“the asshole behind me is playing something very loud on a pair of tinny headphones”
See, the standard headphones that come with your iPhone / iTouch / iPod are terrible (16% GdGt approval rating). They fit so badly, the hard plastic mauling your ears, that someone designed a foam casing to make them easier to wear.
The earbuds themselves do nothing to block out background noise, causing anyone using them in a high noise environment (outside in the city, riding the subway, etc) to crank the volume up to the max. Because the earphones leak sound horribly, everyone around is forced to listen to your music. Second, the earphones themselves don’t handle high volume without clipping and distorting, so the quality of whatever you tried to listen to is shot to hell.
If you just bought an Apple product, throw away those cheap $1 headphones and pick up something better. Here are a few suggestions (in order of quality, decreasing in price); note, these are personal recommendations, as I own and have tried all of these:
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