#357: Hearphones

People tend to listen to music via earphones at a volume that may be actually doing them harm. I know this because, aside from the published concerns of audiologists, I can often hear their choice of listening across a noisy train carriage.

This morning, it was some banker tuned to Duran Duran, but even real music can be intrusive when you’re only getting the tinniest of high frequencies which have escaped from the foam earbuds.


Today’s invention is simply to incorporate a small microphone in one earpiece. This would register the sound level emitted and reduce the volume -so gradually as to be imperceptible to the (intended) listener.

Obviously the noise-crazed, volume addicts may override the mic, but this approach would reassure the parents of kids who are still in the early stages of deafening themselves.

One Comment:

  1. A new patent reveals that the next iPods and iPhones could automatically calculate how long a person has been listening, and at what volume, before gradually reducing the sound level.

    It states: “Since the damaging effects on users’ hearing is both gradual and cumulative, even those users who are concerned about hearing loss may not behave in a manner that would limit or minimise such damaging effects.”

    Hmmm, is anyone going to tell the Patent Office about this IOTD entry before they start granting Apple more monopolies?


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