Earbuds: Buddy or Villain to Our Ears?


TJ Hill, Staff Writer

There is a love-hate relationship between earbuds and people today. On the positive side, earbuds are good for many things, but few people discuss the damages, which are more important. Something shocking I discovered about earbuds is that the loud noises can cause damage to the hair cells in users’ ears. When this happens, the cochlea (the spiral cavity of the inner ear) cannot relay sound messages to the brain easily. Earbuds can cause hearing problems and even the complete loss of hearing. This can be avoided by not turning the volume up all the way, which many people do. They can also cause ear infections from wearing the earbuds so often and not cleaning them over time, or by not cleaning your ears, as you should be doing daily. In addition, the quality of your earbuds is a key factor some people do not consider. The cheaper brand earbuds can cause ear infections easier than more expensive/reputable brands. The cheaper options are also made with cheaper material, which often makes the earbuds a little more uncomfortable.

Earbuds could either be a big distraction or quite helpful depending on the person. Research shows that headphones and music help with studying and concentrating in a significant way. They block out all outside noises, which is good if you get distracted easily. At the same time, they can be a big distraction because they can prevent you from hearing your surroundings, which could be dangerous. They can also cause students to miss directions or instructions from teachers if they are using earbuds during class. It is also disrespectful to have them in while having a conversation with your teacher or anyone.

On the entertainment side of earbuds, they can be used for many things. The most widespread use is listening to music. They have many other uses, such as watching videos and even doing schoolwork. They are also extremely comfortable, to the point where some people have them in with nothing playing in their ear. Earbuds are quite common. 87% of people use earbuds to listen to music, and 49% of people use them to watch movies and TV shows. This means out of 100 people in a room, 87 of them have earbuds that they use to listen to music. Especially nowadays, even at Page High School alone, I guarantee that over 70% of people have earbuds or headphones in their bookbag. This is just a prime example of technology taking over society.

Earbuds will be around forever. I say this because of so many ways they have evolved over time. In 2015, the first wireless earbud model was released, which was called “The Onkyo”. Now, there are wireless options, and they are more portable and easier to travel with. The most common/popular earbuds are made from Apple. Apple came out with their first groundbreaking wireless earbuds on December 13, 2016. They could be paired with Apple products only. In 2022, Apple currently has 3 generations of AirPods (wireless earbuds). They evolve with each generation, as shown by the addition of noise canceling mode, which blocks all outside noises except the music/sound from the earbuds.