TECHNOLOGY

Are Wireless Headphones Bad for Your Brain?

There has been a lot of buzz around whether that oft-used listening-device-turned-style-accessory, the wireless headphone is turning into a health hazard. With conversation around wireless headphones pumping radiation into your brain, it sure does raise a lot of alarms and has everyone worried. It is, therefore, necessary to examine the issue in some detail before we completely freak ourselves out.

First up, it is important to know that Bluetooth devices emit a lot less radiation than cell phones. This stands to reason as any time your cell phone is using data, radio frequency signals are being sent back and forth from the phone to the nearest cell phone tower. Since the signals are travelling a long distance, the power of transmission is fairly high. With Bluetooth signals, on the other hand, the distance to be travelled is much shorter and the power required, much less. In fact, if you use cell phones on a regular basis, it is prudent to use headphones, as they will only limit your radiation.

To find out whether or not wireless headphones are bad for your brain, it is also important to understand the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by them, in some detail.

What really is electromagnetic radiation? 

Simply put, electromagnetic fields are invisible areas of energy produced by electricity. What wireless Bluetooth Headphones emit, is electromagnetic radiation called radio-frequency radiation, which is located at the low-energy end of the spectrum and is in turn, non-ionizing. While ionizing radiation carries a large amount of energy, the same isn’t true of non-ionizing radiation, on account of the low energy that it possesses. With these low energy radiations, the imminent danger to your health is significantly lower.

So while there isn’t a cause to worry about the radiations being used by Bluetooth headphones, you could take the following precautions to further reduce their impact:

  • Avoid using Bluetooth Headphones while they are in low-battery mode. What this will prevent is the fact that they will not be forced to use more power to keep a good connection. Keeping your wireless headphone charged is therefore not only good for your listening pleasure but also your health.
  • Additionally, using class II or class III headphones will work well as they work within 33 meters and therefore emit far less radiation compared to class I Bluetooth Headphones. Opt for high-quality JBL, Bose or World of Play Wireless Bluetooth Headphones and you have yourself covered on this front.

Are wired headphones safer than Bluetooth wireless headphones?

This is the other question that has been on the minds of many. The short answer to this question is, no. In fact, it is seen that while using a wired headphone reduces SAR values by 8 to 22 times, using a wireless headset reduces the SAR value by up to 34 times as opposed to holding the phone next to your ear.  (Note- SAR or Specific Absorption Rate is a value that measures radiation exposures from cell phones. The higher the SAR value, the more the level of absorption.)

So go ahead and enjoy your favourite music. For your hearing health though, do follow the 60/60 rule as recommended by doctors.  Stick to keeping the volume at 60% of the maximum volume and listen for 60 minutes. Moderation is the key to almost every aspect of life and the use of headphones is no different. Using noise-cancelling headphones also help you stick to this volume limit and you do not feel the need to pump up the jam just to keep surrounding noises at bay.

Here’s not just to good music and also to good health!

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