At some point, most of us will experience loud neighbors — the kind that stay up blasting music until 3 a.m. or rev their chainsaw at the crack of dawn. In those cases, a white noise machine can work wonders in helping you get some much-needed rest. The best white noise machines for loud neighbors come equipped with several adjustable sounds that drown out your surroundings, ranging from static tones to ambient nature soundscapes. Most models also include a timer function, so they’ll automatically turn off after you fall asleep.
What Is White Noise?
Before we begin, let’s break down what white noise actually is. Essentially, white noise is a steady, unvarying sound containing all frequencies audible to the human ear at equal intensities. It doesn’t waver at all in pitch, lulling its listener into a more relaxed state. According to one scientific study, adult participants fell asleep 38% faster while listening to white noise, and another found the use of white noise had a positive effect on the sleep of apartment dwellers in New York City.
In addition to white noise, some sound machines also produce pink, brown, and blue noise. With pink noise, the higher frequency sounds are quieter in volume, resulting in a lower sound reminiscent of a waterfall. Brown noise, which contains every frequency detectable to human ears, is even deeper than white and pink noise, emitting a sound that’s similar to rainfall. And blue noise is the opposite of brown noise, focusing on higher frequencies — for example, the sound of a hissing water sprinkler. The type of sound you choose will depend on your preferences — and you may want to experiment to see which noise best drowns out the sound of your neighbors.
What To Consider When Shopping For The Best White Noise Machines For Loud Neighbors
While many sound machines appear to do the exact same thing, there are some key variants you should think about when shopping for the best white noise machines for noisy neighbors.
Variety Of Sounds
Some people prefer the droning sound of white noise, while others would rather fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves, a babbling brook, or a crackling bonfire. The best sound machines for sleep will offer at least a handful of noise options to choose from, but some have a wider selection than others. Just note that white noise may be more effective at actually drowning out the sound of your neighbors since it emits a wide range of frequencies — i.e., it may be more likely to cover up both the sound of a baby crying as well as your neighbor practicing bass. That being said, you might find that the sound of rainfall or chirping crickets actually distracts you from noisy neighbors and puts you in a calm, relaxed state of mind.
Also note that some white noise machines play sound on a loop, and there’s a chance you may notice a cut between the loops. Non-looping sound tends to be more seamless, as you won’t experience any interruptions.
Most white noise machines also include a timer function, which automatically shuts off the unit after a programmed amount of time. While particularly sensitive sleepers may wish to keep their sound machines running all night long, others may only need the white noise to aid them in falling asleep — not staying asleep. Each model’s timer function is different, with some able to power down after as little as 30 minutes or as long as five hours.
While all of the options below can be powered either via AC or USB cable, some of them have an internal rechargeable battery, which means they can continue to run if you’re not near an electrical outlet — say, while camping — or when your power goes out. If you plan on running it all night long, however, it’s a good idea to keep it plugged in to ensure it doesn’t run out of power. One model on this list can even run on AA batteries, so you can use it virtually anywhere, whether you have access to an outlet or not.
Lastly, you’ll want to think about nice-to-have features like a built-in night-light or the option to mix and layer different sounds. If you’re frequently on the road, look for a super portable sound machine that’s easy to pack in a bag or suitcase.
With all that in mind, here are the best white noise machines for loud neighbors.
Shop The Best White Noise Machines For Loud Neighbors
In a hurry? These are the best white noise machines for loud neighbors:
- The Best If You Want Something Basic — & Highly Rated: Homedics White Noise Sound Machine
- The Best If You Want Lots Of Timer Settings: Magicteam White Noise Machine
- The Best If You Want A Color-Changing Night-Light: Anescra White Noise Machine and Night-Light
- The Best If You Care About Aesthetics & Sound Variety: Housbay White Noise Machine
- The Best If You Want Excellent Sound Quality: LectroFan High-Fidelity White Noise Machine
- The Best If You Want To Mix & Layer Sounds: Brookstone White Noise Machine Mixer
- The Best If You Travel Frequently: Yogasleep Rohm Portable White Noise Machines
1. The Best If You Want Something Basic — & Highly Rated
- 4.6-star overall rating after 50,000+ reviews
- AA battery option for wireless use
- Simple, easy-to-use button interface
Equipped with just six relaxing sounds — including classic white noise, rainfall, and thunder — this white sound machine from Homedics is best for those who would rather stick to the basics. The interface is thoughtfully designed with buttons for alternating between sounds and three timer lengths, as well as a dial for adjusting the volume. Measuring 9.9 inches by 7.3 inches, the low-profile unit is designed to take up minimal space on dressers, nightstands, and desks.
