‘Mic Noise 6&6 Principle’ Press Conference

'Mic Noise 6&6 Principle' Press Conference

'Mic Noise 6&6 Principle' Press Release

More than 50% of people are used to turn up the headphone volume during commute!

44% of people overworked their ears and nearly 30% has never rested.

Otolaryngologist: overworking the ears might increase the risk of recreational noise-induced hearing loss.

PSA Charitable Foundation collaborates with the singer Hsu Shu Hao and founder of Garena Lin Chen to promote 6&6 hearing protection principles

Hearing Carnival will take place at Huashan 1914 Creative Park on September 19th. The Foundation invites everyone to practice Mic Noise 6&6 Principle!

(September 16th, 2020 Taipei) The Covid-19 affects the world and everyone in it. Home economy is heating up and the amount of individualized entertainment activities such as watching dramas, listening to music, and playing mobile games has soared. In the light of this, PSA Charitable Foundation, which has long concerned about the hearing loss issues, announced the results of the online survey of 2020 Usage Habit of Headphone. The survey found that over 50% of people automatically turn up the headphone volume during commute due to the loud ambient noise. Long-time use of headphone will likely increase the risk of recreational noise-induced hearing loss! Adapting the advice of the World Health Organization, PSA Charitable Foundation vigorously promotes the 6&6 hearing protection principles and recommends the users to control the volume at 60% and use the headphone up to 60 minutes a day. Only the right amount of time and volume could allow you the full enjoyment of viewing pleasure. Otolaryngologist Chang Yi Hao pointed out that hearing loss is irreversible. Dr. Chang recommended a hearing test every 2-3 years for those who have long-term exposure to high-noise environment and frequent use of headphone. The Foundation invites singer-songwriter Hsu Shu Hao to serve as the endorser of the year. Hsu wrote an original song, 60% Full, which cleverly woven in the elements of hearing screening. This Saturday (9/19), Hsu Shu Hao will perform the song at the event of Hearing Carnival of Mic Noise 6&6 Principle at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. The event combines on-site free hearing screening, interesting games, and sweepstakes to raise the awareness of hearing health among the general public!

WHO reports that half of the youth population has unsafe headphone habits! 1.1 billion youth population is exposed to the risk of potential hearing loss.

According to the statistics done by the internet video streaming platform provider, non-contact entertainment need has soared at the beginning of this year and the related streaming has increased by 50%[1], particularly the individualized entertainment such as watching dramas, listening to music, and playing mobile games. Even physically in the same room, people can watch the programs of their choice and even wear headphones to cut off the outside noise. However, the “isolation” could be the beginning of another kind of health hazard.

World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning in 2015 to point out that over half of the youth population has unsafe habit of headphone usage. In addition to the viewing habits that highly dependent on mobile phones and tablets, the exposure to the high-noise environment such as nightclubs, bars, KTV, and sports events also increases the risk of hearing loss. WHO estimates that about 1.1 billion youth population (age of 12-35) is under the risk of hearing loss due to the improper use of headphone and control of the listening environment. In the past, the main causes of hearing loss, in addition to the congenital factors, were often related to diseases, accident, and occupational injury. However, in modern society, people pursue higher quality of viewing experience and more and more of them use headphones during commute to reduce ambient noise. Not mention that the Covid-19 has largely limited people’s activities at home and as a result, increase the frequency of headphone usage.

PSA Charitable Foundation CEO, Mr. Lin Long Sen, pointed out that the Foundation will start to vigorously promote 6&6 principles to urge young people to protect their hearing in a timely manner and follow the 6&6 principles of “volume under 60% and using time up to 60 minutes” to reduce hearing burden.

Higher volume in the high-noise environment! Commuters wearing headphones do not realize the volume has exceeded the standard! Nearly 30% of headphone users have never rested their ears or fall asleep with the headphones on.

To understand the potential risk of recreational noise-induced hearing loss in Taiwan, PSA Charitable Foundation conducted an online questionnaire survey about the use habit of headphone. 1,202 copies of questionnaire were collected with the average age of participants being 29. The Hearing Center Director of PSA Charitable Foundation, Huang Yung Tao, analyzed the results of the questionnaire and stated that as high as 92% of the participants have the habit of using headphone and the most common usages are watching dramas, listening to music, and playing mobile games. Almost all the participants (98.7%) were aware that excessive volume could cause hearing loss but more than 10% of them confessed that they either did not pay attention to the volume or used to turn up the volume too loudly (>75%). Further analysis showed that the behavior is correlated to the listening environment, such as taking the public transportation, and more than half of headphone users will turn up the volume to avoid unclear sounds.

Huang Yung Yao explained with the field measurement and stated that the average volume of public transportation is about 75-85 dB. An average person has to turn up the headphone volume to 85-90 dB to hear clearly in the environment with 80 dB ambient noise. As a result, the behavior to counter the transportation noise has put the ears in an even louder environment.

