Sonos-conducted study finds that communal music forges interpersonal bonds, gets you laid

Wireless speaker manufacturer Sonos has been conducting a bit of an experiment recently. They surveyed 30,000 people from around the world (4,000 of whom were right here in Australia) via a 40-question survey regarding their musical habits and how those listening habits affect the people they spend time with in a positive way. Now completed, the study, called Music Makes It Home, has delivered its rather fascinating results.

The release of the details surrounding the experiment and survey results tie into the recent integration of Apple’s global music streaming service into Sonos’ range of wireless speakers.

The aim of the Music Makes It Home study was to assess what, if any, interpersonal connections are forged or altered by playing music throughout the home. This was done in two stages, first via the aforementioned survey in which Sonos asked 30,000 people from eight different countries to detail their relationships at home and their musical tastes. The second part tasked 30 households around the world, including two from Sydney, to eschew the headphones and play their music out loud around each other, carefully recording the results.

Participants involved in the experiment included married couples, families comprised of multiple generations and housemates among many others. Each household was given an Apple Music subscription, several Sonos speaker systems and a set of Apple Watches and iBeacons in order to record their data and better measure the results, both physical and emotional.

Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, a neuropsychologist and expert consultant on the Music Makes It Home study is a big proponent of music as the great unifier. “The truth is people may be sharing a home, but they aren’t sharing much else. Music may be able to change that by bringing everyone back together,” said Dr. Levitin in the study. “This study takes an important step forward in showing how listening to music out loud can enhance relationships at home.”

The study found that, across all eight countries involved, those surveyed who were most frequently listening to music out loud spent an average of 3 hours, 13 minutes longer in each others company than those who listened out loud the least.

Those who listened to music out loud together, and this is the really important finding we can all use in our own lives, it turns out those guys and girls are having 60 per cent more sex. Further, according to data pulled from the survey, a third of music enthusiasts would rather give up gettin’ down than give up music. Once music had been introduced into their homes, 43 per cent of respondents claimed that they felt “extremely loved,” a massive 87 per cent jump from how they were feeling prior to the study.

Here’s a cute one for Valentines Day this weekend – 18 per cent of respondents said “I love you” directly because of a song that was playing at the time. 83 per cent reckon that getting the housework done was easier with music playing (which, we could have told them that one for free but whatever). 50 per cent found that they enjoyed the act of cooking more with a bit of music on, part of a 20 per cent increase overall in time spent in the kitchen with others (probably doin’ it, if those earlier statistics have anything to say about it).

The study itself is extremely interesting reading for anyone interested in behavioural science and the ways music can affect the human mind. You can read it in full here, and find a whole bunch of extra materials like interviews and infographics at the official Sonos Apple Music page.



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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.