Best Baby Sound Machines

If you’re looking for a baby sound machine that plays white noise or other soothing sounds to help your baby fall asleep, you’ve come to the right place! We asked Pampers Parents to vote on the best sound machines and review them for you, so you can more easily choose the right one. Plus, we’ve added some information on what features to look for when browsing, and how to safely use a baby sound machine once you have one.

Do You Need a Baby Sound Machine?

Some parents find that a baby sound machine is a great tool to help soothe their baby before sleep. Although each baby is different, some babies enjoy having some ambient or calming sounds as opposed to a completely quiet room. Although you don’t need a sound machine to produce white noise (for example, you could use another kind of audio player, run a fan that’s positioned to blow against a wall and not on your baby, or turn on the vacuum cleaner in the next room), some parents like the convenience of a dedicated baby sound machine. Having a portable baby sound machine also makes it easier to take your baby’s favorite sounds with you when you’re going on vacation, for example. Some parents also like to use a sound machine to help mask noises coming from other rooms, such as older children playing or an adult walking around. If your little one has colic, you may find that playing white noise sometimes helps soothe colicky crying. Older babies and toddlers may have difficulty falling asleep due to sounds coming from the rest of the house or outside. A sound machine can help mask these sounds and may help lull your child to sleep. Keep in mind that not all babies like white noise, or the specific sounds that come preset in sound machines. You may have to try one and test the different audio options to see whether it helps or hinders in calming your baby.

Features to Look for When Choosing a Baby Sound Machine

These are some of the features to consider when buying a baby sound machine:

  • Range of sounds on offer. The two main types of sounds offered by most machines are white noise and soothing sounds. White noise is a constant buzz or hum similar to the sound of a vacuum cleaner or radio static. Soothing sounds include various nature-inspired sounds like rainfall or waves, lullabies, or shushing. Different sound machines offer a different selection of sounds, so think about that when making your decision.

  • Shutoff options. Some Pampers Parents preferred that the sound machine shut off automatically after one of the preset time options (usually intervals like 15, 30, and 60 minutes), while others liked having more control and preferred turning off the machine themselves.

  • Volume control. You want to be able to adjust the volume so that it’s not too loud or too soft. Different sound machines offer different levels of volume control. For example, with some machines you may find that even the lowest volume setting is too loud, and so you’ll need to place it further away from your baby.

  • Built-in night-light. Some sound machines come with a built-in night-light, which can be super convenient if you want to have a faint light on in your baby’s room during the night when you go in for feedings and diaper changes. Note that the light produced by some sound machines consists of light projections designed to help mesmerize and soothe your baby before sleep. If you’re in the market for a separate night-light, check out what Pampers Parent said were the best night-lights for 2021.

  • Charging method. Some sound machines are battery operated, while others charge via a USB or electric cable. Consider whether you’d prefer to change batteries on a regular basis or would prefer to remember to charge the sound machine every day or so. Whichever you go for, keep the sound machine out of your baby’s reach at all times so he can’t come accidentally in contact with either the battery or the cord.

  • Design. Consider which products you like the look of. Some are more functional-looking, while others come in a soft toy design.

  • Portability. Many Pampers Parents appreciated the convenience of a portable baby sound machine. These models often feature a ring, wristband, or hook and loop fastener. When thinking of portability, consider the size of the product and whether it will fit in your diaper bag.

The 7 Top Voted Baby Sound Machines

Pampers Parents voted on the best baby sound machines. Here is the list of their favorites, along with detailed reviews to help you pick:

1. Marpac Hushh Portable White Noise Machine for Baby

Why pick this one? The best baby sound machine, according to Pampers Parents, is this Marpac Hushh portable sound machine. At about 3.5 inches across and weighing just 3.8 ounces, this model fits the bill if you’re looking for a compact, lightweight portable baby sound machine that will easily fit in your diaper bag. This sound machine comes with a handy clip, so you can hang it on the stroller bar or a doorknob, for example. Its three sound options are “bright” white noise, “deep” white noise, and the sound of gentle surf. The product features a child safety lock for added peace of mind. The product is charged via a USB cable (included), and the manufacturer claims one charge lasts all night. Of course, you may get more nights out of a single charge if you don’t run the machine all night long. This sound machine doesn’t have the option for you to set how long it runs for. Although this is a pro for some Pampers Parents, this could be a dealbreaker for you if you don’t like the idea of entering your baby’s room to switch it off.

