White noise and other soothing sounds, once mainly played on machines to aid nighttime sleep, are increasingly helping make daytime hours more serene.
Sound is classified by its audible frequencies and associated with a color based on where it falls on the spectrum of high to low frequencies. White noise is unique in that it’s random and includes all frequencies—akin to how white light has all the colors in the spectrum—and sounds like a hissing noise.
Janet Berkman, a 51-year-old retired project manager, in Toronto prefers the sounds of storms, wind, rain and running water when she is on the subway or trying to read in busy surroundings. Ms. Berkman started listening to the sounds late last year after she realized it helped her focus and concentrate. “Life is getting noisier,” she says, and listening to these sounds “kind of empties out my brain.”
To make the soothing sounds, developers take computer-generated sounds or sounds recorded in nature and make an audio file that usually is “looped,” or repeated. These digital files are then available at the iTunes store and on other websites.
I was interviewed by phone and then “fact-checked” a week later. I use the app by TM Soft called “White Noise”.
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