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Video game consoles, in-vehicle entertainment systems, rocking out to Justin Bieber on mobile media players; no matter how you slice it, kids end up spending a lot of time wearing in-ear headphones. Unfortunately, this is potentially dangerous for the youngsters’ eardrums. Most devices don’t have a governor that limits the amount of volume that can be cranked up, and this can ultimately damage the listener’s hearing.
Recently, the innovative in-ear headphone manufacturer Etymotic Research came up with a solution for this common, yet serious problem. They’ve designed a set of in-ear headphones that are made specifically for kids (ages four and up), which limits the volume to safe levels. It’s important to point out that the kid who’s wearing the headphones won’t notice the volume limitation because the seal of the eartips cuts out most of the ambient noise, so all they hear is their lush media.
The new ETY-Kids Safe-Listening In-Ear Stereo Headphones come in two flavors: the ETY-Kids 3 (which has a built-in three button mic/remote), and the ETY-Kids 5 (which is just a straightforward set of in-ear headphones with the safe volume functionality). Just because these headphones are designed for children doesn’t mean that teens and adults can’t use them, too. These models will work universally for anyone concerned about protecting their hearing, and it doesn’t hurt that they supply the pristine sound quality that Etymotic is famous for.
The ETY-Kids 3 in-ears have an additional capability, thanks to the microphone that’s built into their remote. Because snug fitting, in-ear headphones cut down on external sounds so dramatically, the lack of contact with outside sound can present dangers. When you’re cut off from the sounds of the outside world, you won’t be able to hear that 16-wheeler truck that’s headed toward you, nor will you hear the people warning you to get out of the way.
To help prevent potential peril, Etymotic Research created the AWARENESS! app (which is available as a free download from Apple’s iTunes App Store). When the ETY-Kids 3 headphones are used with an Apple iDevice (such as an iPhone or an iPod touch), the app can be set to detect and alert the user of outside sounds. When the app hears an outside sound through the built-in mic, the Apple device will vibrate and pause playback of the media. This function can redirect your kid’s attention to that garbage truck that’s barreling down the road. Your voice will finally be able to drown out Mr. Bieber’s!
Both sets of the Etymotic Research ETY-Kids Safe-Listening Headphones are available for pre-order now at B&H.
|Frequency Response||20 Hz - 15 kHz|
|Transducers||6mm Neodymium drivers|
|Noise Isolation||35 - 42 dB|
|Impedance||At 1 kHz = 300 Ohms|
|Cable Length||4' (1.2 m)|
|Connector||3.5mm stereo mini plug|