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A collection of sound machines a grouped together on a dark brown surface Credit: Reviewed / Amber Bouman

The Best Sound Machines of 2022

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A collection of sound machines a grouped together on a dark brown surface Credit: Reviewed / Amber Bouman

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1
Editor's Choice Product image of Adaptive Sound Sound + Sleep
Best Overall

Adaptive Sound Sound + Sleep

First and foremost, it did its main job better than the rest—it completely blocked out the sound it was put up against. It also offers 10 sound categories and three "richness" settings. Read More

Pros

  • Performed best in our tests
  • Completely blocked all noise
  • Adaptive setting adjusts sounds automatically

Cons

  • Somewhat pricey
  • Sizeable
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Dreamegg D1
Best Value

Dreamegg D1

The Dreamegg has 24 sounds to choose from and a gentle nightlight. Read More

Pros

  • Multiple sound options
  • Includes nightlight
  • Blocks noise well

Cons

  • No battery
3
Editor's Choice Product image of Loftie Alarm Clock
Best Smart Sound Machine

Loftie Alarm Clock

The Loftie alarm clock makes waking up uber-pleasant with gentle tones, plus it features meditations and more. Read More

Pros

  • Array of alarm sounds
  • Easy to use
  • Bonus features like white noise

Cons

  • Expensive
4
Product image of Adaptive Sound LectroFan
Best White Noise Machine

Adaptive Sound LectroFan

The simple, streamlined LectroFan only does two things, a fan and white noise. But it does them just as well as anything you'll find on the market. Read More

Pros

  • Streamlined interface
  • High-fidelity speaker
  • 60-minute sleep timer

Cons

  • No extra features
5
Product image of Snooz White Noise Machine

Snooz White Noise Machine

The Snooz can be controlled via buttons on the device or with its smartphone app. Read More

Pros

  • Has internal mechanical fan
  • Bluetooth app gives additional controls
  • Nightlight

Cons

  • None that we could find

Whether you're trying to catch up on your zzz's at odd hours, block out external noise while falling asleep, or simply tired of listening to your next-door neighbors who keep you up at night, a sound machine might help. Our favorite, the Sound & Sleep by Adaptive Sound (available at Amazon for $99.95) is the perfect way to drown out the outside world, and it did better than nearly any other machine we tested at masking other noises.

With thousands of these machines on the market—not to mention the countless smartphone apps available for download—how can you tell which one is right for you? No need to fret: We’ve done all the hard work for you.

After hours of exhaustive research into the best sound machines on the market, followed by thorough hands-on testing and scientific sound quality comparisons, we've uncovered the best sound machines money can (currently) buy.

We love the Sound & Sleep because of its volume range, sound quality, and intuitive extra features. However, there are plenty of other great sleep sound machine options at all price ranges.

Here are the best sound machines we tested, ranked in order:

  1. Adaptive Sound Sound & Sleep
  2. Dreamegg D1
  3. Loftie
  4. Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan
  5. Snooz
  6. Hatch Restore
  7. Marpac Dohm Classic
  8. Big Red Rooster 6 White Noise Machine
  9. Magicteam Sound Machine
  10. Homedics White Noise Sound Machine
  11. Letsfit T126L Sound Machine
  12. Pure Enrichment Wave
Adaptive Sound Sound + Sleep
Credit: Reviewed / Jess Rose Photography

The Sound + Sleep is the only machine to feature a richness mode and an adaptive feature to adjust to sudden noises.

Best Overall
Adaptive Sound Sound + Sleep

Number of sounds: 30
Battery: No
Cord length: 57 inches
Weight: 2 pounds

The Sound & Sleep from Adaptive Sound Technologies offers a top-notch sound machine experience. From the sleek tear-drop design to the excellent sound, it exudes quality across the board.

This sound machine offers 10 distinct sound categories, each with three different “richness” settings, which give you a total of 30 sounds to choose from. The richness setting allows you to tweak the variables that get layered into the sound.

