Califone‘s Tim Ridgway says the new washable headphones are the industry’s first to carry a built in 85db limiter. Califone’s been working with the American Speech and Hearing Association to help promote a campaign to education people about responsible use of personal audio technologies and responding in their own products. i expect to eventually see some of these best practices for dealing with volume and ambient noise levels formalized into regulations. (But as a parent that could just be wishful thinking).
Califone has also brought four new lines of new ultra-rugged headphones all (like the washables) are built from ABS plastic (hard to break and no shards if they do), slotted baffles and–on most models–extra deep ear cuffs. The top of the line Discovery has a foldable noise reducing mic and volume control. The Odyssey same without the mic. The Explorer is mono/stereo switchable and the value-priced 610 has durable, replaceable earpads. There are other features and models in the lines, so go see.