White noise machines are an essential tool for sleepers, but they’re also becoming more and more popular as a way to drown out unwanted noise. These devices can be found in many different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to know what you need before you buy.
The best white noise machine baby is a device that creates a sound that is similar to a fan or an air conditioner. It helps people who are trying to sleep and those with anxiety.
Noise may have a positive or negative impact on sleep. White noise generators that produce just white noise fit firmly into the “better” category. Constant white noise, such as that generated by a white noise generator, has been found to enhance sleep quality by masking abrupt bursts of noise, which may help some individuals fall and remain asleep more easily.
“White noise machine” is a broad phrase that encompasses anything from simple machines that perform the bare minimum (emit white noise at various levels) to high-end devices with lights, automations, and other features. We put eight top-rated machines to the test, looking for gadgets that offered a wide range of sound choices and excellent volume control for both heavy and light sleepers. After two months, two individuals stood out:
Overall, the best white noise machine
Rain, brooks, fans, ocean noises, white noise, and many more sounds are included in the Sound+Sleep Mini. Some of these soundscapes are present on the other devices we examined, but the Mini is one of the few that has them all.
The upgrade option is
While our top choice is a traditional sound machine, the Hatch Restore comes with extras like a big color-changing light on the front, a digital clock, and routines to help you relax and go asleep faster.
If you want a variety of noises to help you sleep, the Sound+Sleep Mini has more than 48 recordings divided into 12 categories, ranging from the conventional (white and pink noise) to the ambient (rain or ocean).
It would be impossible to name all 48 sounds, however here are a few highlights: Fireplace elicited the same warm, inviting feeling of a close roaring fire. A mix of natural noises, including crickets and light rain, filled the room, sending us to a peaceful night outside (without any of the actual bugs and rain). All of the soundscapes in the “Crowd” category reminded us of the days when we could take our laptops out to a café. It avoided the boredom we encountered hearing the same noises over and again with most of the other machines since it had such a wide range of sounds – more than any other we tried.
Some sound machines, such as the SoundSpa Portable and the Hatch Rest, feature relatively brief soundtracks that allow you to identify when the loop resumes. It was often more difficult for us to relax when the small hiccup hearing when a soundscape had resumed was heated. We never noticed the repetitions with the Sound+Sleep Mini.
You’ll be changing the volume all night if you can’t get it exactly right. The Mini was one of the few gadgets that provided such a wide range of volume levels, from whisper quiet to roaring loud. The latter may be attributed to the high-fidelity 2.5-inch speakers. It’s not quite room-filing, but it packs a punch on the auditory scale and can seem larger than it is, helping to better conceal ambient sounds that may disrupt sleep. The top of the Sound+Sleep Mini has an upfiring speaker that directs sound upward. We were able to quickly select out a certain volume that we liked because to its relatively larger volume gradient.
The gadget also has an adaptive sound mode, in which a built-in microphone detects ambient noise and raises the volume to try to drown it out. We put this to the test by clapping near the machine, then further away, and lastly while individuals in the adjacent room conversed loudly. Only when the sounds came from the same room as the machine did we detect a substantial loudness difference. It may assist if you have a noisy roommate, but you may have to adjust the level yourself if you have noisy neighbors.
The sound quality is good. When we closed our eyes and listened to each music, the Mini was more than capable of reaching high and low notes, which significantly aided our immersion. It handled the tracks better than most of the others we tried, and the sound didn’t get tinny as the pitches increased. Nonetheless, the Hatch Restore, which costs almost twice as much, outperformed the Sound+Sleep Mini in this category. The sound it produces has greater depth and clarity, while the Sound+Sleep Mini is less crisp overall.
The Sound+Sleep Mini is a little gadget with an asymmetrical teardrop form and a flat top where the speaker is located, as the name suggests. It’s easy to set up, as are most of the sound machines we tried. All you have to do now is connect the supplied power cord into the Mini’s bottom and into the wall. Alternatively, 4 AA batteries may be inserted under a bottom panel.
The controls are set out on a flat surface on the side of the gadget. They may seem complicated, but they aren’t. A center circular button cycles through each category, while a “selection” button selects whatever music plays inside that category. This panel’s LED lights easily show which option is presently playing. A sleep timer with 30-, 60-, and 90-minute settings is also included. This timer is unusual in that it progressively lowers the loudness as it approaches the finish. We didn’t notice it since we were sleeping when it started working. The LED lights fade off as well, so they don’t bother you — but they didn’t bother us at maximum brightness, either.
There are two audio connectors on the side near the controls: one for audio input and the other for using the Mini as a speaker. The other is a headphone jack, which is something we wish more computers had. This option allows you to immerse yourself even deeper in your chosen pick. If you have a good set of headphones on, the sound quality improves much more.
