Quiet Guides and Tips

White Noise vs Pink Noise vs Brown Noise

There are a variety of noise signals that can be used to help with a variety of situations in daily life.  White noise is the most popular color of noise that people have heard of and even listened to but there are two other colors of noise, pink and brown, that can also be used to help in relaxing and soothing. All colors of noise are sound frequencies and ranges that the human ear can hear and each can be more effective in various situations than the other.

The Colors of Noise

White noise can be explained as a “static” sound.  It combines sounds and tones that range across all frequencies.  This combination of sounds and tones acts as a wall or a shield for other noises within the room or area a person is in.

White noise is best used for when distractions need to be blocked and focus is needed.  White noise is a good choice for a busy office when one needs to focus in on the work being performed or when one is reading, studying or writing.

Pink Noise can be compared to the sound of ocean waves or running water such as rain. Pink noise is sound in which every octave has a consistent frequency and it generally uses lower frequencies of sound.

This type of noise is used to help relax the mind and body and is often used for when going to sleep.  Because the frequency of sound is consistent and does not range up or down, pink noise works with your brain waves to provide a constant rhythm which provides a more deep and restful sleep.

Brown Noise:  Sometimes referred to as red noise or Brownian noise, brown noise has a sound of a roar or of thunder but at a much lower sound frequency. It uses much lower frequencies of sound than higher ones.

This type of noise can be used in therapy, helping to soothe individuals and sometimes pets, and to help with conditions such as tinnitus and migraines.

Tinnitus and Noise Signals

Tinnitus is a common ear condition that affects approximately 10-15% of people.  It is explained by those who have this condition hearing a continuous sound, often a soft or loud pitch or a ringing noise, in the ear when there is no sound present in the area where they are.  This condition can be a result of noise-induced hearing loss, brain tumors, head injuring, a build-up of earwax and other ailments.

To help with tinnitus and using a noise sound for therapy, speaking with your physician is advised so that the right frequency of sound is used for the specific type of tinnitus sound that is being experienced.  All three types of sound, white, pink and brown can be used but brown seems to be the best for masking tinnitus.

Experiencing the Sound

To experience these various noise colors, audio files can be downloaded from the internet to your phone, CDs can be purchased for playing in your media player, or a sound machine which has a wide spectrum of color noises and sounds to choose from.

All color noises are going to give benefit and all basically perform the same function of masking noise and providing a soothing experience.  Sometimes brown noise may give comfort where white noise used to prior.  Lifestyles, feelings and emotions being experienced can also play into how the color noise can give the best benefit to the mind and body. Before investing money in a purchase, research the types of sound that provide relief for what the purpose is that is needing attention.


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One Response

  1. James Chaney February 9, 2017

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