2 min read

How lofi music can help you focus

A person coding and listening to lofi
Photo by Vinayak Sharma / Unsplash

What is lofi and why I listen to it

Lofi hip-hop is a genre of music which is rapidly growing in popularity, due to its comfy chord progressions and nostalgic elements (like vinyl crackle and environmental noise). These elements help blend the music into the background, making the rhythm subconsciously predictable to our brains. The genre is especially popular among students, as it assists with focus by using 'amplitude modulation' and 'aural cocoons'.

I listen to lofi because it blocks out background disturbance, therefore letting me enter the 'flow state' - the optimal state of focus. (Binaural beats work too, but I find they get repetitive so I like lofi better).

The science behind lofi - Amplitude Modulation

The amplitude of a sound wave determines how loud it is. When the amplitude is changed, or 'modulated', we hear this as a change in volume. Sounds in our music modulate at many different types of rates. A lot of these modulation rates can be distracting, because they sound buzzy or fuzzy.

But some modulation rates can actually supercharge our brains, for example:

Modulations between 12 to 30Hz are called Beta waves. Our brains modulate at this rate when we are awake and alert. Beta rhythms are linked to problem solving, decision making and focus.

And it's not just Beta waves, there's modulation rates that can help with things like sleep (Delta and Theta), and relaxation (Alpha) as well.

Note: The effect of binaural beats will ONLY work with headphones (this includes lofi)

I discovered lofi earlier this year and it's become my favourite genre of music. Do you listen to music when you are trying to focus? What type of music?

Thanks for reading!

the science behind lofi - Answer In Progress
How Focus Music Hacks Your Brain - Cheddar Explains
Does Lofi Music Really Help You Study?

Some good lofi:
korean bakery feels [chill lofi beats]
S N U G x Dimension 32 – fireflies

Some good binaural beats:
1. 60 Minutes of Focused Studying: The Best Binaural Beats
2. 20-Minute POWER NAP for Energy and Focus: The Best Binaural Beats
3. [BEGINNER] The Best Binaural Beats for a Restful Sleep (90-Minute Sleep Cycle)
4. [SUPER-ADVANCED] 8-Hour Sleep! Growth Hormone, Memory, Learning and More: The Best Binaural Beats