With the European Commission coming up with new proposals, iPods and other portable music players might have to carry health warnings.
The manufactures of such players will be asked either to display labels advising users of the damaging long-term effects of loud music on their hearing or to devise a system of on-screen alerts triggered by the prolonged use of headphones at high noise levels.
AdvertisementAccording to plans, portable music players will also be required to adopt a default volume setting of about 80 decibels-the level considered safe for 40 hours use a week.
However, users can override this and turn up the volume, but the European Commission wants them first to receive a warning from their music device and further reminders if they continue to blast their ears.
"Current safety settings are not good enough to protect people," the Times quoted a source in the European Commission's consumer affairs directorate as saying.
"There will be default volume settings so people can protect themselves and there will be new information requirements either on the screen or on the devices themselves.
"The aim is to make people aware that beyond certain noise levels you risk long-term damage to hearing, but users will be given a choice and have the option to override it if they want to," added the source.
They said that tough regulations are needed after a study showed that portable music devices were regularly being played too loud for too long because of technological advances.