Hearing loss

I read alot of people here talking about hearing loss,but no one ever mentions headphones as a possible reason for the hearing loss...Headphones, ear phones,I see people with earplugs in all day long...I hear people saying you start losing your hearing at about 35. What's your opinion. 


It would likely depend on what volume they're listening to them, wouldn't it?

If you live someplace where you can blast your speakers all the time, that will probably affect your hearing adversely, too.

I've been wearing hearing aids for about 15 years, but I'm 70 now.... 

Hearing aids, eyeglasses - it's all good! 


No on headphones, pumping music directly into your ears, not a good idea. I see people with ear buds turned up high so they can hear over the street noise.

Yes depends on how loud you play your music even when you use your speakers. Loud like a rock concert. Would also cause hearing loss.

Yes, you can mistreat your ears, but age comes for us all.


I actually find that using noise blocking IEM's reduces how loudly I play music, by the way.  Of course you always have the club kid in the subway playing music so loud everyone can hear it, but for everyone else, noise blocking is the way to go. :)

As with everything in life, moderation is key.  IMHO and IME, if you have good quality headphones and upstream components you don’t need to crank the sound as much to hear what’s going on in the music.  FWIW. 

I often witness people playing sound way louder than necessary. They just don't realize it. Headphones and earbuds on planes or in a noisy environment is a bad idea as you have to compensate for the louder than normal ambient noise. Amplified live music is a joke - always way too loud to enjoy. Even folks just sitting in front of their TVs often play the volume way louder than necessary. And when a police/ambulance/fire siren drives past, I seem to be the only one covering my ears. Gas-powered mowers/blowers without proper ear protection. I notice hearing loss causes like these everywhere. People are just oblivious to it all.

Are you listening to music on them ? If there just to remove the lawn mower sound ....wear them.....I see people with ear plugs in there ears at Rock concerts...all the time .But there to reduce the loud music there are hearing .

Of course I'm listening to music on them.  Otherwise I'd use the hearing protection I use for rock concerts.  The music doesn't have to be (and isn't) super loud.  The noise cancelling doesn't completely eliminate the sound of the mower, but pretty close.  Amazing technology.  Nothing "audiophile" about the sound, but it is definitely better than walking around with heaphones on your head with nothing playing though them.

I stopped using earphones and headphones when I was in my mid 30s. Somehow I prefer listening to music on loudspeakers. Hearing damage is closely correlated to extended exposure to music/noise at high levels. For this reason I now mostly listen at 70dB average SPL with peaks below 80dB most of the time.

I have mild tinnitus in my left ear likely caused by extended exposure to loud music during my younger days. The damage is irreversible. To prevent further deterioration of the ears, I now practice good listening habits and wear ear plugs whenever I’m in a noisy environment.

Take good care of your ears folks. 

Hearing loss is a complex subject. Usually people mean the loss of being able to hear high frequency sine waves. Because that is what they notice and that is what they test. On average people start losing this pretty early on and it only gets worse with age. 

Had a guy here couple weeks ago when I played a sweep tone, as the highest frequencies faded out for me he was covering his ears saying stop the pain! I could hear nothing. This made me think maybe my super-tweeters were set too high. Because I can't hear that high, so how could I know? But then playing music he was just fine. So this whole subject is very complicated. 

At the same time, this same guy who by definition has better hearing than I do was unable to hear a whole bunch of things that were easy for me to spot. So there is hearing, which is more physical, and there is listening, which is more intellectual.

Then there's things like tinnitus, which also tends to get worse with age but can also be made worse by long exposure to high sound levels. I don't see how headphones or earphones can be any better or worse than the same volume level with speakers. If you listen louder with headphones blame the volume not the headphones.

But tinnitus can also be caused by other things. Take a handful of aspirin some time, give yourself tinnitus. It will go away. Other similar drugs can over time cause it as well. Then you get into a whole big long list of possible causes and remedies. 

For lawn mowing I use ear plugs and over the ear protection. But then even this gets complicated. It is not just volume but exposure time that leads to hearing loss. The noise level driving a lot of cars isn't that loud, but it is real steady and continuous and will damage just as effectively over time as firing off a 45 once a week. But nobody wants to hear that.

So I pretty much quit worrying about it. Except for the lawn mower. I'll keep doing that.


Moabs …

“ Had a guy here couple weeks ago when I butchered some music, as the highest frequencies faded out for me he was covering his ears saying stop the pain! “




I suppose there is a correlation between sustained hi decibel headphone listening 

But let's consider another angle;

I for one am grateful for the evolution of headphones over the last 10 or so, years.

I am 74 years old, so obviously have lost some hearing acuity. I also have a slight tinnitus condition in my left ear.

Today's TOTL headphones allow me to continue to hear details & nuances, in the music that I would otherwise miss in listening to speakers.


@pastorbob + 1 - do you wear hearing aids at all? I'm 70, and I've been wearing them for over 15 years.... 

 Hi @larsman 

I keep telling myself that my hearing hasn't diminished far enough to warrant hearing aids. (but I really know better...LOL).

My wife would advocate for the aids.............


@pastorbob - I agree with your wife; I think the first time you try them, if you ever do, you'll be saying 'why haven't I had these for the past 10 years?!'. Kinda like a myopic person putting on prescription eyewear for the first time. You don't know what you're missing until you hear or see what you've been missing! First time I got mine, I was just blown away, and like a hi-fi enthusiast, I keep upgrading them every few years! Now I've got in-ear ones that I can use with headphones, too!

@larsman Thanks.

I appreciate your sharing. I guess its something to consider.




I like that blame the volume not the headphones...j guess blame yourself.When I was young the louder the better at a Rock concert...when you left the concert deaf...you said omg ...that was loud...If you lived in NYC area you probably took a train home and that was loud.Then when home and if your parents were sleeping you put your headphones on and turned up the volume....lol...I remember my mother yelling your going to go deaf....yeah right...lol....