The Best White Noise Machines In 2020

My top picks in the video

Best for white noise and fan sounds:

LectroFan Evo (See on Amazon)

Best for nature sounds:

Sound+Sleep SE (See on Amazon)

Good for parents of young kids:

Dreamegg (See on Amazon)

Best internal battery and portable size for travel:

LectroFan Micro 2 (See on Amazon)

Full review

Please note that the article below isn’t an exact transcript of my video. I’ve added some key points to help you scan through quickly. And I’ve included updates to a couple of the devices where relevant.

1. LectroFan Evo

Widest range of high-quality white noise and fan sounds, with the loudest maximum volume.

charcoal color lectrofan white noise machine

Key points

  • Sounds: 10 white noise, 10 fans, 2 ocean surf
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Auto-off timer: Yes
  • Power: Power adaptor with USB cable

A white noise machine has two main functions: to mask external noise that’s disturbing you, and to reliably play a more relaxing, consistent sound. And the LectroFan Evo does both of those jobs very effectively.

It has the widest range of white noise and fan sounds of all the machines I’ve tested. It’s great that it doesn’t just have intense white noise, but deeper-sounding colors like pink and brown noise too, which I personally find more relaxing.

The speaker quality is excellent, and the maximum volume is very loud. So if you need it to block out disruptive external noise, it’s up to the task. The white noise is dynamically generated rather than using recordings, which results in a non-repeating and constant sound.

It has two of the most important feature I look out for: a headphone jack for private listening, and auto-off timers if you don’t need your white noise on all night.

If you’re looking for lots of different nature sounds, the LectroFan Evo might not be the one for you. And if you prefer one with a rechargeable internal battery, again you’ll need to keep reading below.

But if you need a sleek and compact device for your home or office, and that caters to every taste of white noise and fan sounds, this is an excellent choice.

2. Avantek

The Avantek has been discontinued since I made the video

I believe the touch buttons were a key reason it’s no longer made, as they were a bit tricky to use in the dark.

Instead, I recommend the Sound+Sleep (below) if you’re looking for nature sounds. And the LectroFan Micro 2 or Dreamegg (also below) if you want one with a rechargeable internal battery.

avantek rechargeable sound machine

3. Sound+Sleep Special Edition

Great variety of nature sounds and useful extra features

sound+sleep special edition

Key points

  • Sounds: 44 nature and ambient, 12 white noise, 8 fans
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Auto-off timer: Yes
  • Power: Power adaptor
  • Extra features: 2 x USB charging ports, responsive volume, audio-in cable to play your own music

The Sound+Sleep Special Edition takes a different approach to the minimalist design most white noise machines have, packing more sounds and features than any other.

It has 16 main categories on the central dial, and a selection button to choose between four variations. That makes 64 different sound choices in total.

Some settings just add extra detail, for example adding thunder to the rain. Others are very different, such as a train ride or boat ride. I really like how you can decide if you have birds with your brook, wind with your rain, or just keep it simple. And it also has a broad range of brown to white noise, industrial or house fans.

One feature that’s unique to this device is responsive volume. If you select that, it will automatically change the volume according to the ambient noise levels in the room. It’s a feature not everyone will want to use, but it does work well.

It has a useful headphone jack, auto-off timers, and two USB charging ports for your smartphone or other devices. There’s an audio-in cable, so you can play your own sounds or music through the speaker. The speaker itself produces clear sound, and I found it’s capable of masking noise coming from outside the room.

The main downside it that it needs to be plugged in at all times using the included power adaptor. It’s also larger than most other devices I’ve tested. So it’s one to keep in the bedroom or office, and not a portable device for travel.

With so many sounds and features, this is a very versatile device and one for people who love nature sounds, and who prefer their tech to be rich in features.

4. Dohm Uno

A simple device with soft sounds made by an internal fan

marpac uno

Key points

  • Sounds: Rushing air from an internal fan
  • Headphone jack: No
  • Auto-off timer: No
  • Power: Standard plug

The Dohm Uno is a newer version of the classic Marpac Dohm – the first white noise machine to use an internal mechanical fan. Marpac merged with the company YogaSleep, so the old Marpac Uno is now called the Dohm Uno.

