Creating a Home Office — Optimizing Audio Stimulation and Sound Quality for Productivity

By focusing on your equipment, managing volume appropriately and optimizing your workspace, you can significantly enhance your productivity and overall work experience.
Creating A Home Office

The rise of remote work spotlights an otherwise often-overlooked facet of our professional lives — the influence of audio stimulation. Never before has sound quality played such a pivotal role, shaping our communication with clients and colleagues and helping enhance productivity and maintain hearing health.

In the pursuit of designing the perfect home office, three primary areas need careful attention — equipment, volume and environment. Each of these elements uniquely contributes to the overall sound quality when creating your home office arrangement.

READ: Managing a Remote Work Team with Communication and Ease


Your audio setup significantly impacts the quality of sound you experience. Much like painting — the tools you use drastically change the outcome of the artwork. A physical volume controller is a vital setup component for ease of use. 

Imagine quickly controlling your audio environment without breaking your workflow. Utilizing a physical volume knob eliminates the need to navigate through digital settings when your favorite song comes up or when you suddenly need a volume change. Analog volume controllers are crucial as they are much easier to use and eliminate fumbling with your computer’s virtual sliders when the phone rings or you need to take a break. Several good options are available on Amazon, like the one from Geekria.  

While headphones are useful in certain situations, speakers provide the best listening experience. Most small speakers should be placed about 1.5 to 3 feet from your listening position. 

The following speaker systems are affordable, easy to use and purpose-built to achieve excellent sound quality: 


The volume of your music or other audio content is critical to your productivity and focus. Like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” the volume shouldn’t be too loud or soft but just right. Studies show that music played above 95 decibels can decrease reaction time by up to 20% — a statistic closely linked with cognitive function. 

Finding your optimal volume level can be more art than science. For instance, gentle music can be ambient background noise for your workspace, fostering a more focused and enjoyable environment. However, you can quickly lose focus and productivity if the volume climbs too high. 

A simple test might involve writing out the preamble to the Constitution or the happy birthday song by hand — adjusting the volume until you can do this without your handwriting resembling abstract art. Through this exercise, you might discover that you enjoy instrumental music played at a slightly higher volume than music with lyrics, allowing for pleasant variety in your day.

And remember the importance of taking listening breaks. Now and then, turning up the volume for a couple of your favorite tracks can provide a refreshing pause — almost like a mini vacation for your ears. Likewise, sometimes taking time away and letting your ears rest is necessary — sound engineer pros do it, and you should too. These two simple practices can rejuvenate your focus and help you power through the rest of your workday.


Your work environment significantly contributes to your sound experience and overall productivity. Here, we introduce the concept of the “noise floor,” or the background noise level present in your workspace. In noisy environments, cranking up your audio volume to offset the background noise is tempting, but doing so could lead to loud competition that can disrupt your focus rather than enhance it.

READ: Is an ADU or Creating a Home Office a Good Option for Your Property?

Also, consider the acoustics of your space. Hard surfaces force sound to bounce around and create distracting echoes. Soft furnishings like rugs, chairs or curtains can help absorb sound and create a more pleasant auditory environment.

The key to creating the perfect work environment is striking a balance. Utilizing the proper equipment, aim for a volume level just slightly above the noise floor when the room is quiet. This ensures that when the ambient noise naturally subsides, your music seamlessly steps in, providing a consistent, soothing backdrop.

Creating a Home Office Harmony

Creating a home office involves careful consideration of the audio environment. By focusing on your equipment, managing volume appropriately and optimizing your workspace, you can significantly enhance your productivity and overall work experience. So, set up your sound, find your perfect audio balance and enjoy a more harmonious, productive home office experience.


Steve Borne is an inventor, sound designer, musician and recording studio owner with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Borne witnessed the birth of the digital audio revolution as an early hire at Pro Tools — the most used audio production software in the entertainment industry at the time.As a sound designer, he’s worked on over 50 feature films and is best known for his work on Spielberg, Jane Fonda in 5 Acts, Billy Joel-Live from the River of Dreams, and The Half of It. He has also worked on 20 complete seasons of episodic network TV programming, winning two mixing Emmys for his work on Nurse Jackie, where he was the sound designer and supervisor for seven seasons.

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