It’s a fact that silence, like the kind created by our sealed, insulated dwellings, is an unnatural condition with harmful side-effects. Sounds like white noise can be immensely helpful in creating positive background noise in an otherwise silent home or office. White noise is also useful in masking the unwanted noise from a noisy workplace or hotel. Babies and small children also benefit immensely from white noise, as the sounds they heard for 9 months in the womb are suddenly absent in the outside world.
SimplyNoise is a straight-forward browser app that creates user-adjustable white noise. Just move the slider to adjust the volume. New features, like “improved white noise” and downloadable MP3’s are on the way soon.
If you’d prefer a native application, check out Noise, a Mac OS X application that you can use to generate white or pink noise.
Update: Noise has been replaced by Noisy.
And if you want a real-life sound machine, the HoMedics SS-2000 isn’t bad for $20.