May 29, 2011

Why I Don't Own an iPod or Wear Ear Buds to Listen to Music

Ear Buds
Photograph of ear buds from ebnt

I do not own an iPod or listen to music using ear buds for several reasons.
  • Unless I am at home, I would have to take my hearing aid out in order to put the ear bud in. It would be a hassle to have to do this.
  • When I am out and about, I like to be aware of my surroundings, especially around my left side (since I am profoundly deaf in my left ear, for the most part). Wearing an iPod or listening to music in my right ear would make it impossible for me to pay attention to my surroundings. It is funny to me how people make themselves "deaf" to their surroundings when listening to music through headphones or ear buds as they walk around outside.
    • I would not want to constantly clean the ear buds. Many people are probably not aware of the fact that they should clean the ear buds to prevent infection and nasty bacteria from spreading. This short article explains the importance of cleaning them to prevent unwanted health issues. 
      • Constantly listening to music using ear buds, that sit near the sensitive and fragile inner ear parts, does not sound like a good idea to me. Because I already have a significant hearing loss, I am aware of the possibility of making my hearing worse through constant exposure to loud sounds and noises. I want to protect my hearing as much as I can by avoiding listening to music through ear buds. I do not want to risk unknowingly listening to music at unsafe levels. Apparently, the sound of an iPod Shuffle has been measured at 115 dB!! Most professionals seem to believe that constant exposure to decibels of 85 or above can cause hearing loss. To help prevent yourself from listening to music at dangerous levels, you can easily set a maximum volume limit. Some parents will set the limit or set a "volume lock" before giving their children the iPod or music device. Unfortunately, it is very easy to find ways to change the limit or to take off the volume lock. If it is likely that constantly listening to music at dangerous levels through ear buds can cause hearing loss, why do some companies continue to have the maximum volume limit set so ridiculously high? 
      I prefer giant headphones with the soft cushioned ear cups. But, I only wear them when it is necessary. You won't see me using them everyday or wearing them walking down the street, oblivious to my surroundings. I don't have this need to constantly be listening to music when I am out and about.



        1. Have you tried a loop? I love it! It pairs with the T switch with my hearing aid/CI. I also feels it's less impacting to any residual hearing. I don't wear it long though, mainly because the T switch does cause a lot of static I find annoying. On the other hand, I don't think it causes one to be less attentive in public- at least for deaf/hoh people and/or myself. D/hoh people are very visual, and I think we get most our cues from our visuals and our peripheral vision. I wouldn't wear it walking down a busy street though. I'll wear it at the cafe, or sneak it on during a boring meeting- since it's a loop, no one can see it! Hehe sshhh!

          Oh, and I do have a direct audio wire between my CI and any audio jack, which is great- I can change the settings to determine how much outside noise I want to hear (or not hear) while listening to music on the iPod. The only negative part is I have to remove the external CI, open a compartment- there's actually a tool for it- then connect. Too much hassle! Lol


        2. Or you could use a single earhook and ask your audiologist for an M+T setting on the aid. That way you'd still be hearing environmental sounds but also get the music/radio... and they come in white!

        3. I don't listen to ipods either, maybe being deaf has a bearing ?


        Keep it civil.