Thursday, January 12, 2012


SimplyNoise Reviews, in Order of How Soon the Author Will Murder Someone

15. “Tha-HA-HA-HANK you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just made traveling a million times better.” —crea8iveworship

14. “Thank you so much for this site, it really helps my productivity at work where I have to share an office space with three other engineers with similar interests.” —Anonymous

13. “My girlfriend and I both use SimplyNoise every night and we would be very very sad if your site ever went away ... Thanks so much for providing a great service for free!!” —emptythevoid

12. “I live in an apartment with 5 other girls, and I need to study a lot. SimplyNoise has made that possible! Thank you so much!” —Anonymous

11. “This is a life saver when my noisy coworkers are being particularly rambunctious.” —Anonymous

10. “Thanks so much for creating this website. I can never get any work done in my house and have often times traveled to the library just to find peace and quiet. Now I can complete my work without ever having to leave home!” —Anonymous

9. “Love this site. It’s blocking out the sound of automatic hand dryers and people chit-chatting in my University’s library as I’m studying. Total bliss...” —Anonymous

8. “I work in IT and my boss who sits near me hums all day (when hes not coughing that is). this site is saving my sanity...” —Anonymous

7. “My wife brought her daughter and 5 year old granddaughter to live with us and they have been here for months, with no end in sight! Your white, pink and brown noise generator has helped me tremendously to overcome the distractions of a boisterous 5 year old running around our home!! Thanks!!!” —Anonymous

6. “Your site just saved me from the infuriation of some surly teen in the library making a god-awful slurping noise. Listening to this white noise is a far better solution than my original plan, which involved throwing a water bottle. Potentially at someone. Thank you!” —Anonymous

5. “I just want you to know that I use this site every day without fail, sometimes for hours. It has been a sanity saver for me, and I recommend it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else I can. Thanks so much!” —Kim L.

4. “Finding this site is the best thing that has happened to me at work. This is a life saver. It never ceases to amaze me how loud and inconsiderate others are in working environments that require intense concentration.” —Anonymous

3. “I couldn’t ask for a better tool to drown out the screeching hens in my office. Their daily morning concentrations used to destroy productivity and promote misery — now I can actually do what I came to work to do!” —Anonymous

2. “I have people at work that for some odd reason cannot blow their noses, cannot stop coughing, slurp when they drink, crunch and smack their lips when they eat, tap their feet when bored ... it is a JUNGLE!!! without your app I would have literally gone insane or quit.” —Anonymous

1. “The Brown noise seems to be the most relaxing. It evokes the gentle rumble of a nonchalant summer thunderstorms of the distant past.” —Anonymous

Katie Heaney prefers Pink Noise on medium oscillation, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Photo by Ed Mandarina, via Shutterstock.

84 Comments / Post A Comment


“I couldn’t ask for a better tool to drown out the screeching hens in my office. Their daily morning concentrations used to destroy productivity and promote misery

I C U, Meghan McCain!


#3 would hate me. I'm totally a "screeching hen" who "destroy[s] productivity" around my office. Also I listen to a lot of 90s rap, which happens to be MY version of SimplyNoise.


is so amazing <3 @k


#3, I hear ya on the screeching hens. The yaks in my office really rub me the wrong way.


Sorry about #6, Surly and I should have gotten a room.


now I can actually do what I came to work to do!

Submit shrill comments to product websites, presumably. This is the type of person whose Amazon reviews I find delightfully entertaining. (Reading them is what I came to work to do.)


I'm with #4. I need to intensely concentrate on gchat and the Hairpin at work. Loud, inconsiderate slags.


The context is pretty much spelling it out, but someone please tell me that people are not actually, purposefully listening to a source of electrically generated noise, such as a static TV channel.


@Too Much Internet They are. *Click at yer own risk!*


@Too Much Internet I have a *cough* friend who uses it. It does block out a bunch of noise, like those things #2 mentioned, as well as people who scream into speaker phones nonstop with the speaker volume turned up to 11.


