This is how you get white, brown and pink sounds on your phone
When it comes to falling asleep, relaxing, or staying focused, more and more of us are turning to white noise for help—a broad mix of audio frequencies played simultaneously that sounds like radio or TV static.
But it is not the only option. If white noise is a bit too screechy for you, there’s also the lesser-known but increasingly popular brown (or red) noise, which is deeper than white noise thanks to a bigger bass kick, and sounds like heavy rainfall. And then there is a third option – pink (or ambient) noise, which is gentler and more soothing, and resembles the splash of an endless waterfall.
There is no conclusive scientific evidence to support the claim that these noise palettes significantly increase concentration or aid sleep. But many people still find them useful and use them for work or relaxation every day.
These sounds aren’t for everyone, but it’s worth trying white, brown and pink sounds to see if they increase work or rest. As always, a growing number of apps are happy to help.
White noise generator
White Noise Generator is helpful right from the start, asking you to specify your goals – from improved sleep to better focus – so it can tailor the sounds to your needs. Once you’ve established that, you’ll find that you have a wealth of continuous audio tracks to choose from, including sounds from nature as well as ambient noise, such as road traffic.
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The app lets you choose between separate white noise and brown noise options, and you can easily combine them with other sounds and adjust the relative volume of each one if you need to. The White Noise Generator also has a useful timer function, so you can set a specific duration for a study session, or fall asleep to the sound without it playing all night.
White noise generator is available for Android free. You can remove ads for $3 a month.
Noisli brings a range of sound feed options, from rustling leaves to cafe chatter, as well as white, brown and pink noises. You will be able to combine several of the sounds together, as well as adjust the volume mix so that certain sound layers are louder than others.
If you don’t want to come up with your own custom mix, you can choose one of the presets included in the app. Noisli also comes with a handy timer function, and the ability to work offline, if you need to. You have to pay to enjoy the app on your mobile device, but you can visit Noisli online to try it out for free before parting with your money.
Noisy is available for Android and iOS for $2, or free online.
White Noise HQ
White Noise HQ has a library of more than 75 real sounds instead of algorithm-generated noise, giving the platform breadth and authenticity that’s hard to beat. You’ll also find an interesting geographical and auditory range, including the sparkling rain of England and the howling wind of Bavaria.
White noise, brown noise, and pink noise all have their own separate entries in the app, and you’ll be able to combine up to six different sounds together. You’ll also be able to adjust the volume of each element in your mixes and save them so you can come back to them later. White Noise HQ also has a handy timer function, which is perfect if you want to fall asleep while the app plays sounds.
White Noise HQ is available for iOS free.
Noise: Brown, Pink, White
A simple but very effective app, Noise: Brown, Pink, White opens with just a play button, which you can tap to hear some white noise. Change the color of the noise you hear by pressing the button on the bottom left (it looks like a sound wave) and that’s it – if you just want to get in line as quickly as possible, this app is hard to beat.
If you want something a little more sophisticated, you also have some other options. You can tap the top right button (stopwatch icon) to set a timer, and tap the bottom right button (slider icon) to create a custom blend between any two colors of your choice. You get full functionality of the app for free, although you have to put up with the occasional ad appearing between screens.
Noise: Brown, Pink, White is available for Android free. You can get rid of ads for a one-time payment of $3.
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds
Despite the name, you can use White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds for studying and relaxing as well as sleeping, and it also includes brown and pink noise options as well as standard white. You can choose these color sounds specifically, or you can choose from a variety of other sounds, including an airplane cabin and the sound of rain falling on a tent.
The app also comes with a lot of customization options: you’ll be able to mix sounds together, set a timer and even make them fade out slowly, which is useful if you’re going to sleep. You’ll need to become a paying premium member to remove the ads and unlock all the sounds and features (like longer fades), but there’s plenty to explore for free.
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds is available for Android and iOS free. You can also get a premium account with full access to sounds and features for $2 a week.
Downloading the iOS-only Dark Noise will cost you a significant amount, but the app has the polish and features to justify the price. Dark Noise’s tagline promises a “refined” white noise experience, and that’s a pretty good way to describe why this app stands out in a crowded market, garnering a loyal following over the years
When you open the app, you get 50 different sounds to play with and mix together – from real recordings to artificially generated static. You also get a timer function if you don’t want the loops to last forever. Other nice touches of the Dark Noise app include full support for home screen and lock screen widgets, and a selection of interface themes.
Dark noise is available for iOS for $10.
Your smartphone can actually play static noise without the help of an app, although third-party apps are the best bet when it comes to different options and features.
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If you’re on Android, just say “hey Google, play white noise” to queue up Google Assistant for an hour of white noise. Unfortunately, this will not work with brown or pink noise.
On the iOS page, you can find soothing sounds on iPhone, so check the link for full instructions on how to activate it. There’s only a limited number of sounds available and there’s little in the way of customization, but if you don’t want to install yet another app on your iPhone, it’s a handy option to have.