Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit from a Louisiana man who claims the computer maker has failed to take adequate steps to prevent hearing loss among iPod users.
According a ZDNet story ("Apple faces suit over iPod-related hearing loss"):
The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., charges that the iPod music player can produce sounds of up to 115 decibels even though some studies suggest that listening to music at that level for 28 seconds a day can cause damage over time.
The other goal of the suit is to force Apple to release a software upgrade that will limit the iPod's output to 100 decibels and provide headphones designed to block out external noise. Apple currently limits the output of iPods sold in France to 100 decibels which the suit claims is "still not safe."
In previous articles I have suggested that the best way to prevent tinnitus, an ear injury whose symptoms include ringing in the ears and distorted vision, is to upgrade your earphones to a model that block out external noise. They may cost a little more but their noise canceling features actually allow you to listen to the volume on lower levels and subsequently protect you from ear damage.