Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

Spoilsports – Or Saviours?

News Image
The case for headphone limiters.

Why do we want to 'limit' your headphone listening experience? Well, we don't BUT there's a strong link between listening to high level sound – however desirable – and long term hearing problems.

The precise mechanisms are still not fully understood and vary from individual to individual but the evidence is sufficiently strong for legislators to have imposed legal constraints on the level of sound to which an employee may be exposed.

Early versions of such law were aimed at obvious risk areas, such as mines, quarries and heavy industries like steel and shipbuilding. Later, despite arguments about the nature of 'noise' itself, the risks inherent in environments occupied by professional musicians and office workers were brought within the legislation.

In the early 1980s, the introduction of the 'Walkman' type of personal music player – the forerunner of the now ubiquitous personal listening devices – led to consideration of whether extended headphone listening could lead to similar levels of sound exposure as the more 'traditional' culprits. The conclusion was that such exposure could, and should, be treated as an equivalent risk and this led to investigation of mechanisms to mitigate this risk.

One obvious professional use of headphones is in broadcasting and the BBC designs department was asked to look at the issue of headphone volume limiting in the early 1980s (coincidence?).

Headphone limiters installed and calibrated by Canford rely heavily on that early BBC work but with continued development and improvement.

Whilst the design seeks to minimise impact on the quality of the listening experience, it has to be remembered that the object is to provide organisations with the means to mitigate the risk of long-term hearing issues amongst the employees, whose jobs now include call centres, security and surveillance in addition to the broadcasters.

For more information on Headphone Limiters contact Canford on +44 (0) 191 418 1122 or email

This article also features in the December edition of Broadcast Film & Video.

Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Cloud Edits Takes The Risk Out Of Remote Editing
Cloud working is on the rise and production companies are increasingly turning to editors who work remotely for many reasons. It makes sense to work t
Deluxe Employs International Pipeline For 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams'
Deluxe has employed an international pipeline to complete post services for the sci-fi anthology series 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams', with facil
Sennheiser Introduces New Headphone Range
Broadcasting professionals can now help protect their hearing against noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), while also receiving improved reproduced soun
Audio-Technica Introduces Professional Monitor Headphone
Audio-Technica has introduced the ATH-M50, a new flagship pro monitor headphone. The new headphone features the company's latest transducer technology
AKM launches a single chip audio CODEC with integrated capless headphone amplifier
Asahi Kasei Microsystems (AKM), a leading supplier of audio ICs for professional and consumer markets, has introduced the AK4665, a 20-bit stereo A/D
Audio Ltd to distribute Ultrasone headphone range
Audio Limited, a leading manufacturer of radio microphone systems, has been appointed exclusive UK distributor of the Ultrasone headphone range. Found
Canford release M & S upgrade for Headphone Amplifier
Canford Audio have launched an updated version of their popular Headphone Amplifier, which allows the user to monitor MID & SIDE signals in addition t
Procam And Splice Join Forces To Offer End-To-End Technical Support
Post-house Splice and production rental company Procam have joined forces to offer full end to end technical support and management. The partnership a
Shure Adds To Listening Product Range
Shure has expanded its range of listening products with the introduction of three new high-end models. The products will be unveiled at the Fujiya Avi
TV3 Credits Jünger Audio For Improving Viewers' Listening
New Zealand's largest commercial television station, TV3, has installed 10 Jünger Audio LEVEL MAGIC processors in its final programme chain to help ba
Production News : BBC's 'Countryfile' To Broadcast Special Royal Episodes
BBC's long running show 'Countryfile' is to air three special royal episodes early this summer to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The episodes, filmed
Sonifex show product range at IBC 2002
Sonifex are showing a range of new products at the IBC 2002 exhibition, adding to their already successful portfolio. The success of the Redboxes, a r
Sonifex launch new products at AES
This year at AES in Los Angeles, Sonifex will be exhibiting a range of new and exciting products on stand 1329, with Independent Audio, Sonifex's US d
Cyber Security Forum To Take Place At IBC Show
IBC2018 is to host Cyber Security Forum as part of the annual IBC show at the RAI in Amsterdam, 13-18 September. The Cyber Security Forum is one-day,
Production News : BBC Commissions Celebrity Special Of 'All Together Now'
BBC One has commissioned a celebrity special of its hit prime-time Saturday entertainment show 'All Together Now'. 'All Together Now Celebrities' will