With the rise of the open space, a headset is mandatory for anyone who wants to focus on something. Some famous people talk about having private office for developpers, but hey, if you're not there, then you need some sort of noise control.
A solution is to wear a noise protector gear like the one workers use.
Personally I prefer listening to music, also because even good noise protector don't provide full silence. So below is my list of stuff I listen.
- mynoise.net is a wonderful website to generate noises (white noises, ocean waves and so on). This is really excellent as noise cancellation. It doesn't disturb or engage your brain, and block most of surrounding sounds. It also make surrounding conversations very very hard to understand, so it's super easy to ignore them.
- EVE online soundtracks. My favorite is Below the Asteroides. It's very relaxing. Perfect to focus.
- epic music. These are typically the soundtracks of movie trailers or videogame cinematics, short and catchy. There are rarely any lyrics (or it's in latin) so it's not distracting. I like to listen to that when I need some motivation or I'm in a rush.
- Similar to the previous item, the classic workout motivation musics. These are a little bit distracting though, so don't use it too often.
And for the actual hardware, I'm using the Sennheiser PXC 310BT:
Apparently the sound is not the greatest, though I can't tell. The killer feature is the bluetooth. I can wear them the whole day, and still be in my bubble. Pretty happy with them ^^
So here are my main sources when it comes to block coworkers noises and focus. It's not very social, but if you want to get stuff done, it's a good way.