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Audiology - Communication Research

On-line version ISSN 2317-6431


OLIVEIRA, Maria de Fátima Ferreira de et al. Supra and intra-aural earphones: a study of output intensity and hearing levels of their users. Audiol., Commun. Res. [online]. 2017, vol.22, e1783.  Epub Sep 21, 2017. ISSN 2317-6431.


Hearing loss caused by the improper use of amplifying devices such as smartphones has been growing rapidly.


Measure and analyze the maximum and equivalent output intensities of supra-aural and intra-aural headphones, compare the adjusted intensities and correlate time and intensity of use, average frequencies of 500 Hz, 1000 Hz and 2000 Hz and the speech recognition threshold.


The sample consisted of 20 subjects from both sexes, between the age of 16 and 27 years. The results were analyzed per ear, totaling 40 ears. The following procedures were adopted: questionnaire application, inspection of the ear canal, tonal and vocal audiometry, impedance testing and assessment of output intensities of supra-aural and intra-aural headphones.


Supra-aural headphones have significantly higher equivalent and maximum output intensities compared to their intra-aural counterparts. When adjusted maximum intensities were compared, it was found that intra-aural headphone users used significantly higher equivalent and maximum output intensities than supra-aural headphones users, showing a moderate correlation between time of use and daily use at a frequency of 3000 Hz.


During the playing of a song, supra-aural headphones have outputs with greater equivalent and maximum intensities than intra-aural headphones. Intra-aural headphone users use higher equivalent and maximum output intensities than users of supra-aural headphones. Subjects that listen to music often do so for less time during the day, but at greater intensity.

Keywords : Audiology; Hearing loss; Audiometry; Noise; Music.

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