For example, on the ocean setting, the standard sound is crashing waves; one tap of the richness button adds the sounds of seagulls and seals. A second adds bells and faraway foghorns to create a more soothing, layered sound.

It is also the only sound machine to feature an adaptive mode, where the internal microphone monitors your room’s ambient noise level and adjusts the volume accordingly.

The Sound & Sleep easily got loud enough to drown out competing sounds in our noise masking tests; it completely blocked out the sounds it was put up against. Both testers also noted that at every volume level, the speaker produced high quality sounds from clear highs to soothing bass without distortions.

It is one of the biggest of the units we tested, both in weight and size, which makes it difficult to recommend traveling with. It has a headphone jack but doesn’t offer a nightlight, clock, or app— and it’s on the higher side, price-wise. If that’s not an issue for you, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better sound machine than this one.

Pros

  • Performed best in our tests

  • Completely blocked all noise

  • Adaptive setting adjusts sounds automatically

Cons

  • Somewhat pricey

  • Sizeable

White Dreamegg sound machine
Credit: Reviewed/Amber Bouman

The Dreamegg D1 has 24 sounds, including three lullabies, and a gentle nightlight.

Best Value
Dreamegg D1

Number of sounds: 24
Battery: No
Cord length: 60 inches
Weight: 1.19 pounds

The Dreamegg D1 presented a pleasant surprise across the board. This sound machine is compact, with well-designed buttons, and 24 sounds that don’t diminish in quality as the volume rises. The D1 can get plenty loud; it features over 32 volume levels, and in testing we successfully blocked almost every bit of intrusive noise by level 20.

Among the 24 sounds are seven white-noise and seven fan sounds alongside nature tracks like brook, ocean waves, and thunderstorm. It also includes three lullaby tunes in case you’d like to place it in a baby’s room and has a gentle nightlight in a warm hue.

There’s no battery, but at 60 inches, the cord length is generous enough to be able to position it where you need to. At a little over a pound, it’s compact and heavy enough so that it should survive traveling well.

Pros

  • Multiple sound options

  • Includes nightlight

  • Blocks noise well

Cons

  • No battery

Black nightstand clock with 9:56am displaying and a light along the bottom
Credit: Reviewed/Amber Bouman

More a sleep guru than a sound machine, the Loftie Clock also has a dual-alarm wake system.

Best Smart Sound Machine
Loftie Alarm Clock

Number of sounds: Dozens
Battery: No
Cord length: 72 inches
Weight: 0.84 pounds

The Loftie Clock is one of a few smart sound machines currently available, and it first gained our attention when we reviewed alarm clocks. It is a striking machine, sleek and lightweight with a warm nightlight along the bottom, and an easy-to-read display.

In addition to the standard white noise sounds, Loftie can play you meditations or bedtime stories (the company updates these regularly). The sound quality is high across volume ranges, and the Loftie got impressively loud through its 10 or so volume steps. It was able to block unwanted sounds with some success, though noise blocking isn’t really what Loftie’s aim is.

The goal of this device is to provide support to both ease you into, and out of, healthy sleep routines. From the extra content and the soothing light to the nighttime routines and the two-stage morning alarm, Loftie wants to be your sleep guru. The white noise and background tones are just one brick in that building.

Loftie can be controlled either via the five buttons on the top, or from its minimalist smart phone app. The app was straightforward and offered good troubleshooting support when we had to adjust time zones, but we fumbled through learning the menus a bit with the physical buttons. Loftie can also double as a Bluetooth speaker, which may help ease the sting of its price tag some.

Pros

  • Array of alarm sounds

  • Easy to use

  • Bonus features like white noise

Cons

  • Expensive

A white hexagon with top speakers and buttons on the front
Credit: Reviewed/Amber Bouman

The LectroFan has two adjustable sounds to cover a spectrum of white noises.

