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The Primary In-Ear Earpiece Wellbeing Guidebook

The Primary In-Ear Earpiece Wellbeing Guidebook

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Published by adult82fired
Latest - This was posted a few days ago and we thought it was interesting

IEMs, or In-Ear Monitors, which were hitherto the reserve of audiophiles with deep pockets, have now breached the mainstream. These earphones have even replaced the ubiquitous stock earbuds bundled with smartphones and PMPs (Portable Media Players). There’s a genuine reason for this shift from earphones that rest on the ear to those designed to enter the auditory canal.

Originally conceived for musicians and audio engineers, IEMs started life as custom-moulded earpieces created with the sole purpose of achieving optimum mechanical noise isolation in busy live and studio environments. What was envisioned as professional equipment enabling musicians to monitor their feed during live concerts, eventually gained popularity due to its unprecedented feasibility as a portable audio solution. It wasn’t long before audiophiles caught on the IEM’s ability to reproduce fine details and, more importantly, attenuate ambient noise to a great degree.

A surprisingly few percentage of users genuinely know how to use them effectively, since this type of earphones is relatively new. The very nature of their fit and working principle makes them sound spectacular when worn right, but any mistake in that respect translates into a severe compromise in the overall audio quality. Worse yet, in most cases the penalty goes beyond that, because improper usage can potentially cause permanent hearing loss as well. This guide, therefore, focuses on what constitutes hearing loss, how improper IEM usage is a contributing factor, what should be done to prevent that, and finally, how to get the best out of your IEM.

Understanding Hearing Loss
The concept of permanent hearing damage for most people involves sounds present at or above the threshold of pain, which occurs at 130dB. Such damage is generally reversed in 16 to 48 hours, but hearing loss can be irreversible if the cochlear cells (inner ear) are damaged. This sort of ear trauma is caused by exposure to transient sounds such as explosions or passing jet planes in proximity to the listener.

Protecting what matters the most

However, any sound over 85dB can potentially cause hearing damage. The only difference being that it takes around eight hours of continuous exposure at that noise level before hearing loss sets in. For every 3dB increment thereafter, the permissible exposure time is cut down in half. That means, you’ll damage your hearing in just four hours at 88dB and two hours in 91dB, whereas sounds at 115dB just take approximately 30 seconds to have the same effect.

While louder transient sounds instinctively prompt us to safeguard our hearing, it is those of a lower magnitude that tend to be more insidious. Loud music is the best example since that’s more likely to be heard long enough to cause irreversible auditory damage. In fact, permanent hearing loss attributed to long spells of chronically loud music through earphones is more common than you’d imagine.

I have personally witnessed quite a few cases where people have suffered anywhere between 10-15 percent hearing loss due to long-term exposure to loud music. This is a genuine problem that should be addressed by creating awareness and good practices for enjoying music on the go.

IEMs and Auditory Damage

Let’s just get this most common myth out of the way: IEMs are more dangerous due to their proximity to the eardrum. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When used in the right manner, they are just as innocuous as your regular earbuds or headphones. In fact, the way they function makes them less likely to cause ear damage. It’s all down to the physics.

The power requirement of a transducer (speaker) is directly proportional to the volume of air it has to move. Because IEMs create an airtight seal and have to deal with a considerably smaller a
Latest - This was posted a few days ago and we thought it was interesting

IEMs, or In-Ear Monitors, which were hitherto the reserve of audiophiles with deep pockets, have now breached the mainstream. These earphones have even replaced the ubiquitous stock earbuds bundled with smartphones and PMPs (Portable Media Players). There’s a genuine reason for this shift from earphones that rest on the ear to those designed to enter the auditory canal.

Originally conceived for musicians and audio engineers, IEMs started life as custom-moulded earpieces created with the sole purpose of achieving optimum mechanical noise isolation in busy live and studio environments. What was envisioned as professional equipment enabling musicians to monitor their feed during live concerts, eventually gained popularity due to its unprecedented feasibility as a portable audio solution. It wasn’t long before audiophiles caught on the IEM’s ability to reproduce fine details and, more importantly, attenuate ambient noise to a great degree.

