Audio News for April 3, 2006

by | Apr 3, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Hearing Loss Due to iPod-Type Devices – A new survey by Zogby International revealed that many teens are aware of possible hearing loss from overuse or over-volume-level of their iPod and similar personal electronic devices, but adults are less concerned about the dangers to their own hearing even though many use these products for longer periods and at higher volume levels than do the teens. More high school students than adults said they have had three of the four symptoms of hearing loss: turning up the volume, saying “what?” or “huh”” during conversations, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Less than half of the students said they have had none of these symptoms, vs. 63% of adults who have had them.

For some of these devices, adults are more likely to use them for a longer period of time than are teens – the iPod among them. But teens are much more likely than adults to have the volume up really loud. 53% of teens were concerned about possible hearing loss, but only 33% of adults. Yet 58% of teens said they are not likely to reduce the time they use these devices and 31% said they won’t turn down the volume.  While a majority of parents are concerned about hearing loss in their children, less than half are willing to limit the amount of time their children use the devices. Both adults and teens say the best way to reach teens about the dangers of hearing loss is television. [Audiophiles can help too: get your iPoders to invest in a good pair of headphones instead of the junk they come with, and perhaps a portable headphone amp. With higher fidelity sound they may be satisfied listening at lower volume levels!]

Radio Shack Plunges – The giant Ft. Worth-based electronics retailer reported a 62% drop in net income their last quarter, and plans to close up to 700 stores and two distribution centers – that’s 10% of their stores in North America. Radio Shack stock has dropped to its lowest level in three years and their CEO is resigning amidst revelations of inflated credentials as well as an upcoming drunk driving trial.

Sony Blu-ray Discs and Player Coming
– Sony has announced their Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1 will appear in July for about $1000. It will have DVD upconversion to 1080p, will decode Dolby Digital and DTS, but not DD Plus, DTS-HD nor even SACDs!  It will also lack an Ethernet port. Launch of Sony’s heralded PlayStation 3 with Blu-ray has been delayed until the fall. Seven of the eight major movie studios will publish Blu-ray DVDs, but only Sony and Lions Gate will be ready for the launch in May. So it appears the Samsung BD-P1000 may be the only consumer player available at the launch. Four of the studios have decided not to bar use of the analog component cable to send hi-res signals to displays (which would have made the seven million present owners of HDTVs without HDMI connections unable to view hi-res discs in hi-res!).

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