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Sonos connects to Apple Music, learns a little about humans

Sonos owners, this week the news is good if you subscribe to Apple Music because all your playlists and albums can be played at home. And who knows, that perfect playlist might just help out with the ladies or fellas.

We all know that music brings people together, but based on some new research, your music curation skills might just score you some time with your significant other or someone else you’d like to be in a similar position with.

That’s the word coming from Sonos which has commissioned some research into how music can change the way we as humans communicate and connect, with the sound company asking 30,000 people about music and their relationships at home.

This first part was merely a survey, but Sonos decided to make it a little more real by tracking the homes of 30 couples and families around the world using iPhones, Apple Watches, motion-activated cameras, and proximity sensors to see what happened when music was played through loud speakers in their home.

Sonos has quite a few of these, and the multi-room audio concept which Sonos helped to pioneer is pretty much all about sharing your music, with rooms able to synchronise audio so that the sound goes everywhere you go, making this experiment all about the way humans connect.

So what did they find?


Quite simply that music, as you can expect, brings us together, with 83 percent of individuals finding that chores were easier when listening to music, while 50 percent liked cooking more.

“The kids have been more helpful in chores,” said Amanda Cowen, one of the parents taking part in the experiment. “The chores haven’t seemed so redundant for them, like setting the table and helping clean up. It’s definitely been more of a bonding experience for us.”

“When you’re cleaning up, the music makes you go faster,” she said.


According to the study, cooking may even taste better when people were listening to music out loud, and this is part of what the company describes as the “Sonos effect” which appears to be the idea that music out loud makes us feel better.

“For years, Sonos owners have been telling us amazing stories about how music has transformed their houses into homes,” said John MacFarlane, Chief Executive Officer of Sonos.

“We’ve never been able to put that magic into words, but this research illustrates the real impact of listening to music out loud together, and that makes the Sonos effect easier to understand.”


The “Sonos effect” may well be what MacFarlane intends to call it, but people responding and bonding with music isn’t a new thing. What is new (or recent, anyway) is the ability to do this comfortably from room to room with a DJ in a phone or a watch.

And the research suggests that this level of control also helps make people feel better.

It was always my husband’s music or the kids’ music,” said Seema Shah-Nelson, another respondent in the Sonos experiment. “I’d never bother putting anything on the stereo, because it was too hard.”

Compare that with now and Nelson says “I feel like we can all share it equally in what we listen to.”


So families are getting on better in the kitchen and the home, but what about those of us without kids, the couples who might be working their way up there or just living together. Does music out loud make us happier?

According to Sonos, yes, and possibly more intimate, with couples who play their music out loud having 67 percent more sex than couple who didn’t.

“Listening to music together increases empathy and causes people to feel closer to one another,” says Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, neuroscientist and author of the international bestselling book ‘This is Your Brain on Music’.

“What’s especially interesting about this study is that it confirms what many researchers and experts hypothesised: music evolved over tens of thousands of years to help bring people together, to defuse interpersonal tensions, help people bond to one another and to feel safe together.”