Earbud Etiquette

I would like to know your thoughts on earbud etiquette.  I have a set stuck in my ears most of the time, I am either listening to music, an audiobook or on a call.  If I am on a call and someone walks up to me and starts talking I let them know I am on a call.  If I am just listening to something I will take the ear bud out so people know they have my full attention.  I see people all the time the just leave them in and it bothers me because I don't know if they are listening to me or not.  It might be just a pet peeve of mine, like you should look at someone when talking to them.  Has anyone else noticed this, and if so how do you feel about it?  

  • I apply do as I say, and as I do. A polite ask for there removal is the best eddicate. In the same instance I remove mine. Lead by example otherwise if you don't mind it doesn't matter and looking to others if it doesn't matter don't mind others. 

    Hope that helps. That's how I feel about it and I will vocalize it.

  • When using earbuds, it is essential to remember the basic principles of etiquette. This will ensure that everyone in your environment remains respectful and considerate of one another.

    Look out for those that are hearing impaired. They may wear devices.

    Earbuds can be a source of great distraction, so avoiding using them in a professional setting is essential.

    If you are communicating with someone with a language barrier, it might be helpful to provide them with translations as a courtesy using headphones.

    It is also important to remember to keep the volume of your earbuds at a reasonable level. Not only is it rude to those around you, but it can also lead to hearing damage if used excessively.

    Lastly, respect personal space and remember to take your earbuds out when interacting with someone. Not only does this demonstrate that you are paying attention to the conversation, but it is also polite and ensures that everyone in the environment is heard.

    That is my take on it.

  • I wear a headset, but only put it on when I need to use it, I think it is best to not have earbuds or headset on when talking to someone in person, it shows the other person that they have your full attention and are listing well

  • Had a neighbor that apparently used ear buds when working in the yard. Tried to speak to her several times - usually she did not seem to hear me. When i did get her attention she seemed irritated. Finally, stopped trying to speak to her. Figure that is what people are doing when talking to the air (no visible phone etc. around), occasionally I can hear what they are listening to, means the volume is rather loud.

  • I think the size of your earbuds/headphones can help indicate how open you are to a conversation.

    In-ear, tiny earbuds = "I don't expect you to notice I'm listening to something and am therefore open to conversation"

    Headphones or headsets = "I'm likely listening to something or on a call"

    Of course, this is only one aspect of good etiquette. Other factors may include the type of relationship between the people involved, the setting, and how active the person with the earbuds is in conversation if they're on a call.

  • Situational awareness can be an issue when ear buds are in. 

  • I feel like there might be a generation gap here too. I've noticed around college-aged young folk that wearing of earpieces (buds, over-ear headphones, and everything in-between) is ubiquitous nowadays. And I honestly don't know how to deal with it because I think they're approach to it and the standards they expect for etiquette is very different. I've also seen use prolific in Tokyo recently, with my observations skewing more toward the younger crowds.

    My own take: Having them in on public transportation is understandable to me. Having them in while walking down the street, not so much. I would be much more comfortable with someone wearing one and having the other ear open. I haven't encountered anyone wearing them as a hearing aide device, so I can't really comment on that scenario. But I would be much more responsive to people not wearing them unless needing to take a call, concentrate/not want to be disturbed, or in a public space where I wouldn't normally expect to interact.

    The exception to this I have experienced with headphones in general is airplanes. Headphones are pretty common, especially on international flights, and it seems pretty acceptable to wear them as equally as it to ask someone to remove them. At the same time, I have noticed that the occasional chatty person who sits next to you will like ignore the headphones no matter what, and I admit to having used them as an excuse to escape from conversation on a few occasions. But, overall, the airplane case is a good standard in my opinion if we are going to normalize headphone/earphone/earbud wearing in everyday life.