If you have a job that requires you to spend long hours at the office with lots of people, you’d most likely get irritated by the constant noise.
Coworkers listening to music or tapping away on their keyboards can get quite annoying after hearing it day after day.
What’s even worse is if you work in an open-concept office where the noise seems 10 times louder.
Other than this, sometimes you may want to have a private conversation but worry about your colleagues’ eavesdropping.
So what can you do in these instances?
A white noise machine for office use may be your best bet or the best fan for white noise if you need a fan as well.
Sound masking machines can help to drown out the annoying sounds coming from your coworkers and can also keep your conversations private.
- Best White Noise Machine for Office
- Things to consider when buying a sound masking machine
- Benefits of white noise system
- How white noise machines work
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best White Noise Machine for Office
- No. of sounds: 60
- Power Source: AC adapter
- Dimensions: 4.25 x 4.25 x 4.5 inches
The Serene Evolution is a white noise machine for office privacy.
It is noise-canceling and masks sounds to create a peaceful and private space regardless of where you are.
This coffee cup-shaped machine is powered by an AC adapter and comes with 60 sounds including fan sounds, nature sounds and others.
The speaker has 25 volume settings so you can find the right level of sounds to drown out the noise you want to mask.
The unit has touch-sensitive buttons that you can use to choose your settings or you can use the included remote control that works up to 50ft away.
You can choose to have it run continuously or use an optional timer function and set the unit to continue masking sounds for 30, 60 or 120 minutes.
Moreover, the Serene Evolution remembers the last settings so there’s no need to reset if you want the same sound and volume as the last session.
- No. of sounds: 20
- Power Source: AC adapter or USB
- Dimensions: 2.64 x 2.64 x 2.83 inches
The Magicteam Device is small and light so it can fit in a small corner of your desk away from all the clutter.
Despite its small size, this unit is powerful enough to mask high levels of noise.
It is great for the office to drown out the noise when you just want to relax or try to sleep.
This unit is loaded with 20 non-looping white noise for office use as well as brown noise, pink noise and blue noise including fan, brook, rain, ocean and bird sounds.
This is a great white noise machine to prevent eavesdropping thanks to its 32 volume settings.
Like the model before, this white noise machine also comes with an optional timer that you can set for 1 hour to 5 hours.
You also have the option of running it all day long.
The built-in memory feature automatically restarts the previous session including the sound, volume and time remaining if there was a power interruption.
The Magicteam Machine can be powered by either an AC power adapter or USB.
- No. of sounds: 24
- Power Source: AC or USB
- Dimensions: 3.54 x 3.54 x 2.01 inches
The Elesories S3-ECO is a compact and affordable white noise machine that can help you relax at work.
It comes loaded with 24 sound options including 5 fan sounds, 5 white noise sounds, 7 nature sounds and 7 unique sounds including heartbeat, piano and more.
The 52 mm HI-Fi speaker makes the sounds more realistic so you can relax better.
You can choose between the different sound categories using the 4 buttons located on the top of the machine
The volume controls are also on the top of the unit and cover frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
There’s also a timer setting that uses a push-button control at the back of the unit.
The timer can be set for 30, 60 or 90 minutes auto-off option or you can use the continuous run option.
This unit is powered by a USB or an AC plug.
The Elesories S3-ECO also includes a headphone jack if you want to listen to the sounds without bothering those around you.
The headphone jack gives you the option of combining this machine with a wired earmuff for sleeping.
Check out these ear muffs for sleeping.
- No. of sounds: 22
- Power Source: AC adapter or USB
- Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 3.3 inches
The LectroFan Evo sound machine is great for the office or any place you want to relax.
It is loaded with 22 non-looping sounds including 10 fan sounds,10 white, pink and brown noises, and two ocean sounds including calm, and surf.
This unit has a unique design and features no moving parts.
It has no motor or other internal moving parts to produce a much better variety of sounds.
The non-repeating sounds are produced digitally through a Hi-Fi speaker for clearer sounds.
The volume control makes it easy to set the sounds at the exact sound level you need.
This machine creates a disturbance-free workspace and also has a timer with continuous play and a headphone jack.
It is powered by an AC adapter or USB.
- No. of sounds: 6
- Power Source: AC adapter or battery
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 6 x 2 inches
If you want a white noise machine that looks cool, choose the Homedics Sound Machine.
The design makes it look a bit like a Star Wars fighter craft.
This inexpensive, compact and portable unit can run on AC or battery power.
Due to its small size, flat design and battery power option, you can take this machine on the go so you can relax in any noisy environment.
It comes with 6 soothing sounds including white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night and brook.
The sounds mimic the natural environment to make you feel like you’re actually there and not in a noisy environment.
The adjustable volume knob allows you to choose the exact volume you need to block and the disruptive noise you may be experiencing.
The Homedics Sound Machine can play sounds continuously or you can choose from 3 auto-off timer options including 15, 30, or 60 minutes.
Things to consider when buying a sound masking machine
A quick search online will bring up tons of results for sound masking machines.
However, there are a few things you need to pay attention to when looking for these types of machines.
