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iPods can damage hearing, says deaf rock star

Well, maybe, shouts Pete Townshend

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Who guitarist Pete Townshend has sort-of backed recent sensational claims that iPod headphones can permanently damage your hearing, the BBC notes.

Giving forth on his website, the sexagenarian guitar worrier declares: "I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf," before admitting: "My intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead."

Now, before readers begin to, quite reasonably, protest that Townshend's woes were, in fact, provoked by standing in front of huge stacks of amps while cartwheeling like a good 'un, we should add that he himself says: "Studio headphones caused my hearing problems, rather than playing loudly on stage."

Accordingly, the poor chap's ears now ring continuously, and he warns: "Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired."

However, as a quick caveat, Townshend adds: "If you use an iPod or anything like it, or your child uses one, you may be OK. It may only be studio earphones that cause bad damage."

He does, though, finally state: "The downside may be that on our computers - for privacy, for respect to family and co-workers, and for convenience - we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound." ®

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