Work and Career

What is the best noise to listen to while you work?

If you find the different office or work music playlists on Spotify, SoundCloud, or Apple Music too loud, too slow, or too upbeat for your taste, you’re not the only one.

While some people find loud music very effective in getting their blood running and their brain cells working, some simply just cannot concentrate while Imagine Dragons blare in their ear pods.

However, if you turn off the television and everything else that’s creating all the unnecessary noise, the silence can also be a bit unnerving. You will still find it hard to concentrate. Who knew that too much quiet can be very distracting, too?

What’s the best noise to listen to if you want to stay productive, avoid distractions, and get the job done? It turns out that the best noise to listen to depends on what kind of job you’re working on.

White Noise / Pink Noise / Brown Noise

People respond differently to colored noise, but what makes it effective for most is its ability to mask almost any kind of external sound. Writers, editors, researchers, coders, and designers who work in busy offices with a lot of noise and people traffic swear by colored noise. It works effectively by blocking out external noise and helps a lot when you need to read long paragraphs and absorb important information or when you need to write, edit, design or code.

Instrumental Music

Some people prefer to listen to beautiful and relaxing instrumental music. It does not have the distraction of words or lyrics, which adds to the number of sounds your ears and your brain need to process.

Jazz and classical music are highly recommended. It’s slow, relaxing, and steady — the perfect kind of music that can foster creativity and strong concentration. It’s best to listen while reading, studying, brainstorming, designing or writing.


If you’re a writer of fiction or nonfiction, an illustrator or a designer, listening to soundtracks can make the scenes and images in your head come to life.

When writing a scene for your fantasy novel or your screenplay, listening to the opening theme of Game of Thrones can trigger something in your brain that will let you write a more compelling and thrilling scene. It’s the same with a really beautiful and haunting melody played on the piano.

Pop Music

When brainstorming topics or coming up with names, titles, lines, and scenarios, listening to your favorite pop songs can give you that flash of inspiration. Taylor Swift’s 1989 album alone can inspire you to write a young adult romance trilogy!

However, more than the inspiration, listening to pop music gives you the boost you need when you’re starting to feel tired. It forces you to sit up straighter and bob your head to the beat, even dance a little bit on your seat.

Since they’re your favorite pop songs, your brain does not need to process the new information each time you listen to a brand new song and its lyrics.

Rouselle Isla

Contributor at Kami
Rouselle Isla

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