Can Car Speakers Damage Hearing? Important Facts

If you love driving, then chances are you also love listening to music. This is because, for many people listening to music takes the stress out of driving on busy streets and through difficult traffic. You could be amidst finishing up a chore or on your way to work; in either case, having some music behind the wheel is always welcome.

However, this reprieve can be worrisome for many individuals who have a powerful audio system installed in their cars. And it doesn’t take much to wonder if car audio systems have the potential to cause permanent damage to your hearing or cause complete hearing loss outright.

To answer this, yes, car speakers can damage your hearing. Many systems nowadays can go well beyond 85 decibels, which is the range of sound that can harm your hearing. Moreover, even if your music isn’t too loud, prolonged exposure can be catastrophic.

We recommend you keep your music to an acceptable level. Although, you might still have other questions. If that is the case, then let’s explain through this article precisely when your car speaker becomes too loud and go over some tips and tricks to enjoying your car’s audio system without risking the loss of your hearing.

Related: Why Do My Car Speakers Sound Distorted?

How Do Car Audio Speakers Damage Your Hearing?

Each part of your body is made from hundreds of thousands of cells. Each of these cells works in unison to accurately and effectively carry out functions in your body. Thus to maintain this functionality a delicate balance must be imposed because each of those hundred of thousands of cells works in complete harmony.

Any disruption to that harmony can cause a malfunction that doesn’t just affect one singular unit, but rather the entirety of that complex structure. The case is the same when it comes to hearing in the human body. Your ear and its various sub-sections are trained to pick up even the most remote vibrations.

These vibrations are then transformed into electrical signals which are relayed to the brain for vital processing and management. Ultimately, this route relies on all systems to work in perfect coordination and thus any disruption to that can have a major impact on your overall functionality.

Car Speakers Can Be Pretty Loud

Loud sounds a particularly troubling disruption. Any sound produced by your car audio system that exceeds 85 dB, or decibels, is too loud and has the potential to be harmful to your ears. This can rupture several necessary sections of the ear and the various sound receptors therein.

So when car audio systems and car speakers can generate sounds between 90 dB and 130 dB, then you best believe that they can directly harm your hearing. And this is simply by them being able to exceed the threshold of safe audio signals that your ears can receive and process.

High-End Car Speakers

Another problem that might specifically cause harm, because it is associated with the car speakers themselves, is that of high-quality or high-end car speakers. Usually, these high-end or aftermarket audio systems have far higher power ratings often in the hundreds, if not thousands of watts.

Moreover, these systems are also usually not limited to just one or two speaker outputs, but rather have numerous connected synchronous speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers that correlate with each other.

This can mean that these higher-end machines and car speaker systems can be even louder and more harmful to your hearing. Because of their higher capacity, range of sound, and loudness, we advise that you take care whilst using them.

Even though we believe how loud your speakers are is not the only factor that ultimately decides whether or not it will cause hearing loss for you. Nonetheless, it is a pivotal factor that cannot be overlooked as it plays heavily in damaging sensitive parts of your ears and prolonged exposure can be worrisome.

Related: Why Do My Car Speakers Smell Like They Are Burning?

Keeping Your Ears Too Close To The Car Speakers

The factors we discussed above are unique to car speakers, but there are certain decisions that we make as people that can amplify the adverse effects of the audio systems that we use. This can be particularly important, if we are at all worried about the risk that our systems and speakers can have on our ears.

The fat of the matter is that sound weakens the further away it is, and only grows stronger the closer it is from the listener or user. This often means that if there is only a short distance between your ears and the sound source then you are at risk of damaging your ears by being too close.

And although most car audio systems have their speakers situated in the lower portions of their doors, this is not the case for all car audio systems. Various cars can have speakers close to the windshield of their doors or the backboard or place an audio output merely inches away from the ear of a passenger.

All of these instances can be extremely harmful to any person that’s sitting close to such audio systems or such cars. The closeness to the audio source can be quite damaging, and on top of that, most car rides are long ordeals, which means that the impact may be prolonged and thus made worse as a result.

