Pages Navigation Menu
Categories Navigation Menu

Your iPod Is Making You Deaf…

Did you know that there’s no such thing as age-related hearing loss?

Our hearing doesn’t magically get worse over the years, but rather deteriorates from prolonged exposure to really loud noises. Every time you walk by a jack hammer, shoot a gun, or go to a banging concert you’re killing the tiny hair cells within your ears. Those tiny hair cells are responsible for propagating sound waves through the ears, which ultimately creates our sense of hearing. Gradually over time more and more of those hair cells die and you’re left with a less than perfect set of ears. The worst part about all of this is that the hair cells don’t grow back, so your hearing only gets worse over time. That’s a little scary…

The loudness of a sound is measured by something known as a decibel (dB), which basically measures sound pressure/intensity. The list below shows the dB level of a variety of common sounds:

85 dBs is considered the threshold of what humans can safely listen to without experiencing any sort of hearing damage. What’s really interesting is that an iPod blasting at maximum volume can reach dB levels upwards of 120 dBs!!

That’s ridiculously loud to begin with, but what makes it even worse is that earbuds pump sound directly down your ear canal at a point-blank range. All of that bass blasting constantly can have a pretty nasty impact on your hearing in the long run.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) guidelines for sound exposure, listening to an iPod at max volume (120 dBs) is never safe, not even for a few seconds.

If you’re like me and love to blast music during an intense workout, it’s pretty alarming just how much damage it’s been doing over the years. According to CBC News “a typical person can safely listen to an iPod for 4.6 hours per day at 70 per cent volume using stock earphones.” Personally, I’d like to be able to hear 50 years down the road. If you listen to your iPod set a volume limit to ~70% of the max volume. By doing that you’re keeping the max dBs to 84–safely below the threshold of hearing damage.


Follow Lean It UP on Twitter for real-time fitness/nutrition tips, advice, info, and updates.

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto