Listening Habits of iPod Users PurposeTo estimate real-environment iPod listening levels for listeners in 4 environments to gain insight into whether average listeners receive dosages exceeding occupational noise exposure guidelines as a result of their listening habits.MethodThe earbud outputs of iPods were connected directly into the inputs of a digital recorder to make recordings of ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
Listening Habits of iPod Users
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael Epstein
    Northeastern University, Boston, MA
  • Jeremy Marozeau
    The Bionic Ear Institute, East Melbourne, Australia
  • Sandra Cleveland
    Northeastern University
  • Contact author: Michael Epstein, Northeastern University, 106A FR 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail: m.epstein@neu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Hearing
Article   |   December 01, 2010
Listening Habits of iPod Users
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1472-1477. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0059)
History: Received April 3, 2009 , Revised October 1, 2009 , Accepted May 8, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1472-1477. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0059)
History: Received April 3, 2009; Revised October 1, 2009; Accepted May 8, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

PurposeTo estimate real-environment iPod listening levels for listeners in 4 environments to gain insight into whether average listeners receive dosages exceeding occupational noise exposure guidelines as a result of their listening habits.

MethodThe earbud outputs of iPods were connected directly into the inputs of a digital recorder to make recordings of listening levels. These recordings were used to estimate listening levels using reference recordings made in a real ear. Recordings were made in 4 environments with a wide range of background noises: (a) a library, (b) a student center, (c) busy streets, and (d) the subway.

ResultsNone of the 64 listeners were estimated to exceed allowable occupational dosages, with a maximum dose of 7.57% based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA; 1998)  methods and 10.83% based on National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH; 1998)  methods.

ConclusionsAll of the listeners surveyed were exposed to dosages well below OSHA and NIOSH occupational regulations. Although this does not guarantee individual safety, the results do not support the widespread concern regarding the safety of common iPod usage. However, measurements made in this study agree with the finding that iPod output can exceed safe levels and further support recommendations to monitor and limit listening volume and listening duration.

Acknowledgments
The second author was supported by a fellowship for advanced researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation. The authors thank David Epter and Amy Levasseur for making the iPod field recordings and Rita Anelli for assistance with the ear canal recordings.
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