Did you know that you can relax and focus by listening to noise?
Okay, so maybe this isn't true for all noises, but using noise colors is a great way to focus!
Similar to how candy comes in different flavors, noises come in different sound combinations.
The combination of sounds creates different colors, and those colors can be used for different things, like focusing!
What Are Noise Colors?
Noises are collections of sounds.
Colors are used to describe the sound frequencies that we hear.
Frequencies are typically described as high or low, and noise colors are a combination of different types of frequencies.
This video shows an audible progression from low to high frequencies.
How to Use Noise Colors
Noise colors are intended to be used as background sounds.
You can use them to help you focus and relax!
Three noise colors — white, pink, and brown — are best used for this purpose.
White noise has no pattern and is a mix of all sound frequencies humans can hear.
Creation: High and low sound frequencies are evenly played at the same time and create a static sound.
Examples of white noise sounds include:
Air conditioner humming
Constant running water
Also known as "broadband noise", white noise is believed to be good for:
Concentration while working
Improving and maintaining sleep quality
Helping babies cry less
Reducing hyperactivity symptoms
Pink noise is the second most popular color after white noise.
Creation: Pink noise uses more low frequencies than white noise.
Frequencies switch between high and low but the overall sound is consistent and even.
Pink noise is compared to altered sounds of nature and creates steady background sounds.
Examples of pink noise sounds include:
Steady rain falling
Leaves rustling in the wind
Calm ocean waves
Also known as "ambient" sound, pink noise is believed to be good for:
Creating soothing sounds for sleep
Improving memory retention
Brown noise has the lowest frequencies when compared to pink and white noise.
It's also known as "Brownian noise" and uses deeper, stronger frequencies to create a "bassier" sound.
Creation: Like white noise, brown noise generates sound randomly but has a lower frequency energy.
Examples of brown noise sounds include:
Rumbles of strong winds
Brown noise is believed to be good for:
Enhancing relaxation in times of anxiousness
What's With All This Noise?
Like many things in life, a noise color that one person finds to be helpful may not have the same effect on another person.
It's a good idea to try each color of noise to see what works best for you!
This video offers a comparison of the three noise colors explained in this Byte:
How to listen to noise colors
You can listen to noise colors with:
Headphones, best used in areas with distractions and other sounds.
NOTE: Be mindful of the volume set
for your headphones to avoid
Speakers, best used when you're alone or in a quiet area.
Time to Practice
Abdul is a second-year college student.
He's been feeling anxious about doing well on one of his final exams, and his anxiety has also made it harder to concentrate while studying.
Which noise color might help calm Abdul's feeling of anxiousness?
Take these steps to further your ability to focus!