Brain.fm Review – A Game Changer for Getting into the Zone
The potential of music and audio to affect our mood and provide various benefits has been well documented by scientists and various research throughout history. It can make help us study or concentrate, make us feel happier, or help us relax when life is tough. Brain.fm is a web and mobile app that looks to maximize this potential.
What is Brain.fm?
Brain.fm is essentially a music player of various audio tracks selectively created by their unique AI tools. It’s not just any typical music, it’s music designed by science and backed by the latest neuroscience and cognitive research. The company has even been awarded a government grant by the National Science Foundation to further study how music can help people focus. In the team’s own words,
“Our Music is designed with your brain in mind. We run experiments to figure out what works.”
Brain.fm develops music that is designed to help people across three specific target goals.
- Focus or Concentration
- Relaxation or Meditation
- Sleep or Napping
Simply choose your goal, set the volume, and let the music do the rest. Brain.fm claims that their music will have the intended effect in less than 10 or 15 minutes. Sounds pretty good to me!
But is it too good to be true? Brain.fm is a premium app that charges either a monthly, quarterly, or yearly membership fee to use. There is a free plan available, but it more of a quick demo than something you could use in the long term. You’ll get five free music sessions and then you’re asked to upgrade to a paid plan to continue using the app.
I’ve been using a paid plan of Brain.fm for the last six months now. I’m excited to share my thoughts on the usefulness of the app and whether it’s worth the entry price.
My Experience with Brain.fm
Let me share a little bit about me… I’m very easily distracted. It’s very hard for me to “get into the zone” and find my focus and concentration to work steadily on a task. When I first heard of Brain.fm from a friend who was using it for help with their sleeping, I was immediately drawn to their “Focus” category of music. That was just the thing I needed most.
I tried a free session and HOLY COW, it worked. Within 10 minutes, I found myself settling “into the zone” much sooner than I ever have in the past. Distractions become a non-issue as my concentration and focus sky-rocketed to levels that almost made me feel like I just discovered some best-kept secret. Best of all, I found myself thinking more clearly and working more efficiently – my brain felt super-charged!
I’m a bit of a skeptic so I felt the first time may have been a fluke. After all, I’ve used music in the past to help me with various aspects of my life. Exercising, studying, sleeping… I found music that helped, but never to the extent as my one day with Brain.fm. (Plus, you can only watch so many Youtube playlists of piano music till you get sick of it!)
I tried Brain.fm the next day again, and woah, it worked just as well as the first day. Four days later, my third session worked just as good as the previous two times. I didn’t even need to try the Relax or Sleep music at this point, I was sold. I purchased my Brain.fm subscription and still love it just as much today as I did when I first purchased it.
While I have mainly have used Brain.fm for help with Focus and Concentration, I’ve since used it for Relaxation and Sleep as well. I’m happy to say it has delivered on both fronts there as well, but I get the greatest benefit from the Focus music. My wife has actually used the app as well and she particularly benefits from the Sleep music. She uses it quite often now and said it’s increased her quality of sleep tremendously.
Here’s the TL:DR summary. I LOVE Brain.fm (In fact, I’m using it right now). Whether I’m using it for focus, relaxation, or sleep, I’ve found it’s science-backed music to be just the right thing to get me the results I’m looking for.
My Review of Brain.fm
I love Brain.fm, but do I think it can work for you? I certainly do!
As a prior Audio Engineer and Sound Designer, I have always appreciated and recognized the impact audio can have on us. Brain.fm takes this concept and the potential of music and brings it to the next level. They have figured out what qualities of music affect us in different ways, and zero in on these to craft music that is scientifically proven to have the intended result.
“At Brain.fm we develop and deliver functional music, directly optimized for its effects on our behavior. Our goal is to help the listener achieve desired mental states such as focus or sleep.” – The Brain.fm Team
But any good review should never be only subjective. Let’s take a look at what Brain.fm has to offer to someone who signs up for their service.
The Nitty Gritty of Brain.fm
By signing up for any of the paid plans with Brain.fm, a user will have unlimited access to any of the music on the app. This means as much music for Focus, Relaxation, and Sleep as you want to your heart’s content.
The user interface is extremely well laid out and it’s super easy to get started. Simply pick your goal and the app will begin playing the music. You also can select how long the music will play, ranging from as little as 15 minutes all the way up to “infinite” (never stops playing). If you don’t like a certain track, there is a skip button that will begin playing another music track.
