Young girl wearing a personal music device. She is standing in front of a blackboard that has musical notes written in chalk.

Did you know that listening to personal music players for too many hours a day, at too high a volume, can damage your hearing? This damage adds up over time, and it’s permanent. To keep enjoying the music you love, protect your hearing now.

Sound is measured in decibels, and because people can’t hear all pitches of sound, we often use A-weighted decibels (dBA) to describe sound based on what human ears can actually hear. Sounds at or below 70 dBA are generally considered safe. Any sounds at or over 85 dBA are more likely to damage your hearing over time. The maximum volume on your mobile device is likely 94 to 110 dBA!

Protect your hearing with these tips for smart listening

  • Choose headphones that block out the sound around you. If your over-the-ear or in-the-ear headphones have a good seal, you’ll be less likely to turn up the volume to drown out other sounds. But be careful! If you’re moving around while listening to music with headphones or earbuds, you’ll need to stay safe and hear important sounds around you, like approaching cars, trains, bicycles, and other people.
  • Try to use headphones or earbuds for only one hour a day.
  • If you listen to music with headphones or earbuds for 1½ hours or less per day, set your device to play at no higher than 80 percent of the maximum volume.
  • If you listen to music with headphones or earbuds for more than 1½ hours per day, set your device to play at no more than 60 percent of the maximum volume.
  • Give your ears a rest: take regular breaks from your headphones or earbuds.
  • Don’t listen with just one earbud. It’s harder to hear the music and you might be tempted to turn up the volume, putting that one ear at serious risk.

Taking these steps now will keep you listening to the beat for a long time to come!

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