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  • EU: Lower Max Volume on Personal Music Players

    image via Indiana Public Media

    In a decision by the European Commission today, new standards have been imposed on "personal music players and mobile phones with a music playing function" sold in the European Union. Following a report by an EU science committee about the effects of prolonged exposure to music at high volumes, the commission required new safety regulations that would limit the "default" maximum volume the players would be capable of. The commission left open the possibility that users could override these settings if they were notified of the potential harm.

    In October of 1998, the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) released the results of a study that found that listening to loud music through players like the iPod at a high volume could cause permanent hearing damage. The committee estimated that 5-10% of the people who regularly use music players - or up to 10 million people in Europe -listen for over 1 hour a day with the volume turned up to damaging levels. The threshold of damage was determined to be 40 hours per week listening at 80 adjusted decibels, or 5 hours a week listening at 89 decibels.

    The standards would require that the default setting of the maximum volume of music players sold in the EU would not exceed safe levels. Devices can be capable of playing at higher volumes (in other words, the device could "go to 11"), but users would have to manually select the higher max volume after reading a warning: for example a label or a pop-up on the device's display.

    "These standards make small technical changes to players so that by default, normal use is safe," said Meglena Kuneva, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner. "If consumers chose to override the default settings they can, but there will be clear warnings so they know the risks they are taking."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: EU: Lower Max Volume on Personal Music Players started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. Bernie-Mac's Avatar
      Bernie-Mac -
      I agree with the consensus that a) that is ridiculous and b) please refrain from the uninteresting news posts
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Why implement it if it can be overridden? /me scratches his head
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by brandonmarback View Post
      Man, I wish all the rednecks here in the US would realize that our government is much less intrusive than the rest of the industrialized world. I suppose they're just angry because they hate black people, but the FCC would get castrated if they tried this. They can't even get companies to turn down the volume on their TV ads.
      LMAO, what??
    1. bengo's Avatar
      bengo -
      LOL silly Americans thinking you are more free than the rest of the world... especially Europe?

      Oh, and what does this have to do with iPhone??
    1. ddonuts4's Avatar
      ddonuts4 -
      But what if I want to use the headphone output to power speakers(like I do with my iPod ) oh well... I don't live in Europe.
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      The EU will soon become communist. If I want to blow my eardrums to hell, why should the EU stop me?
    1. bengo's Avatar
      bengo -
      LOL the EU will become communist because they try to promote a healthy lifestyle?

      Healthcare is not privatized over there people, so the more people are healthy, the less money the government has to spend on healthcare costs, leaving them more money to spend on other stuff.

      Over in the states, nobody gives a ****, because the less healthy you are, the more money the whole healthcare system makes.
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      shut up bengo, I am from Europe. Europe is made up of socialists. Even the conservatives of Germany are pretty socialist. Europe regulates, regulates, then regulates some more, while Polish farmers find themselves at a disadvantage compared to German farmers. I'm not saying the US has its house in order, but Europeans act like such snobs, when in reality they are in danger to be overtaken by muslim minorities.

      Once **** gets to deep for Europe, as it is looking with Russia, poor Europe becomes really friendly with Uncle Sam.
    1. bengo's Avatar
      bengo -
      LOL why are you bringing up muslim minorities for??? The unfortunate truth is people will migrate whether it be legally or illegaly. Just look at the US and the illegal mexican immigration. Oh, and just because Poland might be in the EU now, doesn't automatically make them equal to Germany.
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      bah european socialism restricting people's individual liberties

      some people like to blast headphones so they can listen to them like speakers and not place it on their ears

      what are they gonna do next, limit the amount of salt someone's allowed to put on their food?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Another piece of useless EU intervention where it's not wanted nor needed.

      But I'm still glad I live in Europe rather than America. At least we have competition in the phone markets here
    1. big poops's Avatar
      big poops -
      Well I'm glad u all agree!!! Can't wait to see what the next non-interesting thread will be about!!! Cash, stealth, sayam!! Where u guys at??? That's where the real news comes from!!! It's called mod my iFONE!!!! Not *** crap news!!!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      What's an iFONE?
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      FTW! Deafness is so cool! No, not really but the choice to be is what is...
    1. nighthawk283's Avatar
      nighthawk283 -
      That's sucks and it's not right
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I don;t see why people are so upset by this especially when it can be overridden manually. I see this kind of like the surgeon general's warning on cigarettes and alcohol. How many of you did not know that those two substances can cause health risks before reading the tag? It isn't there for you, it is there for the idiots...
      [WARNING: playing your music loud as hell can, in fact, damage your hearing]
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      [WARNING: playing your music loud as hell can, in fact, damage your hearing]
      Not if you stick a cigarette in each ear first
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -