Blaring headphones probably are deafening kids

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

It's been a concern ever since the first Walkman was invented - are portable music players damaging kids' hearing? Now, Dutch scientists are closer to an answer, and that answer is 'there's a link'. They studied 2,075 kids, just under half of whom had a portable music player, and found around one in seven of the kids with the players showed signs of noise-related hearing problems, making them less able to hear high frequencies than their friends without music players - even though they were too young to have been to noisy concerts and nightclubs.

Journal/conference: JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery

Organisation/s: Erasmus University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Funder: The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research and the Netherlands Organization of Health Research and Development.

Media Release

From: JAMA

Are Portable Music Players Associated With Hearing Loss in Children?

The effect of portable music players on the hearing of children is unclear. A new study found that about 1 in 7 children (9 to 11 years of age) showed signs of noise-induced hearing impairment, prior to exposure to known noise hazards such as club and concert attendance. Portable music players, used by 40 percent of 2,075 children in the study from the Netherlands, were associated with high-frequency hearing loss. Repeated measurements are needed to confirm this association.


  • JAMA
    Web page
    The url will go live after the embargo ends

News for:


Media contact details for this story are only visible to registered journalists.