Turn Down the Volume

Submitted on October 8, 2013
Too much EDM could affect your ears. Find out the best ways to enjoy your electronica safely.
test slide 3

While the EDM bass is orgasmic, it could cause your ears irreparable damage over time. It seems that all those warnings about listening to loud music and turning deaf may be true after all. People who regularly listen to loud music at a high volume through their earphones are at risk of developing noise-induced-hearing loss.

Studies show that constant exposure to loud music or sounds can cause serious harm to your hearing. A study conducted on musicians at Sweden’s concert hall revealed that noise-induced hearing loss is indeed a possibility. Almost 42% of the musicians in the orchestra at the time suffered from hearing loss as compared to other people of their ages not exposed to loud music. A recent Hear the World report also indicated that people all over the world now listen to music on their MP3 players at a level that’s fifty percent louder than what is acceptable. Other similar studies have proved identical results – loud music irrespective of the type – can cause deafness. Noise induced hearing loss is avoidable through prevention, early diagnoses, and management.

What Happens When You Listen To Loud Music

The human ear is nothing less than a work of art. Its intricate structure creates a delicate balance between external stimuli and internal interpretation and results in hearing. A healthy ear has a thin layer of tiny hair cells that line the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for changing sound into electronic signals that are transported to the brain via nerves. The brain then interprets these signals as different sounds. However, loud sounds can flatten these hair cells permanently and affect your hearing. While the damage is never instantaneous, over a period of months or even years, you could end up deaf simply due to listening to loud music.

How Loud is too Loud?

Have you felt that all sounds appear dull or muffled after taking your headphones off? Well that’s your ears warning you to treat them better. If you can’t hear someone next to you talking or you can’t speak without shouting over the music, then it’s probably too loud. Normal conversation is about 60 decibels. Additionally, if your ears start ringing, clicking, buzzing or throbbing, its time to turn down the volume.

Tips to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

  • Well, besides turning down the volume, there are a few other things you can do as well. These include:
  • Stick to the 60:60 Rule. If you listen to music at 60% volume, turn off your player after 60 minutes a day.
  • If you are unsure of what volume you should ideally listen to, remember that you should still be able to conduct a conversation with a person near you even with your headphones on.
  • Use noise-canceling headphones that block out background noise and sounds so that you are not forced to crank up the volume.
  • Some music players now have a Smart Volume feature. It may be wise to actually use it.
  • Loud music in a car can be more damaging that bopping to your favorite tunes in your bedroom. Small closed spaces can exaggerate sounds and increase damage. The same rule applies to clubs and concerts where you should stand as far away from the loudspeakers as possible.
  • Have a detox day where you avoid loud music and sounds and allow your ears time to recover (especially after a loud gig or night out clubbing).
  • Strangely enough, what you eat can also help your hearing. A good balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants can help reduce degeneration of cells and improve blood supply. This in turn prevents the damage of hair cells in the inner ear and ultimate hearing loss. Similarly, smoking affects blood circulation and smokers are more susceptible to deafness than non-smokers. Yet another reason for you to butt out.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000495.htm