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One in five American teens suffers from a slight hearing loss and one in 20 from a more severe loss, in what are respectively 30% and 77% increases compared to 20 years ago, according to a study by the American Medical Association. The cause of this increase is believed to be the mass use of headphones that began to spread in the 1990s.
Hearing loss, which is permanent, can have dramatic consequences, especially for a teenager. It can lead to reduced speech perception, affect the ability to learn and hinder the development of social skills.
With this in mind, the World Health Organization will host the First World Congress on Ear and Hearing Care in India’s New Delhi in February 2015.
But more concrete measures are already being taken. The American company 1964Ears is launching its new product called “RealLoud Technology”, which its founders say is “the world's first and only patented in-ear technology that safely delivers a louder, more spacious and richer sound — all while minimizing the risk of hearing loss from personal listening devices.”
The particularity of this device is that they include a secondary artificial eardrum to protect our natural eardrums. These shields will absorb “the harmful pneumatic pressures produced by earbuds,” all the while delivering deeper bass, clearer midrange and richer highs than ever, the company declares.
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Unlike traditional headphones, RealLoud technology does not tighten in-ear muscles or compress the volume. This makes it possible to listen to clearer music at a lower but more dynamic level.
These headphones are currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign. For those who pledge at least $1,000, the company also offers custom hand-made sets to perfectly fit the ears of the listener.
With 25 days to go until the end of the backing period, the project, which was launched by Stephen D. Ambrose, the founder of Asius Technologies and the inventor of the wireless in-ear monitors used by musicians, has already raised more than $320,000, smashing its initial target of $200,000. This latest expression of the desire to enjoy music without worrying about one’s ears is something we hear loud and clear.