Sure, earbuds are cheap and easy to haul around, but to best protect your ears, invest in quality headphones with noise-cancelling technology that cushion your ears and reduce the amount of noise you don’t want to hear, thereby allowing you to listen to your audio choices without feeling the need to turn up the volume.
Ear buds sit in the lower portion of the bowl of your ear and do not block out additional background noises like traffic. People tend to turn the volume up in order to hear the music more clearly (sometimes as high as 9 dB louder) in turn damaging their ears.
Check out this article: iPods Popular Earbuds: Hip or Harmful?
For more information visit a Connect Hearing clinic in your neighborhood.