best white noise machine for office

Best White Noise Machine for Office Privacy and Focus

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

For many companies interested in maximizing capital, most offices are open spaces, so phone conversations between one person and another can easily make a workspace a noisy environment. Although you are privileged to have your own office space or a home office, you are not safe because of the thin walls of the structure.

White noise machines have sound masking properties that allow you to focus on a single task while it drowns out the outside noise and your inner voice. The best white noise machines work best to return your concentration noise, let's you do your job while you are not bothering people in the surrounding cubicles, giving you more privacy by covering your voice.

What is a White Noise Machine?

White noise machines are devices meant to produce a soothing noise for a listener and help a listener block other unwanted sounds around them. They can produce various soothing sounds, such as wind blowing through trees, nature-like sounds, or a rushing waterfall sound.

A white noise machine creates a barrier of soothing sounds to block unwanted interruptions that may hinder maximum focus. In addition, the sound produced by the machine helps to minimize the difference between ambient background noise and peak sounds like loud footsteps, music, or conversation.

Image Credit: acousticgeometry.com

However, not everyone finds white noise relaxing, but other white noise machines may produce pink or brown noise, similar but less harsh on your ears.

Whether shopping for a high or low budget, you will find a white noise machine below to match your needs. Read on!

1. Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine

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Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Premium White...
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Lectrofan high-fidelity white noise machines are among the best white noise machines if you want deep concentration and office privacy. The sound machine uses modern solid-state electronics and a responsive central speaker to produce an effective, soothing white noise suitable for an office desk.

What we love about this Adaptive Sound Technologies sound machine is the fan sounds it produces. Instead of producing one like most machines, it produces an oscillating fan, a box fan, and a low-tone, mellow-sounding fan. In addition, there are ambient noise variations like tan, coral white, and pure white guarantee relaxation to get your office work done without distractions.

Image Credit: No Sleepless Nights

Other users also like their convenience features, like a 60-minute auto-off timer setting to ensure your hassle-free operations and a push button to allow fine-tuned raising and lowering of the volume. Lastly, all praise goes to the sound quality produced by the high-fidelity speaker, which will offer a high-quality sound at a reasonable price.

Lectrofan white noise machine should be your ideal choice if you are looking for an all-around value yet performing model. Also, if you don't like the white model, it comes in a nice-looking black version.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • High-fidelity speaker
  • No internal moving parts
  • Low power consumption
  • 10 simulated fan sounds
  • 10 ambient sounds
  • Good volume adjustment control
  • AC or USB power source

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable timer
  • Lacks nature sounds such as wind, rain, and ocean waves
  • It is somehow complex to use

2. Marpac Dohm Classic The Original White Noise Machine

Marpac Dohm Classic The Original White Noise Machine...
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Marpac Dohm Classic white noise machine is one of the top white noise machines we recommend, thanks to its classic design and traditionally designed elements. It features a reliable electromechanical setup that uses a motor and fan-based generator to produce a natural yet real white noise.

We love it since it doesn't have complicated controls and only has a simple on-off switch with two volume controls. You should switch to one of the two positions to enjoy a distraction-free yet relaxing work and office environment.

Image Credit: Yogasleep

If you are looking for a different sound one, rotate the outside shell, which allows you to alter the white noise sound as you please. In addition, rotating the cover will adjust the airflow vents to control the white noise pitch as its runs.

Dohm Classic white noise machine comes with a basic but elegant design and black and tan color options, and we promise you will enjoy testing and owning it. However, it lacks an option to power it from a USB port where you need to use a 120V outlet.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Simple and classic yet reliable design
  • It produces an effective and natural white noise
  • Adjustable sound control
  • It comes with two volumes and two-speed positions
  • One-year warranty and great customer service from Marpac

Cons:

  • Lacks an auto-off or timer feature
  • It doesn't have a variable volume with only two positions
  • The white noise machine doesn't produce simulated nature sounds like some electronic models

3. Big Red Rooster 6 White Noise Machine

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Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine | Sound...
  • 6 SOOTHING SLEEP SOUNDS – The six white noise machine sounds...
  • MASK BACKGROUND NOISES - The white noise sound machine masks...
  • OPTIONAL AUTO-OFF TIMER - Leave this soothing noise maker on all...
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  • PORTABLE & COMPACT - The portable, compact design makes this...