"My top factor for choosing this sound machine is that it doesn’t time out. The white noise continues until it either runs out of battery or you turn it off.”—Pampers Parent

Highlights: With this product, you won’t need to buy an additional night-light, as it comes with a LED light in a relaxing amber hue. Night-light included: Yes

Price*: about $29.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

 

 

✓ Good sound quality
✕ Doesn’t show when product is charging, is done charging, or how charged up it is
✓ Portable
✕ Doesn’t have a timer option — runs until you physically stop it
✓ Easy to use
✕ Charging cable could be longer
✓ Lots of volume options
✕ Could last longer between charges

 

2. MyBaby, SoundSpa Lullaby - Sounds & Projection

Why pick this one? Coming in second among Pampers Parents is this baby sound machine, which has lots of great sound options. There are three classic lullabies ("Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Brahms’ Cradle Song," and "Rock-a-Bye Baby") and three nature sounds (rain, waves, and a rhythmic heartbeat). This product has both auto and manual shutoff options, so you can either let the machine run until you go in and turn it off, or you can pre-set it to run for just 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes. It’s quite small, at just over four inches, which makes it great for or an outing or travel. Charge it using the included AC adapter. One downside of this baby sound machine is that there is no traditional white noise option.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this product! This sound machine has various music sounds, various volume levels, cute projections, and is extremely user friendly. My child loves the farm animal projections and the ocean sounds.”—Pampers Parent

Highlights: It comes with a night-light that projects three different scenes onto the wall or ceiling, which your child can gaze at it as she falls asleep. Night-light included: Yes

Price*: about $24.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

✓ Six sounds ✕ Could have a white noise option
✓ Three light projection options✕ You have to manually change the projection settings
✓ Adjustable volume✕ The projections may not be a replacement for a night-light for some parents

 

3. Bubzi Co Baby Toys Owl Sound Machine, Night Light

Why pick this one? With any luck you won’t have a night owl on your hands with this Bubzi cuddly owl sound machine. This baby sound machine not only functions as a night-light, but can also be snuggled by your baby when he's awake.

Just make sure never to leave it in the crib while your little one is sleeping. And, if your baby is cuddling it, have the sound off to ensure that it’s not too loud for your little one.

Your sound options include 10 soothing lullabies, bird song, and heartbeat sounds. The stars that it projects may also help mesmerize your baby as he drifts off to sleep.

As the product automatically shuts off after 30 minutes, you won’t need to remember to sneak back into your child’s nursery to turn it off. This sound machine is battery-operated.

This portable baby sound machine features a hook and loop fastener so you can attach it to the stroller bar and take it with you wherever you and your little one go.

Highlights: You can take the sound machine out of the belly of the owl, and hand wash the plush toy part. Night-light included: Yes

Price*: about $34.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

✓ Looks cute✕ Could offer more volume control
✓ Features both sound and lights✕ Could be smaller
✓ Portable 

 

4. MyBaby Soundspa On-The-Go - Portable White Noise Machine

Why pick this one? This sound machine offers some popular sound options: heartbeat, ocean, lullaby, and white noise. It shuts off automatically after 15, 30, or 45 minutes — you choose! Note that some Pampers Parents wished it had a longer play cycle or that it wouldn’t automatically shut off and that they had more control of when to turn it off. It takes three AAA batteries, which are not included. Some Pampers Parents said that the battery life was quite short and that it was a hassle to change the batteries so often. The machine itself is made of BPA-free plastic and is quite small, only four inches high. You can either stand this sound machine on a piece of furniture, or you can use the clip to hang it on the stroller bar or doorknob in your baby’s nursery, for example. Highlights: This is one of the more affordable sound machines on our list. Some Pampers Parents even said they bought one for home and one for the car. Night-light included: No

Price*: about $9.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

✓ Price✕ Could be louder
✓ Portability✕ Some wished it was electric, not battery operated

 

5. Baby Shusher For Babies, Sound Machine

Why pick this one? The bold orange look of this baby sound machine may not be to everyone’s taste, but it does get the job done with the basic functionality you need. So, what sound does it make? As the name suggests, it uses a human voice to “shush” your baby to sleep. Just imagine a white noise-style shushing sound over and over again. Some Pampers Parents liked that it mimicked what they would naturally say to their baby while trying to soothe him to sleep. This baby sound machine has 15- and 30-minute play options, after which it shuts off automatically. This could be enough for you (and your baby), but for some parents this run time may be too short, as not all babies are fast asleep in 15 to 30 minutes! It’s battery operated and comes with two AA batteries to get you started. It’s made of BPA-free plastic and is easy to wipe clean.

