It’s hard to imagine a time when portable music wasn’t a part of everyday life, from the birth of the Walkman in the late 1970s to the advent of the iPod. But are pocket-sized music players—and their accompanying earbuds—damaging our hearing?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12.5 percent of youth ages 6 to 19 (about 5.2 million) and 17 percent of adults ages 20 to 69 (about 26 million) have experienced some degree of permanent hearing loss because of excessive noise.

But you can prevent noise-induced hearing loss while still grooving on the go. Experts recommend people of all ages keep the volume on their MP3 players at 60 percent of its maximum capacity and listen for only one hour each day.

Now that’s sound advice.