Man playing music out loud on train: What are our options? [Update: Solved]

Least passive aggressive brit

cross-posted from:

There’s a man on my train this morning, and he’s listening to stuff out loud on his phone, like fully out loud, not even slightly subtle. The train is in Britain. He keeps listening to 5 seconds of an annoying song, then switching to another song. It sort of sounds like kids TV music. He appears dressed to go work in a fancy office or something, and this is a morning commuter train, so I don’t think he’s escaped from a prison or mental hospital.

Anyway, amongst myself and another couple of hundred quiet passengers, we’ve tried everything:

  • tutting and rolling our eyes
  • harrumphing, whingeing and sighing
  • when a bloke got on the train with headphones on, someone said loudly "Isn’t it great when someone wears headphones? They can listen to whatever they like and nobody else has to hear it"
  • sometimes it stops for a minute, and there’s a widespread muttering of "Ooh, thank god that’s over with"
  • followed by an en-masse groan when it starts again "Oh no, not this again!"
  • a lady on the phone saying loudly "Sorry, I can’t hear what you’re saying, because someone is being inconsiderate and playing music really loudly"
  • saying to one another, loudly enough for the man to hear "isn’t it annoying when someone plays their music out loud? I wish he’d stop doing that"
  • muttering aggressive words, under our breath, in his general direction “prick”, “wanker” “knobhead”, "bellend"
  • Someone getting onto the train, and not sitting at his table and saying “God, I’d rather stand than sit next to that prick”, loud enough for him to hear.
  • the ticket-checking man rolled his eyes, but didn’t do anything

I think generally we’re running out of ideas. I heard someone behind me mentioning they were thinking about “sparking him out”, and someone else had suggested they might grab his phone and throw it out the window.

I was toying with the idea of going nuclear on him, and directly but politely asking him to turn it down, but it’s a bit early for that kind of extreme behaviour. Perhaps I should throw something at his head?

Anyway, anyone who’s been in a similar situation have any suggestions?

[Update] The train got full, so people were standing all the way down the aisle. Three people sat on the table next to him.

Opposite him, an older woman stared at him and shook her head at him, in a gesture I interpreted as “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed”. He put his phone in his pocket and stared out the window. I gave her the subtlest of nods, to communicate “thank you” and “good job”.

So we’re safe, this time - but I’m still interested in solutions, as something like this could happen again!

cyph3rPunk, avatar

With the small caveat that it will probably get me killed one day, my favorite tactic is blasting this and staring the guy down, expressionless, without breaking eye contact until he gets the hint.

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