Digital Music Players Worse Than Walkman For Ears
Some audiologists say digital music players are different because the old Walkman-style player was analog sound. When you turned up the volume too high, the sound got distorted.
But with digital players, you can turn the volume up as loud as you want and still get a clear sound.
Hooey. This makes as much sense as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel saying of his guitar amps, “These go to 11.” Once the digital file is converted to a signal that can be amplified, it’s analog, and an analog signal can distort if the amplifier is driven to exceed its undistorted capacity, a condition called “clipping.” What this means is that the volume control and the amplifier in the iPod were well matched so the amp won’t clip.
The rest of the piece is valid. An audiologist tested the iPod and found it can pump out 115 decibels: “the equivalent of a lawn mower.” Extended periods of listening to any loud source will cause hearing damage. Get good earphones, make sure they fit, and don’t keep the volume up, or you’ll be saying “Huh?” before you’re done with college.