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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What's playing in your headphones while you code?

Discussion (357)

rjpsyco009 profile image
Ryan Norton • Edited on

A mix of ambient, electronic and jazz. Disparition, explosions in the sky, Adam Young, Miles Davis and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

eddiesigner profile image
Eduardo Gómez Vásquez
  • Black Metal
  • Trash Metal
  • Folk Metal
  • Power Metal
  • Heavy Metal
  • Nu Metal
  • Symphonic Metal
  • Death Metal

There is another kind of music?

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Pirate Metal?

vicusbass profile image

Prog Metal. Otherwise you are missing Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Leprous, Haken. And what kind of life is that?

eddiesigner profile image
Eduardo Gómez Vásquez

You're right!

theadnan profile image
Adnan Kičin

Mostly instrumentals because the lyrics can sometimes distract me and lead to a solo performance that no one needs or wants to hear.

Here are some of those:

jacobtyq profile image
Jacob Tan 🤓
luisventura profile image
Luis Ventura

Almost anything from Beatles to Taylor Swift to Daft Punk to Rachmaninoff when writing boilerplate code or simple stuff, but I need total silence when writing complex algorithms or debugging, so I always carry a couple of rubber ear plugs from hardware stores.

kangaroo5383 profile image
fannyvieira profile image
darthgoon profile image
Aarøπ Dayalaπ
paulframe85 profile image
Paul Frame

The Dark Knight’s soundtrack

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Oh that sounds great

pahla_chris profile image
Chris Pahla

Jay Z 4:44

madzzsrestha profile image
Madzz Srestha

Right now Lost on You by LP. What I listen to varies with my mood and what I am working on.

darkmuck profile image
_yerk0n profile image


philthomasme profile image
Phil Thomas

Thanks! I'm going to give this a listen this morning.

jlhcoder profile image
James Hood


mikengarrett profile image
Mike 🤘

Usually heavy and high-energy. Usually metal. I put together some of my favorites albums and removed anything that wasn't high-tempo:

If you're looking for somethign new, here's the best metal releases from 2016:

ghost profile image

Oh yes, metal, dubstep or anything high energy. An absolute must!

idanoonz profile image
Daniel Mason

Exactly the same here. It works so well.

thehanna profile image
Brian Hanna

Same here, preferably with harsh, mostly indecipherable vocals. Prevents me from getting distracted by the lyrics.

tdotpiddy profile image

Agreed.... metal of all kinds, though I tend to shy away from doom/black/death...

callummessiter profile image
Callum Messiter

The entire soundtrack to the Lord of the Rings trilogy is great. A day of writing code can sometimes feel like a bare-footed journey from the comfort of the Shire to an ork-surrounded volcano via the lair of a giant man-eating spider, so it's really quite thematically appropriate:

danielw profile image
Daniel Waller (he/him)

Yes! Bit too dark sometimes but works great anytime after lunch

nullpointer0x00 profile image
Carlton Hanna

I usually forget to put headphones on. Once I start coding time flies and I forget about music. When I do remember, I find music without too much lyrics does the trick. Mogwai is a good band to listen to.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

You must not work in an open office!

jess profile image
Jess Lee

YES. Mogwai all day everyday.

jordanroskelley profile image
Jordan Roskelley
  • Fastfall Dustforce OST
  • Tron/Tron Remix
  • Chipzel/FantomenK/EnV (electronic, not rap)
  • Dunderpatrullen/Rymdkraft/Bossfight
  • Lindsey Stirling
  • Moby (esp Play)
  • Fatboy Slim
  • The Glitch Mob
  • 65daysofstatic
  • Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy
  • Muse
  • David Guetta - Nothing But The Beat disc 2
  • Ludovico Einaudi - Divenire
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (as embarrassing as that is)
  • Papa Roach/Disturbed/Evanescence ...probably more
comradephil profile image

Love the range there. Add the Atmospheric Black Metal playlist from Spotify and Netsky dnb stuff. Mood dependant always.

real_kinna profile image
Kinna Thompson

Ludovico Einaudi! I love Divenire, especially when I'm frustrated by something. I haven't tried Lindsey Stirling while working, but I'll have to now!

