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IFE audio etiquette

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tuapekastar

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I flew BNE-MEL last night departing around 1910.

I was listening to one of the music stations on the IFE (this was a non-AVOD 738) and I had it turned up pretty damn loud, maybe maximum (using the supplied el-cheapo headphones in Y). I was in 4C, 4B was vacant and a lady was in 4A. Well into the flight (maybe 80 - 90 minutes) I had my eyes closed (and was awake - but perhaps not alert - and listening) when very quickly the 'station' changed from 7 (one of the rock music ones) to 3 (Business with Alan Kohler).

My initial thought was 'glitch' and I decided I'd heard enough anyway and stopped listening and put my headphones on the vacant B seat. I did nothing about the volume, but at this stage it was Alan Kohler interviewing someone, not music. Shut my eyes again, and a few seconds later the lady in 4A rapped on my arm with the headphones and said (politely, but with perhaps a degree of admonishment, certainly no smile) "Excuse me, your radio is very loud, in fact it's been loud the entire flight"

I responded "Oh OK" and turned it down to zero - I didn't apologise as I didn't think I had anything to apologise for.

A couple of things occurred to me:

1) Had she reached across and 'changed channels' on me while I had my eyes closed? Who knows? Or quietly asked an FA to do the same (she profusely thanked the CSM as she got off the flight)? I'll never know.

2) I cannot recall ever hearing 'leakage' from someone else's headphones during flight - certainly not with a vacant seat between. Has anyone here done so? And if so, what do people think is etiquette in this case? I'm just operating the IFE within its limits, and at a time when the cabin is generally awake - 4A lady was doing something on her Ipad during this time, it did not look like work, 4D and 4F were conversing at a level where I could clearly hear and understand what they were saying.

Anyone have an opinion on this? I did not resume using the IFE after that point (I also did not offer to get her bag down from the overhead at the end of the flight - something I usually do for the aisle/middle pax). :)
 

cove

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Yes....your fault....but you are a treasure for taking your mother to the US.....so all is forgiven!
I think IFE can be as bad as having a chronic snorer nearby.
 

rbakker

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Having your radio on full volume while you're not even listening to it? Yes, that is very annoying.
 

markis10

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Must admit leakage from headphones annoys me, usually on public transport. I do like my music loud however I have in ear headphones with an adaptor for QF that should see no sound getting out, not that I take many QF flights with IFE these days.
 

777

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I suspect your seat mate was reaching for the volume and accidentally changed the station.
 

Skyring

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I suspect your seat mate was reaching for the volume and accidentally changed the station.
That was my thought too. She was very considerate, actually. Most people would have knocked you all the way down to channel zero.

"Leakage" from earphones is something that bugs me a bit. I can hear the sound, but all the low freqs are soaked up, so it's difficult to interpret what I hear. In the meantime, the high volume is pounding the true listener's brain into a mass of quivering grey jelly, so it's kind of a raw deal all round.
 

elbarto

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Must admit leakage from headphones annoys me, usually on public transport. I do like my music loud however I have in ear headphones with an adaptor for QF that should see no sound getting out, not that I take many QF flights with IFE these days.

It's even more annoying when they don't bother with the headphones and use the loud speaker on public transport.
 

Skyring

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It's even more annoying when they don't bother with the headphones and use the loud speaker on public transport.
There is nothing like the thumping great beat of a heavy bass produced by an iPod Nano to ruin one's day.
 

markis10

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It's even more annoying when they don't bother with the headphones and use the loud speaker on public transport.

Yes, which happens a lot on the quiet carriages for Brisbane trains!
 

rechoboam

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Yes there is often leakage and the headphones are rubbish so i don't know how much actually goes into your ears.

If you had them on maximum volume and they weren't even on your head that's pretty odd isn't it?

If you have earphones on maximum volume unkind people may suggest that the reason you haven't noted leakage from other people might be something to do with your hearing?
 

tuapekastar

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I suspect your seat mate was reaching for the volume and accidentally changed the station.

That was my thought too. She was very considerate, actually. Most people would have knocked you all the way down to channel zero.

"Leakage" from earphones is something that bugs me a bit. I can hear the sound, but all the low freqs are soaked up, so it's difficult to interpret what I hear. In the meantime, the high volume is pounding the true listener's brain into a mass of quivering grey jelly, so it's kind of a raw deal all round.

You may both be right - possibly the FA at the lady's bidding though.

Yes there is often leakage and the headphones are rubbish so i don't know how much actually goes into your ears.

If you had them on maximum volume and they weren't even on your head that's pretty odd isn't it?

If you have earphones on maximum volume unkind people may suggest that the reason you haven't noted leakage from other people might be something to do with your hearing?

Maybe I'll have my hearing checked, but I suspect it is just fine, or extremely close. :)

The removal of 'phones from my ears and placement on the seat without altering the volume was simply an oversight in my somewhat drowsy (but not asleep) state, and I responded by immediately turning them down to zero (I may have pulled the plug as well), and no issues here - you're right, it does not make sense to have them 'active' and at volume when not using them, and it is not something I would normally do (and it was, at this stage - probably courtesy of 4A/FA, Alan Kohler interviewing someone rather than Pearl Jam pumping it out)!

On a general note the main point I was trying (not very well it seems) to make was if there is leakage (and lets restrict this to planes, because the general ambience on them is a little different), then what level of leakage is acceptable? People talking would be louder, and there were people in adjacent seats having conversations. And over the level of ambient noise in a plane I find it difficult to believe it could be 'that' loud for someone sitting 2 seats away from me (with the obvious disclaimer that I could not know how loud it actually was at the time). And is just leaning over and adjusting someone else's controls (or getting the FA to do it, as I suspect may be the case) the correct way to resolve any issues?

For the record, and to clear up any possible misconceptions, I've never owned an ipod, and never listen to music, radio etc. through headphones in public* - I hate it, I like to be aware of what is going on around me, and I dislike the 'doof-doof' that comes out of ipods on the train as as much as anyone else. I simply wasn't aware that significant leakage, of a level over and above people's conversations (should she have asked 4D/F to cease talking to each other, because it was certainly louder than anything coming out of my headphones - I did remove them to speak with FAs several times during meal service so I know what was coming out of them at that stage)?

*The occasional exception is on planes, as per last night, and then only when there is no video available.

Anyway, the 'volume on with 'phones off' was just a sleep-deprived oversight, and I'm now aware there is leakage on the planes so I'll take some notice of this next time. In fact I'll experiment a bit, because I'm not wholly convinced this woman was not being unreasonable (whilst accepting that possibly, unknowingly, I was).
 

drmikki

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To be honest, the noise from other people's headphones on a plane would have to be pretty loud to bug me - I just put in my own noise-cancelling and it's no longer a problem. If it's loud enough to make it over the white noise and my own music then maybe I'd speak up, but thanks to some F1 engines my hearing isn't that good so it's unlikely to happen!

One thing that I experienced on a LAN flight which I found annoying and IMHO a massive breach of IFE etiquette was the guy next to me in J leaning over and watching my video on AVOD and laughing loudly even though he had no sound to it! - WTF?! I was thinking "Dude, see that TV screen in front of you? Find the same movie and watch it from the start with sound or subtitles, don't move in on my movie!" Kind of defeats the purpose of individual AVOD! Of course, this was the same guy who stood talking to his friend in my seat area whilst I tried to sit down, then stayed there talking with his rear end in my face instead of moving into the aisle to talk or offering to swap seats so that I had some personal space...
 

Cynicor

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Noise leakage from airline provided headphones can be amazingly loud. On QF at least, I am commonly able to hear movies from passengers 2-3 seats away, or any of the seats in front.

It is also very annoying, especially if the person is not actually listening to whatever is playing.
 

Oneworldplus2

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I think IFE can be as bad as having a chronic snorer nearby.

Old mate, 2 rows behind me was snoring on a early flight (7am departure) over the weekend, I think he was trying to close his window shades using his voice frequency...Yes, very annoying!

Now for my next pet hate, "luggage carousel etiquette"....how not to behave like pigs at a trough...(I've seen trolley rage believe it or not!)
 

Simo

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I got woken one day to turn the volume down.

I turned it down and bit further and the same passenger complained again and the CSM said it wasn't that loud.

The person in the window seat next to me said they couldn't hear it.

IMHO it wasn't loud at all I think it was one of the songs that was a bit louder than the other one before it.
 

ricee007

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There is definitely leakage.... if I'm sitting next to someone and I DON'T have my headphones in, I've certainly heard theirs before. I'd say you are definitely in the wrong here.
 

simongr

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On a general note the main point I was trying (not very well it seems) to make was if there is leakage (and lets restrict this to planes, because the general ambience on them is a little different), then what level of leakage is acceptable? People talking would be louder, and there were people in adjacent seats having conversations. And over the level of ambient noise in a plane I find it difficult to believe it could be 'that' loud for someone sitting 2 seats away from me (with the obvious disclaimer that I could not know how loud it actually was at the time). And is just leaning over and adjusting someone else's controls (or getting the FA to do it, as I suspect may be the case) the correct way to resolve any issues?

I do not want to hear any of other people's music/tv shows and I do not want them to hear mine.
 

codash1099

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You may both be right - possibly the FA at the lady's bidding though.


Anyway, the 'volume on with 'phones off' was just a sleep-deprived oversight, and I'm now aware there is leakage on the planes so I'll take some notice of this next time. In fact I'll experiment a bit, because I'm not wholly convinced this woman was not being unreasonable (whilst accepting that possibly, unknowingly, I was).

Maybe you're the person who leaves the volume on full and blasts the bejaysus out of me when I connect my NC headphones!
 
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