You must have heard that getting a white noise machine is better than competing with your neighbors by turning up the stereo or watching the TV at ultra-loud volumes, which is true.
When looking to drown the noise from noisy neighbors, you must be wondering, can neighbors hear a white noise machine?
I have used white noise machines for years. When I was living in an apartment, I asked my next-door neighbor whether he could hear my machine, and he said when his TV volume was low, he could hear something but couldn’t tell what it was.
So yes, your close neighbors can hear the white noise machine, but they won’t tell what it is as it creates a soothing hum that is harmless.
What is white noise?
This is a noise produced by combining all the sound frequencies at once. Each of the frequencies is projected at equal amounts from low to high.
Since white noise has an equal energy distribution, sound technicians say that the white noise’s frequency spectrum is flat.
How does white noise work?
White noise masks all the other sounds. Since it’s characterized as constant noise with equal power across all frequencies, white noise changes the background sound you hear, so you end up with a sound quality that is balanced and featureless. This reduces the audio stimuli; hence you feel more relaxed.
What are the benefits of white noise?
A study by the journal of consumer research showed that avoiding loud noises helps you be more creative. You also tend to focus better on your activities. When you use white noise, you build supportive routines that come in handy if having problems concentrating or falling asleep.
At work, white noise helps you mask noises from your colleagues, so you are more productive. According to the Harvard business review, the white noise buffers the annoying noises and creates a quiet “mental” shield that helps you attain high levels of focus and relief, regardless of your surroundings.
What are white noise machines?
Also known as sound masking devices or white noise generators, white noise machines produce soothing sounds such as music, wind, rain, ocean waves, and highway traffic that give you a relaxed feeling.
Most modern noise machines are electronic, and they generate the sound in real-time via electronic playback of an audio recording. Basic machines are made up of an enclosed fan and, in some cases, a speed switch.
There are many types of white noise machines made by different companies. You only need to find the right one that meets your preferences and needs.
How to use white noise machines
For you to get the most from the machines, you have to use them properly. The best way of going about it is setting them at a comfortable level for your ears.
As your ears get accustomed to the new sound and learn to tune them out, gradually increase the volume.
To mask the annoying noises, set the volume slightly louder than normal music listening level, but the level should be within your comfortable listening range.
White noise machines perform better in properly aerated areas, so avoid placing them in a stuffy room.
What if you can’t afford a white noise machine?
Most white noise machines go for between $15-$20, but you will find some more expensive brands. If you don’t have a few bucks to spend on a white machine, there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives you can go for.
The most popular options are Cell phone applications.
Some are free, while others require you to pay a fee. While some people have had success with them, I have never enjoyed the sound they produce.
After using the apps a bit, you start noticing where the tracks loop, which is something you can’t unheard of. Also, the mobile phone speaker (regardless of the phone) isn’t powerful enough to produce a sound you can rely on.
For you to effectively block annoying noise, get a white noise machine.
What should you look out for when buying a white noise machine?
To get the most from a white noise machine, you need to buy a high-quality unit that you will be proud of. When making the purchase, consider these factors:
Where is the machine getting its power from? You can plug most of the machines into a power outlet on the wall. If you travel a lot, invest in a machine with an adapter that allows you to plug into international power outlets.
Do you regularly visit remote areas without a power connection? Invest in a white noise machine that uses batteries.
You can buy the machine for different purposes. You can buy it so that you can have a peaceful night’s sleep, for meditation purposes, or to block the noise from your neighbors while at home or work.
How you are planning to use the machine will impact a lot of your choices. For example, if looking to use the machine to get a good night’s sleep, go for a machine that produces various natural sounds.
Where you will be using the machine will influence your decision. If you live near an airport or in a boisterous neighborhood, get a machine that produces a high pitch sound and superior sound masking capabilities.
Size of the machine
Plenty of factors determine the size of the white noise machine you should get. One of the factors is where you will be placing it. If planning to place it on the nightstand, go for a small appliance, but if you want a more functional appliance to place on your office desk, go for a larger unit.
Your lifestyle will also influence the size of the machine you should go for. If you travel frequently, it would be absurd to buy a large, bulky machine. A small, lightweight machine will be the ideal one for your lifestyle.
Noise masking capabilities
As mentioned above, the noise-canceling machine produces ambient sounds that mask the less pleasant noises. Since you are buying a machine to mask the noises, you want a unit that will successfully mask all the annoying noises.
When making the purchase, pay attention to how often the sound repeats itself. A unit with a short looping won’t deliver good results—get an appliance with long looping.
There are plenty of brands in the market with appliances with different settings and providing different sound varieties. To buy an appliance that delivers the results, you are looking for, invest in a unit with great sound quality.
Although, the appliance will be a little bit expensive, it will give you peace of mind that you will be protected from the annoying noise when it comes about.