Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Trtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtrtr. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock. Some noises can drive you crazy. If you’re trying to sleep or work and an incessant background noise won’t let up, you can find yourself turning on fans, the television or music just to drown the annoyance.
The truth is, you don’t have to freeze yourself with fans in winter or distract yourself even further with TV. If you’re trying to work on your computer, there are many websites that can help you stay focused. There are even websites that can help you get to sleep. But your computer isn’t always there, and many of these websites don’t work well on mobile. The solution? Apps, of course!
The apps below will help you drown any annoying noise with a soothing soundtrack. They’re easy to use, and you’re bound to find something your partner will enjoy too, so you won’t be fighting over which TV program to fall asleep with ever again.
SimplyNoise is probably the most well-known way to generate background noise, and has been available as a Web app for years. It’s also available as an Android app or iOS app, and while those will set you back by $1, they’re well worth it.
As expected, SimplyNoise is a super simple app. It comes with three different noises: white, pink and brown, the difference being mainly in the pitch of the sound. All you have to do is choose the noise you prefer and set the volume.
If you need a more dynamic noise, tap the blue button to enable oscillating. There are three levels of oscillation, which will vary the volume of the noise automatically for you.
If you plan to fall asleep with SimplyNoise, you can set a timer for the noise to make it stop after a while.
If you’re on iOS and love rain sounds, you can try SimplyNoise’s sibling SimplyRain. This will set you back by another $1, though.
Bottom line: For those looking for simple background noise in a minimalistic app.
White Noise (Free, $1.99)
SimplyNoise is all about classic machine-generated “white noise”. But those aren’t for everyone. If you want to listen to rain, airplanes, waves, trains, or even a fan, White Noise Lite is a great choice. Available both as an Android app and iOS app, White Noise Lite adds many features that SimplyNoise simply doesn’t have.
The app comes with 10 different sounds to choose from. You can mark favorites, create playlists, listen to some pre-made mixes, and download some additional free noises from the White Noise Market (download through the app).
Through the settings, you can fine-tune the sound you’re listening to (you can also do this separately for each mix) and configure many aspects of the the app.
The app also comes with both a timer and an alarm clock, and a glowing customizable clock for night mode.
If you really like White Noise Lite, want some more sounds and to get rid of the ads, the full version of White Noise costs $1.99 for both Android and iOS. It includes 40 noises, background listening for when you’re using other apps, the ability to create your own mixes, and more. And of course, no ads.
Bottom line: If you like your background noise diverse and interesting, and want to customize the heck out of it.
Relax Melodies (Free, $2.99)
This is the heftiest and most expensive app of the bunch, but it’s also the most varied one. Available for both Android and iOS, Relax Melodies is an app I already looked at when testing 7 great iOS apps that can help you relax. And indeed, it can help you relax. Also also sleep. And also concentrate, if you like these types of sounds.
The free version of Relax Melodies comes with no less than 46 different sounds. These range from regular white noise and different sound effects to actual melodies. You can create any mix you want from as many noises as you want to achieve the perfect noise for you and the occasion. When you hit the sweet spot, you can save the mix to your favorites. The app also comes with some pre-made mixes for you to try.
In addition, Relax Melodies comes with a timer to prevent your phone from playing sounds all night long. You can set it up quickly to one of the pre-set times, or choose a custom time.
The full version of Relax Melodies gets rid of the ads, doubles the number of available sounds, supports background playing, and more. At $2.99 it’s not cheap, but if choosing from 96 different sounds and creating an endless number of different mixes appeals to you, it’s a good investment.
Bottom line: If simple sounds are just not enough.
It may surprise you, but ambient sounds can truly change your life. Listening to these is so much better than most of the noises we’re exposed to in our everyday lives, and drowning out the cars, drilling, and neighbor washing the sidewalk could suddenly make your day (or night) look a whole lot better.
Have you ever tried white noise and ambient sounds? Which is your favorite? Will these apps inspire you to try it? Let us know in the comments!
Image credit: Eddy Van 3000