Have you considered trying a white noise machine, also referred to as a "sound machine", to treat your tinnitus? With so many different options available on the market, it may seem difficult to know which sound machine is best for treating tinnitus.
Sound machines range in stimulus, price, and features such as whether they are portable or Bluetooth compatible. It's necessary to consider your unique needs when selecting the right sound machine to treat your tinnitus.
Sound machines produce a soft, soothing sound that is referred to as the "stimulus." Sometimes the stimulus is also referred to as "masking."
The sound stimulus may be white noise, pink noise, ocean or waves, leaves rustling in the wind, or other types of relaxing sound that aims to cover, mask, or blend the tinnitus such that it is less noticeable or bothersome.
What is white noise, anyway?
The most important considerations for selecting the sound stimulus are that the sound should feel soothing and be kept at a relatively low volume. You may still hear your tinnitus at times while using a white noise machine, and that's okay.
You should feel relaxed while you are using a noise or sound machine. While using a sound machine, try not to engage in active listening or conversation, and instead focus on feeling relaxation and relief.
The Overall Best White Noise Machines for Tinnitus
Sound machines come with a variety of features. Common features of sound machines include:
- Sound variety: white noise, pink noise, nature sounds (e.g. rain, waves)
- Bluetooth compatibility to sync with a smart phone to stream music
- Portability / size
- Timer feature
- Price range
Overall, the most important feature of the sound machine is whether it offers the right combination of features to address your specific needs. Here are a few top-rated white noise machines on the market.
Best White Noise Machine for Sound Variety
Sound Oasis Bluetooth Tinnitus Sound Therapy System provides 24 built-in sounds for tinnitus, Bluetooth compatibility in order to stream music from a phone or other Bluetooth device, as well as compatibility with the Sound Oasis Professional Tinnitus Frequency app.
Best White Noise Machine for Tinnitus at Nighttime or During Sleep
The Hatch Restore sound machine also functions as a smart light for waking up through the Sunrise Alarm Clock feature and as a comforting bedside reading light. It can be controlled using either the app or by touch control.
Upgrade to Hatch Sleep Premium in order to access a library of relaxing sounds, meditation, and sleep stories.
Best White Noise Machine for Travel
Marpac Yogalseep Rohm is compact, rechargeable, and offers a handle so that it can be conveniently hung on a hook or handle. At only 3.5" in diameter and 3.8 ounces, it is small and light. It also operates throughout the night after one full charge. Finally, this sound machine offers three different sounds as well as dynamic volume control.
Best Budget White Noise Machine
Homedics White Noise Machine features six soothing sounds, volume control, and a timer. It is also lightweight can be portable with use of four AA batteries. It is available for purchase at a low price point of under $20 USD on multiple sites.
Tips for Using White Noise Machines for Tinnitus Treatment
In addition to using a white noise machine for tinnitus, there are a number of strategies and considerations that you can use to optimize your tinnitus management. Sound therapy for tinnitus is a powerful tool for managing tinnitus intrusion.
Consider the following tips:
Optimize White Noise Machine Use
- Reduce other background noise while using a white noise machine
- Set the volume to an audible but comfortable level, it's okay if you can still hear your tinnitus sometimes while using white noise therapy
- Pick a stimulus that is pleasant but not interesting (e.g. don't listen to music that you'll sing along with)
- If using a timer, set the timer for longer than you think you'll need to fall asleep so as to give yourself coverage if you wake up while falling asleep
- If traveling with a portable white noise machine, pack extra batteries or make sure the device is fully charged before departing
- You may benefit from the convenience of using multiple sound machines for different situations (e.g. one for the bedroom, a second one for the office or a portable one for travel)
Complement White Noise Machine Use With Other Therapies
- You may be interested in top noise cancelling headphones for tinnitus
- Learn about how to sleep with tinnitus while using a white noise machine
- Check out resources for CBT for tinnitus and mindfulness activities to optimally manage tinnitus
Comparison of White Noise Machines
The Oto app is a comprehensive tinnitus solution that offers pleasant and relaxing audio landscapes, including white and pink noise stimulus, as well as:
- CBT techniques to reduce tinnitus intrusion
- Meditation and relaxation activities
- Exercises to promote relaxation and physical wellbeing
- Sleep support
Also, check out Oto's Tinnitus Support Group, a supportive community for individuals with tinnitus or related conditions to receive regular tips and tricks from the expert team at Oto!