Websites offering ambient noise
By Brittney MacDonald, Business Manager
Relaxing can be tough when you’re a busy student. Between essays and studying for your next exam, you might be at your wit’s end. However, just tuning out when there are so many distracting things around you can also be a feat unto itself. As someone who finds it hard to concentrate, I feel your pain. One thing that has helped me through the years is white noise.
Now, I know the reservations. How can something that makes noise help me not get distracted by noise? Granted, it may not work for everyone—but for some people, it’s a lifesaver! If you want to test out your own reaction, but don’t want to invest in a machine, there are plenty of free sites on the internet to help you out. Here are just a few.
This is probably your most basic form of white noise. This generator will create a static sound that you can fine-tune using coloured knobs on a slider bar. The knobs themselves control the levels of treble, bass, and other audio components—but the sound itself never advances to any sort of real-world simulator. As such, if static isn’t the type of background noise you’re looking for, stay clear of this one and move on to one of the other options. However, if it is, then this site is great for its customization options.
This website is one of my favourites for basic environmental noise simulation. It’s fairly easy to use and offers many different options when it comes to what type of noise you can use. You can play these tracks simultaneously, individually, or in any form of combination with one another. The site also offers three preset modes: “random,” “productivity,” and “relax.” All of these modes randomize which tracks play but selecting “productivity” or “relax” will limit the selection pool to only sounds that coincide with those feelings. As someone who prefers environmental noise to static, for me this is a great website to get started with.
Noisli also has an option to create a profile, I assume to save whatever tracks you create that work for you. However, I have never bothered since the website isn’t overly complicated to just load up and run on its own.
If you’re unsure what sort of white noise may work for you, A Soft Murmur offers a bit of everything. It is a little more complicated than Noisli, but it does have more options. You can also select the frequency levels for a certain noise, so you can better customize if you want more of one sound and less of another. Its “singing bowl” option is great for self-guided meditation.
If you’re just trying white noise out, I would advise moving to this one only when the other two have failed—just because its large library can be a bit intimidating, with a lot to cycle through and test. That being said, A Soft Murmur is probably the best out of the three I have listed for creating sound combos. It remembers your previous combo if you close your window and then return to it, and unlike Noisli, the interface doesn’t change colour—which can be distracting. You can leave this site on and kind of forget about it.