Can Neighbors Hear Your White Noise Machine?

What comes to mind when the phrase white noise is mentioned is a noise that could be soothing or relaxing. A white noise machine is an excellent purchase because it helps eliminate unwanted external sounds and plays different sounds at varied frequencies. But can your neighbors hear your white noise machine?

Neighbors cannot hear the white noise machine unless it’s on maximum volume. However, If they happen to hear the white noise machine, it will sound like rain or wind blowing from your direction. The sound they hear will not be distracting or interfere with their activities.Can Neighbors Hear Your White Noise Machine However, does the white noise bother your neighbors? Read on to learn more about how these machines work, who else can hear the white noise and any health benefits of using a white noise machine.

What Is White Noise?

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White noise derives from the name white light, which means a combination of various frequencies of sound the human ear can detect. Since white noise consists of different frequencies, you can use it to mask other sounds.

With white noise, you hear varying tones simultaneously, with the end blurring into a shushing or hissing sound. That’s why most white noise platers feature natural sounds like oceans, wind, rain, or waterfalls. Different tones are created by nature, something that translates into natural white noise.

How Do White Noise Machines Work?

A white noise machine is a unit that produces sounds like blowing wind or a hushing waterfall. This type of machine has different uses like aiding in sleep, helping in power napping, blocking external sounds, and testing audio. People with tinnitus also use the white noise machine to mask their symptoms.

You can also choose pink or brown noise that is transmitted through higher frequencies. These noises come in handy when you’re trying to block external noises.

Is It Possible for the Neighbor to Hear Your White Noise Machine?

Your neighbor can hear your white noise machine, but this depends on other factors. People with covered doors/windows, thick walls, and soundproof curtains won’t hear the sound of a white noise machine.

Also, there’s a less probability of your neighbor hearing the white noise machine even if your walls are thin and the windows are not covered properly. In case the sound reaches them, it will sound like rain or wind blowing from your end.

The white noise machine can only be heard by your neighbors when it’s at the maximum volume. However, the normal volume won’t interrupt or offend your neighbors.

Are you wondering who else could hear your white noise machine? If you have a small baby, he or she could benefit from the machine’s sound. The sound soothes and conditions the baby to sleep. Read “When To Stop Using White Noise For Your Baby?”

Are There Any Benefits of Listening to White Noise?

White noise consists of a combination of different frequencies of sound, which translates into a calming sound. This type of noise can come from a baby noisemaker, the signal between radio frequencies, or download it through a white noise app.

Below are some benefits of white noise.

Aids in Sleep

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that close to 30% of American adults do not get enough sleep each night. Lack of quality sleep not only affects your productivity, but it also harms your physical and mental health.

White noise contains energy that is distributed equally, something that leads to a continuous humming sound. White noise has frequencies of equal intensity, and it helps to mask other external sounds that could stimulate the brain. It’s the reason white noise is recommended for sleep disorders and difficulties like insomnia.

White noise also helps improve babies’ sleep, since the sound conditions the baby to fall asleep as it reminds them of the sounds inside the womb.

Helps With Meditation

If you’re finding it hard to meditate due to external distractions, you may want to try using white noise during your meditation sessions. The noise has a similar relaxing effect, like when listening to music.

Combining meditation with white noise helps reduce anxiety, reduce stress, promote emotional health, aid with memory recollection, and open up your self-awareness.

Boosts Concentration

White noise produces a soothing and calming effect and eliminates background noises, which helps improve your concentration and focus on what you are doing. It also comes in handy for kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as it not only calms them down but makes them more attentive.

Reduce the Symptoms of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition where there is a ringing in the head constantly. The sound in the head without an external source can be distracting. Over time, it can lead to chronic fatigue and depression. Individuals with tinnitus may find it challenging to get enough sleep and often end up with insomnia.

White noise machines can help drown out the noises if tinnitus is distracting your sleep. These devices produce residual inhibition, which makes tinnitus less noticeable after the machine has been turned off.

While there are no scientific trials to conclude the efficacy of using masking devices, most hearing experts recommend starting with strategies like using a fan at night or setting the radio at low volume.

Blocking Out White Noise Machines

White Noise Machine


Although white noise machines aren’t too loud to disrupt or disturb your neighbors, you’d eat to maintain peace by ensuring that the noise doesn’t get to your neighbor.

Here are some ways you can soundproof your space.

Soundproof the Walls

Living in an apartment exposes you to your neighbor’s noise and vice versa. These noises pass through a shared wall, as most walls are thin. You can soundproof the walls by using panels and foam made from fiberglass.

The fiberglass material is thick enough to absorb noise. You can also add drywall over the existing wall to block noise from getting in or out. A canvas painting also reduces noise transfer between walls.

For more effective options, read my article on soundproofing walls.

Soundproof the Windows

Windows are another area that allows noise to get in and out. Start by sealing any gaps and cracks with a sealant. Adding acrylic to the windows is another way to soundproof the windows.

You can also get double-paned windows to block out sounds. The best part of the double-paned windows is that they also help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

For more effective options, read my article on soundproofing windows.

Cover Your Doors

Sounds can also come in and out through hollow doors. Sometimes, worn weather-stripping could also pass sound. Check to see if it’s worn and replace it to seal any openings. That will soundproof your doors (read my article).

Don’t forget to check for gaps and cracks around the door. Use a sealant to fill the cracks, and you’ll notice a difference.

Isolate the Noise on Your Ceiling

Nothing is distracting as neighbors upstairs pushing, pulling, or jumping when you want to get sleep. Adding a drop ceiling below the existing drywall helps to isolate the noise. You can also opt for acoustical tiles to isolate noise on your ceiling. An acoustical mat is an excellent choice to soundproof your ceiling.


It’s unlikely that your neighbors will hear your white noise machine. However, if they happen to hear some noise, it will be like a humming sound or rain and not a disturbing sound. You may want to invest in a white noise machine to help you relax, get your babies to sleep through the night, or mask noises at night.

If you are worried about the white noise getting to your neighbors, you can use the tips above to soundproof your premises. It will create a calming environment and also eliminate external distractions.

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