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?

66 comments

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin20 days ago

when i was young i heard brown noise was a special frequency that made people lose control of their bowels

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Mike R
Mike R23 days ago

Thanks

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Lizzy O
Past Member 24 days ago

well i'm deaf thanks anyway.

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Doris F
Doris F28 days ago

@C2...what happens with C2 ?????
All actions are break down ! hmmmpfff :-(

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Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan Hillabout a month ago

thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy Babout a month ago

Interesting.

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Peter B
Peter Babout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

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Beth S
Barbara Sabout a month ago

tyfs

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyerabout a month ago

hmmmmmm. ok

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danii p
danii p1 months ago

thanks for sharing

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