Those snug fitting earbud style headphones, although sound great, may be damaging your hearing. According to a study published last year in the journal Ear and Hearing reported results from Dr. Brian Fligor of Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Fligor investigated a variety of headphones and found that, on average, the smaller they were and the deeper they fit in your ear canal, the higher their output levels were at any given volume control setting. For example, the white headphones sold with the iPod, will increase sound levels by up to 9 decibels. Although 9 decibels don’t sound like much, that is about the difference between an alarm clock and a lawn mower.
The other part of the problem is that insertable headphones don’t block background noise as well as larger over the ear style ones, this ups the chance of you wanting to turn up the volume.