We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

EU continues campaign to limit volume on MP3 players

Polotics Show claims consultation to begin in January

The EU is continuing its campaign to limit the volume on portable music players such as Apple's iPod and iPhone.

In September this year, the Commission revealed it ants all MP3 players sold in the EU, to share the same volume limits.

A safe level listening level is below 80 to 85 decibels, say c ampaigners, but some players play music up to 120 decibels.

According to BBC One's Politics Show, the commission want the default maximum setting to be set at 85 decibels. Users would still be able to override these settings to reach a top limit of 100 decibels the report said.

The European Commission's consumer affairs directorate suggested earlier this year visible measures will also be in place to warn users' of the potential dangers of listening to music at high volumes on earphones.

"There will be default volume settings so people can protect themselves and there will be new information requirements either on the screen or on the devices themselves," the directorate told The Times.

"The aim is to make people aware that beyond certain noise levels you risk long-term damage to hearing, but users will be given a choice and have the option to override it if they want to."

The Politics Show claimed the commission will begin a two-month consultation of all EU standardisation bodies in January 2010, concerning the proposals, with a final agreement expected in the spring.

"There are up to 10 million Europeans, mainly young people, who are at risk of losing their hearing permanently in the next five years due to their personal listening habits," warned Stephen Russell of the European consumer lobby ANEC during the programme.

"The units on the market at the moment, some of them are capable of generating a volume of beyond 115 decibels; now if we compare that with health and safety legislation, workers are not allowed to be exposed to that levels of volume for more than 30 seconds."

According to the BBC, 120 decibels is equivalent to the sound a jet makes when taking off.

In 2008, research from an EU scientific committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks suggested that up to ten million people in the EU could be left with impaired hearing in 20 years' time.

The Politics Show is available this week via BBC iPlayer.

See also: iPod earphones can kill cyclists, says campaigner


IDG UK Sites

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014 tech deals UK Live: Best Black Friday deals from Apple, Amazon,...

IDG UK Sites

Why are people still buying satnavs? Smartphones are the modern satnav

IDG UK Sites

New Star Wars trailer: Watch the VFX-laden teaser for The Force Awakens

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & Black Friday tech offers UPDATED