For your best relaxation, we greatly recommend The SleepSounder as the best sound machine because it has 12 different sounds from nature at a reasonable price, with money back guarantee. The fact that you can choose between many different white noise sounds is helpful for sleeping and relaxing in general.
The Best Sound Machine: The SleepSounder
If you ever wanted a peaceful night surrounding for your uninterrupted and seamless sleep, the SleepSounder is our top pick as the best sound machine.
You can choose from over 12 nature sounds – all seamlessly looping without clicks and all very realistic to give you that natural atmosphere. It also has memory card for downloading new sounds so you can add more personal touch to it. The SleepSounder also comes with a money back guarantee if your sleep problems were not solved. Enjoy in its atmospheric relaxing white noise and its portable design.
Step-up Pick: Homedics HDS-2000 Deep Sleep II Relaxation Sound and White Noise Machine
But for the people who like extra power when it comes to sound machines, the Homedics HDS-2000 Deep Sleep II Relaxation Sound and White Noise Machine is a dual speaker design that will definitely block out all noise around you and replace with white noise tones. It has 4 water tone options and 4 white noise choices as well as 4 nature tones, making it also 12 just like our first pick. Having an elegant design, you do have to prepare your budget because it is slightly expensive.
Budget Pick: HoMedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ Sound Spa Relaxation Machine
For those who like a smaller and cheaper sound machine, you would want to have the HoMedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ Sound Spa Relaxation Machine. It has 6 nature sounds to choose from and is light and compact. It also has a timer option so that it saves energy after you sleep. It can either be battery operated or rechargeable. The Sound Spa works well for babies and lulling them to sleep.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Who else likes it?
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Great for Travel Relaxation and Sleep
- Lull your Baby to Sleep
- Single Round Speaker Design
- Maintain a Healthy Circadian Rhythm for Sleep and Waking
- Lullaby and Sleep Sounds all in one
- Pillow Speakers for Privacy
- Comes with Light Effects Projection on Ceiling
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
Falling asleep after a hard day’s work, school activities and any physical, mental or emotional pressure really helps our body rejuvenate somehow and sort out everything that we have learned and / or experienced throughout the day. Just like machines, human bodies need to get some form of rest – and that is to sleep.
However, not every person can easily fall asleep. Everyone has different levels of anxiety, depending on their surroundings and their personalities that were shaped by their memories. Some people are more anxious than others due to environmental and stress factors, making it harder for them to get some sleep through the night, even if all the right conditions are met.
This is where the technology of a sound machine comes in. Basically, what a sound machine does is play atmospheric and ambient music or sounds of nature to lull anyone to sleep. The “white noise” effect does a trick to our brains, stimulating it and helping it relax. You will feel as if you are near the waterfalls, near the beach, in the forest or somewhere quiet with a little white noise to hypnotize you to sleep.
So why do you exactly need to have white noise? Not everyone can sleep soundly under absolute silence. Some people get scared or frightened when everything is too quiet so they sometimes turn on the electric fan or AC just to make a little white noise and help them keep calm. But now that the technology of sound machines have arrived, you don’t need to worry about that fear anymore – just turn on the white noise generator and you’ll be sleeping like a log in no time.
How We Picked
A sound machine doesn’t have a lot of features, but among the criteria we picked for the best are the following:
Choice of tones was the first criteria. More tones to choose from mean more options for everyone to sleep at their own pace. Some like it beside the ocean but others like it in the forest with the birds. Some like the sounds of rain while some are just contented to the standard white noise, others may have a different preference.
The loops are supposed to be seamless. This is why you bought a sound machine in the first place – so you don’t have to open up your computer or mp3 player just to loop play relaxing ambient music – the sound machine does it for you in seamless loop.
It must be easy to operate. The goal of a sound machine should focus on getting you to sleep fast – additional complex buttons to operate makes the user all the more stressed instead of relaxed.
The sound machine should have an auto off or timer feature to avoid the hassle of going to wake up in the middle of the night just to turn it off or find in the next day that it’s wasted a lot of energy or drained its battery. Just as televisions and other appliances have a timer feature, so should the sound machine.
