It varies person to person. I love having old Jazz albums on a low volume while I do research and write, sometimes I also listen to Binaural beats. Other times, I'm able to have on some of my favorite albums, but again, at a reasonable volume to a point where I don't get distracted too much by it. I have severe problems with concentration, so ironically, it helps to have other things going on while I perform those tasks. I utilize other things as well, just as subtle effects to help keep me focused.