The 10 Best Sound Machines

Updated November 09, 2017 by Sheila O'Neill

10 Best Sound Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 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 they 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. HemingWeigh White Noise

The sound of real 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 too.
  • built-in led nightlight
  • simple and easy-to-use interface
  • doesn't get very loud
Brand HemingWeigh
Model pending
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Homedics Sound Spa

The Homedics Sound Spa surrounds its centrally oriented speaker with buttons that allow you to quickly and easily transition between six digitally recorded sounds. Its automatic timer will save energy by powering down after you fall asleep.
  • simple volume knob
  • non-repetitive white noise
  • nature loops are too short
Brand Homedics
Model SS-2000G-AMZ
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Cloud B Gentle Giraffe

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
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Big Red Rooster Baby

Intended primarily for use in a child's room, the Big Red Rooster 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.
  • straightforward and simple design
  • runs on either ac power or batteries
  • buttons are not terribly durable
Brand Big Red Rooster
Model BRRC129
Weight 9.9 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Sound Oasis Deluxe

For promoting healthy states of sleep and relaxation, the Sound Oasis Deluxe has 145 programmable sound combinations. It also has a clock, a built-in AM/FM radio with three presets, and a spectrum selector for worldwide use.
  • auxiliary input and headphone jack
  • bass and treble controls
  • price is quite high
Brand Sound Oasis
Model S-5000
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. LectroSound Micro

If you need to get a good night's rest on-the-go, take the LectroSound Micro along with you. This compact model fits in the palm of your hand and while its volume may not get as loud as a full-size version, it can swivel, allowing you to point the speaker directly at you.
  • also works as a bluetooth speaker
  • long-lasting rechargeable battery
  • comes with a usb cable
Brand LectroSound
Model ASM1017-K
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Adaptive Sound + Sleep

Effortlessly customize your settings with the Adaptive Sound + Sleep. You can choose from 10 different sound profiles and not only adjust the volume, but also the richness of the audio, adding layers for a more immersive experience.
  • built-in sleep timer
  • automatic volume adjustment
  • dimmable display
Brand Adaptive Sound Technolo
Model ASM1002
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Pure Enrichment Wave Premium

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
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural

The Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural provides adjustable pitch controls that can help you adapt to any environment, from a hotel room to a college dorm to a noisy new apartment. 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
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. LectroSound LectroFan

The LectroSound LectroFan makes good use of available technology. Rather than simply play recorded audio, it uses an algorithm to generate non-repeating white noise and fan sounds. And with 10 different frequencies for each option, you'll be able to tune out any annoyance.
  • adjustable volume control
  • multi-hour sleep timer
  • no motor or moving parts to wear out
Brand LectroSound
Model ASM1007
Weight 1.1 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 November 09, 2017 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer, cosplayer, and juggler who lives in Southern California. She loves sitting down with a hot cup of tea and coming up with new ideas. In her spare time, Sheila enjoys drawing, listening to podcasts, and describing herself in the third person.

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