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Monthly Archives: November 1971

Are Earphones Harmful to Your Ears?

My basic review of this new earpiece it begins well, looks quite cool, is simple to run and actually power resourceful, the radio accessory really is a excellent item. I’m pleased I bought it, read further beneath.

Actually the answer is yes, headphones can be very damaging to your ears.

A team from the University of Leicester recently proved that noises louder than 110 decibels cause damage to a special type nerve cell coating, which in turn can cause tinnitus (basically a buzzing or whining in the ears – and here’s me thinking that it just made things sound ‘a bit tinny’) and even temporary deafness in some cases.

According to medical news today.com, who reported on the University’s findings, the myelin sheath is a type of coating that covers the nerve cells that connect the ears with the brain. Any noise over 100 decibels begins to wear away this coating, meaning that the signals will eventually stop reaching the brain. Given time, the myelin sheath will usually (but not always) heal itself and reform, resulting in the damage only being temporary. Still, it is something to think about.

As for more permanent damage, well, the facts are actually startling. According to TIME magazine’s Laura Blue,

“Hearing loss is more common than ever before. About 16% of American adults have an impaired ability to hear speech, and more than 30% of Americans over age 20 — an estimated 55 million people — have lost some high-frequency hearing”.

These shocking statistics were put forward in the ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’ journal and first published in 2008. Following this publication, Blue interviewed Brian Fligor, who was, at the time, the director of diagnostic audiology at Children’s Hospital Boston. In the interview, Fligor said,

“If you’re using the earbuds that come with an iPod and you turn the volume up to about 90% of maximum and you listen a total of two hours a day, five days a week, our best estimates are that the people who have more sensitive ears will develop a rather significant degree of hearing loss — on the order of 40 decibels (dB). That means the quietest sounds audible are 40 dB loud. Now, this is high-pitched hearing loss, so a person can still hear sounds and understand most speech. The impact is going to be most clearly noted when the background-noise level goes up, when you have to focus on what someone is saying. Then it can really start to impair your ability to communicate”.

So, the question now becomes, what can you do to lower the risk?

Sam Costello of About.com suggests turning down the volume, which is reasonably obvious, really. However, (s)he also suggests accessing the ‘volume control’ on your iPod or device and lowering the maximum volume setting (synch it to the computer for more such options), as well as listening for shorter periods of time and switching from earbuds to ‘over the ear’ phones. Earbuds are the most dangerous headphone type, apparently.

Just for the record, the average American iPod can generate about 115 decibels, which is equivalent to attending a reasonably loud rock concert (although not a Motorhead gig obviously – now that’s a band which almost guarantees absolute deafness for a least a few days afterwards, trust me).

However, the good news is that if you’re in the EU, your iPod is limited to 100db maximum output by law. Even though you are still at risk if you turn the volume all the way up and listen to it all day long, that risk is considerably less on our side of the pond.

The Westone W40 Review

The Westone W40 Review
This website is a vintage one, but still very important. Without saying i told you so…. but it was always inevitable!

Beneath each buds innocuous plastic frame rests a mighty four pack of razor-thin balanced-armature drivers. The drivers are separated by three crossover points for bass, midrange, and treble, with a claimed frequency range of 10Hz to 18kHz.

Comfort
The W40 fit very snugly, and that helps them achieve their impressive amount of passive noise attenuation. Westone claims the W40 knock off 25 db of noise, and were inclined to agree. Comfort will obviously vary for each person, but once we found the right ear tip for us, the W40 were as comfortable as any bud weve evaluated. Fortunately, the included accessory pouch offers just about every size imaginable. The foam tips were harder to insert and more invasive, but they also stayed put with an iron grip, which could come in handy in more tumultuous environments.