oneearedmusic profile image
Erika Wiedemann

I'm usually creeping my spotify discover playlist for Liquid / DnB tracks, and chill EDM. Nice, ethereal background.

ericsekong profile image
Eric Ekong

Very similar. Chilled dubstep, a lot of instrumental hip-hop (anything by Blue Sky Black Death!) ambient tracks. I try to stay away from action movie soundtracks because the turns of pace make me anxious.

sechabat profile image
sechaba tsotetsi

Try Aso on soundcloud real cool

Thread Thread
ericsekong profile image
Eric Ekong


ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

So you're usually looking for new tracks, or do you listen to the same ones a lot?

oneearedmusic profile image
Erika Wiedemann

It's about a 50/50 split. When I really need to focus, I use songs I know I like from my saved (most of which came from discover). When I can focus a little less, I casually look for new ones.

Thread Thread
gabedunn profile image
Gabe Dunn

That's pretty much what I'll do.

oddlyfunctional profile image
Marcos Felipe Pimenta Rodrigues
Seriously, within seconds into listening to the focus mode, I get thrice the concentration level. In about 30 minutes I'm almost in a trance. I recommend taking breaks from time to time, though; if I listen to it for too long I feel weird and disconnected from the reality.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I recently got into the sound track from The Social Network movie and I find it to be the perfect mix of tempo for me. I definitely recommend it. Great sound track in and of itself, but also reminiscent of a movie all about building a pretty damn popular website.

agustinventura profile image
Agustín Ventura Carrasco

Great album, as almost any OST by Trent Reznor. I also enjoy listening to Lost Girl and Before the flood ones.

tahini profile image

Likewise. Great choice for coding.

ex_y profile image

Such a great soundtrack, I can never skip it when it comes on!

__astraa__ profile image

The Skyrim soundtrack (or any Elder Scrolls ones) as well as electronic or ambient music usually.

pandom profile image

This! Spotify has a good collection.

Anything by Jeremy Soule is good.

  • Blizzard game Soundtracks
  • Hans Zimmer
  • Aphex Twin
  • 65daysofstatic
  • Celldweller
hawicaesar profile image

Hans Zimmer Always!

devuo profile image
Diogo Correia

According to, I mostly listen to Ambient, Electronic & Jazz. Artists like:

  • Nils Frahm
  • Ólafur Arnalds
  • Gustavo Santaolalla
  • Floating Points
  • Rival Consoles
  • Boards of Canada
  • GoGo Peguin
  • Bonobo

and many others.

I used previously, and while it works it can get tiring after a few weeks of listening to the same drone sounds. Too me what most helps me get into flow is calm, smooth, deep background music.

m7kh4 profile image

BoC is perfect

_anirudhm profile image
Anirudh Murali

Am I the only one listening to Interstellar OST? It's pure bliss, it takes us to whole new dimension.

intensetech profile image
Logan Gray

I mostly find any music with lyrics, etc. is sometimes too distracting.

So ambient / electronic is always nice.

Also, I've always found SomaFM Defcon music - is always good.

mnlwldr profile image

I like SomaFM. I made a simple page for me to listen Groove Salad :)

fernalvarez590 profile image
Fernando Alvarez

Depend on the mood but here's my overall genres

  • Psychedelic Rock
  • New Age
  • 80's, 70's, 60's and 50's in general
  • Metal
  • Classic Music

== Geek Stuff Incoming ==

  • Movies OST
  • Video games OST
  • Anime OST
tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer
  • Ludovico Einaudi
  • Mattia Cupelli
  • Ramin Djawadi
  • Zack Hemsey
  • John Powell
  • Byetheway-May
  • Iván Torrent
  • Tartalo Music
  • Kai Engel
  • Kevin MacLeod
  • Harry Gregson-Williams

Yes, I like obscure instrumental artists. Any more anyone can recommend?

real_kinna profile image
Kinna Thompson

You don't have Max Richter or Yann Tiersen on this list? I'm surprised. Also: Johann Johannsson, Nathan Barr and the Sunshine OST (John Murphy!)

tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer

Oh hey look, my playlists just grew by a couple hundred songs! Thanks a ton!

