The 5 Best White Noise Machines to Block Out Any Sound at Night (2019 Review)
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If you’re having trouble falling asleep due to disruptive noises, adding more noise might seem counterintuitive. However, the right kind of noise can mask all others, making it easier to have a good night’s sleep.
On the contrary, some people can’t bear the thought of sleeping in total silence. It either makes them uncomfortable, or they might suffer from conditions such as tinnitus.
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Here's a quick look at our top choices for the best white noise machines:
If any of the above applies to you, a white noise machine can be a good idea. To help you find the right one, we’ve gathered what in our opinion are the best white noise machines on the market. They are as follows.
White Noise Machine Reviews
If you’ve heard about white noise machines and are looking to get your first, the Big Red Rooster white noise machine can be a good choice. It’s affordable and produces a variety of sounds without any over-the-top features.
This white noise machine should be able to fit the needs of most average users that aren’t looking for fancy quality or features. It’s a mid-range option that comes at an affordable price and does the job quite well.
Design-wise, it’s very modern and aesthetically pleasing. It features a white housing with a front-firing speaker, covered by a discreet white metal grill, and all necessary buttons are to be found on top.
It can be powered by three AA batteries or the included AC adapter that works on 110-240V, making it a great option for international travel (just bring the necessary wall plug adapter with you). Another thing that makes it great for travel is the small footprint of 4 x 4.4 x 2.6 inches.
It can produce 6 natural sounds: thunder, ocean, white noise, rain, brook, and summer night. The sound quality may not be the best, nor can it play at very loud volume with screeching, but it should be good enough to help you fall asleep easier. It masks other noises effectively, which is essential for bedtime relaxation. You can either leave it on all night to support uninterrupted sleep or set the timer to 15, 30, or 60 minutes.
Each of the 6 built-in sounds is seamless, so you won’t notice when the loop starts over. Hearing this can be quite frustrating for some, but there’s no such issue here.
What some people might find a bit distracting is the LED light on the power button. It’s bright enough to be a potential source of frustration (for some anyway), but you can deal with this easily by simply covering up the button since it’s on top of the device. Too bad there isn’t a switch to turn the power light on or off.
Aside from this, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything not to like about this machine. It’s nothing to get too excited about, just a downright reliable machine that does exactly what you want it to. All in all, the Big Red Rooster white noise machine offers great bang for the buck.
The Pure Enrichment is another mid-priced white noise machine that combines form and function. Both the design and performance are bound to satisfy the needs of most users. If you can turn a blind eye on a few minor drawbacks, your search for the best white noise machine could very well end right here.
The first thing you’ll notice about this machine is how good it looks. It features a sleek, modern design that is usually seen in more expensive options. It is very compact and weighs less than a pound. You can move this white noise machine from the bedroom to the living room and back with ease. The speaker and all the buttons are placed at the front, making the machine very easy to use.
On the back, there’s a port for the AC connector, which is the only way to power the machine. A very neat feature is the USB port underneath the AC input jack, which has a high current 2A output. It lets you charge your electronic devices as the machine is plugged in, which can come in handy in a variety of situations.
Like the Big Red Rooster, it features six sound modes but they’re not identical. With the Pure Enrichment, you can choose from white noise, fan, rain, ocean, stream, and summer night. The sound quality is decent, though some users complained about it being too treble-heavy.
The biggest drawback of the machine is the sound loops. There’s enough for your brain to register a pause, which can be very frustrating to some users.
Aside from this, the build quality is quite good. Even though the sound quality isn’t the highest, it’s certainly good enough to help most people fall asleep much easier.
Marpac has been in the sleep tools industry since 1962. The Marpac Dohm is a purebred white noise machine that stays true to tradition.
Today, white noise is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of soothing noises. This machine strips the functionality down to the basics. It generates only a soft fan sound without any other options. Even though the sound is very relaxing, we can see that it might not be for everyone.
On the other hand, this might be the best white noise machine for you if you like the idea of a machine that does one type of white noise and does it perfectly. The asymmetrical fan inside the machine makes the sound of rushing air without any actual wind. In addition, it features a dual-speed motor, so you can adjust the sound to your liking.
So, no recorded noises – this machine generates real white noise. You get precise volume adjustment. Just choose the speed and twist the top of the machine to fine-tune the volume to fit your needs.
Measuring 5.8 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches and 1.6 pounds, the machine is compact and portable. Unfortunately, you might not be able to travel with it overseas, as the adapter only supports 120V and there’s no other way of powering the machine.
The Marpac might not sound as capable as the above ones, but keep in mind that this machine generates true white noise.
If you find Marpac’s white noise machine interesting, you’ll likely love the LectroFan. For almost the same price, you get a variety of additional features that let you fine-tune your bedtime atmosphere. It might be a bit overpriced for what it is, but you get some handy options for the price.
At just 4.4 x 4.4 x 2.2 inches, this is among the smallest white noise machines out there. Weighing only 1.2 pounds, you can carry it with you without even noticing it’s there. The LectroFan might not be as sleek-looking as some other white noise machines, but it makes up for this with a variety of useful options.
Unlike the Marpac, this one is ready for international travel, as it can be powered by both AC and USB. It uses less than 3W of power on standby, which makes it very energy efficient.
As far as functionality goes, this is one of the best standard white noise machines. It produces both fan and actual white noises. There are no physical fans inside the machine, so everything is recorded, but it’s still good enough to create a soothing experience.
