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Foundation for the Deaf Welcomes Move by Apple

31st March 2006

National Foundation for the Deaf Welcomes Move by Apple to Set iPod Volume Cap
The National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD) – the charity representing some 450,000 Deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders - has welcomed a move by Apple to introduce a software update that will allow iPod users to set an upper volume limit on the latest generations of the device.

As well as enabling iPod users to set maximum volume limits, it also gives parents the ability to set a maximum volume limit on their child’s iPod and lock it with a combination code.

Marianne Schumacher, executive manager of the National Foundation for the Deaf,
said she is pleased Apple has responded to growing concerns about the risks of hearing damage caused by personal stereo users turning up the volume to
dangerous levels.

“This is a very positive step in the right direction and we would urge other manufacturers of personal music players to follow suit,” said Ms Schumacher.

"There is still a lot of work to be done to educate music lovers that there is a very real danger that long-term use of personal music players at high volumes can permanently damage people’s hearing.”

The earbuds commonly used by iPod listeners are placed directly in the ear increasing the sound signal into the ear. Coupled with the extended battery power these devices now offer it means people are exposed to louder noise levels for longer periods of time.

“We don’t want to discourage people from listening to personal stereos and enjoying music we just want to urge them to be sensible so that they can enjoy music well into later life,” concluded Ms Schumacher.
Some guidelines people can take for safer listening:

- Take regular breaks from your headphones to give your ears a rest.

- Turn down the volume a notch - even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing.

- Avoid using the volume to drown out background noise, for example the sound of traffic while on public transport


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