Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Problems | The Best Coffee Grinder | Best Fitness Trackers Under $50 | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy

Use It

author photo

The Best White Noise Apps & Sites

by on April 10, 2017
in Health and Home, Health & Fitness, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 9 comments

The science of sound can help you in many aspects of your life, from increasing concentration to creating the right atmosphere for a better night's rest. The trick is to know which kind of sound will do the trick and the easiest way to access it. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites and apps that do just that.

Noise generators for better sleep

Do you notice that you sleep better when the rain falls steadily outside or the wind blows gently through the trees? That's what researchers call pink noise, a combination of sounds that contain all of the frequencies that people can hear, with volume decreasing in high frequencies.  This kind of pink noise "has significant effect on reducing brain wave complexity and inducing more stable sleep time to improve sleep quality of individuals," according to the Journal of Theoretical Biology study. In comparison, white noise keeps the volume consistent across all frequencies and most people don't find it as restful.

There are many apps that offer noise generation for better sleep, but be sure to only use the features that provide a steady, consistent sound, not intermittent noise.

WhiteNoise

WhiteNoise app

The WhiteNoise app not only has white noise, it also has pink noise, brown noise (low frequency sound masking) and many more soothing sounds. Plus, it  gives you great flexibility for painting your own soundscape, mixing up to five sounds at once. Among the 40 sounds are an oscillating fan, cat purring, crickets chirping, water flowing and many more. Pay a little extra to get a recorder and generator to create your own sounds.

Price: $0.99 on iTunes and free on Google Play

Chroma Doze

If none of the noises are exactly what you're looking for, Chroma Doze,

This highly-rated, Android-only app generates white noise based an algorithm that you can control. Tweak the sound wave curve to get just the right kind of noise to help you sleep. The app is free, has no ads and will run in the background on your phone.

Price: Free on Google Play

Sleep Fan

Sleep Fan

Similar to falling rain, the noise of an electric fan also helps many get a better night's sleep. Sleep Fan, a favorite here at Techlicious, generates that exact sound for you. You can play a fan sound at low, medium or high speed and also set a time for how long you want the noise to play. The iPhone app has tons of fans to choose from and even lets you record your own fan noise. The Android app is limited to four fans and doesn't have recording capabilities. Both apps will run in the background on your phone.

Price: $1.99 on iTunes or free on Google Play

Sound for better focus and concentration

No matter how many times experts remind us to turn off the distractions when we're trying to get things done, most of us enjoy listening to music on the job. A little bit of whistle-while-you-work can boost flagging energy and bolster creativity — but too much of a good thing is a definite no-no.

What you need is the right noise for the job: ambient sound for creative focus, white noise for tight concentration or more relaxed soundscapes for calm efficiency or relaxation. If you've always suspected you do better and more rewarding work when you cart your laptop down to the local shop, research is on your side. When you're trying to coax creativity out of hiding, moderate levels of ambient noise can provide just enough of a distraction to free the rest of your brain for broader thought.

A study in The Journal of Consumer Research shows that background noise as mundane as the hum of a coffee shop in full swing or the muffled chatter of a television in the other room can enhance performance. Apply that knowledge with discretion: Higher noise levels are too distracting, and tasks that require concentration and focus on detail are better performed in a quiet environment.

If your surroundings are already littered with distracting sounds and conversations, you might need white noise to mask the chaos. Be careful about playing these sounds too loudly, too close to you or for too long. White noise used to keep babies drifting in a peaceful slumber could in fact damage their hearing if played at volumes of 85dB or higher (which is pretty loud, like a noisy restaurant). There is no evidence that volumes of 65 to 70 dB will cause harm.

Ready to download some sound apps to help tune up your life? Here are our favorite sources for ambient sound, white noise, meditation gongs and calming music — all are available through your web browser as well.

Coffitivity

Coffitivity

Here's the hottest spot to find that coffee shop ambience — what Coffitivity calls a "combination of calm and commotion" that inspires and supports creativity. Choose from several different vibes: "Morning Murmur" gives you the traditional hustle and bustle of the corner café; "Lunchtime Lounge" carries a little more energy; and "University Undertones" soothes you with the calmer sounds of a campus café.

