The 10 Best Sound Machines

Updated May 04, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Sound Machines
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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Somewhat counterintuitively, science suggests that the best weapon against the ubiquitous commotion 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 can also provide soothing nature sounds to ground you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best sound machine on Amazon.

10. Big Red Rooster Baby

Intended primarily for use in a child's room, the Big Red Rooster Baby comes loaded with classic nursery rhymes, like "Rock-A-Bye Baby" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." It also features simple white noise, and heartbeat and ocean sounds, for when kids get older.
  • straightforward and simple design
  • runs on either ac power or batteries
  • buttons are not very durable
Brand Big Red Rooster
Model BRRC129
Weight 9.9 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Sound Oasis S-5000 Deluxe

For promoting healthy states of sleep and relaxation, the Sound Oasis S-5000 Deluxe is programmed with 29 recordings that can be combined in a whopping 145 different ways. It also has a clock, a built-in AM/FM radio, and a spectrum selector for worldwide use.
  • auxiliary input and headphone jack
  • bass and treble controls
  • considerably expensive
Brand Sound Oasis
Model S-5000
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

8. Sound + Sleep ASM1002

Customize your environment effortlessly with the Sound + Sleep ASM1002. You can choose from 10 different audio profiles and not only adjust the volume, but also the richness of the sound, adding layers for a more immersive experience.
  • elegant teardrop shape
  • automatic volume adjustment
  • some units develop static over time
Brand Adaptive Sound Technolo
Model ASM1002
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Pure Enrichment Wave Baby Premium

In addition to effective white noise loops, the Pure Enrichment Wave Baby Premium features fan, ocean, rain, stream, and summer night tracks to give you a variety of natural and ambient backdrops to choose from. Its transitions are seamless, with very few repetitions.
  • built-in usb charger
  • slim and elegant design
  • some sounds are too synthetic
Brand Pure Enrichment
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. LectroFan Micro

If you need to get a good night's rest on-the-go, take the LectroFan Micro along with you. This compact model fits in the palm of your hand and, while it may not get as loud as a full-sized unit, it swivels, allowing you to direct it toward your ears.
  • also works as a bluetooth speaker
  • long-lasting rechargeable battery
  • buttons are quite small
Brand Adaptive Sound Technolo
Model ASM1017-K
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Pictek White Noise

Though it may look like a small desk fan, the Pictek White Noise is actually a good choice for aiding sleep. It features an elegant, rotation-based interface – simply turn its housing for volume adjustments and the central knob to vary its tone.
  • two easily accessible usb ports
  • easy to control without looking
  • output is inconsistent on some units
Brand PICTEK
Model YTGEHP054AWUS-USAA1
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. HemingWeigh White Noise

The sound of air rushing through the HemingWeigh White Noise will send you right to sleep. By turning the top section of the dome, you can adjust the volume to suit your needs, and it has built-in USB ports, so you can use it to charge your phone at night.
  • built-in led nightlight
  • simple and straightforward interface
  • doesn't get very loud
Brand HemingWeigh
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Cloud B Sleep Sheep

The Cloud B Sleep Sheep is designed to create a bedtime routine to help young children fall asleep when they're in unfamiliar settings, such as on vacation. Its four playback options inspire the imagination while keeping your little one relaxed.
  • two auto-off timer modes
  • fits easily into most diaper bags
  • soundbox is removable for washing
Brand Cloud b
Model 7302-ZZ
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Adaptive Sound Technologies 'LectroFan

Rather than simply playing recorded audio, the Adaptive Sound Technologies 'LectroFan uses an algorithm to generate non-repeating white noise and fan sounds. And with 10 different settings for each option, you'll be able to tune out any annoyance.
  • precise volume control
  • continuous or timed settings
  • no motor or moving parts to wear out
Brand Adaptive Sound Technolo
Model ASM1007-WR
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Marpac Dohm Classic

The Marpac Dohm Classic provides adjustable pitch control with a simple twist of its housing to help you adapt to any environment, from a hotel room to a college dorm or a noisy new apartment. It is the official model of the National Sleep Foundation.
  • made in the usa
  • choice of two operating speeds
  • won't noticeably disturb the air
Brand Marpac
Model M1DSUSBK
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 on May 04, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


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