"It’s like magic! The moment we used this product for the first time with our newborn, he immediately stopped crying! I use this for his bedtime, naps, and stroller walks. Highly recommend.”—Pampers Parent

Highlights: This portable baby sound machine comes with a strap for easy attachment to a doorknob or the strap of your diaper bag, for example. Night-light included: No

Price*: about $34.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

✓ Calming✕ Even the lowest volume setting may be too loud
✓ Can wear it using the wrist strap while carrying your baby✕ Could play longer

 

6. Munchkin Shhh Portable Baby Sound Machine

Why pick this one? This is a nice looking sound machine that will suit any nursery design or color scheme. It plays three soothing sounds: white noise, heartbeat, and a slow shushing. It includes a LED night-light, so you won’t have to buy one of these separately. The 3D buttons allow you to more easily change the settings even in dim light. There is an auto-shutoff after 10, 20, or 30 minutes. Some parents might find it annoying that there isn’t a manual shutoff option. It requires two AA batteries to run, and batteries aren’t included. Highlights: After you’ve changed the batteries, simply twist the top of the sound machine to lock it in place for added safety. Night-light included: Yes

Price*: about $18.50 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

✓ Small size✕ Could be louder
✓ Shushing sound really puts baby to sleep 

 

7. Cloud b Sleep Sheep On The Go Travel Sound Soother

Why pick this one? This sound machine doubles as a cuddly sheep toy. This is the smaller travel size version; it’s also available in a larger size. The nature sounds available with this sound machine are gentle stream, spring showers, ocean waves, and whale songs.

This portable baby sound machine has a hook and loop fastener so it can easily attach to the bar of a stroller or car seat carrier, for example.

There are two pre-set shutoff options of 23 and 45 minutes, but there is no manual shutoff option.

One downside of this product is that it doesn’t include a night-light, so if you want one of those you’ll have to buy it separately.

This product requires two AA batteries to run.

"I used it during my career as a nanny and it was always my favorite sound machine. So when I had my own baby I knew I had to have one.”—Pampers Parent

Highlights: This product can double as a snuggly toy for your older baby or toddler. Night-light included: No Price*: about $24.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

✓ Makes the perfect cuddle toy when it’s not being used as a sound machine✕ Could have more sound options
✓ Portable✕ Could have a longer battery life
✓ Cute 

 

How to Safely Use a Baby Sound Machine

Because your baby’s auditory system is still developing, experts recommend the following guidelines when using a baby sound machine:

  • Keep the machine as far away as possible from your baby. This means that you might want to place it on a table or windowsill at a distance from your baby, or hang it on the nursery’s doorknob if that’s further away. Experts recommend keeping it at least seven feet away.

  • Never place the machine on the crib rail or in the crib. This is important both in terms of keeping the sound machine far enough away to protect your little one's hearing and for making sure your baby can't reach the batteries or electric cable.

  • Lower the volume. Most baby sound machines have volume control. Set it on the lowest setting possible that still provides some faint ambient sound. Experts suggest the sound be no louder than 50 decibels. Placing the machine at a distance also helps reduce the noise level further if the lowest volume setting isn’t low enough.

  • Limit its usage. Shut off the device after your baby has fallen asleep, or if your machine has a timer, set it for just the length of time it usually takes your baby to fall asleep. To limit the amount of time your baby is exposed to the sound, consider not using the machine at other times of day but only when your baby is about to fall asleep. Experts say that prolonged use of a sound machine night after night can affect hearing, speech, and language development. Speak to your child’s healthcare provider if you’re ever in doubt about how you’re using the sound machine, or if you have questions about your baby's safety and development.

The Bottom Line

A baby sound machine can help make your life easier particularly if you’re trying to soothe your crying baby or you’re in the middle of baby sleep training and trying to create a calming environment for sleep. Just remember when buying one that you’ll have to try it out to see whether your child actually takes to it or not. Some Pampers Parents found their child didn’t enjoy the sound of a sound machine, or preferred one type of sound over another. A baby sound machine could be one of those items you may find you can’t live without, or maybe you’ll find that it isn’t as helpful as you had hoped it would be. Give it a try, and see how you and your little one do with it.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). *Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results
We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.