an open letter
Dear everyone else on the subway,
Your headphones suck. So does your taste in music, but that’s not the point. The point is that I shouldn’t know you listen to crap because I am a stranger. But I do know, because your headphones are garbage and in order for you to hear music at your desired audio strength, you have to crank your volume so goddam high that I can hear it on the other side of the goddam train car. Sometimes I can even hear your blasted techno mariachi over my own music.
It’s really bad for your hearing, you know, to listen to your music that loud all the time. Nor is it any good for society — like there isn’t enough grumbling animosity without your subjecting a closely contained cadre of commuters to your autotuned Top-40 and nü metal rubbish.
Here are a few ways you can help make this city a less miserable place to be at rush hour — and maybe save yourself some hearing loss and cred-damage in the process:
Tip 1: Press play and hold the speaker openings of your earbuds together. What you hear emanating from between them is roughly what I hear sitting across the car from you — and it’s why I keep glaring at you.
Tip 2: Steve Jobs isn’t god. Don’t use iPhone headphones. They’re better now? Sure. But still terrible. Upgrade that shit. Stat.
Tip 3: A little isolation goes a long way. You won’t need to turn up your jams so high if you can more effectively cut out background noise. Go for earbuds with some rubberiness to ’em that go a bit into the ear. If you’re really resistant to a new pair, or are a total cheapskate, try something like acoustibuds, which slip over the speaker heads and guide soundwaves more directly into your ear — so you can turn it down, for pete’s sake — and block them from escaping into the earholes of innocent bystanders.
Tip 4: Everyone on this train is judging you by your music. Just keep that in mind. Especially on the L.