my old earphone destroyed, and had rushed to the store before i buy a new one, I thought about that, would not be damaging to my hearing? so the Q is, the earphones damage your hearing, its harmful? there is medical evidence to do so? opinions? experience?

  • There's also the whole question of what happens when you combine low-quality mp3s with earbuds at loud volumes.
    – g.a.harry
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 17:06

3 Answers 3


I posted a similar question a while ago and got some pretty interesting answers:

Who uses earphones in the professional arena of music and film?

I would not recommend earplugs in the pro arena as the sound does not "breath" unlike the open headphones. Sound needs to breath, thus lessening audio fatigue and ear damage. I also find plugs to be uncomfortable after a while. Not great if you are on set for 12 hours.

Check out the responses I got, very perceptive.


Loud noises or moderately loud sounds for extended periods of time are known to cause hearing damage. Whether from a rock concert, headphones, lawnmower, gunshots etc. The louder the sound the less time it takes before Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) occurs

Buy headphones with good isolation so you don't need to use them at at high levels to overcome background noise.

  • your right, noise cancellation is realy importanit, but headphones are too big for the streets. i therefore prefer these types of earphones: eastern-europe.beyerdynamic.com/shop/hah/…
    – bohitomi
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 18:26
  • Those can be ok too, because they do isolate, just keep them at a reasonable volume. One thing I dislike about this style is the noise carried up the cable if you bump it. That happens to some degree with all headphones but worst with IE style
    – AGZFX
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 9:06

Earphones, like any other speaker system, can be damaging if you use them incorrectly.

For example, the people who crank their computer or iPad outputs on the airplane to get it loud enough to hear over the engine's roar without noise canceling headphones are effectively pushing their earbuds output to above 85 dB.

I think earbuds are more dangerous than over-the-ear headphones, because they are so close to the ear drum.

I sometimes mix monitors for bands and I know that if you turn off the Shure receiver/transmitters it makes an extremely loud pop in their custom in-ear monitors and I think that can be damaging to someone's hearing.

Just make sure you aren't blasting away your ears and you should be fine. Be responsible and it should be OK to use any type out there. And please don't be fooled about loudness on the airplane - it can be easy to turn up your headphones full blast.

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