While it may not have a wide range of sounds, over 41,000 shoppers have given this white noise machine a five-star rating on Amazon — its simple, easy-to-use functions make up for its lack of variety. It’s also the only pick on this list that can be powered by either AC outlet or AA batteries, giving you the option of going totally wireless if you’re nowhere near an outlet.
According to a reviewer: “Love this! Easy to use. I can figure out the buttons and the on off dial with my eyes closed because of how things are configured on it. This has been a lifesaver with sleeping when my upstairs neighbors are too loud. I turn it on and I can focus on the sounds instead of the rude neighbors in the middle of the night!!”
Number of sounds: 6 | Power source: AC outlet or batteries | Timer? Yes, up to 1 hour
2. The Best If You Want Lots Of Timer Settings
- Multiple timer settings up to five hours
- Streamlined, minimalist design
The Magicteam white noise sleep machine is another popular choice on Amazon, with over 33,000 five-star ratings to its name. Measuring 6.3 inches by 4 inches, the unit’s cubic shape is both streamlined and modern — blending in well with contemporary decor. It comes programmed with 20 non-looping sounds, and is the only option on the list with brown and pink noise, as well as white. Beyond that, you’ll also have the option of nature-inspired rainfall, ocean waves, and birdsong. The pared-down design features just a few buttons that allow you to switch between sounds, adjust the volume, and set a timer.
Speaking of the timer function, this white noise machine has five timers — the most on the list — and can run for five hours before automatically shutting off, which is two hours longer than any other option. It’s a nice-to-have feature that — when combined with the wallet-friendly price and variety of sounds — makes Magicteam’s model an all-around great choice.
According to a reviewer: “It drowns out sounds I usually wake up to – crickets, birds, neighbors [talking] on their patios, even neighborhood dogs – and I am truly one of the lightest sleepers in the world. Before this, I had to use fans for my white noise but now, I can’t sleep without this sound machine anymore. It’s a great sleep aid and I didn’t have to pay a ton of money for it.”
Number of sounds: 20 | Power source: AC outlet or USB | Timer? Yes, up to 5 hours
3. The Best If You Want A Color-Changing Night-Light
- Color-changing, ambient night-light
- One of the smallest picks on the list
This white noise machine doesn’t just offer a wide variety of sounds in a compact unit — it also functions as an ambient night-light with seven color options. There are 24 different sounds to pick between, from static white noise to fan sounds to nature-inspired audio sequences. There are three timer settings, with a maximum automatic shutoff of 90 minutes. You can power it using either an AC outlet or USB cable (though it’s not rechargeable).
You can set the night-light to a steady glow or a rhythmic pattern, with seven vibrant hues to alternate between. Just note that you can only adjust the brightness of the device with the non-colored light mode. Measuring just 4 inches in diameter, this white noise machine is also one of the most compact picks on this list — ideal for tight bedrooms where space is at a premium.
According to a reviewer: “I live in an apartment building with somewhat thin walls, so when I’m trying to sleep at night I can hear EVERYTHING from my neighbors. […] This little white noise machine has saved my sleep in a way I cannot explain. I could not be happier with it! I love all the noises it makes too. They’re so relaxing! My favorites are the fan noises. It also can double as a night light, which is totally awesome.”
Number of sounds: 24 | Power source: AC outlet or USB | Timer? Yes, up to 90 minutes
4. The Best If You Care About Aesthetics & Sound Variety
- 31 different non-looping sounds
- Realistic wood-grain appearance
With 31 different non-looping sounds, this white sound machine offers the most sound variety by far. Besides multiple white noise and fan tones, this device also comes loaded with unique soundscapes emulating gentle waves, a summer night, a campfire, and even a whistling train. The 5-watt stereo speaker creates robust, room-filling sounds, which are easily adjusted using the front-facing buttons. You can power this unit using an AC outlet or USB cable, but keep in mind there is no rechargeable battery, so it must stay plugged in.
Design-wise, this unit is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing options on this list. The round body is covered in a wood grain pattern, giving it a warm, natural appearance that looks good in any room. Since it only measures 4.6 inches in diameter, it’s also suitable for particularly compact spaces.
