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Decibel Dosimeter/Headphone Cutout

Logging your exposure to hearing damage
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
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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 two devices.

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 time exposed.

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 'meter.

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 bus home.

Having the logger separate from the 'phones allows it to log exposure from any source, including that played through the 'phones.

BunsenHoneydew, Mar 11 2006

Too Loud Tie Too_20Loud_20Tie
Similar idea - Shameless elf-promotion [csea, Mar 11 2006]

Baking? http://www.wired.co...html?tw=wn_index_11
"... 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]

Decibel Dosimeter http://www.etymotic.com/pro/er200.aspx
Personal noise dosimeter [csea, Apr 10 2010]

background noise http://en.wikipedia...iki/Noise_dosimeter
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.
fridge duck, Mar 11 2006

       [+] 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.
pashute, Mar 11 2006

       I've only got one wall painted and already I can't hear my mother-in-law.
lurch, Mar 12 2006

       The "decibel dosimeter" has been baked for a while. [link] I have one, and it works as advertised, but needs a better user interface.
csea, Apr 10 2010

       Thankyou [csea] - I wonder though, is // a while // more than four years?
BunsenHoneydew, Apr 13 2010

       The accompanying literature is dated 10/07, but similar devices have been available fsince the mid-1980s. [link].
csea, Apr 13 2010


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