When listening to music or audio books there are two important considerations, hearing health and hygiene.
The following diagram from Sound Advice shows the levels where the frequency is becoming dangerous.
The level of decibels for a rock band or even an orchestra are around the levels where hearing protection should be considered. However, some of us then use earphones to channel this sound right into our ears. Please consider that when you are listening to a sound recording such as a talking book, the introduction (or when it is time to change CD's) can sometimes have quite loud music as well. This needs to be considered so you don't get a sudden burst of sound into your ear.
This diagram from Dangerous Decibels shows when permanent hearing damage can occur.
National Hearing Care states that the following can be symptoms of hearing loss:
Tips and Hints:• difﬁculty following conversation in a group• difﬁculty following conversation in competing background noise• difﬁculty hearing the television at normal volume• a lack of clarity of speech in a one to one listening situation• distortion of music sound quality• reduced tolerance to loud sounds• tinnitus
- Consider using your speakers rather than earphones to listen whenever possible.
- If you are using headphones try to choose the ones that cover your ears as shown below, rather than the earbuds that you put inside your ear.
- If you must use earbuds, then don't share them with anyone, and clean or change them regularly. This is because dangerous bacteria can accumulate in the buds and cause harm to your ear through infections.
- Ensure your earphones are in good working order, so you don't get any crackle or interference.
- Whether you are using speakers or earphones, keep the sound at a tolerable level. Your ears should not be ringing afterwards.
- Rest your ears - give your ears a five minute break every hour so they are not constantly bombarded with concentrated sound.