Music and a pleasant audio environment can increase productivity in the workplace and provide relaxation afterwards – at least that’s what studies suggest. We’ll show you some tools that will provide you with crackling chimneys, birdsong, cozy cafes and pleasant background music.
What do we all have great noise-canceling headphones or modern laptop speakers for? For example, so that we can be pampered musically or simply with beautiful nature noises at work. Since the 1970s, researchers have repeatedly found a connection between music and increased productivity. In 2005, the American Teresa Lesiuk found out that people under the influence of music complete their tasks faster than those who cannot be exposed to sound. She was also able to determine a positive effect in terms of the wealth of ideas. How can that be?
Background audio helps with work
Put simply, it’s the dopamine. The happiness hormone – assuming the right choice of music – ensures a positive mood and stimulates motivation. While fast-paced pieces of music are said to be helpful for simple activities, researchers recommend quieter titles for more complex tasks. There are also relaxing natural sounds or sounds specially designed to activate different brain regions, such as white, brown or pink noise. All this and more are provided by the providers of various audio services and apps, some of which we present here.
These music and audio tools will help you
Focus at Will advertises neuroscientific music. (Image: Focus at Will)
If you want to take music and ambience really seriously for more productive work, Focus at Will offers you well-founded content. According to the developers, the music, composed according to neuroscientific findings and specially curated for certain requirements, increases the attention span compared to the normal value of 20 minutes to up to 200 minutes. The service is primarily aimed at students, professional writers, developers and lawyers. According to the developer, the catalog of music and ambient sounds such as running water amounts to several thousand hours. You can use Focus at Will as a client on macOS and Windows , as an app on iOS and Android or in a web browser.
Price : Free / from $ 9.95 per month per user (Pro version)
Noisli is the place for anyone who likes natural soundscapes. (Screenshot: Noisli)
At Noisli you get a versatile sound mixer with which you can put together a feel-good atmosphere from up to 28 different sounds with a click of the mouse. Would you like the crackling of a campfire with ocean surf and rumbling storm clouds in your ears? Or do you prefer noise that increases concentration? Noisli makes it possible. As a small additional feature, Noisli even has a text editor on board, which is supposed to enable trouble-free and efficient work, as well as colored backgrounds and timers for automatic switch-off. It is available in every browser, as an app for iOS and Android and as an extension for Google Chrome . You can hear up to 16 different sounds per day for one and a half hours free of charge.
Price : free / from 8 euros per month and user (Pro version) / 2.29 euros (app)
Hipstersound.com mixes café scenery with music and nature sounds. (Screenshot: t3n)
The name says it all – and hipster sound doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. The service offers you various restaurant and café soundscapes, to which you can switch on other noises such as rain and open fire, but also casual jazz, piano and guitar music. Only three environments are available in the free web service; more are available in the premium model. This also brings additional features such as a rain noise simulator and a generator for noise of different frequencies.
Price : Free / $ 29 per year per user (Premium)
It is a cliché that aspiring writers, bloggers and creative workers in general often sit in cafes to be diligent. There is a reason for this, however: Quiet work environments supposedly suppress the creative thought process, while ambient noises that are too loud distract from the essentials. The Starbucks backdrop is therefore exactly in the middle. The makers of Coffitivity take advantage of this and offer different types of background rumors from restaurants, bistros and more. You can virtually sit down in the browser. Coffitivity is also available as a free, somewhat streamlined app for iOS and Android and as an open source app for macOS .
Price : Free / from $ 9 per year per user (Premium)
Although primarily an entertainment service, Spotify also has numerous playlists that are designed for productive work. (Screenshot: t3n)
Unsurprisingly: Spotify, the world’s best-known music streaming service, can also give you a musically support at work as it does during sports workouts and relaxation. For this you will also find a variety of suitable playlists on Spotify itself, which are designed for concentrated work. It’s best to find out for yourself how well the respective combinations fit you. We have picked out a few recommended ones for you .
Price : free / 9.99 euros per month and user (premium)
With Rainy Mood you bring a cozy thunderstorm atmosphere to your desk. (Screenshot: Rainy Mood)
“Rain makes everything better” – at least that’s what the Android and iOS app Rainy Mood thinks and provides you with a varied selection of rain and thunderstorm noises in an endless loop that you can put together individually. This should ensure relaxation and a pleasant working atmosphere. You can also use Rainy Mood in your browser for free. Here, however, you do not have the opportunity to put together your own individual rain backdrop. The ministry does that for you. For this you can also play music selected by the provider that is embedded by YouTube.
Price : free / 3.19 euros (Android) / 3.49 euros (iOS)
Noise is typically minimalistic for iOS and offers you a sound mixer for various natural sounds. (Image: Apple App Store)
If you are busy with your iPhone or iPad , or at least have it close by at work, you can use the Noise app to create a productive work audio atmosphere. You can put together your backdrop from twelve different ambient sounds such as the babbling sound of the sea, a cozy café or the spring wind. If you want different sound environments for different situations, you can save your compositions as mix tapes. Additional noises and the option of running Noise in the background are available as an in-app purchase or as part of the premium version, which also supports Airplay.
Price : free / 1.09 euros (individual sounds / functions) / 8.99 euros (premium)