Are you looking for a cheap and efficient machine for office work productivity? Thanks to its top-tier features, we have tried this Big Red Rooster, which has other sounds than white noise, including six nature sounds like rain, summer night, gentle brook, white noise, thunder, and ocean sounds.

Image Credit: Big Red Rooster

Although this is a budget model, we learned that it comes with a convenient auto-off timer feature with 15, 30, or 60 minutes of operation settings. We also recommend it for traveling apart from office use, where you can use the 120 AC adapter for socket power or three AA batteries when you are on the go.

I have to say the Big Red Rooster 6 controls are easy to use where the direct volume up and down buttons work well, especially to adjust the outside noise blockage quickly. My overall opinion? Big Red Rooster is a great budget model for any user who needs white noise at their workplace and would fancy additional options.

Pros:

  • Travel-ready design1
  • 5, 30, and 60-minute auto-off timers
  • Adjustable volume controls
  • Simple & clear push button controls
  • It has six sound options
  • Battery power option
  • Low power use
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • The sound quality could better
  • Lacks smartphone control
  • No USB power connections
  • Limited timer options

4. Magicteam Sound White Noise Machine

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Magicteam Sound White Noise Machine is a small, lightweight unit suitable for office relaxation since it eliminates intrusive noise. We recommend it if you want a machine that provides 20 non-looping white noise, brown noise, and pink noises like waves, rain, brook, fire, or birds.

We found it to have a timer that can be set in hourly increments from one hour to five hours and allows you to play continuously all day at different volumes, thanks to the 32-volume settings. In addition, the timer can be set at hourly increments from one hour to five hours.

Image Credit: soundproofidea.com

We guarantee that this device will give a stellar look in any office with blue LED lights on the top rim, and behind it, there are control keys to help you find your sound machine and adjust settings even at night.

The white noise machine also has a built-in memory function that automatically restores the machine to its previous settings, including soundtrack, volume, and remaining time, in case of a power interruption. We also saw that it is powered by an AC power plug or a USB cable.

Pros:

  • It is small, light, and portable
  • It comes with 32 volume controls
  • It is powered by an AC plug or a USB cable
  • 20 non-looping white, pink, and brown noises
  • Multiple time settings, including playing continuously
  • It offers up to five hours of delay

Cons:

  • The blue lights are not the best as a night light

5. HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine

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HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine | Portable Sleep...
  • 6 Soothing Sounds: Choose from 6 digitally recorded sounds: White...
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We had to include this HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine in the list because it's compact, inexpensive, and yet portable. The white noise machine produces six sounds, which are easily accessible thanks to the six individual buttons that allow simple operations.

The six soothing sounds include white noise, brook, thunder, summer night, rain, and ocean sounds. Other users claim it's one of the best sound machines, thanks to its small flat design, which makes it easy to slip into a suitcase, large pockets, and even a purse. Also, since it runs on AC power with 4 AA batteries, it can be used anywhere.

The white noise machine includes a variably adjustable knob that allows you to choose the exact sound volume to give you a peaceful environment to work. It also has an auto-off timer that you can set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes and it can also play continuously if that's your preference.