A surprisingly few percentage of users genuinely know how to use them effectively, since this type of earphones is relatively new. The very nature of their fit and working principle makes them sound spectacular when worn right, but any mistake in that respect translates into a severe compromise in the overall audio quality. Worse yet, in most cases the penalty goes beyond that, because improper usage can potentially cause permanent hearing loss as well. This guide, therefore, focuses on what constitutes hearing loss, how improper IEM usage is a contributing factor, what should be done to prevent that, and finally, how to get the best out of your IEM.

Understanding Hearing Loss
The concept of permanent hearing damage for most people involves sounds present at or above the threshold of pain, which occurs at 130dB. Such damage is generally reversed in 16 to 48 hours, but hearing loss can be irreversible if the cochlear cells (inner ear) are damaged. This sort of ear trauma is caused by exposure to transient sounds such as explosions or passing jet planes in proximity to the listener.

Protecting what matters the most

However, any sound over 85dB can potentially cause hearing damage. The only difference being that it takes around eight hours of continuous exposure at that noise level before hearing loss sets in. For every 3dB increment thereafter, the permissible exposure time is cut down in half. That means, you’ll damage your hearing in just four hours at 88dB and two hours in 91dB, whereas sounds at 115dB just take approximately 30 seconds to have the same effect.

While louder transient sounds instinctively prompt us to safeguard our hearing, it is those of a lower magnitude that tend to be more insidious. Loud music is the best example since that’s more likely to be heard long enough to cause irreversible auditory damage. In fact, permanent hearing loss attributed to long spells of chronically loud music through earphones is more common than you’d imagine.

I have personally witnessed quite a few cases where people have suffered anywhere between 10-15 percent hearing loss due to long-term exposure to loud music. This is a genuine problem that should be addressed by creating awareness and good practices for enjoying music on the go.

IEMs and Auditory Damage

Let’s just get this most common myth out of the way: IEMs are more dangerous due to their proximity to the eardrum. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When used in the right manner, they are just as innocuous as your regular earbuds or headphones. In fact, the way they function makes them less likely to cause ear damage. It’s all down to the physics.

The power requirement of a transducer (speaker) is directly proportional to the volume of air it has to move. Because IEMs create an airtight seal and have to deal with a considerably smaller a

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Published by: adult82fired on Oct 07, 2013
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The Primary In-Ear Earpiece Wellbeing Guidebook
 Latest News - This site is amazing! i never thought that this could make it as site....hopeeverybody enjoys itIEMs, or In-Ear Monitors, which were hitherto the reserve of audiophiles with deep pockets,have now breached the mainstream. These earphones have even replaced the ubiquitousstock earbuds bundled with smartphones and PMPs (Portable Media Players). There’s agenuine reason for this shift from earphones that rest on the ear to those designed to enterthe auditory canal.Originally conceived for musicians and audio engineers, IEMs started life as custom-mouldedearpieces created with the sole purpose of achieving optimum mechanical noise isolation inbusy live and studio environments. What was envisioned as professional equipment enablingmusicians to monitor their feed during live concerts, eventually gained popularity due to itsunprecedented feasibility as a portable audio solution. It wasn’t long before audiophilescaught on the IEM’s ability to reproduce fine details and, more importantly, attenuate ambientnoise to a great degree.A surprisingly few percentage of users genuinely know how to use them effectively, since thistype of earphones is relatively new. The very nature of their fit and working principle makesthem sound spectacular when worn right, but any mistake in that respect translates into asevere compromise in the overall audio quality. Worse yet, in most cases the penalty goesbeyond that, because improper usage can potentially cause permanent hearing loss as well.This guide, therefore, focuses on what constitutes hearing loss, how improper IEM usage is acontributing factor, what should be done to prevent that, and finally, how to get the best out ofyour IEM.Understanding Hearing LossThe concept of permanent hearing damage for most people involves sounds present at orabove the threshold of pain, which occurs at 130dB. Such damage is generally reversed in16 to 48 hours, but hearing loss can be irreversible if the cochlear cells (inner ear) aredamaged. This sort of ear trauma is caused by exposure to transient sounds such asexplosions or passing jet planes in proximity to the listener.Protecting what matters the mostHowever, any sound over 85dB can potentially cause hearing damage. The only differencebeing that it takes around eight hours of continuous exposure at that noise level beforehearing loss sets in. For every 3dB increment thereafter, the permissible exposure time is cutdown in half. That means, you’ll damage your hearing in just four hours at 88dB and twohours in 91dB, whereas sounds at 115dB just take approximately 30 seconds to have thesame effect.
 
