Do Headphones Help Improve Concentration? (with focus tips)


Listening to music while working is something most of us do. We plug in our headphones and continue to work. It makes us enjoy the task we are performing. Studies have also shown that music helps in increasing creativity. But there are many people who claim to lose focus while listening to music through earphones, which is also unarguable.

The answer to this is that everyone is different and everyone’s brain functions differently too, some enjoy music through headphones while solving math problems, in fact, they claim to do it better with headphones plugged in, on the other hand, some claim that in order to concentrate, they need a quiet place, no earphones at all. 

The real question is, do headphones help you concentrate? Headphones help to block out outside noise, which in turn will help to keep the focus on the task at hand. Many modern headphones have noise-cancellation technology which makes it easy to avoid distractions and help you concentrate for a long stretch of time.

According to many studies and research conducted in Taiwan, two groups of people were given a quiz, one group did it without the headphones and the other group had headphones on with some music. Those without headphones did poorly on the quiz while the other group did it brilliantly.

Another study shows that in an office, people who wear headphones did the work quicker than those who do not, who would have thought, right? Being a part of the 21st century, life gets very stressful and the constant distractions keep you away from being productive! Working in an environment where people are around all the time, it gets hard to focus and concentrate on things that matter, like completing work, tasks, etc.

Here comes technology. Headphones help in making you feel as if you are in isolation even when people are around you. Once you put headphones on, you get into your own world. All the things which were distracting you, just get eliminated. Do you find the constant foot-tapping of your colleague next to you very annoying? The constant sounds? Do they distract you from completing your work in peace?

Once you put on your headphones, all the extra noises just go away. They are a great way of de-stressing yourself and helping you relax. You can put on calm music of your own choice and focus on your work. People have claimed that headphones help in calming their nerves down especially for those who find crowded spaces and noise a source of anxiety. For some, putting on noise-cancelling headphone is enough because they desire quietness ad calmness, some prefer to put on music. It all comes down to individual preferences. 

Why wearing Headphones can Help Your Concentration

Woman taking a business call

Easy to Move Around

While you have your headphones on, you can easily move around without any hurdle and keep on doing your work. Now for instance, if you are on call and you do not have headphones on, you will have to keep holding on to your phone and you will have to stop doing your work too. Wireless headphones let you move around and do whatever you want. You can multitask, talk on call while doing chores, talk on call while doing an assignment, move around in the office or at home freely, this leads to more efficiency and productivity. 

Increases Productivity

There is a study that shows that using headphones or wireless headphones instead of stereos or telephones tends to spike up productivity by 43%.

Another research has shown that participants performed better in typing and writing while wearing a set of headphones. How, you must ask, does it increase productivity? Well, imagine yourself talking on a call, you have your one hand busy holding the phone which restricts you from doing other things, a wireless headphone will let you talk on call or enjoy music without restricting your movements. 

It Provides Better Sound Quality

Through these headphones, the quality of sound is improved too. Especially if you are wearing a set of noise-cancelling headphone, you will never hear the awful and high pitched noises of mic setting or rubbing because they have been built in such a way that it completely eradicates the background noise. 

Improves Posture

Did you know that putting your phone on your ear every day for hours leads to muscle cramps? Like pain in neck, fatigue, pain in shoulder blades, etc.? Well, headphones are the saviors!

While wearing a headphone you will not have to hold your phone in different postures, so it relieves you from the stress and neck pains that are caused by holding your phone to your ear every day. 

Listening to Stereo Speakers vs. Headphones

When you are listening to music on stereo speaker, you hear the music with both the channels at once, both from your right ear and left ear, so the sound always seems lower as compared to headphones, as in headphones there is sound for the right ear and for the left ear, separately, So the sound of headphone will always be better and louder than that of a speaker. 

Secondly, when listening to songs on the stereo, the sound of the room or the acoustics of the room are also heard. So when you come closer to the speaker, only then you can hear the direct sound out of it, however, that is not the case with headphones. Headphones do not at all take into account the sounds of the room. 

Last but not the least, one of the most important advantages of listening to music on headphones is that it will not disturb anyone around you. However, while listening to it on a stereo will cause disturbance to others around you. 

What to Listen to on Headphones while Concentrating

Music

You can listen to your favorite songs while doing house chores or whatever you want to do. You can roam around, jog, and go for a run while listening to music without getting disturbed. Studies have shown instrumental music works the best for spiking productivity and improving concentration. 

Silence

Yes, are you one of those who hate crowded spaces? And all the noises? Especially if you are living in an urban area, the everyday noises of the vehicles, horns, and people is a must! So in order to get rid of such noises, these noise cancellation headphones work the best.

Once you put them on, they completely eradicate the extra noises and give you complete silence to calm your nerves. So the time you dread going out or traveling in public because of these noises, I suggest you wear these headphones! 

Binaural Beats

Now, let us talk about how effective binaural beats are in improving focus. 

Binaural beats are used for people for different outcomes. Some use them to get rid of their anxiety and stress conditions while others use them to improve their concentration and overall focus. Studies have also shown that binaural beats work best for improving attentional focus, and if a person keeps on getting binaural therapy, it is likely that he will develop his focus more and more and will learn how to be in the moment and pay more attention to the tasks.

Not only this, but many different types of research conclude that binaural beat therapy helps in getting rid of anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Have you noticed people who constantly tap their feet while they are thinking? This is a sign of anxiety, binaural beat therapy also overcomes this issue.

Furthermore, it increases concentration, helps in improving focus and also plays a key role in improving motivation in a person too. All this leads to a boost in confidence of a person, stronger and better long term memory and better moods. 

What Kinds of Music Works Best for Concentration?

Classical Music

Studies have shown that classical and baroque music works best for improving concentration dramatically and hence ultimately leading to improved productivity. 

The Music of Nature

Soothing and calming sounds like that of a waterfall, or a fountain, the waves, rainfall, leaves rustling, etc. are said to improve concentration too. And along with that, it calms one’s mind and soul. These sounds are said to improve the cognitive function of the brain. 

Epic Music

Do you feel dull and lazy? Tired all the time? No motivation to complete the daily tasks? Then epic music is for you. It makes you think like you are making the change you always wanted to make in this world. It gives you the motivation and inspiration to do the tasks. 

Sounds from Video Games

Video game sounds are designed to stimulate the whole experience. These work best for improving concentration and focus too! 

There have been many such studies that indicate that music has a huge impact on performance and in improving one’s focus. According to Fassbender, music has a long-lasting impact and effect on one’s memory and it also improves moods and sports performance. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, we believe that it comes down to an individual if whether or not music helps in increasing motivation. While headphones are a no-no for some, others claim that they get super productive when they put them on. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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