The Roffie white noise machine has 30 different sounds to choose from, a night light, and it’s small and portable. So it’s one that will perhaps appeal to parents of young children most of all.
The device itself is reasonably good for a relatively low cost. However, the third-party seller I bought it from on Amazon was asking customers for a specifically 5 star review in exchange for a free gift, which negatively affected my overall experience of the device.
The good points
- 30 different sounds to choose from.
- The night light has a lovely warm glow.
- Timers or continuous play choice.
- It’s easy to use, with separate buttons to choose the categories and variations.
- It’s small and portable, which is good for travel.
- Reasonable price (I paid £25 in July 2021).
- The speaker lacks bass, which affects the white noise options most.
- The slider button for the timers is small and stiff to use.
- No power adaptor included, just a USB cable.
- The heartbeat/lullaby sounds aren’t very relaxing.
- The forest sounds seem to have traffic sounds in the background.
- Some sounds have identifiably short 30 second loops.
As I explain at the end, I haven’t included any links to buy the Roffie in this article because I prefer not to recommend a product that I feel has an issue with customer ratings.
Full review and video transcript
Please note that this written review isn’t an exact transcript of the video above. I’ve organised it to be easier to find specific information, and added some additional points to clarify some things I say in the video. Also, I play through all the sounds in the video, which wouldn’t make sense to describe in writing!
I bought the Roffie white noise machine on Amazon for 25 pounds while I was in the UK. It was an Amazon choice product at the time, so I was interested to see how it compares to other machines I’ve used in the last few years (short answer: it’s in the middle in terms of overall quality).
I don’t normally comment on Amazon itself when I discuss sleep products, but in this case I feel the need to. Personally don’t think it should have been an Amazon choice product for two reasons.
Firstly, I didn’t think it was outstanding when compared to my top-rated white noise machines. Secondly, I suspect the third-party seller I bought it from is engaging in review manipulation. More on that later though; let’s discuss the specs, features, and sounds first.
(This section begins at 0:46 in the video)
The Roffie is quite small and portable. It measures 4.5 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches (115 x 115 x 72 millimeters).
It doesn’t weigh much either: 353 grams (12.4 ounces). So it’s at the smaller end of the white noise machine range of dimensions.
For example, it’s visibly smaller than the Lectrofan Evo, the Avantek classic, the Snooz, Dohm Uno, all of the Sound+Sleep models, and the Mifa. It’s larger than the Rohm and the LectroFan Micro 2.
As there’s no lithium battery inside, you’ll probably be able to take it on a flight either in the hold or carry-on luggage.
It came with a very long USB cable: it’s about a meter and a half long. This is great as it means that you can have more flexibility to place it where you like in your bedroom, study, or office. You don’t need to place it really close to a power outlet. Some devices come with impractical short cables, so I like that the Roffie’s is long.
As for the power, it didn’t come with an adapter so you’ve just got the cable, but I think most people have a USB outlet these days. In the video, for example, I use a standard UK 5 volt DC USB power adapter. You can also power it from a computer USB outlet if you like.
Buttons / interface
(1:38 in the video)
On top of the device there’s a large button for the night light. It’s good that it’s so large as you can easily turn it on and off in the dark.
Surrounding the night light button, there are seven small symbols/pictures. One is to let you know if the device is on or off. The other six tell you which sound category is currently selected.
Each symbol has a tiny blue LED next to it, which is how you know it’s selected. It’s good that there’s a little LED so you can tell which setting it’s on – many devices don’t have this option at all and you have to start playing with the buttons to work it out, which can be a bit frustrating sometimes. The lights are small and dim, so they won’t disturb your sleep.
I wish the pictures were a little bit bigger though because they’re really tiny. If you have the machine a meter away, for example, you can’t see what they are unless you’ve got superman vision (which I don’t because I wear glasses).
To select the category there’s a button on the side of the device. Next to that button, there’s another one to cycle through the options within that category. Each category has five sounds, making 30 in total. It’s a good user experience to split the sound choice buttons like this as you can quickly choose the sound you prefer.
Devices like the Avantek are less friendly because you have to press one button 30 times to go through them all. With the Roffie, you only have to press a button a maximum of seven times to turn it on and select your favorite sound.
There are separate buttons for the volume up and down. That’s something I like because occasionally you find white noise machines that share the same buttons for the track choice and the volume, which can be difficult and slow to operate. So I like the fact that the Roffie has separate buttons.