 While louder transient sounds instinctively prompt us to safeguard our hearing, it is those of alower magnitude that tend to be more insidious. Loud music is the best example since that’smore likely to be heard long enough to cause irreversible auditory damage. In fact,permanent hearing loss attributed to long spells of chronically loud music through earphonesis more common than you’d imagine.I have personally witnessed quite a few cases where people have suffered anywherebetween 10-15 percent hearing loss due to long-term exposure to loud music. This is agenuine problem that should be addressed by creating awareness and good practices forenjoying music on the go.IEMs and Auditory DamageLet’s just get this most common myth out of the way: IEMs are more dangerous due to theirproximity to the eardrum. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When used in the rightmanner, they are just as innocuous as your regular earbuds or headphones. In fact, the waythey function makes them less likely to cause ear damage. It’s all down to the physics.The power requirement of a transducer (speaker) is directly proportional to the volume of airit has to move. Because IEMs create an airtight seal and have to deal with a considerablysmaller acoustic chamber, they must push only a miniscule volume of air. They, therefore,have to radiate a surprisingly less amount of energy to generate the same SPL (SoundPressure Level) as larger headphones. This actually puts less strain on your eardrum.However, an IEM loses its efficiency significantly when this airtight seal is broken. When thatoccurs, the drivers have to work extra hard to overcome the ambient noise that’s free to leakin as a consequence. The extent of harm caused by this combination of high volume andloud ambient noise is best illustrated by conducting this simple experiment:In a quiet room, play one of David Attenborough’s documentaries on your TV set. Reduce thevolume levels down until you can just about comprehend Attenborough’s commentary. Notedown the volume level and maintain it for five minutes.Now, play some loud music (preferably Death Metal) on the music system at as high avolume level as you can endure for five minutes. Turn off the music system and try listeningto the voiceover on the documentary.Unless you happen to be the Son of Krypton, you should not be able to comprehendAttenborough’s commentary anymore. That’s because your brain has attenuated yourhearing capability in order to reduce discomfort. To put it simply, as ambient noise increases,you need higher SPL to create the same amount of perceived sound. Your eardrumnevertheless is bombarded with a much higher sound level, which doesn’t bode well for your
 
ears at all.Getting a Right SealThe above example should explain why IEMs are best suited for outdoor usage thanks to theexcellent mechanical dampening afforded by their airtight seal. This is largely dependent onchoosing the right sized ear tip though. More often than not, the average user ends with onethat cannot ensure a good seal. This is mainly because the typical Indian ear (auditory canal)is smaller than its American or European counterpart. Using the default medium-sized tip,therefore, is a bad idea for the average Indian.Trying out different tips is the very first thing you should do, because a right sized tip allowsdeeper penetration into the ear canal. This is of utmost importance, because using anoversized tip that doesn’t fully enter the canal makes music sound tinny and thin. Perfectfitting IEMs not only provide a noise-isolating seal, but they also improve bass and the overallmusic tonality.Maintaining a Safe Volume LimitAlthough IEMs provide noise attenuation, they aren’t perfect. With high enough ambientnoise, there’s a risk of cranking up the volume levels beyond the threshold of safe hearing.The best way to prevent that is by determining this threshold and making a point not toexceed that volume level. This is the best way to go about doing that:If your smartphone or PMP has an auto-volume levelling feature, it’s wise to let it equalise thelevels between different recordings. Go to a quiet place and listen to music at a volume levelthat you can comfortably sustain for extended listening sessions. Make a note of that volumelevel and do not exceed it under any circumstances.If you ever have to exceed this volume level, that means either your earphones cannotprovide enough sound isolation, or the outside noise is unacceptably high. In both the cases,the best course of action is to stop listening to music altogether.Wearing IEMs the Right WayThe lack of proper seal is the most common reason why IEM users listen to music atchronically high volume levels. You may choose the right tip, but that amounts to nothing ifyou don’t know how to wear them the right way. It’s staggering to know how few IEM usersactually manage to get that right. If you think you aren’t one of them, fret not, because here’show it’s done:Lifting the ear straightens out the auditory canal

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