I also really like that after you pick a certain type of music, you get some helpful “pro tips” right on the page that tell you how to get the best results from the music and how soon you should get results. There are more detailed user guides available as well for each of the types of music. These user guides offer additional best practices such as ideal times of days to use the music, ideal listening environments and volume levels, and answers to commonly asked questions. You’ll even get recommendations for headphones and sleep masks!
Available as Both a Web and Mobile App!
This application is also available on three platforms. A web-based app that can be used from any computer, and then two mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. Both the web and mobile apps have worked seamlessly for me without any latency, lag, or other playback issues. That being said, the quality of your internet connection may be a consideration for how well it will work for you.
One tiny disappointment was that my 5-year-old Android smartphone was not supported by the app (it was apparently too old!), but we used it on my wife’s iPhone and it worked perfectly.
Music Backed by Science
I absolutely love that Brain.fm doesn’t just claim their music works because… “science”. Instead, they are actively researching how music influences behavior and how to use that to our advantage. They are using government awarded grants to fund research studies on the topic, and they actively use this research to better develop and improve the music offerings for better results.
Check out their Brain.FM Science FAQ for more info!
A Good Variety of Music Selections within Each Category
It may seem like Brain.fm offers only three default categories of music to choose from, but they actually offer a wide variety of music within those three main categories. By clicking “More Music” at the top of the app, you can actually select from dozens of different types of music all built around providing one of the three main benefits.
Not every one of these alternate music selections is a winner, but it’s very nice to have the variety. Just in the Focus category, some of the selections include, “Electronic Music Focus”, “Study Focus”, and “Rain Focus”, among many others! I’ve enjoyed listening to these different types of music depending on my preferences for the day.
The Music of Brain.fm
Let’s talk about what really matters – the music.
This is not your typical melodic music by any means, it’s sounds, ambience, harmonic tones, and beats that are meant to blend into the background a bit. It’s music that works on a sub-conscious level. Brain.fm even recommends not listening to the music too loudly as it can actually work against you by distracting you from the desired result you’re looking for.
As for the music itself… I’m a fan! I like the variety they offer for each of the general categories and was able to find some clear favorites for myself. (“Study” or “Grooves” focus and “Nightsounds” or “Beach” sleep) I feel that with the various types of music they offer, anyone can find something that will work for them.
Another plus is that the music never seems repetitive. This is likely due to the fact that the music is designed to be unrecognizable in the first place. In my 6 months of listening, I only recognized a few occasions I clearly noticed the same track playing from a previous session.
I’m also thankful that the team is actively working to add new music types. Just in the last 6 months, I’ve seen a new music type pop up about every 4-6 weeks. Not bad!
Room for Improvement
I don’t think everything is perfect though. A few of the music types offered sounded really similar to other choices, and some of the music was more annoying to me than helpful. (I noticed this specifically with the “Wind” and “Thunder” choices) Keep in mind, this could largely just be my personal preference, as the majority of the music offered was really great. There were just a couple duds in my opinion.
Considering all the music choices and the team’s efforts to keep adding new music tracks, I feel you have a really solid selection of music to listen to for the long term that will get you the results you’re looking for!
Pricing Options for Brain.fm
Brain.fm is a paid service. The free plan is simply a very brief trial that will allow you five music sessions before you need to upgrade to a paid plan. I don’t find the pricing unreasonable by any means, however.
A yearly subscription is clearly the best deal at $47.40/year. There are also monthly and quarterly subscriptions for more flexibility, but these are significantly more expensive. The quarterly plan will cost you $15.99 every 3 months, and the monthly plan is $6.95 a month.
My Final Review Score
My final review score for Brain.fm is a 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Brain.fm has been a complete game changer for me and has helped me tremendously with my focus and concentration levels. I love how easy the app is to use, and the variety of music they offer helps ensure everyone can find the type that works best for them.
I believe this app can be helpful in a variety of settings, whether it be at home, at the gym, or even at work! (This is a work blog, after all) The focus music can help you get through those tedious or mentally exhausting tasks at work, or you can put on some relaxation music to help deal with a stressful day in the office. This is music to help with all parts of life.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your ability to focus, concentrate, relax, meditate, or sleep, I’d highly recommend you give Brain.fm a try. Give the demo a try and see what you think!
Thank you for checking out this review of Brain.fm and let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below. Hope you have a wonderful day!
– Mr. Happy Work
Want to know more about my philosophy on reviewing and what my scoring scale looks like? Check out the Reviews Page!
*Disclaimer: My subscription to Brain.fm was not compensated in any way by Brain.fm and I am reviewing this product because I genuinely think it’s awesome. This post is solely my own opinion and may contain affiliate links. Read more on our Legal Page.