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Old 04-02-2013, 18:20
Alan Thew
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I haven't seen it reported anywhere else, but the BBC is today reporting that all personal music players sold in the EU from this month will have a 'safety limit on volume levels':

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21294537

Ignoring the fact that, as far as I can see, it's technically impossible to achieve this aim without knowing exactly what kind of headphones the user will have plugged in, surely this will adversely affect users who plug their devices into external audio equipment? I've always plugged portable Minidisc players, then mp3 players, then phones into my hifi or computer via the analogue jack, and to get the best quality you have to turn the volume up full. It's always worked fine. Am I in future going to have to endure really low volume, or put up with a nag message every twenty hours? What a nonsense.
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Old 04-02-2013, 18:35
jwar1976
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They have had AVLS built into players for quite a few years now. With some players that I have owned the volume restriction has been awful to the point where I can hardly hear the song, so I installed some custom firmware & made it so that I could actually listen to the song. whilst other players haven't been too bad. I do like my music loud, but I have it at a volume that is comfortable for me & so that other people don't hear it.

The chavs who like their dub crap at full blast, do not know the meaning of quiet, so will still blast out on public transport for all to hear.
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Old 04-02-2013, 21:38
Pepperoni Man
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Must admit I thought this had been the case for a number of years.

Both my current players have EU volume limits

With my Sandisk, as with most players the you can defeat the problem by setting the player to North America or Rest of the World, in fact, anything except Europe

The Sony I have ,which is the better player can not be defeated and it is the one downside to an otherwise great player

Something like this could get you round the problem

http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E06-Por...0013856&sr=1-1
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Old 04-02-2013, 21:57
webbie
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Please can we vote to get out of Europe now????!!!!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 22:15
alcockell
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Say hello to more brickwall limiting... *headdesk* *headdesk*
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Old 05-02-2013, 00:03
Alan Thew
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They have had AVLS built into players for quite a few years now. With some players that I have owned the volume restriction has been awful to the point where I can hardly hear the song
I had a Walkman (cassette) and a Discman with AVLS. With it switched on, the volume limit was so low it was literally useless outside a quiet room at home. I hope the new limit won't be akin to AVLS, because if it is we might as well give up with the whole concept of portable music players!

Thanks Pepperoni Man, that would solve the problem. But it's so frustrating ... another device to buy/carry/break/lose, more expense, another power supply or thing to keep charged up, more cables to plug in, more space taken up, an unnecessary extra stage to degrade sound quality ... none of which has ever been necessary in the past!

Say hello to more brickwall limiting... *headdesk* *headdesk*
Don't get me started on the evil Dynamic Range Compression Virtually everything mastered in the last twenty years has been a headache-inducing aural mess that makes your ears bleed after listening too long. Perhaps the EU should do something useful instead of passing silly laws about volume limits, and pursue the music producers who master entire albums at a permanent 0dB maximum. It has to be loud, loud, loud, without cease! Aargh!!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 16:30
2Bdecided
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decent headphones + classical music + EU volume limit = inaudible music!

(I thought it had been law for ages too).

Cheers,
David.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:35
David (2)
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i still have a Sony Discman with volume limiter, which you can switch on or off. And with it switched on, its rubbish.
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Old 05-02-2013, 23:19
brillopad
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Egg Chicken or Chicken Egg ?
I wonder if George Orwell had not written '1984' we would not be in the 'state' we are in today.
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Old 06-02-2013, 00:32
alcockell
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I had a Walkman (cassette) and a Discman with AVLS. With it switched on, the volume limit was so low it was literally useless outside a quiet room at home. I hope the new limit won't be akin to AVLS, because if it is we might as well give up with the whole concept of portable music players!



Thanks Pepperoni Man, that would solve the problem. But it's so frustrating ... another device to buy/carry/break/lose, more expense, another power supply or thing to keep charged up, more cables to plug in, more space taken up, an unnecessary extra stage to degrade sound quality ... none of which has ever been necessary in the past!



