The Best Free Background Noise Generators For Working, Gaming, And Studying

Photo: JanFillem

There are tons of background sound sites and apps, but most do the same things. We’ve compiled the best ones, all free online, plus a collection of the best background sound mobile apps. Use them as background noise while you work, read, study, play a tabletop RPG, or even in the background of a party.

Complex soundscapes for gaming and reading

These lively soundscapes have a lot of moving parts. They’re great for background sound during a tabletop RPG, or for recreating the sounds of your favourite book or movie.

  • myNoise: A big but well-curated library of 150 ambient soundscapes, each of which includes several sound loops that can be individually controlled or set to multiple preset combinations. My favourites are Japanese Garden, the piano mix 88 Keys, and the monastic The Name of the Rose. Also on iOS, Android, and Alexa.

  • Ambient Mixer: Thousands of customisable soundscapes, and the ability to create your own. Because anyone can add a soundscape, there’s less quality control, but you can browse popular mixes to see the best. The real problem is that you will waste time browsing and tweaking soundscapes instead of doing whatever you wanted this in the background for. Favourites include the Hufflepuff Common Room, Aboard a Pirate Ship, Working in a Lab, and Victorian London. Also on iOS and Android.

Basic soundscapes for reading and working

These sites offer fewer options, so they’re less distracting. Use these collections of nature sounds and café ambience while you quietly work and study.

  • Listen to Wikipedia: Visualizes Wikipedia edits in real time, with gentle ambient sound effects that give a zen garden vibe.

  • White Noise Web Player: A simple Flash player offering white, grey, brown, pink, blue, and violet noise. You’ll need to enable Flash in your browser.

  • Noisli: Choose and combine 16 simple ambiences, including forest, coffeeshop, and train tracks. I like to combine the library and campfire settings; I call it Fahrenheit 451.

  • A Soft Murmur: Mix 10 ambiences, including thunder, crickets, birds, and Tibetan singing bowl. Also on iOS and Android.

  • Soundrown: Mix 10 ambiences, including café, playground, fountain, and nighttime forest.

  • Coffitivity: Three coffeehouse loops full of unintelligible chatter, to drown out silence and give the feel of working in a café. Also on Mac.

  • Jazz and Rain: Two sounds, baby: the gentle hiss of rain and sweet smooth jazz.

Chill music for reading and working

Some people can listen to any kind of music while they work, but a lot of us need especially calm, instrumental, or ambient music. Some of these mixes are livelier than others, but they’re all more ideal for working than typical pop and rock.

Read more

Apps for on-the-go noise

Unlike all the resources above, some of these apps cost a little money, usually under $US5 ($7).


Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now