If you were born at any point since the invention of the Walkman, you probably have some media-player related hearing damage. Music sounds better loud, especially when you're young. There's a tendency to pump up the volume without really thinking about the fact that you're hurting your eardrums with every bassline. That's why the European Union's decided to issue an ultimatum to their gadget manufacturers. (Yahoo! Tech)
The EU will now require manufacturers to cap default sound levels at 80 decibels (France chose 100). Users will be able to change this default at any time in order to gain full control of their volume knob, but all products will come with a low setting as the baseline. The EU hopes this will make people more aware of the damage they're doing to their ears.
I'm not normally a fan of government legislation telling a manufacturer how to sell their product, but I don't really mind this. They aren't disabling louder volumes, they're trying to spread awareness of the dangers of chronic high-volume listening. Whether or not this will actually do anything to curb hearing loss remains to be seen.
Robert Evans The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive
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