White Noise + App for the iPhone and iPad has currently gone free (normally 1.99 – and as always when the price will change is a mystery). I would consider this a sensory, relaxation, mental health app used for with a variety of students or clients to help calm, de-stess, support relaxation or anxiety and block distractions or sounds. Apps like these support goals of self – regulation for children, students or adults and can be easily integrated with mobile device and used ubiquitously.
The app is loaded with white noise sound selections (not complete list):
- African Drum, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Zen Gong, Flute
- Bird, Horse, Owl
- Cat Purring
- Jungle, Meadow
- Heart Beat
- Brown, White or Pink Noise (ever hear of those? I haven’t but they are grades of white noise sounds for more info visit Colors of Noise or White Noise, Oh So Lovely see info at end of post)
- River, Sea, Water drops, Waterfall
- Rain, Wind, Campfire
- And many more
The sounds can be mixed (Mixer), timed and saved for customized sound mixes. Your customized mixed are saved in Play Lists providing unlimited (almost it seems) choices of mixed sound set to your preferences and perhaps your moods. Other options available include volume control and quantity of time for each sound mix and the ability to edit those settings. A timer option provides the ability to set the amount of time of your mix and allows fading out choices of 5 seconds to 3 minutes. Here is an image of a sound mix and the editing settings available (amount of time and sound level for each sound):
This will be one more app I will include in my sensory and relaxation apps that can be used with adults and children to de-stress, calm and reduce distractions.
Interested in a bit more about white noise? When checking out therapeutic research about the use of white noise I stumbled upon much more information about the uses of white noise. It also clarified the use of the term white noise, which as in the above app is used I believe in a general sense versus the real scientific “white noise” which has some definite research base to its use. So if interested here is a bit more about white noise and of course other resources (app) specific to the use of “white noise”.
White noise defined also called white sound and is a steady, unvarying, unobtrusive sound, as an electronically produced drone or the sound of rain, used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds, or scientifically is random noise with a uniform frequency spectrum over a wide range of frequencies (dictionary.com). Similar to white light and is a combination of all noises randomly presented. As in the app reviewed above there are also color noises, some being more noisy than others. Visit Colors of Noise wikipedia article for noise colors information (did you know there also are blue, grey and violet noise too?). Here are some visuals of white, pink and brown noise from White Noise, Oh So Lovely and her thoughts on white noise to de -stress.
Of course there is a true white noise app featuring only white, pink or brown noise called SimplyNoise (iOS lite and full – .99 version available; Android app .99 also available) providing higher quality varieties of white noise and option of oscillation in their app. Unfortunately the light version app only provides example of their white noise however their website provides trials of all the sounds. Go to the Simply Noise website to test the noise colors. Although there is not much research information to back use of their “white noise” on their website however it is suggested for use for offices, enhancing focus, mask tinnitus, aid memory among others. They offer their SimplyNoise tools on their website for use on the computer for work situations.
Other sources of information and research on the application of white noise suggests it as a memory enhancement for individuals with ADD/ADHD. Research performed indicated that white noise enhanced memory for students with ADD/ADHD but reduce performance for students who did not have attention problems. See the article at:
Geonome Medicine – The effects of background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children: http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/6/1/55
Bottom line depending on the type of “white noise” you are using this intervention may not only calm or de-stress but affect memory skills of some individuals. As always it take knowing and monitoring your client to see what will be effective. Application of sound interventions also appear to be best applied individually and can be efficiently done on mobile devices as iPod/ iPhones/ iPad or an Android device.
Will these be adding a white noise app to your OT iTool Kit and who will you use them with?