become focused, people use them on the commute to work to make themselves happier while others use them at work to help zone people out. It doesn’t matter what you use them for, you need to protect your hearing and know some simple safety rules.
1. 60/60 Rule
This rule states that you shouldn’t listen to music more than sixty percent volume. You should also only listen to music through your headphones for sixty minutes a day. When you are exposed to loud sounds, especially that close to the eardrum, you could have permanent hearing loss. The most important factors are both the duration of the exposure and how loud it is. Comfortable headphones make it easier to follow this rule.
2. Keep it Below 85 Decibels
Many people do not know what a decibel is. A decibel is the level of sound. So how do you know what decibel your music is at? Well, when someone talks at a normal level, they are at 60 decibels. An ambulance’s sirens will be about 100 decibels. This isn’t just for headphones either, in the workplace, those exposed to 85 decibels must wear protection.
3. If Other People Can Hear It, Turn It Down
Your personal device should be that, personal. If someone else can hear your music, it is way too loud. Your music is too loud if you notice buzzing, ringing, or any sense of dulled hearing after removing your headphones. If you have to remove your headphones to hear someone speak from three feet away, your music is too loud.
4. Be Careful with Earbuds
You should always be careful when putting the earbuds into your ear. If they fall out, pushing them in is not what you want to do. Many earbuds are designed to only go into the ear canal a certain distance. However, if you have a faulty pair or somehow go past this level, you can cause serious damage to your ear. You can even get outer ear infections if you push your headphones in too far.
If you are using earbuds and not regular headphones, you could be at a higher risk for damage. Earbuds are closer to the ear. These increase the sound going into your ear by at least nine decibels. Plus, earbuds are not filtering as much noise as traditional headphones. This is why many people listen to music louder with earbuds.
5. Be Aware
You should always choose headphones over earbuds. Earbuds do not cancel noise as nicely as headphones. With that being said, many people still use earbuds. If you are using earbuds you should turn your music down even more because the volume is right near your ear. Because of this, you are more susceptible to hearing loss or damage. Lastly, if you are using noise-canceling headphones, your music shouldn’t have to be loud at all. If there is no background noise it is better to listen to your music quietly than very loud.