Introduction: White Noise Sound Machine for Under $20

Sleeping in a noisy environment can be extremely difficult. For example, people who live in apartments, students in dorm rooms and anyone in a busy urban environment. And since it’s usually noisier during the day, conditions can be worse for those who work evening or overnight shifts and are forced to sleep during daytime hours.

Here's how to make your own white noise machine out of things you may already have "in stock", or can be purchased inexpensively.

Step 1: MP3 Player

If you think about it, playing white noise through a speaker is a very simple application. Here's all you need:

 * A six-year old iPod Mini with A/C adapter that was sitting in a drawer.

 * Computer speakers with A/C adapter. Any cheap speakers will suffice -- we’re only playing noise!

 * Software to create the white noise

If you don’t have these items on hand, they can be easily purchased on eBay for under $20.

Step 2: Free Audacity Software

I chose Audacity, a free software digital audio editor, available for Windows 98+, Mac OS X and Linux systems. It has the capability to generate a variety of “noises” for any duration you desire.

Download Audacity software.

Step 3: Create Custom White Noise

In Audacity, go to the Generate menu and select Noise...

After a bit of trial and error, I finalized on a left channel of pink noise and a right channel of brown noise. It produced a sound I liked. 

Sample white noise

My final custom noise file was one hour in length, which could be looped indefinitely throughout the night — or day. I also made another “drift off to sleep” variation that slowly faded out after 20 minutes.

Step 4: Transfer MP3 and Play

Upload the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player, plug in both the iPod and speakers, and click the Play button. 

Sweet dreams!

Visit my site for complete blog post.