Having trouble getting to sleep at night without some white noise or a sound machine? You’re not the only one. With today’s fast-paced life, it is becoming increasingly important to make the most out of the ZZZ’s we can catch, whenever we may be able to catch them.
To help sleepers fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep in less than ideal or unusual environments, many turn toward sound machines. A sound machine, in its truest form, is a device that emits a consistent sound in order to cover up or mask the sounds from the environment.
Sounds can be as simple as white noise or as complex as a lengthy looped nature track. Sound machines vary in size, performance, the type of sounds they make, and additional bells and whistles they might have.
Sound machines can be especially useful for bedtime routines for young children. As notoriously sensitive sleepers, the slightest noise may wake a sleeping baby. Using a sound machine helps to lower a baby’s sensitivity to other noises in the environment.
This review is going to break down four of the best white noise sound machines in order to see which one is best for getting you some sleep! Follow along as we review each sound machine individually, or click here to skip right to the summary.
Each comparison in this review is going to look at a variety of factors for each white noise sound machine review, including:
- Overview (Features): This is an overall assessment of the design, features, and user-friendly nature of each device. How many sounds does it play? Is it portable? How do you adjust the volume?
- Build Quality: This looks at how the sound machine is constructed. Is it durable? Is it lightweight? Is it heavy? Does it feel cheap?
- Sound Quality: This looks at the quality of sound that is emitted from each machine. Is it deep and fills the room? Is it soft and shallow? Somewhere in between?
- Overall Value: Considering overall design, features, build quality, sound quality, and a variety of other factors”, this area assesses the product’s overall value. Do you get your money’s worth?
In addition, each comparison is also going to recommend which sleeper might prefer which particular white noise sound machine. While they each have their own advantages and challenges, for the sake of this review, we can pick one overall winner.
Best Sound Machine Winner
If you’re a sleeper on a budget and looking for the absolute best value, it is hard to beat the LectroFan Micro sound machine. It’s got big sound packed into a small device.
In addition, its mobile-connectivity makes this a device you can use by day or by night. At only $35, it earns the title of Best Value in this match up and our favorite overall performer. Click here to jump right to the LectroFan review.
Need a mattress to match? Best mattress for the money
Best White Noise & Sound Machine Runner-Ups
Of course, this is not to discount the features of any of the sound machines in this comparison. Depending on what you’re specifically looking for, you may find one of the other sound machines to be the right fit for you.
Below is our complete side-by-side analysis of all 4 of the above featured sound and white noise machines.
In the following table we’re comparing some of the most popular and best white noise sound machines, specifically the Marpac Dohm-DS, HoMedics SS 2000G/F-AMZ, Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound + Sleep, and LectroFan Micro.
|Marpac Dohm||LectroFan Micro||Homedics Sound Spa||Sound + Sleep|
|User Experience||Easy to use white noise machine, limited bells and whistles||Small size, big sound, mobile-friendly||Small, easy to select sounds, with timer||Great sound quality and sound variety, many bells and whistles|
|Volume||Moderate range||Wide range||Wide range||Wide range|
|Number of Sounds||2 sounds with variable intensity: (low) fan, (high) fan||10 sounds: (5) fan, (4) white noise, (1) ocean||6 sounds: thunder, ocean, brook, summer night, rain, white noise||20- 10 sounds with 2 levels of richness each: white noise, waterfall, fireplace, ocean, meadow, train, city, rainfall, brook, meditation)|
|Variety of Sounds||Limited||Good||Good||Excellent|
|Size||5.8 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches||2.8 x 2.8 x 2 inches||6.5 x 6 x 2 inches||7.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 inches|
|Weight||1.6 pounds (25.6 ounces)||5 ounces||8 ounces||2 pounds (32 ounces)|
|Timer||No||No||Yes (15, 30 or 60 mins)||Yes (30, 60, 90, 120 mins)|
|Power Source||120 V. plug||USB or wireless (if charged)||120 V. plug (or 4 AA batteries for portability)||120 V. plug|
|Warranty||1 year||None listed||None listed||None listed|
|Sound Selection||Dual 2-way switch selection||Scroll-through selection||Visual selection||Visual selection|
The Marpac Dohm-DS white noise sound machine is extremely easy to operate and specializes in white noise (or fan noise). Instead of using tracks, this sound machine uses forced air and a series of holes that are exposed or concealed in order to adjust the amount of air released (volume) and at what tone it is played at.
