May
10
2011

Splendid Thing: White Noise Apps for Travel

Look, I am only going to say this once: if you fly, on a plane, with any regularity, there is something you need. I have decided that I can no longer fly without mine, and the few times I've tried to do it, I have regretted it instantly. No, it is not a lifesize cutout of Prince Harry*, but it is pretty close in its awesomeness.

It is a white noise app.

Friends, I cannot adequately express the lifechanging qualities of the white noise app. Is there a baby screaming in 14F? Is there an annoying conversation going on in 24C? Are you peculiarly bothered by top volume rap at 6:15am, particularly when it is spilling out of the tinny headphones of your neighbor in 7A?

White noise app, white noise app, white noise app. Turn it on, plug in your headphones, block it all out. Nothing will get past your white noise app.

I have one that seems to just be called, rather creatively, "White Noise App." It is made by TM Soft and it was free. While I usually just put it on "white noise," it has a bunch of other settings as well. One of them is "airplane" which seems a little counterintuitive---does it include babies screaming, annoying conversations, and top volume rap? Then how is it authentic?---but whatever floats your boat, I guess. Or, rather, keeps your plane aloft.

*Can you imagine trying to bring that as your carry-on? Would you get upgraded? Would you get chased, Justin Bieber style? Would you have to walk Harry through the metal detectors or would that count as two people going through at once? Is there a rule against bringing cardboard cutouts of royal family members on commercial flights? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Let me try and find out.

31 Comments

1
James
May 10, 2011

I received a pair of those Bose noise canceling headphones (that they always advertise in airports) and they rock. They're bulky, but so worth it on a plane.

2
Sarah Brown
May 10, 2011

I have this site bookmarked and prefer making my own pink noise version: http://www.simplynoise.com/

I love it for jetlag naps.

3
Lyne
May 10, 2011

I kid you not, a few months ago a girl flew with a life-size cutout of a shirtless 50 Cent. He was folded in three like an accordion but it was still too big for the overhead compartment. She ended up leaning him against the seat in front of her while his chiseled chest and buff arms were sticking out into the aisle, making a few people trip over him. I felt so embarrassed for her. Good luck with your challenge, though.

4
Emily
May 10, 2011

Once I was on a flight with Tocara (she of ANTM fame), and she was carrying a life size cardboard cut out ... of herself, advertising some kind of liquor. I think it was folded in half most of the time, but I could still totally tell it was her. Also, I recognized a non-winning ANTM alum even though I have not even watched that season.

Consider the white noise app downloaded.

5
Vicki
May 11, 2011

Holly, I had the strongest sense of déjà vu reading this 'Splendid Thing', I was absolutely sure you had written about this before because I remember downloading an app you recommended before I flew to Chicago.
Just to prove to myself I wasn't going crazy I checked and yep, you sure like your white noise :0) http://nothingbutbonfires.com/best-thing-ever/simplynoise-dot-com

6
Marcheline
May 11, 2011

I have built-in "white noise app". It's called tinnitus. For blaring rap music, I use the "left hook app".

7
abd
May 11, 2011

White noise apps are the best for travel. I always find myself using it while waiting to board. I downloaded ambiance because it has a subtle/progressive white noise alarm and a large library of white noise options (sounds of a dryer, children laughing, rain, insects). Every morning I slowly wake up to the sound of rain on a green house or the ocean. Awesome.

8
Marcheline
May 11, 2011

Hey abd, you can tell the color of the house by the sound? That's talent!

9
jes
May 11, 2011

I have that app! My favorite is Brown Noise. Didn't you say one time that you loved the Pink Noise? Maybe that was on a blog you wrote for The Window Seat...I don't remember.

Anyway, I don't reserve Brown Noise only for airplanes...I listen to it EVERY NIGHT!! :)

10
Rach
May 12, 2011

It's also super useful at work. I use it a LOT in my office...

11
Nothing But Bonfires
May 12, 2011

You guys are totally right -- I ALREADY WROTE ABOUT THIS! Well, sort of -- I wrote about Simply Noise (with the pink, brown, and white noise) which I just listened to on my computer, rather than an app that I downloaded onto my phone. But still! Get new material, self!

12
Sonya
May 20, 2011

I just downloaded the White Noise app on my android! Thank you!

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