Sound Apps for Peacefulness and Productivity

What can babies, tinnitus sufferers, and insomniacs all benefit from? The soothing power of nature sounds and ambient noise. Research has shown that listening to natural sounds, such as birdsong, a burbling brook, or wind in the trees, generates a calming effect on brain connectivity and nervous system activity. These changes result in reduced mental stress and improved ability to focus and were evident regardless of whether the sounds were recorded or coming from a real environment.

A number of apps (many of them free) conveniently deliver all kinds of nature sounds, from water to wind and everything in between. You can also stream the spectrum of soothing ambient noises (such as white, pink, or brown noise), which babies respond well to and can also be helpful to mask or distract from the internal noise associated with tinnitus.

Here are some of the best online music and sound apps to download right now for help with concentration, stress, insomnia, or eliminating work distractions:


For custom, designer-like background noises, check out myNoise for your Apple computer or iPhone. Professional sound designer and engineer Dr. Stéphane Pigeon has collected interesting sounds from around the world, including creaking sailboat ropes and Tibetan choirs. Background soundscapes include coffee shop noises and airport terminal sounds. People with tinnitus can try the neuromodulator option. The binaural beats generator is supposed to harmonize brain waves for deeper sleep.

Relax Melodies

Babies and their parents love the mix-and-match options on the Relax Melodies app for iOS or Android. This app was developed by 2 software engineers to help with tinnitus and insomnia. You can easily combine natural and relaxing sounds, like crackling fire, rustling leaves, hair dryer, or vacuum cleaner. This app has a timer option to shut off sounds after a specified period of time, as well as the ability to add a guided meditation to your sleep sounds.

White Noise Market

If you prefer an ever-changing variety of noises, try White Noise Market, the “social network of sounds” for both iOS and Android; new sounds are added every day. Discover thousands of natural and industrial soundscapes when you search by category, featured, or recents. Upload your own audio clips to share with the community. Comment on and “favorite” sounds, plus interact with other users.