MP3 players are among the most popular consumer electronics products on the market today as almost every person you see on the streets or trains will be listening to one. Users who enjoy their music at an ear-shredding 125 decibels will be disappointed to learn that the European Union will be rolling out new legislation to cut the default maximum volume on MP3 players to no louder than 80 decibels by the end of the year. So what does 80 or 125 decibels mean to a layman?

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MP3 players are among the most popular consumer electronics products on
the market today as almost every person you see on the streets or
trains will be listening to one. Users who enjoy their music at an
ear-shredding 125 decibels will be disappointed to learn that the European Union will be rolling out new legislation to cut the default maximum volume on MP3 players to no louder than 80 decibels by the end of the year. So what does 80 or 125 decibels mean to a layman?

According to the U.S. National Institute On Deafness And Other Communications Disorders (USNIODAOCD), 80 decibels is equivalent to the level of noise you hear
on a busy city street, 90 decibels is about the noise of a lawnmower,
110 decibels is as loud as a very noisy rock concert, and 120-130
decibels is akin to listening to an aeroplane taking off.

However, all
hope is not lost to those who love punishing their eardrums with 125
decibels of music. Under the new restrictions, MP3 player-makers “will
only have to preset their devices’ default max volumes”. Manufacturers
will likely allow users to disable this restriction (and go beyond 80
decibels) on their MP3 players at their own risks with warnings about
going deaf and such. In our opinion, MP3 player manufacturers can
follow Sony’s lead and install some kind of volume adjustment
technology (e.g. Sony’s AVLS – it has has been around for quite sometime).

“The European Commission’s new policy will require iPods and other MP3
players to have a default maximum volume of 80 decibels. That’s
considered a “very loud” level by most sound rankings; anything above
that mark can be potentially dangerous. Presently, most MP3 players go
as loud as 115 to 125 decibels.”

News via [PCWorld]