If you find the voice of a musician captivating and the lyrics of the track powerful, it’s natural to turn up the volume of your headset to a higher level. While listening to music at high volumes can be fun and exhilarating, doing this for prolonged periods can cause ear damage.
And it can be particularly more damaging to kids since their ears are not that well-developed yet. When you often listen to music at high levels, you’re at risk of experiencing hearing loss.
Luckily, with voice-limiting headphones, both adults and children can enjoy listening to cool vibes without compromising their hearing. What are voice-limiting headphones? In this write-up, we’ll discuss all you need to know about this class of headsets.
Importance of Volume-Limiting Headphones
These headphones come with different benefits. Nowadays, kids typically have free access to smartphones and other mobile devices, which play noises. Headset without this volume-limiting option could deliver sounds at levels, which lead to ear damage and — if used over time — hearing loss.
Volume-limiting units give you peace of mind that your kid can’t play music at dangerously high levels. This means that the child will have a far lesser chance of experiencing hearing damage.
While this option is made for kids, this headphone type can be used by people of all ages, which means even you, as an adult, can protect your hearing as well.
How the Volume Limiting Option Works
The sounds produced by volume-limiting headphones often only go as high as 85 decibels, and that’s a safe level, unlike your typical headphones, which can emit sounds of up to 115dB.
The working principle of volume-limiting devices is basically through the use of resistors. Resistors are devices, which create resistance in an electric circuit.
They’re embedded either in the cable or within the RCA (Radio Corporation of America) connector. These resistors help in lowering the flow of current from the sound source to the output to bring about sound levels that are within the safety limits.
Typical headphones that have no inherent volume-limiting feature are still able to limit volume levels by using an adaptor. These particular adaptors are short cables with resistors embedded in them.
All you’re required to do is to attach the adaptors to the existing cable of your headset, and the headphones will now be able to limit volume. This can be a money-saving decision since adaptors are considerably cheaper than brand-new volume-limiting headsets.
Are Voice-Limiting Headsets Safe for Use?
Some parents, who’re concerned about the risk of noise-induced hearing loss, urge their kids to make use of headphones when they’re listening to music tracks or watching videos on their mobile phone, tab & other devices.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily recommended safe volume level of any sound is a maximum of 85 decibels for 8 hours. This figure was estimated through the use of risk assessment techniques and also by incorporating the hearing thresholds of people that have hearing loss.
With increasing sound levels, you’ll find that listening time considered safe decreases. For instance, if you choose to listen to music at 100 decibels, research shows you can only do so for 2 hours without experiencing any risk of hearing impairment.
Volume limits are usually set to 85 decibels in volume-limiting headsets. However, some can emit sounds at lower levels.
Other units can deliver sounds as high as 96 decibels. It’s essential to note the specific max volume of each device to be sure your child won’t listen to sounds that are at dangerously high decibel levels.
It’s also vital for kids & adults to consider setting time limits for headphone use and going on regular breaks from listening.
Almost 50 percent of teenagers & young adults (12–35 years old) in both middle- and high-income countries listen to unsafe sound levels via their phones, headphones, and other personal audio devices.
But according to a 2012 study carried out by a hearing expert, before the global adoption of mobile phones as the primary personal listening devices, less than 5 percent of users chose volume levels and listened frequently enough to expose them to a risk of hearing loss.
The International Telecommunication Union recommended that sound exposure not be higher than 80dB, A-weighted dB(A) for a max of 40hrs a week. Also, the European Union (EU) set a similar limit for users of headphones and personal listening devices generally, restricting the highest volume to 80 dB(A) for no more than 40hrs a week and for every additional increase of 3 decibels in sound exposure.
In the recommendation, the EU stated that duration should be reduced by half (83 dB(A) for no more than 20hrs, 86 dB(A) for 10hrs a week, 89 dB(A) for 5hrs a week, etc.
As said earlier, it’s crucial to pay attention to the specific max volume of each device to ensure that your kid won’t listen to sounds emitted at dangerously high dB levels.
Where Can I Get Voice-Limiting Headphones?
You can find volume-limiting headphones in stores or online. Most times, the price can be as low as $6 and as high as $100.
Here’s a list of some options you can choose from:
- iClever Kids 94 dB Volume Limited Headphones
- KPTEC Foldable 93 dB Volume Limited Headphones
- Puro Sound Labs BT2200 85 dB Volume Limited Kids’ Bluetooth Headphones
Also, you can get adaptors for headphones in stores or online, with prices ranging from $5 to $30 or more. These are a couple of recommendations from trusted brands:
- Shure EAADPT-KIT Adapter Kit
- 1-165119 VC20 In-Line Headphones Volume Controller
- iFi Ear Buddy Audio Attenuator Cable for Headphones
In a Nutshell
Voice-limiting headphones ensure you listen to music and watch videos at a safe volume that won’t damage your hearing. According to the WHO, the recommended safe volume level for your daily listening activity is 85 dB max for 8 hours. With volume-limiting headsets, adults and kids can enjoy listening to the music tracks of their best artists without compromising their hearing.