Pros:

  • AC or battery operation
  • It has six sounds which have individual control buttons
  • Inexpensive, portable, and compact
  • Variable volume adjustment

Cons:

  • Some users complain that LED lights are too bright to work as a night light

6. Snooz White Noise Sound Machine

SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine - Real Fan Inside for...
  • Peaceful, non-looping white noise from a real fan (without the...
  • Travel friendly, portable design
  • Fully adjustable tone & volume (10 settings) for babies, kids,...
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Interested in an advanced white noise machine that incorporates the classic sound generation but with today's features? We found this the best white noise machine for office privacy and needs since it uses a brushless electric motor that drives a computer-designed internal fan to give superb white noise.

The sound machine helps a user to work better without distractions where you can choose from 10 volume settings, making it among the best white noise machines for adequate volume. In addition, we found that it has a great sound quality for masking noises at the workplace or office, like when coworkers speak.

Snooz sound machine comes with a Bluetooth feature that allows easy control of the major functions from your phone using the free app. In addition, the sound machine comes with an auto-on-off scheduler that gives a hands-free automatic operation meaning you won't have to turn it off yourself.

Another huge benefit we found is that it offers extra convenience where you can control multiple white noise machines from one phone. A work machine is a small unit with two classy color choices, but it's more expensive than other models on the list.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth smartphone remote control for Android and iPhone
  • Natural white noise production
  • It offers great performance and a sound masking ability
  • Adjustable tone and sound
  • Brushless long-life motor
  • Auto-scheduling feature
  • Touch controls
  • 10-level volume control
  • It operates multiple rooms from a phone app

Cons:

  • It is limited to A 10-step volume control panel
  • It lacks a wifi and USB option
  • The white noise machine cannot operate without a phone app

How Do Sound Machines Generate Noise?

Image Credit: soundproofdirect.com

Back in the day, the most popular design sold was electromechanical. Nowadays, they are less common because of technology.

Most have a type of compact fan assembly and an electric motor. A fan spins quickly and produces white noise because of the specially designed passageways. Some also allow sound, volume, and tone adjustment.

A white noise sound machine generates masking sounds in two ways: solid-state electronics and a speaker and electromechanical devices.

Electronic vs. electromechanical sound machines

Electronic models, also known as solid-state models, have integrated circuit components that help generate a pre-determined noise pattern. For example, the noise machine circuit board drives a speaker to produce sound and adjustable volume.

Image Credit: soundproofliving.com

The types come with selectable sounds like fan sounds, nature sounds, and other audio choices based on your preference. Also, both have advantages and disadvantages.

Electromechanical models use more electricity than electronic ones, even if they are very easy to use. They don't also provide the sound options that other kinds do.

Electronic sound machines use an artificially created noise pattern scheme and are a little more difficult to use (though still user-friendly). Even though some people find this to be just fine, others enjoy the "whoosh" sound an electromechanical fan makes.

In some circumstances, electronic-based white noise machines lack the electromechanical models' ability to block out bass.

Choosing a well-designed device is crucial because human speech, which contains bass frequencies, is one of the most distracting and bothersome sounds at work.

What are the Benefits of White Noise Machines in Offices?

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Although most people associate white noise with helping with insomnia, it has many other uses, especially in office settings. For example, when working close to your colleagues, it is almost impossible not to get distracted by the noise others make.

White noise machines are not distracting as they have a consistent monotonous sound that disrupts most voices from other office parts.

1. Distraction Reduction

A white noise machine is meant to cover up any annoying sounds like clicking keyboards, ticking clocks, conversations that could sidetrack employees, and other distracting sounds like using the stapler.

2. Increased Productivity

There are fewer distractions in a white noise setting, which means high productivity levels. This will boost your promotion chance and will positively impact your personal life.

3. Increased Accuracy

Employees are unlikely to make mistakes or slip-ups when handling important information or typing when they aren't overhearing conversations.

4. Increased Privacy

Clients would love if conversations stayed between them and their employees, and when a company uses a sound masking machine, you are assured this will be the case. A white noise sound machine is important for environments such as hospitals and any high confidential work settings.