The Dohm Uno couldn’t be easier to operate. All you do it press the single large button it has, which will start up the internal fan and push air out of the little air holes. The only option you have to change the sound is to twist the cap, which slightly changes the sound the air makes as it comes out.

And that really is it – there’s nothing else to do with the Dohm Uno. It does a simple job, and it does it pretty well as the resulting sound is authentic and relaxing to listen to.

My main criticism is that the sound produced is relatively quiet compared to all the others I’ve tested. It’s ideal if you like the sound of air, but don’t want to actually have air moving around your room.

However, if you really need it to mask out external sound, it will struggle. And if you’re looking for additional features like a headphone jack, internal battery, or auto-off timers, you won’t find that with the Uno.

Despite the lack of volume and extra features, if you like the idea of having the authentic sound of air made by a real fan, the Dohm Uno is a good choice.

5. LectroFan Micro 2

A handy white noise machine for travel, with a rechargeable internal battery and Bluetooth speaker

lectrofan micro 2

Key points

  • Sounds: 5 fans, 4 white noise, 2 ocean surf
  • Headphone jack: No
  • Auto-off timer: No
  • Power: Internal rechargeable battery. USB cable included.
  • Extra features: Can be used as a Bluetooth speaker

The LectroFan Micro 2 is my personal favorite for travel or for outside use. It has an internal rechargeable battery (charged with the included USB cable) that will last an admirably long time: 20 hours with white noise and 40 hours on the Bluetooth setting.

Like the LectroFan Evo, there’s a good variety of white noise, ranging from relaxing brown noise to more intense white noise. There are enough fan sounds to cater to different tastes, and two ocean surf which are pleasingly non-repeating.

I like that it can be used as a Bluetooth speaker, so you can play your own music or different nature sounds if you prefer. It’s a really nice option that just opens a door to having more variety.

For such a tiny device, the speaker is surprisingly powerful, and it will easily drown out most noise coming from outside the room. I also like that you can swivel the speaker, so you can point it upwards to fill the room with sound or to the side if you prefer.

The main downsides are that there’s no auto-off timer and that the buttons are quite small and fiddly. It’s not an issue for me, but I can imagine it could be for some people. It’s also worth noting that there are only two nature sounds.

Overall though, the LectroFan Micro 2 is a fantastic white noise machine for travel, being on the go and avoiding the need to be plugged in at all times.

6. Dreamegg D3

Good for babies and young kids, with an additional lullaby

dreamegg d3 sound machine

Key points

  • Sounds: 9 nature, 7 white noise, 7 fans, 1 lullaby
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Auto-off timer: Yes
  • Power: USB cable included

The Dreamegg D3 is a good mid-range white noise machine that was designed with the parents of babies and young kids in mind.

In addition to the 8 relaxing nature sounds, there’s also a soothing lullaby and a hypnotic heartbeat sound. But if that doesn’t quite work, there’s enough white noise and fan sounds to try out too.

The internal rechargeable battery also makes it useful for parents, as you can place it wherever you like in a room without needing to think about the power source. And the auto-off timers help prevent it from running for longer than really necessary.

I also really like that they have the white noise, fan sounds and nature recordings split into three category buttons. That means it’s quicker to cycle through them to find the exact sound you want.

If you’re going to use it yourself, there’s a handy headphone jack for personal listening, and that also helps keep external noise at bay even better.

My main criticism is that some of the nature sounds are on shortish loops. But that’s very common with sound machines, and not noticeable with some of the sounds.

Overall, the Dreamegg D3 is a good choice for parents, but also for people looking for a good all-round device for their own use (perhaps minus the lullaby!). It has a good balance of features and sounds, and for a reasonable price.

7. Big Red Rooster

A simple battery-operated white noise machine to use anywhere

big red rooster sound machine

Key points

  • Sounds: 5 nature, 1 white noise
  • Headphone jack: No
  • Auto-off timer: Yes
  • Power: 3 x AA batteries, or included USB cable and power adaptor

The Big Red Rooster is the only white noise machine in my current selection that can be used with normal batteries (it takes 3 x AA, which aren’t included). It does come with a standard power adaptor though, so batteries aren’t the only power option.

