With Smart phones, we can always be connected and can consume media both Audio and video, almost all day without any interruption.

Generally, when people listen to music, its always with earphones plugged-into ears. A common use case is when commuting we always listen to music with earphones.

My Question is: How much music one should listen with plugged-in earphones in a day, without causing ear/organ damage? Looking for a general medical advice here for healthy ear functioning yet consuming favorite music?

1 Answer 1


You should not listen to music at 85 decibels for more than 8 hours. And if it's at 88 decibels limit your time to 4 hours.

To judge this you have to use decibels:


  • A person exposed to noise levels at 85 decibels or higher for a prolonged period of time is at risk for hearing loss

  • You shouldn't listen to music , or be exposed to any noise, at 85 decibels for more than 8 hours at a time, said Gordon Hughes, program officer of clinical trials at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). If you've got the volume cranked to 88 decibels, then cut your listening time down to 4 hours.

  • At its loudest, an MP3 player pumps out 105 decibels that's100 times more intense than 85 decibels

  • "One way you can tell if your music is too loud is if you're talking to a friend and you have to raise your voice to be heard," Hughes said. Normal conversation is around 60 decibels

Articles that agree with the above:

You can find how may decibels your listening at by going online or looking at your manual for your device. This is more acurate as all devices are different. If that doesnt tell you there are apps and other devices.

  • Interesting!! But for a avg. user, not sure how to determine at what decibel he/she is hearing the music. I guess the take away here is that you should not hear the music too loud for more than 6-8 Hours in a day, if I understood your answer correctly.
    – AADHealth
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 4:41
  • @AADTechnical I added what you could use for that. There are apps and it might be in your phone manual or online.
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 5:06
  • A person speaking is about 60dB. So it's easy: if you can still normally understand someone talking to you, you're far from the limits. Source: I listen to headphones all day too, and checked it with a dB meter. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 5:29
  • @FrankKusters accurately checking the sound level of headphones with a "dB meter" is non trivial are requires a coupler that matches the acoustic impedance of the ear.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 1:58
  • @StrongBad That's what filters on the dB meter are for. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 12:29

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