Editor's Blog: Eugene, iPod Ear Damage & You

Editor's Blog: Eugene, iPod Ear Damage & You

 

The kids keep bugging me for iPods.

 

Not in that my-life-will-only-be-complete-when-I-have-one way. That’d never work with me. You can’t get what you want? Welcome to the club, kid. But in the way that really actually sort of works: a plaintive sigh and a resignation to the depressing reality that their father is a lunatic that will begrudge them even THIS small happiness. Because after I’ve exhausted the arguments regarding costs and the advisability of me purchasing “high-end” electronics for kids than can’t manage to come home with both of their shoes half the time, I fall back on the “put-your-eye-out” argument. Except in this instance it’s not the eyes I’m worried about. It’s the ears.

 

While I’m not sneaking up behind them and screaming out their names suddenly to check their hearing like my mother did with me, I am concerned about them being to hear THE FUTURE. You know, that place where ever thing seems to get both smaller and louder and they don’t listen to me now anyway and, well, I just can’t see this getting better with age and so I lob that argument over the net and there it sits.

 

Until I set about trying to find out how true it was.

 

A study out of the Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston have actually studied what they’re calling “personal music players” and have found that 60 minutes a day at 60 percent of the maximum volume is probably safe. More than this? What? What’s that you say?!?!

 

And now I envision trying to explain, nevermind enforce, the whole 60 percent for 60 minute concept to the kids. Impossible. Leaving me with a few pre-birthday choices.

 

1] Tell them that only dopes do mp3s.
2] Get them some earbuds that are a little easier on the ears or
3] Somehow set up a volume pre-set.

 

Number 1 is largely impractical. Even though I have an iPod, there’s lots of evidence to the contrary that it’s for idiots.

 

Number 2 might work. A few makers do earbuds right. The Shure E3c’s are a good call. However, at $179 I’ve just added to my “I lost my stuff, Dad” woes. A little down market from there are Ultrasone’s iCans. At $129 these are cool because they use what they call S-Logic technology to do their phones. Nearest I can tell this means that instead of driving the sound straight down the earhole, it bounces it off of the outer ear canal for a sound that’s spatially more pure and doesn’t need to be cranked up so much. Though my personal solution has always been to use phones over earplugged ears, this my offspring will probably never do, so these are good, if not a little pricey, solutions.

 

And so to the whole volume pre-set thing: Bingo.

 

Apple has this whole thing lifted from the liquor folks about listening responsibly, lawsuits notwithstanding, with instructions on how to set a volume governor, complete with an admin combination lock, on the iPods you pass along to the young ‘uns.

 

Perfect.

 

Now if only I could get Lojack to help me help them triangulate the locations of their soon-to-be-lost iPods.

 

12

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Ipod music is not damaging ears. Ipods are just for listening at some particular moments not whole day. I dont saw any person playing Ipod downloads all the time.

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pradeep

..that's what I figured out with the links I mentioned....but now what do I do about their unquenchable desire to listen to Shakira?

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Bruce

Um, all iPod and iPod Nanos have a password protected volume level control. Under Settings choose Volume Limit. Scroll the blue bar as high as you want the music to play and press the Select button on the iPod. On the resulting screen you have the option of setting a password to prevent someone tampering with your settings. Problem solved. You have no excuse now.

You're welcome kids.

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Eugene

...that's what I figured out with the links I mentioned....but now what do I do about their unquenchable desire to listen to Shakira?

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Anonymous

It's called common sense. Something that I guess people these days have forgotten. Naturally if you are going to blast your iPod in your ears at full volume you will have hearing problems. If you can't control the volume then you shouldn't own any kind of stereo equipment at all because they can all damage your ears easily. Apple or any company cannot be your baby sitter for what you do with your equipment every second of the day. It would be unfair to the companies if they had to be responsible for your iresponsible behavior. That's kind of like how gun manufacturers are protected. It's not the gun that kills it's the ignorant human that uses it in the wrong way with no common sense. So if you get in a car wreck because you were drunk and speeding you are going to blame the car manufacturer for it because it can go faster than 65mph?
Common sense, it's really the bottom line and I totally agree with Apple on there stance on this.

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