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Does Noise (White/Pink/Brown) help concentration? Any literature to speak about this?

Note: This is not similar to this because I am asking specifically about noise not music.

I am not asking about Classical, Lyrics-less or any other music. I am asking specifically about noise. Something like a drone.

EDIT: Could you also comment as to whether it is healthy (for the ears) to be listening to such Noise all day?

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A better alternative might be noise cancellation. Not only is it 'softer' on the ears, but it also drowns out conversations in the same way that noise does. –  Muz Apr 20 '13 at 14:05
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For those who don't know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colors_of_noise

Basically, in an environment where there are other noises that can lead to distraction, these noises DO help concentration and productivity by drowning out the distracting noises.

Programmers such as myself cannot focus when conversations are constantly happening near by - but if I have music or if another programmer has noise canceling headphones on, work can be done.

It also depends on the kinds of work. Mechanical work, work requiring pre-scripted movements or little cognitive processes are probably not impacted by the implementation of colored noises. Factory workers don't get faster if the entire factory becomes quite.

But anything that requires mental concentration and a line of thought will benefit from these things that help "shut out" things that might get in the way.

Disclosure: These are my opinions and I am not an expert in the fields of acoustics, electrical engineering, physics or psychology.

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You might find this link on white noise generally useful.

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