Coding: Why Headphones Help for Silencing Noisy Brains





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Coders or “hackers,” clicking away on their keyboard with a pair of headphones or earphones on their ears, is a common sight in movies, cartoons, and video games.

That is pretty much true, even in real life. If you’re around coders enough, you might’ve noticed that and wondered why coders wear headphones.

Coders wear headphones during work to eliminate all of the unwanted noise of their surroundings. This gives them a suitable work environment with no distractions, which is essential for mind-tasking work such as coding.

Well, that’s one of the reasons why coders wear headphones, and it’s pretty obvious. But each individual is different.

Different people may have different reasons for having headphones on while working. So, to learn more about coder culture, keep on reading.

Reasons Why Coders Use Headphones While Coding

Coding doesn’t involve any sound. You must wear headphones when watching movies, playing games, and playing music composition. So, why do coders always have a pair of headphones on?

There are numerous reasons behind this. Here are some reasons why programmers wear headphones when working:

Block Surrounding Noises

Noise from your surroundings can be annoying at times. When you try to focus on your work, like studying, gaming, painting, writing, etc., noise can throw you off concentration.

An intricate task like coding requires utmost attention. Any sound from your surroundings can ruin the hour-long exertion.

So, the headphones work as a barrier to block any noise. Even in the quietest room, sound might intrude.

It could be your pet dropping something or your partner calling your name. A good pair of headphones will block everything from entering your ear.

Signal to Others that You’re Working

No one knows what you are listening to when you are wearing headphones. What they do know is that you are engaged. You are not accessible for small talk.

The headphone is a great way to drive away unwanted interactions.

You don’t always work from home as a programmer. You can bring your laptop anywhere and start working. It could be your favorite restaurant or a park in the neighborhood.

The office will be your workplace if you work in a software firm. All these places can be full of interruptions. Headphones can isolate you from everyone and everything.

Listen to Music

Many prefer listening to music while working instead of dead silence. Music helps to concentrate, enhances creativity, and, thus, boosts production.

There are special types of music to listen to when programming. So, it is common for coders to turn on some Lofi-beats while crunching codes.

All coders don’t necessarily listen to songs. They can sometimes listen to soothing instrumentals or even natural sounds like rain, sea waves, etc.

As long as the music soothes them, doesn’t cause irritation, and helps them focus.

Why Does A Coder Need A Quiet Environment?

A quiet environment is free from any distractions. So, coders working with incredibly intricate tasks must be highly focused. And that is why they need a quiet environment.

Coders, programmers, and many others also prefer a quiet environment while working. Especially the types of work that require creativity and strong focus, like painting, writing stories, designing, and programming.

A quiet environment helps you to focus on your work, dissect the problems and find solutions.

Not only that, a quiet environment means there is no distraction. A slight diversion from work can be quite impactful.

Programming is not like writing a few hundred lines one after the other. Many mathematical formulas and problem-solving are involved throughout a program’s lines.

It’s like solving math, humongous math. If someone calls your name, you are sure to mess it up. In coding, the problems are related to each other. You must keep all of them in mind and work in a coordinated manner.

If anything distracts you and you forget maybe one or two of the problems you were supposed to work with, you may need to rewrite the entire program. Because all of them are interconnected, not one will function without the other.

To avoid any disturbance and focus fully on the work, coders need a quiet environment. To get a quiet environment, there is nothing better than good-quality headphones.

What Type of Headphones Should You Get?

If you are a coder considering buying a pair of headphones, there are two types of noise cancellation: passive noise-canceling headphones and active noise-canceling headphones. You should go for active noise-canceling headphones.

I will briefly discuss each of them to help you understand why active noise-canceling headphones are much better. Let’s go:

Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones

Passive noise cancellation means the headphones act as a physical barrier between your ear and all unwanted noise.

No technology is concerned here. It’s like putting your fingers in your ears to eliminate sounds. The headphones block your ear canal and prevent sound waves from entering.

Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Active noise-canceling headphones are the yield of technology. They have a tiny microphone that detects external soundwaves.

The headphone emits opposite sound waves to cancel the first, thus neutralizing the ambient sound.

Active noise-canceling headphones require a battery since they need to produce and emit their sound wave. As you can already understand, active noise-canceling headphones are more efficient in their job.

These headphones are used in airlines, eSports, tournaments, and more.

You already know the answer to which one is better from the above discussion. If you have the budget, use active noise-canceling headphones as they are pricier.

Top 3 Headphones for Coding

I have the freedom to mention the three best headphones for intense coding sessions. Of the three, one is an earbud since many do not prefer over-ear headphones. Let’s go:

Sony WH1000XM2

Sony WH1000XM2 is one of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. Despite being a three-year-old model, it has Sony’s industry-leading noise-canceling technology that eliminates all the unwanted sounds from the environment.

Its built-in AI determines the degree of noise cancellation judging from your activities. Its touch control is impressive.

The sound quality is pretty good. Its fast charging allows you to get 70 minutes of battery life with just 10 minutes of charging.

Bose QuietComfort 20

Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds is a high-quality earbud well known for its noise-canceling ability. It runs on a rechargeable battery which takes only 8 hours for a full charge.

It has an active mode that instantly turns off or turns on the noise-canceling to let you hear outside sound.

Despite being on the expensive side, it’s worth every penny. It also comes with many accessories for better convenience when used.

Sennheiser PXC 550

The PCX 550 by Sennheiser is a king of music and noise canceling. Its battery life is quite impressive. You can use it for 30 hours after a single charge.

It uses three microphones to pick up sound from all directions. Thus, providing the user with a precise noise-canceling experience.

It is lightweight and very well-designed. You can wear it comfortably for prolonged periods. The foldable designs let you carry this easily anywhere you go.


A top-notch noise-canceling headphone can boost your productivity as a programmer. If you are new to coding, you will not always understand why programmers wear headphones.

You may have seen your coder friends or colleagues wear it all the time, but you never knew the answer. Well, now you do.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this article was able to quench all of your curiosities.

Amazing Headphones for Coders

Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones

Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones

  • High-performance wireless noise-canceling headphones
  • Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback
Beats Studio3 Advanced

Beats Studio3 Advanced

  • High-performance wireless noise-canceling headphones
  • Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback
  • Apple’s W1 chip
JBL Everest Elite 300

JBL Everest Elite 300

  • Bluetooth 4.0 – Connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device for amazing sound quality without the hassle of wires
  • Legendary JBL Pro Audio Sound – Enjoy the same elevated experience and incredible sound JBL has been delivering to concert halls, studios, and living rooms
JBL Everest 750 Headphones

JBL Everest 750 Headphones

  • Adaptive Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
  • Legendary JBL Pro Audio Sound
  • 15 Hour Battery, Quick Recharge In 3 Hours
JBL Under Armour Sport

JBL Under Armour Sport

  • UNDER ARMOUR FABRIC TECHNOLOGY: Featuring two of Under Armour’s unique fabric technologies
  • UP TO 16-HOUR SPEED CHARGE BATTERY: Wireless headphones that last long and recharge quickly. One hour of workout time on just 5 minutes’ charge.
Monster ROC Sport

Monster ROC Sport

  • Powerful pure Monster sound. Connectivity technology: Wired
  • Control Talk universal inline Audio controls
  • Tangle-free Coiled cable
  • Exclusively designed for Cristiano Ronaldo

About the author

2 responses to “Coding: Why Headphones Help for Silencing Noisy Brains”

  1. Martin Sanders Avatar
    Martin Sanders

    I’ve coded for so many years wearing headphones, that it’s become exceedingly difficult for me to code unless i’m wearing earphones.

    We are all pavlov rats.

    1. Josh Koop Avatar
      Josh Koop

      I honestly fully agree, to get in a zone headphones help so much. Especially as corporate environments continue to get noise by dropping cubicle walls and “space sharing”!

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