Understanding How Headphones and Earbuds Cause Hearing Loss - Hear More Associates


Custance Place,
76 Bedford Street, Suite 18
Lexington, MA 02420

Cornerstone Suites
800 Hingham Street
Hingham/Rockland, MA.
North Andover

800 Turnpike St
Suite 300,
North Andover, MA 01845


Comprehensive Health Care
Suite 200 75 Gilcrest Rd,
nderry, NH

Call Now

(781) 863-8282

It’s no secret that almost every individual today owns headphones or earbuds. These are portable audio or sound equipment that people use to accompany their smartphones while they commute, exercise, and relax on a daily basis.

While headphones and earbuds offer convenience and instant gratified comfort, there are dangers to using them heavily and improperly. With that said, it’s important that we talk about the relationship between high volumes and permanent hearing loss.

Nowadays, as everyone is wearing headphones or earbuds, we must note that there is a way to listen to music and watch videos without disturbing our ears. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), loud headphones put 50% of adults between the ages of 12 and 35 at risk of hearing loss. Thus, we must do what it takes to safeguard our hearing.

Read on to understand how headphones and earbuds cause hearing loss and learn the essential tips for safe listening.

Hearing Loss and Sound Equipment

Many people may believe that the volume of any audio is not always an issue. However, listening devices today actually allow for dangerously high volume levels. Smartphone earbuds can reach 120 decibels, which is equivalent to a chainsaw in the ear.

Because of this, people may suffer from permanent hearing loss.  Thus, it is crucial to learn how to reduce noise in headphones to avoid permanent damage.

Hearing Loss and Noise

Many people are surprised to learn that the leading cause of hearing loss is injury, not aging. 

A noise level of 85 decibels is recommended, which is comparable to a busy street. However, people try to frown this unwanted noise out with even more noise using their earbuds and headphones. This may cause deafness and blindness. Nowadays, Millennials and GenZ who will reach their fifties are predicted to have the hearing of 80-year-olds. 

Tips for Safe Listening 

  • Reduce Volume

Most listening devices allow users to increase the volume to unsafe levels, although there are options to restrict audio output. IOS devices’ settings tab lets you adjust audio levels. In the health app for IOS, earbud volume can be monitored.

  • Take Breaks

Take regular listening breaks. According to experts, continuous earbud use is detrimental to hearing. The “60/60 rule” encourages listening for 60 minutes, followed by 60 minutes of rest. Therefore, your ears can rest from loud sounds.

  • Opt for Headphones Over Earbuds

Because they isolate sound from the eardrum, headphones offer a less intrusive listening choice. Improved noise cancellation improves focus. It is not possible to boost the volume to drown out extraneous sounds.

  • Use Noise-Canceling Headphones

Choose noise-canceling earbuds if headphones are too large. Noise-canceling earbuds are now widely available. It is similar to noise-canceling headphones, but it is more portable. These earbuds allow you to turn up the volume, but the excellent sound quality and noise cancellation may put you off.


Indeed, nobody wants to live life with impaired hearing. Think about how much you enjoy your headphones or earbuds and how much you want to preserve your hearing. With this information and safety tips, know that it is best to adapt safe listening to enjoy the best of both worlds as you get older.

Hear More Associates can give you access to hearing aids for yourself and your family. Our team of esteemed hearing specialists is here to guide you. Book your appointment with us today!

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?