We recommend extreme vigilance in this matter to mitigate the harm that such car audio systems can do to passengers that are sitting too close to their source. It is best, however, to reduce the volume of your music system altogether so that it is not bothersome to your passengers.

How Long Is Too Long To Listen To Car Speakers?

In the case of most people, will not put the car speakers at dangerously high audio levels, and will, for the most part, have a relatively safe noise level when it comes to listening to music in their car. There is, however, still an issue that can arise as a result of continuing to listen to music for long extended periods of time.

This is something that was briefly discussed previously. But in this section, we’ll be going into the depth of the matter to fully understand the nuance of why long periods of music listening can over time wear down your ability to hear.

There exist an average of 16,000 hair cells in our ears that work to convert various sound vibrations that might exist in the air into electrical signals for us to understand and comprehend. These hairs mentioned above are sensitive, and if they are overstimulated, for long periods, it can be harmful to their long-term functioning.

This is why it is recommended that if you’re used to traveling a lot and listening to music while doing so then make sure to turn it off after a set amount of time. By doing so you won’t risk having the excessive audio in the car damage your hearing.

Recommendations To Listen To Car Speakers Responsibly

By this point, we’ve shared a few rudimentary methods you can follow and guidelines you can vary to listen to car speakers responsibly. We know that not listening to any music or audio, during a drive, is next to impossible. So, this section is particularly designed to ensure your hearing stays fine and dandy.

Before we begin our discussion about how you can protect your hearing from car speakers, it’ll be pertinent to discuss a few other effects that loud music whilst driving can cause.

It is quite simple that if the volume inside of your vehicle is cranked up too high then it is often hard to resist listening to it and engaging with it. And although good music can improve your mood, it can all the same, also distract and hamper your performance whilst driving.

Many studies indicate that over 80% of young drivers were far more prone to committing driving errors when listening to music that they preferred. Often these individuals required verbal or physical warnings by an instructor to prevent accidents and major mishaps.

Audio Quality Over Sheer Volume

If you’ve got a good audio system installed in your car then focusing on reducing distortion and increasing overall sound quality is often much more important to a good listening experience than just setting the system super loud. This is one of the most important factors to remember if you wish to reduce the impact that car speakers can have on your hearing.

We believe that a pleasurable listening experience is often far better than an audio experience that is built on how loud the music is blaring through the speakers. What this means is that if you’ve got your car speakers set to an incredibly high point then changing it to a more manageable volume is recommended.

This makes it safe to listen to and enjoy the music whilst you drive while not having to fear the potential harm that the car speakers can do to your ears and hearing.

Related: What Exactly Are Dual Car Speakers?

Keep Car Speakers A Safe Distance Away From Yourself

Similar to what we discussed earlier, music can be perceived much louder if it is close to your ears. This often can ruin the experience of listening to good music but also has several adverse effects on your hearing itself.

However, we understand that often there isn’t much that a person can do concerning their car’s specific build and audio setup. This means you might be unable to get further away from your speakers and would have to deal with louder music.

If you can adjust where your speakers are positioned or if you can move your position in the car then we do recommend you do so as soon as possible. This will significantly reduce the potential damage you can receive from your car speakers.

But if, as we said earlier, you cannot reposition then consider decreasing your car’s audio volume to balance out the distance you have from the car speakers. In this way, you will both be able to enjoy the music, whilst also not having to compromise on your specific position within the car.

There also exist certain modern car audio systems that allow for manually changing the fader option. This adjustment can be crucial as setting it appropriately to your situation can greatly improve the situation. And it certainly makes the lives of your passengers much better.

And that’s all you need to know about how car speakers can damage your hearing. It’s true, there is some significant damage that can end up being caused to your hearing if you are not wary of the pitfalls of car audio systems.

This is why we believe it is imperative for anyone considering installing an audio system in their car, or simply wanting to casually listen to music within in their car to be mindful of our recommendations.

By being cognizant of how things can go wrong, you can make a concerted effort to avoid potentially awful outcomes, and we hope this article helps you in doing just that. Let us know regarding your future queries and questions. Till next time! Ciao.

Audiophile Haven

AudiophileHaven is a site dedicated to Hi-Fi audio, and helping others learn more about premium quality sound equipment.

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