Lack of sleep can make it really difficult to focus on our work or at school and gradually it can also negatively impact your mental and physical health. And if you are someone who has trouble sleeping, then you have probably heard about white noise. But, do you know what Brown Noise, White noise, or Pink noise actually is?
According to the report of the Sleep Foundation, 30% to 48% of older adults suffer from insomnia. Because our partner’s snoring, dog’s barking, and leaky sinks can easily make us casualties of restless nights.
That is why you should know the differences between brown noise vs white noise vs pink noise and which one is effective in which type of noisy surroundings. Because the reason why noises usually wake us up at night is not exactly because of the noise itself, but because of the sudden change in noise.
In this article, we have discussed what is brown noise, white noise, and pink noise and their major differences. Also, here we have covered blue noise, violet noise, and gray noise and the usage of all of these colored noises.
So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is Brown, White, and Pink Noise?
Do you know the reason behind you are unable to concentrate is not the noise itself but this is due to the change in noise, the person sleeping beside you while snoring or dogs barking in the nearby street are the best examples of change in noise?
Hence use of different noises can help you to mask all those unwanted noises and gives you a common noise all the time which makes your sleep better or increase focus in your studying or working.
Before moving forward, let me clear your thought on the light waves and sound waves as both move in waveform but the sound waves need a medium to traverse and light waves can travel in a vacuum.
I also suggest you be aware of Octave the basic term used in the acoustic, is the band of frequencies whose highest frequencies are twice as the lower frequencies.
The noise is of different types but most people use three types of noise as explained below.
What is White Noise?
White noise gets its name from white light as it is the combination or mix of all the frequencies of soundwaves and that is why many people use this to mask the other soundwaves.
You can imagine white noise as multiple things going together and generating their own frequencies and if you combine them all the ultimate result is white noise.
White noise frequencies range between 20-20,000 hertz, which includes everything which the human ear can hear and it is like white light which is a combination of every visible wavelength of light.
That means it is the combination of 20,000 different Tunes that which human ear can hear or the mind can perceive.
For example, in old TVs or radio, while there was no broadcast on the TV or radio you probably heard the sounds of pixels moving on the screen like hisss sound, that was white noise.
While taking a few other examples like rainfall or ocean waves or wind or fan sound, these also closely resemble the white noise because you are hearing the combinations of different sounds.
In the case of White Noise, you probably heard the higher frequencies sound louder as compared to low frequencies, which are sometimes annoying or may be pleasant.
The scientific reasons behind that are higher octaves contain more frequencies as compared to the lower hence, imagine how many frequencies it could hold at 20,000 Hz which in result louder noise.
If you don’t know then there are a lot of industries built around the production of white noise because research reveals the productivity or efficiency of work or focus increases with the use of white noise.
What is Pink Noise?
Pink noise is part of the white noise and it also ranges its frequencies between 20-20,000 hertz but here the major difference is with the power distribution among the frequencies.
Where white noise has equal power throughout the whole frequencies which causes louder noise at higher frequencies however pink noise is not having the same power for all the frequencies.
For higher frequencies, it cut the power per hertz, which in result no extra loudness at higher frequencies, or it has high power at low frequencies and low power at high frequencies.
Technically how this power will be balanced throughout with the increasing frequencies is by increasing the successive octaves which can contain more frequencies in it and balancing the power with low frequencies octaves.
Well in recent days pink noise has widely popular in business usage because of its increased productivity in masking low-frequency noises and increasing productivity.
Pink noise is mainly used to test the loudspeakers and for sound equipment to equalize and its frequency match with the brain waves which helps for positive sleep in general.
What is Brown Noise?
Brown noise is deeper than both pink and white noise and it is the combination of white noise, pink noise, and blue noise and somewhere close to white noise.
It was actually named in the name of the botanist Robert Brown in the 1800s and it is also known as Brownian noise because of the change in sound signal from one to another at any random moment.
White noise power remains the same throughout the octaves and pink noise power reduces as the frequencies got increased but brown noise is a bit different or inverse where its power got decreases significantly as the frequencies got an increase.
This means it has higher power at lower frequencies which somewhere resemblance to red noise as its frequency is low.
To experience a brown noise you can hear the noise coming from the waterfall. Brown noise is not easy to reproduce as the sound engineers have to use each sample to create the next one with an addition of randomness.
What are Blue, Violet, and Gray Noises
Well. in most cases we have heard or talked about what is brown noise, pink and white noise only but there are a few others that also play an important role in masking the surrounding noises.
What is Blue Noise?
Blue noise is like the inverse of pink noise where the power or energy of the signal will increase as the frequency of the noise got to increase.
