A simple app on your smartphone is as effective as a white noise machine, but far more portable and with many more settings.
White noise machines have been popular for years for blocking out external noises so that adults and babies can get a good night’s sleep. White noise machines are great for your creativity too, because the repetitive sounds can help close off distractions so that you can focus on your work. Today, you don’t need a bulky white noise machine. A simple app on your smartphone is as effective as a white noise machine, but far more portable and with many more settings. Here are some of the things to look for when choosing the best white noise machine.
How Much Does it Cost?
All white noise apps cost far less than a white noise machine and even the most expensive – which would be Rainymood, which costs $5.49 for the iOS app and $3.99 for Android – is still not a big drain on your pocket. Some apps do offer premium paid upgrades like White Noise, which charges a little more for a recorder and generator so that you can create your own sounds, or Ambiance which sells premium sounds in-app. Still, you could use some of the free white noise apps out there like myNoise or Relax Melodies, or use an app in its free website or extension version like Noisli or SimplyNoise which both only charge for the iOS or Android apps.
How Many “Noises” Can You Access?
If you thought that a white noise app only plays white noise, you were wrong. For a start, ambient noise can also be ‘pink noise’ which is on a lower frequency than white noise and prolongs deep sleep, or ‘brown noise,’ which is deeper and perfect for focused concentration. Apps like SimplyNoise let you choose between white, pink, or brown noise depending on your need.
Other apps focus on different background sounds. If you’re using a white noise app to be more productive when you work instead of for helping you sleep, you might enjoy ambient sounds like the background hum of a coffee shop or busy working space. Coffitivity provides plenty of soundtracks to inspire creativity that have names like ‘Morning Murmur,’ ‘Lunchtime Lounge,’ or ‘University Undertones.’ RainyMood specializes only in rain sounds, as the name indicates, but there are hundreds of different rain sounds to choose from including thunder and different impact sounds for rain falling on grass, dirt, or a tin roof. You can also listen to birdsong or coffeeshop chatter.
There are also apps which offer you the full range of ambient noise options, from white, pink, and brown noise to different nature noises and soothing melodic soundtracks. Ambiance is among apps which present thousands of noise options for every mood and atmosphere.
Are There Colors or Images?
Some white noise apps include soothing color screens or image slideshows so that you can enjoy the effects of chromotherapy and relaxing visuals as well as calming sounds. Noisli offers different color projections on your computer screen or your phone, so you can choose blue shades to calm you down or red shades to fire you up for productivity. You can even choose different images to match different sounds. White Noise Ambience also offers images to accompany the sounds – 78 high quality images, in this case, and you can set brightness levels as well.
Can You Mix Your Own Sounds Within the App?
Many white noise apps allow you to create your own noise combinations and unique relaxing soundtracks by combining and merging the integrated ambient sounds. myNoise lets you adjust the frequencies of its audio sounds and calibrate the volume to your own device and ears. With Sleep Pillow you can put together several hundred thousand unique sound combinations using white noise and nature sounds like wind and rain. If you like a complex sound you can layer ambient noises, nature sounds, and relaxing melodies as well as adding your own favorite songs and setting individual volume levels by using the Relax Melodies or Ambiance app.
Can You Add Your Own Media?
Although most white noise apps restrict you to the sounds and, where relevant, images that come with the app, there are also some options which let you add your own audio and visuals to the mix. White Noise invites users to upgrade to get a recorder and generator that they can use to record their own sounds. Noisli has a similar option that lets you record your own sounds and your own images. Other apps like Relax Melodies and Ambiance don’t have the option of recording sounds but do let you add in music tracks from iTunes or other music collections.
Can You Share With Friends?
White noise apps are generally meant to be highly individual, cocooning you in your own relaxing thoughts so that you can focus on your work or drift off to sleep. But, with certain apps, you can turn it into a collaborative experience. Relax Melodies and White Noise Ambience both offer community libraries where you can share and access other users’ sound combinations. Noisli lets you share your mixes with friends and co-workers via the app.
Can You Set an Alarm?
Whether you want to set an alarm for a power nap or use a soothing nature soundtrack to wake you up gently in the morning, many white noise apps come with a built in alarm or timer. Sleep Pillow and Ambiance offer both fade out and fade in options, so you can set the app to gently wind down as you fall asleep and then to rouse you calmly in the morning. Noisli, White Noise, and SimplyNoise all include a sleep timer option so that you can define the length of your nap by your white noise app.
Sleep Better and Work Harder With a White Noise App
Regardless of whether you want to boost your productivity at work, set the right atmosphere for yoga or meditation, or help screen out distractions that stop you from falling asleep at night, there’s a white noise app that will help you achieve it. With apps for iOS, Android, online web, and even Chrome extensions, you can access white noise help wherever you are.