Do You Use Ambient Sounds To Boost Your Productivity?

Do You Use Ambient Sounds To Boost Your Productivity?

Last year we shared the best sounds for getting work done with you and the science behind using them. Today we want to hear about whether not you use ambient sounds when you work.

What kind of ambient noise or music do you use to help you get work done? Is the hum of the server fans enough? Do you listen to ocean waves even though you’re in a cubicle in Kansas? We want to hear about the ambient noise you use — if at all! — to help you drown out outside distractions and focus on your work.

If you’ve never toyed with the idea of using ambient noise to help focus, definitely check out our full guide to doing so. It’s packed with online resources for downloading and listening to ambient tracks. If you’re already doing it, let’s hear about it in the comments. Alternately, if you don’t find listening to anything — music, ambient noise tracks, a fan in the corner — is helpful we want to hear about that too.


  • I reckon World Music is the way to go. Ambient/techno starts sounding like elevator music after a while. Often classical is either too beautiful to ignore or too ponderous to inspire. The white noise/pseudo background noise route is jut plain naff.

    I made a playlist of World Music to keep me energised & on track for study. There’s some fantastic stuff out there which is energising, inspiring & authentic. Best of all, you get access to this groovy bank of music that’s outside of the everyday stuff you hear, and you can get on with your work without the distraction of english lyrics.

  • I listen to Nick Skitz’s SkitzMix music.
    As long as no one comes to my desk, with this music playing in my headphones I seem to plough through my task list.

    I also blast the stereo at home with this as well for when I need to get through the house work 🙂

  • Stars of the Lid !

    But if you want ambient / gitch / technoish / experimental, odd noise music, then have a look at Oval, Taylor Deupree, Vladislav Delay.

    Personally I find Music for 18 Musicians / Drumming by Steve Reich works rather well, it’s hypnotic but not exactly too interesting to command your attention imo.

  • I listen to Hans Zimmer, he does movie soundtracks, it sure helps but when that one song that i love the most comes on i have to stop working and appreciate it.

  • I mainly listen to music when im working on something long like a sculpture, design or computer based artistic program. I dont listen to audiobooks because without realising, they stop you from considering your work as you go because you’re busy considering the story you’re being told.

    I dont listen to anything when I’m working on something more complex like a report or some uni math homework, as the music occasionally breaks focus which leads me to screw up by forgetting something about what I was doing.

    In the case where I do listen to music however, I make sure its without lyrics and tend to either go for film and game soundtracks like the Myst series or Clint Mansell’s Moon and Fountain soundtracks, or something minimalistic like Philip Glass’ Solo Piano or Animals In Love soundtrack, as they have repetitive themes and are unintrusive. Always looking for something new to try out though, so I’ll have to watch this post for a couple of days to see if anything comes up!

  • I concentrate better listening to my Ipod at work – mainly doom metal/hard rock which has lots of instrumentals – though when doing accounting course work though I had to drown out my my flat mates techno with the xmen sound track – couldn’t listen to anything that my brain could actually follow, as in anything with lyrics.

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