This Website Lets You Create Your Own Ambient Noise Blend

You no longer have to choose between a whale and a box fan.
Tune in to tune out.
Tune in to tune out. / (Worker) A-Digit/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images; (Background) Esra Sen Kula/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

If you want to block out the sounds of barking dogs, chatty coworkers, or whatever else is making it hard to focus in your surroundings, actual white noise might be your best bet. It’s a collection of all the sound frequencies humans can hear played at the same volume, so outside sounds tend to blend right into it. White noise’s popular offshoots, brown noise and pink noise, work similarly.

But if the whiny static of nonspecific tones isn’t exactly fun for your ears, real-life sounds like a rainstorm or a box fan can also get the job done. Plus, not everyone listens to ambient noise to mask their atmosphere—maybe it’s too quiet where you are, and you’d rather it sound like your local bar or café. (There’s a reason people favor that kind of din over their own cacophonous offices.)

Thanks to developer Matt Eason, you don’t have to trawl YouTube for your ideal combination of sounds: You can just make it yourself. Eason created Ambiphone, a website that lets you overlap as many different sounds as you want from a collection of nearly 50 options. These include nature sounds (e.g. wind, waves, thunder, birds); the noises of people and places (traffic, trains, crowds, a ticking clock, a fan, wind chimes, etc.); ambient music; binaural beats; several radios (say, a shipping forecast or Morse code); and some other types of noise (white included).

You can adjust the volume on each selection, so you could, for example, paint yourself an aural portrait of a crackling fire in the foreground with the faint sounds of birdsong and a trickling stream behind it. If you want to cast off the bounds of reality and listen to whales, the jungle, a cheering crowd, and a roller coaster all at the same time, that’s your right. Or you could combine white noise with a coffee shop or something similar to block out background noise and set a pleasant vibe simultaneously.

The site also features a feedback link where you can suggest other sounds for Eason to add. And if you want to support the endeavor, you can tip him on Ko-fi.

Explore Ambiphone for yourself here.