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white-noise generators?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi, I live in a really noisy family household and find that sounds throughout the house -- yelling, showers running, etc. -- will invariably leak into my room. It's annoying and distressing, but unfortunately I can't move out for the time being.


I have custom-fitted eagplugs as well as a pair of Kozee earphones which help, but I don't always like having something directly in my ear, so was thinking about other ways I could at least enjoy some noise-free time in my room.


Shy of actual silence (which seems unattainable), my thought was a white-noise generator, though has anyone used one of these? Is it annoying? Do you get used to it? Do they actually work?


My second thought was to buy a pair of decent speakers and connect them to my computer and run white-noise tracks through that. I'm not sure how much more effective that would be.


Any other ideas would be appreciated, though unfortunately I can't afford to genuinely soundproof my room in terms of alerting the structure of the house.

post #2 of 14

If it's the summer months where you live, perhaps you could get an inexpensive room fan and run that in your room.  It could help cool your room and would generate a constant background noise to help mute the intermittent sounds from your family. 

post #3 of 14
I have used the sounds of nature cds to fend off noisy enviroments.

I would let them shuffle and repeat.

They worked pretty good IMO.

post #4 of 14

Listening to constant white noise would bug the hell out of me. Try out some soft atmospheric music instead.

post #5 of 14

There are a few types of white noise generators - they do actually work, to an extent. But in the end, you still have a room full of white noise - and it never really cancels out entirely.  I prefer nature sounds, myself - their ebb and flow works better for the way my brain works. My toddler son, on the other hand, prefers white noise with a slight variation (like waves). 


Of the white noise machines I tried, the marpac ones seemed the best for me personally - much better than those which used recorded samples. 

Edited by liamstrain - 7/1/12 at 8:48pm
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks for the replies guys. yeah, supposedly one 'adjusts' to the white noise over a period of days, but i don't think i could tolerate it. i was thinking more along the lines of something like the Ecotone which uses white noise, but creates more natural soundscapes (brook, rain, fireplace, etc.) and has the added bonus of adjusting its volume to deal with incoming spikes of noise (there's a lot of random yelling at home). 


i just wasn't sure how powerful the sound generated by these machines is. my room is pretty small (maybe 8x14m).


would it be more worthwhile investing in speakers attached to my comp and just playing audio files? 


p.s. to the guy who suggested a fan -- it's the middle of winter here and i've tried that before; it works to a degree, but it's kind of a rough soundscape and probably not an ideal long-term solution

post #7 of 14
my old work uses white noise, you would be surprised how quickly you get used to it if it's just like a constant rushing sound.
post #8 of 14

I think it depends on what you are trying to do in the noisy room.  If this is daytime and you are working or reading, then white noise might work pretty well.  If you are trying to sleep, then I prefer very comfortable IEMs (eg Westone UM1) and a long ocean waves sound file set to repeat.  I've always found beach sounds incredibly relaxing - but I live near the beach, so it's a very natural sound for me.  It works great for me when I'm in a hotel or my mother-in-law (snores like a grizzly!) is visiting.  However, if you are trying to watch TV or listen to music, then any type of white noise or background noise won't work.  They work best when you are doing something that allows your brain to tune the sound out.

post #9 of 14

White noise would be just as annoying as a TV set tuned to a UHF station that doesn't exist. That would drive me nuts!


There are a couple of internet radio stations that might help. One has ocean waves and the other has birdsong 24/7. I sometimes sleep to them and they are very soothing. If you are interested, I'll look them up for you.

post #10 of 14

I have some long mp3 files of white and pink noise that I use on my bedside dock when the neighbors are noisy. Prefer the pink noise by a large margin. FWIW

post #11 of 14

I have used this site.  You can create your mix and either just play it online or you can generate and download an ogg file. 


post #12 of 14

I just use a running air fan (or two) to make white noise. Added benefit is air circulation. I use it at night also and get better sleep since my neighbor's barking dog is less likely to wake me up.


also - "Audacity" can generate different types of noise tracks (white,pink and brown) and it's a free program. (It's also insanely useful for a ton of other recording/ editing uses.)



Edited by Budgie - 7/8/12 at 12:35pm
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'd be using it during the day/evening to basically block out annoying sounds (human voices, dogs barking) while I try to read, or even just do basic errands or try to relax in my room. I'm at home a lot (suffer from depression) and the construction of our house means that literally every sound from within leaks into my room. I get tired wearing earplugs/IEMs constantly and wanted something that would generate external noise.


I am quite set on some form of white noise generator, or speakers projecting white noise. I've been using that air-freshener program recommended here and have found that, as long as the white noise is disguised as some kind of narrative "e.g. countryside", I adjust really quickly.


Basically, all I'm trying to ask is whether it would be better to buy decent speakers and run the files through my computer, or buy an actual noise-generator. I know the Ecotone noise generator has the advantage of adjusting its volume to cope with incoming 'spikes' of noise, but other than that, I'm wonder if there's any advantage to having the machine itself (I don't do much travelling - would strictly be using it in my room). 

post #14 of 14

I would buy some speakers probably bookshelf ones and connect them to your computer. You'll have more control that way with the tonal quality and you can even use audio editing software to create your own pleasant sounds to disconnect. Just make sure whatever you do it doesnt turn into a nuisance to those around you. Try to create your own quiet zone while not letting it contaminate their space.


Also Brown Noise is fantastic for knocking out a huge range of sounds even footsteps. In my opinion its better then white and pink noise as well as more natural sounding. http://www.MindModifications.com has a nice one minute mp3 audio file you can set to play on a loop with whatever music player you are using (i use WinAmp).


You might want to check out the book THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON How To Thrive When The World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D. It has really helped me to deal with environmental triggers such as loud noise and not to get emotionally over stimulated by such things.




Best wishes on finding the tranquility you seek and being the person you truly are.

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