The maximum volume isn’t very loud, though it depends on the sound choice you select. It’s good that there are incremental volume levels, so you can play it quietly if you want to.
The Amazon listing says it reaches 100 decibels. I think this might be true if you put a decibel meter right next to the device, but in a room from a couple of meters away, I didn’t measure above 70 decibels when I tested it.
The speaker quality is a bit lacking as well, and it sounds more piercing and tinny on higher volumes. So I personally wouldn’t play it on a loud volume anyway.
(2.44 in the video)
On the side of the device, there’s a slider button to choose from a timer of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or continuous play.
I would have liked to see a few longer auto-off timer options, but at least it does have some.
The slider is a bit stiff and quite small, so if you’ve got finger sensitivity issues you might find it difficult to use. So if you’ve got finger sensitivity issues and bad vision you’re going to struggle with this machine.
The Roffie has a headphone jack, which is a standard 3.5 millimeter outlet. This is great as it means you can listen privately if you’re sharing a bedroom, office, or study with someone else and they don’t particularly like white noise. Not all white noise machines have a headphone jack, and it’s a feature I like to see as it’s a very useful one for people who share their space.
The sound options
(I play all the sounds starting at 3:26 in the video)
The instruction manual doesn’t list all 30 sounds individually. It does list the main categories though.
6 main sound categories
- White noise
- Fan sounds
- Ocean wave
- Heartbeat / lullaby (the Amazon listing says heartbeat, but the manual says lullaby!)
My thoughts on the sounds
White noise and fans
I liked that there are multiple white noise and fan options as it means you have a better chance of finding a sound you enjoy listening to and that also blocks out external noise, if that’s what you need it to do.
I found a couple of options that masked the sound of traffic outside by house effectively enough to stop me hearing it.
However, the lack of bass in the speaker meant that the deeper noise colours, assuming they are meant to be pink and brown, didn’t really feel as deep and relaxing as my favorite white noise machines. When I compared them to the LectroFan, for example, they were nowhere near as deep. And a smartphone app hooked up to a Bluetooth speaker also sounded more pleasing.
The forest sounds were enjoyable to listen to at first, with different birdsongs to choose from. However, I timed a 30 second loop on some of them as there are easily identifiable bird sounds which you can spot repeating after enough time listening to them.
There was no click or break as such, but if you listen to it hundreds of times, you learn the pattern quite quickly. So I think the loops really could have been improved as 30 seconds is very short.
I could also hear a background noise that sounds like a highway. So it’s as if the forest was recorded with a road not far away – a shame, as it distracts from the feel of it being in nature.
I quite liked the ocean wave sounds. It’s good that there are some with and some without added birds.
The rain sounds quite authentic, and I like how there is just rain, or rain with thunder. It’s good to have this kind of variety as I know people are sometimes disappointed to discover their device only has one rain option and it comes with just two repeating thunderclaps, which makes the loop very obvious.
I’m not sure why there is a discrepancy between the manual and online listing for this category. There clearly isn’t a lullaby at all. There seems to be a heartbeat sound, a low frequency hum, a higher frequency hum that’s like something from a sci-fi movie, whale sounds, and a ticking clock.
So really, heartbeat doesn’t quite describe the sounds correctly either. Personally, I would have called it ‘annoying sounds’ as the whale sound is the only one that’s remotely relaxing.
Having said that, I know some people have had success playing heartbeat sounds or ticking clocks to babies and small kids, so maybe it’s one to try.
The night light
(I show the nightlight in the dark from 8:15 in the video)
I like how the night light has two main settings: you can have it pulsing or you can have it on a fixed brightness. You can also choose the exact fixed brightness if you long hold the button at the right time. It’s tricky to get right, but it’s good that you can have it on a dim or brighter setting using that function.
And since the Roffie has a memory, when you turn it on again next time, the light will be set on the brightness increment you chose previously, which is a good user-friendly feature.
I really like the warmth of the glow it emits, and I think that ironically the night light is probably one of the best things about this white noise machine.
A problem with offering free gifts in exchange for 5 star reviews
Now let’s talk about the little thank you note that was in the box when I bought the Roffie. The key line says: “If you are satisfied with the product, we invite you to share your great user experience by writing a five stars review on Amazon”.
It doesn’t ask you for a one, two, three, or four star review, but it has to be a five star review. And then you can get a free gift of 15 money back or a zero pressure eye mask.
