EU to shout at media player makers over noise levels
You can pry my iPod from my cold, dead ears
A European Commissioner is preparing to present manufacturers of portable media players (PMP) and music-capable handsets with a mandate, following concerns that mobile music fans could be damaging their hearing.
Next week, Meglena Kuneva - European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs - will present details of an EU mandate to develop standards for personal music player manufacturers – including MP3 players and mobile phones that play music through headphones.
The mandate’s specific details haven’t been disclosed yet, but it’s reasonable to assume that it will push for manufacturers of such devices to take greater steps to protect consumer hearing.
A spokeswoman for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People – which is supporting the Commissioner’s mandate – told Register Hardware that the document will also be presented before the European Parliament.
The EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks recently discovered, according to Kuneva, that between five and 10 per cent of music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss if they listen to a PMP for over one hour per day each week – at a high volume - for at least five years.
Further details about Kuneva’s mandate will be released next week. ®
I too am old enough to remember those Japanese transistor radios. But those were nothing compared to the infamous ghetto blaster - remember those? At least in those days the yoof played decent metal instead of the "yo-yo-yo muthafukka" rap crap they spew out these days, and the sound quality from a decent ghetto blaster destroyed both your tranny radios and today's mobile phones!
Back on topic, I've listened to MP3s on today's players and the volume ALREADY sucks compared to my 80s Walkman (still working!). Not only that, but I used the earbuds that came with the player and they were SHIT. So I plugged in my trusty old ones from the 80s (also still working!) and - at max volume it's HALF as loud as the Walkman playing the same track. And they want to reduce it even more? Admittedly the MP3 does sound clearer and has better dynamic range than the tape, but without the volume what's the point?
Oh, and I'm 43, been listening to music at high volumes for years, and there's nothing wrong with my hearing. Yes, I have a bit of tinnitus, but it's only audible in absolute silence.
Megaphone because that's the only thing that produces decent volume these days.
I'm all in favour of noise limits...
...but only in terms of the amount of noise that leaks from headphones.
I couldn't give a toss if some twerp wants to deafen himself, that's his lookout, as long as he doesn't go to the NHS for treatment.
What would be much better would be minimum standards for headphones' sound leakage to the outside world* so that we don't have to listen too.
* or rather, every train I've been on in the last 5 years.
Dear EU Comissioners
Rather that spoliling things for people with brains, please google "loudness war" and "brick wall compression". Then, please, make it illegal to reduce a recording to a serieses of loud squelches.
Mine's the one with the FLAC filled A3 in the pocket with a pair of SuperFi 10s.
More EU legislation...
...that will implemented here after the civil service oiks have added their own restrictions, removed the volume control after having wound it back to 1.
The rest of the EU will ignore this and enjoy life.