I listen to both music and podcasts while in the great outdoors. Music is background while podcasts are foreground. My favorite music won’t distract me from my surroundings, though if a dope song comes on it might add to the experience. Podcasts are purposeful distractions from the current situation, something I need to focus on to enjoy, rather than say the 3 miles I just added to my hike because I took a wrong turn. *sigh *
I don’t hike with a blue-tooth speaker, but I have one for camping. I play music low enough that it doesn’t travel outside my campsite. When I turn it on, I walk away from my campsite to check. Usually 15ft away the ambient sounds of nature drown it out. Or the placement of my tent and car block the sound toward the other campsites. I don’t listen to music the entire time I am camping, just during the most boring part of the day. Naptime?!
I have over-the-ear headphones that I will use while hiking. I have very sensitive hearing so I never listen very loud. I can still hear the closer sounds of birds, brush, water, and whatnot, other hikers included, but miss out on distant sounds like wind in the trees. I will take them off if I see something I think I might want to hear, like a scenic mountain overlook or scary large animal. Sometimes I wear my headphones without playing anything, because I don’t like bugs buzzing near my ears.
I wouldn’t hike playing music on a speaker because I know that would bother me in the reverse situation. Yet I know some people can’t wear earbuds (hey it’s me!) and after a while over-the-ear headphones get sweaty and gross, so the option for a blue-tooth speaker you can clip on your person is pretty good. Unfortunately some people don’t have great hearing, or even good hearing, so what seems like too-loud music to me might be just audible to them. They might not think they are being loud or intrusive at all, and I am too non-confrontational to tell them.