Thursday, December 29, 2011

Play It Down: A Free App for Teens To Educate About Hearing Loss

Listen To My Music, Listen To My Song (.238/365)
From Flickr user Miss Sydney Marie
When it comes to teenagers, it often seems like the more dire the warnings against something, the more likely they are to embrace it. Loud music is no exception. While there's no doubt many teenagers are aware of the dangers of hearing loss from noise exposure, the question is, does it actually make them turn down the music?

There's a new, free app for iPod and iPhone called Play It Down that is attempting to bring awareness of noise exposure to teens in a fresh and interesting way. The app contains three components:

  • Auto-Old My Music: Demonstrates how music loaded onto the player would sound to someone with loss in the higher frequencies, as experienced in age-related hearing loss  
  • The Ear Knob - A test to see who can detect the highest frequencies (high frequencies are the first to go as a person ages)  
  • The Volume Zone - Allows the user to measure the volume of the player's surroundings
The website,, contains a link to the app along with useful information about hearing loss and keeping your ears healthy. It's written in accessible language that teens will either enjoy, or roll their eyes to. Either way, it's useful for them to know.

I don't own any Apple products, so I can't try this out for myself and see what the songs sound like with the "Auto-Old My Music." I'm curious, though. For now, my favorite way to demonstrate types of hearing loss is this YouTube video, which takes a clip from The Flintstones and shows how it would sound with mild, moderate, and profound loss.

1 comment:

  1. I tried the ear knob and where it says "all ages" at 8 KHz I couldn't hear it.


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