It only has six sounds, which is quite limited. But it’s very easy to use the Rooster as each sound has a labelled button so you can quickly select them. Those buttons are a little ‘clicky’ though, which lets the device down in terms of overall feel and quality.

The nature recordings, as is so often the case, are on short loops, but they do sound reasonably good. The thunder needs to be kept at a lower volume though, or it tends to distort while rattling the casing.

There are auto-off timers, which is useful. But there’s no headphone jack or other additional features. The speaker quality is okay for a budget device, just nothing to get too excited about.

Overall, I think this is one for people who really don’t want to spend much on a white noise machine and appreciate the extra portability that comes from having the option to use normal batteries.

But if you’re looking for high-quality sound, I’d perhaps stretch the budget a bit further. For around $20 you get a low-cost device like this, while for $30-$40, the quality increases significantly.

8. Rohm

A compact device with loud volume and an internal battery

Key points

  • Sounds: 2 white noise, 1 ocean surf
  • Headphone jack: No
  • Auto-off timer: No
  • Power: Internal rechargeable battery. USB cable included

The Rohm was designed with travel in mind, and for the parents of young children. It’s also a budget sound machine, which some people will appreciate. However, it only has three sounds, which I personally think could have been increased.

Even when a white noise machine has six sounds, it feels a bit lacking. Not everyone likes all the different types of white noise and fan sounds included in these devices, so I think it’s helpful when there’s more variety. There isn’t an auto-off timer either, which I would have liked to have seen included.

On the plus side, the three sound options are pleasant to listen to, and it has a surprisingly loud maximum volume for such a small device. I also like that it has an internal rechargeable battery, which makes it convenient for travel and parents who appreciate being able to place it anywhere they like.

So I think this is one which is intended for travel and/or parents on a budget. But if you’re looking for a sound machine with plenty of variety, this probably isn’t the one for you.

9. Aurola

A budget device with limited sound choice and speaker quality

aurola sound machine

Key points

  • Sounds: 6 nature,1 white noise
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Auto-off timer: Yes
  • Power: Power adaptor with USB cable included

The Aurola is my least favorite white noise machine and I’ve only included it in this list by way of comparison.

For me personally, the vintage look doesn’t quite work aesthetically. And the practical design isn’t much better. The volume knob is too difficult to turn, even for my iron-grip climber’s fingers. And the buttons make an irritating loud clicking sound.

To be fair, I like that the seven sounds are individually labelled, which makes it easy to select them. There’s a headphone jack, and USB charging port too, which are plus points.

Some of the nature sounds are reasonably good, which surprised me considering the overall quality. You have a lullaby too, though it’s not one I thought was particularly sweet or soothing. You can listen to it in my video at 16:03 to see if you agree with me.

I don’t like how the power cable comes out of the back, meaning it needs a kickstand to sit upright. And because it’s so lightweight, you need to hold it with two hands to press a button otherwise it just slides away from you when you press it.

So my advice would be to look elsewhere as the Aurola has more downsides than positives. For the same low price, you can find better sound machines.

10. Alternatives

Smartphone Apps and smart home speakers for even more sound choice

echo smart home speaker

Key points

  • Sounds: Potentially unlimited
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Auto-off timer: Depends
  • Power: Smartphones can be used anywhere, smart speakers are usually plugged in

Although white noise machines provide sound masking at the simple touch of a button, there are other options.

Perhaps the easiest way is to use your smartphone, for which there are many white noise and nature sound Apps. Some of them are free, though you might come up against a paywall to access the premium features. However, in my experience, you can easily find free white noise if you search the App stores.

I personally like the ones that give you the option to mix the sounds yourself, so you can add some birds and gentle wind to the sound of a river, for example. I won’t list any specific Apps here, as I think it’s best to check yourself to see which Apps have good recent ratings.

Another effective option is to use your smart home speaker voice assistant if you have one. I personally use Alexa, but Google Home and other smart speakers will also work well.

I like that I can quickly activate white noise, brown noise or nature sounds with my voice commands. Again though, you might find it eventually prompts you to pay to keep using some Apps. But you can then just switch to a different free one, or stream nature sounds using a music App like Spotify.

I don’t think I’d buy a smart speaker for the sole use of playing white noise. But if you were already thinking of trying one, you won’t need to buy a separate white noise machine.