How Listening Will Make You a Better (and Better Looking) Human

Listening motivates us to exercise more, supercharges our sex lives, sparks new ideas, improves our mood and makes us more productive.

Santa Barbara, Calif. – May 2, 2019 – Today, Sonos released the findings of a worldwide survey and US-based field study that demonstrate the positive impact audio has on our health, well-being, creativity, and more.

A global survey of 12,000 people across 12 countries found listening, particularly to music, is the key to reducing stress, improving productivity, feeling more connected to one another, and being healthier. Globally, people who listen to music three or more hours a day say it is more essential than coffee, sex, or TV.

  • Listening makes us feel more connected to one another. 76% percent of people feel an instant connection when they know someone likes the same music and 70% say good taste in music makes someone more attractive. Listening can intensify our intimate moments, 59% percent of people say the right music can make sex much better and 56% percent felt the right music can make them more adventurous in the bedroom. 27% percent of listeners have turned up their music so others wouldn’t hear them having sex and 22% percent pick music based on the type of sex they want to have.
  • Listening elevates our emotions and reduces our stress. 54% percent of people say music has made them either laugh or cry unexpectedly. Listening can reach us on deep emotional levels, 68% say listening to music improves their mood and 74% percent feel less stressed when listening to a favorite song.
  • Listening makes us more productive and creative. Music helped people get more done than drinking coffee and put listeners in a positive mood at work. Survey respondents say productivity increased by 50% percent or more and half say they wouldn't be as successful as they've been without music.
  • Listening helps us realize our health goals, 75% percent of people who exercise regularly say music has made a bigger impact on their fitness than any supplement. Meanwhile, 81% say listening to great music inspires them to achieve greatness in their fitness and 77% say if they’re thinking about skipping a workout, music can help get them started.

To learn more about the influence listening and sound quality has on fitness specifically, Sonos conducted a three-day field study at PROJECT By Equinox in Manhattan. The study ー designed by lecturer in sport and exercise physiology Dr. Tom Brownlee ー included 35 participants and measured the impact of sound quality on performance during High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. The experiment recorded three listening environments: no sound, low-quality sound, and high-quality sound.

  • In high-quality sound conditions, participants increased their output by over 2% more than low-quality (the same performance increase as the now infamous LZR Speedo) and 4% over no sound
  • The average heart rate for the session was at its greatest during the high-quality sound intervals: almost 3.5% higher than during low-quality sound
  • In high-quality sound, participants were able to push themselves harder without feeling like they were working harder
  • When compared to low-quality sound, participants felt a 34% increase in feelings of connection to workout partners during the high-quality sound session

“The effects and impact of music in sport, activity and exercise has been a research topic for well over 40 years but for the first time, we’ve started to uncover the importance of sound quality (not just volume, tempo, and musicality) in helping athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all levels perform their best,” said Dr. Brownlee. “In a world where we spend thousands of dollars and hours researching gear and equipment that will give us any competitive edge, it’s interesting to discover that higher-quality sound seems to offer the kind of extra benefit we look for from a range of wearable training devices and accessories.”

Additional Insights (US Specific)
While what we listen to connects and empowers us universally, the impact of listening manifests itself differently across countries and reflects the cultural values of each region around the world.

In America, music plays a vital role in our romantic connections with others compared to any other country. More than half of Americans prefer a compliment on their taste in music over their choice of fashion. And if considering a tattoo, there’s a statistical reason to think less permanently and discover a new band instead. 72% of Americans say taste in music says more about a person than their tattoos (28%), and 79% agree that they feel an instant connection when they know someone likes the same music. It doesn’t hurt that 63% of Americans agree that the right music can make sex much better, yet only 27% have a playlist specifically for sex.

Listening to music also has the ability to make Americans work harder (not just during exercise) while feeling less stressed. Unsurprisingly, only 5% of people say they are free of stress in life but the easiest way to combat stress, is to turn it up. 80% of respondents say they feel less stressed when listening to a favorite song, while 39% feel no stress at all. And when stress is no longer an issue but productivity is, 73% of respondents say listening to music helps them get more done than drinking coffee.

As a culture motivated by getting more done, Sonos has discovered that by simply listening ー and listening better ー our society can be more productive, get more out of the work we’re doing, feel less stressed, and perhaps have a little more fun along the way.

To learn more about the Brilliant Sound Survey, visit:

About the Brilliant Sound Survey
Between March 15 – April 5, 2019, an online survey captured insights from over 12,000 people in 12 countries around the world. The survey includes a total of 12,010 members of the online population between the ages 21-50 in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, China and Australia. Data within countries is balanced across gender (approximately 50% male and 50% female) and age (approximately 33% ages 21-30, 33%, ages 31-40, 33% ages 41-50). Countries with higher internet penetration are more representative of their general populations.

About the Brilliant Sound Experiment
This study was conducted over three consecutive days at PROJECT by Equinox, 267 Mulberry St, SoHo, New York. 35 participants (9 male, 26 female, age 33 ± 15 years, weight 65.2 ± 35 kg) were asked to attend one day of testing lasting for 2.5 hours. Participants were split into three groups. All participants had a history of recreational exercise and activity, were active and injury free and provided full written consent to participate. The exercise intervention consisted of a 5-minute warm up followed by three 10-minute High Intensity Interval Training sessions. The aim was to complete as many repetitions as possible within the time limit. The sessions consisted of six repeating exercises. Each session was followed by a 5-minute rest period.

About Sonos
Sonos (Nasdaq: SONO) is one of the world’s leading sound experience brands. As the inventor of multi-room wireless home audio, Sonos innovation helps the world listen better by giving people access to the content they love and allowing them to control it however they choose. Known for delivering an unparalleled sound experience, thoughtful home design aesthetic, simplicity of use and an open platform, Sonos makes the breadth of audio content available to anyone. Sonos is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. Learn more at