How to Block Out Noise While Studying

block noise while studying

While in school, there is a time for having fun and a time for studying. It is important to have a balance of both (more studying than fun I hope), but what happens when you are ready to study while your neighbors are ready to have fun? It is estimated that we are exposed to one billion stimuli per second. Though our brain can filter this number down, we still take in about 100 stimuli per second. Most of this stimulus is sound. The following are ways to help you block out the unwanted noise while you are trying to study.

Learn More: Quiet Places to Study in College

Block Unwanted Noise with Soundproof Curtains

When I was in school I did most of my studying in my room at my desk. Unfortunately, the window in my bedroom faced a pretty busy street – there was a bus stop right outside, and there was construction going on just on the other side of the road. At the time, I didn’t realize that window soundproofing could be an option for me so that I could actually focus on my studying.

The AcousticCurtainTM soundproofing curtain not only blocks out over 99% of light, but it is also thermal so it will save you money on your electric bills. Designed to block 50-90% of sound coming in through doors and windows, the AcousticCurtain is STC-rated to 26 points, meaning that you will hear less sound in your room and be able to focus on the big exam!

Unfortunately, soundproof curtains are really just an option to use in your own home, if you prefer studying in libraries or coffee shops, you’ll have to try some different soundproofing methods.

Mask Disturbances While You Study – Create Your Own Noise

Headphones to Block Noise While Studying

The easiest and most common soundproofing method when trying to study in a loud environment is to play music on your headphones. Similar to a white noise machine, music helps to mask the distracting noises that might be going on around you in your study space.

If you are the type of person who can concentrate with music playing, try putting on headphones and listening to your favorite music to help you focus. Classical music tends to be the most effective because it acts as a background noise without over-stimulating your brain causing you to lose focus. is a great FREE website that you can use to listen to any genre of music you like.

While music is a great option for people who would rather study in public, if you like to study in your bedroom or another room in your house, you can use a desktop sound machine. White noise machines are small enough that they won’t take up too much space on your desk, and you can take them with you on trips. The noise created by a white noise machine sounds like a louder AC, and it works to raise the background noise level in a space so that it can “mask” sounds that would otherwise be distracting or alarming while you study.

Move to a Quieter Space to Avoid Noise While Studying

Sometimes the best solution is to just move areas completely to avoid noise while your study. If your roommates are having a party and nothing you do seems to help you focus, try going to the library to study. Be sure to find a study floor instead of a group study floor to ensure that it is quiet and the least distracting as possible. If it is a pretty day outside, go to a nice local park. Being in a different environment can also help stimulate and awaken the brain.

Create a Soundproof Environment from Your Study Space

Avoid Noise While Studying

Avoiding noise while you study can be a challenge especially if you have noisy roommates or neighbors. Soundproofing your windows an doors, or using music and white noise can be great ways to block out noise while you study.

Okay, so you aren’t hungry or tired and listening to music while studying is just another distraction. If you do not want to leave your home, then make your home a soundproof studying sanctuary! There are several ways you can go about this:

  1. One is acoustic ceiling tiles which are rather hard to find and install, especially if you are a college student living in a dorm.
  2. The second option would be soundproofing the walls with extra drywall, a WALLMATE®, or a heavy quilted curtain.
  3. A third option would be hanging soundproofing curtains over the windows and doors. The AcousticCurtainTM and AcoustiDoorTM keep out 90% of the external sound that normally comes in through the windows and doors. They are also super easy to install and come in pretty colors (including chevron).

Visualize What You Are Studying

Have you ever noticed that when you are focusing on something you are really interested in, the noises around you seem to quieten and what you are thinking about seems to be right in front of you? If the sounds around you are making it hard to focus, try visualizing what you are studying. For instance, if you are reading about different forms of businesses or elements in chemistry, try to visualize the type of business or atom instead of just reading about them. If you find the topic boring, try to make it relate to your life. It will make it more interesting and easier to remember when it comes test time!

Check out our Ultimate Guide on Soundproofing Your Apartment