Do you have trouble falling asleep? While you could pay for a dedicated white noise machine, you’re better off using your phone. All smartphones have built-in white noise generators, and there are plenty of apps to help you choose and schedule sleep sounds.
Your phone has a built-in white noise generator
Most people dive into the app store when they want to play white noise on their phone. But you don’t need to download anything, because both Android and iOS have built-in noise generators.
Playing white noise on an Android device takes only a few seconds. Just open your Google Assistant and ask to “play ambient noise”. This also works with Alexa, by the way.
Google Assistant offers a variety of ambient soundscapes, but if you don’t ask for them by name, Google will just give you something random. I suggest checking out the full list of soundscapes Assistant offers, or simply asking Assistant to play white noise, river sounds, or fireplace sounds.
If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, you can ask Siri to play background noise. the options are basically identical to the Google Assistant. That said, users who prefer to avoid Siri can play white noise using iOS’s “Background Sounds” feature.
Enabling background sounds is a fairly easy process: open Settings, head to Accessibility, and select Audio/Visual. Then touch and enable Background sounds. You can choose from six ambient soundscapes and tell iOS to automatically pause (or reduce the volume) ambient noise when you watch videos or play music.
For more control, use a white noise app
Your phone’s built-in white noise machine is effective, but it’s also pretty basic. If you want more control over your soothing background noise, you should use a third-party app.
The most popular option, at least among geek review personal, it’s myNoise (Android/iOS). It is a free application that includes various soundscapes. Y allows you to customize your own background noise: you can lower the bass, increase the sound of birds and more with the press of a slider.
If you want to try myNoise without installing it on your phone, just use the myNoise website. Note that some of the app’s best soundscapes hide behind a $5 monthly fee, though you can skip the subscription with a $10 lifetime pass.
While myNoise is hands down our favorite white noise app, it’s one of the Many great options For iPhone users, I also suggest checking out Dark Noise. It’s a great ambient noise app, and more importantly, it’s the only one that focuses on Siri integration for voice commands.
Use a speaker for comfort at bedtime
Playing white noise on your smartphone’s tiny metal speaker isn’t always ideal. For a warmer, more comfortable sound, I highly recommend using an external speaker.
If your phone still has a headphone jack, you can use an affordable wired speaker to play white noise (and still charge your phone at night). But unless you have an old alarm clock radio laying around, you probably won’t find a wired speaker that looks good next to your bed.
So Bluetooth is usually the way to go. Any Bluetooth speaker will do, including portable battery-powered options like the affordable Anker Soundcore 2 (which you can also take to pool parties). Or, if you want a unique bedside speaker, you can try an Emerson Bluetooth alarm clock or i-box.
Smart speakers will get the job done, too. Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is our favorite choice as it’s affordable, doubles as an alarm clock, and features Alexa. But any smart speaker will do, as they all offer wireless audio streaming via Bluetooth, Chromecast, or AirPlay.
And if you want to keep things a little simpler, you can ask your Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa smart speaker to play white noise. All three smart assistants support this feature.
Or use headphones for privacy and travel
If you have a spouse or travel a lot, you may want to keep the white noise to yourself. And that means wearing headphones. While the idea of sleeping with headphones isn’t exciting for everyone, it’s certainly an option — you just need to find something comfortable.
Bose dominates the sleep headphone market with its Sleep Buds II. Tuned specifically for sleep, these headphones come with over 50 premium soundscapes (you can use your own sounds too) and offer a built-in alarm to gently wake you from sleep.
In particular, the Bose Sleep Buds include a handful of comfortable ear tips and have a battery that lasts all night. They also do a great job of blocking out external noise. without ANC – This conserves battery life and saves you from the “pressured” feeling that ANC often brings. (Other sleep buttons, like QuietOn 3, are also pretty good. They just don’t let you hear your own white noise.)
But just to be clear, you can go to sleep with any pair of comfortable headphones. AirPods Pro are a very popular option as they offer a secure fit and block out external noise using ANC. The only drawback is battery life: the AirPods Pro need a charge after just five hours of playback.
You can also try some headphone-like products for personal sleep sounds. Pillow speakers slide under your head, and eye masks with built-in Bluetooth speakers are pretty cool if you know how to wash them properly.