Headphones are fantastic as they allow you to listen to music in your own personal space without the rest of the world listening in. The problem with using headphones or ear plugs is that users tend to listen to music at louder levels when there’re using headphones, than when they are at home listening to music on a home theatre or set speakers at home.
This is because when you’re listening to music using headphones, the sound is entering directly into your ear and thus there is less residual sound meaning that it unlikely your neighbours can hear your music.
The problem is that if you listen to music over a long period of time a levels that are too loud, you will cause irreparable damage to your ears in the form of the disease tinnitus. Tinnitus is a terrible hearing problem where you end up with permanent ringing in your ears which is not repaired easily. Have you ever been out to a nightclub and spent the night on the dance floor and next day woken up with your ears ringing. This is your body telling you that you over did it the night before and should give your ears a rest over the next few days and avoid any loud noises. Tinnitus occurs when you ignore your bodies warnings and the next day continue to listen to loud music meaning that after a sustained amount of time, you will end up with permeant ringing in your ears.
To prevent Tinnitus, you need to make sure that your sounds levels are below 100 decibels at any period of time. Anything above this and you’re risking your ears, whilst below this number, you can continue to listen to your music for a sustained period of time.