When you're in a noisy environment, such as a café or study room, or even when there's just the odd sound to distract you in a room of silence, concentrating can be difficult. You could play some music, but often music can be just as distracting as the background noise, especially when you're trying to put words down on a page. DeepFocus, a US$1.99 app available from the Mac App Store, aims to solve the problem without music, allowing you to concentrate without aural distractions.
It does this by creating a wall of sound, generating random sound patterns defined by a set soundscape or theme, overlaid on white noise. The white noise helps to block out background sounds, while the soundscape gives you just enough (but not too much) to focus on, allowing you to concentrate.
The app comes packing eight different soundscapes for you to choose from, with themes like the seaside to the urban landscape. You first select a soundscape from the menu bar and click 'Enter DeepFocus!' Headphones are, of course, a must, and a good set of sound isolators or noise-cancelling headphones will definitely enhance the experience. The white noise works to some extent, but you will still be able to hear a modicum of what's happening around you.
Both the white noise background volume and the 'auralscape' volume can be independently controlled to taste, while an option for a 'Low level noise mask' is also present. A timer is included in the menu bar, showing you how long you've been in 'DeepFocus,' but thankfully, it can be turned off.
If you have trouble concentrating in a noisy environment, or even in a relatively quiet one, DeepFocus could be the answer if, like me, you can't get by with music alone.