Don't get me started on the evil Dynamic Range Compression Virtually everything mastered in the last twenty years has been a headache-inducing aural mess that makes your ears bleed after listening too long. Perhaps the EU should do something useful instead of passing silly laws about volume limits, and pursue the music producers who master entire albums at a permanent 0dB maximum. It has to be loud, loud, loud, without cease! Aargh!!!
I listened to a few bars of an AC/DC mp3 master... Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap mixed for this EU-max-dB so everything brickwalled world - and it was AWFUL! Consider that I had watched the River Plate gig on BBC4...
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Old 06-02-2013, 00:33
Winston_1
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This has been the rule for players sold in France for many years. guess that is where the idea came from.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:04
joneds
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I listened to a few bars of an AC/DC mp3 master... Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap mixed for this EU-max-dB so everything brickwalled world - and it was AWFUL! Consider that I had watched the River Plate gig on BBC4...
Interesting.... it never occurred to me that the awful mastering of new (and 'remastered') albums could have a connection to the EU regulation.

Does anyone have any experience of this volume limit being applied to iPods? I remember when getting my sixth gen iPod Classic back in 2007 that the maximum volume on that was a lot lower than my previous (non-Apple) mp3 player. This is less of a problem these days as I only really use it for office listening, but I frequently had to almost max out the volume when I commuted on the Tube.
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:47
Shall
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Interesting.... it never occurred to me that the awful mastering of new (and 'remastered') albums could have a connection to the EU regulation.

Does anyone have any experience of this volume limit being applied to iPods? I remember when getting my sixth gen iPod Classic back in 2007 that the maximum volume on that was a lot lower than my previous (non-Apple) mp3 player. This is less of a problem these days as I only really use it for office listening, but I frequently had to almost max out the volume when I commuted on the Tube.
Yes the European legislation applies. I've gone the Sansa Clip Zip route. By declaring it rest of world no Volume cap is applied!! I think I'm old enough to look after my own ears, but understand some aren't
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:54
alcockell
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Might it be the case that with all that brickwall limiting and cramming everything into the mid mix - this is causing the damage, rather than mixing for dynamics?

If the intention is to aim at protecting people's ears - maybe some compromise could be reached so that if, say, an iPod is in a dock - the gain limiter is taken off so it can run at line level..
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Old 11-02-2013, 13:05
2Bdecided
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Interesting.... it never occurred to me that the awful mastering of new (and 'remastered') albums could have a connection to the EU regulation.
I don't think it does. The trend pre-dates it, and happens the world over (not just in the EU).

The closest thing relating the two is that the pre-existence of stupidly loud masters caused the EU regulation to be set so low.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 28-02-2013, 09:01
Sue_Aitch
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If the intention is to aim at protecting people's ears [...]
S'good enough reason in my book. Hearing Loss and Tinnitus aren't much fun.

My late father used an induction neck-loop to feed sound in from the hi-fi or TV through to his hearing aid, having been partially deafened by illness as a primary school-aged child.
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Old 28-02-2013, 17:36
Alan Thew
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Hearing Loss and Tinnitus aren't much fun.
No one doubts that, Sue. But my point in starting this thread was that it's technically impossible to limit the output from any portable music player to a given level of decibels without a) knowing precisely what headphones are plugged in (sensitivity, design etc); and b) reacting to the source material. Otherwise, all that will happen is that those who wish to a) use high-end headphones; b) listen to well-mastered/classical music; or c) route their player through an external amplifier will be prevented from doing so -- with absolutely no resultant benefit to their hearing whatsoever. Alcockell was proposing a sensible compromise which you have snipped to present your knee-jerk reaction -- exactly as the EU lawmakers have done.

I'm sorry about your father's hearing loss, but I can hardly see how it would have been prevented by any kind of silly, ill-thought-out law like this one.
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Old 01-03-2013, 19:56
vanzandtfan
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Given that one of the main reasons that people listen to music so loud that they end up damaging their ears is in order to drown out background noise, a more sensible solution would be to enforce a certain level of isolation from environmental noise for earphones marketed as suitable for portable use
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Old 03-03-2013, 14:03
noise747
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My Ears are shot anyway, so I need the music pretty loud to hear it. My Nexus 4 warns me that it is going above the safe level, but it will allow you to if you really want to.
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Old 03-03-2013, 19:32
neo_wales
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I can sort of see why the concern, certainly with 'in ear' head sets because and if nothing else of the possibility of causing infection after multiply use and seeing folk ramming them into their ears to make them fit. Personally I prefer 'real' headphones but then only use them when on the train or plane; at home I do enjoy good quality headphones at home...lean back, shut your eyes and listen

I've several headphones at home but my favourite are a pair of Sony and a really old pair (@1973) set of Wharfedale's which are like wearing a can of baked beans on each ear but the quality is wonderful even now.
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