This sound machine uses a three-way toggle switch to select the sound intensity. There is a low setting (I) and a high setting (II). The top part of the Dohm can also rotate to change the tone or pitch of the sound. As you rotate the cover, it covers or reveals certain holes, which changes the pitch at which air is coming out.
The build quality of the Marpac Dohm-DS is pretty nice. The body is constructed using a glossy hard black plastic with a silver accent on the top. There are also four small circular rubber feet at the base, which help to keep it in place. It is powered by a standard U.S. outlet plug with a cord that is approximately 7’ long.
The sound quality of the Serious Sleep Dohm is a bit basic, but for simple white noise machines, it is hard to beat. There are no fancy bells and whistles here; instead, all the design work is put toward making an extremely easy-to-operate white noise machine.
Who is the Marpac Dohm best for?
I would recommend the Marpac Dohm to sleepers who:
- Want only white noise – This is the only sound this machine makes, so you need to love white noise to not be disappointed with the sound variety of this machine.
- Want something that’s easy to use – With only one switch, one twist, and no lights, it doesn’t get much easier to use than this.
|User Experience||Easy to use white noise machine, limited bells and whistles|
|Number of Sounds||2 sounds with variable intensity: (low) fan, (high) fan|
|Variety of Sounds||Limited|
|Size||5.8 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches|
|Weight||1.6 pounds (25.6 ounces)|
|Power Source||120 V. plug|
|Sound Selection||Dual 2-way switch selection|
At $50, the Marpac Dohm is not exactly the cheapest model available, but for sleepers who want to be able to easily adjust the sound (of white noise), this may be the best option for them. The twisting adjustment feature allows for many variations (in depth and tone) of white noise.
For more information check out the Marpac Doham on Amazon.com.
The LectroFan Micro by ASTI is an extremely small sound machine that packs a big sound. It features 10 different sounds: five fan sounds, four white noise sounds, and one ocean sound. It is also compatible with most mobile devices via Bluetooth. This allows you to use it during the day to stream audio or at night to sleep—or the other way around.
This sound machine is unique in that you can direct the sound with a simple twist. This twist moves the speaker from a horizontal position to an almost vertical one. The sound is then able to bounce off of the base and be directed toward a specific area.
The build quality of the LectroFan Micro is impressive for such a small device. It comes in a black or white plastic with a rubberized feel to it. The speaker portion (that twists) is silver on both models. It can be powered with a mini USB cable (cord approximately 1’ long included) or charged and operated wirelessly. Fully charged, the battery will last 16 hours playing sleep sounds or 6 hours streaming audio.
COOLING: Active bed cooling system, BedJet review
The sound quality of this machine is above par, in my opinion, especially considering the size. There is a solid sense of depth to each sound and the sounds are built using algorithms, which means no noticeable looping. There is also a wide range of volume from this little speaker, from barely notice to relatively loud, especially for a sound that’s supposed to put you to sleep.
Who is the LectroFan Micro best for?
I would recommend the ASTI LectroFan Micro to sleepers who:
- Want something portable – Hands down, this is the most portable sound machine in this review comparison. At only 2.8 x 2.8 x 2”, this sound machine can fit in your luggage, your purse, or even your pocket.
- Want mobile-connectivity – The LectroFan is also unusual in that you can play programmed sounds or your own tracks, via Bluetooth connectivity.
|User Experience||Small size, big sound, mobile-friendly|
|Number of Sounds||10 sounds: (5) fan, (4) white noise, (1) ocean|
|Variety of Sounds||Good|
|Size||2.8 x 2.8 x 2 inches|
|Power Source||USB or wireless (if charged)|
|Sound Selection||Scroll-through selection|
At $35, the LectroFan Micro is a great buy. It has a good variety of sounds built in, and the ability to connect to your mobile device means virtually endless tunes. There is no timer or lights, but its big sound makes up for what the small device lacks in fancy add-ons.
For more information check out the LectroFan Micro on Amazon.com.
The Homedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ Sound Spa white noise machine is an easy-to-use, moderately sized, sound machine with six programmed sounds: thunder, ocean, brook, summer night, rain, and white noise. This sound machine includes an easily adjustable volume knob, individual selection buttons for each sound, and a timer (15, 30, or 90 minutes) which allows the sound machine to automatically turn off after a pre-determined amount of time.
The selection buttons are an especially convenient feature for sleepers who like variety and don’t want to have to scroll through all the sounds to get to the sound they want.
The build quality of the Homedics Sound Spa seems solid. The body is constructed using a standard matte white hard blast with a silver accent. The buttons are easy to use as well. The knob that controls the volume also controls power to the unit, which limits the amount of buttons this unit has.
