6 Simple Ways To Check If Your Headphones Are Too Loud | Deafblind UK

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You love loud music. but do you know that the volume of your headphones is killing your hearing?

Reading: Safe headphone volume

Humans by nature love to turn up the volume. makes your music sound more “fun” and immersive. This is why V-shaped sound signature headphones are so popular. but are you aware of the risks involved in constantly tuning in at high volumes? do you even know what the recommended listening volumes are?

6 Simple Ways To Check If Your Headphones Are Too Loud Deafblind UK

Sound effects and their decibel chart

How Loud and How Long Should You Wear Your Headphones?

Experts recommend keeping sound levels between 60 and 85 decibels to minimize damage to the ears. if you’re listening to music around 100 decibels, restrict your use to 15 minutes.

however, these are general guidelines and the hearing threshold is different for each individual.

Know your safety levels and protect your hearing with these six ways to determine whether or not your headphones are hurting your ears.

1. perform the call test

This is an easy test that requires a simple pair of foam earplugs and a quiet environment. when possible, take some time off from using your headphones and the deafening music in its entirety; 2 or 3 days should be enough.

After this time, go to a quiet room and insert earplugs. try to concentrate on your hearing. relax as much as you can, focus on your breath, and stay completely still.

See also: CMoy Amp Kit- A DIY headphone amplifier kit – Headphonesty

during silence, you should hear a very slight ringing in your ears – this is your reference level.

The next day, resume normal headset activity. then in the evening, test again in a quiet place. if the ringer is louder than in the previous test, then the headphone noise is too loud.

repeat as often as necessary to measure the effect of the volume level. when the timbre becomes louder than its reference level, it’s time to turn it down a notch or two.

2. hold your headphones in front of you

It is very easy to forget that we can damage our hearing by listening to loud music. One test we recommend is to remove your headphones, keep them at your preferred volume, and hold them in front of you at arm’s length. can you hear the music clearly?

if so, try downloading it and repeating it again. always try to take regular breaks throughout the day to give your ears some much-needed rest.

3. check the volume control

There’s no denying that some music sounds better at higher levels. and it’s easy to turn up the volume when your favorite track starts playing. however, it is important to adopt positive habits by making sure the volume stays below half.

If you find that you turn it up to more than two-thirds of the volume control or more than 60%, then it’s too much for your ears. Hearing loss may not happen overnight, but you can prevent it from happening by checking those volumes regularly.

4. ask a friend for help

Ask your friend to sit next to you to see if they can hear your music through your headphones. if his music can be heard clearly, then it’s obviously too deafening to his ears. this test will work best if you don’t use open-back headphones, as they tend to filter music regardless of volume level.

See also: Essential Listening: 10 Stellar Headphone Albums | Guitar World

When your friend can easily pick up sounds while sitting next to you, or even across from you, then it’s time to turn the volume down a couple notches.

5. watch for signs of hearing loss

You may already be experiencing symptoms of hearing loss and not even realize it. watch for symptoms like:

  • ringing, clicking, roaring, hissing, or ringing in the ears
  • difficulty hearing in noisy places
  • muffled sounds
  • an every need higher time to keep turning up the volume

6. measure the sound level with a sound level meter

A sound level meter or decibel meter is a device for measuring sound levels in decibels. With this device, you can use the decibel chart above to gauge if your headphones are too loud for you.

Note that even though it says 94 decibels is the average sound level for personal audio devices, it’s still pretty high. keeping the sound level 10 to 20 decibels below that level will give your ears a lot of relief in the long run.

Sound meters aren’t exactly very accurate either, but they do give a good indicator. the sound projected into your ears versus the sound picked up by the meter can potentially be very different. measure with a pinch of salt.

6 Simple Ways To Check If Your Headphones Are Too Loud Deafblind UK


Take a break whenever possible and keep the volume as low as possible to maintain your listening enjoyment. It might also be in your interest to opt for noise-canceling headphones. Noise-canceling headphones reduce the amount of ambient noise, making it easier to listen at lower volumes.

Although heavier in most cases, noise canceling headphones can reduce noise by up to 15 to 20 decibels. this is a marked improvement over standard headphones and they are very useful in particularly noisy environments.

Exposure to loud noise over a long period of time can cause irreversible hearing loss. therefore, it is crucial that care and caution be exercised from the start, particularly by younger and inexperienced listeners. Moderation is definitely key to minimizing damage to your hearing and avoiding problems like tinnitus for as long as possible.

See also: How To Measure Headphone Decibels – Audiosolace

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