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The length of time it takes to
sustain hearing damage drops off
rapidly the louder the sound is.
The loudest sounds can cause
damage in an instant.
However, even a seemingly
painless, tolerable level can be
damaging after say 8 hours of
exposure. Your local OHS
authority no doubt
has the tables.
What I propose here is a system of
1. The Decibel Dosimeter.
A tiny dB meter and data logger on
a chip, which can be worn either
behind the ear or as a natty
ear-ring. It logs dB level against
2. Exposure limiting headphones.
These would be integrated
ambient noise cancellation 'phones
and stereo 'phones you can plug
into your walkperson/iDevice. An
embedded CPU in the earmuff
reads the dB exposure log from the
As the exposure approaches
damaging amounts, the 'phones
crank down a limiter which keeps
your personal stereo at a safe
level, accounting for what you've
already been exposed to.
So if you've already been exposed
to 8 hours in a foundry, you won't
be able to destroy your hearing
(further) by cranking Def Leppard
(Def Jam/Def Penalty Kru) on the
Having the logger separate from
the 'phones allows it to log
exposure from any source,
including that played through the
Too Loud Tie
Similar idea - Shameless elf-promotion [csea, Mar 11 2006]
"... is working on an invention to give users more control over the volume output of their portable devices ... some sort of software solution for the iPod that can make users aware of unsafe volumes." [BunsenHoneydew, Mar 21 2006]
Personal noise dosimeter [csea, Apr 10 2010]
Some history. [csea, Apr 13 2010]
||I actually thought about posting this idea just last week - apparently the maximum reccomended time to spend listening to music with earphones is half an hour a day, and at such a short amount of time I just figured I'd listen to music all I wanted to, lest it turn off within minutes.
||[+] No need for the headphones though. Just an output telling the result, and a law forcing workers to wear it, and your invention is both a bestseller and an ear saver.
||I've only got one wall painted and already I can't hear my mother-in-law.
||The "decibel dosimeter" has been baked for a while. [link] I have one, and it works as advertised, but needs a better user interface.
||Thankyou [csea] - I wonder though, is // a while // more than four years?
||The accompanying literature is dated 10/07, but similar devices have been available fsince the mid-1980s. [link].