Deafness Research UK, London, lists its top tips for the safe use of MP3 players, following research by the charity that shows too many people are putting their hearing at risk by listening to MP3 players too loudly for too long.

"Our research shows that too many people are putting their hearing at risk by listening to their MP3 player too loudly and for too long," says Vivienne Michael, the organization’s CEO. "Our tips apply to the whole population, but we are especially worried about young people, who are generally the heaviest users of MP3s and other mobile music devices and often the most at risk because they don’t understand the dangers.

The top tips for safe MP3 use include:

  • Always use the noise limiter on your MP3 player
  • Parents should look for a locking feature on the player and use it to set the maximum volume using a special code
  • Check that your player is not one with a maximum volume that exceeds statutory and Health & Safety limits—see the Which? Web site for details
  • Adopt the 60:60 rule— only use your MP3 player at 60% of its maximum volume for 60 minutes a day
  • Never have your MP3 player so loud that you can’t hear the noise around you
  • Never have it so loud that those around you can hear your music
  • Ear bud headphones are less efficient at drowning out background noise so it’s tempting to turn up the volume. Use the older muff-type or noise cancelling headphones instead

[Source: Medical News Today]