Have you ever wondered what your fellow headphone enthusiasts are listening to in Ode? A surprising number of UW students swear by lo-fi beats. Lo-fi music, or low-fidelity music, first gained popularity in 90s cassette culture before becoming a craze in modern academia for its fuzzy background noise and concentration-boosting properties. . Lo-fi has since found its way onto music streaming platforms and into the YouTube sphere, where millions of people tune in every day.
Sophomore Sadah Sarkaria is one of many UW students who loves the genre.
“I listen to lo-fi to help me concentrate,” Sarkaria said. “I think the whole point of lo-fi music is to help people focus.”
As we approach finals week, check out the YouTube channels below to discover your new favorite internet study spots and communities.
Abao in Tokyo (阿鲍 Abao)
With its impeccable editing and relaxing premise of studying with me, Abao in Tokyo takes the cake as my favorite lo-fi channel on the list. The channel uses the Pomodoro technique (which involves working in 25-minute blocks with five-minute breaks) to create an environment that balances work, focus, discipline and rest.
The channel also does a great job of providing two to four hour videos with various audio options. Whether you’re a fan of studying at night in the rain or in the morning to the sounds of the piano and the street, Abao in Tokyo lets you tailor your study experience to suit your personal tastes.
With an impressive 10.5 million subscribers, Lofi Girl (formerly ChilledCow) easily wins the popularity award on this list. The ubiquitous streaming channel graphic of a girl studying with her cat from the Japanese animated film “Whisper of the Heart” has become both a cultural phenomenon and a universal symbol for lo-fi study music.
Freshman Jacob Ortiz and sophomore Amaya Whitney both said that this channel was one of their favorites.
“He just popped up on my recommendation,” Whitney said. “It helps me, especially if I’m in noisy areas.” Ortiz called the channel “the one with the girl”, but said he “loves all things lo-fi too”.
If you’re looking for a universally loved, 24/7 hip-hop stream, or a vibrant community of students to study with, Lofi Girl is for you.
You’ve heard of white noise, sure, but have you heard of pink noise? Brown noise? Maybe purple noise? If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, head over to crysknife007, the audio channel you didn’t know you needed. This channel specializes in synthetic ambient noise and has an endless list of amazing soundscapes to explore.
Some of my personal favorites include their planetary soundscapes, super deep blue noise, and spaceship ambient noise videos. With videos ranging from six to 12 hours, this channel can help you with those long study sessions or to escape coffee shop chatter.
For those looking to study with darker-toned atmospheric music, Conspersa Prometheum is a little corner of YouTube you’ll definitely enjoy. With videos ranging from “Afternoon Relaxation” and “4 AM” to “Atmospheric Black Metal Compilation” and “Music for Reading Horror Stories”, I can say with great certainty that he there is something here for everyone. The videos on this channel are 30 minutes to an hour long, making them the perfect accompaniment to throwing papers at the last minute — and maybe falling asleep trying to do so.
Greenred Productions – Relaxing Music
Greenred Productions is a one stop shop for fans of binaural beats, delta wave meditation music and polyrhythmic noise. Most videos are between eight and 12 hours long, with epic fantasy stationary graphics serving as a stable background for work and study.
This audio is perfect for those who don’t like to study with music but still appreciate a subtle background noise that isn’t as flat as white noise. Whether you’re studying, painting, sleeping, meditating or just hanging out, Greenred Productions – Relaxing Music is a channel you won’t regret subscribing to.
A few honorable mentions include Merve (for the clean aesthetic), Jay Skullz (for the absolute focus), and Seaside Café Jazz (for the seagull sounds).
Contact contributing writer Quinn Rector at email@example.com. Twitter: @QuinnRector
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