School is back in session, which means testing season has begun. As we speak, my classmates are wracking their brains to prepare for a load of tests they have coming up, tests I studied for easily. How, you might ask, did I do that? Two words. White noise.

I’m sure you’ve heard of it, the static-y background noise used to block out distracting sounds to facilitate sleep or concentration. It was introduced to me by my engineer father when he was studying for some exam he had a few years ago, and I’ve used it ever since.

Upon doing some research, I’ve found that there are actually different types of noise. The names, all colours, respond to their frequencies and each one is best for a different type of noise.



White noise has the same amount of energy across its frequency bands, making it the flattest sounding one. It’s versatile and works for blocking out particularly loud noises, especially if they all happen at once, like the noise of a big city.


Pink noise was created to sound balanced to human ears and contains an equal amount of energy in each octave. Pink noise has more emphasis on lower frequencies and is good for relaxing while staying alert. This makes it helpful for studying.


Brown noise contains the lowest frequencies and is useful for blocking out deep, rumbling noises. Put on some brown noise to calm babies or pets during particularly loud thunderstorms or if you happen to live near a train station.


Each person responds to noises differently, and what you find soothing someone else might find irritating. For this reason it might be worth it to take a few minutes to figure out which works best for you.

I have definitely found that my study and sleep quality improves drastically when I have white noise playing in the background.

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