Overall, the Sound+Sleep Mini offers all of the features you’d expect from a sound machine. It has a lot of different soundtracks, a lot of volume control, and a dozing off timer. It’s a sleek item that will look great on your nightstand and has controls that you’ll pick up quickly. It isn’t the cheapest choice on the market, but its plethora of features will satisfy any sleeper.
The Hatch Restore is the ultimate sleep device, with a companion app, class-leading soundscapes, routines that help you fall asleep and wake up easier, and various illumination settings (to lull you to sleep or gently wake you up). It also has a premium price tag of $129.99. However, when all of its features are considered, the price is justified.
We were blown away by the Restore’s 31 sound options, which included soundscapes, music, and narrated meditation and relaxation options. Both in terms of authenticity and composition, the tracks are excellent. In Maine, for example, Ocean Sounds comprises of waves dashing under your feet, with overtones of marine bird cries and an implacable but relaxing hum. Close your eyes and any of the Restore’s soundscapes may transport you to another world. Even better, the tracks lasted longer than any other machine we tried, allowing us to fall asleep before they finished and began over the loop. Oceans of Maine is a 45-minute long documentary.
While the maximum volume is somewhat lower than the Sound+Sleep Mini, the volume control is much more accurate, with 100 levels to select from, all of which can be simply changed in the app or on the device’s side.
The Hatch Restore is visually appealing, resembling a semi-circular dome with a braided strip around the bottom that houses an LED dot display and a large light above. Then there’s the big light on the Hatch Restore’s front. You may adjust the color and brightness of this light using the companion app. You may use a bright light to read before bed, a dim warm light to mimic a dawn, or anything in between. The color can’t be changed on the device (it has to be done via the app), but the brightness can.
You may choose from calming music and narrations, as well as sounds of rain, waterfalls, whale cries, and other lovely soundscapes. The music is mainly intended to elicit emotions, and the songs are labeled as such. Acceptance has upbeat string sounds and synth tones that make you feel as though you’re flying on air. A Stormy Cabin, on the other hand, has a deeper violin and a lower, more solemn tone. Mindfulness training on being aware of your breathing and muscles, as well as methods for clearing your brain after a long day and many more choices are included in the narrated parts. You may also listen to stories, such as renowned book readings or relaxing anecdotes about fictitious occurrences. One about taking a trip to a warmer location was particularly appealing to us; it allowed us to escape the cold beneath some warm blankets.
Routines are the app’s way of tying everything together. These are programmable sequences that may be started with a single touch or set to run at a particular time. For example, to unwind before night, we used a built-in sequence named Bedtime. A warm bright light turns on for reading when you press a touch control on the top of the Restore. When you touch it again, a 10-minute track called Meeting Sleep with Ease begins playing, in which a narrator guides you through imagery meditation to help you relax before bed. Finally, until you tap again the following morning, or until your morning ritual starts, a track called Light Rain plays with the pitter-patter of rain. You may have as many stages as you like, in whatever sequence, for as long as you want. You may even set them to happen on certain days of the week. It’s a function that we’ve found to be very helpful in terms of keeping our sleep patterns consistent and enabling us to wake up feeling refreshed.
We liked being able to manage anything via the app, from volume to light color to soundscapes. But there’s a catch: the app is only free for six months, after which you’ll have to pay $49.99 yearly (or $4.99 monthly) to retain access to the entire collection of constantly changing sounds and features. If you choose not to subscribe, you will be restricted to fewer than 10 free choices, severely limiting your library.
With great music quality, a configurable light, a digital clock, and an app that enhances the experience, the Hatch Restore really modernizes the sound machine. The price of $129.99 is the sole drawback. With the Hatch Restore, however, we believe you get what you paid for – and more.
We made notes on setup, listened to every soundtrack, pushed every button and control, studied the overall design, noted and tried extra functions, and investigated warranties to really understand each machine’s potential. Then, to identify the best of the best, we compared and contrasted these characteristics.
Our first step, of course, was to set up. We wanted to know how simple (or difficult) it was to get each machine up and running right away. This covered things like connection management, battery insertion, and app setup.
We went straight to our sound choices category once the devices were up and running. We cared about variety: how many different noises could each sound machine produce, and how many different categories were there? We took notice of the sound quality while we listened. Is the sound distorted or crystal clear? And what is the tone range of each device? For example, realistic-sounding bird cries require a lot of higher pitches, while a thunderstorm necessitates deep notes. Finally, volume control was an important consideration for us. The greater the number of volume choices, the better.
A number of the gadgets we examined offered other capabilities in addition to sound quality. A snooze timer, which allows you to schedule your gadget to switch off after a certain amount of time, was one of the features we searched for. However, any additional functional features, such as lighting, fans, or headphone ports, were considered to improve the user experience and therefore increased a device’s score.
