Did you know that you can relax and focus by listening to noise?

 Elmer Fudd in bed watching Sylvester cat march back and forth playing trumpet and drum.

Okay, so maybe this isn't true for all noises, but using noise colors is a great way to focus!

Similar to how candy comes in different flavors, noises come in different sound combinations.

The combination of sounds creates different colors, and those colors can be used for different things, like focusing!

What Are Noise Colors?

Noises are collections of sounds.

A colorful hallway. Photo by Robert Katzki on Unsplash

  • Colors are used to describe the sound frequencies that we hear.

  • Frequencies are typically described as high or low, and noise colors are a combination of different types of frequencies.

This video shows an audible progression from low to high frequencies.

How to Use Noise Colors

Noise colors are intended to be used as background sounds.

A beautiful ocean scene with gentle waves lapping against a rocky shore.

You can use them to help you focus and relax!

Three noise colors — white, pink, and brown — are best used for this purpose.

White Noise

White noise has no pattern and is a mix of all sound frequencies humans can hear.

Creation: High and low sound frequencies are evenly played at the same time and create a static sound.

A person says,

Examples of white noise sounds include:

  • Television static

  • Radio static

  • Fans

  • Air conditioner humming

  • Radiators

  • Constant running water

  • Vacuum cleaner

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Also known as "broadband noise", white noise is believed to be good for:

  • Concentration while working

  • Improving and maintaining sleep quality

  • Helping babies cry less

  • Reducing hyperactivity symptoms

Pink Noise

Pink noise is the second most popular color after white noise.

Creation: Pink noise uses more low frequencies than white noise.

Frequencies switch between high and low but the overall sound is consistent and even.

Pink noise is compared to altered sounds of nature and creates steady background sounds.

A pink drop sending waves through pink liquid.

Examples of pink noise sounds include:

  • Wind blowing

  • Steady rain falling

  • Leaves rustling in the wind

  • Heartbeat sounds

  • Calm ocean waves

Flaticon Icon Also known as "ambient" sound, pink noise is believed to be good for:

  • Creating soothing sounds for sleep

  • Improving memory retention

Brown Noise

Brown noise has the lowest frequencies when compared to pink and white noise.

It's also known as "Brownian noise" and uses deeper, stronger frequencies to create a "bassier" sound.

Creation: Like white noise, brown noise generates sound randomly but has a lower frequency energy.

An animation of brown waves moving like a liquid.

Examples of brown noise sounds include:

  • Heavy rain

  • Thunder

  • Crashing waves

  • Rumbles of strong winds

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Brown noise is believed to be good for:

  • Improving concentration

  • Enhancing relaxation in times of anxiousness

What's With All This Noise?

Young child reading book while listening to audio through headphones

Like many things in life, a noise color that one person finds to be helpful may not have the same effect on another person.

It's a good idea to try each color of noise to see what works best for you!

This video offers a comparison of the three noise colors explained in this Byte:

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How to find noise colors

You can find noise color sounds through the following apps and devices:

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How to listen to noise colors

You can listen to noise colors with:

  • Headphones, best used in areas with distractions and other sounds.

    • NOTE: Be mindful of the volume set

      for your headphones to avoid

      hearing loss.

  • Speakers, best used when you're alone or in a quiet area.

Time to Practice

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Abdul is a second-year college student.

He's been feeling anxious about doing well on one of his final exams, and his anxiety has also made it harder to concentrate while studying.


Which noise color might help calm Abdul's feeling of anxiousness?

Take Action

Dog with over ear headphones on reading books

Take these steps to further your ability to focus!


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