Many people are not aware of noise cancelling earphones, but they should be! There have been multiple studies published over the years concluding that noise induced hearing loss can be a direct result of wearing workout headphones. The premise of these studies have been spot on, but with improvements in technology and a few simple tips you can easily prevent hearing damage and still enjoy your favorite music at the gym.
Noise Cancelling Versus Noise Isolating Earphones
One of the greatest improvements in sound technology has been in noise cancelling headphones. Unfortunately headphone manufacturers make it very difficult to determine if they are truly noise cancelling by introducing other terms, such as noise isolating. Here’s the deal: noise isolating is not the same as noise cancelling and noise cancelling is the only thing you want. Essentially, noise isolating blocks out sound, but it also leaks in a significant amount of ambient noise, which can be perfect for being aware of your surroundings if training outdoors, but won’t help you at the gym.
Why do you want noise cancelling earphones? The problem with most gyms is they are extremely loud. In addition to commonly blaring radio music over the loud speaker you’ve also got to deal with other gym goers and machines running. What do you normally do when the gym gets too loud? You turn your headphones up to block it out. The sound you perceive isn’t any louder because you’re also competing with all the ambient noise as well, but the truth is you’ve just cranked up the decibel level to a range that is now damaging your inner ear. This is where noise cancelling headphones come into play.
The Right Volume Level
Even with proper headphones it can be difficult to judge what volume level you should listen to you music at. Here’s one simple tip you can utilize. The next time you head to the gym make sure to set your volume level prior to entering the gym. Once inside you may be tempted to turn the volume back up, but if you’re using a quality pair of noise cancelling headphones then just give it about five minutes and your hearing will adjust.
It is important to understand that if you don’t follow these tips then it is very likely that you will experience sensorineural hearing loss. It is also important to know that hearing loss results in damaging hair follicles within the inner ear, and the damage is irreversible. It may not seem evident immediately, but over time the damage will accumulate and you may end up experiencing a little bit less of the world around you.