Preliminary Study on the Influence of Headphones for Listening Music on Hearing Loss of Young People

Journal title

Archives of Acoustics




vol. 38


No 3

Publication authors

Divisions of PAS

Nauki Techniczne


Archives of Acoustics is an English-language peer-reviewed quarterly journal publishing original research papers from all areas of acoustics and abstracts from some specialised acoustical conferences. It gives free internet access to its full content (abstracts of research papers) to current issues.

Archives of Acoustics, the peer-reviewed quarterly journal publishes original research papers from all areas of acoustics like:

  • acoustical measurements and instrumentation,
  • acoustics of musics,
  • acousto-optics,
  • architectural, building and environmental acoustics,
  • bioacoustics,
  • electroacoustics,
  • linear and nonlinear acoustics,
  • noise and vibration,
  • physical and chemical effects of sound,
  • physiological acoustics,
  • psychoacoustics,
  • quantum acoustics,
  • speech processing and communication systems,
  • speech production and perception,
  • transducers,
  • ultrasonics,
  • underwater acoustics.

Earlier issues are available on the old website


Abstract The paper presents results of hearing loss measurements provided for 81 young people (from 16 to 25 years old). The main aim of the work was to find the influence of headphones of the types used (closed, semi-open, open and in-ear) on the hearing losses. The first part of the research was to answer questions about the influence of: time of listening, loudness of music, other noise exposures as well as the type of the headphones used. It turned out that all factors mentioned above influence thresholds of hearing but the found dependencies are not explicit. The greatest hearing losses were observed for people who work as sound reinforcement engineers and, moreover, no influence of the headphone types was found for them. It turned out that the use of in-ear headphones causes the greatest hearing losses for some subjects (thresholds shifted up to about 20 dB HL at 4 kHz). The daily time of a listening also affected the hearing thresholds. It was found that for users of in-ear and close headphones, an average time of musical exposure of three hours causes the hearing loss of 10-15 dB HL at higher frequencies. The use of open as well as semi-open headphones has no influence on the hearing damage. Thus it would be stated that these kinds are safety in use. Almost 15% of the investigated young people have their thresholds shifted up at higher frequencies, particularly at 4 kHz, which means that they have the first symptoms of a permanent hearing damage.


Committee on Acoustics PAS, PAS Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Acoustical Society




eISSN 2300-262X ; ISSN 0137-5075