White noise makers

I was watching Monk yesterday and they showed a white noise machine. I wasn’t aware these existed, but now I am interested in getting one. I live near noisy neighbors, who all seem to feel the need to compensate for their small willies by buying unecessarily loud cars. They also have children because…well, all rednecks have children and then send them outside so they won’t have to teach them things. Ok, rant over.

My real question is this: what’s the best out there for the money? I have found many devices online but I know nothing about any of them or what I should be looking for in options, etc. Do any of you use such a device at work or home? What do you have? How much should I be expect to pay? Is there a certain brand I should avoid? etc.

I just use an electric fan.

Yeah, my wife uses a little air filter fan. But she just uses it for the white noise–I don’t think we’ve ever changed the filter.

Try a SleepMate (aka Sound Screen):

Had one of these a few years ago; didn’t need it where I live now, so I gave it away. GREAT little unit.

Will run you $40-50 or so (from what I see on froogle). The the top and sides twist to tweak the sound to your liking. Plus it’s small, goes on a nightstand or under a table easily, and never wears out (my Dad used it at his office for 'bout 10-20 years or so, then gave it to me when I went to college, I used it for a decade, then gave it away m’self. Sounded exactly the same the entire time)

As for how well it works, well, my roommate freshman year of college really wanted to steal it at the end of the year – when it was running, you heard virtually nothing from outside the room.

Definitely recommended.

I thought this was a thread about Kid Rock or Howard Dean (Rim Shot)

I sleep in the same room as all of my PCs, so white noise is definitely in abundance.

Of course, that means that I can’t sleep elsewhere, where its completely silent.

I’ve had great luck with those huge circular floor fans. Just plug it in near the foot of your bed and there’s all the white noise you’d ever need.

They have these overhead vent fan thingys, or whatever, in the office I work in. Just a few seconds ago they turned them off for maintenance or to swap out the air with poison gas I don’t know but now I’m typing this and I’m pretty sure people can hear the keys clicking across the building. Silence in the workplace is just too creepy. So let’s recap:

Complete silence outside in the snow: pretty, time to think about how great nature is
Complete silence in the workplace: scary, maybe they want to kill us

Also, I second that bit about having PCs in your bedroom. I’ve been doing that for years and it works pretty well, especially when you’ve got one or two of these bad boys running at full speed:

Complete silence in the workplace is only comfortable when there’s no one around, or its got a skeleton crew working.

Of course, this is also the perfect time to be pretending to be a counter-terrorist.

Not that … I ever stalked the office at night… imagining the second shift data entry people were planting a bomb.

No. Never.

I have fans, of course, and I use one (and a hepa filter) in the bedroom. However, there are two problems for using it in my study. First, I need something louder. The fan is nice, but even on the highest speed it doesn’t really compare to these white noise makers, from what I hear. And second, it creates a lot of wind! The room is already chilly in the winter and I have lots of papers strewn about while I work on my dissertation.

there might be one other problem though. Andrew, do you have any idea how the electricity consumption compares to a fan?

While I don’t have any numbers to back me up, it’s very, very low. It’s essentially a small fan in a dedicated sound chamber – since the purpose is to generate sound rather than move air, it’s actually quite efficient compared to a regular fan, which is concerned with moving air, and only peripherally with making sound (from an energy expenditure point of view).

For real numbers, email Marpac, there’re contact addresses on the site :)

(I’ll be at a friend’s house who has one later this week, I’l try to remember to check hers for any clues)

When I lived in the dorms in New Orleans I lived by earplugs. Great for when I needed to sleep for early morning tests and stuff. Those things really work wonders. Cheap too.