Audio performance
While the W40 could be used in a number of scenarios involving premium electronics and high-quality source material, we think many folks will use them with their smartphones to play back MP3s. So thats how we tested them: MP3s via an iPhone 5. Having done so, we can honestly say that, degraded source file or no, the W40 provided unbridled clarity, vivid definition, and miles of dynamic expression, reminding this reviewer, once again, that he truly does have the best job on the planet.
The W40s detailed sound is so supremely refined that it provided fresh explorations into some of our favorite tracks, creating that sought-after new discovery experience that makes old classics sound brand new again. The W40s provide professional mixing-level clarity, and you could certainly use the W40 in that capacity, or as a live in-ear monitor. Every nuance, muttering vocal, double-tracked guitar, or fluttering sweep of dissipating reverb was laid out in nimble, pristinely separated corridors of the sound stage.
But the W40 arent just accurate. We also found the word beautiful riddled throughout our evaluation notes. Serenely ringing sweeps of an acoustic guitar, or swelling bows from a set of violins often surprised us with their sheer beauty. When youre enamored with the applause at the end of The Beatles Bungalow Bill, you know youre dealing with an impressive set of headphones. The W40 also did well tracing the roots of each instrument in every recording, digging up the inherent colors within and reproducing them, albeit with a taste of the lighter, laser-sharp touch for which balanced-armature drivers are known.
Not surprisingly, the W40 really only showcased their full potential on works with extremely complex, richly-layered dimensions from bands like Radiohead, Depeche Mode, and Stevie Wonder. For example, Before Your Very Eyes by Atoms for Peace sounded almost like a different track altogether. Brand new details came to life, and others that had only been a ghost of a sound, like the wave effect that whirls behind the top layers towards the end of the song, were pulled from the background and aired for the first time in the light of day.
Of course, we do have a couple of nits to pick. As is common in an armature-driver system, the bass wasnt always as potent as we wanted it, and occasionally there was just a shade too much sibilance up top, evidenced by an s or t in a vocal line, or a sharp snap on a snare. But those issues tended to occur only on our lightest or poorest recordings, and the W40 do an excellent job coaxing warmth and fluidity from a design that is often accused of sounding clinical or sterile.

Westone W40 earbud
Also, with due appreciation for the W40s superb sound quality, we think most folks will think they are priced a little high for an in-ear. Still, if you can swing it, they absolutely deliver. The W40 provided us with excellent noise isolation and brilliant portable audio compatibility, with sound quality that will only improve for those who do splurge on a premium playback device. After all, and if youve already thrown down $500 for premium electronics, why not go for the gold with the headphones, too?

Conclusion
Westones W40 offer supreme clarity, ravishing detail, and astonishing dynamic expression, placing them in meager company within the hi-fi landscape. Their $500 price tag has a lot of bite, but then again, the work that goes into cramming four drivers into a tiny bud doesnt come cheap.
These are professional headphones, designed for serious audiophiles and musicians casual listeners need not apply. But if you want an in-ear that gives you a whole new way to explore your aging audio collection, Westones W40 may be the set youve been waiting for.

Pros And Cons of a Bluetooth Headset

headset. earphonesI don’t know if you came here because you read it on social media, twitter, facebook, google +, stumble upon or somewhere else. But thank you for coming and I hope you take pleasure in reading this as much as I did.

If you are using a Bluetooth headset, you might be interested in knowing about the pros and cons of a Bluetooth wireless headset.

The advantages of Bluetooth wireless headsets far outweigh its disadvantages. First take a look at its benefits, then you will get to know its disadvantages.
Pros of Bluetooth Headsets
A Bluetooth headset enhances the convenience of communication. The main benefits of a Bluetooth wireless headset are:

A wireless headset doesn’t rely on wires and cords to get connected with other devices. Due to the absence of wires, you can move around easily while using your Bluetooth headset. This feature makes these headsets a safe option for users.
A wireless headset can be used with a variety of devices that already have built-in Bluetooth technology. You don’t have to use any type of adapters or wires to pair your Bluetooth headset with other devices. But, you will have to tweak some settings to connect your headset to these devices.

These devices include laptop, mobile phone, iPad, and computer etc.
Another good thing about these headsets is that you can buy a good headset at affordable rates.
With a Bluetooth headset you can drive your car without worrying about missing your important calls. You can put your headset on hands-free mode while driving which makes it easier for you to operate incoming calls without any trouble.

Another great benefit of these headsets is that they are capable of detecting even the low power signals. They don’t require high energy for connection due to which they consume less battery than other devices. This feature eliminates the need of charging your phone and headset over and over again.

Cons of Bluetooth Headsets
There are some cons of Bluetooth wireless headsets that include:

Most of the high-end Bluetooth wireless headsets are expensive and out of the reach of an average buyer.
These headsets contain lower timber that makes these headsets the second choice for music lovers.
Most of the headsets are available as mono output that is not an ideal option for those users that have some kind of hearing problem.
There is no doubt about the fact that the advantages of Bluetooth wireless headset are more than its disadvantages. These disadvantages are forgivable because a Bluetooth headset offers great convenience. You can use it with any Bluetooth-enabled device without any problem.

In short, you can find out more about the pros and cons of a Bluetooth headset by using it.

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