What Is Brown Noise and How Does It Benefit Mental Health?

The concept of brown noise has emerged as a potential tool to promote relaxation and improve mental health. Brown noise has gained attention for its ability to soothe and calm the mind. This article explores the potential benefits of brown noise, including stress reduction, better sleep, and enhanced concentration.

Key takeaways:
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    Brown noise sounds like a “hissing or “rumbling” sound and carries a low, deep frequency.
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    Studies have shown that those who listen to calming noise, including brown noise, white noise, and pink noise, have shown improvement in mental health through stress relief, better concentration, and improved sleep quality.
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    Several studies show a positive relationship between calming noise and improved concentration for those with ADHD. Although more studies on brown noise are needed, these current studies show promising results.

What is brown noise?

Brown noise is often described as having a deep, low-frequency sound similar to a waterfall, the wind blowing through trees or distant thunder. It is created by boosting the power of the lower frequencies. Brown noise, at its core, is a specific frequency based on certain characteristics and repetitions. Many sounds in nature mimic brown noise; they tend to mimic brown noise and may not align perfectly with the rhythm of brown noise but show very similar characteristics.

Brown noise is known to have a “hissing” or “rumbling” quality and therefore differs from other types of noise, such as white or pink noise. This particular sound is known to be immersive and soothing, and can help relax listeners and offer several positive health benefits.

The benefits of brown noise

Brown noise is commonly used for various purposes, such as sound masking, relaxation, and sleep aid. It can help eliminate unwanted background noise and promote relaxation by creating a soothing and constant sound environment. Many people find brown noise to be more calming and less harsh than other types of sound frequencies such as music or people talking. One great thing about brown noise is that it's very accessible and can be more cost-effective than other types of stress reduction therapies.

Examples of brown noise

Brown noise can be generated using various methods, including digital algorithms or physical devices. Normally, these digital sounds mock those in nature. Here are some examples in nature of sounds that resemble or simulate brown noise:

  • Waterfalls. The continuous rushing sound of a waterfall can exhibit qualities similar to brown noise.
  • Thunder. The low rumbling sound of distant thunder can resemble the characteristics of brown noise.
  • Wind. Strong gusts of wind blowing through trees or across open spaces can produce a brown noise-like sound, especially when the wind speed is high.
  • Ocean waves. The crashing of ocean waves against the shore or the repetitive motion of waves can create a sound similar to brown noise.
  • Rainfall. A steady rain shower with a consistent pattern of raindrops can exhibit brown noise.

Where to access brown noise

Because not everyone lives near a waterfall or the ocean, brown noise can be easily found online or through several cell phone applications that you can download for free or at a low cost. Listening to these brown noises on headphones or in a quiet room can help promote overall improved mental health and well-being.

What can brown noise help with?

Brown noise, white noise and pink noise are shown to help to improve mental health by promoting stress relief, better sleep, and concentration.

Stress relief

Brown noise has a calming effect on the nervous system. Its deep, low-frequency sound helps to drown out or mask distracting noises. This can create a more peaceful and relaxing environment, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. The steady and constant nature of brown noise can also promote a sense of stability and tranquility.

Better sleep

Brown noise can aid in improving sleep quality. Masking disruptive sounds, such as traffic noise or household disturbances, can create a more conducive sleep environment. Brown noise promotes a consistent background sound, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Its soothing qualities can also promote relaxation and a sense of comfort, helping with deeper sleep.


Brown noise can assist in improving concentration and focus. The consistent and steady sound of brown noise acts as a "blanket," masking sudden environmental noises and distractions. This can help individuals maintain a state of concentration by reducing the impact of external stimulation.


Brown noise has a soothing effect on the human brain and can help induce a state of relaxation. It has a gentle, low-frequency sound that can mask other noises in the environment, creating a calming atmosphere. Many people find it helpful for sleep, meditation, and stress reduction.

Can brown noise help people with ADHD?

Recently, scientists have found a positive relationship between white, brown, and pink noise and its impact on those with ADHD.

There are a number of positive studies that focus on white, brown, and pink noise and how they can help to improve sleep and cognition in children with ADHD. These studies show promising results for children and adults with ADHD. Brown noise specifically has not been well studied at this time, but the current studies on calming noise, such as pink and white noise, are promising.

Many experts note it’s hard to determine the different types of noise, as they can overlap. Without a musical ear, it’s hard to determine which noise is helpful for each individual when comparing white, pink, or brown noise, which makes studying the difference between the three complicated.

Risks associated with listening to brown noise

It's important to use brown noise at a reasonable volume and limit the duration of exposure. Listening to any sound, including brown noise, at excessively loud levels for prolonged periods can potentially damage your hearing. Maintaining a comfortable volume and taking breaks are recommended to allow your ears some rest.

What does science say about brown noise?

Brown noise research is still evolving; therefore, there are limited studies on brown noise specifically, and many available studies relate to pink and white noise. Although the studies are limited, calming noises, such as brown, white, and pink, are all shown to enhance environmental comfort, and patients show improvement in sleep quality, concentration, and stress relief. Several studies show that the relationship between calming sounds and noise can also help improve concentration at school, and one study showed improvement in reading and comprehension for children and teens who listen to calming music versus those who were in quiet rooms or loud rooms.

It's important to note that the effects of brown noise can vary from person to person. Some individuals find it more effective than others, and personal sound preferences can also play a role. There are a number of mental health applications that can be used to help promote better health and well-being through sound. Experimenting with different types of noise, including brown, white, or pink, can help determine what works best for you regarding stress relief, sleep improvement, and concentration.

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