I frequently ride with a friend with whom I get along quite well, except for one thing, and that is that it seems that his radio is always way too loud. I know he enjoys having the sound turned up, so I feel kind of embarrassed asking him to turn it down all the time, but it really is loud... it makes it hard for me to concentrate on any kind of conversation.

I’ve learned tricks, like talking in a normal tone so that he has to turn down the radio just to understand what I’m saying, but if possible, I’d really like to find a way to get him to turn it down without “beating around the bush.”

Since I'm frequently sitting right next to the radio, I could simply turn it down myself. Is that the best route, or should I ask him to do it?

Any ideas?

  • Does he drive with the windows open? Where do you guys usually sit?
    – 10 Replies
    Jun 28, 2017 at 2:13
  • Well, not always, for sure, since I live in Canada. ;) Usually, he's driving, I'm in the passenger or back seat, depending how many of us there are.
    – anonymous2
    Jun 28, 2017 at 2:16
  • 14
    Have you tried asking him explicitly, just explaining straight up why you feel this is a problem? I think that most people would change their behavior if one or more friends tells them that that behavior is annoying and unhelpful.
    – HDE 226868
    Jun 28, 2017 at 2:20
  • Is it harmful-to-your-hearing loud?
    – nic
    Jun 28, 2017 at 3:21
  • 6
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because we need to understand why "just asking him" isn't a good solution for you before being able to properly answer.
    – Ael
    May 23, 2019 at 6:48

4 Answers 4


If you keep beating around the bush then hopefully he should get the hint that he always listens to music too loud and that he should usually turn it down.

If he still doesn't get the hint and keeps leaving it too loud then it might just be best to ask him directly to turn it down. If you're talking to someone else it's probably best to ask something like:

"Hey I can't quite hear what x is saying, do you mind turning the radio down a bit please?"

Or if you're talking to him it might be best to ask him:

"Can you turn down the radio, I can't really hear what you're saying"

And hopefully after a while he might notice this and then finally stop having the radio too loud.


Instead of trying tricks to manipulate him into turning it down, consider having a discussion about the general pattern. The next time you get out of his car, say something like, "Your music is often too loud for me. Do you mind if I turn it down myself if that happens so I don't have to nag you?" or "How do you want me to let you know to turn it down?" You can keep it lighthearted.

He might be fine with you fixing it yourself so you don't have to bother him. You might end up having some silly hand signal you use to remind him. He might just remember to consider your ears from then on. Whatever strategy you decide on, you'll know that he was explicitly part of the process and that you're not just hoping he'll "get the hint."


The same thing happened me many times.

Since he is your friend, there is no issues on asking

Hey, I can't hear you(or whom you are talking with.) properly. can you please adjust the sound.

If it is one of your best friend, then you can ask it in a sarcastic manner.

I usually ask them in a sarcastic way and so, they won't feel it(only to my best friends).

Otherwise, ask them politely as I mentioned. I can't hear you properly. Can you please adjust the radio


Just a counterpoint to the other answers... Apart from when he's giving you a ride, does your friend usually drive alone?

The reason for asking is that I have the same issue, but from your friends point of view - I'm the driver with the volume adjusted to how I like to hear it in my car when I'm (usually) driving alone. But on occasions when I have passengers, I often forget to turn the volume down and sometimes I get complaints - back seat passengers complain that it is too loud, my mother goes as far as immediately turning the volume down to almost inaudible.

I don't have any special audio equipment in the car, it is that model's usual factory fitted unit; and I don't drive with the volume up to 11 and the door panels vibrating :-). But the truth is, I just don't appreciate how loud it can seem to other people. It sounds "normal" to me. I only really noticed it a few years ago when I left the music on and had cause to climb in the back seats, and yes, it seemed much louder than from the driver's seat.

One last thing though, I actually find it quite irritating if passengers mess with the controls without asking permission. Ask, and I'll make the adjustment.

  • 3
    Hi Nick, welcome to IPS! This site operates a little bit differently than most on the internet. Answers are only supposed to be used to answer the question. To ask for clarification, you can use the comment feature (once you have the required rep). To indicate that you found the question useful, you can upvote it.
    – Rainbacon
    May 22, 2019 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Nick: Rainbacon didn't give an evaluation of the usefulness of your answer. I'd say it is indeed an useful info. Reddit or a forum can provide usefull info, too. But as Rainbacon said, this is not the way IPS operates. For getting an idea check out this How do I write a good answer? meta post. And please don't take it personal. Enjoy your stay on this site :)
    – dhein
    May 23, 2019 at 5:41
  • 1
    @Nick the reason that I feel that your post does not answer the question, even after you've highlighted parts of it is that all of the things you've highlighted are explaining why the radio might be too loud (which as dhein pointed out is useful information), but you don't ever address the goal of the question which is "How do I ask a friend to turn down the volume"
    – Rainbacon
    May 23, 2019 at 18:15
  • 1
    Hey Nick! Sorry to see you picked a bit of a problem post for your first answer here on IPS. The question is now closed because it's not a good one. The title is asking for a polite way to ask the volume be turned down, but the body asks whether to ask or turn down themselves. I just wanted to let you know that I can see you put time and effort in your answer, and that I appreciate the personal experience you used to meet the citation guidelines, and as you are answering at least part of the question, I'll undelete your answer.
    – Tinkeringbell
    May 23, 2019 at 19:02
  • 1
    But do note for future participation that it's a pretty clear sign that a question isn't such a great one when the title and the body are asking different things :-) For now, I advise you to take a peek at our good question guidelines, to focus on some of our newer questions and keep those in mind. If a question seems to meet those reasonably well, and is about Interpersonal Skills as defined in our help center, it's much safer to answer.
    – Tinkeringbell
    May 23, 2019 at 19:05

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.