You can switch from fan to white noise and back by clicking the button on the back, above which you’ll see a power button and a volume control. The controls aren’t really intuitive since the shape of the power and volume button is the same, and their placement might make you mix them up when you’re not looking.
Of course, this is just a minor drawback that you’ll probably get used to in no time. There’s really not that many bad things to say about the LectroFan white noise machine. It does what it’s supposed to quite well, so if fan and wind noises are your cup of tea, it can be a good choice.
The last product on our list is a versatile white noise machine that gets the job done. Quality-wise, it’s not much to write home about, but hey, we would venture to say that it’s not going to disappoint the majority of users who are looking for a serviceable budget option.
The main thing that makes the Aurola white noise machine worth considering is the seven different sound options. They are white noise, howling wind, ocean wave, thunderstorm, summer night, rainforest, and lullaby. Even if you don’t count the lullaby as white noise, it has its purpose. If you have little children at home, whenever they wake you up in the middle of the night, which is bound to happen, you’ll be thankful that you can flip this white noise machine to lullaby mode.
The dimensions of the machine are 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.1 inch. That’s tiny and flat indeed, but there’s a flip-out stand for standing the machine upright – much easier to control that way.
However, even though the Aurola looks good on the outside, the quality is far from the best. Some users are even less complimentary, having complained that it felt cheaply made, especially the hard-to-press buttons. In addition, some complained about the sound not being that crisp. But to put things into perspective, we are talking about a tiny fraction of users here, the majority of whom were thrilled with the machine.
The Aurola features slots for both AC and USB connection, which makes it suitable for international travels. There’s also a headphone jack that comes in handy when you want to listen to soothing sounds in private.
The volume is fully adjustable thanks to the precise controller. You can also keep in on all night or set the timer to 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
Overall, the Aurola is a good white noise machine for the money.
White Noise Machine Buyer’s Guide
As you can see, there isn’t a white noise machine that will satisfy everyone’s needs equally well. Even though all the machines above can be a good option for any given person, there are some things that you need to take into account when shopping for one. Here are the main features that we took into consideration when picking the cream of the crop:
As mentioned, white noise is used as an umbrella term today. The original idea of white noise is the noise that TV used to make a long time ago when it couldn’t pick up anything from the antenna. The screen would be littered with black and white dots and the speakers would play a sort of even-tempo buzzing noise.
Nowadays, one might define white noise as the first sound that a person realized could help him or her sleep. However, the same sound might not work for everyone. This is why a good white noise machine should have a variety of peaceful sounds for you to experiment with.
In addition, many people use white noise machines for different purposes. It can be a part of your relaxation routine, meditation, and any other peaceful rituals you might have. Think about the kind of noise that relaxes you the most and make this a top priority.
A white noise machine shouldn’t be too large to fit in your backpack. Once you get used to falling asleep with its help, it might be hard to travel without it. This is why you’ll need a machine that’s small and still powerful enough to help you have a good night’s sleep.
All the options on our list are compact and lightweight. However, some of them may sacrifice build or sound quality for one reason or another.
If you’ve never used a white noise machine before, we suggest not spending too much money on a high-end device that offers superior sound quality. An affordable white noise machine should do a good enough of a job.
Aside from this, you need to think about the volume and pitch range. High-pitched sounds are generally better at masking background noises that might distract you when you’re trying to fall asleep. This is equally important as the sound quality, so try to find the widest volume and pitch range.
Noise Masking Abilities
Sound quality isn’t the only determinant of a machine’s ability to effectively mask background noises. Aside from the pitch and volume, the sound or noise loop is very important for eliminating interruptions during bedtime.
The first thing to look for is long recording loops. If the sound is too repetitive, you might get annoyed by it instead. In addition, it would be best if the transitions between loops are seamless, as your brain might be able to register even the slightest of pauses, which can distract or frustrate you.
Some of the choices on our list have more than one power sources. If you plan on traveling with your white noise machine, we suggest going with one that works on universal voltage or USB power.
In fact, USB power is getting more and more common, and it doesn’t raise the price of the machine by much, if any at all in this age of assembly line mass production. Besides running on USB power, some white noise machines also have a USB output – of course, it’ll have to be plugged in for the USB output to work.
Lastly, the most portable machines are battery-powered, so they might be a good idea for those that travel frequently.
Even though this shouldn’t be a deciding factor, you might still prefer a white noise machine that fits your bedroom décor.
However, make sure not to buy the machine based on the design alone. Even if it attracts your attention with a nice-looking housing, it might not be that powerful under the hood. It doesn’t matter if aesthetic matters a lot to you, it’s in your best interest to find the right balance between form and function.
Many manufacturers try to enrich your relaxation experience by including all kinds of features that add value to the machine. The handy ones may include alarm, timer, headphone jack, and USB charging. If you want to invest in a high-quality white noise machine, think about these additional features.
You’ve seen some of the best white noise machines on the market and found out everything you need to know about finding the perfect one. Now is the time to announce our favorite white noise machine of them all and that would be the Big Red Rooster white noise machine, perhaps your safest bet. It’s affordable, loaded with a variety of soothing sounds, and packed in a modern housing that should fit most bedroom decors. The AC adapter is universal voltage and the machine also runs on batteries.
On the other hand, if you prefer actual white noise, the Marpac Dohm white noise machine might be the best for you. It eschews recording in favor of built-in fans for all the purists out there who won’t settle for anything but a real white noise machine.