What’s the Difference Between Pink Noise, Brown Noise and White Noise?

Does your mind start to run away with you when it’s just a litttttle too quiet in the room? You aren’t the only one. That’s because, in silence, every tiny little sound is accentuated. It stands out — it distracts. And before you even recognize it, your attention has shifted. 

White noise can help with this, as can all sorts of other “colors” of noise, by blocking out sharp, unexpected noises with a dull, all-encompassing din. Here’s how these magic sounds are built:

White Noise

The various “colors” attached to noise — pink noise, brown noise and white noise, for example — refer to unique patterns of frequencies audible to the human ear. Just as white light is made up of all the colors of the rainbow, white noise is made up of every frequency humans can hear. 

White noise sounds like:

  • TV static
  • Steam hissing

White noise is best used for:

  • Nighttime sleep
  • Concentration
  • Sound therapy

Pink Noise / Brown Noise

Pink noise and brown noise, on the other hand, do not feature every sound at the same level. While still covering the spectrum, pink noise and brown noise are both a lot beefier in the lower frequencies, with brown noise being the deepest of the two.

Pink noise sounds like:

  • Ocean waves
  • Rustling leaves
  • Rainfall

Pink noise is best used for:

  • Nighttime sleep
  • Napping
  • To enhance memory

Brown noise sounds like:

  • Rolling thunder
  • The roar of a waterfall
  • A strong wind

Brown noise is best used for:

  • Relaxation
  • Improved focus
  • To create calm

Have you tried white noise therapy?

59 comments

Peter B
Peter B7 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Beth S
Barbara S9 days ago

tyfs

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer10 days ago

hmmmmmm. ok

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danii p
danii p13 days ago

thanks for sharing

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danii p
danii p13 days ago

thanks for sharing

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danii p
danii p13 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Melisa B
Mia B13 days ago

thanks

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Bill E
Bill Eagle16 days ago

Amazing. I had no idea that noise had "color."

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Toni W
Toni W20 days ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W20 days ago

TYFS

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