1. Michael Essany's Avatar


    Our penchant for cranking up the music on our beloved iPods has raised concern from the European Commission, a governmental body worried about how much we love loud music and how it could ultimately damage the health of our hearing.

    According to a report this morning from MacWorld, the European Commission is calling for iPod listening limits to be established in order to ensure a safe level of listening that ideally will place maximum volume beneath 85 decibels.

    According to BBC One's Politics Show, the commission want the default maximum setting to be set at 85 decibels. Users would still be able to override these settings to reach a top limit of 100 decibels the report said.
    Earlier this year, the European Commission first began addressing the "potential dangers of listening to music at high volumes on earphones." And although the original concern was drowned out by other issues proving higher priorities, the governmental body is once again harping on iPod listening limits.

    The commission will begin a two-month consultation of all EU standardization bodies in January 2010, concerning the proposals, with a final agreement expected in the spring.
    Although the concern is warranted (especially given the evidence that loud music can, in fact, cause long term damage), it's most likely that the European Commission's actions will ultimately be limited in actually curtailing the maximum volume levels of the iPod. What is much more likely to result is a greater campaign to raise the awareness of the potential health-related problems that could result from listening to music at a volume above a particular threshold.

    "There are up to 10 million Europeans, mainly young people, who are at risk of losing their hearing permanently in the next five years due to their personal listening habits," warned Stephen Russell of the European consumer lobby ANEC.
    120 decibels, a level not much higher than that which many listen to their music, is tantamount to the noise made when a jet takes off.

    Image via Apple
    2009-12-14 01:19 PM
  2. hollow0's Avatar
    I thought the iPod controls already had a volume limit? I know it's not defaulted to that but one can limit it in the settings.
    2009-12-14 02:28 PM
  3. Jahooba's Avatar
    Hmm, so what's the downside to them losing their hearing? I mean, this could kick-start many small hearing-aid companies and create thousands of jobs.

    Or it can give Apple a new product, like the "iHear". It'll be popular and hip. Everyone will want one.
    2009-12-14 02:28 PM
  4. hacker555's Avatar
    they should just make it a default value that can be changed. Im tired of the government telling us how to live our lives, its their job to protect us, not to control us. Plus this will affect people who use their ipods for external speakers etc.

    I mean whats next are they gonna suddenly tax ipods because theyre dangerous. this is just like the fat tax in the USA, absolute ******** if you ask me. If i wanna drink a soda, that's my choice. i dont see why the government can tax it just because its mildly unhealth. Plus where does that money go ? you tell me.

    But im ranting..
    2009-12-14 03:16 PM
  5. Tylervalo's Avatar
    they should just make it a default value that can be changed. Im tired of the government telling us how to live our lives, its their job to protect us, not to control us. Plus this will affect people who use their ipods for external speakers etc.

    I mean whats next are they gonna suddenly tax ipods because theyre dangerous. this is just like the fat tax in the USA, absolute ******** if you ask me. If i wanna drink a soda, that's my choice. i dont see why the government can tax it just because its mildly unhealth. Plus where does that money go ? you tell me.

    But im ranting..
    You're forgetting that they have free health care in most of Europe. That's what happens when the government run your healthcare system, they want to control your health as well. It'll cost them money of a million people all need hearing aids.
    2009-12-14 03:59 PM
  6. vedavis's Avatar
    If you can afford Bose Noise-Canceler Headphones, then you don't have to have the loud volume to overcome the ambient noise. One of the best audio investments I've made.
    2009-12-14 04:05 PM
  7. tudtran's Avatar
    I thought the iPod controls already had a volume limit? I know it's not defaulted to that but one can limit it in the settings.
    My ipod nano 4th gen. Have a limits setting. I do use it.
    2009-12-14 04:34 PM
  8. Fallguy's Avatar
    I wish I could make my Motorola S9 bluetooth headphones a little louder . Since they dont fit as snug as normal headphones , you need to have the volume all the way up and sometimes it still not enough.
    2009-12-14 06:24 PM
  9. thebergs2010's Avatar
    Im tired of the government telling us how to live our lives, its their job to protect us, not to control us.
    I get what you're saying, but to me it sounds like they are trying to protect us and our hearing, not control us.

    I do agree though about the speakers/line out devices that this cap would ruin.
    2009-12-14 09:06 PM
  10. rhekt's Avatar
    as long as you can override the dB level to your desired limit, then it doesnt make much of a difference to me. gives us options.
    killall Terminal[]
    2009-12-14 09:24 PM
  11. matthew1111's Avatar
    120 decibels=jet plane taking off? Scary...
    @Jahooba, nice completely true
    That Thanks button is there for a reason!

    2009-12-15 01:31 AM
  12. wannabprogramma's Avatar
    Ummmm...i may be totally off base here but I once found a VolumeControlLimit.plist when in ssh (may not be the perfect name) so if they did do this couldn't all jailbroken users just edit it and blast away? I remember when I sshed in it said something like "nolimit" so I'm guessing that's what they would change.....
    The Next Generation of Phreaks.
    2009-12-15 02:20 AM
  13. MikePA's Avatar
    I get what you're saying, but to me it sounds like they are trying to protect us and our hearing, not control us.
    Since when is it the govt's job to protect our hearing? More nanny state BS.
    2009-12-15 02:58 AM
  14. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
    I won't take any responsibility for this. I know that someone will sue Apple because they were listening to their music too loud and loss their hearing.
    Asking for help is different from being stupid. Fanboys can rot in @#$%!
    2009-12-15 06:22 AM
  15. aztek_indio's Avatar
    And I was hoping they would make the next iphone the ability to go even higher
    2009-12-15 01:51 PM
  16. rwin84's Avatar
    Will somebody feed me? I'm hungry. Oh, and I think I soiled my pajamas so, if you could take care of that too it would be greatly appreciated
    This is getting a lil' ridiculous...
    2009-12-15 06:11 PM
  17. Gregatgmail's Avatar
    85 dB? 100dB?--with what headphones?? and how will the system know?
    I suspect this is a government agency proving that it is worth supporting because they make recommendations! not that the recommendations ever get actioned because they are basically impossible.
    Greg
    2009-12-17 09:42 AM
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