Sitting in silence can be mortifying, but sometimes, listening to music isn’t that much of a help either – even though it can improve how we feel, sometimes it’s too loud and distracting. White noise can be the best options in this kind of situation; it’s an ever-present noise, but nowhere near loud to the point that it becomes overwhelming.
White noise is a kind of ambient noise, which, in short, is any sort of background noise. While white noise tends to sound more like static, ambient noise can also include the sounds of waves, rain, summertime crickets, or the conversations of people around you that you don’t particularly care to eavesdrop into. Ambient noise is kind of a reassuring, ever-present comfort, there to remind you that you aren’t completely alone, but gives you the space you need at the same time.
Whether it’s to concentrate on a task at hand or to calm yourself down during a particularly anxious and tense time, there are many places to find ambient noise to play on your computer or phone (Spotify has a number of playlists under the Sleep and Focus genres if you need a place to start, and YouTube has an infinite number of hour-long videos). However, for a more interactive experience, A Soft Murmur (a website and an app) allows you to adjust different kinds of ambient noise for a personalized noise that’s just for you. There are ten categories, ranging from rain to coffee shops to a singing bowl, all with different volume controls so some can be louder than others.
Here, you can pretend you’re on a beach, the sound of waves around you with the cackling noises of a bonfire nearby. You can recreate being in a coffee shop during a thunderstorm, people’s voices around you drowning out the rumblings of the thunder. You can also have some fun and find out what a singing bowl is, blasting it amongst the sounds of rain, birds, white noise, and crickets all at once. Whatever it is, the website not only gives you what you want to listen to to relax, but also the control that we sometimes need to feel.
Would you consider listening to ambient noise if you don’t already? Would you enjoy having the ability to play DJ and control what kind of noise you listen to?