Portability is also a big plus. It is great to have a sound machine that you are able to carry with you anywhere, so you can take with you on vacation trips or even on hotels where you might have trouble sleeping when you’re not at home.
Affordability and good reviews matter, too. You have to balance the price with its functionality and features. Reading about the product reviews can help you foresee what to expect when you buy the sound machine and use for your sleep.
Jen’s Top Pick is The SleepSounder, which in our opinion is the best sound machine due to its middle line price range and great features.
Choose from a variable 12 nature sounds – including waterfall and rain sounds, simulating the fact that you are near the beach, in the forest or any place that gives you a relaxing white noise vibe and natural feeling, especially if you are used to having birds humming or other nature sounds. Enjoy in a blissfully relaxing white noise background.
If you are tired of using the 12 default sounds, well this is good news for you. The SleepSounder has memory card for downloading new sounds so you don’t have to stick to the norm – load in your own sounds (e.g. favorite music, ambient music you found on the internet) and you can sleep like a log or just relax.
While not really a part of its features, the manufacturer offers a money back guarantee for those customers who claim that they were not satisfied with the product or their sleep problems were not alleviated.
It has a portable design, so you can take it with you almost anywhere. If you have a lot of trouble falling asleep on certain foreign places or just not at the comfort of your own home then this is the sound machine to get. It can be rechargeable for 6 hours.
The SleepSounder also has an FM radio function so that you can also listen to your favorite radio stations from the convenience of this sound machine. In addition to this awesome feature, you can also listen to music from your phone, computer or any capable device via Bluetooth. Pretty neat, huh?
This particular sound machine is so effective that it blocks noise from outside, only allowing you to hear peaceful white noise and the sounds of nature at your own personal space. For those who need to look at the time, it also has an alarm clock feature so you can jumpstart your day without worrying about being late.
If you prefer quiet and private listening to avoid distracting other people around you, it has a headphone jack that allows you to connect headphones for private listening pleasure. With its seamless looping, you get nonstop white noise relaxation at the comfort of any home or sleeping ground and you get undistracted natural sleep.
Who Else Likes It?
If you are an insomniac or someone who gets a lot of trouble sleeping at night then a sound machine is definitely a good product for you. Anxiety is the most common problem among people with sleep disorders and they mostly can’t sleep in absolute silence or there’s too much unnecessary noise in the background. The therapy of white noise and relaxing nature sounds will definitely put any person to sleep in no time.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The White Noise Machine for Sleep – The SleepSounder does have a few shortcomings. For instance, it is said to have a short Bluetooth distance, but it should not be too troublesome if your phone or computer is nearby. The digital clock might not work well with soundtrack on, but anyway, the digital clock is only an additional feature and not a necessity in the sound machine. Some users do complain lack of additional user’s instructions but nonetheless, it is still quite easy to operate for an average user. This is not really a dealbreaker at all but it seems that you can’t turn off the display light.
Extra budget means more extra features, such as the Homedics HDS-2000 Deep Sleep II Relaxation Sound and White Noise Machine.
Just like the first sound machine, it also has a total of 12 background music and noise to choose from – 4 water tones for those who are addicted to the sound of rain and waterfalls, 4 white noise for those who just want a simple white noise to put them to sleep, and 4 nature tones to simulate the feeling that you are in a forest, beach or somewhere in the wilderness surrounded by birds chirping and many other friendly subtle animal noises.
What makes this sound machine unique is that it has a system of dual speakers – allowing you to enjoy a full high range surround sound in your bedroom or sleeping space, which most sound machines don’t really have. Along with its dual speakers, this one also has a unique and elegant design that is a perfect aesthetic for your bedroom.
It is slightly expensive, but the features you get are good for the money. It also a remote control unit so you can enjoy in your bed without having to get up and operate it yourself. It is so effective to block out noise from the outside and will definitely be your budget’s worth.
However, if you like a little less spending with sound machines, you can go for a cheaper alternative: HoMedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ Sound Spa Relaxation Machine .
Because it’s only small both in size and in price, it only has 6 nature sounds to choose from – not a problem when all you want is to get some sleep from a simple white noise device. This one, of course, has a timer option so no more getting up in the middle of the night just to turn it off or wasting battery life.