Our last categories were design and controls. It’s critical for a sound machine to have easy-to-operate controls, particularly if you’ll be sleepy for the majority of its usage. The majority of gadgets featured on-unit controls, such as buttons or touch sensors. We examined these controls to see whether they were intuitive or cluttered and difficult to comprehend, based on where they were located, how they were labeled, and how many there were. We didn’t give design a lot of weight, but we did consider the visual style and scale of each sound machine. In general, we preferred a sleeker, more contemporary design, which most of the gadgets met. The real kicker was size: a huge, bulky sound machine that won’t fit on your nightstand got less points.
Last but not least, we looked into each device’s warranty, whether it was in an accompanying booklet or on the company’s website.
Dreamweaver by Honeywell ($56.14; amazon.com)
The Honeywell Dreamweaver, which costs $56.14, is more of a fan than a sound machine. Nonetheless, we included it since many sound machines include fan-simulation tracks. The Dreamweaver is a cylinder approximately the size of a gallon of milk with a vent on the side.
There are three fan speeds, a timer, and an oscillating mode on the gadget. It’s excellent for those who like the sound of a fan since it doesn’t have to mimic one. You may shut the side vent if you don’t want to be bothered by the wind it produces. It’s a great computer, however it doesn’t have as many noises as some of the other machines we tested.
Lectrofan ($46.96; amazon.com; originally $49.95)
The $46.96 cost Another one for fans… of fans is Lectrofan! This tiny, octagon-shaped gadget generates 18 distinct sounds, half of which are fan and vent noises. Colored sounds such as white noise, pink noise, and brown noise make up the other half. These color labels simply show the range of tones included in each noise.
The sound quality is superior, but in comparison to the Hatch Restore, this sound machine is very basic. Furthermore, the Sound+Sleep Mini offers more categories and total choices, including colorful noise and fan noises, so the Lectrofan falls short there as well.
Amazon.com: Lectrofan Micro 2 ($31.95, originally $34.95;
The Lectrofan Micro 2 ($31.95) is a fan-themed gadget with a twist. The cylindrical Micro 2 fits in the palm of your hand and has 11 built-in noises, including colorful noise, fan sounds, and ocean music. On top of that, there’s a nice swiveling speaker that can be rotated to point in any direction. Then there’s the added bonus: the Micro 2 may also be used as a Bluetooth speaker. As a result, it has the ability to play any sound or music.
To make the speaker work that way, you’d have to hunt them down on your own and leave your phone on all night. Though the sound quality is excellent and the Micro 2 is the smallest of the devices we examined, it falls short in terms of functionality.
SoundSpa Portable ($22.49, originally $24.99; amazon.com) is a portable sound system. The SoundSpa Portable ($22.49) is the epitome of a simple sound machine. It’s approximately the same size as a clock radio, but it’s more round and recumbent. Summer night, thunder, brook, ocean, white noise, and rain are the lone six sound choices in a ring around the center speaker.
This pick is beaten by the Sound+Sleep Mini, which also has superior sound quality. The SoundSpa, on the other hand, offers a few timing options and a precise volume control. There isn’t much else to say about the subject. If you want a barebones sound machine, it’s certainly one of the cheapest choices available.
Hatch Baby Rest (Amazon.com; $59.99, originally $99.99) The Hatch Baby Rest, which costs $59.99, is from the same line as the Hatch Restore. The Hatch Sleep app is used to operate this sound machine, which is a tapered cylinder that mainly acts as a light. This allows you to alter the color of the light as well as the music. It also allows you to set alarms and bedtimes. Though it’s marketed at infants and toddlers, adults may benefit from it as well, with the exception that many of the app’s 11 sounds are soothing music and lullabies.
It, like the Restore, can be controlled by touch, but it also includes button controls on the bottom. The Baby Rest falls in between the Sound+Sleep Mini and the Hatch Restore, both of which have a lot more sound choices.
Dohm Classic Yogasleep ($35.99, originally $44.95; amazon.com) Our least preferred sound machine was the $35.99 Yogasleep Dohm Classic. It features a simple cylindrical form with a rear switch that regulates the internal fan. The fan has two speed settings, and the sound is produced by a number of slots on the machine’s side and top. You can open additional of these holes and adjust the level of the sound by twisting the device’s body (an admittedly clever control method). This gadget, however, is limited to that. It’s a good option if you like fan noises. The Honeywell Dreamweaver, on the other hand, provides a stronger breeze and more strength choices.
More from CNN Underscored’s field research:
The best white noise machine for loud neighbors is a device that can help you sleep better. There are many different types of white noise machines, and some even have customizable settings to create the perfect sound for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in a white noise machine?
White noise machines are great for masking out unwanted sounds and blocking out distractions. You should look for a machine that has a timer, so you can set it to run at specific times during the day.
What is the best white noise to sleep to?
For a white noise to sleep to, you should use the sound of waves crashing on the shore.
What sound machine has the best sound?
A sound machine is not a good option for people who are looking for the best sound.
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