Does Focus Music Improve Productivity?

Does Focus Music Improve Productivity?

Focus music is scientifically proven to reduce distraction and increase your ability to focus for long periods of time. This is measured through what is called a “phase locking value.” In short, yes, focus music can absolutely improve productivity. But it’s not just a magic solution to all distraction, there’s a lot of details and variations to unpack here.

person holding ballpoint pen writing on notebook

For the last month of my life, I’ve used focus music every day

For hours of my day, every day of the week. I’ve personally tested multiple sites, apps and YouTube videos/playlists. Including: Brain.Fm,, Endel, and various genius frequency playlists. (For example: 432 Hz, 16 hz, 30 hz, etc.) In this time, I’ve come across some very interesting information and perspective about this whole phenom.

Let’s Start With The Science

As stated above, Focus music is designed to increase your ability to focus for extended lengths of time, and reduce distraction. The bigger names in the space measure this focus music’s ability to do so by using what’s called a “phase locking value.”

In terms of “science” → I’ll try to make this brief. According to specifically Brain.Fm‘s scientists:

“This neural phase locking is allowing populations of neurons to engage in various kinds of coordinated activity. This makes our music unique, purpose-built to steer you into a desired mental state.”

Brain.Fm actually has patented sounds to create the most functional music in the whole industry, allegedly. Their proprietary system is designed especially to reduce salience and keep you hyper-focused on your tasks at hand.

And so, you may ask yourself: why would I pay to use, when I can just go listen to binaural beats playlists for free on Youtube? Well,‘s claim is as follows:

Binaural beats produce weak or absent neural synchrony while modulation applied directly in each stereo channel (rather than arising from different signals to the two ears) has much stronger effects on brain activity. Whereas, they use this (‘non-binaural’) modulation, one of many techniques to help people reach mental states.

Okay, is that enough overly-detailed science for you?

We get it, has scientists on payroll. Now, I’m no scientist, if you can believe it. But I am an individual obsessed with productivity and maximizing it in interesting ways. So of course, when I heard about focus music as a whole, I was intrigued. Then the beautiful interface mixed with these big scientific claims by Brain.Fm, I was double-intrigued.

My Actual Experience With Brain.FM

My first week trying out Brain.Fm was very interesting. Now, I can be a bit of a doubter, going into things that charge money to do seemingly simple things. But let me tell you, my first time signing up for this little trial, and popping into their “focus” session. It was.. intense. Seriously, I put it on in the background as I drank my morning coffee and started writing for the day, and it was actually.. Effective.

What the hell does that mean though? That sounds a bit vague, don’t you think?

Well, it’s difficult to describe. But let me try, as a non-scientist here. The focus-sensation started as a sort of calming, yet hyper-focusing feeling all around. It wasn’t like a drug that make you focus, or anything like that. It was more of an internal feeling. It’s like the sensation of when you’re really in the zone on something, and it feels satisfying to complete tasks. The temperature is right, you see what needs to be done to finish whatever thing you’re currently in the middle of, and you’re driven to do it. It’s as if it put you right into that middle-of-the-process feeling of engagingly working.

I don’t know if that makes any sense at all. But it truly did enforce my focus, and keep my headspace on track. The tempo kept me working fast. The sound was intense but not distracting. And whatever their mumbo jumbo about cutting out distraction: I wanted to doubt it, but it really did. It felt secondary, in the background, yet still very present, and able to shut out all distracting sounds around me.

man looking at laptop

Now, let’s talk competition:

The other apps and websites I tested in this focus music world were decent. They were interesting, and occasionally unique. But I think where they fell short for me was in the tempo and consistency. All of these additional services I tried had a slower “focus mode” which made my work-state more “relaxed.” And as it turns out, that just isn’t how I operate most effectively. I like the intensity, without it being just regular intense music. I think a lot of these lesser-known sites I found from Googling “Focus Music Sites” stayed with the idea of playing consistent, relaxing study music. Maybe that’s cool for reading up on test materials? But for me, I work fast and ideally, intensively. So faster tempo, more-depth, and progressively-evolving atmospheric focus music, that builds across time is what I find to be the most effective.

I will say, I used a one week trial of a less-famous app on IOS called Endel, and it was lovely. The focus and concentration soundscapes they use was super unique. Their interface and interaction mechanic is very intriguing. Plus, they’re focus music feels different than all the competition, but still in that same, slightly more intense feeling I’m into. It just was too expensive once my trial ran out. So I had to abandon it unfortunately. But I would definitely add Endel to my top three.

YouTube Binauaral Beats & Focus Music Playlists

As for binaural beats, genius frequencies, 432 hz soundscapes, and general YouTube focus music: This is where it’s really at. There are SO MANY options on YouTube. There’s such a huge focus-music space of different styles and especially of different hertz. We’re talking 14 hz, 432 hz, 60hz. These are all different forms of what they call “the genius frequency” or “the focus frequency” – But I found that they’re all just slightly different, and interesting to explore. I personally found that the lower-beta frequencies, like 14 hz, were the best on my concentration, but it’s definitely worth trying to see what you respond best to. The idea, is that these frequencies are ideal for concentration and easing distraction in the mind. Their sort of subliminal aspects of these focus tracks that aren’t necessarily noticeable, but are effective.

In short, the range of different, technically specific, binaural beats, frequencies, and focus music playlists on YouTube is amazing. There’s even livestreams happening all the time, just jumping through different types of “study music.” The beauty of YouTube is that it’s not one size fits all with concentration music. You can play around with specific metrics and then dig deeper once you find what you respond best too. Plus, it’s YouTube, so there’s always more content being added. So in theory, you’ll never get sick of the same cycles over and over again, which I’ve definitely noticed starting to happen on the apps and websites dedicated to focus music.

man in black crew neck t-shirt wearing black headphones

So what’s the deal here? Does Focus Music Improve Productivity?

In conclusion, from my thorough experience: Focus music does most certainly improve productivity. I mean, I get it, it sounds ridiculous. “Listen to these frequencies and you’ll succeed!” – That’s some snake oil business right there. But hey, I’ve been converted. I see the light. Since my first trial week of experimentation, I literally utilize focus music every single day. Whenever I’m doing any work that doesn’t require me to listen to something specifically, I will have focus music on in the background. The cutting out of all forms of distraction around me is crucial. The pacing just puts me in the zone. And beyond the scientific reasons for how or why it keeps me in concentration mode, I believe I’ve adapted myself into some sort of Pavlovian response system. Whenever I load up Brain.Fm, and that first wave of sounds starts, I just go into work-mode by default. So setting up a response system like that in itself, is great for productivity. And in combination with specifically focus-driving music, is a great strategy. All-in-all, I have to say it: I’m a huge fan of focus music these days. So in other words: Focus music successfully improved my productivity!

Be Sure To Check Out The Video Form Too!

In case you want some more visual details. Or perhaps you want to easily come back to this concept later. Either way, I’ve created a video on the subject of focus music down below!


Written By: Chris K. Daniels