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Legislation would create 85-decibel cap, but some say it's unjust

To help protect the hearing of MP3 player owners, the European Commission is considering drafting legislation that would force manufacturers to create a limit on maximum volume. The proposed limit, a maximum 85 decibels, comes on the heels of an EU report that reports 10 million citizens could have hearing problems, including permanent hearing loss and other major medical issues.

"More and more young people are referred to me by their GPS with tinnitus or hearing loss as a direct result to exposure to loud music," said Dr. Robin Yeoh, Epsom and St. Heilier NHS Trust consultant, in an interview with BBC.  "It's the sort of damage that in the old days would have come from industrial noise.  The damage is permanent and will often play havoc with their employment opportunities and their personal lives."

If music listeners want to, they could increase the decibel limit up to 100 decibels.

EU legislators will take a closer look into the matter next month, with a final decision expected sometime in the spring.

Critics say there must be some type of middle ground between consumer safety and personal ownership, and note that 85 decibels is too low when background noise can still drown out the music.  Realistically, government officials must try to educate children about the dangers, not try to prevent it without education, if they wish to help reduce hearing-related cases stemming from loud music.



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RE: Another EU waste of time
By mindless1 on 12/15/2009 8:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
There is not many simple ways to do that, it depends on the speakers and the product lacks this ability.

What they do instead is just put a limit on the % of max the volume control allows then remap it so when it looks like it's at 100%, it would've looked like it was at for example 70% if they had not remapped it to graphically display different.

So yes firmware can do that, but no the player can't determine output power to any remotely accurate degree except under the assumption the stock headphones (or earbuds I should write) are used and they remain a constant not changing in design.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007











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