Getting good grades takes work and the proper tools to help you on your way. Unless you have an Einstein level of genius, anything to make studying easier will ensure your entire educational experience is a good one. Studying to retain information, solve problems, or write papers requires you to fully tap into the material. Headphones facilitate this.
Increasingly, it’s becoming a trend to wear headphones in open-plan offices and in study situations in order to block out distractions and help keep us focused. The New York Times explains how sound can help us focus; “in biological terms, melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain, as would eating a delicacy, looking at something appealing or smelling a pleasant aroma, said Dr. Amit Sood, a physician of integrative medicine with the Mayo Clinic.”
But numerous studies also show that what you listen to has a big impact. “Individuals respond differently to music,” scientists were quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal, “For some, a familiar piece of music without lyrics can serve as a sound-blocker, helping screen out a colleague’s loud voice.”
That’s the key; “without lyrics”. Why? “Since listening to words activates the language center of your brain, trying to engage in other language related tasks (like writing) would be akin to trying to hold a conversation while another person talks over you… while also strumming a guitar,” explains a recent Fast Company article.
So how can you use this research to help your studies?
Focus in with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones
If you’re trying to focus, distractions can throw you off your game, so make sure you’ve got the tools to properly concentrate. Invest in the best pair you can afford, and ensure you’re thinking about comfort level. Since those A+ papers require hours of research and dedication, you’ll be wearing these in. You may wonder what exactly is considered “noise cancelling”. Noise cancellation technology can ‘hear’, measure, and analyze the noises around you. It then matches the sound with an opposite signal which serves to, in effect, cancel those outside noises so you can focus on what you really want to hear.
So now it’s time to get to browsing. There are as many pairs of headphones as there are tastes and preferences, and Best Buy has all your considerations in store.
A modern classic pair of headphones are Beats by Dr. Dre. These headphones have an outstanding reputation for solid reason; they give you the best in sound. The latest Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro On-Ear Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones have an ergonomic design for comfort, and Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) that completely blocks out external noise. They also last for up to 22 hours of listening time and up to 40 hours with ANC and Transparency turned on if you just want to enjoy some silence. For more beats, check out this overview on the Best Buy Blog.
Another pair of incredibly comfortable and immersive over-ear headphones are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones. These are designed to keep you immersed in amazing audio, while noise-cancelling technology and up to 20 hours of battery life keep you going. They also have built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa let you use your voice to control your music, set alarms and much more.
Switch it up with noise-cancelling earbuds
Over-ear headphones may not be your favourite, and you may prefer something a bit less bulky to travel around with. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live In-Ear Noise Cancelling Truly Wireless Headphones are a great choice. These truly wireless earbuds feature a powerful 12pi speaker, active noise cancellation, and built-in smart voice assistant Bixby for extended voice controls. Plus, they come with built-in Bixby voice assistants. This gives you a big range of controls using voice commands, from playing your playlists to adjusting the volume.
Choose your study audio wisely
As noted above, listening to music without words is most effective for successful studying. Playing white noise, like ocean waves, rain sounds, or the sound of a fan, all of which you can find on various free relaxation and meditation apps, could also serve to drown out external noise without overloading your brain. When I need to concentrate, or want to block out a crying baby on the plane, or loud partiers at a campsite, I load up one of these apps, pop on some headphones and relax.
Pair noise cancelling with good study practises
Blocking out noise is only the beginning. While it might help you not to be distracted, there’s more to good grades than avoiding distractions. Good note-taking, attending classes, labs and lectures, getting a good night’s sleep or using flashcards are all techniques that make learning easier. Check out some top study tips here and here.
If you’re the type of person who gets distracted at the smallest thing, some great noise cancelling or sound isolating headphones might be just what you need to help you focus and improve your grades.