Purpose: With increasing on concern of recreational noise-induced hearing loss in young population, the present study aimed to investigate factors for determining preferred listening levels of the portable listening device users. Methods: For measuring the preferred listening levels of forty young listeners with normal hearing, four types of earphone having different insertion depths to the ear canal was applied under three levels of background noise (quiet, 40 dBA and 70 dBA) while listening to four music genres as exogenous factors. Also, their acceptable noise levels (ANLs) were identified as an endogenous factor. Results: As we expected, the preferred listening levels were significantly increased as the background noise level (BNL) increased. Among the music genres, classic and ballad (or R&B) were the lowest and highest listening levels, respectively. In addition, when the insertion depth to the ear canal was longer, the listening levels were decreased regardless of music genres and BNLs, except for the headphone that totally covered user’s pinna. Interestingly, there was a partially correlation between the preferred listening levels in the experimental conditions and the ANLs. Conclusion: The present results imply that both exogenous and endogenous factors might affect user’s preferred listening levels of the portable listening device although a further study to see any interaction among the factors should be followed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS