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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 13th 2009, 07:18 PM

Title says it all... I'm all for un-deaf people, and the EU looking out for us, but I hope we don't have to stick at those levels! I like my music LOUD!

Heres the Source...

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Fears that listening to the portable music players at high volume could cause hearing damage has prompted the EU to act, according to BBC1's Politics Show.

The EU plan to launch a consultation early next year with a final decision coming in the spring.

Stephen Russell of the European consumer lobby ANEC told the Politics Show: "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.

"The units on the market at the moment, some of them are capable of generating a volume of beyond 115 decibels; now if we compare that with health and safety legislation, workers are not allowed to be exposed to that levels of volume for more than 30 seconds."



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Last edited by tk338; December 13th 2009 at 07:24 PM.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 13th 2009, 07:40 PM

You can't limit noise levels via the player. It's the speaker that sets the noise level - I can easily add +15+15db boost to my mp3 player before it even reaches the speaker! Unless they're going to add a limiter to every speaker/earphones which would make it ridiculously expensive. I've got a feeling this is more of a "seen to be doing something" issue.
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 13th 2009, 08:18 PM

Hi Joel, there is a world of difference between listening to music loud and listening to music at sound levels that can damage hearing very quickly and forever. The proposal on the table will probably set a default maximum of 89db(A) but it will be possible to override this maximum after a conscious decision of the user. We in ANEC - an independent European consumer association - think there should be a second limit of 100db(A) so people can listen to music loud but not risk their hearing. But that is not part of the proposal at the moment.

Hi Basil!!! I'm not a technical expert but technical experts tell me it is possible to limit the sound level from the player. Indeed, Apple makes a big play of doing so already. Not really linked to your comment but the type of headphone can make a significant difference. Wrap around headphones - like those used for in-home hi-fi - are capable of creating louder sounds at lower sound pressures, perhaps up to 5dB worth. The worst for potential damage are the in-ear earphones.

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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 13th 2009, 08:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Russell View Post
Hi Basil!!! I'm not a technical expert but technical experts tell me it is possible to limit the sound level from the player. Indeed, Apple makes a big play of doing so already. Not really linked to your comment but the type of headphone can make a significant difference. Wrap around headphones - like those used for in-home hi-fi - are capable of creating louder sounds at lower sound pressures, perhaps up to 5dB worth. The worst for potential damage are the in-ear earphones.
Firstly, in-ear earphones are in fact the safest since the sound coming from them does not have to compete with external noises, so the net decibel level is lower.

I'm not claiming you can't limit the volume of the mp3 player, however different earphones and speakers will output different volume levels depending on their construction. Some earphones are simply more sensitive than others, while active speakers can amplify the signal massively. You can't impose a limit on the output of the mp3 player and expect it to result in a sort of "volume limit".
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 13th 2009, 10:26 PM

"Here in the EU, you don't know whats best for you. THANKFULLY, we do, so here's how its gonna be."

What ever happened to taking responsibility for yourself?


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 14th 2009, 11:38 AM

@Basil!!! Again, I'm not a technical expert but I understand that headphones (especially if they are of the 'closed' type) offer better isolation from other sound sources than any of the earphones.

@TigerTank77. There is no doubt a VERY fine line between personal freedom and safe products. However, given up to 10,000,000 young people in Europe are unknowingly at genuine risk of permanent deafness, we'd be pretty irresponsible to do absolutely nothing and condemn many of them to a long life in silence, don't you think? By the way, warnings don't work.
   
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 14th 2009, 02:39 PM

most ipods have a volume control setting on them mine does. but i never listen to mine full wack.
   
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December 14th 2009, 06:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Russell View Post
@Basil!!! Again, I'm not a technical expert but I understand that headphones (especially if they are of the 'closed' type) offer better isolation from other sound sources than any of the earphones
Indeed, although the type I'm referring too in fact offer better isolation than headphones as they act like earbuds (for example http://www.headphoneworld.com/c/shur...FZWX2Aod1lsnsQ ). I applaud the effort but I'm worried that it mightn't achieve what it hopes to. Just have to wait till a draft is released I suppose.

