Help me sleep anywhere I want!
February 22, 2010 11:46 AM   Subscribe

I need a recommendation for a white noise machine... preferably one that can travel!

I found a couple questions about this, but they were from several years ago. Basically I have slept with a fan on for years, but the fan is big and bulky in my tiny Brooklyn apartment, so a nice sleek white noise machine would be better, i think. Can anyone suggest a good one? I dont need rain fall or chirping birds or anything like that - just a simple fan-like noise is good.

HOWEVER, what i do need is for it to be portable. I'd love to be able to bring my noise machine when i travel. So that means it has to be small and light.

My budget is anything under $100, i guess.
posted by silverstatue to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Don't laugh, I bought it for my kid but used it for myself! I too prefer "fanlike" white noise but the water is pretty soothing. And you can't get much more portable than a wee stuffed animal. You can even take out the inside noise machine and use it on its own for increased smallness.

Sleep Sheep.

ps - you can also download mp3s of white noise for the cheapest solution of all.
posted by pinky at 11:51 AM on February 22, 2010

Audactity will run a white noise sound, in case you travel with your laptop. I've used it in a pinch.
posted by jessamyn at 11:54 AM on February 22, 2010

Best answer: If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, there's an app called Ambiance that does the trick admirably. I replaced my (rather clunky) white noise generator with that.

I believe I bought the last physical object I used for white noise, a combo alarm clock/white noise generator, at Brookstone in the mall. I think this is the current model and it looks like it fits in your budget. Sleep tight!
posted by immlass at 12:06 PM on February 22, 2010

Ditto download an mp3 or app for your iphone/blackberry/zune/whatever. Then hook-up the thing to a portable dock or portable speakers.

I've had this little beauty for years (the cones are metal not paper!) It connects through a standard audio headphone jack to anything - my laptop, iphone, mp3 player, etc.

posted by jbenben at 12:07 PM on February 22, 2010

This is my baby. Love love love it. It's approximately the same size as a 50 disc CD/DVD spindle, and makes a noise that I usually compare to a hair dryer [though my sister, who also doesn't sleep well and who received her own as a present from me, describes it as fan-like]. It has two speeds and a strange twisty mechanism that will alter the pitch of the noise slightly, though I just turned mine on right out of the box and it worked wonderfully. The cord is nice and long, and it doesn't take up much room at all.
posted by alynnk at 12:17 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have the same one as alynnk and have used it for years; it's small enough to travel with, at least if you're checking bags.
posted by pombe at 12:26 PM on February 22, 2010

Your Laptop + = Done.
posted by jnnla at 12:31 PM on February 22, 2010

Response by poster: I wont be checking my bag so it needs to be carry-able in my backpack. The one from Brookstone looks good, although i'd prefer something cheaper... but that does look the closest to what i want, size-wise.

Unfortunately i am horribly low-tech and do not have a laptop OR an Iphone/pod/etc. My mp3 player is pretty wimpy so i dont think i could hook it up to speakers. Plus then i'd have to carry the speakers!

Please keep the suggestions coming!
posted by silverstatue at 12:35 PM on February 22, 2010

My wife bought me the Brookstone Sleep Sound Machine for Christmas and it's been pretty good so far, despite the bad reviews on Amazon. The noise loops are pretty short but high-quality, and the light is bright enough to be a handy nightlight. The headphone jack works well.
posted by camworld at 12:48 PM on February 22, 2010

I have an older version of the model camworld linked sitting on my nightstand. It's bigger than the alarm clock combo model I linked. They both do a fine job, but the combo model is definitely better for hauling in a carry-on.
posted by immlass at 1:34 PM on February 22, 2010

why not just buy a little fan?
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 1:53 PM on February 22, 2010

I bought the Sound Conditioner Sound Screen SleepMate Electro-Mechanical White Noise Machine about five years ago, when I lived with four other people who left the tv on too loud, came home obnoxiously drunk at all hours, and had no problem sleeping. I was a serious light sleeper. Before getting the white noise machine I had seriously contemplated sleeping in my car a few times, because my roommates were so loud (it was a bad situation, and I did get out of it).

Now, I live with my fiance, who keeps very different hours from me. My ears are almost super human, in that I can hear someone typing on the other side of the house, through two closed doors. It's a cure.

Without the white noise machine I listed above, any noise at all keeps me from falling asleep. With it, though, bliss. Sweet, quiet bliss.

It's about the size of a coconut, so you can fit it in a carry on. The noise it makes is wind, not electronic. I know it seems kind of pricey, but it is absolutely worth it.

Unless you are my fiance, who can fall asleep anywhere, with any noise level, and yet, my white noise machine keeps him awake (he turns it off when he comes to bed, which never bothers me. I just need it on when he's up and about in the house).
posted by duckierose at 2:01 PM on February 22, 2010

We use the SleepMate, too, and it works great.

However, you can also download (as mentioned earlier) lots of white noise/pink noise tracks and play via a PC or CD player at louder volumes than the SleepMate or other dedicated machines. I found, via MetaFilter, a nice 50 minute or so track of surf noise.

My personal bias is against self-contained solid-state machines (as opposed to electro-mechanical machines). Our first machine was a solid state contraption -- I didn't care for it as the recorded tracks of white noise/wind/rainfall/whatever were relatively short (5 min?) and I started to predict the tiny skip when the track restarted. It was also not very loud.
posted by seventyfour at 3:57 PM on February 22, 2010

Quick and dirty - get an fm radio and tune it to an empty space
posted by Not Supplied at 5:58 PM on February 22, 2010

I use an old CD player with a CD I made of white noise. You need amplifying speakers, of course. I use a big speaker system, but you could just as easily use some little travel speakers, which are compact and easy to find. There are a million different brands out there.
posted by Xezlec at 8:45 PM on February 22, 2010

Pink noise (the kind you get by following Not Supplied's suggestion) might be a little easier on the ears. You can listen to samples of both here.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:01 PM on February 22, 2010

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