Price: Free at coffitivity.com; Coffivitity app free at Google Play and iTunes

Noisli

Noisli

This ambient sound generator plays to maximum advantage on a second monitor because it includes a color generator that helps set the mood. Research also backs the role of color in influencing productivity. Using a blue desktop background, for example, can enhance creative performance, while red helps you attack and focus on nitty-gritty details. Noisli lets you toggle and layer as many sounds as you like to create your own tapestry of sound. Choose among coffee shop chatter, three types of white noise and nature sounds including rain, thunderstorms, waves, crackling fire and more. Still distracted? There's also a text editor for distraction-free writing.

Price: Free at noisli.com, as a Chrome extension or $1.99 on iTunes and Google Play

myNoise.net

myNoise

At myNoise, choose from sounds designed specifically for noise blocking, healthcare, sound therapy, meditation and tonal sound. Select from sounds in categories like Tonal Drones, Magic Gens and Brainwaves. Each sound is then further tagged for uses like meditation, healthcare and noise blocker.  The site allows you to calibrate much of the sounds to your own computer and hearing. 

Price: Free at myNoise.net and free with $0.99 for upgrade sounds on iTunes and Google Play

Marpac DOHM Natural White Noise Generator

Finally, if you are looking for an all-around effective noise generator, not just an app or sound file that mimics sounds, we highly recommend the Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine ($49.99 on Amazon). It creates a soothing sound that helps block other sounds in your environment that may be distracting you.

Updated 4/10/2017

[woman sleeping image via Shutterstock]



Discussion loading

gravatar

Missed one....

From AceyMan on April 19, 2014 :: 6:08 am

Chromadoze on Android is sweet. You can tweet the sound of the noise to your liking. Great app.

Reply

gravatar

Really good job on the

From William JTucker on September 13, 2014 :: 1:30 pm

Really good job on the site, Thanks for guide!

Reply

Relax !

From Power App on January 14, 2015 :: 9:18 am

I would to add that we just released Relax ! for iOS. It comes with sounds in 6 different moods: Forest, Rain, Under Water, Fire, Beach and Noise.
Noise is not only white noise but some tuned noises as well.
Please check it out in the app store:
http://bit.ly/relaxApp

Reply

gravatar

Upcoming

From Tatiana on January 29, 2015 :: 3:43 pm

I’m currently working a new ios app. It has white noise, soothing music, lullabies and short stories for babies. Make bedtime quality time!

http://www.babynighttime.com

Reply

Best White Noise App for Baby

From Janelle Abel on February 02, 2015 :: 11:11 pm

For sleep apps, I’m a big fan of White Noise HD: http://www.whitenoisehd.com.

I run it for every nap on an old iPhone connected to some speakers. And, I bring it with me on my iPad. It has never failed me.

The best thing about it is that it has three sound modes (one for soothing, one for blocking out sound, and another for regular use) and if you change a mode it slowly transitions so it won’t wake the baby.

It’s definitely the simplest and best app I’ve come across, plus it’s free!

Reply

gravatar

Good apps...

From Jeffery N. on August 21, 2015 :: 5:32 pm

And I will second the White Noise HD Recommendation, it has worked well for several of my family members.

Reply

gravatar

Great job

From Milana Cane on April 27, 2016 :: 3:15 am

This place is really great. I didn’t know somewhere to have a good view of white noise machine as well as where to buy but now I found it. Thanks for sharing great information. I really appreciate your hard work.

Reply

gravatar

Another one

From Stephan on December 19, 2016 :: 12:06 pm

If you are a Mac user, Serenity is a really good one. It’s got some nice choice of sounds and takes up minimal CPU power. http://www.serenityapp.net

Reply

gravatar

My Favorite App

From Same Jydimir on July 02, 2017 :: 8:54 am

Always listen to music and noises while working and studying.
My favorite app is Sky Talks. It helps me be focused while listening to the air traffic broadcast. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.github.andreilisun.skytalks&hl=en

Reply

© Techlicious LLC. Home | About | Meet the Team | Sponsorship Opportunities | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

site design: Juxtaprose