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iPod listeners, can you hear me?

Preview of video that questions "Is the iPod generation headed to a hearing-impaired future?"

With so many headphone brands and types to choose from, it can be hard to select the right match for your MP3 player. There are the typical considerations--color, size, quality, style, features--but what about hearing health? With so many people investing in MP3 players, it's about time we consider the effects headphones are having on all of those ears.

The popular Apple iPod comes with in-ear headphones, also known as earbuds or earphones, as well as volume-limiting software within the latest updates. Some audiologists argue that in-ear headphones are actually better for hearing health, as they lie closer to your inner ear organs that process sound. Their location, they say, might just encourage people to listen to music with a lower volume.

Others, however, argue that in-ear headphones pose a greater threat to your ears, because of their proximity to inner ear organs.

Dr. Mont Stong, a research audiologist in the San Francisco Bay Area, believes that noise-cancelling is the feature to look for when choosing headphones.

Is the iPod generation headed to a hearing-impaired future? That's the topic of discussion in this video, which features details on how to restrict your iPod's volume and an interview with Kathy Peck, a former punk band member and executive director and co-founder of Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R).