I actually do have some stuff from John Murphy. I just didn't stick it on the list because the number of songs was so low compared to those other ones.

cmplxchris profile image
Chris Flores

Sharing my personally curated EDM/Electronic music playlist here (has almost 600 songs and growing. I also update it almost every day). I listen to it everyday and it works well for me!

kodierkroete profile image
Steffen Frosch

It totally depends on the situation. When i am in a greenfield project i like to hear some electronic tunes. I like things without lyrics like Jean-Michel Jarre or Rival Consoles. Or on other occasions i really enjoy David Hicken (piano artist which if you did not know him you should definitely check it out ).

If i'll have to bugfix something in a legacy code base (it happens from time to time) i sometimes need some energetic or aggressive tunes. E.g. Carpenter Brut or The Algorithm are quite good for this kind of work. Even though sometimes i hear music with lyrics i find it most of the time distracting while coding.

leftturns profile image
Andy Johnson

Electronic. Dubstep, Trance, Techno, whatever. Lots of Lindsey Stirling, actually.

themoah profile image

Noise Cancelling headphones without the music (QC35, previously QC15). I've tried many things like, focus zen, simply noise, - all of them became boring after 2-3 weeks.

I also have a 'debugging' playlist on spotify - when I need less concentration. 'Fast' music without vocals - liquid Drum 'n' Bass, Daft Punk's TRON: Legacy OST. Sometimes i switch to classical music when I'm working on something frustrating - Tchaikovsky symphony 5, Vivaldi Four Seasons, Camille Saint-Saens or Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet.

I like to thing of myself as die hard death metal fan, but I can't code with this music.

jessydmd profile image

Depends on the day, but I really like those lo-fi hip hop streams on Youtube. You know, the ones with the looped old anime backgrounds?

I also enjoy liquid dubstep/chillstep. Anything that's relatively low tempo and mostly instrumental, really.

I tried listening to the music I usually like while working (mostly rock), but felt I was concentrating on the music instead of my work.

chick3ndinn3r profile image

It can be anything really, mostly pop and hip hop; sometimes k-pop, or classic rock or big band. What I tend to do is play the same songs over and over and over again.

Anytime my music starts up after being stopped, I start at the beginning of one giant Spotify playlist I've been adding to over the years. I know how many times I've been interrupted by how often I've heard the first song today, or how deep into the playlist I got.

aekrylov profile image
Anton Krylov

I love coding in silence, and I do it whenever possible. It can bring my concentration to the levels I will never reach with music: if I listen to some new recommended music, then occasional intrusive and lyrics-rich tracks are inevitable; if I listen to something I already listened to, some tracks distract me with associated memories.
When coding in silence is not possible, I usually turn on some noise or find playlists for coding, depending on current mood.

pavsaund profile image
Pavneet Singh Saund

Working in an open office means headsets with noise cancellation is a must. I used to listen to well-known Rock / metal music. I've found more that the more variation there is, the easier it is to et distracted.

After discovering mindfulness I've started enjoying silence, and that's the music of my choice these days: silence (noise cancellation almost works for that)

I've found the TRON / Social Network soundtracks to be quite enjoyable when not doing brain-taxing work.

kav2k profile image
Alexander Kashev

Zachtronics' games soundtracks, e.g. SHENZHEN I/O OST:

Some Ben Prunty, e.g. Cipher:

In general, preference for electronica.

chitchu profile image
Vicente Jr Yuchitcho

Yes! Love the Shenzhen I/O soundtrack.

shaadyyyyy profile image
Dulan Lawliet~

case 1:
Atmospheric/ Epic/ Ambient Metal
case 2:
Post Grunge/ Stoner Rock
case 3:
Old School Rap/Hiphop/RnB/Pop/Electro
case 4:
The Weekend haha
Shuffle all

casen profile image

Metal, 90's rock (nirvana, pearl jam, alice in chains, etc), tons of hip hop (E40, Too $hort, Snoop, Dre, Biggie, etc), Alt rock/Indie (Coheed and cambria, Spoon, Arcade fire, The Shins, etc), and finally sometimes I will put on various forms of electronic music, but I tend not to pay too much attention to who the artist is.

avallete profile image
    music = randomPickOne([
    "keygens music compilation", 
    "Epic music", // (Hans Zimmer)
    "Game OST remix/compilation", //(mirror edge is awesome)
    "Electro house/chill"
habib_a_qureshi profile image
Habib Qureshi

Heavy Metal!
Heave metal with earbuds (usually from computer instead of smartphone).