This means you will feel louder at the highest frequencies. while referring to the proportion of the energy increased every successive octave is 3 decibels.
In a result each octave will have as much energy as the two octaves below it combines where an example of blue noise is the hissing water spray.
Blue noise is like blue light in the light spectrum which has higher frequencies and is mostly used to minimize distortions during sound mixing in the audio track.
What is Violet noise?
Violet noise is like blue noise where its power gets increases as the frequency of the noise get increases.
While comparing with Blue noise, its energy increase for successive octaves up to 6 decibels. Which means its lower end is slightly higher as compared to blue noise.
What is Gray Noise?
Gray noise is pleasant to hear and calibrated in the same way to maintain the noise sound the same as the pink noise.
It is close to the white noise but tuned specifically to the human ear so specially used in studies, of how a particular person’s hearing reaction differs from others.
Its lower end of the frequencies spectrum is more powerful as compared to the middle or higher end and allows higher frequencies to maintain equal power which makes it more pleasant to hear with the human ear.
Well, there is no direct example to explain the gray noise but somewhere you can hear it is the distant thunderstorm.
Usage of All These Colored Noises?
Well, we have learned almost every possible best noise type and their usage but do you really know how this all noise going to work and what color of noise is best while studying or working?
Let’s imagine you are seating in a room and communicating with a person then you can easily hear his voice and if later one other person joins you then you can easily differentiate who is talking at what.
But what if you are in a group chat of more than 100 people and that conversation changes in roar noise and if one new person joins, you won’t feel any differences because of our brain is unable to detect the differences?
Our brain always senses the change in noise even if it is small but what if you can give him constant noise?
It is the same case with the use of white, pink, brown, or any other Noise generation machine(Amazon) use as they give you a constant noise that matches with the brain waves.
If something changes to the outside noise, it won’t impact the noise your brain is already sensing from the beginning you have slept.
Here are the best example of noises you can use in daily life.
Help you to sleep in Noisy Surroundings
White noise is the perfect choice while sleeping overnight make sure to have white noise in a louder voice as it has the capacity to mask any noise coming while you are sleeping.
During night sleep there might be the case that you wake up with sudden loudness of the external noise and that will be taken care of while sleeping with white noise.
If you are interested in buying such White Noise source there are a few worth looking at Best White Noise Generation machines (Amazon).
Get your Focus while Studying
This especially works for students who are living in a noisy area and unable to focus on studying and searching what color noise is the best for studying.
In most cases, fairly recommended going with white noise as it is perfect to mask any noise coming while you studying.
It also depends on the loudness of the noise in which environment you are studying and according to that you can increase or decrease white noise loudness as per the surrounding.
If your job is consistent writing then it is recommendable to use the pink noise as research found that it helps to cut down the distractions while pauses during the writing or talking.
Hearing Disorder investigating
It is the case where you can use Grey noise as it has the ability to caliber according to normal hearing and this can be very easy to find the hearing disability of any human being.
In such a way there are multiple uses of noises and you can experience their own by setting up according to your surrounding.
Wrap Up On Brown Noise Vs White Noise
Research on brown noise still remains limited, however, existing evidence suggests that it may have the potential to help you improve focus, concentration, and sleep.
And white noise is excellent at masking loud sounds, which may be useful for you if you have young children in your house. However, brown or pink noise can be equally effective at calming, or creating a deeper sleep.
Also, there are many apps and internet playlists that let you mix and match different sounds and frequency strengths to make a unique sound that works best for you.
We really hope that our detailed article has helped you to understand the differences between brown noise, pink noise, and white noise and their usage. If you have any questions or doubts regarding this topic, please leave a message below in the comments section.
FAQ: Brown Noise Vs White Noise
As a lot of people don’t know the difference between the different types of noises, they have lots of questions in their minds. Here I have tried to answer some of those frequently asked questions.
Q1. What Noise Is Best For Anxiety?
Ans: White noise can be one of the perfect choices for you to help with anxiety, mainly if you have trouble sleeping at night. The steady drone of white noise is great for insomnia. You can also try pink noise for some common sleep disorders.
Q2. What Sounds Are Good For Mental Health?
Ans: According to various studies, natural sounds such as birds chirping, wind, and rain can make us feel better. Also, those natural sounds can improve health, increase positive affect, and lower stress and annoyance.
Q3. At What Age Should You Stop White Noise?
Ans: Some people usually stop using white noise by the time their child is almost 2 years old. However, others continue to use it until their child is about 3 to 4 years old. And many older kids and adults sleep better with it too.