You can choose between being battery operated (with 4 AA batteries required) or as a rechargeable sound machine. This is so portable and compact that it is very good for babies and children who are having trouble sleeping.
Just as expected from every sound machine out there, it also has seamless looping for the white noise tunes and is also quite easy to use and operate so you will have better time sleeping.
Great for Travel Relaxation and Sleep
The Marsona TSCI-330 Travel Sound Conditioner is designed for every traveler’s needs due to its very compact and lightweight design. Carry it with you on your trip to camping, staying over at hotels or even on other people’s houses when you don’t feel too comfortable sleeping. A sound machine that is very easy to carry is something deserved by people with sleep problems but are on the go all the time.
You also have a fair choice of colors – it is available in tan and white. The small and compact sound machine also comes with nylon travel pouch, making it a very handy dandy travel companion. You can even use it in the car when stuck on heavy traffic or when resting for the night while being stuck in an unlikely place. Despite its small size, it has great noise masking capability that you will not regret buying for. The sound machine uses rain, waterfall and surf white noise to give you a very relaxing feel while you start to sleep soundly.
Lull your Baby to Sleep
If you have an infant in your house or a small child or nursery then you would definitely want the myBaby SoundSpa Portable because of its easy to operate functions and also because its design makes it very portable and lightweight to transfer from room to room or to carry with you on a trip. After all, children will mostly likely fall asleep in your car during heavy traffic or long hours of driving, so you should best prepare them with this cute and portable sound machine.
Much like our budget pick, you can choose from 6 natural white noise sounds to lull your baby to sleep soundly. It also has an auto timer and auto off feature so you would not have to worry about wasting battery even on the go or forgetting to turn it off. It works especially great for babies or travelers. It can either be rechargeable or makes the use of 4 AA batteries to power it up. The easy to operate design makes it a favorite among parents or just about anyone who needs to put their children to sleep easily.
Single Round Speaker Design
The design of the SONEic – Sleep, Relax and Focus Sound Machine makes it a simple yet effective and colorful sound machine to take with you on any sleeping camp or place. You can choose from a total of 10 white noise and natural sounds and relax the night or afternoon away. Of course, it has a timer option to leave you no worries when it comes to saving battery life.
You can choose to either power it up by its USB cable to a computer or any power source or just depend on the 4 AA batteries you can put on it. This round speaker design sets the difference because of its high quality sound and lightweight design. The headphone and earphone jack allows any person to listen to convenient ambient and white noise nature sounds at their own private listening space without disturbing other people. It is currently available in a total of 5 available colors (purple, blue, pink, white, black) so you can make it more personalized.
Maintain a Healthy Circadian Rhythm for Sleep and Waking
Are you not just having trouble sleeping at night but also waking up during the day? The Natural Wake and Sleep System from Sound Oasis is a sure answer to your problems. It has built in wake up and fall asleep light settings and sound effects that will surely get your circadian rhythm healthier day by day so you don’t feel very haggard or wasted during the waking hours throughout the day or feel anxious at night.
This useful piece of innovative technology comes with light therapy for waking up, giving you a very realistic sunrise simulation that is enough to wake a person up, regardless of how sleepy he or she is. You can choose from a total of 6 nature sounds and even 4 aromatherapy scents designed to either wake you up in the morning or even put you to sleep at night. What’s really interesting with this machine is that you can load your own essential oils, which is perfect for those who might have allergy issues with certain scents. So if you are looking forward to a multi functional device to help you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm or sleep and wake cycle throughout the day and night then you’d better purchase this for your bedroom.
Lullaby and Sleep Sounds all in One
If you are not just content with nature relaxing atmospheric sounds or white noise backgrounds then you may want the LectroFan Jr. – White Noise Machine which also acts as a lullaby player. It is hexagon shaped and it currently has 3 colors available (blue, pink, white).
Choose from the preset 12 white noise sounds and relax the night away. The design is unique, compact and portable. As mentioned earlier, you can also choose from 18 lullabies for sleep therapy and this unique feature even allows you to switch between sounds and lullabies. Some people can sleep better with music rather than background noise, especially if you want your children or babies to fall asleep fast and soundly. This sound machine also comes with a convenient sleep timer.
