I asked this question at another community but think it will be OK to be here. So it's like this:

I've got a chronic phobia with keyboard sound. Unfortunately, my working place has a few constant clicking sources throughout the day. I'm thinking of listening to music as a coping strategy with this stress. Some articles recommend using music for mental and productivity boost while other opponents think differently. I don't really look for the productivity-related impact, regardless of whether it's positive or not, but instead try to find a remedy for the disturbing effect of the keyboards.

That problem has emerged since I entered college, extended and intensified to doctoral training when I had shared office and students were almost required to be present. Now I'm a postdoc but it still won't let me alone, at least for the next couple of years.

So I'd like to know if some of you also have the same experience and what you've done to get around it. If music is your solution, a suggestion on the genre and tracks would be appreciated. I'm in social sciences and data analysis disciplines if that may matter for the choice

  • 1
    Why not try it and see? Other people's experience really doesn't matter here -- you need to find a solution that works for you.
    – Caleb
    Mar 13, 2015 at 4:00
  • 1
    Have you talked to a doctor about this? It doesn't sound like something you should ask unqualified strangers on the Internet about. You may need a professional to step in.
    – Makoto
    Mar 13, 2015 at 5:45
  • If I had this problem I would want to listen to a tape full of keyboard clickity clack and hopefully defeat this demon in my mind. Personally I agree the sound can be annoying as hell but I've never experienced a "phobia" of it. On the other hand, when my co-workers have their ridiculous smart phones chimes going off that drives me insane.
    – Brandin
    Mar 13, 2015 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


A noise cancelling headset work for many people who are bothered by ambient noise in an office environment. You can play music or not while wearing them. A white noise generator could help as well.

Any music that you like should be fine. You might experiment with vocal and non-vocal music to see which you find less distracting.

  • 2
    I'm a fan of simplynoise.com
    – user8365
    Mar 13, 2015 at 0:03
  • Just a note before you run out and buy an expensive thing: I would add that noise cancelling headsets are best at dealing with continuous sound such as a jet engine or a ventilation system, and quite less good (perhaps only muffling somewhat) staccato sounds such as railway segments and impact tools (which could be said to include some keyboards). (and yes I realize this is an oold post.)
    – KlaymenDK
    Jun 18, 2018 at 20:33

I've never heard it described as "chronic phobia" - but I completely empathise with you as some days it is just too hard to concentrate with the kind of ambient noises you get in an office environment.

I find that my ability to block out ambient noise falls as stress levels increase - which does end up in a bit of a feedback loop, unfortunately, and music (some other background, like JeffO suggests with simplynoise.com) is certainly an escape.

However, as for recommendations - this is going to be very hard, as what works for each individual is very personal. I know people who code like crazy along to extreme heavy metal, while others prefer much softer classical style. Personally, I find it varies day to day, and probably on specific activities - so it's a good thing that you can get so much music on phones or ipods these days to give you choice.

As long as your office environment and company policy supports listening to music, just try and see what fits you and your moods.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .