The simplest model of white noise machine consists of little more than a fan and a piece of cast metal. The fan may or may not have variable speeds but the basic design itself remains very much the same. When the fan on the noise generator is turned on, air is drawn or pushed through holes interspersed at different angles and measures throughout the cast metal in order to generate the white noise that you hear.
These noise machines are too often and too easily overlooked by many people for their usefulness. In reality, these can be great for leaving in your new baby's room or in your kids room where other monitoring may be necessary. You do not want to mask out the sounds of your child but only help them to sleep and relax better. A white noise machine that is louder or more powerful may prevent you from hearing other important goings-on in your child's room and as a parent, you know that would be a bad thing.
Not everybody is a parent though and some people want noise machines to use as masking tools, especially when holding quiet conversations when there are both background noises and other people who may occasionally interfere with the discussions. This is very common in doctor's offices or other locations where relatively private conversations are held on a regular basis and distractions can be costly.
For these people there are slightly more advanced electronic noise generators that produce or playback random white noise that works to mask or oppose sounds that may be coming from other areas. In addition, the electronic noise machine as a sound masking device has been shown to make it much more difficult for people passing by to even unwittingly pick up pieces of your private conversations.
Some people still want more however. Since the late sixties or perhaps the early seventies, many Westerners have begun to explore the Eastern arts including the music, chants and the use of natural sounds as a means to relax, meditate or even as a tool to help them to sleep better and more naturally. For these people, there are also a number of noise sound machine options available to them.
If you are looking for something a little more advanced, you may want to consider a noise machine that integrates the white noise with any number of sounds, songs or even musical instruments played softly in the background. This technique allows you to get the best of both worlds, listening to relaxing music while at the same time using the noise generator to free yourself from any unpleasant background interruptions.
These models of noise machines are great for sleeping or relaxing at home. Imagine the soothing sounds of a babbling brook, a rushing waterfall, a cool mountain breeze or even a gentle rain falling in the background all while blocking out unwanted offending noises. A noise sound machine of this nature is generally electronic, has some sort of built in sound player or at the very least, a way to play a white noise cd while you are relaxing.
The construction of the noise machine should be secondary to what you need a noise generator to do but it will make a difference. Whether you need a simple white noise sound machine or a more complex and advanced noise generator, there are plenty of options available to meet your needs.