It’s expected that the European Commission will pass legislation that will require manufacturers to include a noise limiter on portable media players. This is being done, of course, because listening to said devices at extraordinarily loud volume levels is quite dangerous; up to 10 percent of users are in danger totally destroying their hearing by keeping the players on too loud.
The limit—and all of this is set to go down next week, so get your complaining in now if you’re against the idea—will be set to 80 decibels.
Some players, says the Daily Mail, can output sound up to 120 decibels, which is about the same intensity as the sound of a jet engine taking off. You don’t want to be exposed to that for any length of time.
Of course, there will always be the “I don’t want Brussels telling me what to do” crowd, but look at it like this: yes, I’m sure that within 8.2 seconds of the limiter being put into place someone will come out with a hack or software override. The point is, how many people are going to go out of their way to implement the work-around?
I find it hard to believe that 80 decibels isn’t loud enough for the average person. Maybe some higher end headphones would do the trick, that way you don’t have to blast your music just to be able to hear it on the subway?