Most people naturally love to turn up the volume. Or you are among the 1% that doesn’t?
In any case, this makes music sound “funnier” and haunting or worse defeaning or irritating. That is why headphones with a V-shaped sound signature are so popular.
But are you aware of the risks associated with constantly adjusting the volume? Do you even know the recommended listening volume? In this post, we will address all these questions.
There are a number of things you can do monitor the volume of your headset, making sure that is stays within a healthy range that won’t damage your hearing. You can take a break, if possible, and keep the volume as low as possible to maintain your listening pleasure.
Also, you may also get noise-canceling headphones, which help you reduce the amount of ambient noise, making it easier to hear lower volumes.
Let’s discuss in detail the 7 ways to check that your headphone is loud.
How loud and how long should you wear your headphones?
Experts recommend keeping the sound level between 60 and 85 decibels to minimize the damage to your ears. If you’re listening to music at around 100 decibels, limit your use to 15 minutes.
At this point, it’s best to determine how you can know if the headphones are too loud. Common symptoms of noise-related hearing loss are
- Inability to understand speech at low volume
- A gradually increasing need to increase the volume in the headset
- Constant subtle tinnitus without the headset
- Muffled noises
However, these are general guidelines and the hearing threshold is different for each individual. You can use these seven options to determine whether your headphones are permanently damaging to your ears or not.
Perform the bell test
This is a simple test that requires a simple pair of foam earplugs and a peaceful environment. If possible, take some time off from the use of your headphones and ear-splitting music in their entirety; 2 or 3 days should be enough.
After this time, go to a quiet room and put the earplugs in your ears. Try to focus on your hearing. Relax as much as possible, focus on your breathing and stay completely calm. During the ensuing silence, you should hear a very slight ringing in your ears — this is your starting level.
The next day, resume headphone activity as usual. In the evening, repeat the test in a quiet place. If the ringing is louder than in the previous test, the sound of your headphones too strong.
Repeat the process as regularly as necessary to assess the effect of the volume level. When the ringing gets more intense than the output level, it’s time to turn it down a level or two.
Hold your headphones in front of you
It’s so easy to forget that loud music can damage your hearing. We recommend that you remove the headphones, keep them at the desired volume, and hold them at arm’s length. Can you hear the music clearly?
If so, try reducing and repeating the setting. Take breaks throughout the day to give your ears the necessary rest.
Please note: Don’t try this with your favorite music. In this case, you would understand the text in any case!
Check the volume control
There is no denying that some music is best heard at a louder level. And it’s so easy to turn up the volume when your favorite track starts playing. However, it is important to develop positive habits by ensuring that the volume stays below half the volume.
If you find it pushes up to over two-thirds of the volume control or over 60%, that’s too much for your ears. Hearing loss cannot occur overnight, but you can prevent it by regularly monitoring the volume.
Ask a friend for help
Ask your friend to sit next to you and check if they can hear your music on your headphones. If your music can be overheard clearly, it is obviously too deafening to your ears. This test works better when you are not using open headphones as they tend to play music regardless of volume.
If your friend can easily hear sounds while sitting next to you or even opposite you, it’s time to turn the volume down a few levels.
Measure the sound level with a sound meter
A sound meter or a decibel meter is a device for measuring sound levels in decibels. With this device, you can use the decibel table above to measure whether your headphones are too loud for you.
Note that while the average sound level for personal audio devices is 94 decibels, it’s still damn loud. If you keep the noise level 10 – 20 decibels below this value, your ears will experience a lot of relief in the long term.
Sound meters are also not exactly accurate, but they are a good yardstick. The projected sound into your ears, compared with the recorded sound from the instrument, can potentially be very different. Take the measurement with a pinch of salt.
Can you hear someone around with your headphones on?
It is another quick and effective technique to see if you hear too loud a volume. Plug in your headphones or earphones and put on your favorite song at the volume you want to test. Next, you can have a dialog.
In general, you should be able to hear the person near your arm when they are nearby.
If not, you may not be able to fully understand her and her voice may sound muffled or distorted. This, in turn, will encourage the person to speak in an elevated tone. That means the sound is too loud. It is better to turn it down a level or two to encourage healthy social interactions.
Install an equalizer to set the frequencies just right
If you’ve tried everything and still need to turn up the volume to enjoy it, consider buying an equalizer. This is a slightly expensive option.
The main reason that people turn up their volume to an unhealthy and dangerous level is that there are some details that are difficult for them to hear. It can be weak bass, vocals drowned out by instruments or a general lack of mids.
An equalizer amplifies the frequencies of your choice instead of increasing the volume across the entire audible spectrum.