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Originally Posted by TigerTank77 View Post
"Here in the EU, you don't know whats best for you. THANKFULLY, we do, so here's how its gonna be."

What ever happened to taking responsibility for yourself?
Two words: health risk. This is akin to the legalizing drugs debate.

Last edited by Gaia; December 14th 2009 at 06:24 PM. Reason: merging double post.
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 14th 2009, 07:41 PM

I'm all for safety. I mean, I don't know if I could live with being permanently deaf. I'd be a lot more calm during arguments because what is there to argue against when I can't even hear them in the first place? Other than that...I wouldn't want me, or anyone for that matter, to become permanently deaf because of music.

It'd be a different story if I-Pods were only for old people...then I would understand why I-Pods can get so loud, but these things are pretty much for all ages. In reality, there's a lot of things that can cause deafness...airplanes, freakin' loud movie theater surround sound, etc..but it makes sense to want to tackle I-Pods. I don't disagree with it.

Besides, I'm sure some nerd would turn around and find a way to bypass the limitation and make the noise even LOUDER. So I guess that if that happened, we'd still end up making our own choices: accept the limitation, or bypass?
   
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 14th 2009, 11:13 PM

Loud music is so dull, at least for me. Weird sanction though...


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 15th 2009, 02:13 AM

Okay, so this may sound stupid, but besides limiting noise via the player, how does the EU plan to implement these limits?


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 15th 2009, 03:42 AM

I think a mandatory warning label would be sufficient. If people donīt follow the warning and end up going deaf, maybe that will teach them a lesson. It wouldnīt bother me if the companies chose on their own or were persuaded by their customers to limit the noise, but the government has no right to step in that far.


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 15th 2009, 12:06 PM

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Okay, so this may sound stupid, but besides limiting noise via the player, how does the EU plan to implement these limits?
All new players having to conform to the regulations I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khadra
I think a mandatory warning label would be sufficient. If people donīt follow the warning and end up going deaf, maybe that will teach them a lesson. It wouldnīt bother me if the companies chose on their own or were persuaded by their customers to limit the noise, but the government has no right to step in that far.

They already have warning stickers on French mp3 players, and it's really no use when 50% damages your hearing anyway - besides, they have warning labels on cigarette packets, and I don't remember that stopping anyone.

Again, health risk.
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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 15th 2009, 01:22 PM

How about a warning on the player itself that the user would have to hit a button to ge past (confirm they read it) anytime that the volume is turned up past safe levels. As well as volume being reset to safe levels when the player is turned off then back on? That is still pretty draconian and intrusive. But it saves the poor, ignorant sheep from losing their hearing (if they care) and the glorious governmental shepherd can still feel happy knowing they protected them.

Or the government could stay out of people's business, but that's all too simple.


Also, I just wanted to point out that there are valid uses for the extra volume without damaging your hearing. Ever tried to use un-powered speakers with an MP3 player? You need to turn it up pretty loud for them to even work at all. And I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking of. In the end, the consumer should have the freedom to use hardware they buy to its full potential, not to whatever limit the government decides on.


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 16th 2009, 03:09 AM

I think a warning would/should suffice. Otherwise it would be like outlawing biscuits because they contain sugar which causes cancer of the spine and melts your man-bits off. (according to health and safety anyway)


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 16th 2009, 04:37 AM

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Originally Posted by Union Of V View Post

They already have warning stickers on French mp3 players, and it's really no use when 50% damages your hearing anyway - besides, they have warning labels on cigarette packets, and I don't remember that stopping anyone.

Again, health risk.
Sure, but smoking is still legal. People should have the right to decide if risking their hearing is worth it or not. The govenrment shouldnīt FORCE people to make the "right" decision. Whatīs the point of living if we canīt choose how we want to live our lives?


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Re: EU to limit MP3 noise levels... - December 16th 2009, 05:34 PM

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Sure, but smoking is still legal. People should have the right to decide if risking their hearing is worth it or not. The govenrment shouldnīt FORCE people to make the "right" decision. Whatīs the point of living if we canīt choose how we want to live our lives?
They're not stopping people listen to music, just limiting how loud they can listen to it - it's been going on at gigs for years. We don't need to do that with smoking since chain smoking has its own penalties.
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