Listening Habits of iPod Users

Michael Epstein, Jeremy Marozeau, Sandra Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: To estimate real-environment iPod listening levels for listeners in 4 environments to gain insight into whether average listeners receive dosages exceeding occupational noise exposure guidelines as a result of their listening habits. Method: The earbud outputs of iPods were connected directly into the inputs of a digital recorder to make recordings of listening levels. These recordings were used to estimate listening levels using reference recordings made in a real ear. Recordings were made in 4 environments with a wide range of background noises: (a) a library, (b) a student center, (c) busy streets, and (d) the subway. Results: None of the 64 listeners were estimated to exceed allowable occupational dosages, with a maximum dose of 7.57% based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA; 1998) methods and 10.83% based on National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH; 1998) methods. Conclusions: All of the listeners surveyed were exposed to dosages well below OSHA and NIOSH occupational regulations. Although this does not guarantee individual safety, the results do not support the widespread concern regarding the safety of common iPod usage. However, measurements
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1472-1477
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Ear Canal
  • Female
  • Hearing
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception
  • MP3-Player
  • Male
  • Music
  • Noise
  • Tympanic Membrane
  • United States
  • United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Audiometry (05600)
  • Auditory Processing (05920)
  • Computer Software (14360)
  • Ears (20465)
  • Intensity (Acoustics) (36650)
  • Noise (58100)
  • article
  • auditory canal
  • auditory stimulation
  • eardrum
  • female
  • government
  • hearing
  • human
  • male
  • methodology
  • MP3 player
  • music
  • noise
  • noise injury
  • pure tone audiometry
  • IPod
  • OSHA
  • Portable music device
  • portable music device
  • iPod
  • busy street
  • iPod use
  • library
  • listening habit
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • reference recording
  • student center
  • subway
  • Primates Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Humans, Mammals, Primates, Vertebrates) - Hominidae [86215] human common female, male
  • 20004, Sense organs - Physiology and biochemistry
  • Sensory Reception
  • ear sensory system
  • tympanic membrane sensory system
  • Sense Organs
  • ANALYSIS of variance


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