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#54: Music and Focus

4 min read

Many people listen to music while they’re carrying out a task, whether they’re studying for an exam, driving a vehicle or even reading a book. Many of these people argue that background music helps them focus. - The Guardian | Does music really help you concentrate?

I wanted to write about this topic to share my experience with using music to stay focus on a task. Also while writing this post I currently listening to something. But it’s not my favorite track where I would dance to or it’s not some chill beats or beats to relax like Lofi.

I remember that I first did listen to my favorite music, which could be music of every genre in a playlist and thought this makes me more productive, but I realized that I was focusing more time on enjoying the music or skipping to the next song instead on focusing on the task I wanted to accomplish. So the next step was to try some music without vocals until I found out that Noise Canceling Headphones with Library Sounds helped me the most to stay focus.

Library Sounds | Study Ambience | 2 Hours

So I wanted to write about this first here, but while researching about this topic for this post I found different articles:

These articles showed me that there different types of noise sounds like

white, pink and brown noise

Descriptions of these noises are (used from Block Distractions with the Colors of Noise) with a youtube example below each:

White: Although the term “white noise” has come to mean any type of masking sound, true white noise is the “flattest” noise, in that it contains an equal amount of energy across its frequency bands. That simply means it provides a continuous sound which covers a large spectrum. It’s good for masking all types of sounds, especially if they’re all occurring at once— city sounds, traffic, voices and sirens blaring — all this would be greatly improved with the addition of white noise.

White Noise Black Screen | Sleep, Study, Focus, Soothe a Baby | 10 Hours

Pink: Pink noise is similar to white, except it contains an equal distribution of energy in each octave — pink noise is calibrated to sound balanced to human ears. Emphasizing lower frequencies means pink noise sounds less “noisy” and more airy than white noise. If white noise sounds like static, pink noise is more like a waterfall. The pink tones are proven to be calming and still masks a variety of sounds, so it’s great for alert yet relaxed concentration.

Pink Noise for Ten Hours of Ambient Sound - Blocker - Masker - Burn In - Relaxation

Brown: Brown noise lives in the lowest frequencies. It often sounds like a soft, deep rumbling. Warmer, and therefore soothing for kids and pets, brown sounds are great for masking low tones like thunder, trains (my particular annoyance), buses, or your neighbor’s loud bass.

Brown Noise 8 Hours, for Relaxation, Sleep, Studying and Tinnitus

I listened to all of them and since reading the mentioned articles I wanted to try out which works best for me. So I already had my favorite sound which was the mentioned library sounds so I thought which of the noises would come closest to the library sounds. Thanks to this article Brown Noise Is the Best Work Soundtrack I found out about this deep layered brown noise sound.

Deep Layered Brown Noise ( 10 Hours )

This is the one which currently fits best to me and is most similar to the library sounds so I will go with that. What kind of sound does work for you?