Have you ever stepped into a room that felt eerily quiet? If so, you already know a little about how noise levels (or lack thereof) can impact your mood. Natural sounds are relaxing because they tend to be constant and at a pleasant pitch. Your brain understands these are non-threatening noises, thus reducing your fight-or-flight response and lowering your stress levels. What other types of noise can soothe your mind? Let’s discuss!
White noise can be loosely compared to TV or radio static. It contains all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure. This consistency helps mask other sudden changes in noise. It is often played in schools and offices, as it is thought to improve work performance, make us feel more at ease, and even help counteract ADHD symptoms. If you want to try white noise but don’t have a sound machine, you can simulate it naturally with whirring fans or humming air-conditioners.
Pink noise, also called “ambient noise,” is a constant background sound that filters out other distracting sounds. Pink noise differs from white noise because it is a steady hum of deeper sounds at lower wavelengths. The low pitch of pink noise makes it (for some people) gentler and more soothing. Examples of pink noise include steady rain, the wind blowing through leaves, and ocean waves.
Brown (or Red) Noise
Brown noise sits at the low end of the sound spectrum. It is deep and strong without any high-frequency elements. For example, rumbling sounds with bass-like tones would be considered brown noise. Brown noise can help certain people concentrate, as it is known to counteract ringing in the ears and sharpen thinking skills. Real-world examples of brown noise include thunder, powerful waterfalls, and showers with plenty of water pressure.
For most people, blue noise is an annoyance rather than something that enhances focus and performance. However, some people prefer it to the other colors. Like white noise, blue noise contains every audio frequency, but the difference is that the high pitches are amplified, resulting in a sound that many would consider “harsh.” One common example of blue noise in action is a hiss, such as what comes from an air hose with a leak.
Which type of noise do you prefer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!