With the advent of streaming music services, the amount of accessible music is almost limitless. Any song, any time, anywhere. However, all that music, if treated incorrectly, can come with a high cost to your ears.
Everyone knows prolonged listening at excessive volume levels can damage your hearing and using headphones increases the possibility of damage. Comparatively, playing music on a pair of floor standing speakers and then at the same volume level through a pair of headphones can cause additional damage due to the speakers being so close to your ear.
So, how do you enjoy music without damaging your ears? Here are a few points to keep in mind.
Limit Your Volume at the Source
Depending on the device you’re using to play music, you may have the ability to set a permanent volume limitation. Check the audio setting on your smartphone or tablet to lower the “max volume” to two-thirds or even half of the maximum volume. You’ll pay less attention to the everyday listening level while protecting yourself. Considering this option is especially beneficial for young children.
Listen to Better Quality Music
Believe it or not, better quality music will save your ears. Higher bitrate music is less compressed, which not only sounds better but can be beneficial for your hearing.
The more compressed the music, the more details that are lost. Certain nuances can be challenging to hear at lower volumes, which means you’ll be inclined to turn it up. Less compressed music reveals detail, even at lower volumes.
Use Better Headphones
Much like using higher bitrate audio files, better headphones utilize higher quality speaker drivers to reproduce details in music so, your audio will still sound great at lower volumes. Fit is crucial as well. A proper fitting pair of in-ear/over-ear headphones will greatly reduce ambient noise. Think airplane, subway, work, etc.
Consider this: before cranking up those headphones, consider the “why’s” and research your options. Great sound will never need to be over-compensated with high volumes. Your ears will thank you!