We live in a stressful world these days, in a jungle where survival of the fittest rules. Grocery shopping, doctors appointments, picking the kids up from school, walking the dog, work overtime, family commitments, lack of sleep, nagging spouse… I could go on. By the end of the day, you are crawling into your bed, hoping to be left alone, so your shattered nerves can get a rest before round two tomorrow. Before the kids come through screaming, the alarm clock is going off, the dog is barking — what a wonderful world!
That’s why you need an ambient noise app for your smartphone. Ambient noise, also known as background noise, is simply different kinds of noise which you can listen to in order to relax. Think about it for a moment. What kind of setting makes you relax? The sound of a bustling cafe? A rain shower? Thunder and rain? Birds chirping? A flowing river? It’s these kinds of things which are known as ambient noise, and you can get high quality recordings of them to listen to, either on a website or on your phone.
Today, we will be looking at ones for the phone, although if you are looking for web-based examples, two I like are Soundrown and Defonic. But without further ado, here are the smartphone ones. All are iOS apps, and a few of them also have Android versions.
This one is limited to just three ambient noises, all related to cafes. Morning Murmur (quiet chatter), Lunchtime Lounge (a bit busier), and University Undertones (intellectuals whispering profound wisdoms). On their website (which auto-starts an audio file when the site loads – be warned), they also have a premium option with more sounds, but the premium option seemingly has been temporarily put on hold (those crowds are probably getting a bit rowdy).
Coffitivity also provides links to your music library on your phone, as well as other music sources – Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Songza, and Last.FM.
The app is free and available for iOS, Android as well as Mac OS X.
I particularly like this one because you can take an ambient noise – such as white noise (good for blocking out sound) – and then you are given different sliders to make your own specialised tone. Some sliders raise the pitch of the tone, others lower it. Simply play around with it until you get the one you want.
Sleep Pillow is rather a nice little app to listen to, as it allows you to mix your sounds up. The sounds available are chirping birds (naturally), water, thunder, fire, and the one I like the most – whale noises. Better watch out that it doesn’t attract the Starship Enterprise.
The last one is called Relax Melodies, and it consists of several apps. You have the main app, and then the Oriental version (screenshot above), and Seasons. Normally you have to pay for the premium editions, but right now the company is giving away the premium versions for free.