In a recent article on Wirecutter, the product review website owned by the New York Times, the authors tested seven headphones typically used in schools to measure volume levels. In recent years, there has been more awareness of the perils of noise-induced hearing loss from unrestricted volumes on personal devices, particularly for children. Since many of the headphones Wirecutter tested were not advertised as “volume-limited,” Wirecutter tested their limits by playing pink noise on them at maximum volume, only considering them “reasonably safe” if their sound did not exceed 85 dBA.
According to Wirecutter, all of the headphones tested, which included the Avid AE-36, Califone CA-2, Egghead 1005FAUSB, HamiltonBuhl SchoolMate, Learning Headphones LH-55, and the ThinkWrite TW110 and TW210, produced results ranging from the low 90s to low 100s; according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), volume at 100 decibels can damage hearing in 15 minutes.
The authors conclude that given the nature of educational programming, which is mainly speech at normal volumes, and the fact that children are not allowed to bring the headphones home, probably pose little risk for “most students with healthy ears.” The amount of time children spend engaging with this kind of media varies depending on the child’s age, grade, and school, according to the article.
To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
Source: Wirecutter, NY Times