Cars and Music


Why do we listen to music in the car?

Firstly, we are hemmed in, we feel trapped by the circumstances. Secondly, we need to keep awake so we need to feel alive and simulated in some way to focus on the job of driving. Thirdly, people just love music and enjoy listening to it.

This doesn’t mean that we should neglect our nostalgia for special tunes and streaming services have made the process much simpler.


When it comes to the radio the most common practise with 44% is to keep changing channels to find the best music, similar to the way that people channel hop on the TV at home to find the best dramas and comedies.

The reason why we chose to listen to radio is that most of us don’t like constantly listening to the same song. 60% of us find this distracting. It seems that 75% or 3 out of 4 want a song to finish when it starts.

Satellite Radio?

In terms of which type of radio channel, it appears that a satellite station is better quality than FM. For the true audiophiles, nothing will do but the best which is HD radio.

It seems that we let Uber drivers get away with murder as far as song choices go. Uber passengers, it is found, never complain about any awful music chosen and seem to want to listen to new types of music. As above, it’s 75% who don’t complain.

Most drivers feel that they have to sing along with the music, about 84%. There was a tiny group, 15% who felt they could only sing with the radio if they were alone.

Either drivers feel they are not distracted by the music or have convinced themselves they are not distracted. 80% say they aren’t distracted by green lights or so on.

The Survey Said

Edgy music is more popular, and according to Quora channels such as NPR are listened to more than the conservative talk radio or even sports radio. One person surveyed expressed a preference for the local community college jazz station. The feedback to Quora referenced the need for happy lyrics rather than sad ones.


Because the CD is now out of date it is probably best to listen to music through your mobile by connecting it to your auxiliary input jack (also called aux). There’s a slight difficulty in that you need to convert the sound to make it transmittable, turning it into analog signal which suits headphones.

USB may be taking over from aux connections. In this method the data transmitted is more unprocessed. You can store music in a flash drive for up to 512GB.

Bluetooth might be seen as an ideal way to listen to music in a vehicle but this could be a sales pitch? The audio compression used in Bluetooth is not as good as that employed by USB. Also Bluetooth enabled files will fill your phone up quicker.

The conclusion might be to stick with radio stations just for convenience. But remember, don’t get distracted.


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