What's the best ambient sound machine (like for sleeping)

I am looking for suggestions on a good ambient sound machine that produces continuous sounds like waterfalls, surf, rain, white noise, pink noise, etc.

I feel kind of silly asking for suggestions, because one would think this kind of machine is so hard to screw up that any model would be fine. Yet here I just paid $60 for a “SoundSpa Fusion” (by Homedics), only to find that I could clearly hear faint sampling artifacts. The waterfall loop repeated a very faint human or animal vocalization every 15 seconds. The rainfall loop repeated a faint gong-like tone every 10 seconds or so. I don’t have SpiderMan hearing or anything, I’m just fairly musically inclined. Anything slightly different from the baseline stands out, and if it repeats in a pattern, it distracts me so much it might as well be blasting Chuck Berry.

Anyway, suggestions?

I usually leave a fan running in my bedroom at night, that blocks out a lot of background noise. An alternative to a sound machine is a portable stereo with a USB connector, that will playback mp3 files. They are widely available and cheap. There are recordings of things like rainstorms available on the internet.

I have a 30-second loop of the “brown noise” from simplynoise.com playing through my laptop speakers when I sleep.

I’m probably taking a hit on power consumption, but I didn’t have to cough up for a separate machine.

You might try this and see if you hear anything on loop? At least it’s free.

Bugger. We got a little one from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I LOVE. It has 30 different noises and a dual alarm clock function.

It’s this one. I don’t know if it repeats too much for you, but most of them don’t have very distinct noises in them, as the repetition hasn’t bothered me. They might have one plugged in at the store if you want to give it a listen.

I got off my butt and searched around on the internet… as it turns out, it’s not just me, apparently looping is a differentiator between cheap models and good ones. Looks like a manufacturer called ‘Marpac’ makes a good one, I’ll check that out.

My roommate was a drunken ass in my last apartment and would blast the tv/have people over until 6 in the morning almost every day. During the summer the loud window air conditioner worked great, but the winter was a problem

I bought

And couldn’t have been more happier with it. It’s basically a fan with adjustments to the amount of sound blown out from the holes, but doesn’t cool the room like a normal fan.

I tried the whole music/sounds of nature stuff on my laptop and didn’t like it.

Amazon has those sound machines cheaper.

I have one from the Sharper Image that’s just a white noise machine, no alarm clock function. I love it. It runs on ac power or batteries so it’s portable.

My wife and I use our Bulldog.

Seriously, when we went on our honeymoon I woke up every hour like clockwork. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until the third day, when I realized I couldn’t hear Sydney snoring; so she must be getting into something.

I have no suggestions for you if you don’t want a Bulldog, though.

I had a HoMedics Sound Spa for years, though all the nature sounds sounded pretty much alike. (I read that the recording for the surf was made by recording the gurgling of a toilet!)…Before that I tried a sounds of nature tape, and the day at the beach was soothing except the squawking seagull. The rainy day was nice except for the thunderclaps…Best thing is a fan, IMO.

If you have an iPhone, check out the White Noise app. The lite (aka free) version has white noise, beach waves, crickets, thunder, fan, rain, a clock, chimes, train, and airplane noise modules, plus an timer to turn it off. It can get pretty loud (but make sure you plug the phone in if you need it to run all night or the battery will die).

I have to second this recommendation. My brother got me one of these for Christmas in 2005, and I use it every night, as I have trouble sleeping in a perfectly quiet room. One of the best gifts I ever got!

Thanks, My son is a night shifter and this would be a good gift for him. :slight_smile:

I like having a fan going, too. Not only do I find the sound soothing, but I like the fresh airflow (it’s pointed away from us in bed during the winter, but it still moves the air around). If you don’t like airflow, it wouldn’t be a good choice for you.

Fan! I also have a problem with loop sounds or inclusions in noise machines.

I came in here to recomend this. I bought mind…um…at my work…( salvation army …for $3…no one knew what it was. I WAS and AM THRILLED with it!)

I bought a Sound Oasis Sound Therapy System a little over a year ago, for when I wanted to go to sleep upstairs but I could still hear random bits of noise from my (then) boyfriend watching TV downstairs. No alarm clock, just sounds. I wound up using the “white noise” sound pretty exclusively; it was great!

We broke up and I moved out last June, and I haven’t needed to use it since (I never needed one before, either). I keep thinking about maybe selling it, but I’d be happy to just give it away. Where do you live? If you’re in the States, send me a PM. :slight_smile:

We use a humidifier for white noise. I don’t eve bother to put water in it any more. It was $30 at WalMart.

Small box fan works great for me.

I have been playing a ‘mountain stream’ CD for years. It works great for me.


I dunno. If I listened to running water sounds, I’d be getting up all night to pee.