The EU preparing to pass new laws that will limit the maximum volume of iPods, iPhones and other MP3 players to an even lower extent than the current volume limitations.

Meglena Kuneva, the European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, will unveil an EU mandate for all firms producing personal music devices.

It will state that in future all devices will have a built-in default level, said to be around 80 decibels. That’s 20 decibels lower than the 100 decibel maximum demanded by the EU be set on iPods which already ship in Europe.

As per usual, this new law is designed “for your protection”. Specifically, to protect hearing, following many warnings from multitudinous deafness charities, and recent evidence from a scientific committee which claimed up to 10 per cent of personal music player users risk permanent hearing loss by listening daily at high volume settings for five years.

The plans will be unveiled at a joint briefing by Commissioner Kuvena and the deaf charity RNID.

The announcement is expected to be made next week.

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