Pillow Speakers for Privacy
Some people cannot really take the pressure of using headphones or earphones when they want to fall asleep and this is why they might need something comfortable, such as the Sound Oasis SP-101 Sleep Therapy Pillow Speakers. Having a 3.5mm plug, it has thin speakers perfect for head surround in your pillow, so you can say goodbye to having ear aches from using headphones or ear irritations from using earphones, and just relax throughout the night stress-free.
The pillow speakers also have inline volume control if you don’t want to disturb other people or if you want to adjust the volume as you fall asleep. These are perfect for privacy and the fact that you want a disturbance free listening.
Comes with Light Effects Projection on Ceiling
Do you have kids who want not just music to help them relax and fall asleep but also light effects to help simulate stars in the sky? The Dream Tones by Conair Night Light & Sound Machine is a great example of that. You can choose from its default library of 6 relaxation sounds plus 5 LED light settings, so it combines the technology of a lighting device and a sound machine to help children (and even adults, maybe?) to fall asleep soundly through the night.
The LED part on the top is able to project stars on ceiling, making bedtime for kids (and everyone who decides to use this) a greatly enjoyable experience. A revolutionary light and sound machine, it works great for kids and it only requires 3 AA batteries. It also has an easy volume control to operate and the sound machine as a whole, is subject to 1 year limited warranty.
Other sound machines that did not make it to our top list are usually too highly-priced, received a lot of negative reviews, or lacked the seamless loop feature. The seamless loop is one of the most important things that you need to look for in a sound machine, otherwise you would just be wasting money on something that can perform the same functionality as a regular mp3 player.
The sound machine should be able to withstand many long hours of playing ambient and relaxing music or backdrop and this is why we didn’t include models that had reports of easily breaking down after long periods of use. Nonetheless, it is still wise to always use the auto off feature on any sound machine to preserve its power and durability. Other complaints to other sound machines that we have left off this list include the fact that they have very limited sound options.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I need a sound machine to help me go to sleep better?
A: According to this article from About.com Health , white noise for sound sleep helps relax our brains by being attuned to a certain frequency that stimulates our brains. This is specifically the case for those who have insomnia or having trouble falling asleep at night.
Q: How important is getting enough sleep for the night?
A: Simply put, it recharges you for the next day ahead. According to this article from the Harvard website , sleep is considered an important factor when it comes to memory and learning and it also helps you absorb and sort out everything you have learned the whole day. Humans are much like machines – we all need to sleep and rest our bodies and minds somehow to get started again for the next day.
Q: Why do I need subtle noise to fall asleep when complete silence can do the trick?
A: Not every person falls asleep in the given conditions. Sure, some people enjoy complete silence but some need a bit of background noise to keep them from getting anxious. According to some posts from Quora , too much silence can be disturbing due to the fact that the attention goes to your body – your breathing, your heartbeat as well as the tick of the clock and it makes you quite nervous.
Q: I have an mp3 player / PC / cell phone to play ambient music from YouTube or other sites. Why do I need a sound machine?
A: A sound machine does a seamless loop that most music players are not able to do. Even if you can find 5-hour loops and such of peaceful tranquil background music or ambient forest and rain sounds on YouTube, this does not guarantee you a seamless and endless loop as you would have to go back and repeat it again and you would have to keep your internet connection on all the time. Average people who do not have access to the internet or do not have such time to use computers will find sound machines less of a hassle when trying to get them to fall asleep, especially in a faraway place where there is limited technology, WiFi connectivity or even mobile phone signal.
Q: If the sound machine does not work for me to make me fall asleep, but works for someone else, am I doing something wrong?
A: No, you are not. It may be just that every person has a different way of sleeping better in different conditions. For instance, a certain ambient noise may sound annoying to you, but not to the other person. It is just like how some people are able to sleep in absolute silence but some are too scared or anxious so they turn on the electric fan or put up their sound machine to make some subtle noise and take off their frustrations. In fact, some people even leave the TV on just to fall asleep soundly, and will wake up in the middle of the night if someone turns it off. You just need to learn that everyone has their own conditions when it comes to sleep.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, the The SleepSounder is the best sound machine because of its many great features and price range that’s just right for anyone. It will most surely help you sleep through the night.