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Best lo-fi and study YouTube channels

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Ever wonder what your headphone-touting peers are listening to in Ode? A surprising number of UW students swear by lo-fi beats. Lo-fi music, or low fidelity music, first gained popularity in ’90s cassette culture before becoming a craze in modern academia for its hazy background sound and concentration boosting properties. Lo-fi has since found its way onto music streaming platforms and into the YouTube sphere, where millions tune in every day. 

Second-year student Sadah Sarkaria is one of many UW students who enjoys the genre. 

“I listen to lo-fi to help me focus,” Sarkaria said. “I think the whole point of lo-fi music is to help people focus.” 

As we near finals week, check out the YouTube channels below to discover your new favorite internet study corners and communities. 

Abao in Tokyo (阿鲍Abao)

With its impeccable editing and relaxing study-with-me premise, Abao in Tokyo takes the cake as my favorite lo-fi channel on the list. The channel utilizes the Pomodoro Technique (which involves working in 25-minute blocks with five-minute breaks) to create an environment that balances work, focus, discipline, and rest. 

The channel also does a great job of providing two- to four-hour-long videos with varied audio options. Whether you are a fan of studying at night in the rain or in the morning to piano and street sounds, Abao in Tokyo lets you curate your study experience according to your personal taste. 

Lofi Girl 

With a staggering 10.5 million subscribers, Lofi Girl (formerly named ChilledCow) easily wins this list’s popularity prize. The streaming channel’s ubiquitous graphic of a girl studying with her cat from the Japanese animated film “Whisper of the Heart” has become both a cultural phenomenon and a universal symbol for lo-fi study music. 

First-year student Jacob Ortiz and third-year student Amaya Whitney both said that this channel was a favorite of theirs.

“It just popped up on my recommended,” Whitney said. “It helps me, especially if I’m in noisy areas.” Ortiz referred to the channel as “the one with the girl” but said that he also “likes lo-fi anything.” 

Most Popular Stories

If you are searching for a universally beloved, 24/7 hip-hop stream or a lively community of fellow students to study with, Lofi Girl was made just for you. 

crysknife007

You’ve heard of white noise, sure, but have you heard of pink noise? Brown noise? Perhaps purple noise? If you answered “no” to any of the above, head over to crysknife007, the audio channel you didn’t know you needed. This channel specializes in synthetic ambient noise and provides a seemingly endless list of incredible soundscapes to explore. 

Some of my personal favorites include their planet soundscapes, super deep blue noise, and their ambient spaceship noise videos. With videos ranging from six to 12 hours, this channel can help with those long study sessions or for escaping the coffee shop chatter. 

Conspersa Prometheum

For those looking to study with darker-toned atmospheric music, Conspersa Prometheum is a small corner of YouTube that you’re bound to enjoy. With videos ranging from “afternoon relaxation” and “4 am” to “Atmospheric Black Metal Compilation” and “Music for reading Horror Stories,” I can say with great certainty that there is something here for everyone. Videos on this channel range from 30 minutes to an hour, making it the perfect accompaniment for cranking out papers last-minute — and maybe for falling asleep while trying to do so. 

Greenred Productions - Relaxing Music

Greenred Productions is a one-stop-shop for fans of binaural beats, delta wave meditation music, and polyrhythmic noise. Most videos are between eight and 12 hours long, with epic fantasy stationary graphics serving as a steady background for work and study.

This audio is perfect for those who dislike studying with music but still enjoy subtle background noise that is not as flat as white noise. Whether you’re studying, painting, sleeping, meditating, or just hanging out, Greenred Productions - Relaxing Music is a channel you won’t regret subscribing to. 

A few honorable mentions include Merve (for the clean aesthetic), jay skullz (for his sheer focus), and Seaside Café Jazz (for the seagull sounds). 

Reach contributing writer Quinn Rector at arts@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @QuinnRector

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