I play selected playlist and usually like for music discovery.
For the heavy metal theme spotify, deezer none satisfy my taste so I build my own playlists..

Hate Nu metal
Doom metal
Doom death metal (FAV)
Melodic death metal (FAV)
Death metal
Black metal
Power/War/Thrash metal

jerodestapa profile image
Jerod Estapa

Tycho. Always, Tycho.

djkwagala profile image

I listen to instrumentals of christian music especially:

Recently I'm hooked to some Nigerian gospel mix:

scrain profile image
(ಠ_ಠ) sCrain

If I'm looking for variety, I'll usually listen to Programming Music Mix for Dark Minds:

Sometimes I just want something more like close to white/grey noise, but with a dab of a beat to it so then I'll listen to this, title "CLEANSE Destructive ENERGY From Over-Thinking | Theta Binaural Beats"

Both of these channels have other variations on these themes as well.

niorad profile image
Antonio Radovcic

For focussed work I prefer Indie-Game-Sountracks (e.g. C418, Austin Wintory, Disasterpiece), mostly easy and silent stuff.
For easier stuff like styling, markup and handling tickets I listen to podcasts or audio-books.

forfer profile image

It depends, I have 2 programming moods, depending on whether there are strong theoretical background to what I have to code or not (for scientific projects at school), I use classical, or a mix of punk/pop/rock/alternative

jxpx777 profile image
Jamie Phelps

If I listen to anything (I work from home pretty much exclusively, so usually not) it has to be something I know so well my brain won’t be distracted. As a former music major, even classical music can distract me if it’s unfamiliar because my brain begins trying to analyze it, understand its structure, etc. So, I have some go-to albums or pieces that I can listen to while coding because I know them so well, mostly from my college years when I still had time to listen to new music. Here are a few:

  • Understand This Is A Dream by The Juliana Theory
  • 40 Acres by Caedmon’s Call
  • Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite
  • Speakeasy by Stavesacre
  • Anthem by Less Than Jake
  • Slowly Going The Way of the Buffalo by MxPx
  • Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez

In the absence of this, I will sometimes also put on Coffitivity as a sort of hum of noise if I’m in a noisy environment.

dar5hak profile image
Darshak Parikh

I am a big fan of LukHash. He's a Polish artist who produces chiptune, fused with electro and dubstep. Everything from his tunes to the album and track names put your brain into coding mode.

Have a look at his site:

You can download his discography at

qantumentangled profile image
Mikel Farley

Any time need to get work done, I have a couple small playlists I set on shuffle & swap every 30 - 60 minutes. A mix over lively Irish jig & some-what funky smooth (metro?) Jazz. It's a strange combo but they blend surprisingly over long periods of time on repeat.

arne_mertz profile image
Arne Mertz

Lots of electronic stuff. EDM, trance, drum'n'bass, dubstep. But also some trip hop, soundtracks, sometimes a bit of metal, even some Americana made in Hamburg!:

Current favourite:

Mixed fav playlist

paulohrpinheiro profile image
Paulo H. R. Pinheiro

Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Itamar Assumpção.

markerikson profile image
Mark Erikson

Trance, primarily from I'm a big fan of their Vocal Trance and Epic Trance channels. I'm usually either streaming one of those two channels, or listening to songs I first heard on those channels and added to my collection.

maxart2501 profile image
Massimo Artizzu

I've created several playlists, divided by genre, that I listen according to the mood:

  • Rock (listening now - Queen, Muse, Foo Fighters, ...);
  • Pop (Sting, R.E.M., Depeche Mode...);
  • Dance/electronic (Daft Punk, Planet Funk, Fatboy Slim...);
  • Classic (Beethoven, Mozart, Rossini...);
  • Epic (Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine, Hans Zimmer...);
  • Celtic (Secret Garden, Clannad, Hevia...);
  • Heavy (Nightwish, Rammstein, Within Temptation...);
  • Instrumental/new age (Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, Enigma...).

Sometimes I also listen to noisli, or genre playlists (liked electroswing recently). I like to vary a lot, I just don't like rap/hip hop and dubstep.