According to a reviewer: “Perfect for the wife and I to get a great night’s sleep. Neighbors big dog barks right outside our bedroom window… The “low fan” setting is peaceful and steady and eliminates 80 percent of his noise and allowing us to rest. MANY volume settings and looks like real wood.”
Number of sounds: 31 | Power source: AC outlet or USB | Timer? Yes, up to 3 hours
5. The Best If You Want Excellent Sound Quality
- High-fidelity sound
- No-frills design
Those looking for a stripped-down device that’s easy to navigate will find everything they need in the LectroFan white noise sleep machine. It doesn’t offer any nature soundscapes — only a variety of ambient white noise and fan sounds you can switch between using the front-facing buttons. That being said, its simplicity actually works in its favor. Multiple reviewers raved about the unit’s high-fidelity sound quality, with one noting, “Speaker quality is excellent. Far better than any I have used before.” Measuring 4.4 inches in diameter, the compact machine won’t take up much space on your nightstand.
You have the option of powering it via AC outlet or USB cable, and while there is a rechargeable battery, many buyers recommended keeping it plugged in as the battery life isn’t very long. Note, also, that there’s only one timer and it maxes out at 60 minutes. While the LectroFan might have a more utilitarian aesthetic, it’s a fantastic no-fuss machine for those who appreciate sound of a higher quality.
According to a reviewer: “This is the BEST, and most versatile machine I’ve used. It is 100% electronic, yet does NOT have an annoying loop like some other brands have. The speaker really is high fidelity, and reproduces quality low frequency tones as well as the highs. And, there is a nice range of tones to choose from. It is a nice compact size, yet can produce loud volume if desired.”
Number of sounds: 20 | Power source: AC outlet, USB, or (limited) rechargeable battery | Timer? Yes, up to 60 minutes
6. The Best If You Want To Mix & Layer Sounds
- Noises can be layered for a custom soundscape
- Built-in night-light
While this white noise machine from Brookstone is far and away the priciest option on this list, it offers one key feature that the others don’t: the ability to mix and layer eight different noises for a customizable soundscape. The relaxing sounds each have their own sliding knob, allowing you to adjust the volume levels individually. This way, you can play multiple sounds at once — for example, you can combine the sounds of a summer night with the crackling of a fire and a touch of soothing flute.
Measuring 9.3 by 4.9 inches, the device has a sophisticated design that looks like an audio console, complete with wood grain on its elevated surface. It can be powered by either USB or AC outlet, and the rechargeable battery gives you the option of going wireless when you need to. It also has three timers, with a maximum length of 90 minutes.
The only downside is that this pick doesn’t offer any options for straight white noise — the singular fan option is the closest thing to it. Because of this, it’s best for those who prefer natural ambience to more traditional white noise sounds.
According to a reviewer: “I love this sound mixer so much better than the standard white-noise machines which, while they give you a choice of many different sounds, you can only ever play one at once. This one allows you to mix as many sounds as you want (or only one if you prefer!) for a much more natural ambience.”
Number of sounds: 8 | Power source: AC outlet, USB, or rechargeable battery | Timer? Yes, up to 90 minutes
7. The Best If You Travel Frequently
The smallest option on the list, this portable white noise machine measures just 3.5 inches in diameter. Besides sitting on your nightstand, this white noise machine can be hung anywhere using the included lanyard. Switch between three volume-adjustable sounds — bright white noise, deep white noise, and gentle surf — using the small buttons on the side.
It may not have a wide variety of sounds or a timer function, but this white noise machine is by far the easiest to travel with. The USB-rechargeable battery allows you to use it away from an outlet — perfect for camping or staying in a hotel.
According to a reviewer: “This little gadget does the trick beautifully! It makes a consistent white noise that blocks ambient sounds, and is small, lightweight and easy to bring (I exclusively carry on, so this is important). I sleep like a baby with it, so much so I started using it at home too, and then upgraded to the large-scale version for home use.”
Number of sounds: 3 | Power source: USB, rechargeable battery | Timer? No
Messineo, L., Taranto-Montemurro, L., Sands, S., Oliveira Marques, M.D., Azarbarzin, A., Wellman, D.A. (2017, December 21) Broadband Sound Administration Improves Sleep Onset Latency in Healthy Subjects in a Model of Transient Insomnia. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29312136/
Ebben, M.R., Yan, P., Krieger, A.C. (2021, July). The effects of white noise on sleep and duration in individuals living in a high noise environment in New York City. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34049045/