It All Falls Onto Deaf Ears


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Timothy Hubing

For decades now, both headphones and earbuds have been nestled into the ears of kids, teens, and adults alike. With the birth of the smart phone, this generation of students have been surrounded by the rise of ear-in-devices, blasting our ear drums with whatever we want to hear.

But will this inevitably have an impact our generation’s hearing? As most of this generation of students grew up with a smart device in their hands, and a pair of earbuds imbedded into their ears for as long as they can remember, the stage is set for some broken ears.

It’s no surprise that so many people nowadays have their music plugged right into their ears but do Bucks students recall any events or evidence that suggest the common youth is starting to lose their hearing.

When asked about how often she listen to music, and how loud, Quinlan Trask, an 18-year-old from Lithia Spring, Georgia, majoring in fine arts, said “my phone says I use it for music about eight hours a day and for how loud? It depends.”

“I have a pair of the noise cancelling earbuds, I tend to blast the volume on those way more than the standard ones. If I’m on those pair of earbuds, I will usually have them turned down more to like half volume, because with these people can hear it,” Trask said.

Quinlan was not the only Bucks student to give her thoughts on the matter. Tyler Clausson, 18-year-old from Newtown, Pennsylvania, majoring in graphic arts, said, “I listen to music and use my phone almost every single day, so about the same time I’d say, eight hours a day.

“I don’t have the noise cancelling earbuds, so I tend to keep the ones I have at a lower volume when I can,” Clausson said.

Both Clausson and Trask agreed that they haven’t experienced any high volume usage alerts you can get on your phone or notable loss of hearing due to the use of earbuds.

“I’ve had my mother yell at me a couple times to watch how much I use and listen to my headphones or earbuds, so I try to keep myself aware of it, but I haven’t noticed any issues,” Trask said.

As reported by, the World Health Organization (WHO) says 50 percent of people between the ages of 12-35 are at a higher risk of hearing loss due to loud volumes of music or other loud sounds being listened to by personal devices.

It’s estimated that due to the excessive use of loud music, the quality of hearing for this generation by the time they’re in their 40’s could look the same as the elderly in their 70’s-80’s is now.

It is recommended by The National Institutes of Health, that the average person doesn’t exceed more than 70 decibels a day when listening to their devices to avoid any prolonged issues.

Statistically the use of smart phones or other devices to listen to music has only increased dramatically over the past few years. Surprisingly though, the increased use of listening to music through apps like iTunes, didn’t exceed staggering numbers until well into the mid 2010’s.

As documented on “Statista”, the number of Apple Music subscribers worldwide from Jan 2015 to Dec 2016, was between 10-20 million. However, since that time, in June of 2021, that number has gone up only a bit… to 78 million users.

That of course is only the numbers of users for Apple Music subscribers. For Spotify, the numbers are very different. The number of users documented in Jan 2015 go as high as 15 million to start. By the third quarter of 2022 however, Statista has the number of users at 195 million.

Regardless, both Apple Music and Spotify users alike must be weary of their listening usage and volume.