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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 80  |  Page : 36--41

Preferred listening levels of mobile phone programs when considering subway interior noise

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan; Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Graduate School, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang; Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Graduate School, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
3 Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Woojae Han
Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Hallym University, Hallymdaehakgil 1, Chuncheon, 200-702
Republic of Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.174383

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Today, people listen to music loud using personal listening devices. Although a majority of studies have reported that the high volume played on these listening devices produces a latent risk of hearing problems, there is a lack of studies on "double noise exposures" such as environmental noise plus recreational noise. The present study measures the preferred listening levels of a mobile phone program with subway interior noise for 74 normal-hearing participants in five age groups (ranging from 20s to 60s). The speakers presented the subway interior noise at 73.45 dB, while each subject listened to three application programs [Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), music, game] for 30 min using a tablet personal computer with an earphone. The participants' earphone volume levels were analyzed using a sound level meter and a 2cc coupler. Overall, the results showed that those in their 20s listened to the three programs significantly louder with DMB set at significantly higher volume levels than for the other programs. Higher volume levels were needed for middle frequency compared to the lower and higher frequencies. We concluded that any potential risk of noise-induced hearing loss for mobile phone users should be communicated when users listen regularly, although the volume level was not high enough that the users felt uncomfortable. When considering individual listening habits on mobile phones, further study to predict total accumulated environmental noise is still needed.


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