7 min.

27 April 2022

Product Review: White Noise Machines

Have you ever experienced trying to sleep with a lot of background noise, only to find out you are unable to? We are sure you’ve tried options like putting on earplugs or stuffing your head under the pillow, which probably did not work as good as you had hoped. Thankfully, white noise machines have recently been made available to help troubled sleepers ignore disruptive background noise so they can sleep peacefully.

Sleep Science wants to help everyone get the best night’s sleep. That’s why we have reviewed and tested some popular white noise machines to help you drown out the noise that keeps interrupting your sleep. But first, let’s get you informed on what these machines can do.

Angela Kondinska

Alternatively known as a sound machine or a sound conditioner, white noise machines are designed to make your sleeping area more conducive for a good night’s rest. Its core function is to block out unwanted sounds such as the barking of your neighbourhood dog or the bustle of late-night and early-morning traffic.

White noise is described as noise that has a flat spectral density. These machines generate a loop or continuous sound of white noise that maintains the same amplitude throughout its use. This noise then plays over the other noises that would normally bother you at night.

Since the noise does not significantly change as it plays, and the frequency range does not change as well, it has been reported to be conducive as a sleep aid for some people who cannot handle erratic surroundings. It’s capable of helping you fall asleep fast and preventing you from waking up in the middle of the night.

But do take note that every person’s sleep is different, and the results may not be the same for everyone. A study shows that white noise can have beneficial or detrimental effects on an individual. For example, some people find it easier to sleep with music playing, while others do not. So, we encourage you to explore what would personally work for your sleep.

- People who live in noisy neighbourhoods/residential areas or households;

- People who find silence uncomfortable while sleeping;

- People who are looking to experiment on sleep improvement with the help of technology

Again, white noise machines may have adverse effects, especially when it comes to babies. Their developing ears are sensitive and may get irritated by the loud volume produced. Given this, some models have been created for babies which have been made specifically for babies’ sensitive hearing.

Products We’ll Be Reviewing

Rank 1 (Best Overall): Silentnight Soothing Sleep Sound Machine

Rank 2: Dreamegg D8

Rank 3: EasySleep Sleep Aid

Rank 4: Tommee Tippee GroFriends Light and Sound Sleep Aid

Rank 5: SnüzCloud 3-in-1 Baby Sleep Aid

Our Sleep Research Experts got a hold of all five products and tried them out for a week. They took note of the following:

- User Experience: This includes how easy it is to set up and use. This may also include portability, and how easy the product is to bring around.

- Sound Options and Quality: This includes the clarity of the audio emitted by the machine and whether traces of static can be heard. The number of sound options to choose from was also considered.

- Light Options and Quality: Many of the products below also double as nightlights. As such our experts viewed its lighting options and whether or not they’re conducive for sleeping.

Do note that these are our metrics, but your values as a consumer may vary depending on your budget, your preference for power sources (batteries versus plugs), and even your personal preference for sounds.

Let’s individually look at the white noise machines...

- Available Colours: White

- Number of Sounds: 36 (consisted of white noises, fan sounds, nature sounds, and music sounds for babies and meditation)

- Timer Settings: 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and continuous

- Lighting: Yes, with 7 colours and 2 modules of light and gradient colours.

- Power Source: Charging and Plug

Silentnight is often reviewed on Sleep Science for their mattresses and beddings, but their white noise machine delivers as well. It has a wide catalogue of sounds to select, and you can even choose how long it will stay turned on.

There are a few downfalls to the product, such as the lack of warranty information. However, when our experts reviewed this, the following observations were made:

- This had the best sound quality of the five white noise machines. It didn’t have much of a static sound similar to what you get from a cheap radio/speaker.

- It has a headphone output port, which means that you have the option to connect it to your earphones. This is a good feature for people who want to hear the white noise machine alone.

- It has the most variety of sound and lighting settings to choose from. This provides options for both adults and babies.

- Finally, you are provided with the option to either charge it or plug it into a socket while you are using it.

Sleep Science regards Silentnight’s Soothing Sleep Sound Machine as the Best Overall White Noise Machine because of its high quality and versatility that allows you to use it across different sleeping environments and demographics.

- Available Colours: White, Black

- Number of Sounds: 21 (consisted of white noises, fan sounds, nature sounds, nature, and music sounds for babies)

- Timer Settings: 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and continuous

- Lighting: None

- Power Source: Plug

The Dreamegg D8 White Noise Machine promises the benefits of having a sleep aid on top of a user-friendly device. More specifically, it has a portable size of 0.42 pounds, making it easy to carry around in your bag or luggage.

