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Win For Apple Over Ipod Dispute

Hearing Loss


A US judge has ruled that the iPod is not responsible for causing hearing loss.

Judge David Thompson upheld a 2008 ruling that the popular MP3 device was not directly responsible for hearing damage, despite the potential for users to listen to music at a dangerous 115 decibels.

Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner had claimed the iPod’s earphones were designed to be used in the ear canal rather than over the ears, which increased the prospect of hearing loss.

They also argued that the iPod lacked any noise-isolating or cancelling properties.

At a US appeal court, the judge ruled that they had not proved that hearing loss was "actual" or "imminent" when using an iPod, only that consumers could use the device in a risky way if they chose to, putting the burden of responsibility for any hearing loss on the user.

It is more good news for Apple, whose shares peaked at a record high amid speculation that it will launch its "tablet" computer this month.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Lee Carnall of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors added “It is good to see that the public is becoming more aware of the potential dangers of loud noise and the damage this can cause to your hearing.

“In the case of recreational noise such as listening to MP3 players, attending concerts of discos people should try and limit their exposure to noise either by way of controlling the volume level of reduce the overall time they are exposed to loud noise.”