sonos audio room.jpgHigh quality, wireless portable speakers have been growing in popularity, thanks to their excellent sound quality, and the fact they’re very easy to use.

Sonos is one of the leaders when it comes to these speakers, and its PLAY series is available at Best Buy. Recently Sonos announced it was making Apple Music available on its devices, opening up a vast music portal to Sonos customers.

See Sonos’ full product line at Best Buy!

Music makes life better

To mark the global availability of that shared service, today Sonos released the findings of a new worldwide study that the company says shows listening to music out loud in the home has some pretty interesting effects.

The study, called Music Makes it Home, was designed to figure out if playing music through the home can change or improve the environment for everyone inside. Overall, the study found “listening to music out loud leads to stronger relationships, more intimacy, happier families and more quality time spent together.” According to the study, people who listen to music out loud at home “spend an additional 10 hours together per month on average,” as detailed in a news release.

The study asked 30,000 participants, including about 4,000 Canadians, to provide feedback and answer detailed questions about what their home environment is like with and without music, as well as what their feelings and attitudes are about music. (A second study phase tracked the participants via video and other methods to view and analyze what happens when you eliminate music out loud entirely for one week and reintroduce it the next. Four Canadian families took part in this experiment.)

Some of the findings of the study are very interesting:

rsz_sonos.jpgFor starters, the study says music is important to Canadians; that 61% of Canadian respondents would call themselves music lovers. The study also found playing more music out loud is positively correlated with frequency of sex, relationship satisfaction, general happiness, and how often meals are eaten together.

Music can help bind families

There were several areas of the study that seemed to show music can encourage better and more frequent interactions among families.

  • More than half of parents (56%) in the survey report playing music out loud has inspired household members to hang out together
  • Parents in households that played music out loud the most were more likely to get help from their children with chores (61% v 38%), more likely to have spontaneous dance parties (20% v 7%), and express love for another household member (54% v  36%) in the past week

Music makes meals more of a family affair

Can the mere act of playing music in the home change family dynamics and interaction? The study seemed to show it did. Families in the survey that listened to music out loud ate meals together more often, according to study data.

  • Families that listen to music out loud eat together an average of 5.6 times per week, compared to 4.8 times per week for families that don’t listen at all

Some other interesting highlights? If you’ve ever stopped to wonder why restaurants always play music for diners, it’s because it’s been believed for years that music enhances the dining experience and can also actually help people eat faster, thus increasing customer turnover. In this case the study found music while eating had positive effects at home; more than half of respondents (58%) believe that listening to music while cooking actually makes the food taste better.

Music makes people want to be together

When it comes to spending more time together, the Sonos study found households that listen to music out loud the most spend an additional 4 hours and 30 minutes together per week, compared to those that listen the least.
Half of the respondents say they have encouraged members of their household to hang out together just by playing music out loud. Interestingly, one third of parents in households that do not play any music at all do not know what music their kids listen to, so if you want to get to know your kids better, music appears to be a great way to begin the process.

When it comes to our pets, the Sonos study says while the vast majority of Canadians don’t think music has any effect on pets, 23% still leave something on for their four-legged friends when they leave.
rsz_sonos_speaker.jpgMusic makes us … frisky

Does music have other effects on parents or couples? According to the study, couples that listen to music out loud the most have sex on average 2.5 times every week. The couples who don’t listen to music out loud at all only have sex 1.5 times per week.

Canadians LOVE their music

How important is music overall to Canadians? Of all countries surveyed, Canada comes third when it comes to how important we say music is to us—61% describe themselves as music lovers. Only the US and Germany have more people who say music is important to them.

  • 34% of Canadian music lovers say they’d rather give up sex than listening to music
  • 75% of Canadians have been caught singing out loud
  • 28% have been caught head banging
  • 27% have been caught playing air guitar
  • 13% have been caught dancing naked

Music out loud is less isolating

The big driving factor of increased interactions and closeness of playing shared music out loud seems to be family members aren’t isolating themselves by putting on headphones and closing out the others in the home (whether they are choosing to listen to other music, TV, YouTube or games). When everyone is sharing the same music, it seems there’s conversation, and interaction, both about the music and other things.

Sonos is hoping that by opening people’s eyes to the positive effects music out loud in the home can have, more people will adopt it.

Check out the Sonos lineup
sonos apple screen shot.jpgThere are several systems that can help get that music playing all over the house; the Sonos PLAY:1 features 2 built-in speakers and 3 dedicated digital amplifiers, all in one sleek and streamlined package which allow it to pump out crystal-clear hi-fi sound at any volume.

Sonos PLAY:3 features 3 integrated speakers and 3 dedicated digital amps. And just when you think you’ve figured out the math, the Sonos PLAY:5 wireless speaker has six custom designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers to produce rich sound that’s deep and vibrant.

With the Sonos system, you can play the same music across any number of speakers, allowing the whole home to be in sync.  As needed you can also split off speakers for other listeners or activities.

Sonos also has Trueplay, which will automatically calibrate your speakers using your Apple iPhone so that you get sound tailored to whichever room the speakers are in. Read more about Trueplay and how it works here on the blog.

The findings of the Sonos study may be surprising to some, but when you think about it, the more experiences we share in the home, the more we interact. Sharing a movie is not quite the same, as everyone needs to focus to follow along. When people are working or doing homework or reading, again, the focus is on the task at hand.  But with music, it has a unique way of being able to fade in to the background to allow conversations to flourish.  Toss in all those other positive effects noted above and music might just be the thing to soothe any savagery in the home. As rocker Marilyn Manson put it, “Music is the strongest form of magic.”

See the full line of speakers from Sonos


Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog