The Sounds of Silence

Miss the ambience of your office or coffee shop?

MyNoise ambient sound app

Personally, I love a good sound machine. I sleep with one in my bedroom, and when I travel I use an app to provide white noise so I can get to sleep. Which is why this new discovery sounds very interesting: MyNoise is a website that's been around since 2013, but has become increasingly popular lately.

It's run by Stéphane Pigeon, an audio-processing engineer based in Brussels, who's traveled the world recording relaxing soundscapes.

You can choose from dozens of sounds—there's Distant Thunder, Coffee Shop, Office and even Gregorian Chants, which I can confirm are great for both relaxation and concentration.

What's really cool is that this sound generator is completely customizable. Each soundtrack has ten audio equalizer sliders that allow you to boost the base, bring down the melodies or add in a little more typing sound to office sounds. That way, you've got a sound that works just for you.

Download the MyNoise app for iOS or Android

Or Go Analog

Marpac Dohm Sound Machine

Dohm sound machine,
$49.95 by Marpac

The gold standard in white noise machines for more than half a century, this machine isn't a speaker pumping out recordings, it's an acoustic machine with a unique asymmetrical fan and specially-built housing that creates the soothing sound of rushing air without the disturbance of actual moving air. The gentle shushing is the perfect background noise for sleep. It drowns out irritating and disruptive noises, but it's so natural you won't even notice it once it's been on for a while. The adjustable design allows for a fully customizable tone and volume control for a personalized sound environment.


The first white-noise machine was built in ’60s, by a traveling salesman whose wife became accustomed to the sound of motel air-conditioners.

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