While it promises ease of use, there were some issues that we identified. The device’s only power source is through plugging it into a socket, which means you cannot use it while on the go, or while travelling (e.g. camping, vehicles, etc.) Hence, the device may be portable but you will need a socket to use it.

Nonetheless, the team observed several good features:

- The manual and help centre are comprehensive, which are great for first-time users;

- The machine has a good number of sound options to choose from;

- The warranty comes with a 365-day replacement with a guaranteed refund if you return the device within 60 days

The Dreamegg D8 machine ranks second on the list because of the variety of sound options and the after-sales services such as warranty and troubleshooting.

- Available Colours: Number of Sounds: 24 (consisted of white noise, blue noise, pink noise, brown noise, 4 fan sounds, 3 rain sounds, 3 water sounds, 3 wave sounds, birds, etc.)

- Timer Settings: 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, and continuous

- Lighting: Yes, 4 brightness options of white light

- Power Source: Plug

While the other models mostly provide white noise, Easysleep provides more sound patterns which are called coloured noise signals. They include pink, brown, and blue noise. Different noise colours represent the changes in frequency as the volume is adjusted. For example, pink noise sounds similar to river tides or rapids, while brown noise sounds like listening to a waterfall from afar.

While doing the review, we found some issues that might make the experience inconvenient.:

- The user experience is not smooth. There are only two buttons that let you go forward and backward to toggle through the 24 sounds in the list;

- The brightness settings for the lighting work and offer some help. But since it is white light, it is not as good for sleep compared to warm lights

- The variety of sound options, some of which are great noise options for adults and babies alike, also come at a competitive price.

- Available Colours: Number of Sounds: 4 (consisted of heartbeats, nature sounds, white noise, and lullabies)

- Timer Settings: 20 minutes, then the noise stops and activates the Cry Sensor

- Lighting: Yes, wherein there are three settings and the light switches off gently after 30 minutes

- Power Source: Battery (not provided)

The Tommee Tippee GroFriends Light and Sleep Sound Aid is different from the other products on this list because it is marketed specifically for babies. This is due to a couple of features :

- It has an Innovative Cry Sensor, which supposedly allows it to sense the sound of crying:

- The Velcro fastening feature eallows you to keep it by a crib or a baby car seat.

For its actual white noise features, the catalogue falls a little flat. You can choose from four different sounds, most of which are meant to help babies sleep, such as heartbeats and lullabies on top of white noise.

Here are some observations:

- The sound quality is average compared to the other white noise machines. It’s quite comparable to a child’s toy (e.g. toy radios, talking dolls, etc.).

- The CrySensor is a helpful feature. It senses crying or sharp noises that signal discomfort in the baby. This helps the machine adjust to being more calming by either turning on or off.

- Its help centre information and manual is generally more comprehensive, especially compared to other white noise machines made for babies. This is good if you’re a new parent or not comfortable with using technology.

Out of all the machines, this one has the most specific features for babies especially the CrySensor . However, due to its limited sound options it might not be the best for sleepers across ages and sleep issues.

- Available Colours: Grey

- Number of Sounds: 4 (consisted of heartbeats, nature sounds, pink noise, and lullabies)

- Timer Settings:

- Lighting: Yes, dim lighting in white and pink

- Power Source: Battery (not provided)

- Warranty: Amazon Return Policy of 30-day right to return

For the final machine, SnüzCloud’s device is also made for babies. It serves both as a white noise machine and a night light. Similar to the other machine, it can be hung by a baby’s crib or car seat.

This devices has the same 4 sound options as the other device that cater to infants. Here are some unique observations for this machine:

- There are 2 levels of volume: loud and quiet. While it may be helpful in some situations, it may be harder for you to scale the volume as your baby gradually falls asleep.

- There were some issues on the sound emitted which might imply that some models are a little defective.

For this device, the key highlight is that the dim lighting really delivers. It provides a nice and soft glow that is not disturbing because it does not extend to the whole room.

Generally, this product is good for those who just need a budget-friendly, straightforward white noise machine and dim light for their child. However, if you’re looking for more sophisticated features, this might not be the one for you.

White noise machines are a great way to block out disturbing noise that prevents you from falling asleep. Some also double as a night light if they have the lighting feature. If you are a light sleeper or are easily bothered background sounds when sleeping, you can try and see if this sleep technology product is for you.

Always remember to think about what exactly you need and how much you’re willing to spend on certain features. Does having a wider array of sounds matter to you as much as having dimmer lighting does? Knowing what you need will guide you to find the best product on the market that suits your personal preferences.

Sleep Science is committed to providing content to help you improve your sleep. We continue to review products to aid your journey to a good night’s sleep. Check out our other product reviews here.

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