back to article iPod cans menace pacemakers

US researchers have warned that the magnets in iPod headphones and those used by other MP3 devices "may interfere with heart pacemakers and implantable defibrillators". A team led by Dr William Maisel of the Medical Device Safety Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston tested eight models of MP3 cans on 60 …


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  1. Joe K
    Paris Hilton

    Brave or stupid?

    Where did they find those 60 people?!

    Who on earth would allow some white-coated gimps to monkey around with the running of their heart!

    "Don't worry mate, if your heart stops we'll try to get it going again. Hopefully we won't have broken the pacemaker. Here goes....."

    /not even Paris would submit to that

  2. Ben Jamieson

    Only Reg Hacks....

    Can manage to make a piece about headphone magnets affecting medical equipment into a headline attacking Apple.

    Just how low in the barrel are you guys scraping in your hatred for all things Apple?

    An Alien, because its more relevant than this Apple-Bashing rag has become.

  3. Piers

    cellular phones ....

    Vibrate alert? In a top pocket? The magnets in those things are surely many times as powerful as headphones!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Once again...

    Once again, researchers (or maybe just Reg hacks) put the word "iPod" in the headline to attract as much attention to their "study/news", even though it applies equally to ANY headphones with magnets in them (pretty much all of them?).

    It's been known for a long time that magnets can affect pacemakers - it's nothing new - so ANYTHING with magnets in could potentially cause problems, not just iPod headphones.

    What's next? A report that concludes that rubbing your chest against the magnetic latch on a laptop (Macbook of course) is not advisable?

    Or perhaps we need pacemaker warnings on fridge magnets in case you put one in your shirt pocket on the way home from whatever cheesy tourist attraction you visited?

  5. Richard

    cheap marketing trick from The Register

    Mentioning iPod when its about ANY headphones regardless of what they are plugged in to ... in fact they probably don't even need to be plugged to cause the effect!

    tut tut .. trying to drive page views.

  6. Jerome

    MP3 players?

    So these boffins are only concerned about "the magnets in iPod headphones and those used by other MP3 devices"? The headphones I hook up to my PC are safe? Or does it depend whether WinAmp happens to be playing an MP3 or a FLAC file? I guess it must be some feature specific to the MP3 format which interferes with pacemakers. Very strange.

  7. Iain


    This can't be a new problem, or have headphone designs changed since the 80s?

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Les Matthew

    Some music

    really is heart stopping.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WARNING worlds most boring post

    This is a bad conclusion.

    Pace makers need better shielding would be a more responsible conclusion.

    After all picking up loudspeakers, wearing magnetized pendants and numerous other unpredictable activities would also have to be avoided.

    No Icon cause nothing can save the mind numbing dullness of this post (Sorry)

  11. Ian Ferguson
    Dead Vulture


    Don't propagate this nonsense, or next time I go to the doctor's clinic I'll see a notice saying 'PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR I-POD TO PROTECT VISITORS WITH PACEMAKERS', accompanied with a suitably naff clip art picture of a 1960's tape recorder and headphones.

    It's just like mobile phones at petrol stations all over again.

  12. john Durrant


    surely all magnets will do this not just those in earbuds. So.... the magnets in your Feder Stratocaster, which of course you hold across your chest , will do the same and standing beside your floor standing HiFi speakers will also do the same ... but what a way to go!!!!!!

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