White Noise: A Sound Masking Solution for the Hum Noise?


White noise is a random signal with a constant power spectral density.

It is sometimes used to improve the mood and performance of workers by masking background office noise. So could it be used to reduce the negative effects of the low-pitched hum on humans?

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Vintage sound masking system

The hum has negative effects on human health. People may develop nausea, headaches, and depressions. But there may be a simple solution to that humming noise turning people crazy around the world.

The solution is sound masking, or using another noise – the constant WHITE NOISE – to cover up the unwanted sound, to reduce it to a more acceptable level.

White noise is indeed a common synthetic noise source used for sound masking. According to several studies, white noise is used as privacy enhancers, sleep aids, to mask tinnitus, enhance the mood and performance of people by masking background noise.

I am however not sure if this method works. Here are various proposals:

  • You can buy a white noise machines. Most expensive solution but the noise is constant and not contaminated by other sources:

  • You cand turn try using your FM radio tuned to unused frequencies (“static”) as source of white noise. Although simpler and more cost-effective, […]the white noise generated from a common commercial radio receiver tuned to an unused frequency is extremely vulnerable to being contaminated with spurious signals, such as adjacent radio stations, harmonics from non-adjacent radio stations, electrical equipment in the vicinity of the receiving antenna causing interference, or even atmospheric events such as solar flares and especially lightning. So the result may not be as good as with white noise machines[…]

Using white noise should reduce or eliminate awareness of pre-existing sounds in a given area and can make your bedroom, your living room or even your entire home a more confortable place for those, who like you are hearing the Hum.

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