How To Use White Noise in the Home or Office

Ever wonder how you can filter out the distracting sound of the lawn mower on your neighbor's yard? Or how you can turn off the irritating chatter of your officemates at work? It may seem difficult to accept and imagine at first, but try turning on the fan and you will amazingly find some peace and quiet. Believe it or not, a way to mask and filter out unwanted sounds is to use sound. But not just any sound will work, you have to use sound that contains a mixture of all the audible frequencies with equal power. This kind of sound signal is called white noise. You can think of white noise as an analog of white light, which contains all the colors in the visible spectrum. The sound emitted by a fan that is turned on is a close mechanical approximation of white noise. There are other sources of white noise. Here are some of the ways on how you can use white noise in your home or in your office.

  • White noise can be produced by mechanical devices such as electric fans. Even a small electric fan can do wonders when it is strategically positioned in your home or in your office. Position it in places where the sound it produces can deeply penetrate and propagate into the room. Most people place it near doors and windows since it is where the distracting sounds can come from. The humming sound of the fan has a soothing effect that can calm you amidst a noisy crowd. This effect can cover up the distracting noise that you want to eliminate.
  • A popular white noise machine is The Sleepmate by Marpac. You can buy this mechanical device that produces sound that is very similar to a fan. It can also mask distracting and irritating noise just like a fan. However, one disadvantage of mechanical devices like this is that their volume is limited. You can not simply increase its volume since the sound it emits is produced mechanically. There are a lot of white noise machines that are available in stores aside from The Sleepmate. If you are on a budget, you can buy simple white noise machines for as low as ten dollars. Some machines also have additional features such as built-in nature sounds and even an alarm clock. It also comes in different sizes and strength. If you will use it at home, choose one that can cover a whole room. If you want it in your office, there are white noise machines that are small enough for your desk space.
  • You can also turn on some soft instrumental music to block out the distracting sounds. Although this is not exactly white noise, it can still do the job. Position the speakers near the doors and windows where the noise comes in.
  • If you have an old radio, then you already have an instant white noise machine. Just choose an AM frequency that is low and does not correspond to any radio station. Then, set it in a comfortable volume that can still mask out the external noises.

Choose which among these white noise options works for you in keeping your home and your office free from distracting and irritating sounds.


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