White Noise and White Noise Machines

What Is White Noise?

White noise is the noise created when all audible frequencies of sound are combined at the same time and the same density. White noise, or white sound, gets its name from white light, which occurs when all the colors of the spectrum are brought together. White noise or white sound is used primarily as a sleep or relaxation aid.

What Is White Noise Machines?

A white noise machine is a device that produces a rushing waterfall or air, or wind blowing through trees. It can be a electronic, mechanic or electro-mechanical generator.

The actual produced white noise is comparable to other natural sounds, like rainfall or ocean waves. It has a gentle tone and combines all frequencies of sound ranging from very low tones to high pitches, it is very useful in masking other noises and sounds.

Fans and radio stations with no broadcast are often used as white noise simulators, providing a soothing sound that blocks out other background noises. While these methods do not produce true white noise, their effects are a good example of practical uses for white sound. The main drawback to using this variety of white noise, however, is that the user has no control over the volume or frequencies produced in this manner.

A pure white noise signal can only be produced by generators, commercially available as "white noise machines".

Who Can Use A White Noise Machine?

These white noise machine are helpful for those with sleep disorders or inner ear problems, infants who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and those who wish to counteract stress. White noise cancels out background noise and produces a soothing, relaxing sound. Students and those who work in the creative arts use white noise to block out external sounds that could be distracting. It also seems to have some benefit to children and adults diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and its related conditions, as the masking effect of the white noise allows for better concentration.

White noise machines are also used as sound-masking devices to protect privacy by masking distant conversations, for example, in a psychiatrist's waiting room. Studies have shown that sound masking can contribute to acoustic satisfaction in open-plan offices, although the level and spectral properties of masking sounds should be selected so that the overall acoustic environment is neither too loud nor too hissy, while still masking annoying speech sounds.

Best White Noise Machines

Marpac Dohn DS is the most popular and top rated white noise sound machine - A dual speed mechanical sound conditioner creates a consistent, smooth sound of rushing air.

Marsona Sound Machine DS-600A and Sound Oasis Sound Therapy System, S-650-01 are among the best selling sound machines with more sounds and advanced features. These travel sound machines, Marpac TSCI-330 International Sound Machine, and  Sound Oasis Travel Sound Conditioner S-850, are designed for more relaxed and comfortable hotel sleeping.