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Mayor Bloomberg turns his attention from large sodas to Apple's earbuds

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Mayor Bloomberg turns his attention from large sodas to Apple's earbuds
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City likes to legislate healthy constituents. You might have heard about his efforts to ban large-sized soft drinks (think "Big Gulps") from New York City. A State judge put the kibosh on that plan on Monday. But the Mayor might not care because according to those in the know, he has a new target in sight: earbuds, like the kind manufactured by Apple. The Mayor is starting a campaign to warn New Yorkers about the danger of using earbuds while the volume is cranked all the way up.

Is this Apple iPod listener damaging his hearing?

Is this Apple iPod listener damaging his hearing?

To show how damaging this behavior can be, at maximum volume an Apple iPod can blast music at 115 decibels. To be safe, sound must be heard at no higher than 85 decibels. Dr. Won Choe of ENT& Allergy said that earbuds, like the kind that come with Apple devices, are the most damaging. Dr. Choe says that to play it safe, you should keep the volume below 70 or 80 decibels. And since earbuds don't have good sound isolation, they try to drive out background noise by using louder volume. The Doctor recommends the more expensive noise-cancelling headphones, which he says are better for the user’s hearing and would be his choice for those who listen to music while commuting.

While stats show that between 1988 and 2006 hearing loss increased 30 percent among teenagers and young adults, those in that demographic basically want the mayor to mind his own business. One even said that the Mayor should "bud out" of this issue. Sounds like a pun almost worthy of us.

"I mean I appreciate being looked out for, but I also think you control the volume of these, so it’s up to personal responsibility for us to take care of our own ears."-Beth Kirkpatrick, Harlem.

"I play them like not fully, like I put it all the way to the max and bring it down at least two times, that’s it. Just enough to hear the beat. I just like it."-Anthony Rivera said.

"I use it on my iPhone so I can hear clearly like the movie and stuff, but I don’t really blast my headphones like that. I keep it at a medium, that way I can hear everything that’s going on around me."-Julian Lawrence.

Mayor Bloomberg's campaign is being financed through a grant from the Fund for Public Health, the Department of Health’s fund raising division.

source: WCBS via TUAW

23 Comments
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posted on 12 Mar 2013, 01:57 3

1. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Uh, oh. This is a bad news for Apple......lol xD

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 03:41 4

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5951; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


From the Big Apple, no less....

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 04:36 2

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8920; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Oh the irony.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 02:17

2. BattleBrat (Posts: 1168; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Head-fi.org you will all find your earbud solution there! I'm known as BattleBrat there as well...

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 03:30

6. BattleBrat (Posts: 1168; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I should add, head-fi.org doesn't actually sell anything (although there are classifieds) it is a headphone enthusiast website.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 02:22 1

3. KINGJUAN27 (Posts: 196; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)


Mayor Bloomberg, I love you but this time.. STFU! :D

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 02:29 2

4. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


This is one good move. Yes protracted use of such things can lead to deafness, tinnitus etc.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 02:39 1

5. jsdechavez (Posts: 708; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Wearing earbuds specially those noise-cancelling ones in some places could be life-endangering...

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 04:00 3

8. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


The soda thing was stupid, this is even more stupid.

If I couldnt get a large size soda....I could just get 2 medium size ones....whats the point? 2 medium size ones might be more soda than 1 large size.

Warn us, start a PSA, fine. Just dont try to ban it like the soda idea.

What happened to ppl taking responsibility of their own actions?

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 04:05

9. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I didnt mean this is even more stupid.....as long as he doesnt try to ban it like the soda idea.

Just keep it to PSA level and I think its a good idea.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 07:56 1

16. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 866; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Completely agree! But meanwhile you can still get a 32 ounce soda with your value meal at McDonalds..

Noise canceling headphones are even more of a danger because you cannot hear the ambient noise in the street. Walking through the city you have to use your ears as much as your eyes. I like to listen to my music loud enough to drown out some of the background noise but not all of it.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 05:25 1

11. JunkCreek (Posts: 406; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


geezzuss... he really had a job to find! get a job you buzztart, else you'd get a jabs!

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 05:59 1

12. networkdood (Posts: 6325; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Wow, so typical of politicians...avoid resolving the important issues by distracting citizens...

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 07:32 2

13. Aeires (unregistered)


Michael Bloomberg = big, unnecessary government. Good thing NY has term limits on their mayoral office.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 07:53

15. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 866; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Don't speak too quick before he extends it again hahaha

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 07:51 1

14. timtimity (Posts: 196; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)


I'm not being pro-Apple, it's just I haven't got any experience with any other mp3 players, but my iPod allows you to set a volume limit that you can't go above.

Also, it depends on how loud the actual mp3 is. You could have the player's volume set low, but if the mp3's volume has been adjusted it could still be very loud.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 08:48

17. suneeboy (Posts: 168; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


So glad he's going to be out of office soon.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 09:40 2

18. McLTE (Posts: 714; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


What are they going to do.. run around and check your volume randomly? Rip your buds out and measure the sound levels and ticket you if it's too loud?

Force Apple to produce NY specific ipods?

This is BEYOND stupid. I agree that kids should be educated that loud noise hurts your hearing, but this isn't going to do anything.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 13:22

19. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6727; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


why does this have too do with phones? Plus I HATE for the GOV stepping in trying TOO BAN OUR FAVORITE SODAS and FOOD. and how bout lowering ur volume on ur head phones. i lower my music all the time. and who cares what he thinks bout us

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 14:21

20. donfem (Posts: 554; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Don't miss the bigger picture on the negative effects of the items you mentioned. Sick citizens are a drain in any economy. Creating awareness and consciouness on these damaging effects are better. How about soda companies putting on their brands" drink at your own risk"? In other parts of the world legislation keeps these greedy comps in check.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 15:22

21. DarkShadow (Posts: 51; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


the funny thing that is true

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 18:23

22. Droiddoes (unregistered)


LMAO, another reason I'll never go to new York. Nanny state FTL. Bloomberg must think the city is just chock full of idi.....oh wait. Never mind.

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 19:05

23. puckhead (Posts: 77; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)


This is the exact sh*t that needs to stop. Govt needs to get the f*ck out of ppl's lives. With all the problems the country has rightnow and we are worrying about what size drink you can buy or how loud your head phones can go? If this is what we need gov't for then the government needs to be downsized - drastically.

After switching to android from iphone, honestly one of the things I miss most about iphone was how loud it could play music. I never played it on full volume but it was great how loud it could be played.

At times my LG is not nearly loud enough, and either is my nexus7. I do however like the feature in android that automatically lowers the volume when you first plug your device in...that is a good thing.

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