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Effects of Bluetooth device electromagnetic field on hearing: pilot study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2012

R Balachandran*
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
N Prepagaran
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
O Rahmat
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A B Zulkiflee
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
K S Hufaida
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Address for correspondence: Dr Rekha Balachandran, Department of ENT, Hospital Raja Perempuan Bainun, Ipoh 30990, Perak, Malaysia E-mail:



The Bluetooth wireless headset has been promoted as a ‘hands-free’ device with a low emission of electromagnetic radiation.


To evaluate potential changes in hearing function as a consequence of using Bluetooth devices, by assessing changes in pure tone audiography and distortion production otoacoustic emissions.


Prospective study.

Materials and methods:

Thirty adult volunteers were exposed to a Bluetooth headset device (1) on ‘standby’ setting for 6 hours and (2) at full power for 10 minutes. Post-exposure hearing was evaluated using pure tone audiography and distortion production otoacoustic emission testing.


There were no statistically significant changes in hearing, as measured above, following either exposure type.


Exposure to the electromagnetic field emitted by a Bluetooth headset, as described above, did not decrease hearing thresholds or alter distortion product otoacoustic emissions.

Main Articles
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2012

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Presented at the 13th ASEAN ORL-HNS Congress, 12 November 2009, Siem-Reap, Cambodia


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