I totally agree that the Fuze is completely useless without the high volume setting. I am a professional sound engineer with over 20 years of experience and has been always very careful of not to hurt my hearing (my ears are my tools!). For those of us who have found out how to come around this problem (with he help of this forum) its OK. But I think San Disk is going to get a lot of dissatisfied customers if they don’t change this. I am using the Koss porta pro with my Fuze. Headphones that is quite easily driven. I measured the SPL (sound pressure level) with a sound level meter with the microphone touching the earpad and maximum level listening to FM radio was between 55-60 dBa listening to speech, and between 60-65 dBa listening to heavily compressed black metal! Measuring flac file i.e… Porcupine Tree (modern compressed rock) resulted in a level between 65-70 dBa. For those of us also listening to dynamic music like jazz and classical its impossible to get any use out of The Fuze! This is like selling a Colt 45 which can only take 22 caliber bullets! I guess we just have to pray that San Disk will keep the high volume setting at least with the “American setting”.
I’m afraid disagree with you about them being easily driven. I have the Koss KSC75 clip-ons, which share the same specs, and they are certainly more difficult to drive than my other headphones. That has been the case with 5 or 6 different players, not just Sansas. Fortunately, my other players are more powerful than my Fuze was.