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We live in a stressful world these days, in a jungle where survival of the fittest rules. Grocery shopping, doctors appointments, picking the kids up from school, walking the dog, work overtime, family commitments, lack of sleep, nagging spouse… I could go on. By the end of the day, you are crawling into your bed, hoping to be left alone, so your shattered nerves can get a rest before round two tomorrow. Before the kids come through screaming, the alarm clock is going off, the dog is barking — what a wonderful world!

That’s why you need an ambient noise app for your smartphone. Ambient noise, also known as background noise, is simply different kinds of noise which you can listen to in order to relax. Think about it for a moment. What kind of setting makes you relax? The sound of a bustling cafe? A rain shower? Thunder and rain? Birds chirping? A flowing river? It’s these kinds of things which are known as ambient noise, and you can get high quality recordings of them to listen to, either on a website or on your phone.

Today, we will be looking at ones for the phone, although if you are looking for web-based examples, two I like are Soundrown and Defonic. But without further ado, here are the smartphone ones. All are iOS apps, and a few of them also have Android versions.


This one is limited to just three ambient noises, all related to cafes. Morning Murmur (quiet chatter), Lunchtime Lounge (a bit busier), and University Undertones (intellectuals whispering profound wisdoms). On their website (which auto-starts an audio file when the site loads – be warned), they also have a premium option with more sounds, but the premium option seemingly has been temporarily put on hold (those crowds are probably getting a bit rowdy).

Coffitivity also provides links to your music library on your phone, as well as other music sources – Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Songza, and Last.FM.

The app is free and available for iOS, Android as well as Mac OS X.

My Noise

I particularly like this one because you can take an ambient noise – such as white noise (good for blocking out sound) – and then you are given different sliders to make your own specialised tone. Some sliders raise the pitch of the tone, others lower it. Simply play around with it until you get the one you want.

My Noise is free for iOS.


This one has 6 to choose from. Chirping birds, water lapping, rivers flowing, rain pouring — what is there not to like? Plug in those headphones and start chilling.

Naturespace is free and available for iOS, Android and Windows 8.

Sleep Pillow

Sleep Pillow is rather a nice little app to listen to, as it allows you to mix your sounds up. The sounds available are chirping birds (naturally), water, thunder, fire, and the one I like the most – whale noises. Better watch out that it doesn’t attract the Starship Enterprise.

Sleep Pillow is $1.99 and is available for iOS.


The last one is called Relax Melodies, and it consists of several apps. You have the main app, and then the Oriental version (screenshot above), and Seasons.

Relax Melodies is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

After getting a good night’s sleep, let us know in the comments what you listen to if you are having trouble sleeping.

Image Credits: lifestyle via Shutterstock

  1. LMT
    November 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Couldn't find Relax Melodies Oriental, Seasons or any free premium versions in the Play Store. Most recent versions of Relax apps were dated November,2013. How can I access these apps which were mentioned in this article?

  2. urnamehere
    November 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Also forgot the app White Noise

    • Mark
      November 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Do you have a link to the app?

  3. kelsey
    November 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    ASMR videos all the way.

    • Mark
      November 5, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Could you tell me a bit more about them?

    • kelsey
      November 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      ASMR- Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

      People who experience ASMR have 'tingles' in their body when they hear certain sounds and see cretain movements. These are called 'triggers'. Most of these people have started experiencing these 'tingles' at a very young age, for example at school with a low talking teacher. The feeling almost paralyzes your body with a giant feeling of calmness. It's rather hard to explain to people who don't experience this because most wold say it's weird. And it is weird, there's still a lot more to discover with this ASMR thing. YouTube is covered in ASMR videos. Even if you are not able to experience ASMR, the videos are still relaxing!

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Cool thanks Kelsey. I'll look into it :-) I am always looking for new ways to relax.

    • NJRonbo
      November 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      There is an iOS version. Been using it for years.

  4. NJRonbo
    November 4, 2014 at 5:54 am

    How could you forget the BEST ambient noise app of them all? AMBIENCE?

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