By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Philips Consumer Lifestyle has released a new child-oriented headphone set aimed at reducing potential hearing problems associated with listening too much to portable music players at loud volumes.

The ‘Philips Children’s Headphones’ will have a safety volume lock, designed to let parents control the maximum volume kids can listen to their music players.

Philips said the move to release the product came after a number of studies into hearing loss in people who listened to MP3 players at loud volumes.

They cited a recent study by the Hearing Cooperative Research Centre, which indicated at least one-in-six Australians had permanent hearing damage, with at least 30 per cent exposing themselves to dangerous decibel levels through prolonged use of such portable music players.

“Philips is committed across its consumer lifestyle and healthcare businesses to improving people’s lives through innovative technological and healthcare solutions, so adding the ability to protect children from hearing loss is a great opportunity for us,” said Philips Australia general manager, Matt Moran.

“Following the trend of increasing sales in iPod, MP3 and Portable DVD products, the demand for specially designed children’s accessories including headphones is also growing at a rapid rate, providing retailers with a great add-on sales opportunity,” he said.

The new model will be available in a range of bright colours and comes in a smaller size to suit a child’s head and ear sizes. They will have a suggested retail price of $29.95, and are available via Crest Electronics for orders now with shipment from early July.