Best White Noise Machine
Adaptive Sound LectroFan

Number of sounds: 20
Battery: No
Cord length: 58 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds

The LectroFan is humble, practical and—if you’re looking for a straightforward white noise machine—undoubtedly the best bang for your buck. It does exactly what it promises without any compromises in quality.

A streamlined noise maker for those who simply want to plug in and sleep, the LectroFan offers two sound settings, fan and white noise, with 10 selectable options for each setting.

Both testers noted that the machine’s high-fidelity upward-facing speaker replicated each sound beautifully, producing a warm, bass-heavy profile. The “fan setting” did sound exactly like an actual box fan, albeit one with more tonal and volume control.

In terms of decibels, this machine held its own against our top pick, successfully drowning out all three levels of conversation without having to turn the volume up to unsafe levels.

Most importantly, the LectroFan’s output retained its smooth, soothing qualities even when we pushed it to the limits. There aren’t a lot of extra bells and whistles here, aside from a timer, but its simple effectiveness is its best feature.

Pros

  • Streamlined interface

  • High-fidelity speaker

  • 60-minute sleep timer

Cons

  • No extra features

Other Sound Machines We Tested

Product image of Snooz White Noise Machine
Snooz White Noise Machine

Number of sounds: 1 (with variations)
Battery: No
Cord length: 72 inches
Weight: 0.34 pounds

The Snooz is made for one thing—easily adjustable white noise courtesy of an internal mechanical fan. The outer shell of the machine can be twisted to a deeper tone, the sounds themselves run the spectrum from the light, static waves of an oscillating fan to a bass drone that you’d expect to hear in an airplane cabin.

In testing, the Snooz was effective: during sound masking testing, the Snooz generally didn’t have to be turned up more than halfway to mask the sounds of parties, dogs, or babies, and in real-use testing, it was simple to use and effective in aiding sleep.

The Snooz can be controlled either via the three top buttons (+/- for the light and sounds and a power button), or via the uncluttered app. The app additionally lets you access an off/on scheduler, with a fade in/out feature, that will set times for Snooz to go on and off, and the nursery calibration setting—a setup sequence intended to keep Snooz in a safe range for baby’s ears.

Pros

  • Has internal mechanical fan

  • Bluetooth app gives additional controls

  • Nightlight

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Hatch Restore
Hatch Restore

Number of sounds: Dozens
Battery: No
Cord length: 60 inches
Weight: 2.07 pounds

The Hatch Restore is another smart sound machine on this list, and like the Loftie Clock, it provides users with a comprehensive sleep experience. It includes white noise sounds, wake tones and an ample array of ambient music, dreamscapes and sleep stories, as well as a domed nightlight with over 20 hues and a subtle alarm clock on the fabric-covered bottom section.

The Restore app can access all these controls, as well as help you create an a.m. or p.m. routine with custom sounds and lights. Though the setup process was a bit finicky, the detailed app wasn’t overly difficult to navigate. The Hatch Sleep Membership subscription provides even more content.

However, the physical buttons on the Restore can only control basic functions, like starting a sleep routine, volume, or brightness. Everything else must be accessed in the app, which may be a drawback to some users.

It’s also an expensive device, and its size and weight could make it hard to place in a room or travel with.

Pros

  • Completely customizable

  • Numerous audio options

  • Sleek, low-profile design

Cons

  • Requires app to access all controls

  • Yearly subscription to access all features

Product image of Marpac Dohm Classic
Marpac Dohm Classic

Number of sounds: 1 (with variations)
Battery: No
Cord length: 90 inches
Weight: 1.6 pounds

The Marpac Dohm Classic, also known as the Yogasleep Dohm Classic, is credited as being the first widely available sound machine—and it’s been popular since its release in 1962. It’s also unique in that it’s an actual fan whose sound can be manipulated by rotating its casing. It is simple, it is effective, and it is as analog as it gets.

This means it’s uncomplicated to set up, and most folks will be able to use it right out of the box without issue. Both of our testers agreed that the Dohm does exactly what it was designed to do: produce a soothing, easily customizable sound.

