I do sometimes worry about the effects on my poor abused ears though. I already have mild tinnitus thanks to too many loud gigs and club nights during my student days, and I often struggle to pick out individual conversations at poker night, when six to eight people are usually engaged in three or four separate conversations around one big table. My last comprehensive hearing test results came back as slap bang in the middle of the normal range, and I don't think I've deteriorated much in the four or five years since then, but I'm definitely way down from where I was in my early twenties.
Unfortunately, cranking the iPod volume sometimes seems unavoidable. Take yesterday. I went to apply for my
On the bus the volume initially came back down, but then got cranked again to compensate for several nearby conversations, each in a different language. Not to mention the noise of the bus, its "next stop" announcements, and passing traffic. Being an electric bus it was silent when not in motion, and I had to hurriedly turn the volume back down at one intersection when all conversations simultaneously stopped and I got worried about my seatmate overhearing parts of the Savage Love cast... (link possibly NSFW, depending on your W).
The skytrain was even worse; I gave up completely once we reached the underground section** and the sound of wheels on rails was joined by the tunnel noises.
But after getting off the train and into the quiet of a very posh mall, I pressed "play" again and was suddenly, painfully, blasted by my over-cranked earbuds.
The same thing happened at work this afternoon when resuming a podcast I'd been listening to at the gym, in competition with the usual sound system, a second music source outside, and frequent tannoy announcements about new classes.
The thing is, in both cases, I'd been struggling to hear the podcast properly before leaving the louder environment. Realising how loud my iPod had actually been, in addition to the potential detrimental effects of the ambient noise in such loud environments, is making me rethink where and when I listen to my iPod. I know you can get those fancy headphones that block all outside noise so you can play your stuff at a much lower volume, but I kinda like to be able to hear oncoming cars when I'm oot and aboot. Plus my iPhone headset has an integral microphone that I use a lot.
Oh, and do you like the solution I found to my headset storage problem?
It's now protected and tangle-free, and I got to recycle a tic-tac container into the bargain!
*I promise I'm not being evil or disrespectful! The huge cemetery is positively teeming with joggers, cyclists, and people out walking their dogs (and occasionally, parrots). No-one seems to mind. I do get off my bike and walk through the war memorial and veterans' grave section on my way to and from work though; I could never treat that area as just another part of my commute. And I never run through that section.
**yes, we have underground "sky" trains in Vancouver. We're very special.