Effects of preferred listening levels when using gaming headphones on hearing sensitivity

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Melinda F. Bryan


The purpose of this research project was to assess the potential effects of gaming headphones on a person's hearing acuity. Thirty participants with normal hearing completed a 20 minute gaming session using gaming headphones at their preferred listening level. Pure tone thresholds and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were completed pre- and post-gaming, and real ear measurements were completed at the participants preferred listening level. While there was no difference in pre- and post-gaming DPOAEs, threshold results revealed a minimal shift in some hearing thresholds pre- and post-gaming. Furthermore, the peak frequency of exposure reached hazardous decibel levels in participants' ear canals. These results indicate that even after short-term exposure to video game noise, significant shifts in air conduction thresholds can be seen, thus potential for noise induced hearing loss especially over a long period of time. Clinical implications/applications recreational noise induced hearing loss will be discussed.