2022-06-28 / Endel

The science behind Focus

Black and White rainbow

Endel’s soundscapes are people-proven: users across the globe are finding their focus through the power of sound. But, crucially, they’re also backed by science.

A study published in 2021 demonstrated the power of Endel’s approach. It found that when compared to playlists and silence, Endel’s Focus soundscape is better at helping you concentrate, offering an up to 7x boost in focus. Using pioneering methods, the study went deeper than anything that had been done before, shedding new light on how sounds affect our cognitive state.

How the study worked

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Published by Arctop, a data and AI technology company that has developed a pioneering brain decoding method, the white paper used Endel’s personalized Focus soundscapes, alongside focus-themed playlists from popular streaming platforms, to see how they affected a cross-section of users as they performed everyday tasks.

Arctop examined participants doing various tasks in their home or work environments. While listening to either Endel soundscapes, curated playlists, or silence, each volunteer completed four one-hour sessions that included set tasks and an activity of their choosing. Participants were monitored using state-of-the-art technology, which picked up on the brain’s impulses and tracked its responses to the audio in relation to the task being carried out.

The results showed that participants listening to Endel increased their focus significantly when compared to listening to music playlists or silence. Focus was maintained longer and more consistently while working.

“When we set up this experiment we didn’t know what would happen,” explains Dan Furman, PhD, the study’s principal investigator. “One of our main takeaways is that the personalization of soundscapes is really effective.”

The approach to the research is also relatively new, Furman explains.

“One thing we want to highlight is that the method we used is naturalistic neuroscience – outside of the lab, with no technicians present, no wires. It was a uniquely natural capture of data. Here people were able to work at home, and use their own tablet or phone. They wore regular headphones and a light headband only for the brain decoding, which was really novel. They were able to experience the content exactly as they would in everyday life. Ultimately, we believe that context gives more credence to our findings.”

What makes Focus effective?


The sounds found in our Focus soundscape are carefully engineered in line with neuroscience and psychoacoustics. Dmitry Evgrafov, composer, sound designer and Endel co-founder, explains how the soundscape works.

“The tempo is closely tied to your heart rate, and can adjust based on your resting and active heart rate. The sounds are more active, have less reverb, and are more nuanced [than in other Endel soundscapes]. There is a very gentle balance that must be maintained with the rhythm, as the brain starts to block out rhythmic sounds after a time.”

The Arctop report offered Dmitry and his team insights into how to make Focus even better. “Thanks to the report, we see how the entire structure of a song impacts brain functionality. This isn’t something we could have worked out ourselves. There are other layers of knowledge as well, such as the acoustical and other sound treatments that are present in the very spectrum of the sound. These parameters can help us program our core technology.”

The Arctop study backs up Endel’s belief that personalized soundscapes are the best way to experience functional music. And it charts a course for us to enhance our soundscapes in new and exciting ways, furthering our goal to improve your everyday life through the power of sound.