@loki_monster: Yikes. I dunno. What's wrong with music or podcasts?


@Too Much Internet Or you could move into an industrial area, like me! The only trouble is, the brown noise it makes doesn't quite drown out the forklifts and the high pitched rattling from the silos. But you definitely can't hear someone in the next room talking!

Not that I'm bitter.


@Too Much Internet I'm sure many Hairpinners can corroborate, but I think it's legitimately helpful for ADD? My mom teaches first grade and typically has a few who have to listen to white noise in headphones to get through their work.


@Too Much Internet I know, have these people never seen that terrible, yet terrifying, film White Noise?


@megancress Having sat through Dragonfly, I put a brick through a tv at the first trailer for White Noise.


@megancress SO SCARY (yet so bad... but still SO SCARY)


@megancress: Sort of but not really related: our children will never know the joy of being able to tell if a tube television is turned on by the high pitched whine of the electronics.

sarah girl

@Too Much Internet It's also really, really good to play if you need to sleep in a noisy area/during the day. I worked the overnight shift for a while and can't sleep at all while listening to music/podcasts/etc., so my white noise machine saved me from endless sleep deprivation.


@emilylouise I genuinely can't hear static now without getting shivers and wanting to spontaneously cry out "DON'T KILL ME!"


@Too Much Internet But so many more electronics emit that noise now that I feel like I have tinnitus half the time.


@Sarah H.: That does make a lot of sense. Noises bother me easily when I'm trying to get to bed, I live in a more suburban neighborhood so it's not too much of an issue.


@Too Much Internet My problem is that sometimes, if I'm listening to words, I'll start typing the words that I hear and not the words I'm supposed to be typing.


@Layla I do that Every. Single. Time. someone tries to talk to me when I'm writing an essay, and i often don't notice until I've fully lost the thread of what I was originally trying to write. WHY must that happen?


@megancress That is my favourite part in 'His Girl Friday'


@Craftastrophies I haven't seen it, but I just went away and watched the trailer and now I must MUST MUUUUUUUUUST see it, I shall not rest until i see it!


@megancress It is AMAZING. But don't watch it when you're tired because they speak so fast, it will be like they're talking in another language.


@Craftastrophies But I want to watch it now! I guess it is probably bed time for me though. Stupid GMT, everyones doing fun stuff when it's bedtime for me. Tomorrow I shall watch it and be amazed and spread the word.


@sox I don't have actual ADD, but I do rate (ahem) "rather high in distraction issues," which means basically that I have a hard time concentrating in open office environments with all the conversations and other sounds. Also - oh, look! Something shiny!

Anyway, white noise does help, maybe even more than music - music (esp music you like) can be just as distracting. The white noise kind of drowns sounds out without really engaging any of the important parts of the brain. (this is not science, just how it feels to me).


@Too Much Internet I loved that site when I was in college. I lived in a house with 17 other girls. It was loud! I needed quiet! Music was distracting when I studied, even the orchestral kind with no words. So anyway, long story short, everyone made fun of me because it's a little craycray to listen to static but it worked and I graduated.

I could also sometimes study with Django Reinhardt music playing, which also led to being made fun of but I got over it.


@Too Much Internet Plenty of things: (1) I can't wear headphones in the office, so both music and podcasts are out; (2) Music is highly distracting to me as a musician; and (3) A podcast is similarly distracting. I need either silence or something without patterns/speech in it. White noise is perfect for that. There are lots of us freaks.


If I'm as susceptible to white noise as I was as a baby, this device would send me into a coma-like sleep from which I would be very difficult to wake. Productivity ahoy!


I think you're all being a little too hard on #3. I mean, do you want to work in an office full of screeching hens? Of course not. Nobody does. But in this economy, you take the job at the chicken-processing plant and you thank whatever god you credit your luck to that you're in accounts-payable instead of plucking or de-beaking.


