Apple AirPods are the latest in Bluetooth technology and they’re available now. They’re not just another pair of earbuds; they have their own special feature: A microphone so your voice can be heard clearly over the music or other sounds. The idea behind them is to make it easier to talk on the phone with someone without having to take out your earpiece every time.
But there’s no evidence that using AirPods will help you do this. In fact, some studies suggest they could pose a risk of causing hearing loss. And while some experts say the risks aren’t great enough to worry about, others are concerned enough to recommend against their use altogether.
So what does all this mean?
Well, here’s what I think. If you want to keep your ears safe from damage caused by loud noises (like the outside world), then don’t wear them. But if you’re looking for a way to talk on the phone without taking out your earpiece, then go ahead and try one of these things.
What You Need To Know About Earplugs
There are two types of ear plugs: ones that block out noise and those that protect your hearing. The first kind are sold at your local drugstore and just stop the noise from being too loud. If you’re on a plane or if someone is snoring in the seat next to you, these will help you get some sleep when the noise gets too loud.
The second kind are designed to protect your hearing. They do this by changing the sound of the noise so that it’s not loud enough to damage the hair cells in your ear responsible for sending sound to your brain. The thing is, if you wear them constantly with the intent to protect your hearing, they can end up causing hearing loss.
Basically, if you’re always wearing them, you’ll never let your ears rest. It’s like how if you walk into a sauna for a long time and then come outside, your ears pop because they aren’t used to the change in pressure. If you keep your ears covered all the time, they’ll never get a chance to pop, and that can lead to hearing loss over time.
How can you avoid this?
I’d say just don’t wear earplugs. If you’re worried about missing a call while you’re in a loud place like on the plane or at a concert, turn the volume down on your phone so you don’t miss it. If you’re worried about missing an emergency alert during a dangerous situation, keep the volume at a reasonable level or use the vibration setting to stay notified.
Is There a Link Between AirPods and Cancer?
First of all, studies don’t provide evidence that AirPods cause cancer. Those studies in mice used such high levels of radiation that there’s just no way that would happen in real life. Plus, there’s never been a single case of anyone getting cancer from AirPods.
That being said, there are concerns about whether or not you can get cancer from cellphones and other things that emit non-ionizing radiation. Some researchers have shown a possible link between long-term cellphone use and a condition known as vestibular schwannomas. These are tumors located on the nerves in the ear, and they cause hearing loss and ringing in the ears.
However, we don’t yet know for sure whether or not there is a link between non-ionizing radiation and cancer. The thing is, these studies are done in a lab where animals are exposed to extremely high levels of radiation for long periods of time. That’s not how people use their cellphones in real life.
Plus, other studies (like this one) show that there isn’t a link between the two.
In other words, we don’t know. But whether or not you’re concerned, it probably makes sense to use your AirPods sparingly and limit how much you talk on the phone in general.
Should You Be Worried About Radiation From Your Headphones?
Like anything else that has an on/off switch and a cord, there is some very minimal amount of EMF radiation that comes from your headphones. And because the cord from your headphones also has wires inside of it, there’s some EMF radiation that comes from that, too.
Just like with cellphones, you can reduce the amount of radiation you get from your headphones by not using them as much or by using cordless Bluetooth headphones instead. The main difference is with Bluetooth, there’s no cord to tangle around your neck or snag on things. It’s also just plain easier to use and more convenient in general.
Sources & references used in this article:
Human electromagnetic field exposure in wearable communications: a review by S Kim, Y Sharif, I Nasim – arXiv preprint arXiv:1912.05282, 2019 – arxiv.org
A Mobile Phone–Based Approach for Hearing Screening of School-Age Children: Cross-Sectional Validation Study by YC Chu, YF Cheng, YH Lai, Y Tsao, TY Tu… – JMIR mHealth and …, 2019 – mhealth.jmir.org
Radio Station of 23 Year-Old Girl Freezes Head Without Body to Live Forever by TSA Ever – melodweb.com
The study of electromagnetic fields on the human body by IA Szöke, A Marne, I Bota – International Journal of Biology and …, 2018 – iaras.org
How COVID-19 has changed the perio landscape by G Eroglu – dentistry.co.uk
The business of platforms: Strategy in the age of digital competition, innovation, and power by MA Cusumano, A Gawer, DB Yoffie – 2019 – hbs.edu
The Big Apple: The Narrative Potential of Utopianism in Apple Inc. Advertisements by A Wester – 2018 – theses.ubn.ru.nl
Tim Cook: The Genius who Took Apple to the Next Level by J Chan, M Selden, N Pun – 2020 – Haymarket Books