If you are having a difficult time falling asleep, whether it’s because of noise that is surrounding you or because you have too much on your mind, a sound machine is a tool that could be exceptionally useful to you. Sound machines produce white noise and other soothing sounds, such as ocean waves, waterfalls and falling rain, that can help to lull you to sleep. The sounds that these machines produce are intended to help you relax, and can drown out other less pleasant sounds or quiet your thoughts so that you can drift off into a peaceful slumber.

When it comes to buying a sound machine, you will find that there are a myriad of options. While it’s great to have a lot of choices, having too many choices can make it difficult to determine which sound machine you should purchase. To help you find the best sound machine for your specific needs, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, you will find all of the information that you need to select the best sound machine for your particular needs. This buyer’s guide highlights the different types of sound machines that are available, the factors to consider when purchasing a sound machine, the different features that they can offer, as well as the best sound machine brands. With the information presented in this buyer’s guide, you will be well prepared to select the best sound machine for your specific needs.

Types of Sound Machines

There are five main types of sound machines, which include:

Each of these six types of sound machines offers different benefits. In order to determine which type of sound machine will best suit your needs, you need to have firm understanding of each type of machine.

The Electro Mechanical Sound Machine

The electro mechanical sound machine was the first type of sound machine invented, and it is the most basic of all sound machines. It creates white noise by forcing air out of ports, which makes a sound that is similar to the sound of a running fan or air conditioner.

The Recorded Sound Loops Sound Machine

As the name suggests, this type of sound machine plays a sound recording in loops, creating the same sound over and over again. These sound loops can range from a few seconds to a few minutes long. If you are interested in this type of sound machine, look for one that plays loops that are longer than 10 seconds, as this can help your brain avoid recognizing the loops and becoming bothered by them, which can negate the purpose of the sound machine.

The Synthetic Sounds Sound Machine

This type of sound machine does not play a recording of sounds, but rather, it has the ability to produce white noise sound synthetically.

Sound Machines that Offer Multiple White Noise Options

This type of sound machine produces other sounds, in addition to white noise. These additional sounds are a variation of white noise and often include waterfalls, waves and rain, just to name a few.

Sound Machines that Allow Different Sounds to Play at the Same Time

This type of sound machine is the highest end. It allows multiple sounds to be played at the same time. It works by layered several different sounds on top of each other to create a customized sound environment. For example, you could have the sound of a fan whirring and the sound of waves crashing at the same time. This is the ultimate in sound machines.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sound Machine

In order to find the best sound machine for your specific needs, there are certain factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping. These factors will help you choose the sound machine that will serve your needs and help you get a restful night of sleep. Keep on reading to find out more about the different factors that we think are important when choosing a sound machine.

What type of sound do you want the machine to make?

Sound machines can make a wide variety of sounds, so it’s important to find one that makes the sounds that will most effectively help you fall asleep. Though they are intended to help you fall asleep, depending on your preference, certain noises that a sound machine produces could actually keep you awake instead of help you fall asleep. The different sounds that a sound machine can produce include white noise, which is essentially a static noise, like the whir of a fan or an air conditioner, ambient nature sounds, and even animal sounds. Think about the sounds that you find the most pleasant and soothing when choosing the best sound machine for your needs. Because it can be difficult to determine what type of sound will be the most effective at helping you fall asleep, it’s best to choose a sound machine that makes a wide range of sounds.

How is it powered?

Sound machines can be powered by an electrical outlet, by batteries, or by a USB plug. It is important to consider the manner in which the machine is powered to determine which one will best suit your needs. If you are someone who travels a lot and you want to take your sound machine with you, then one that is battery operated may be the best option for you, as the batteries will make it very portable. However, if you don’t want to worry about running out of power, then a sound machine that is powered by ether a USB port or an electrical plug may be better choice for you.

Sound Quality

The quality of the sound that the sound machine will make is another factor that you are going to want to take into consideration. The better the quality the sound the machine makes, the more effective it will be.

Does the volume adjust?

If you want to have the ability to adjust the level of the sound your sound machine makes, look for one that has an adjustable volume. This will allow you to set the noise level to the perfect volume for your specific needs.

The Price

The price is another factor that you are going to want to take into consideration when purchasing a sound machine. These machines can vary widely in price. The most basic models are the least expensive, while sound machines that offer more features tend to have a higher price tag. Make sure you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so you don’t overextend your budget.

Features that Sound Machines can Offer

There are a number of features that sound machines can offer. These features are intended to enhance the function of the sound machine and create a better sound quality so that you can enjoy the most restful sleep possible. As mentioned above, the more features that a sound machine boasts, the higher the price tag will be. To determine whether or not you need or want certain functions, it is important to have a firm understanding of the different types of features that are available and their intended purpose.

A Timer Setting

Unless you want your sound machine to play all night long, a timer setting is a feature that you are going to want to have. This feature will allow you to set the amount of time that the sounds will play, and they will turn off after a pre-determined amount of time. If you choose a battery operated sound machine, a timer setting will allow you to prolong the life of the batteries; if you opt for an electrically powered time machine, a timer setting will reduce the amount of energy that the machine will use.

Alarm Clock

Some sound machines double as clocks and alarm clocks. With this feature, you will be able to see what time it is, and you will be able to use the sound machine as an alarm clock, too. A sound machine that offers this feature will eliminate the need to have an extra clock / alarm clock, freeing up space on your bedside table.

A Headphone Jack

If you intend on using your sound machine while you are around other people who may be offended by the sound that it makes, you may want to consider getting one that features a headphone jack. With this feature, you can plug in a set of headphones and enjoy the sounds that the machine makes without bothering other people.

A Remote Control

With a remote control, you will be able to turn your sound machine on and off, adjust the volume and modify the sounds that it makes from a distance. This feature allows you to control your sound machine right from the comfort of your own bed without having to get up to make adjustments.

Night Light

Some sound machines also boast night lights. The display will illuminate so that you have a dim source of light coming right from the clock, which will give you a bit of light to see if you should happen to wake up in the middle of the night.

A Warranty

To protect your investment, look for a sound machine that offers a warranty. Should your sound machine break or become damaged during the span of the warranty, you could have it repaired or replaced, or you could have your money reimbursed. Make sure you check the details of your warranty so that you know exactly what the warranty covers.

The Best Sound Machine Brands

There are several companies that manufacture sound machines. With so many different options available, it can be difficult to determine which company makes the best sound machines. We have compared the reviews of users online, and we have also tested out several sound machines ourselves to determine which ones are the best. Our research has indicated that the following brands of sound machines are the best of the best.


Panasonic is a highly regarded manufacturer in the electronics industry, and their sound machines are some of the best on the market. We found that they offered a wide range of options, that they were very easy to use, and that they created very realistic sounds.

Big Red Rooster

Big Red Rooster is another highly regarded name in the sound machine industry. This company manufactures some of the highest quality sound machines on the market, all of which boast exceptional features and state of the art technologies.


Another top contender in the sound machine industry is HoMedics. This company manufactures exceptionally high quality sound machines that boast an array of features. They are very easy to operate and provide very realistic sounds.

Marpac Dhom

Marpac Dhom also produces very high quality sound machines. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the different options that they offered and the quality of sound that they made.


This company produces state of the art sound machines that boast a range of features, which make them very easy to use and allow them to produce very high quality sounds. This company produces several different types of sound machines, so you can be sure that you will get the type of sound machine that you are looking for when you choose a Marpac Dohm model.