During sound masking testing, we were able to successfully block almost all of the party noises by adjusting the Dohm’s shell, though we were still able to hear a good amount of construction noise. With a decibel range of 41 to 52 the Dohm doesn’t get nearly as loud as other devices, so it may be more difficult to block intrusive sounds as well as other devices on this list which feature a variety of tones or a higher decibel range.

Pros

  • Simple and classic

Cons

  • Limited decibel range

Product image of Big Red Rooster BRRC107 Sound Machine
Big Red Rooster BRRC107 Sound Machine

Number of sounds: 6
Battery: Yes
Cord length: 73 inches
Weight: 0.37 pounds

Our previous testing of the Big Red Rooster’s BRRC107 sound machine found it to be a well-built, lightweight device that produced soothing—if distinctly digital—sounds. This time around, we were more impressed by the BRRC107’s ability to mask unwanted background sounds; we couldn’t hear any party noise even after turning the Rooster down a few volume steps, and both the construction sound and the barking dogs were significantly muted.

Unfortunately, we weren’t big fans of any of the six sounds, which felt both digitized and sped up or too fast to be soothing. The device itself operates easily enough; there are physical buttons for all the controls, though they feel a bit cheap and click audibly when pressed.

The BRRC107 does run on either AAA batteries or an AC adaptor with a 75-inch cord, so it’s easy to place it anywhere or travel with it.

Pros

  • Good for travel

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Digital sounds

Product image of Magicteam SN-A1
Magicteam SN-A1

Number of sounds: 20
Battery: No
Cord length: 39 inches
Weight: 0.37 pounds

The smallest sound machine that we tested, the Magicteam, is popular for its variety of 20 non-looping sounds, from white noise to a bonfire setting. It’s compact enough to travel with, but it will still need to get plugged in and its 40-inch cord limits where it can be placed.

It did well enough in the sound masking testing, where it blocked the sound of party noises and barking dogs without having to get uncomfortably loud, and we couldn’t hear any looping or fuzziness in the noises. With over 30 volume levels, it has a good range from 36 to 73 dBA.

However, the diminutive size of the buttons made it difficult to navigate the controls, particularly in the dark, and as there are no presets or way to quickly access favorites, you’ll be stuck pressing those tiny buttons constantly to cycle through to the sounds and volume you want.

Pros

  • Compact

  • Good decibel range

Cons

  • Small control buttons

  • Short power cable

Product image of Homedics SoundSpa SS-2000
Homedics SoundSpa SS-2000

Number of sounds: 6
Battery: Yes
Cord length: 73 inches
Weight: 0.5 pounds (without batteries)

Homedics is a major name in sound machines; the company makes more than a dozen different devices. The White Noise Sound Machine (SS-2200) is an unusual fidget-spinner shaped device, extremely lightweight, with a speaker on top. There are six available sounds, three timer options, and a volume dial that doubles as an on/off switch.

In use, we found the SS-2200 serviceable if unremarkable. It blocked party noises well enough, less so for the dogs barking and construction sounds. The six sounds themselves sounded fine but suffered some in quality as the volume rose. We could also detect the looping on at least one of the settings.

It’s one of the few devices on this list that will also take batteries; an advantage, because it means you can place it anywhere in your home as well as travel with it. There wasn’t anything definitively terrible about it, but it’s the cheapest device on this list, and it feels like it.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Takes batteries

Cons

  • Sound loops

  • No bonus features

Product image of Letsfit T126L
Letsfit T126L

Number of sounds: 14
Battery: No
Cord length: 63 inches
Weight: 0.95 pounds

The Letsfit T126L is identical to other sound machines found on Amazon’s bestsellers list—a sleek, round device with a row of three physical buttons on the front, plus five touch buttons and a touch ring around an upward-facing speaker grill. It offers 14 sounds, a timer, and a nightlight, but suffers from aggravating design flaws.

