LectroFan Classic Review

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close up photo of the lectrofan classic white noise machine on a bedroom table

Summary

The LectroFan Classic is a compact white noise machine that will fit neatly on a nightstand or desk. It’s a very effective device if you like white noise and fan sounds, but don’t need nature sound recordings.

With a loud maximum volume, it will work well for adults who need to block out external noise so they can sleep, work, or study. You could use it in a kid’s bedroom too, but the lack of nature sounds and lullabies means there are perhaps better choices for kids.

Pros

  • Good variety of sounds: 10 white noise and 10 fans.
  • No noticeable looping or breaks.
  • Clear speaker quality.
  • Auto-off timer.
  • Wide volume range from soft to very loud.
  • Excellent sound blocking.
  • Compact design.
  • Robustly made.
  • Reasonable price (usually under $50).

Cons

  • No battery or wireless option.
  • No nature sounds.

Full review


How well does the LectroFan mask external noise?

The point of white noise is to both reduce how much environmental noise you hear, and to replace sudden noise changes with a constant noise instead.

So before looking at the technical specifications, let’s address the most important question: does the LectoFan actually help block out noise? In my experience, yes.

I’ve used the LectroFan both at night in the bedroom and during the day on my desk for several years. I’ve used it for that long simply because it does its job very well, with dynamically produced white noise that doesn’t loop, click or restart.

I like that it has an upward-facing speaker which fills the room with sound. And it gives you very precise volume control so you can find the lowest possible volume that still works.

If you do need more volume, the Lectrofan is one of the loudest white noise machines I’ve tested (and I’ve tested around 20 in the last couple of years).

Noise tests

For this review, I did some specific tests on a pink noise setting at a loud (but not maximum) volume. With the help of the normal world outside my house and my partner in the room next door, I checked how much I could hear different noises. Here are the results:

Couldn’t hear at all

  • People talking.
  • Music on a medium volume.
  • Television on a medium volume.
  • Distant traffic.
  • Children playing.
  • Bird sounds.

Could only hear a little

  • Hoover.
  • Blender.
  • Dropping a metal pan on a hard floor.
  • Cars passing right outside the bedroom window.
  • Dogs barking.

Overall, I was impressed by just how much noise was hidden behind the LectroFan’s constant sound.

It’s to be expected that some very loud noise will still be picked up by your ears, but even in those cases, the noise was much less jarring. And that makes it less likely you’ll be disturbed while sleeping.

Can it mask snoring?

If the snoring is coming from another bedroom, I’ve found the LectroFan is able to significantly reduce or mask it completely.

If you sleep right next to a snorer, a white noise machine is never going to cut it out completely unless you sleep with it right next to your head in bed – not an option I recommend!

It might help a little, and only if your partner doesn’t mind having it on. But really, you’d be better off with a device that has a headphone jack. This is a feature that the classic LectroFan lacks, and that they’ve addressed with the newer LectroFan Evo model.

The white, pink and brown noise variations and fan sounds

In the video below, I play through the sounds so you can have a listen to them:

There are a total of 10 white noise variations, and 10 fan sounds. There are more of the deeper sounding pink and brown noise choices than white noise. For many people, these types are easier on the ear.

The manufacturer lists them as follows:

White noise

  • Brown Noise #5 (Darkest)
  • Brown Noise #4
  • Brown Noise #3
  • Brown Noise #2
  • Brown Noise (Classic)
  • Blend: Brown and Pink
  • Blend: Brown and Pink
  • Pink Noise (Classic)
  • Blend: White and Pink
  • White Noise (Classic)

In some descriptions, the manufacturer now gives each of these a different color, such as chestnut, cinnamon, and tan. The main point is that some just sound much deeper than others.

Fan sounds

  • Large fan
  • Industrial fan
  • Mellow fan – Lo
  • Mellow fan – Hi
  • Exhaust fan
  • Attic fan
  • Circular fan
  • Vent fan
  • Box fan
  • Oscillating fan

Of all these sounds, I find 12 of them pleasant to listen to at low to medium volumes. There are another eight I wouldn’t choose, but this is purely personal preference and you might enjoy a different selection of the sounds to me.

At loud volumes, I definitely prefer the pink and brown noises. And I prefer the less industrial fan sounds, as I find them more calming to listen to. Again though, some people might like those heavier industrial fan sounds.

Importantly, the solid state design dynamically creates the sound, so there is no looping or breaks as you sometimes find with machines that use recordings.

Power

It comes with a USB cable and adaptor plugs for the US, UK, and EU. So you can plug it into a standard wall socket or any other suitable USB outlet you already have.

There’s no internal rechargeable battery and it can’t be powered with normal batteries, so you do need to keep it plugged in for it to work. This makes it less flexible than some other devices that have an internal battery.

The power cable is around a meter and a half long though, which is a good length, and should allow you to place it on a bedside table or desk easily.

Size and portability

The LectroFan is surprisingly small – considerably smaller than some competitors like the Dohm range and the Sound+Sleep machines.

It does have a little weight to it compared to some of the very smallest devices. So although size isn’t an issue if you’re thinking of packing it in a suitcase, I’d probably choose the LectroFan Micro 2 over this one if you’re a regular traveler and portability is a make or break point for you.

photo of a lectrofan on a table to show the size

Auto-off

There’s just one auto-off timer option of 60 minutes. Many white noise machines these days have more timer options, such as 15 or 30 minutes, but it’s still good to have at least one timer.

Design and visual appeal

The Lectrofan looks neat with its hexagonal design and choice of white or black finish. And being small, it occupies little real estate on a nightstand or desk, which is always a bonus.

The lack of a display, lights, or buttons will appeal if you lean towards a minimalist design. But if you like your gadgets to have lots of buttons, lights, and a visual display, you might be underwhelmed by this one.

Robustly made

The LectroFan feels solid and has a robust design. I’ve had mine for several years now, and it’s still going strong. Some budget white noise machines are noticeably flimsy, with poor speaker quality that rattles through the casing. The LectroFan is comparably tougher, well put together, and has no rattling of the casing at all.

Verdict

The LectroFan might not be the flashiest gadget in the world and has an obvious lack of enticing features, but it does its job very well. There are very few sound machines that have such a wide variety of white noise and fan sounds.

Compared to many that offer one or two white noise options at best, with more of a focus on nature sounds, there’s a better chance you’ll find a white noise variation you actually like.

And at the end of the day, if you’re trying to replace an annoying sound with a constant sound that you find relaxing, then it needs to be a good one.

With the excellent speaker quality and dynamically generated sounds, the white noise it produces is authentic and relaxing to listen to.

Combine that with excellent volume control, and there’s every chance the LectroFan will help prevent your study or sleep from being disturbed by the noisy outside world.