@wharrgarbl: At that time their secondary sex characteristics begin to appear, making it possible for anyone with a minimal amount of training to sex a chicken.


@Too Much Internet I'm more impressed with the people who can reliably sex chickens before their secondary sex characteristics appear, though I still don't want to work in an office with them (even if they promised to be quiet).


I could have written both #2 and #6. But I'd have to add my own, about the co-worker in the office next to mine who clears her throat at intervals that are irregular yet average out to four times per minute.

Also, the alt text for this image is AWESOME.


This does not block the sounds of my upstairs neighbor, who enjoys simultaneously stampeding (he is secretly a elephant, despite what my eyes tell me when I see him by the mailboxes) while playing rumbly video games (gamer elephant?).


@yeah-elle: Most likely he just ties entire hams to his feet and practices marching.


@yeah-elle We also have an elephant living above us, but as we never see the same men coming in and out of that flat we are forced to assume its a brothel or drug dealers house, run by elephants who like action films?


@megancress This elephant brothel sounds like it may be in league with my next door neighbor, a sneezing amphibian who likes taking showers at 3 a.m. and leaving the Mad Men dvd menu running on repeat.


@yeah-elle Your comment is giving me flashbacks to my horrible upstairs neighbor who liked to have screeching sex with his girlfriend right upstairs from my bed at least 3 times a day. Oh my word. Also: get a Sleepmate. Seriously, I do not know how they make those magic machines. Put it somewhere close to your bed, but give it enough space that it can reverberate all over. I have never slept/studied/whatever better. Seriously, check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Marpac-SleepMate-980A-Electro-Mechanical-Conditioner/dp/B000KUHFGM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326422236&sr=8-1.


@yeah-elle There are secret elephants living on my dorm hallway too! The best part is when they stomp by so heavily that everything in my room shakes.

fondue with cheddar

I listen to the White Noise app on my iPhone when I sleep. I prefer brown noise myself, because it's calmer and more soothing, and contrary to popular belief does not make you poop your pants.


@jen325 I think it's the brown note that is meant to make you poo. Unless you are so soothed by the calming brown noise that it causes the sphincter to relax, but only after you've listened long enough? Beware!


@jen325 Brown noise is my favourite. There are various places on the net you can download brown noise mp3s. Pink noise, on the other hand, makes me stabby. This is why I have to turn off all electronics in any room in which I try to sleep.


Yes, I also liked the brown noise the best. But we have to do something about the name! How about sepia noise?


@Craftastrophies I could feel my blood pressure going up just listening to all of them, but white was the worst, pink was somewhat less distressing, and brown was unpleasant but tolerable. Music all the way.


@jen325 i listened to the brown noise this morning for a while. and it really... relaxed... me. very effective, that brown noise.

fondue with cheddar

@megancress Yeah, I learned about the brown note in high school marching band. The sousaphone player would always threaten to play it.

@Craftastrophies Yes, pink noise is the worst! I don't know how anybody could willfully listen to it.

Nicole Cliffe

I use this app to give my baby head cancer.


@Nicole Cliffe Soothing, soothing head cancer.

The Bitchuation

for three years, I had to use a white noise app on my iphone to sleep at night because of a half-deaf upstairs neighbor lady who loved late night TV. I tried them all and settled on the "Airplane Interior". I tried "Purring Cat" but it was so realistic that my cats went nuts and tried to tear apart my speakers in an attempt to find the invisible happy kitty.


Did I write #2 and then forget about it (possibly because I entered a murderous fugue state after listening to those noises)? Actually, no, I couldn't have, because a) I didn't know about this SimplyNoise thing, and b) I would have never left whistling off the list.