In order to control the machine's sounds and functions, you’ll need to switch between physical and touch buttons: the five touch buttons on the top control volume, the selection of sounds and the on/off switch, while the front three buttons handle the brightness of the night light and the timer. The night light, however, is powered on by touching the ring around the metal speaker grill.

This is unintuitive at best, and at worst, left our testers fumbling in the dark to adjust the controls. The night light directs its illumination downwards, making it nearly impossible to see the controls on the top of the machine, and making it less useful overall as a nightlight.

And the timer loudly and audibly announces your selection when pressed, which means you’ll risk waking others in the room if you set it.

Pros

  • Nightlight

  • Nice looking

Cons

  • Confusing controls

  • Timer announcements

Product image of Pure Enrichment Wave
Pure Enrichment Wave

Number of sounds: 6
Battery: No
Cord length: 60 inches
Weight: 1.21 pounds

Intended to be propped upright at an angle, the Pure Enrichment Wave is sleek, lightweight, and has straightforward controls. It also includes a USB port, so you can plug your phone in to charge. However, the sound machine we ordered arrived without the silver support cylinder, so finding a way to keep the machine upright was more difficult than it should have been.

A bigger issue was the plug itself, which didn’t sit flush with the port, and could be wiggled about. While this didn’t affect our connection, users have complained about devices shorting out and have said that even with the stand, the machine was not stable.

The Wave offers six sounds via physical buttons, a timer with presets, and a volume dial. The sounds themselves were a bit fuzzy in quality and there was some noticeable looping in the summer night setting. It was also on the quieter side; in our real- use tests, we had to get out of bed to readjust the volume.

While it did fare decently enough during sound masking, we had to turn it up quite high. A more minor annoyance, the power button also controls the timer, so you’ll have to cycle through the timer presets every time you turn the machine off.

Pros

  • USB port to charge phone

  • Slim design

Cons

  • Fuzzy sounds

  • Missing parts

How We Tested

The Tester

I’m Amber Bouman, and I am chronically sleep deprived. Over the years I’ve struggled with a variety of sleep challenges from third shift work and interruptive insomnia to chronic pain issues like sciatica. Currently, my biggest hurdle to getting a good night’s rest is my 2.5-year-old twins; believe me when I say that sleep is one of my most precious resources.

Because my partner has tinnitus and our twins are NICU-graduates, we’ve used several different sound machines over the years to assist with sleep. In my professional life, I have over 15 years’ experience reviewing everything from Windows phones and gaming monitors to leather backpacks and, of course, white noise machines.

This guide was originally written by Kevin Oliver, a reviewer and contributor to Reviewed who has experience as both a touring musician and a sound engineer. He used his professional expertise in reviewing sound machines, in a way only an audiophile can appreciate.

The Tests

First, we spent days researching the sound machines most highly rated by expert reviewers and users alike. In addition to ratings, we considered factors like decibel levels, sound settings, size, weight, and extra features. We narrowed down our list to twelve top contenders, including the sound machines that Kevin originally tested.

Upon unboxing, we inspected each device thoroughly and took note of build quality. We took notes on ease of setup and portability and ran through each machine’s entire feature list to compare special features and functions. We used a decibel reader to determine a rough estimate of how loud each machine is at both minimum and maximum volumes and listened closely for looping sounds and overall sound quality.

We set up all the sound machines in the same room and took a decibel reading of the ambient noise level for a baseline. In an adjacent room, we played a variety of sounds that commonly disturb sleep, including party noises, construction sounds, dogs barking, and babies crying.

We measured how loud each of these noises was in our test room, then set each machine to its white- noise setting. We then measured the decibel level and volume setting it took for each machine to cover the intrusive noises.

What You Should Know About Buying Sound Machines

Types of Noise

While you may be familiar with the term white noise, you may not be familiar with how it differentiates from brown noise or pink noise. White noise, a combination of all frequencies on the acoustic spectrum, is often compared to the static hiss of a television. Pink noise contains bass, lower frequencies, and sounds more like steady rainfall. Brown noise, which has the most bass and even lower frequencies than pink, is said to be like strong winds or the rush of a river.

