Do You Live in a “Silent Home?” Or Do You Need More Music in Your House?

SONOS, the people who offer excellent ways to spread music throughout your home (Full disclosure: I have SONOS in my house and it’s brilliant), debuted a new campaign during the 2017 Grammy Awards called “The Silent Home.”

Much of it was derived from a survey they did on how people listen to music while at home.

Here are some of their findings:

  • There’s a new and growing epidemic that 67% globally and 69% of Canadians suffer from “the silent home.” This has resulted from three different factors: “changing expectations for privacy and autonomy within a family as a result of industrialization and education; the ease of “tuning out” with personal digital and mobile devices; and the highly addictive nature of social media and Internet browsing.”
  • Listening to music out loud resulted in more time together, more “I love yous” and more sex. 
  • 44% observed that a lot of their at-home listening takes place either alone or via headphones. 
  • 62% of respondents noted that increasingly more of their social interactions take place in the digital world, while 46% acknowledged that their family members spend more time interacting with technology than directly with each other.

They also talk about something called “the adult fade,” which will sound disturbingly familiar to a lot of people.

When we’re young, music defines us. It literally makes meaning out of the chaos of life. It shapes who we hang out with, how we dress, it becomes part of who we are. Because it’s everything, we listen to it nonstop— anywhere, any way, on any device— no matter how crappy. Of course, we continue to love music as adults. But somewhere around the time we get our first job with health insurance, our first place to live, a partner to whose social calendar we must adapt; music starts getting squeezed to the margins. We hit the adult fade. 

60% of music lovers surveyed across nine countries conceded that they listen to less music now than when they were younger.

We’re also too busy…

Busyness has become a status symbol – an extraordinary departure from most of history, when not being busy was a demonstration of high status, and busyness was an indication either of low status or of deeply confused priorities.  Fifty-eight percent of all Silent Home Assessment respondents acknowledged the desire for a better work/life balance.

…and we’re anti-social in our music listening habits.

The open floor plan allows for much greater sound transmission through the home, which can encourage interaction and engagement or can further reinforce family members’ search for a private space to get away from the overstimulation they’re experiencing both within and outside the home. Forty-four percent observed that a lot of their at-home listening takes place either alone or via headphones.

There’s more, but you get the idea. Bottom line is that SONOS wants people to take more screen breaks, to take off the headphones and to listen to music with family and friends as it wafts through the home. Makes sense to me,

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Do You Live in a “Silent Home?” Or Do You Need More Music in Your House?

  • February 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I bought a Sonos system a few months ago for this exact reason. I play music, I teach music, but I haven’t been listening to it at home! The Sonos system is fabulous for filling the house with music.

  • February 13, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    We’re both sounding like commercials, but there’s no getting around it. SONOS systems are fantastic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.