What’s the “Best” White Noise?

Posted by Liz Heinberg on October 04, 2016

The best white noise is similar to the best diet or the best kind of exercise – basically, it’s whatever works best for you.  That being said, we’ve learned a thing or two in over fifty years of listening to sound machines (and listening to our customers!), so here are a few truths which may be helpful.

  • The quality of the sound is really important.

If your source of white noise has terrible speakers, a discernable sound loop, or an annoying intermittent squeak, your brain will focus on that noise.  That’s part of why we recommend using a machine designed for the purpose of creating white noise, rather than an alternative source such as a fan. 

  • The adjustability of the sound is important, too.

The main thing here is being able to find what best suits your personal preferences as well as your environment.  What tone or sound option is most pleasing to your ears and soothing to your mind?  What combination of tone and volume effectively masks the noises in your environment?  Which leads us to…

  • It doesn’t have to be loud enough to actually cover the noises.

This is the really cool thing about white noise.  The actual decibel level of the sound machine does not need to exceed the decibel level of the noises you are masking.  Disruptive noises are made less impactful by the presence of a background sound, and because the brain has something constant to focus on, it’s less likely to be bothered by noises which might have been problematic if the room were completely quiet.

  • Finally, it’s not about bells and whistles or the number of sound options a machine has to choose from.

While customization is important, many people find their perfect sound and then stick to it – and in our experience, most people find all natural sound to be the most soothing and easy to ignore (in a good way.)  The Dohm is far and away our most popular white noise machine for this reason.

These guidelines are a good place to start, but our overall recommendation is to experiment.  Try different tones, volumes, and sounds, if you like, and also try altering the placement of your white noise device.  If you’re most interested in masking noises – not just creating a soothing background sound – then you may want to place the machine between yourself (your bed, your desk – wherever you’re spending the most time) and the greatest source of noise – often a window or door.

And remember – we’re here to help, and we’ve heard it all (haha) – so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

Fan of Sleep

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