5. Stress Reduction

You will surely get happy clients with fewer distractions and mistakes since employees are less stressed in a standard white noise setting. You are guaranteed lower employee turnover and absenteeism rates with less stressed employees hence high productivity.

6. Higher Client Satisfaction

When customers or clients know that there are minimum mistakes that involve their information and their information is kept private, they feel more satisfied with a company's services. This will ensure more clients come back for your service.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best White Noise Machine for Office

When shopping for a white noise machine for office needs, it is easy to get distracted and focus on a machine that will not fully meet your needs. Therefore, to get the best option, we have listed some factors, including:

1. Sound Options

The market has plenty of white noise machines, some only have white noise, and others include brown noise, pink noise, and other instrumental and natural noises. Generally, white noise is a catch-all phrase, but there are three main types of sound blocking options. Choosing between the sound options is a matter of personal preference.

a). White Noise

White noise is like white light, where it contains wavelengths of a visible spectrum. It has all the frequencies where white light and white noise produce an equal intensity over a full range of light spectrum and sound frequencies.

b). Brown Noise

Brown noise is perfect for lowering frequencies than pink noise and is described as harsh. A perfect example of these natural sounds is a roaring river current. Many digital white noise machines include brown noise in their ambient sounds since they boost relaxation and focus, which are suitable for an office environment.

c). Pink Noise

Pink noise has all the frequencies which are audible to the human ear. While white noise has an invariant strength across all frequencies, the intensity of pink noises minimizes with increased frequency.

An example of pure pink noise is steady falling rain, leaves rustling in the wind, and waves lapping a shoreline. This is why most noise machines offer these sound types.

2. Size

If you plan on regularly carrying your white noise machine when traveling or moving it from one room to another, it's important to consider how portable it will be. Although most white noise machines are small, especially those with extra lighting features, they may need a plug-in outlet and could weigh more than you would expect.

Travel-friendly white noise machines are lightweight, and some have features like USB charging.

3. Headphone/Speaker Jack Accessibility

While it's not a must, the speaker or headphone jack accessibility is important as it offers versatility to your sound machine. You have a choice to plug in standard headphones for maximum privacy or better sound suppression; you should plug in noise-canceling earbuds.

4. Power Options

Most white noise machines use a USB cable but have a power block that provides an optional AC power supply. Some of the best white noise machines will include a rechargeable battery or a crucial battery backup, especially for a portable machine.

5. Volume Settings

The volume of a white noise sound machine for the office should be loud enough to handle noise pollution but not too loud to cause hearing damage or interrupt your work. Most white noise machines have various volume settings and sensitive controls. However, the minimalist or low-end models allow you to choose only between two or three volume settings.

6. Appearance

The main priority is to get a sound masking machine that will not interfere with your office's appearance, and it should somehow blend into the work environment. Also, if you have a flamboyant model, it's not easy to go unnoticed as it will grab the attention of other employees, including your boss.

Opt for a moderate model that looks professional and will be perfect for use during work hours.

7. Looping

Looping is an important factor to consider only if you are also planning on using your sound machine at home or if you take naps in the office. Some of these machines will have sounds looped at the beginning and end of the recording to provide a continuous listening experience.

8. Cost

There are sound machines available at every price point, but the majority of the machines cost less than $100. The lower-priced models have few features, while the high-end models have alarms, lights, and extra features like sounds and noises.

Understanding all the noise machine requirements is important before investing in a product.

High-end white noise machines offer great value since you have to buy separate machines for these functions. On the other hand, the lower-end models are perfect if you are only interested in soothing sounds.

Conclusion

Image Credit: bwcfla.com

We hope this article has helped you find the best white noise machine for your office needs. It can make a huge difference in office settings since it masks conversations and prevents noises from entering and leaving your office working space.

If you work in a small open space or cubicle, opt for a machine in your price range, and we have listed some affordable options. Also, if you want to splurge, we have listed a high-end choice.

Image Credit: soundproofliving.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.