10 Best Sound Machines | March 2017

We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Contrary to what you might think, science proves that the best weapon against the ubiquitous noises in today's world isn't isolation and soundproofing; it's more noise. These machines produce masking sounds designed to let you sleep well, concentrate, or meditate in the midst of an otherwise intrusive aural landscape, and they can also provide soothing nature sounds to ground you. Skip to the best sound machine on Amazon.
10 Best Sound Machines | March 2017

Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
The Homedics Deep Sleep II delivers patent-pending sleep therapy programs that consist of both white noise tones and relaxation sounds designed to lull you into a gradual, yet peaceful, slumber. It is a little on the large side, however.
The Sound Oasis Sleep System offers innovative sound card technology that allows you to expand its range of listening pleasures. Its omnidirectional reflective speaker produces rich, encompassing tones without adding a lot of bulk to the unit.
The Homedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ surrounds its centrally oriented speaker with buttons that allow you to quickly and easily transition among six digitally recorded sounds. Its automatic timer will save energy by powering down after you fall asleep.
Intended primarily for use in a child's room, the Big Red Rooster BRRC129 Baby comes loaded with three classic nursery songs: Lullaby, Rock-A-Bye, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It also features simple white noise, ocean, and heartbeat sounds for when kids get older.
  • easy-to-understand interface
  • runs on either ac power or batteries
  • buttons are not terribly durable
Brand Big Red Rooster BRRC129
Model pending
Weight pending
Designed for use in both home and professional settings, the Marsona Programmable Sound Conditioner is capable of masking confidential conversations and distracting noises with its eight base sounds and customizable overlays.
  • slide controls are easy to use
  • improves concentration
  • expensive for its feature set
Brand Marpac
Model Marsona 1288A
Weight 2 pounds
The Cloud B Gentle Giraffe is designed to create sleep time routines for your young child in unfamiliar settings. Its unique safari sounds inspire the imagination, while keeping your little one relaxed. Unfortunately, it's not very durable.
  • made from 100 percent polyester
  • easily fits into a diaper bag
  • no continuous play mode
Brand Cloud B Gentle Giraffe
Model pending
Weight pending
For promoting healthy states of sleep and relaxation, the Sound Oasis S-5000 Deluxe has 145 programmable sound combinations. It also has a built-in AM/FM stereo radio with three presets, as well as a spectrum selector for worldwide use.
  • 3 speakers with rear subwoofer
  • bass and treble controls
  • auxiliary input
Brand Sound Oasis
Model S-5000
Weight 4.2 pounds
The Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural provides adjustable pitch controls for relatively easy customization in most environments, including bedrooms, dorm rooms, and nurseries. It is the official model of the National Sleep Foundation.
  • made in the usa
  • two-speed operation
  • acoustic housing
Brand Marpac
Weight 2.4 pounds
The LectroFan Jr. Noise features realistic and non-repeating white noise sounds designed to block out anything you'd rather not hear. It also has the ability to play nursery rhymes for children to help lull them off to sleep.
  • adjustable volume control
  • protective travel case
  • no motor or moving parts
Brand LectroSound
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
In addition to effective white noise loops, the Pure Enrichment Wave Premium features fan, ocean, rain, stream, and summer night sounds to give you options against a variety of natural ambient backdrops. Its transitions are seamless, with very few repetitions.
  • built-in usb charger
  • automatic shutoff
  • slim and lightweight design
Brand Pure Enrichment Wave Pr
Model pending
Weight pending

Music To Soothe The Beast In You

I've unsuccessfully tried a few dozen different guided meditations in my life, and one thing always holds true in their failure: the moment I hear something said that's just a little too screwy, that crosses my personal threshold of the normal meditative process and verges on the language of the cult or the scam, or the moment some chatter from another room or an irritating ambient noise sets in, I immediately turn off. The meditation can go no further.

That's a shame because meditation can reduce stress levels, increase concentration and mental acuity, improve sleep, posture, and mood, and just make you feel good. I'm a busybody and a busy mind, and I need all the help I can get. I'm sure you are, too.

A sound machine works a little differently than a guided meditation. Some of the devices simply produce white noises designed to mask the ambient sounds that could otherwise interrupt your concentration. Others provide familiar and soothing sounds like thunderstorms and crashing waves, which are usually used in guiding the listener off to sleep.

At least one of these devices is the result of scientifically tested frequencies and interactive brain scans that show which sounds, pulses, timings, and even light experiences the brain utilizes naturally, and which ones onto which it'll latch itself.

Any and all of the sound machines on our list promote relaxation, and some of them will even intervene when you're feeling a little too relaxed and they'll help you focus and function at work. After our eyes, the human ear is the most sensitive of our major sense organs, so it follows that a good sound machine can set the stage for superior performance or superior peace.

Into What Environment?

Not all of the sound machines on our list are created for the same purpose, and evaluating them against one another without considering this would be to do them a disservice. Knowing the environment in which you intend to use your new sound machine will speak volumes as to which type you need, and it will help you narrow down our top nine list to just a few perfect options.

Perhaps you feel that, more often than not, the walls around you can seem pretty thin. Whether that means you can hear every argument and every adult reconciliation between your neighbors or you're simply afraid they might hear your every sensitive conversation, a thin wall is trouble. Maybe you're a doctor or a lawyer with a delicate practice and a pride for the faith your clients place in your confidence. Whatever the need, a simple, ambient sound machine, like several of the options on our list, will create a thick wall of white noise that is practically impenetrable, and whose thickness and duration you can control.

Or, you may just have trouble getting off to sleep. Most of the sound machines on our list offer certain kinds of sleep assistance, usually delivered in the form of a recognizable and peaceful ambient sound like a rain forest at night or a distant ocean. Among these you should look for helpful functions like an automatic shutoff so your sound machine can stop playing after its guided you to sleep.

As Old As Religion

Sound and light have been used in religious practices for millennia, both as a tool for guided meditation and as a means to elevate consciousness and increase overall health. Ancient Tibetan Buddhists have long used bells in their rituals. Often a single tolling bell would be joined by another, and then another, slowly swelling into a cacophony of chimes which would then fade out just as slowly as they came in, one or two bells at a time. By the end of the experience, only the original bell would remain tolling, and then nothing.

The sonic experience is a metaphorical representation of the universe's life cycle in Hindu mythology, a precursor to Buddhism. You'll hear similar musical patterns in traditional Indian music, where phrases start out simply and attain amazing complexity before returning to a drone, or a source energy from which everything that is had sprung.

While not all of the sound machines on our list operate based on the same religious ideas, their sonic methods are all descendants of these practices. They all provide a kind of shift in consciousness–either subtle and distracting from white noise, relaxing and calming as with the sounds of nature, or stimulating and exacting as with the mind machine on our list. All are grounded in the rhythms of our perception, and each provides an augmentation to our present experience of the universe.

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Last updated: 03/30/2017 | Authorship Information