Chava Muchnik of Tel Aviv University, Dr. Ricky Kaplan-Neeman, Dr. Noam Amir and Ester Shabtai studied teens’ music listening habits and took acoustic measurements of preferred listening levels.
Personal listening devices permit users to listen to crystal-clear tunes at high volume for hours on end, a radical improvement over Walkman.
The results demonstrate clearly that teens have harmful music-listening habits when it comes to iPods and other MP3 devices.
“In 10 or 20 years, it will be too late to realize that an entire generation of young people is suffering from hearing problems much earlier than expected from natural ageing,” says Muchnik.
The first stage of the study included 289 participants aged 13 to 17 years. In the second stage, measurements of these listening levels were performed on 74 teens in both quiet and noisy environments.
The study’s findings are worrisome, says Muchnik. Eighty percent of teens use their PLDs regularly, with 21 percent listening from one to four hours daily, and eight percent listening more than four hours consecutively.