The best part is that the equalizer option with most devices is free and on the software of many brands on the market.
Useful tips to ensure that the sound of your headphones isn’t too loud
If you ask an ENT doctor about the hearing frequency of a portable device, they will tell you that they would prefer you not to use headphones at all. Such experts also understand that you are likely to ignore this advice.
So, here is how you have your music and can also hear it at a safe headphone volume.
Use headphones or earplugs made specifically for children.
If you’re reading this for your kids, this should be your first stop. If not, you might want to consider pairing children’s headphones (if they fit), as they often include built-in volume controls.
These devices, also known as volume limiters, prevent the headphones from reaching more than 85 decibels. This means that your child (… or yourself if you want to) won’t accidentally listen to loud music. However, even these headphones can get louder than 85 decibels when connected to an amplifier; it is best to connect them to undamped music players to protect the ears of the listeners.
Use the volume limit controls
In the settings menu of your Apple or Android, you can set the maximum volume at which you can listen to your music. This is really helpful if you think the headphone volume is too loud!
If you can’t find instructions below, there are apps that let you set the maximum volume for your device.
Set volume limit (Apple):
- Go to Settings
- Select music
- Find volume limit
- Choose your ideal maximum volume (try not to exceed 70%)
- If you have children, you can set this as a restricted limit by choosing Settings -> General -> Restrictions -> Activate restrictions.
- Add a needle and then go to Allow Changes
- When you have found the volume limit, you can select ‘ Do not allow changes ‘ and the volume limit will be locked.
Set volume limit (Samsung):
- Go to Settings
- Tap Sound or Sounds & Notifications
- Look for volume and select the 3-point ‘More Options’ button in the right corner.
- From here you can turn on the media volume limiter and choose the level (try not to exceed 70%).
Use noise-canceling headphones
An important way to reduce the volume and turn off loud music through headphones and hearing loss is to use noise-compensated headphones. This technology is especially important for people who feel that their headphone audio is too loud.
Simply put, headphones with active and hybrid noise cancellation reduce the need to increase the volume by turning off background noise.
One such technology works by picking up ambient noise through an audio processor and noise cancellation circuitry that generates a noise cancellation wave that cancels out unwanted background noise.
The noise reduction technology is far more effective than simple noise isolation technology because it means that you can listen to your music with absolute clarity and without distraction.
Reduce your listening time
While this may seem obvious, it is a surefire way to protect yourself from side effects if the headphone volume is too high.
As we discussed earlier, you really shouldn’t hear audio over 85 decibels for more than 15 minutes at a time. You shouldn’t hear 80 decibels for more than one hour at a time.
That doesn’t mean you can’t turn down the volume and listen longer. Perhaps, it is necessary for your work to hear loud tones; try to make sure that this does not exceed the time limit. And give yourself a break between listening sessions!
Install an equalizer
If you feel the sound of your headphones is too loud, you may need to download an equalizer.
Equalizers help you set different audio frequencies, refine the sound and thus regulate the volume. You can have different equalizer settings for different music genres to really adjust the volume of your music. Every song will sound better, and you don’t need to increase the decibels to immerse yourself in the music.
Don’t use music to drown out the noise from the gym.
If your exercise music drowns out the ambient sounds of a busy gym, it’s probably too loud. There is no indication that I am aware that louder music improves performance. If you really don’t like ambient noise in your headphones, invest in a noise cancellation kit.
Consider other loud sources of noise.
Gym rat hearing loss is likely due to the use of headphones. However, it is important to consider net hearing loss from other sources. If you are frequently around loud noises, you should reduce your headphones’ volume further.
Test your hearing for signs of hearing loss.
If you’ve noticed signs of hearing loss or just want to test your hearing, try The National Hearing Test. It costs $8 or is free for AARP members, but it could be worth it if you feel your hearing is wearing off.
Take a break, if possible, and keep the volume as low as possible to maintain your listening pleasure. You may also be interested in opting for noise-canceling headphones. These headphones reduce the amount of ambient noise, making it easier to hear lower volumes.
Although they are heavier in weight in most cases, noise-canceling headphones can reduce noise by up to 15 to 20 decibels. This is a significant improvement over standard headphones and they are very useful in particularly noisy environments.
Exposure to loud noise over a long period of time can lead to irreversible hearing loss. Once your hearing is lost, you can’t get it back. The energy from the loud noise from headphones or prolonged exposure can damage the coating on the auditory nerve.
Once these cells have disappeared, they can no longer be restored. There is no real treatment! It is therefore vital that caution and caution be exercised from the outset, especially by younger, inexperienced listeners. Moderation is definitely the key to minimizing the damage to your hearing and avoiding problems like tinnitus for as long as possible.