Loud music blaring from speakers at gigs may not be as damaging to your hearing as listening to MP3 players such as iPods, a British hearing expert warned.
Rob Mackinnon, from the National Institute of Health Research in Nottingham, is launching the first major study of its effects on hearing.
He believes years of blaring tunes at gigs and in clubs may not be as damaging as people think, but short-term use of iPods and MP3 players might be worse because the sound goes right into the ear.
Mackinnon is looking for 2,000 volunteers aged 30 to 65 who have listened to loud music regularly.
"We could be surprised by the result," the Sun quoted him as saying.
"We are often warned about the risks of loud music but there simply isn't enough scientific evidence to confirm that. Studies so far have often only analysed small, specific groups, such as teenagers returning home from a concert.
"Personal music players could be shown to be far worse than loud gigs," he added.