Sound Quality and Volume
If you’re going to be bringing another source of sound to the office, you need to be careful.
You want to avoid bringing a machine that produces sounds that can be annoying.
Chances are that your coworkers are as irritated as you so you don’t want to add to the annoying sounds they are experiencing.
To get the best sound quality possible go for machines that are loaded with non-looping sounds.
You should also look for units that offer various other sounds aside from white noise.
There’s pink noise and brown noise among others to choose from.
Another thing you want to be sure of is that the machine has a few volume settings.
While many think that the appearance of the white noise machine isn’t important, it can be.
In situations where you have a boss that would mind if you have a flashy or weird-looking device in the office, appearance matters.
However, most white noise devices feature a simple design and shouldn’t cause you too much trouble.
Be sure to clear it with your boss if you’re thinking of purchasing a sound masking device to avoid any issues.
Just like appearance, you want to consider the size of the device you’re getting.
Most of these units are fairly compact and weigh under a pound.
However, if you have a small desk or very little free space on your desk then you need to consider the size.
A headphone jack isn’t important unless your boss or coworkers require you to use one.
It’s always better to have the option of using one rather than not in the event you’re asked to use one.
Most sound masking machines can be powered with a USB cable with a power block for AC power.
Son can be battery powered while others may come with rechargeable batteries.
If you plan to be moving around and need your white noise machine with you, having a battery-powered unit is essential.
Benefits of white noise system
You may be wondering if it’s worth investing in white noise systems.
Here are a few benefits of these machines:
Less noise can help to reduce stress at work and home.
Office chatter, machine noise and others can be more stressful than you think.
While being able to multitask is awesome, it does take a mental toll if you have to constantly fend off office noise.
A white noise machine can help you to relax so you can be less stressed at work.
Office noise can also distract you from getting your work done.
The constant chatter and whirring of machines such as typewriters, keyboards, coffee machines, etc can make you lose concentration.
A white noise machine can drown out these annoying sounds so you can concentrate on getting your work done.
With less stress and distractions, you’ll find that your productivity increases.
The white noise machine can help calm your nerves and drown the annoying noise so you can focus on the tasks at hand.
We live in a world where email and text are preferred over conversations.
However, some people prefer to get things done on the phone or in person.
In some instances, you may want to keep these conversations private and this is where a white noise machine can prove useful.
These machines can disrupt most voices coming from the office as well as cancel the sound of your own.
How white noise machines work
Most people define white noise as any kind of continuous unobtrusive background noise.
However, audio engineers know better.
White noise is a specific color on the audio rainbow.
Along with white noise, there is pink noise, brown noise and blue noise.
1. White noise
White noise is like white light.
White light contains all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum while white noise contains all the frequencies.
It sounds like the static you hear when you can’t get a signal on the radio.
2. Pink noise
Pink noise includes all the frequencies a human ear is capable of hearing.
White noise has consistent strength across all frequencies but pink noise decreases with the increase in frequency.
Pink noise sounds deeper than white noise.
Some examples include leaves rustling in the wind, waves lapping at the shore or steady falling rain.
3. Brown Noise
Brown noise lowers high frequencies more than pink noise so it sounds even deeper.
Some may even describe it as a harsher sound.
An example of brown noise would be a roaring river current.
Brown noise is great for boosting focus and relaxation.
4. Blue Noise
Blue Noise is the opposite of brown noise.
It is brighter with a lot more intensity in the higher-frequency range and higher pitch than white noise.
A good example is a hissing water spray from a hose.
As you can see “white noise is a misnomer since these devices can offer a wide variety of sounds.
Some of those mentioned in this article offer some or all of the noises so you can choose which works best for your current situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do white noise machines make sounds?
White noise machines are available in 2 types; electromechanical and solid-state electronic c/w speakers.
The electromechanical white noise machines are made up of a fan and motor that blow air through specially designed air passages.
They cover the full range of frequencies that a human ear can hear.
Solid-state sound devices use integrated circuits and a speaker to drive sound.
While these units are more popular, they are not able to provide the bass-blocking abilities of their electromechanical counterparts.
2. Can white noise machines cancel bass sounds?
Sometimes these devices may be able to block bass voices but not footfalls, bass-heavy music, etc.
While electromechanical machines with fans contain bass-blocking properties and span the entire range of audible frequencies, their speakers are usually too small to tackle serious bass.
3. How loud does a white noise machine need to be?
The average office noise falls between 45 to 65 decibels.
The white noise machine you choose needs to be louder than that to mask the sounds coming from the office.
4. Where should I place a white noise machine in the office?
Your sound masking machine should be placed closest to you since you’re the one trying to get rid of unwanted sound from the office.
The closer it is to you, the better your chances of not hearing what is going on around you.
Likewise, the closer it is to the listener when having a private conversation, the better.
5. Is one noise canceling machine enough for the office?
In most cases, a single white noise device will work great up to 300 square feet.
If you work in an open-concept office bigger than this, then you need more than one sound masking device.
A good rule to follow is one machine per cubicle or office.
This will guarantee noise suppression, privacy and confidentiality.