A white noise sound machine can cost up to $200, depending on the quality and features it has. Here's what to look for, so you pay for only the options you want.
If you're having a hard time getting to sleep because of disturbing noises, a white noise sound machine is a good solution. The white noise will mask the intrusive sounds so that they aren't as noticeable, and will provide a steady background sound that many people find soothing. Most babies and young children like the soft "shushing" sound too; it makes them feel relaxed and drowsy. Office environments use white noise too, so that you don't have to hear the details of every conversation going on around you.
There are many brands and models of white noise maker to pick from, ranging in price from $15 to $200 (US dollars). How do you choose? Here are some tips and things to look for.
The most basic white noise machine is a simple electro-mechanical sound maker, like a specially-made electric fan whose sole purpose is to make that pleasant white noise sound. If you don't need any of the additional optional features listed below, a mechanical white noise generator is great. They are easy to operate and tend to last a long time. The Marpac Dohm Sound Conditioner is the classic mechanical white noise maker, a timeless bestseller. It has basic volume and tone adjustments.
Electronic white noise generators usually offer more options, such as those listed in the section below. Electronic models have a couple of drawbacks, however:
Here are options that you can find on some white noise machines:
Another feature you might see is a port to allow you to play the sounds through your own stereo speakers. This lets you increase the bass component, which helps cover lower frequency noise. You can also get more volume this way, in case the machine itself is not loud enough. However, be careful — if you increase the volume much above what the unit itself can produce, you can risk damaging your hearing, especially if you plan to have it on for hours at a time. If the sounds you need to mask are so loud that you need to boost the machine's volume by putting it through your speakers, it's safest to wear earplugs at the same time. Besides protecting your hearing, this way you will also avoid having to hear a loud roar for hours on end, which can be stressful and fatiguing in itself.
To find the right machine for your purpose or to fit your budget, read on to view recommended brands and models:
Stay in touch: