Creating perfect ambience with the Canon Light & Speaker ML-A

Discover the benefits of sound and light for focus and creativity, with sound therapist Lyz Cooper.
A silver Canon Light & Speaker ML-A sits on a tiled surface, the light slightly to one side to show the speaker grill.

With so many distractions fighting for our attention nowadays, finding the deep focus required to concentrate on any task can be a struggle. Canon's wireless Light & Speaker ML-A – a stylish Bluetooth speaker built from aluminium that doubles as a desktop lamp – aims to be a tool for concentration and creativity, but also for relaxing and unwinding.

Lyz Cooper, sound therapist and co-founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, believes in the potential of music to alter mood. She says it must be carefully composed for the desired effect, explaining that "the process of creativity and deep focus stimulates two parts of the brain, so it requires different sounds."

Lyz strongly advocates taking breaks as you work: "It's really important when you have that intense focus or you're working to a deadline, you've got to take brain breaks." On the Spotify playlist she has co-curated for the launch of the Light & Speaker ML-A, there is a track included that aims to help you "drift off for a while" – an essential tip for sustained focus.

This sleek speaker is not only a tool for productivity, but its versatility means you can pick it up like a lantern and take it anywhere you please around your house. And thanks to its stylish, minimalistic aesthetic and choice of two colours (silver or black), it's sure to complement the decor of any room you choose to place it in.

Staying focused

A Canon Light & Speaker ML-A is positioned on a wooden desk next to a woman working, illuminating the notebook she is reading from.

Lyz says cool tones are better suited for stimulation and productivity, so switch from the warm light to the cool light on your Canon Light & Speaker ML-A when you need to focus on that important project.

A Canon Light & Speaker ML-A is positioned on a desk, shining a light onto a calculator and some pens.

The Canon Light & Speaker ML-A's uniquely designed tilting and rotating arm and rotating lamp head ensures the perfect angle for every setting. A harmonious blend of form and function in a sleek, minimalist design, it can create the perfect lighting solution for any task and elevate any room.

When it comes to concentrating, different productivity tools and techniques work for different personalities, but there are some benefits of Canon's Light & Speaker ML-A that are universal. For instance, the options of warm or cool light, as Lyz discusses: "The warm light has that more cosy feel to it, whereas a cool light is more uplifting and stimulating." So if it's productivity and alertness that is desired, cool light is the way to go. The lamp's adjustable arm can also produce a spotlight which can tilt anywhere you like, ideal for reading or work that requires precision.

Sound can really aid in entering that deep state of concentration – that time when "you're so immersed in this thing, you forget to eat," explains Lyz. "For that you really need the music to almost be a background, to be a foil for your creativity and your focus," she continues. "We did a big piece of research with 3,500 participants. The large majority of them said they chose ambient or classical music when studying – something that would not interfere."

But it's not just about music: Lyz is fascinated by sounds and their profound effect on the brain. "I do put quite a bit of white noise and brown and pink noise in my music compositions," she says. "They have different qualities. If you have tinnitus, white noise can be really helpful for that because it masks the tinnitus, but pink noise and brown noise are softer. Brown noise might be the sound of a fan heater or a gas stove, something like that. This can be beneficial for calming anxiety."

The Canon Light & Speaker ML-A uses Bluetooth 5.0, so you can access playlists on any music streaming services and see what works for you. Lyz has even co-curated a specialist Spotify playlist to show off the best of what the Light & Speaker ML-A has to offer. Titled AutoFocus, it is Canon's first-ever album, and it is designed to support the perfect atmosphere for creativity to thrive.

Finding a place to work

A Canon Light & Speaker ML-A is positioned on a wooden desk, next to a book, a plant and some stationery.
A Canon Light & Speaker ML-A sits on a side table next to an armchair.

The Canon Light & Speaker ML-A is a multifaceted tool, allowing you to customise your lighting and soundtrack anywhere in the home.

Before starting a piece of work, set a clear goal and write it down. Self-discipline and holding yourself accountable are the bedrock of achieving your goals. It's also important to develop a routine. Perhaps you start small, but dedicate a block of time to a project every day – the regularity can help condition your brain to be in creative mode during those periods.

Having a dedicated working space is very beneficial to productivity, but there are lots of other ways you can make any space suitable for work. If you only have your kitchen table, then ensure it's clean and prepared with all the tools you need to study, and leave any distractions in another room. Have a playlist of the music which works for you, or perhaps a podcast you prefer.

The Light & Speaker ML-A also delivers up to eight hours of light, five hours of music and three hours of both combined on a single charge. Charging is simple via USB-C and it takes three hours to charge to full capacity.

Making time for relaxation

A person kneels on a yoga mat next to a Canon Light & Speaker ML-A.

"People will say, 'I can't meditate, I don't want to meditate, my brain doesn't switch off'. Whereas if you have a piece of music or sound that's been designed [to aid with meditation], then you can reach a very deep, relaxed state – and very easily, without even thinking about it," explains Lyz.

A person reclines in bed with a book, a Canon Light & Speaker ML-A on their bedside table.

To avoid burnout, the key message from Lyz is to take brain breaks. This can reboot your brain and help you stay engaged in a project. "We can use music to drive the brainwaves into a lower state and therefore become more relaxed," Lyz explains. "So there's lots of ways music drives the brain into altered states affecting neurotransmitters."

As Lyz points out, "those main dips in concentration tend to be around about 11am and around 3pm, so it's really good for optimum health and wellbeing to have those brain breaks".

Listening to background music at a quieter volume is a great way to relax, but due to the lower sound register, the bass – which plays an important role in some of the ambient sounds – is often rendered almost inaudible at a low volume. The passive radiator in the base of the Canon Light & Speaker ML-A allows for the bass to be more distinct even when played quietly, so you don't have to compromise on sound quality to relax.

Warm ambient light can also aid in relaxation, creating a cosy and comfortable ambience in the evenings.

Your home companion

Two Canon Light & Speaker ML-As sit on a crowded dinner table, surrounded by plates of food and people sitting on chairs. A hand is reaching out and adjusting the controls on the nearest Light & Speaker ML-A.

Add atmosphere to a cosy dinner party with the adjustable lighting of the Canon Light & Speaker ML-A, which can also provide mood music as you entertain.

A Canon Light & Speaker ML-A sits on a shelf, illuminating a set of houseplants in a warm glow.

The Canon Light & Speaker ML-A's warm lighting can help create a cosy, relaxing backdrop in the evening, and looks great illuminating other parts of your decor, such as houseplants – which are also good for general wellbeing.

Stream your favourite music, radio show or podcast wirelessly from any mobile device or computer with Canon Light & Sound ML-A's Bluetooth 5.0 technology. It's great for providing a relaxing environment anywhere in the home. "Dopamine and nitric oxide are produced in the brain when we listen to music. And that actually has a healing benefit to the body," explains Lyz.

The Canon Light & Speaker ML-A is an ideal gift for the stylish creative in your life and its portability paves the way for adaptable workspaces, catering to the differing needs of individuals. It is crafted from high-quality aluminium with an alumite finish, with all screws hidden inside the body, and the choice of silver or black means it will suit any home.

The importance of taking mental respites, as championed by Lyz, is mirrored in the ML-A's dual purpose, reminding users of the balance between industriousness and relaxation, and enabling us to harness the best of technology for a harmonious life.

Written by Natalya Paul

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