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March 07, 2006

Off-brand earphones may cause hearing damage

The use of earphones of another brand than the MP3 player they are used with may result in hearing damage. Noise limit requirement is requested for the small music players by the Norwegian Directorate for Safety and Preparedness, DSB.

DSB warns against the dangers associated with off-brand earphones and points out that such earphones often lack the ability to cut out noise at levels exceeding the capacity of the earphones, resulting in excessive noise output.

In addition, damaging sound surges may occur when an MP3 is exposed to static electricity. For instance, if an MP3 earphone cable is near a TV set a sound surge may overwhelm the earphones and the listener's ears.

DSB recommended that only the original and compatible MP3 and other personal stereo brand earphones be used when listening to personal stereos.

The directorate is bringing the issue to the attention of the EU and asking that noise levels permitted in MP3 players be regulated and limited.

Source:, February 14, 2006.

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