The Big Red Rooster is an inexpensive white noise machine, with 6 different sounds and 3 auto-off timers.
For its low price, the sound quality is reasonably good. And conveniently, you can power it by either USB or 3 AA batteries.
You can listen to all the sounds in my video below. Or if you prefer, there’s a written review further down the page.
My verdict on the 6 sounds
- White noise: the standard option found in most white noise machines. Sounds fine, though might be too intense for some people.
- Rain: seems like heavy rain on a window. On louder volumes, the speaker doesn’t cope so well. Use this one on low to mid volume for best effect.
- Ocean: sounds good – more of a gentle lapping wave sound than a powerful ocean. On a short loop, but well spliced together. No added bird sounds.
- Brook: my favorite on this machine. A pleasant, constant running water sound. No animal sounds overlaid.
- Summer night: combines a light fan sound with crickets. Slightly odd combination for my taste.
- Thunder: the sound of distant thunder. On a loop, but still sounds quite good.
Speaker quality, volume and sound masking
The speaker faces sideways, allowing for targeted listening. The quality is reasonable, especially for the price. But on loud volumes, the thunder and rain don’t sound so crisp.
Compared to some of the higher end models, like the LectroFan and Avantek, the max volume isn’t as high. But it’s still good enough to mask a lot of external noise.
Using it in the bedroom, I was able to block out the sound of the TV in another room, people talking and some kitchen noise. But loud traffic, music or dogs barking might still reach your ears.
There are essentially 4 options:
- Constant play
- 15 minute timer
- 30 minute timer
- 60 minute timer
It’s good to have this choice, and the timers work well. One hour is probably enough if you’re planning on using a timer at all.
Design and size
The Big Red Rooster looks neat from a distance, with its glossy white finish and simple buttons. And those big labeled buttons make it very easy to use.
However, if you inspect it closely or press any button, it’s obvious that it’s made from quite light plastic and doesn’t feel as robust as it first appears.
It is relatively compact though, which is good for travel. Measuring 4 x 4.4 x 2.6 inches and weighing 5.9 ounces, you can easily pack it in a suitcase or car.
The power options, along with the small size, make this a conveniently portable device.
It comes with an AC adaptor and USB cable, so you can plug it into any standard socket. The cable is a good length to reach a nightstand from a wall socket close by.
It also takes 3 AA batteries if you need to use it where there’s no power source close by. Many sound machines don’t have a battery option at all, so this is one of the big points in the Rooster’s favor.
1. Lack of sound choice
6 sound options isn’t a lot, especially compared to more high-end machines. I think it’s better to at least include a couple of deeper pink or brown noise options.
By comparison, the Lectrofan, new Avantek and Sound+Sleep have 20 or more sound options.
2. The clicky buttons
The buttons make an annoyingly loud click sound when you press them. Not a major issue, but if you need to smoothly change sounds in the night, it’s a bit jarring.
3. Sound quality suffers at a loud volume
For this price, you’re not going to get an amazing speaker, and it’s actually fine on low to mid volume.
But if you need a loud machine to drown out noise, you might find the louder volume on the Big Red Rooster is as bothersome as the sound you’re trying to mask.
- The option to use batteries or the USB cable is convenient, especially for travel
- For the low price, the sounds are decent
- It’s a small and lightweight device, again good for portability
- The large, labeled buttons make it easy to use
- Limited number of sounds on a fairly short loop
- Not a solid design, with annoying clicky buttons
- Speaker isn’t the best at loud volumes
If you don’t fancy spending $40-80 on a white noise machine, the Big Red Rooster is one of the best I’ve seen for under $20.
You do get what you pay for of course, which in this case is a lack of variety and a somewhat flimsy design.
But overall, it’s a reasonable option if you don’t want to invest in the top end sound machines.
One final note is that there are two very similar Roosters. The one reviewed here is for adults, but they also make another one for babies, which you can tell by the inclusion of a ‘lullaby’ sound. So be sure to check before you buy.