What Are Volume-Limiting Headphones


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In today’s world, noise has relatively become a common and constant feature just as the air we breathe. We wake up to the blaring ringing of our alarm clocks or our mobile phones. Our sitting rooms are filled with various sounds emitted by television sets, loudspeakers, or even radios. While in traffic, our ears are constantly subjected to loud car horns, sounds from commercials, and irrelevant chatter. These noises are not as harmful to the ears as they should be because they are not very concentrated.

Headphones were ultimately made to tune out these sounds and they worked effectively. As headphones are now used to listen to music, gaming experiences, and sound production, it creates a risk to the ear and ear health. Listening to music at loud volumes for a long time can damage the ear and most often lead to hearing loss. Of course, it wouldn’t happen immediately; over time, the damaging effects would be revealed and would come to light. So in order to keep our ears in a safe condition and still enjoy our music, volume-limiting headphones were created. Although regular headphones still remain very popular and widely used, volume-limiting headphones are a safe choice when ear health is considered. This article will show you all you need to know about volume -limiting headphone.

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Volume-limiting Headphones – What they are?

This kind of headphones is, as the name implies, volume-limiting. They are headphones that limit the sounds emitted to a safe level. Sound volume is measured in decibels (dB). Most headphones usually emit sound up to 115 decibels or even more, while volume-limiting headphones have a limit which is 85 decibels. This is indeed a safe level for the ears as they can be used for long periods. Volume-limiting headphones were produced for children who now have access to music, movies, and other mobile devices.

In a bid not to compromise their ear health, volume-limiting headphones were developed. They also come with designs suitable for adults. Volume-limiting headphones are considered safe, thus assuring the parent that their child’s ear health is not in any form of danger. Most headphones do not have volume-limiting options, which can be quite hazardous to the wearer. Volume-limiting headphones provide no opportunity for listening to music at very high levels as it gives a set limit to the volume of sound emitted. It is also ideal for toddlers and children at growing stages as exposure to high volumes can cause permanent ear damage and hearing loss.

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How They Work

It’s a great thing to listen to music and good songs at volumes safe enough for the health of the ear, and this is what is achieved by volume-limiting headphones. The workings of this headphone are quite simple. The main device that performs the volume-limiting function is the resistor which is similar to those found in electric circuits. The resistor works as it does in a circuit creating a resistance in the flow of current between the headphone and the device to which it is connected. As a result of this resistance, the volume of sounds emitted is reduced and compressed to a certain level which it cannot exceed. As volume-limiting headphones have levels they can’t cross, they are very much advisable for children due to their limited knowledge of how most devices function.

There are also volume-limiting adapters that also have resistors in them. Unlike volume-limiting headphones, they cannot work alone. They have to be attached to regular headphones and, by so doing, transfer the ability of volume-limiting and volume control to them. However, volume-limiting headphones are usually preferred to the adapters for ease of stress and comfort, but these adapters are very affordable and less expensive.

How safe are they?

In most situations, the safety and well-being of an individual is put first before other things. As regards the use of headphones and listening volumes, ear health safety too is paramount. A recommendation by the World Health Organisation(WHO) states 85db for a maximum of eight hours as the safe volume for listening to any sound daily. Listening to music at any higher volume for an extended period increases the risk of hearing loss or ear damage. It is also advisable that the higher the sound volume, the fewer the hours it is listened to as safe listening time reduces. For someone listening at a sound volume of 100 db, it is only safe for two hours, after which the risks of hearing loss increases. As the sound level medically considered safe is the same with which volume-limiting headphones operate, it is wise to say that they are safe and highly beneficial.

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Volume limiting headphones come in different sizes and designs suitable for every age, whether young or old. They are assets which every family should have, especially those who are very health conscious. They are also the best for toddlers and babies. Volume limiting adapters can also come in handy but is not advisable for older children. Being the wise beings that they are, they might discover that the adapters are attached to the headphones and disconnect them, thus defeating the purpose. It’s best to just stick with volume-limiting headphones.


As much as it’s interesting to indulge children with pleasant music and gaming experiences, their health should always be handled with care and caution. For parents who care about the ear health of their children, volume-limiting headphones are highly recommended. They can also be used by adults as not only children deserve to be safe from hearing loss and impairments. Although headphones are great devices, their use should be properly monitored. Even volume-limiting headphones should not be used for a very long time because even with the limited sound volume, there are still risks of ear issues. So it’s advisable always to know when to draw the curtains regarding the use of headphones both for children and even adults.