Audio boffins have come up with an altogether more positive way to influencing train passengers’ emotions than delays or cancellations do.
Sony and Eurostar have teamed up to create the ‘Sound Menu’ which provides commuters with the perfect selection of music to get them into the right mood for their journey’s end.
The innovative system has been devised with senior lecturer in psychology of music at Keele University, Dr Alexandra Lamont, drawing on a studies into music and mood regulation to recommend five playlists that help travellers prepare, relax and focus on route to their destination.
These playlists include varying styles and tempos of music to evoke different emotions, and are more about musical types rather than specific songs.
They include dance tracks to ‘psych you up’ as well as relaxing music to celebrate a ‘job well done’.
The Sound Menu is optimised for use with Sony’s 1000X wireless noise-cancelling headphones.
Matt Coupe, head of sound, UK & Ireland at Sony, said the music helps commuters to “cut out the chaos around them”.
He said: “We know that music, if listened to in the right way, can be a form of escapism or can help focus the mind.
“We saw from research many are unable to relax or fully immerse themselves in music.”
Dr Lamont added: “Creating an ‘auditory bubble’ while travelling, such as through the use of noise cancellation technology, can allow passengers to get more from their journey, helps people block out environmental noise and allows them to focus on the moment or the task at hand.
“We know that different music creates different moods, and the traveller can immerse themselves in music that suits or changes their mood to make the journey pass more pleasantly.
“Being able to eliminate these noises and replacing them entirely with the sound of your choice leads to an all-round more relaxed experience.”
Neil Roberts, head of digital at Eurostar, said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our passengers’ journeys, and the new Sound Menu created by Sony offers our travellers a way to get more out of their time on board, whether it’s focusing on work, or relaxing after a busy day.”
The Sound Menu follows a study of 2,000 commuters which found more than a quarter can never fully relax on a journey and 23 per cent complain about being unable to ‘switch off’ ahead of important meetings.
Nearly 40 per cent of travellers blame noise made by other people for causing them stress, while two thirds say music helps them relax.
The playlist are currently only being trialled on Eurostar trains during April but would you want to see, or rather hear, something similar introduced on Southeastern and Southern trains to help improve your mood? What other things would make train journeys more pleasant? Add your comments below.