Quantifying the risks from listening to personal stereos

Warwick Williams

New Zealand Acoustics, 20(2), pp.8- 13 . (2007).

Currently there has been and is a lot of discussion generated by articles in the popular press concerning the possible future hearing loss developed by individuals who listen to personal stereo players (PSP). How much of this concern is real and how much is unreal perception from media publicity? In this work PSP users were approached in their natural environment and questioned about their use while the equivalent at ear LAeq was measured. From this information an LAeq,8h was calculated for comparison to the workplace noise exposure regulations commonly in place in New Zealand and Australian jurisdictions. The results indicate that approximately 25% of a cross section of typical users could be considered to be at risk. Is this significant and how does this compare to workplace noise exposure?