Many noise machines offer at least one white-noise option, and many include variations on pink or brown noises as well. If you’re new to sound machines, you’ll want to pick one that has a variety of tones and sounds to experiment with—often you’ll find nature sounds that mimic white, pink, or brown noise like rushing rivers, storms, rain, or waves. Some include alternate tracks like birds or crickets, the rush of traffic or meditation chimes.

Whatever option you go for, make sure that the noise machine you choose doesn’t loop sounds that can draw your attention and keep you awake.

Location

It’s also important to consider where a noise machine will be placed. It’s recommended that a noise machine be positioned at least 7 feet away from your head and in between your bed and the source of any background noise you’re trying to mask.

Consider where the speakers on the machine are placed, as well; speakers on a noise machine can be on top of the machine, on the front, or even through vent holes on the side and bottom.

It’s worth noting where your available electrical outlets are placed, as many noise machines will need to get plugged in (though some will also take batteries). If you’re planning to travel with the same noise machine you use at home, you’ll want to ensure that the sound machine you use is lightweight.

Features

Your sound machine should provide you with quality background noise to help you sleep, but it can also do double duty as a night light, an alarm clock, a rise-to-wake smart machine, or a Bluetooth speaker.

Some sound machines also have companion apps that will allow you to control the machine from your phone, access meditation or wellness programs, or even play your own music from the device.

Finding a noise machine that also has a nightlight or an alarm clock isn’t hard—many of the machines on this list have either or both—but it’s also possible to snag a sound machine that includes meditation or wellness programming, rise-to-wake settings, a Bluetooth speaker, or even a smartphone app.

It’s worth thinking about where and how you’ll be using your sound machine, to determine if any of these features are of value to you but keep in mind that any additional features are usually found on higher-priced devices.

Sound Machines vs. White-noise Apps

There are dozens of white-noise and noise-generating apps available for both iOS and Android. While many of these apps—including our favorite, Relax Melodies—offer an affordable and easy way to drown out some unwanted noise, there are drawbacks.

For instance, a phone speaker can't get anywhere near the decibel level of an external speaker. If your phone is acting as a white noise machine, then it often can’t be used for anything else, which means you can’t have white noise and run a meditation podcast, or use a journaling app, or anything else you may need from your smartphone.

A dedicated sound machine can also be positioned in places you may not want to leave a smartphone—say, on the ground outside of a bedroom door. Many dedicated sound machines now also have additional features, so they also work as an alarm clock or nightlight to boot.

Basically, those who want more volume, more features, and richer sound would be better served by a dedicated sound machine.

Are Sound Machines Harmful

There’s been an increased focus on potential downsides to sound machines, but the short answer is there isn’t enough data to know whether using a sound machine is harmful. Many recent articles cite a scientific review done by Mathias Basner, who reviewed 38 studies that looked at noise as a sleep aid. Basner concluded that further research is necessary to recommend noise as a sleep aid or prove that it is causing damage.

However, almost all experts agree that the safest way to use a noise machine is to keep the decibel level as low as possible to prevent hearing loss. According to the CDC prolonged exposure to noises over 70 dB, which is slightly louder than a normal conversation, can cause damage.

The CDC also recommends placing the sound machine as far from your bed as possible and, ideally, to set a timer so your brain isn’t constantly perceiving and attempting to process audio signals throughout the night.

Using a sound machine should also be part of a larger nighttime routine that signals to your body that it is time to wind down and rest.

Meet the testers

Kevin Oliver

Kevin Oliver

Contributor

@kevintheoliver

Kevin Oliver is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Kevin Oliver's reviews
Amber Bouman

Amber Bouman

Editor, Product Roundups

Amber Bouman is Editor of Product Roundups at Reviewed. She has formerly written for Engadget, PC World, Maximum PC, the Wirecutter and Broke Ass Stuart.

See all of Amber Bouman's reviews

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