How One Brand Of Speakers Changed My Life

Love you, Sonos

Photos via Sonos

While some like to scoff at pop culture, we wouldn’t be who we are without it. Whether it’s a television show, movie, book, underground cultural phenomenon, or beauty product, there are certain events that changed the course of our lives. In our Life Changer series, we’re sharing the things that helped us become who we are today, and hopefully, inspire you to try them out for yourselves.

Waking up is not a thing I'm good at. It's a bodily function that my body has repeatedly decided to opt out of. I've slept through graduation ceremonies (like, my own), dates, family trips, booty calls; I was asked to leave my surgical program because I kept "falling asleep while in operations." In my defense, with a 6am call time throughout my clinical rotation, I knew I would never be able to wake up that early, so would usually just stay up until I had to head into the hospital. Okay, reading that back is pretty terrifying actually. But, you know, you're all very welcome that I decided to abandon my plans to help sick people and instead enter the wonderful world of digital media.

Anyway, my morning routine has plagued my loved ones for decades. My parents tried everything as I was growing up—above average decibel levels on alarms, clocks that run away from their users, throwing ice water on me. It was all to no avail. At one point, they even brought me to the doctor because they were convinced I had the first case of chronic mono. Moving out of my parents' house meant it was soon my roommates who would hear all of my alarms go off every morning and, with that, each subsequent snooze. I would like to formally apologize, guys, that must have been scarring.

And now, it's become my loving boyfriend's burden. Bless his heart, because he has come up with some of the sweetest wake-up tactics ever. He's tried hand-feeding me chocolate to wake me up in a good mood, getting my favorite bodega sandwich and waving it around my nose and just out of arm's reach (which sadly only incited sleep rage on my part), and even brushing my hair to try and wake me up. (I know what you're thinking, and, yes, I am a morning monster and I truly don't deserve him.)

But all of that ended when my boyfriend, who was living with me, went abroad to grad school six months ago, and I was left to fend for myself. I resorted to my multitude of alarms that went off every nine minutes, to counteract the eight-minute snooze of the one previous, and a general demeanor of panic that would ensure the instant rise of blood pressure to lift me from my comatose state. This went on for weeks until a friend came over for dinner one night and pointed out how much she loved my Sonos speakers, especially their alarm clock function. Shut. The. Front. Door. I've tried alarm clocks that played music before, but somehow I still found a way to sleep through them. Would this work? As it turned out, where everything else failed, Sonos succeeded.

Now, even when my phone dies in the middle of the night (because I forgot to charge it and fell asleep watching a movie on it), my Sonos alarm will still be there to wake me up in a gradual and effective way. Basically, the way it works is that when it's time for your alarm to go off, the speakers' volume slowly crescendos, until the reality of the impending day's existence is unavoidable. And depending on what you have lined up for that day, you can coordinate the right music to wake up to. Throw on Leon Bridges for an easy Sunday at home, Lemonade when you have that big meeting at work, or "Sandstorm" if you just plain want to ruin your day. 

Sonos are also great for pretty much every other aspect of life because you can pair up multiple Sonos speakers for surround sound or to have continuous music throughout the house. I recommend hiding one in your bathroom for the ultimate bubble bath experience. The music is all controlled through the Sonos app, which multiple people can log into and add to existing or create new playlists, which is a lifesaver for house parties—just leave an iPad out with the app open and everyone can DJ and nobody can complain.

What can I say? After years of sleeping through everything and anything, I've finally found the perfect trick to lure me up and out of my dreams and into the real world, where my dreams can become a reality. Or something. *Twinkling star emojis*