White Noise

Last Updated: January 2, 2019

Definition - What does White Noise mean?

White noise is defined as any noise containing multiple frequencies with equal intensities so that the resulting sound is not heterogeneous and not distinguishable as any one specific sound. White noise is used to drown out other sounds and can be used to mask background noises in an office or to help people sleep and relax. White noise allows the brain to ignore ambient sounds that may be rythmic or otherwise disturbing in nature, making it particularly useful in a busy office environment.

WorkplaceTesting explains White Noise

White noise is used to create a non-offensive area of sound so that the human brain can ignore sounds that might otherwise be distracting or disturbing. Because of the benefits of white noise to concentration and sleep, there are many white noise machines on the market for home and work use. One option is a pure white noise machine that generates sound naturally with air, similar to a fan. A second option is a white noise machine that has recordings of white noise and often additionally offers different soundscapes like oceans, forests, bird sounds, wind, rumbles, and rain or river sounds.


For individuals with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, white noise used can be used as a sound therapy to assist in reducing the symptoms of tinnitus. White noise is effective in tinnitus cases when used with other modalities because it reduces the contrast between the tinnitus signal and background noise.

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