by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
What are the best workout headphones? In my considered opinion, none. This review of workout headphones mentions noise-induced hearing loss, but misuses the 85 decibel (dBA, A-weighted decibels) occupational noise exposure as the safe listening limit.
There is a common belief that music improves athletic performance, and the louder the music the better the effort. But I have been unable to find any scientific articles supporting this belief, unless it is music with a particular beat or rhythm which, for example, might help a runner keep a steady pace.
On the other hand, the dangers of noise for hearing loss are supported by decades of scientific work and thousands of articles in peer-reviewed journals.
So skip the headphones–you can be very fit without losing your hearing.