What is white noise and how does it impact your sleep?
The simplest definition is that white noise is a type of noise that is produced by combining sounds of all the different frequencies together at once.
To understand, why this is important to sound proofing and getting a better night sleep, you need to know a bit about human hearing. Generally, people can hear sounds that fall into the range of 20 – 20,000 hertz (Hz). The higher the frequency in that range, the harder it is for you to ignore the sound. This is true whether you’re awake or asleep. So, when you’re suddenly woken up by a barking dog or a honking horn, it’s the sudden change in frequency of the background noise that causes it. White noise helps you fall asleep and stay asleep by keeping you from hearing that intrusive sound. If played at a loud enough volume, white noise will mask all other noise.
If you’d like to dig into the science a bit more, here’s a short educational video:
Enough Science, Do I Need A White Noise Machine?
The answer to this question really depends on your individual circumstances. White noise machines are best for people who are easily bothered by intrusive background noise or live in a situation with regular occurrences of disruptive sounds. If you sleep like a rock or live somewhere that is blissfully quiet, then you likely won’t need one. But if you’re like me and live in a noisy neighborhood then they can be a god send.
If you’re struggling with a good nights sleep, my best advice is to try one. They aren’t for everyone, but it’s amazing what a difference quality sleep can make in your life.
Our Top Choice: LectroFan White Noise Machine
Runner Up: Marpac Dohm DS
The other product which we really liked and had to mention was the Marpac Dohm DS. Unlike the LectroFan which uses established sound tracks, this is a mechanical fan sound conditioner. It’s using asymmetrical fans to create a soothing sound of rushing air. Though unlike a traditional fan, it accomplishes this without the disruption of any actual moving air. It’s not as effective as the LectroFan in terms of blocking sounds and the controls aren’t as easy to use, but you may prefer the sound it produces. This product line was actually the first white noise machine on the market back in 1962 and it hasn’t changed a great deal in design during that time. So while it might not be as high-tech as the LectroFan, it’s a proven product and an awful lot of people must think it works great for it to still be around.
Best White Noise Machine for Babies: myBaby Soundspa Lullaby Sound Machine and Projector
This is a bit of a niche option, but if you’re looking for a white noise machine to help your baby get to sleep, you may want to check out the myBaby Soundspa Lullaby Sound Machine and Projector. You aren’t getting the level of sound blocking as you would with the other 2 products, but it produces six soothing sounds and has a convenient shut off timer so it isn’t running all night. The cool extra feature it has is a small projector that will display a variety of scenes on the wall depending upon what disc you insert. Our only caveat is that we’ve seen a number of complaints about its durability.
What about White Noise Headphones?
Unfortunately, the best genuine white noise generators are standalone devices. If you want to go the route of headphones, what you need to look for is noise cancelling headphones that have the capability to play sounds. You can then download a white noise soundtrack to play through the headphones. We’ll hopefully be covering this option in more depth in a later post.
White Noise Alternatives: Back To Soundproofing!
Unfortunately, white noise generators aren’t for everyone. Some people simply can’t get past the generated sound while others live in areas where there is simply too much outside noise for the noise machines to block unless you use them at an excessive volume level. For them, it’s time to go back to home sound proofing!
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