Headphone etiquette: Is public music a nuisance or a New York City norm?

On the bus, in the subway, walking down the street – have you noticed more and more New Yorkers blasting music or watching TikToks on their phone without headphones? Well, you're not alone.

"As New Yorkers, there are certain inconveniences and certain annoyances that we all simply learn to live with," says New York-based etiquette expert, Thomas Farley. "If you wanted to live in a quiet city, you would be moving to perhaps somewhere in Iowa and not living in New York. That being said, we all have a part to play in keeping the decibels as low as we possibly can."

New Yorkers that spoke with FOX 5 NY were torn, with many saying the noise is just part of the vibrant symphony of sounds that makes up the city that never sleeps one of a kind, while others found it extremely annoying.

For those who deem it noise pollution – and not the soundtrack of the city – the question is: Should you say anything? 

"We can't do anything about the fire trucks, we can't do anything about the police sirens or the garbage trucks, but certainly we as individuals can do something really simple – popping a pair of headphones over ears," Farley said.

Farley adds to choose your battles wisely because things could get very ugly, very quickly.