Real time sound levels

This is a follow up to a previous post concerning hearing damage from excessive sound levels. I have discovered that by adjusting the spl of the music you’re listening to in real time you can keep it under 80 dB or even 75dB. Use your remote volume control. Your ears adjust to the lower level. If you limit the high decibels there is no reflex contraction of the stapedius muscle to dampen the stapedius bone to try to limit damage to the cochlea from excessive sound levels. I use NIOSH to measure spl. I enjoy the music as much and will for a longer time. I found that I was routinely listening to music at levels higher than 80 dB. Some damage has already been done but I’m trying to limit further damage. 
Fascinating. I did not even realize until now that is the smallest muscle in the body! Only fitting I guess in that it stabilizes the smallest bone in the human body! At only 1 mm long I have to wonder, how were you able to determine when or if it is activated?
Great question. It is a reflex action and triggered by loud noise. There is a very brief delay therefore abrupt loud sounds may not be dampened, such as a gunshot. We don’t notice it except with continuous loud noise it will seem less if the noise continues. It can only do so much to protect from hearing loss. Anything under 80 dB will probably not trigger it. If your ears ring after loud sounds the reflex mechanism was overloaded and could not dampen the loudness to prevent damage. This is how I discovered that adjusting the volume while listening showed me that at times it was too loud. Sometimes what you love will hurt you! Be kind to yourselves. 
In the context of workplace safety, 85 dB per NIOSH or 90 dB per OSHA is acceptable over an 8-hour work shift.  I have never seen threshold levels as low as 80 dB cited before but perhaps that assumes 24-hr exposure duration.
You are technically correct. From the OSHA website:

In 1981, OSHA implemented new requirements to protect all workers in general industry (e.g. the manufacturing and the service sectors) for employers to implement a Hearing Conservation Program where workers are exposed to a time weighted average noise level of 85 dBA or higher over an 8 hour work shift. Hearing Conservation Programs require employers to measure noise levels, provide free annual hearing exams and free hearing protection, provide training, and conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use unless changes to tools, equipment and schedules are made so that they are less noisy and worker exposure to noise is less than the 85 dBA.

I believe that 80 dB is a safer threshold for an average level and that our ears and brains adjust to this level and the enjoyment of the music is the same with zero risk. The dynamics are still preserved (depending on background levels). It is my new threshold.
this is further confused by the common A weighted standard for measurement whereas there are many other ways to measure and of particular concern is the volume at conversational frequencies (vs white noise) to which humans are more sensitive to long term damage. We measure each speaker at 85 dB ( a arbitrary holdover from analog days) per Dolby and THX reference but rarely with all speakers running.
I prefer to err on the side of caution. Thanks for joining the conversation.