If you turn it over there are steps to get your free gift, which make it very clear that you have to leave a five star review. You can’t get the free gift if you leave a one, two, three, or four star review.
This is called product review manipulation.
On the day I filmed the video, there were 255 reviews. 93% of them were five stars, the majority written in English. There were only five one or two star reviews, written in German, Italian and French and they were quite critical of the Roffie.
Should it have been an Amazon choice product?
I have no evidence that all of those five star reviews, or even any of them, weren’t genuine. Perhaps they are all genuine – maybe people in the UK just really love this white noise machine, but I have a suspicion that it might not be the case for everybody.
One thing I will say is that there’s another problem that’s beyond the Rofi, which is the fact that it ended up as an Amazon choice product. Personally, I think that if a seller is engaging in this kind of review manipulation and then it’s somehow related to the Amazon choice recommendation, then something’s wrong there.
Additional thoughts on this point
I don’t mention it in the video, but I want to make it clear that I don’t have much information about who is actually behind the thank you note. When I bought it, the named seller isn’t ‘Roffie’ but a third-party seller that only had two listed products.
The brand name Roffie is also associated with other products, not just white noise machines. So it’s interesting that the seller on Amazon that had managed to get it listed as an Amazon choice product only had two products listed at the time, and no other Roffie products. Interestingly, another model of Roffie sound machine was listed by a different third-party seller.
Honestly, I’m not sure what all this means, but I want to make it clear I don’t know if it’s the manufacturer doing this, or a third party seller buying the machines and selling them independently under the fulfilled by Amazon program.
As for the Amazon choice listing, I don’t know how these are decided exactly as I don’t work for the company. My belief that it’s automated, with the ratings playing a role, is based on news articles I’ve read about this.
For example, there’s a good piece in Buzzfeed news about Amazon choice products, and another interesting report in the Wall Street Journal. If this topic interests you, I recommend reading those two articles.
My understanding is that product review manipulation is against Amazon’s terms of service, and they are actively trying to deal with it. I guess my experience just highlights that combatting it is a work in progress.
let’s wrap up with a few of my final thoughts about the Roffie. As I said at the beginning, I think that this one is probably going to be best suited to parents who want to leave a white noise machine in a kid’s bedroom and play soft white noise to them to help them sleep or to help them relax.
I don’t really think it’s one that’s most suitable for adults themselves, especially if you’re an adult that’s used to good speaker quality, good sound quality, and you’re the kind of person that listens out for loops on white noise machines. With a 30 second loop, as I far as I could tell on some of the nature sounds, you will spot it if you listen to it regularly.
Also, I think if you’re an adult, perhaps you’re not going to make the best use of the nightlight function. Maybe you will, but I suspect many adults won’t.
Some of the other things I think are worth bearing in mind is that it’s quite easy to operate. I like the fact that it has separate buttons for each of the controls, and it allows you to identify the exact category of sound you want pretty quickly and then cycle through those sounds. You don’t need to press one button 30 times just to find the sound that you like.
It’s good that it’s got a couple of timers. It’s a shame that it didn’t come with a power adapter and only includes a USB cable. For me personally, that’s not an issue because I’ve got so many USB outlets anyway.
The price was pretty good – I paid 25 pounds , so it’s quite cheap for a white noise machine. So I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it’s right for you as an adult or whether it’s appropriate for you because you’ve got kids that you want to play white noise to. And if you do, one of the good things is that you can have it on a lower volume, which is what you should do if you’re playing it to kids anyway.
Where to buy
I usually have links to buy products I discuss on my website. However, I’ve decided not to for the Roffie because I don’t want to support the third-party seller who I believe is engaging in product review manipulation by sending my readers directly to buy their product. Moreover, I don’t feel it’s right to support an Amazon choice product that I suspect may be misleading to the consumer in this case.
Considering what I’ve pointed out here, it seems only right that I forgo the opportunity to make a commission from people who go on to buy the device through my links. It’s frustrating because I bought it myself, and spent a lot of time creating the video and this written article. But at the end of the day, I’d rather maintain my integrity than my bank balance in this case.
If you want to see it yourself though, then searching on Amazon, or on your preferred search engine for ‘Roffie white noise machine’ should help you find it quickly. Note that there is more than one model of Roffie sound machine. The one I’ve talked about in this article, and the video, is the only one that has a circular night light on the top face.