Besides, the survey showed that 44% of headphone users wear it over one hour each time and nearly 30% users have never rested or even wear it until falling asleep! It means one third of the headphone users has overworked their ears. Huang Yung Yao pointed out that using headphone for a long time without controlling the volume properly would cause harm to one’s hearing.

The young entrepreneur and Esports player, Lin Chen, made a bitter confession: hearing loss affects speech and emotions.

Constantly staying up late, bad daily habits, and exposure to the noise environment could cause permanent and irreversible hearing loss.

Lin Chen, the founder of Garena Taiwan and once an Esports player, has talked about his deep personal pain and said “I wore headphone for a long period of time when I was an Esports player. Because I was so focused on winning the games and was used to the shocking sounds, I had never realized the excessive sounds might hurt my hearing. At the initial stage of the company establishment, I had bad habits of living. On top of chronic lack of sleep, I was often exposed in the entertainment venues with loud noises. I drank and smoked. One day I realized that I could not hear clearly during the meetings. For over a year, I could not hear clearly even when I was being extra attentive. I went to the doctor and the doctor informed me that the damage is irreversible!” Couldn’t hear clearly has affected his speech as well. Therefore, Lin Chen started to wear hearing aids on both ears, and it was as if he has started to learn to speak all over again.

Dr. Chang Yi Hao, the superintendent of an otolaryngologic clinic, stated that the potential high-risk groups of recreational noise-induced hearing loss include those who have long working hours, have long-term exposure to the noise without breaks, work in the entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, KTV, and movie theaters, or work in the bands, music industry, and as Esports player. Most hearing problems can be attributed to the excessive usage, such as wearing headphone out of habit during cycling, running, exercising at gym, playing video games, and watching dramas. Dr. Chang stated that the patients with hearing loss might have tinnitus at the early stage that could affect sleeping quality and induce anxiety. The repetitive vicious cycles might affect the work efficiency and even family atmosphere. The patients might not be aware of the connection between hearing loss and those conditions, and therefore it is crucial to increase the awareness of the potential patients.

Watch out for the warning signs in life and have regular hearing test. Cultivate the good listening habit: 6&6 hearing principles of right amount and right duration.

Dr. Chang Yi Hao reminded that hearing loss caused by temporary exposure to the noise might be improved through treatment, but the harm caused by long-term exposure is irreversible. If you have the following signs, you should see a doctor immediately:

  1. Warning signs in daily life: Have trouble following conversations, speak in louder and louder voice, keep asking other to repeat what they say, turn up the TV and Computer volume too much, and have hearing differences between left and right ears.
  2. It is recommended to see a doctor immediately if one suffers from repetitive tinnitus or hears weird sounds constantly for over a week.

The best way to prevent hearing loss is regular hearing test, Dr. Chang suggested. Except for the newborn hearing screening and preschool hearing test, people rarely care about hearing health. It is advisable to follow the dental and vision health measure to have hearing test every 2-3 years. Frequent users of headphone should be more consciously care about their hearing. Dr. Chang said, “as to the proper usage of headphone, in addition to choosing the equipment with better quality to rebuff the sound stimulation, the users should cultivate the good usage habit of right amount of time and volume. Hearing has high tolerance and therefore one should not wait until the sounds are subjectively intolerable to the ears to adjust the volume.”

Hearing endorser Hsu Shu Hao will perform the song, 60% Full, at the Carnival on September 19th to lead everyone to test the hearing with the melody!

PSA Charitable Foundation invited Hsu Shu Hao, the nominee for Golden Melody Award for Best Male Singer, to serve as Hearing endorser of the year. In order to encourage the youth to respond to the 6&6 hearing principles, Hsu Shu Hao, who specializes in acoustics, has written the charity theme song, 60% Full, for the Hearing Month events. He has cleverly hidden the hearing screening elements in the song and urged the listeners to test their hearing while enjoying the melody!

PSA Charitable Foundation will hold the 2020 Hearing Carnival this Saturday (9/19) at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. The event is supervised by Department of Environmental Protection of Taipei City Government and will be held from 11:30am to 6pm. In addition to free hearing screening, there will be fun activities such as hearing action games, professional consultation with Taiwan Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Shennona Group, and sweepstakes sponsored by Audio-Technica Taiwan with noise-canceling headphone that worth NT$8,000 and other gifts. Hsu Shu Hao will perform the hearing theme song at the event and have fun with the participants. The Foundation urges the young people to pay attention to the importance of hearing and follow the hearing 6&6 principles of “ headphone volume under 60% and listening time under 60 minutes”.


[1]   Reference required for the increase of the streaming amount of recreational platform.