The role of iPods and earbuds as inner-cochleal deafening devices has been debated for years, with recent studies suggesting very strongly that hearing loss in children and teenagers is much higher than it should be thanks to the likes of Apple’s portable media player.
It might not be quite time to strike a new iPod off of your child’s Christmas list, though: a new study suggests that the prevalence of young people suffering from hearing loss thanks to loud music may be much lower than it has seemed.
According to a report done by the University of Minnesota’s Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, the conventional hearing tests are producing false positives for hearing loss at a rate of about ten percent.
That’s not enough, obviously, to throw caution to the wind. Cramming ear buds down your aural holes, putting on some Iron Maiden and then wildly spinning your iPod’s volume wheel until brains start dripping from your tear ducts is still going to have some consequences.
That said, it seems that the threat iPods pose to the hearing of our nation’s youth is about the same as it ever was: as long as you listen to your iPod at a lower, more responsible volume, you’re fine