Volume Limiter: Why Some Headphones Limit Sound dBs




Headphones on colorfully lit table


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The history of music is quite old, but the innovation of headphones has completely changed how we enjoy our favorite tracks.

Headphones give you privacy, do not disturb others, and provide a more immersive experience. However, some headphones purposefully limit sound level, so it’s normal to wonder what is a headphone volume limit.

Some headphones limit sound dB because listening to excessive dB sounds is terrible for our hearing in the long term. As it does no instant damage, we often ignore the fact, whether deliberately or due to lack of knowledge. Sound-limiting headphones limit the dB to a specific level to protect the user’s hearing, particularly children.

Many people don’t know about sound-limiting headphones. But these headphones can be life-changing. Many kids have hearing loss as they grow up.

If people had known about sound-limiting headphones before, incidents of premature deafness could have been prevented.

This article will discuss the ins and outs of volume-limiting headphones, so let’s go!

Headphones on colorfully lit table

What Is A Volume-limiting Headphone?

Volume limiting headphones do exactly what the name implies. They limit how loud you can turn up the volume to protect your hearing. 

Listening to loud music can be fun at times. It can make you forget the weight of the world for a few moments and feel free. However, even if it is fun sometimes, doing so for more extended periods can take a toll on your ears. Sounds above a certain decibel level are harmful to our hearing.

For two reasons, children’s hearing is particularly impacted by music:

  • They are unaware that loud music is bad for the ear.
  • Secondly, children’s hearing systems are less developed, making them more vulnerable to damage

Frequent exposure to high decibels can eventually lead to impaired hearing.

Volume-limiting headphones limit the sound level below a certain level- 85 dB because sound exceeding 85 dB for an extended period is a potential cause of hearing loss.

Volume-limiting headphones are specially made for children.

How Volume-limiting Works

Standard headphones that we use daily can easily reach up to 115 decibels. But for volume-limiting headphones, the noise can go as high as 85 dB. It is a safe level for the human ear, especially for children.

In headphones, electrical signals are converted to sound. Volume-limiting headphones weaken the electrical signal by using resistors, reducing the volume level.

Manufacturers put the resistors in the cable or inside the RCA connector. These devices create resistance in the circuit and reduce the flow of current. Thus, limiting the volume level.

Regular headphones do have this feature. However, you can still limit volume by using external adaptors which are adaptors cables that house resistors inside.

You have to connect the cord of your headphones to the adaptor, and the embedded resistors will do the rest. Now your regular headphones have become volume-limiting headphones.

How Can You Check If Your Headphones Are Too Loud?

If you are used to listening to high-volume music, you won’t be able to distinguish if your headphones are too loud. But it’s crucial and can save you from suffering from ear problems.

Here are some ways to check if your headphones are too noisy:

Check If You Can Hear Your Headphone From A Distance

Depending on the model, we put headphones over or inside the ear. Headphones are designed so that no one except the user can hear any sound. But if your sound levels are too high, you can listen to it from a distance.

Take off your headphones and hold them in front of you or put them on the table or something. Play music. If you can still hear it, your headphones are too loud.

Check Volume Control

Checking the volume control is the most straightforward way to know if your headphones are too loud. There are separate control panels. One is the computer’s default control panel. Its location can be variable depending on the operating system or the version of the operating system.

Another control panel is the headphones software which you need to install separately. Check both control panels to see if the volume is too high.

Make Sure You Can Hear Outside Sounds

As I have stated above, manufacturers design headphones in a way so that the user can’t hear outside noises. To eliminate external noise, manufacturers incorporate noise-canceling features.

If your headphones have such features, you won’t be able to hear any outside noise. But regular headphones should allow you to listen to people around you slightly.

If you set the volume level too high, you can’t hear any outside sounds.

Use A Sound Meter

Using a sound meter is the most convenient way to know if your headphones are too loud. There are different types of sound meters available at various price points.

You need the most basic one for this purpose which you can find in any online shop. You can even use sound meter apps.

Place the decibel meter of your headphone in the inner part of the earcups. Then play music at the typical volume. The sound meter should display the dB on the LED screen. Adjust the volume level until it reaches a safe level.

Know The Signs Of Hearing Loss

If you are using your headphones at a high volume level for too long, you might face some hearing issues. If you know the symptoms, you can ensure that the volume of your headphones is above the safe level.

Such symptoms are ringing, clicking, or buzzing sounds in the ears. The sound might seem muffled at times. Also, you may have a hard time hearing in noisy places such as stadiums, concerts, shopping malls, etc.

Should You Use A Volume Limiting Headphone?

For the average listener sound volume-limiting headphones are definitely recommended. Especially if you are buying headphones for children, then these would ensure that they don’t end up with premature hearing loss. 

Volume limiting headphones can be a gem nowadays for anyone, especially kids. We use headphones continuously without pause.

Listening to music, watching movies, playing games, or talking to friends or family members; the usage of headphones is abundant. Headphones have become an integral part of our lives, whether they are used on a mobile device or a computer.

An important fact is that most hearing losses do not occur due to an accident like gunfire or high-energy explosions. Most victims of hearing loss suffer from it gradually. The reasons are mainly using headphones indiscreetly. Volume limiting headphones can save you from such consequences. 

We are oblivious to what is harmful to us most of the time. Listening to music or watching movies at a high volume reflects that. Volume limiting takes charge and does not let you play music at a high volume even if you want to. Thus, protect your ears.

Volume limiting headphones are an irreplaceable device for kids. We, adults, know the harm of high decibels, but kids do not. Even if you tell them, they won’t understand because they are kids.

With volume-limiting headphones, you can be assured that they are not exposed to high volume. It also goes for older people.


Thorough knowledge of sound limiting headphones is the precursor to taking measures to save your kid’s hearing. Even if you are comfortable using regular headphones, you should know what the headphone volume limit is.

Signs of hearing loss or checking if your headphones are too loud can be the difference-maker. That’s what I emphasized in this discussion above.

For obvious reasons, if you use regular headphones as an adult, I would recommend giving your children a good pair of sound limiting headphones. Also, keep tabs on matters regarding it. Have a great day!

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