White Noise and Sound Machines

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Get rest and relaxation with white noise & sound machines

Enjoy a good night's sleep and relaxation vibes with soothing and calming white noise and sound machines.

What are white noise and sound machines and how do they work?

White noise and sound machines are small tabletop devices that produce consistent, soothing noises designed to calm you while you sleep or relax by helping block unwanted noise. Standard white noise is defined by all frequencies at an equal measure: it sounds a bit like the static you might hear on an old TV when it's turned on and tuned to a station without a broadcaster.

Many white noise and sound machines contain other calming, looping noises as well, from a rushing waterfall to wind blowing, serene nature sounds, thunder, rain, summer nights, a brook, and more.

They contain a speaker and a variety of sound options and modes, including both white and fan noises. With controllable volume, they are powered by AC, USB, or sometimes even batteries; some models have a 3.5mm jack for connecting headphones.

What are the different types of white noise and sound machines?

White noise and sound machines often also offer what is known as "brown" noise, which lowers the higher frequencies to mimic sounds like a roar, river, or strong wind, and "pink" noise, which is louder at lower frequencies and softer at the high end, like a rainfall. You can find as many as 20 different sounds in most machines, including both fan and white, brown, and pink noise.

Adjust volume and pitch to set the audio to your liking, and make use of timers so the machine automatically shuts off after anywhere from 15 minutes up to 2.5 hours.

While there are easy-to-use white noise apps, you'll get a higher quality sound from a dedicated white noise machine (and won't drain the phone's battery). Some white noise and sound machines have secondary features like FM radio and light therapy. Control them from the unit itself, or with some, a mobile app, too.

What are the benefits of using a white noise or sound machine?

Most people use white noise for sleeping in the bedroom to help get a more restful night's slumber. Along with being calming and soothing, they also help block out distracting noises, like car horns outside or a partner who snores.

But white noise and sound machines can help you focus or relax while awake as well, used in place of background music in a home office, for example. Those with tinnitus, which involves ringing of the ears, also find that white noise and sound machines help to get rid of these annoying and distracting sounds.

White noise and sound machines are handy in nurseries, too, helping babies get to sleep, especially newborns who appreciate gurgling, consistent noises that mimic being in the womb. Because the best white noise machine tends to be lightweight and compact, you can also bring one along on trips.