I seriously had no idea this was a thing? I quite like sleeping with some sort of noise in the background, like the TV or a podcast, but white noise is the WORST. It totally puts me on edge, even just testing the sample drove me mad. It makes me want to fix it because ala Ms Clavel something is not right whenever you hear this noise! It's the in-between-channel-electrical-device-help-me-please signal. Plus, I didn't even know there were other 'colours', can someone please enlighten me?!


@Sundae For real! White noise just stresses me out and kind of makes me want to die.


The pink noise made my dog go nuts and whine at the ceiling for 30 seconds then promptly fall asleep.


@SallyForth My cat is totally uninterested in the pink and brown noises, but every time I switch to the white he jerks his head up and flicks his ears back and forth. Fascinating!


Ok, no, seriously - I love this site, and I have a non-internet-dependent white noise generator on my iPod. I am utterly dependent. Should I finally break down and go to the doc for a proper adult ADHD diagnosis?
And FWIW - my cat ignored it. But she's gifted, so that may be a factor.


I don't care one way or another about white noise, but I enjoyed the Silence of the Lambs reference in Katie Heaney's byline.


Has anyone heard of misophonia? It was the only explanation I could find for noises causing me so much white hot anger and frustration. I use a fan by my bed at night to drown out the snuffling and snorting of my beau, but use music during the day (essential to drown out my office mate, who takes long slluuuuuurrrrpppss from her water bottle - the kind who make a huge loud noise when they refill with air after taking a sip?)


@teenie One of my friends thinks she has it. I think if we ever lived together she would probably murder me in my sleep. (I can't help that I snore!)


@teenie YESSSSS and it is awful! Things like listening to someone chew with their mouth open or scrape teeth on their fork sends me into this fiery ball of rage that feels so irrational yet I can't control it. I've had to move seats in a restaurant before if I can hear someone smacking at a another table, it is really that bad :/

Also, I think it might be hereditary (or a learned behavior, maybe)? My mom is the same way.


@WastedPaper it's semi hereditary, in that it seems to be linked to anxiety stuff (OCD specifically). Mine has gotten better since I've started therapy for ocd and anxiety. For me, finding help has been a combination of finding some coping techniques (like having earphones at my desk to listen to music if the slurping starts), practicing meditation (i know, I KNOW so boring but it works) and not kicking my ass over feeling like a "bitch" about it. Doing that last thing definitely increases my anxiety, which increases my ocd, which makes it all worse, and it SNOWBALLS holy hannah how it snowballs.


@teenie Right there with you. WastePaper too. Just reading the description of the officemate who slurps from the bottle made my heart rate go up - I have the same officemate. STAB. I have no idea if it's learned or not, but I am so sensitive to sounds, both obnoxious gross ones like chewing with mouths open (THE WORST THE WORST THE WORST), and just generally really loud noises. Like the turbo hand dryer in the bathroom in my office, which is deafening if you're in the bathroom. Or those blow-up plastic tubes they hand out at sporting events for people to bang together. Gaaaaah! I went to a local NBA D-league game and it was the first time I experienced those torture devices - I actually had a mild anxiety attack and we had to leave in the 2nd quarter. I wish I knew why that stuff bothers me so much. I feel like a bit of an ass about it, like ooo, delicate flower, the noises hurt you? Ah well. Could be worse.


@teenie Just saw your reply about it being semi-hereditary, and linked to anxiety stuff. Makes sense. Very interesting.


@Killerpants yeah, my dad had OCD really bad, he was a checker (it really started to hinder his life) and he HATED sounds - I remember having a cold as a child, and how angry/frustrated he would get at my uncontrollable coughing, pulling over at drug stores to get me medicine so I would either stop making noise or fall asleep (usually the latter). I'm not that bad - I have the OCD that is chronic fear of failure, that if you don't stay on top of everything and make sure everything is perfect that EVERYTHING WILL FALL TO PIECES. So it's a lot of mental acrobatics and neurotic relationship behavior, I have the misophonia, and that's about it. I think that if more people knew that it was a THING and that they're not just an asshole who hates everyone who makes noise, it would help them a lot. I know it helped me. I can actually do breathing exercises now when there are noises driving me crazy, and I don't freak out. I never want to put my hypothetical future children through something like that.


