EU Plans To Limit MP3 Player Volume

Concern over hearing loss

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The European Commission said today it wants to implement new rules for the makers of MP3 players that would require them to follow new volume standards.

The Commission pointed to a study that found listening to personal music players at a high volume over a long period can lead to permanent hearing damage and 5 to 10 percent of listeners risk permanent hearing loss. It’s estimated that up to 10 million people in the EU may be at risk.

Meglena Kuneva, EU Commissioner
Meglena Kuneva,
EU Commissioner

"It’s easy to push up the sound levels on your MP3 player to damagingly loud levels, especially on busy streets or public transport. And the evidence is that particularly young people – who are listening to music at high volumes sometimes for hours each week- have no idea they can be putting their hearing at risk. It can take years for the hearing damage to show, and then it is simply too late," said Meglena Kuneva, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner.

"These standards make small technical changes to players so that by default, normal use is safe. If consumers chose to override the default settings they can, but there will be clear warnings so they know the risks they are taking."

The EU plans to implement the new MP3 volume standards after a 24-month process involving scientists, industry and consumer groups as well as other stakeholders.

EU Plans To Limit MP3 Player Volume
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  • http://myeuropeandream.blogspot.com Deni

    Before people start murmuring about limiting their personal freedom, remember all the times when you go to public transport and you can clearly hear what someone is listening to, even though the train, bur or whatever is quite noisy! Do you seriously think this is normal?! First – by imposing me to listen to their music, they are limiting my freedom. And second, this is so freaking dangerous for the ears!
    The fact is that the ear gets used to the volume you force it to listen. Loud or low. So in the end, if you listen to loud music, the ear becomes insensitive to not so loud music or noises. And you always want to turn it up a little bit more. And that is the real danger. There is no upper limit, until it really is too late. It’s hard to tell how many people are with damaged ears, but I can bet that they are more than 50%. Maybe even more than 70%. And I think that it’s high time that sound limits are imposed in all the machines used in our lives – cars, trains, buses, you name it.

    All that said – I applaud this idea of Meglena Kuneva. I will miss her so much once the new members of the commission are chosen. She is so very good and had come with so many wonderful ideas. I simply cannot believe she won’t have a second run on that job, simply because of political reasons. Because she did so much good deed for European citizens. If anyone feels like me, please write an email to Baroso, he really has to insist that she stays on her post.

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