It's official, fed up with telling us that mobile phones are bad for us, now it seems our favourite past time of listening to music via headphones is surprise, surprise no good for us either.

According to Australian researchers iPod owners face increased risks of tinnitus and other hearing problems.

Sydney's National Acoustic Laboratories found around 25% of those surveyed were listening to their players at volumes similar to small power tools.

The team predicted increased levels of tinnitus because people were unable to adopt "responsible" listening habits.

Test subjects were selected randomly from crowds Melbourne and Sydney. Passing individuals who were using personal stereos were asked to participate by allowing the experimenter to place their headset on an artificial ear in order to measure the sound level and simultaneously to respond to several questions concerning personal stereo use.

He warned that the effects of blasting out iPods may not be apparent another several years, by which time it would be too late.

Our advice, turn your MP3 player down.