@teenie YUP, I have this. It's related to my rather extreme social anxiety. It doesn't bother me so much in a noisy environment, but in a quiet place like an office, chewing, swallowing, drinking, and any mouth noises drive me up the wall. Luckily I have a job where I can listen to music or podcasts all day long, from literally the moment I sit down until the moment I leave.

I can also be sent into near tears by the sound leaking out of other people's headphones. And I take New York subway every single day. That's fun. I have a white noise app for that on my phone. I usually use the rain sounds settings.

Weirdly, my partner snores but it does not make as anxious/angry as other noises do. I sleep with ear plugs in so he doesn't wake me up in the night, but I never get as mad as I do at my coworker for THE UNBEARABLE SOUND IT MAKES WHEN SHE EATS OATMEAL.


@Umlauts oh god. oatmeal? i'm so. sorry.


@Umlauts Wow, my officemate does the oatmeal thing too. The gumming, smacking sounds...I cannot deal. Every day. He eats it every day. I feel your pain so much.



Also, my father slurps (SLURPS!) his own saliva. Welcome to my own personal hell.


Argh, yes - so many annoying sounds! I am driven to rage so often by them. (I'm not sure if it's a Thing or if I'm just a really irritable person.)


@teenie Oh my god. Slurpy oatmeal, I can't even imagine. For me it started when I was a wee thing and my dad would eat toast like shards of glass at the table... Now I go crazy at work and feel like a terrible person for hating people when they're just eating their lunch.

I asked my boyfriend to chew less loudly recently and he said "but it's so much less efficent!" I hate having misophonia :(


I really hope # 7 isn't real. He sounds like a real charmer.


People like #2 are why I have been compulsively apologizing after every time I sneeze or blow my nose this week. I hate having head colds.


I just downloaded a white noise app to my phone due to random trouble sleeping (I typically sleep in total silence but hey, I'll try anything once) and some of the noises...I am baffled as to how this helps someone sleep. One is some kind of terrifying Gregorian chant music that sounds like the thing one would hear minutes before being sacrificed to someone's god. There's also acoustic guitar (which reminds me of Frat Douchebag Shirtless and Strumming in the Quad) and Chair Rocking (GHOSTS, RUN!) and then the howling of wolves (IMMINENT DEATH BY WOLVES). To each his own though.
So far I am using the rain and the campire one. At the same time, because it's a magical campfire.

Violet Strange

@Ialdagorth Wolves don't actually sound that bad to me since it seems like it would fall under 'non-yappy dog noise' that a lot of people learn to ignore, but campfire would probably give me serious nightmares. (It is a bad idea to allow relatives who are firefighters to tell work stories that end in the burn ward when there are children around.)

I'm usually someone who prefers total quiet to sleep, but on occasions where that isn't possible or isn't working for some reason I'm fairly certain Solo Piano by Philip Glass (specifically "Metamorphosis" 1-5) saved my sanity. And probably the lives of all the people I would have encountered while sleep deprived. Balances on that elusive "soothingly repetitive" zone without tipping into "infuriating and boring" the way all the traditional white noise type thingies do for me.


NUMBER SIX. NUMBER TWO. And yes, I am frequently close to murdering my officemate. So. close. I'm excited about this, I've been using a youtube pink noise one for forever, but it's not the best.


I think #6 should be higher. There's an actual threat in there! Yipes!

Fancy Mustard

Yikes, I may be be No. 1! I have intermittent tinnitus and brown noise is the only thing that drowns it out. I use the Ambiance Classic app, because I like to pretend there's a thunderstorm when it's sunny outside but I'm feeling morose and British.

Ivona Poyntz@twitter

Simply noise: too noisy


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