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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. jordan04's Avatar
      jordan04 -
      That sucks a bit for us frenchies :/
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      It really depends on the type of headphones and the background noise in the area as to how much damage you will cause to your ears. Usually the more background noise the louder you need to turn up the source. Noise cancelling headphones(especially the ear canal type) can help this situation dramatically.

      I think these type of rulings assume you will use the cheap earbuds that come with the devices.

      Here is an article that tested this. (http://www.hearingconservation.org/d...FligorIves.pdf).
    1. brandonmarback's Avatar
      brandonmarback -
      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.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      ^ ? lol
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      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.
      Yes our government is less intrusive than other countries around the globe, but that does not mean that we should allow them to be like other governments. If that's what you're looking for then move there. And by bringing black people into your comment it then just goes to show that you my friend are the racist by continuing to segregate. Just wait for socialized medicine to come true here. It makes me sad that any government can control how loud someone's music is. If you want your volume lower than you turn it down you own damn self.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Government should NOT have this kind of power. This is borderline ridiculous. I can understand a corporation setting an internal volume limit, but now people are going to be arrested for not updating their iPods?
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Man, I want higher max volume not lower!!! My damn ears!!
    1. DayumQuitPlayin's Avatar
      DayumQuitPlayin -
      Thought I see what the government is trying to do but I think it's a little ridiculous. It's common sense that listening to music at high volumes is damaging to the ear. But to make it into law that they lower the max volume is ridiculous. Rather than do that.. make some PSAs and remind people to not listen to their music so loud lol.

      -Ninja
    1. porq's Avatar
      porq -
      Can't you guys read?

      It says that you will be able to crank up the volume as much as you used to, but it would require you to manually do so after reading a warning.

      What is wrong with that tbh? Considering the fact that most people do not realise the health issues that come with very high volume, I for one think it's a great ideea.
    1. big poops's Avatar
      big poops -
      who cares about this thread???? ever since MMI got the new writers we've been getting crap news!!!
    1. MikePA's Avatar
      MikePA -
      Another nanny state power grab, that's what is wrong with this. You'd think that'd be obvious.
    1. FRiiTOZ's Avatar
      FRiiTOZ -
      Quote Originally Posted by big poops View Post
      who cares about this thread???? ever since MMI got the new writers we've been getting crap news!!!
      haha sum1 had 2 say it
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I'm glad to be an American
    1. Go Gators's Avatar
      Go Gators -
      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.
      Freedom from Government control is why America is the best country in the world. It's idiot's like you that want to give the Government more control over our lives thats hurting our country right now. If thats what you want then move to Europe and let us true Americans continue to live free. It's my ears and I should be able to listen my music however loud I want. It's none of the Government's damn business!
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      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.
      You're a f-u-c-k-i-n-g idiot. Please refrain from ever posting your stupid b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t opinions again.
    1. The Maestro's Avatar
      The Maestro -
      Quote Originally Posted by big poops View Post
      who cares about this thread???? ever since MMI got the new writers we've been getting crap news!!!
      Lmao couldn't agree more
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by porq View Post
      What is wrong with that tbh? Considering the fact that most people do not realise the health issues that come with very high volume, I for one think it's a great ideea.
      I find it hilarious that many, well almost everyone, on here criticized Vista for doing this exact same thing, and yet think this is a good idea! A popup warning is a good idea?? How about letting a stupid person blow their eardrums out? Stupid people deserve to get hurt, it's the only way they learn.
    1. domaid's Avatar
      domaid -
      Quote Originally Posted by big poops View Post
      who cares about this thread???? ever since MMI got the new writers we've been getting crap news!!!
      You have just said what probably everyone has been thinking lol I was
    1. chupacabra314's Avatar
      chupacabra314 -
      I don't approve of government regulation of how I should damage my ears Next thing they will want to make displays show a message on every hour saying that you've been staring at them for too long.

      But if they should put limits on something why don't they stop Apple from manufacturing those dreadful crappy-sounding earphones. For me they are way more damaging than the high volume of the iPods.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      What do we want?

      Louder music!!!

      When do we want it?

      Now!!!

      Quote Originally Posted by big poops View Post
      who cares about this thread???? ever since MMI got the new writers we've been getting crap news!!!
      hahah it's true we may be getting more news to read but it all is annoying and has nothing interesting