noiseWhen I really need to concentrate I listen to brown noise. I find that it boosts my productivity and keeps me from getting distracted by sounds around me. This is most useful in coffee shops or noisy offices, but I even do this when it’s quiet.

Brown noise is similar to white noise; it sounds like random static. However, brown noise is at a slightly lower pitch so it’s easier to listen to. That means that I can work for hours without hurting my ears!

You can download some free random noise MP3s to play on your computer or iPod, or listen to some right from your browser. Both work great.

This works better than my previous method (using ear plugs) because the sounds aren’t just blocked, they’re all scrambled up by the static. I get so much input from my ears that my brain ignores sound all together and focuses on work!

Anybody else tried this? How else do you keep focused?

8 thoughts on “Using White Noise for Concentration

  1. download some free random noise MP3s –> this link leads to the ear plug page

    BTW, since mp3 will filter out some frequency, will the white noise still be white?

  2. Thanks. The link is FIXED. I don’t enough about audio compression to know if the noise is still “white” in a principled DSP kind of way, but it will still sound like static, and it still helps me focus : )

  3. I’ve done this before. You can even have the audio rotate left-right at specific frequencies which is supposed to effect the theta rhythm, which is probably BS, but an interesting idea. I stopped because I felt that listening to loud noise is probably even worse for the ear than music, especially since you don’t notice it to take a break every once in a while. Like how you don’t notice airplane noise.

  4. Hi Shawn
    Hearing you listen to the Brown Noise frequently, I deduce that what ppl say about the effect of brown noise on human body ( is not correct! or…is it?
    but seriosely talking, I dont think it is a healthy practice to listen to noise.

    ps. you’ve got a nice blog

  5. Nice blog. I was looking for a website that I can get a nice white/pink/brown noise audio file from as well as one to listen to on the web so I can have a seamless stream without the random “pop” that’s at the beginning when looping. Definitely helping me concentrate on studying and researching right now. :)

    Ehsan, it’s not unhealthy to listen to noise. In fact, it can be very good for you. You can meditate easier as well as concentrate better. There was a recent study that was conducted of whose result was that children with ADD and ADHD concentrated much better while listening to white noise. It’s the equivalent for someone to listen to music to help them concentrate, but without the lyrics and other musical aspects that can actually distract rather than help.

  6. This is very interesting! The sound looks like little waterfall sound. I heard that water sound have been used to cure some illnesses. Maybe we should dig deeper to find out the relation between the two.

  7. I’d have to agree with you. I use brown noise at my office much of the day to drown out car traffic noise outside my ground floor window. It works well except for the loudest vehicles like trucks, motorcycles. But, brown noise still helps dilute those sounds rather than completely eliminating them like it does with other traffic noise. I like brown better than white or any of the other color noises because it has a lower octave of sound and thus can blend in better with the lower sound of car mufflers and engines accelerating away from the stop sign by my window. I can leave it at a lower volume than the other colors and that allows me to carry on conversations easier. I never use this noise at a level that would damage hearing. You don’t need it that loud. It does help me concentrate on my work easier.

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