It is lightweight and can be powered by an outlet or four AA batteries. For power, this sound machine includes a standard U.S. outlet plug (AC adapter) with a cord that is approximately 6’ long. There are also four small foam feet on the bottom of this unit to prevent scratches to the surface it’s sitting on.
The sound quality of the Sound Spa is a blend of nature sounds as well as classic white noise. There is not a ton of depth to the sound and no way to intensify or deepen the sound, but the programmed options provide a wide range of scenes.
Who is the Homedics Sound Spa best for?
I would recommend the Homedics Sound Spa to sleepers who:
- Want a selection-style sound machine – It can be annoying filtering through a variety of sounds in order to find the one you want to fall asleep with. The Homedics Sound Spa features easy selection with individual buttons for each sound.
- Want a timer – For a budget-friendly sound machine with a timer, this one is hard to beat.
|User Experience||Small, easy to select sounds, with timer|
|Number of Sounds||6 sounds: thunder, ocean, brook, summer night, rain, white noise|
|Variety of Sounds||Good|
|Size||6.5 x 6 x 2 inches|
|Timer||Yes (15, 30 or 60 mins)|
|Power Source||120 V. plug (or 4 AA batteries for portability)|
|Sound Selection||Visual selection|
At only $20, the Homedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ Sound Spa is a great option if you’re looking for a basic sound machine with a small variety of sounds that’s easy to use, includes a timer, and is relatively portable (assuming you’ve got batteries). The sound doesn’t have the most depth, but there is a great volume range, which helps to compensate.
For more information check out the HoMedics Sound Spa on Amazon.com.
The Sound + Sleep sound machine by Adaptive Sound Technologies is the Cadillac of all sound machines. Of the four I reviewed, this model features the widest range of sound types, excellent sound quality, and many other bells and whistles.
There are 10 sounds on this model: waterfall, fireplace, ocean, meadow, train, city, rainfall, brook, meditation, and white noise. In addition, there is a “richness” feature that intensifies each of these unique sounds, resulting in 20 different types of sound.
The Sound + Sleep features an “adaptive” technology that reacts to the sounds in your environment and automatically adjusts to respond to that. There are individual selection buttons for each sound, as well as volume control, a timer (30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes), power, and display. The display button turns selection lights on or off.
As an added feature, there is also a headphone jack so sleepers can listen to the sounds privately.
The build quality of the Sound + Sleep is excellent. It is made of a heavy matte black plastic with chrome-looking rectangular buttons. The actual unit is somewhat of a teardrop shape with the speaker face taking up the whole top of the sound machine.
This sound machine has a bit of a heavy hand to it. It feels high quality, but is also the largest unit in this comparison. I would not say that this is the best choice for sleepers looking for something portable.
For power, this sound machine includes a standard U.S. outlet plug (AC adapter) with a cord that is approximately 6’ long.
The sound quality of the Sound + Sleep is also impressive. With the additional features like “richness” and being able to make the sound machine “adaptive,” the sleeper is able to more fully control the sounds being emitted. There is great depth to these sounds, so it really has a way of truly filling the room and masking any unwanted sounds. In addition, this sound machine has the greatest variety of sounds, of all sound machines in this review.
Who is the Sound + Sleep best for?
I would recommend the Sound + Sleep to sleeper who:
- Want the most features – There are the greatest number of features on this model, including extras like a longer timer (up to 120 minutes), display lighting control, richness and adaptive control, and a headphone jack.
- Want greater sound depth that truly fills a room – The Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound + Sleep white noise sound machine also has the largest speaker face size, out of all of the other models compared here. The larger surface area really allows a unique depth and sound quality from this machine.
|User Experience||Great sound quality and sound variety, many bells and whistles|
|Number of Sounds||20- 10 sounds with 2 levels of richness each: white noise, waterfall, fireplace, ocean, meadow, train, city, rainfall, brook, meditation)|
|Variety of Sounds||Excellent|
|Size||7.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 inches|
|Weight||2 pounds (32 ounces)|
|Timer||Yes (30, 60, 90, 120 mins)|
|Power Source||120 V. plug|
|Sound Selection||Visual selection|
At $91, the Sound + Sleep is the most expensive sound machine compared here. That being said, it also provides the best sound quality, variety, and depth, in my opinion.
The extra features only add to its overall value, but if these are features that are unnecessary to you, it may not be worth the higher cost. Also, if you’re looking for something portable, this is likely not going to be the best option for you.
For more information or to buy, check out the Adaptive Sound Technolgoies Sound + Sleep on Amazon.com.